Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hi, a real human interface

Hello, friends! As you may know, I am working on a multi-touch table in my copious spare time (heh). If you haven't seen this already, it's definitely worth a look and a laugh. A true multi-touch "human" interface!

Hi from Multitouch Barcelona on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jobs Lost / Gained Visualization

Here are some interesting interactive figures regarding recent unemployment trends in the US:

The Geography of Jobs
When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

To Be

Just a little lighthearted fun concerning the continuity of existence.

Some more reading on consciousness and cyborgs here... (Thanks, Reddit)!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Magnetic Fields are All Around Us

Magnetic Movie from Semiconductor on Vimeo.

The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries . All action takes place around NASA's Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries . Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent ‘whistlers' produced by fleeting electrons . Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?

More info on their website.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2008 Books in Review

Books read in 2008:

Stephen King - Dark Tower Book I: The Gunslinger
This series has been around for a while so I decided to sink my teeth into it. It's sort of a post-apocalyptic / western / sci-fi / adventure / fantasy. It somehow reminds me of the Trigun anime. It's not like most of King's other novels. I enjoyed it well enough to read the next in the series. (4/5)

Stephen King - Dark Tower Book II: The Drawing of the Three
Book two isn't quite as exciting to read, but it definitely takes another big step into the weird with some time travel thrown in. Still a fun read. (3.5/5)

William Gibson - Pattern Recognition
This was a fun book about a person who is attuned to memes and is tasked with tracking down an Anonymous who is posting videos online. A fun and interesting read tracking the main character around the globe, but I wasn't very satisfied with the ending. (4/5)

Brandon Sanderson - Elantris
How often can you find a fantasy that is good AND fits in one reasonable sized novel? Not too often, but here is a great example of an interesting story woven and completed in six hundred and some odd pages. Check it out while you're waiting for the end to Wheel of Time. (4.5/5)

Nick Sagan - Idlewild
Carl Sagan's son wrote this novel about kids living in a virtual reality training school and their struggles against the system and the machine. It was fun to read, but do yourself a favor and read Ender's Game instead. :) (3.5/5)

China Mieville - Iron Council
I really like China Mieville's world and people. They're so interesting and colorful you can't help but want to turn the page. The plot of this one is a bit odd (a group of vagabonds hijack a train and build and remove the tracks as they go to escape civilization... and then return) and the ending is a bit depressing, but that's par for the course. If you liked Perdido Street Station (a better book, and one you should read first), then check this out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Aimee Mullins: Super-Power Legs

Aimee Mullins has an amazing story about how her prosthetic legs maker her not disabled but super-abled. Below is her talk from the TED conference.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year for Zune Owners

Here's an exercise for you. What happens when days = 366 in the code below? Maybe the better question is what happens when programmers skip their morning coffee when they reinvent the wheel and write a "simple" date parser with leap year detection? This code was loaded on every 30 GB Zune. Check out the offending module and read the coverage on Engadget. This presents a great case for unit testing!

while (days > 365)
if (IsLeapYear(year))
if (days > 366)
days -= 366;
year += 1;
days -= 365;
year += 1;

What's in your firmware??