land-of-kain

(umi'n no kuni)

Scott Adams: Writing Humor

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) with a nice write-up on how he creates humor: Diversifying over the different kind of humor in people, and going in several passes over about 18 layers of writing. The best one: musicality. Just compare "A big kid kicked a milk can" to "Are you dancing on the dance floor or drinking by the bar?".

2D Strokes in WebGL

The Hyper Android blog has written a nice interactive 2D stroke visualization and article, with all the caps and joins on a triangle basis appropriate to WebGL. In related news: Why many apps handle color the wrong way due to the logarithmic nature of light perception, and why geometry shaders are slow caused by writing output to memory instead of handling syncs on their own.

Lightfield Camera: Lytro Illum

Engadget reviews the Lytro Illum (40 megarays @ f2.0), the successor to the Lytro (10 megarays) [gallery]. Lightfield cameras have multiple focus planes [wiki] [video], allowing adjustment of depth-of-field [wiki] in post production. Lytro founder Ren Ng explains details in his PhD thesis. Costs 1600 EUR. Petapixel reports of the next plan: Lightfield video.

Ubuntu Phone: Aquaris E4.5

Engadget reports on the Ubuntu Phone Aquaris E4.5 [press] [wiki], with Ubuntu on top of Android; Linux binaries run but GUI apps only with external monitor [forum] [xda-developers]. Using apt seems unstable [forum]. Costs 150 EUR.

Camera Shutter in Slow-Motion

Engadget links to the Slow Mo Guys [wiki] who take the lens off a DSLR camera and use a Phantom Flex [wiki] high-speed camera to film the mechanical shutter in action.

Chaos Communication Congress 31

So the 31C3 happened in the last days of last year, and as always videos of the talks are online (schedule): The Fnord news 2014, two talks about quantum computing, TOR (the onion router) and fefe's recommendations.

Yota Phone 2

Engadget reviews the Yota Phone 2, an Android mobile phone with an e-ink display on the backside for ebook reading, ticket display and always-on clock. But it can also display everything from the front display on the back display, though slower. Energy savings are considerable (on my Nexus S, 40% battery for display). Only disadvantage: The device is curved as a normal phone, so the back display is not planar. Costs 700 EUR.

360 Degree Cameras

Petapixel and Engadget report on 360 degree cameras: The Samsung Project Beyond records with 8 stereo pairs, while the EyeSee360 360fly and the Kodak PixPro SP360 use single cameras and a mirror in the style of traditional omnidirectional cameras.

Virtual Reality Glove: Dexmo

A decade after the P5 glove (see my input devices) and other hand exoskeletons, Engadget, Joystiq and Road to VR report of the Dexmo VR glove prototype with the same goal, but now tailored towards the Oculus Rift VR environment. Could be combined with a Twiddler one-hand keyboard for text input.

13 Inch Ebook Reader

Engadget links to the ebook-reader blog reporting on the Sony DPT-S1, the only 13" e-ink reader, now available at 1000 EUR (Sony store). Finally a good device for A4 paper sized documents.

Car Commercials: Camera Paths

Petapixel shows a Toyota video with cameras mounted to rails, onto drones, below parachutes, and on motorcycles, all for typical car commercials. As for cameras, Nikon and Fujinon explain their lenses, and the jasmcole blog experiments with rolling shutters, which are detrimental to shooting car commercials.

Personhood: A Game for Two

The melting asphalt blog with an essay on "personhood": Basically the ability to be accepted as trustworthy, it is developed by persons throughout their childhood. Companies once sought the "right to be sued" in order to increase their trustworthiness.