We all know the Japanese pretty much school us on all things cool, but one way we can one up them is by making cooler things out of paper than they can. Show that origami crane who's boss by building your own Master Chief or Tux out of paper. Sure this method requires glueing and cutting but its still a heck of a lot easier than folding an origami rose.
For those of you who have had problems getting your sites to look properly in IE due to PNG issues, here are two methods to fix it:
"The main benefits of the new format: it's easy to create a gadget using Google's API, the gadget can be stored and/or cached on Google's severs and people can add the gadgets they like to Google's personalized homepage. "Gadget ads can incorporate real-time data feeds, images, video and much more in a single creative unit and can be developed using Flash, HTML or a combination of both. Designed to act more like content than a typical ad, they run on the Google content network, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement," says Google (my emphasis)."
"Digital image editing has always been a challenge; it's difficult to transform a 300x600 image to 100X500 image without cropping out something important or distorting the original image. The ingenious Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir have created an amazing digital photo editing tool that is content aware. Using a process they call "Seam Carving," the tool preserves the most vital parts of an image and removes the unimportant parts when you resize it. Their method was presented in a paper at SIGGRAPH 2007. An online demo video has the blogosphere whipped up in geeky excitement, and is definitely worth watching. Adobe just hired Avidan along with a couple of other digital imaging innovators, which has Photoshop users ecstatic with the prospect of this feature being included in a future version."
"To the untrained eye, the tiny, misshapen, fatty blobs on Giovanni Murtas's microscope slide would not look very impressive. But when the Italian scientist saw their telltale green fluorescent glint he knew he had achieved something remarkable — and taken a vital step towards building a living organism from scratch. The green glow was proof that his fragile creations were capable of making their own proteins, a crucial ability of all living things and vital for carrying out all other aspects of life."
"Jatropha, an ugly, fast-growing and poisonous weed that has been used as a remedy for constipation, may someday power your car. The plant, resilient to pests and resistant to drought, produces seeds with up to 40 per cent oil content that when crushed can be burned in a diesel car while the residue can be processed into biomass for power plants. Although jatropha has been used for decades by farmers in Africa as a living fence because its smell and taste repel grazing animals, the New York Times reports that jatropha may replace biofuels like ethanol that require large amounts of water, fertilizer, and energy, making their environmental benefits limited. Jatropha requires no pesticides, little water other than rain and no fertilizer beyond the nutrient-rich seed cake left after oil is pressed from its nuts. Poor farmers living close to the equator are planting jatropha on millions of acres spurred on by big oil companies like British Petroleum that are investing in jatropha cultivation."
"Reed Crawford's Formable Furniture consists of "a couple of interlocking pieces that stiffen at the pull of a wire cable. By manipulating the tension, you can make all kinds of crazy shapes strong enough to act as shelving, seating, or flooring.""
Magicians innovate without IP law. Forget copyright and patents, we need honour and shame to protect intellectual property. Maybe some seppuku thrown in for good measure.
"Jacob Loshin, a law student at Yale, drafter a paper exploring how stage magicians protect the secrets behind their tricks, and continue to come up with great new ideas, without getting caught up in the insanity of intellectual property law. Basically, magicians police themselves based on a set of norms for treating secrets, presentation styles, and techniques of making magic. Violate the norms by, say, stealing a trick or not giving credit where it's due and you'll be shamed and shunned by your fellow magicians."
I read about Goog411 a little while ago, but just know got a chance to use. If your phone doesn't have internet than its the perfect solution to finding business information for free. Its your basic 411 service but with some added googly features. The best feature is that you can search local business' by type, like "pizza delivery", and it will give you a list and then you choose one for more info. The service will automatically connect you, also free, and if you like will send you a text of the business info. Or if your phone does have internet it can send you a map of the business location. All for free how sweet is that.
The number: 1-800-GOOG-411
Check out this corny video for basically the same info in a wackier manner.
Posted by Jacob on 9/20/2007 05:09:00 PM
It's been a few months since someone tried to make a free energy claim, so here's a guy saying he got electricity from salt water using radio frequencies. Not sure if it works or not, if it does, it'd be quite the discovery. My bets are on us not hearing about this again because it turns out to be a fake or some previously understood phenomena.
"This sounds a wee bit nutty, but an article in Sunday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tells the story of an Erie, Pennsylvania man who created a 3,000-degree flame by exposing salt water to radio frequencies.
The guy, according to the story, was trying to desalinate seawater with a generator "he developed to treat cancer," when he noticed a flash in the test tube.
Within days, he had the salt water in the test tube burning like a candle, as long as it was exposed to radio frequencies.
His discovery has spawned scientific interest in using the world's most abundant substance as clean fuel, among other uses."
"Passenger: My daughter is burning that DVD for you. I'll drop it by when she's done it.
Station worker: Thanks! You really don't have to.
Another mother, to her toddler: Sound's like someone's breaching copyright!"
There was a nice setup at NextFest this year that featured the Google Lunar X PRIZE.
"Google sponsors an exciting challenge to reconquer the Moon and bring interesting data from there. "Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth." The prize is $30 million and the intention is to revive the interest for exploring the Moon.
"The Moon is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system and a source of solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on Earth – energy independence and climate change. Already, governments from around the world recognize the importance of lunar exploration, and national space agencies from the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan, and the nations of Europe plan to send probes to the Moon in the coming decade."
Google teamed up with the X PRIZE Foundation, well-known for the Ansari X PRIZE, a competition that offered $10 million to "the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks". Google bought a replica of the SpaceShipOne, the winner of the Ansari X PRIZE, and installed it inside Building 43 at Googleplex."
"Visions of The Year 2000
These labels, most probably intended to be found in food products, were presented on panels of a dozen little scenes. They illustrate the way our grandparents imagined the year 2000. The inventions meant to improve everyday life are seen side by side with more erudite or searchful vocations, but curiously the clothing fashion remains that of the Belle Epoque!"
This thing supposedly lets you survive in extreme environments and look like a pod person while doing it.
"Cocoon is a place to find shelter in extreeme [sic] conditions and environments. Hang it off a tree or a cliff face or anywhere you else you need to. Inside, the user is comforted by a warming colours and materials that will ensure they stay warm no matter what the conditions are like outside."
Apparently intended for soldiers carrying 100 pound packs, these backpack straps generate power from the weight of the bag and your walking.
"Instead of cutting into your shoulders, these nylon-like straps convert that mechanical strain into electrical energy, and researchers have figured out that if you carry a 100-pound pack and walk at 2-3 mph you can generate 45.6 mW of power. That's enough to the power an iPod, or maybe a head-mounted flashlight. But a 100-pound pack? They're saying that's a typical weight for soldiers to carry. That'll make you think twice about signing up to go to Iraq."
Apparently from one of the individuals that won the eBay auction, the Halo 3 ending has leaked onto net. I'm trying to avoid accidentally reading it somewhere, but it's going to be difficult, since I read so many feeds from everywhere.
Pandora's Battery - Software to un-brick/downgrade EVERY PSP - just like Sony's JigKick! With a spare battery and a Memory Stick Pro Duo, you can pretty much fix any busted PSP. The only downside is that you need to know someone who already has a modded PSP to install the stuff on your battery and memory stick.
Amazon Flexible Payments Service allows you to use Amazon's payment system in your web application or site to handle transactions down to the microtransaction level ($.01 is the minimum). For an overview, check out Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Amazon’s New FPS.
To get started in Amaazon FPS, check out one of the examples or the PHP library.
Capitalizing on the abundance of dying Xbox 360s and evoking HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, this shirt has the terrifying red ring of death, signifying your Xbox's untimely demise and states, "I'm afraid I can't let you play that, Dave."
I wasn't able to find the shirt on Amazon yet, but I found the rest of Splitreason's shirts, including a gnome one that says "Friends don't let friends be gnomes."
Apparently through an electric current going through the glass when you lock the door, cool bathroom stall doors change from clear to opaque.
"If you go looking for the restrooms at Bar 89 in SoHo, instead of a private room for women and a separate one for men, you'll encounter an open area upstairs with a row of hi-tech looking stalls. Through the glass doors, you can see the toilet and sink lit up in red and blue. I observed someone going into one of them, and when they closed the door, after a second or two, the glass door became opaque and the word "occupied" lit up at the top of the door. I entered a stall, saw that I could still see the guy sitting on the sofa across from me, and assuming that I was no more invisible to him than he was to me, quickly exited."
Here is a nice list of simulated page turning designs using flash. These are the things that when you roll over a corner it folds over and if you drag it it'll turn the page over. Only one of them seems to be a pay one and that's the Pageflip.com one.
Page Turning Interfaces
Where do you think Master Chief gets all the money to buy his fancy armor and crazy guns. In between fragging alien scum, Ol Master Chief runs down to First Mutual Bank to get some green stuff. While I doubt this photo is official Microsoft advertisement they have put out a whole heap of crazy stuff in the past few weeks.
Posted by Jacob on 9/20/2007 08:54:00 AM
This WHOIS and Reverse IP Service is useful for finding all the domains hosted by a certain IP address. So if for example, you're trying to see some of your competitor's work, you just go to the IP address of one of their sites and see all the others they host as well...
Here is a funny Halo 3 Preparation Guide.
The "Better-Half" Tips
* By Sunday Night, 9/23, do all the laundry in your house, on your own, with no help. This will eliminate the likelihood that you will hear "you could at least have done some laundry while you were home."
* Finish at least two chores you started in 2001. It's going to be inevitable that the second your better-half leaves for work, she or he will call you with an idea: "You know, I still don't have that area for crafts in the garage you promised, and you're home today..." Have some leverage.
* Take the partner out to dinner, starting now, ending Sunday. The technical term is "buttering up."
* You've got launch day off, but that's not good enough. You need at least one pre-launch day off with the family to make up for catching Halo-tosis and staying home sick on the 25th. Trust us.
* Buy your better half something to keep them busy. They've wanted a kitten, a ring, a car? Who cares, it's worth it.
"Evening," Greg said, handing the man his sweaty passport. The officer grunted and swiped it, then stared at his screen, tapping. A lot. He had a little bit of dried food at the corner of his mouth and his tongue crept out and licked at it.
"Want to tell me about June 1998?"
Greg looked up from his Departures. "I'm sorry?"
"You posted a message to alt.burningman on June 17, 1998, about your plan to attend a festival. You asked, 'Are shrooms really such a bad idea?'"
The interrogator in the secondary screening room was an older man, so skinny he looked like he'd been carved out of wood. His questions went a lot deeper than shrooms.
"Tell me about your hobbies. Are you into model rocketry?"
"No," Greg said, "No, I'm not." He sensed where this was going.
The man made a note, did some clicking. "You see, I ask because I see a heavy spike in ads for rocketry supplies showing up alongside your search results and Google mail."
Greg felt a spasm in his guts. "You're looking at my searches and e-mail?" He hadn't touched a keyboard in a month, but he knew what he put into that search bar was likely more revealing than what he told his shrink.
"Sir, calm down, please. No, I'm not looking at your searches," the man said in a mocking whine. "That would be unconstitutional. We see only the ads that show up when you read your mail and do your searching. I have a brochure explaining it. I'll give it to you when we're through here.
"Vocaloid is a technology and application software developed by Yamaha that enables users to synthesize authentic-sounding singing by just typing in the melody and the lyrics of a song. Yamaha announced its development in 2003, and in 2004 the first application software product was launched. It was not released as a Yamaha product, but a software package of Vocaloid Singer Libraries developed by third party licensees (Zero-G and Crypton) which included Yamaha's Vocaloid software."
Posted by Robert Stern on 9/19/2007 09:35:00 PM
Anyone actually seen a RS Media - Robosapien Media Robot in stores? I'd like one at some point to add to my robotics collection.
"The RS Media is another product in WowWee's line of biomorphic robots, based on a walking system designed by Mark Tilden. The RS Media uses basically the same body as the Robosapien V2, but a different brain based on a Linux kernel. As the name implies, the RS Media's focus is on multimedia capabilities, including the ability to record and playback audio, pictures and video. It retains and builds upon the Robosapien V2's sensor array and programmability."
Update: Nevermind, I found it at Amazon
Run Your Car on Hydrogen from Aluminum Soda Cans and Lye. Just a test of concept, but very interesting nonetheless.
blueprintcss is a CSS framework that is supposed to make coding pages easier. It breaks things up with a grid to allow you to position objects. Unlike Tripoli, which is more like a reset, this is actually a framework to build off of.
I found Tripoli at some point in my web designing exploration. It works somewhat like a master reset (or master.css, if you've used that reset stylesheet before) to neutralize browser formatting and help your site look the same under multiple browsers and OSes:
"Tripoli is a CSS standard for HTML rendering. By resetting and rebuilding browser standards, Tripoli forms a stable, cross-browser rendering foundation for your web project"
I think I'm going to go on a posting binge and start posting a ton of things up tonight and tomorrow in an effort to:
A.) Reduce the number of tabs I have open in Firefox by reading and posting the things I have open and
B.) Try to get my Google Reader feed items down to a manageable number. Somehow I think "1000's" is just as bad as, or worse, than when it said "100's"
Wish me luck, this could get crazy.