Saturday, May 26, 2007

Molecular Magnetism: The Real Levitation

Molecular Magnetism, Diamagnetism Levitation was one of the “Strange Science” that won the Ig Nobel Prizes on year 2000 for PHYSICS by High Field Magnet Laboratory.

LOL! Even the “Church of the Latter Day Snakes” was highly impressed by this research...

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Obituary: Epson Stylus 600 Printer

Happened to stumble this interest audio recording by melack of TheFreeSoundProject on the “painful death” of a printer ;p.

Note: The last moaning audio part of the video is not real :)

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Friday, May 18, 2007

LinuxBIOS - building a BIOS for fun and not-profit

Above short sample clip covering topics on “But why use Linux as a BIOS” and the infamous "The DRM BIOS Issus (eg. EFI , etc)” presented by Ronald G Minnich.

Its full hi-quality 48mins video (239MB, Ogg Theora format) is available at FOSDEM (Free and Open source Software Developers) .

LinuxBIOS might be the default contender for OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) too.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Floating Balloon Wind Generator

“”The Magenn Power Air Rotor System (MARS) is an innovative lighter-than-air tethered device that rotates about a horizontal axis in response to winds , efficiently generating clean renewable electrical energy at a lower cost than all competing systems.

This electrical energy is transferred down the tether to a transformer at a ground station and then transferred to the electricity power grid.

Helium (an inert non-reactive lighter than air gas) sustains the Air Rotor which ascends to an altitude for best winds and its rotation also causes the Magnus effect. This provides additional lift, keeps the device stabilized, keeps it positioned within a very controlled and restricted location, and causes it to pull up overhead rather than drift downwind on its tether.

All competing wind generators use bladed two-dimensional disk-like structures and rigid towers. The Magenn Power Air Rotor system is a closed three-dimensional structure. It offers high torque, low starting speeds, and superior overall efficiency thanks to its ability to deploy higher. The closed structure allows Magenn Power to produce wind rotors from very small to very large sizes at a fraction of the cost of current wind generators.

Magenn Power is currently in the prototype phase of our Magenn Air Rotor System . Magenn Power plans to ship their first official product, a 4 kilowatt version in 2007.””

And from its informative FAQ, there will be even a backpack-sized units too:

“”Backpack size or small units may be available in one to two years. Magenn Power is looking to license this technology and may not manufacture it ourselves.””

Guess there will be lotsa potential and alternative for its size and mobility deploying in a rural area, sea, tall building , powering SOS radio/beacon or Wi-Fi device doubled as antennal, serving advertisement banner or even as old skool barrage balloon …etc :)

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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Geek Art of Tweaking Panoramas Pictures

Above clip was a summarized fast forwarded preview from the original Google PhotoTechEDU Day 16: Multi-viewpoint Mosaics (54mins) video , presented by Lihi Zelnik , on technique of Squaring the Circle in Panoramas and Automating Joiners …etc.

It also interestingly mentioned how Cartographers and Artists tweaked their works too.

So what are you waiting for? More Panoramas tips and trick at Panoguide’s How to… , especially life easier using freeware Autostitch program which automatically do image stitching perfected for lazy geek wannabe (like me) out there. :)

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Sunday, May 6, 2007

Look Mum, No Stylus on my PDA

Above fast forwarded short clip was a spiced up with text-to-speech voice with the following summaries:

“”Retrieving the stylus of a pen-based device takes time and requires a second hand. Especially for short, intermittent interactions many users therefore choose to use their bare fingers instead. Although convenient, this increases targeting times and error rates. We argue that the main reason is the occlusion of the target by the user’s finger. We propose a pointing technique we call Shift that is designed to address this issue. When the user touches the screen, Shift creates a callout showing a copy of the occluded screen area and places it in a non-occluded location. The callout also shows a pointer representing the hotspot of the finger. Using this visual feedback, users guide the pointer into the target by moving their finger on the screen surface and commit the target acquisition by lifting the finger. Over large targets, in contrast, no callout is created and users enjoy the full performance of an unaltered touch screen. In our user study, participants acquired targets faster when using Shift than when using the traditional offset cursor technique.”” - Patrick Baudisch

Patrick Baudisch’s research paper entitled Shift: A Technique for Operating Pen-Based Interfaces Using Touch received a Best Paper award for CHI 2007, the annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

More from Microsoft Research’s Who Needs a Stylus When You Have Fingers?

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Digital Tampering in the Media, Politics and Law

“”Photography lost its innocence many years ago. In as early as the 1930s, shortly after the first commercially available camera was introduced, Stalin had his enemies "air-brushed" out of photographs. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of digital tampering in the media, politics, and the law.”” – Hany Farid

More examples not covered from the above video montage are available at
Digital Tampering in the Media, Politics and Law website.

And don’t miss out this recent interesting 1hr video on Exposing Digital Forgeries from Inconsistencies in Lighting presented by Hany Farid too.

Update: Thanks on user comments below and found a video link on Reuters Photo Fraud.

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