Saturday, March 31, 2007

Boku: Lightweight Programming for Kids on Xbox360

“” Boku uses a novel, high-level programming paradigm within a 3-D gaming world on the Xbox 360® to introduce children to creative use of the computer. Boku’s programming model is extremely simple as it does not use a textual language or wiring diagrams. Kids use simple behavior cards to enable a small virtual robot to navigate its world and achieve specific tasks. The goal is to provide a gentle introduction to some of the foundational elements of creative programming to children who may not yet be ready for the complexity of classical computer languages. The user is exposed to behavior arbitration, generality, representation of an abstract state, real-time experimentation and feedback, simulation, sensors, physics, and message passing. The programming environment is integrated in an attractive gaming world and controlled entirely via an Xbox 360 game controller.”” – Microsoft Research TechFest 2007

Video interview by the Geeky Laura Foy of .

Wow…. Anyone still remember that LOGO programming language during the 80s. :)

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Friday, March 30, 2007

The Air Powered Car

“”The MiniC.A.T is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fibreglass. The heart of the electronic and communication system on the car is a computer offering an array of information reports that extends well beyond the speed of the vehicle, and is built to integrate with external systems and almost anything you could dream of, starting with voice recognition, internet connectivity, GSM telephone connectivity, a GPS guidance system, fleet management systems, emergency systems, and of course every form of digital entertainment. The engine is fascinating, as is and the revolutionary electrical system that uses just one cable and so is the vehicle’s wireless control system. Microcontrollers are used in every device in the car, so one tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, indicators etc…….”” –

More info from the green vehicle company MDI and its inventor, Guy Negre, and video from Air Car from France.

And it reminded me about the cool “Air Jammer” toy car too. :)

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Dog: “If you're happy and you know it, wag your tail"

This clip reproduced with added text-to-speech voice:

“”Dogs wag their tails to the right when they see something they want to approach, and to the left when confronted with something they want to back away from, say researchers in Italy. The finding provides another example of how the right and left halves of the brain do different jobs in controlling emotions.

Unfortunately, because dogs move about so much, the bias can only be detected using video analysis. It's not obvious enough for you to tell whether the next dog you encounter is going to lick your face or turn tail……..””

More at’s 'Here boy' makes dogs wag to the right .

Hmmm…..make me wonder is there a special KO tail move for evil grin?

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

What would happen to the planets if the Sun suddenly ceased to exist?

This clip is reproduced with added text-to-speech voice :

“”MPEG animation by Matthew Willson answering the common student question, "What happens if the Sun suddenly ceases to exist?" The traditional interpretation of general relativity says that can't happen because, at worst, the Sun turns to energy, but energy continues to gravitate. But the new physical interpretation of general relativity has no need to dodge the question. It gives the answer in the animation, which opens with the Sun represented by a dent in a rubber sheet, and Earth orbiting the Sun. We also see light from a distant star being bent by the Sun's potential field as it travels to Earth.

As Earth revolves, we pan down to view under the rubber sheet and see the Sun itself that caused the dent in the rubber sheet, an analog for the gravitational potential field. Suddenly, the Sun vanishes with a whoosh. Almost instantly, Earth ceases to orbit and takes off on the linear path tangent to its orbit when the Sun vanished. In the meantime, a giant gravitational wave is set off in the potential field (the rubber sheet) by the Sun's sudden absence. This wave travels outward at the speed of light. It has no effect on Earth because it is unconnected with ordinary gravitational force. But once the wave reached Earth's orbit, the light path of the star starts to unbend until the path is no longer curved and coincides with its straight line path from the star.

So the answer is that all the planets would depart in the directions they happened to be headed almost instantly. Then one by one, the planets would stop reflecting sunlight and become invisible as the last rays leaving the Sun before it ceased to exist reach each planet.”” -

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spacecraft Reveals Detailed Processes on the Sun

This is short video compilation, narrated with lame “robotic” text-to-speech voice, created from NASA press release on Mar. 21, 2007 :

“”NASA has released never-before-seen images that show the sun's magnetic field is much more turbulent and dynamic than previously known. The international spacecraft Hinode, formerly known as Solar B, took the images. Hinode, Japanese for "sunrise," was launched Sept. 23, 2006, to study the sun's magnetic field and how its explosive energy propagates through the different layers of the solar atmosphere.”"

The full official 49mins video available at NASA Science Update on Hinode Solar B Mission too.

NASA researchers also announced that a super duper solar storm is coming in 2010 or 2011 that will knock out the electronic communication and navigation systems.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What is WWF doing for the environment?

No!, this is not from the World Wrestling Federation which was successfully sued by World Wide Fund for Nature aka World Wildlife Fund, over the acronym WWF. :)

Anyway it is nice short multimedia clip touching on environmental, endangered species and pollution issues …etc

And do check out the debate between An Inconvenient Truth’s trailer vs The Great Global Warming Swindle .

"Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them." - Mark Twain

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Fact or fiction: Experiments in the Revival of Organisms

The Soviet Film Agency presents Experiments in the Revival of Organisms in 1940 by one sick mad scientist controversy touted on successful experiments in the resuscitation of life to dead animals (dogs).

Probably it mass hysteria triggered into What To Do In A Zombie Attack , which was a series of 1950 short films on how to survive a Zombie Holocaust. ;)

Music & Lyrics: PoP! Goes My Heart

This hilarious MTV is from the romantic comedy movie Music and Lyrics which can consider a tribute parody to the 80s pop scene. The song really takes me back to my youth and brings up fond memories of the 80s bands like Wham! , A-ha and Pet Shop Boys …etc
Hugh Grant proclaimed it was too funny to pass up even though he had pledged not to make another romantic comedy.
And Hugh Grant was left stunned and handcuffed by Cielke Sijben, a journalist working for Dutch TV network 101 TV, at the Amsterdam premiere of Music & Lyrics.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Antarctica: A Flying Tour of the Frozen Continent

“For 18 days during the Southern Hemisphere spring of 1997, a NASA-launched Canadian satellite called RADARSAT collected pieces of a puzzle that will help scientists study the most remote and inaccessible part of the earth -- Antarctica. Scientists have now put the puzzle pieces together to form the first high-resolution radar map of the mysterious frozen continent. With detail to the point of picking out a research bungalow on an iceburg, this new map has answered scientist's questions about the icy continent, and has also raised new questions about strange and fascinating features never seen before.” - Alex Kekesi

The icy world always reminded me on the mesmerizing soundtrack by Vangelis and of course the geeky Tux the Penguin aka the official mascot of the Linux kernel. ;)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ntop network traffic probe

“This video shows you how to set up ntop, a network monitoring program, on GNU/Linux. Ntop features a web interface that displays tons of information about bandwidth utilization, traffic patterns, etc. It even shows you what applications are using bandwidth on your network such as ftp, bittorrent, http, dns, etc.” -

Go to to download its high quality full 12mins video.

For windoze platform, get the pre-compiled and easy to setup program at NTop-XTRA.

For install-less geek, it is also included in the ├╝bercool Network Security Toolkit bootable ISO live CD and VMware’s Virtual Machine.

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Saturday, March 3, 2007

DOOM 2: Hell On Earth

A short EPK of the classic iconic id software PC FPS game that made many sleepless nights for gaming geeks way back in 1994.

Featuring on-camera shots of John Romero, American McGee, Shawn Green and Jay Wilbur.

And Bill Gates too joined in the fun in this video presentation promoting Windows95 while digitally superimposed into Doom 1 fragging zombies.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Century of Warfare: Iwo Jima

This is a short 3:21mins WW2 documentary segment on Iwo Jima from the informative "Century of Warfare" collection, in respond on its recent popularity raised by the great “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” movies.

Technie note: Ripped using the freeware versatile VirtualDub video processing utility to resize into 320x240 screen + convert to mp3 audio stream.

And tweaking with MSU Smart Sharpen and Color Enhancement Filter Plugin to enhance its visual quality.

More tip&trick on VirtualDub procedures.