Archive for category graphics

giving better looking presentations: pptPlex

There’s a new free tool available from officelabs:

“pptPlex is a plug-in that explores an alternate method for presenting a PowerPoint slide deck. Using pptPlex, you can present your slides as a tour through a zoomable canvas instead of a series of linear slides.”

pptplex

Source: http://www.officelabs.com/projects/pptPlex/Pages/default.aspx

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Paper Replika: Wall-e, Eve and…

…almost everything else. You’ll have to print it, fold it, glue it… and then it’ll eventually become:

“WALL-E Paper Model. WALL -E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth Class) is programmed to clean up the planet, one trash cube at a time. However, after 700 years he’s developed one little glitch, a personality. He’s extremly curious, highly inquisitive and a little lonely.

  • Solar Powered Regeneration Unit
  • Size 33 All Terain Modular Treads
  • Twin Hydraulic Arm Shovels
  • Digital Audio Recording/Playback Module
  • Low Convergence Head Mounted Laser”

walle_9

Source: http://paper-replika.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=54&Itemid=30

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the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire

Google Streetview is bad. It’s just unbelievable what you can see and since the StreetView Vans are currently here in germany I don’t think I want to get captured…

In this case they captured…well…:

gmapsliveview

Source: Google StreetView

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Widelands – an opensource Settlers II clone

Logo

Widelands-Screen

From the wiki about section:

“In Widelands, you are the regent of a small tribe. You start out with nothing but your headquarters, a kind of castle in which all your resources are stored. In the course of the game, you will build an ever growing settlement. Every member of your tribe will do his or her part to produce more resources – wood, food, iron, gold and more – to further this growth. But you are not alone in the world, and you will meet other tribes sooner or later. Some of them may be friendly and trade with you. However, if you want to rule the world, you will have to train soldiers and fight.

Widelands offers a unique style of play. For example, a system of roads plays the central role of your economy: all the goods that are harvested and processed by the tribe must be transported from one building to the next. This is done by carriers, and those carriers always walk along the roads. It is your job to lay out the roads as efficiently as possible.

Another refreshing aspect of the game is the way you command your tribe. There is no need to tell every single one of your subjects what to do – that would be impossible, because there can be thousands of them! Instead, all you’ve got to do is order them to build a building somewhere, and the builders will come. Similarly, whenever you want to attack an enemy, just place an order to attack one of their barracks, and your soldiers will march to fight. You’re really a ruler: You delegate in times of war and in times of peace!

Widelands offers single-player mode with different campaigns; the campaigns all tell storys of tribes or Empires and their struggle in the Widelands universe! However, settling really starts when you unite with friends over the Internet or LAN to build up new empires together – or to crush each other in the dusts of war. Widelands also offers an Artifical Intelligence to challenge you.

In the end, Widelands will be extensible, so that you can create your own type of tribe with their own sets of buildings. You can create new worlds to play in, and you could even create new types of worlds (who says you can’t build a settlement on the moon?). ”

Source: http://xoops.widelands.org/

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When a site redesign isn’t accepted by your users…

…they eventually start making their own layout of your site… And you cannot do anything about it but listening to them!

A few days ago a big it-news site in germany relaunched it’s site with a new fixed-with-all-left layout. And more than 3000 comments by users had one and only thing to say: We don’t like it.

They disliked it that much that a few sat down and created their own site layouts by using firefox plugins like “stylish” – where you can create your own styles for sites.

beforeafter

I always wanted to see what these style-altering plugins can do but I never had the drive to think me into it…

Source: http://userstyles.org/styles/9589

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Munich in 3D …

OMG! I just realized that the better part of Munich is available in Google Earth in 3D mode – which means real real 3D buildings like this. I thought that the birds eye view of Virtual Earth is cool – but this is a different animal.

googlearth

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the Visual OpenType Layout Tool

If sometimes you need to just create your own font… well maybe that’s a bit too much theoretical – but it’s interesting to play with a tool like VOLT. It’s out now in a new Version and I suggest taking a look:

“The Microsoft Visual OpenType Layout Tool provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface to add OpenType layout tables to fonts with TrueType outlines. It is licensed free and can be downloaded from the online community set up for it. The community hosts an active discussion forum, version history information, a wish-list and related downloads. Links to VOLT’s release notes, as well as tips and tutorials are also posted.”

glypheditor

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/typography/VOLT.mspx

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Visual Studio Color Theme Generator

Oh boy that is cool! Ever since I read that article about Changing your colors in Visual Studio.NET I wanted to create my own theme but never had the time and creativity to do so. Now since there’s this cool generator website everyone can create their own Visual Studio Color Themes:

vstudiotheme

Source 1: http://frickinsweet.com/tools/Theme.mvc.aspx#
Source 2: Changing your colors in Visual Studio.NET

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Augmented Reality Project “Levelhead” – Sourcecode is available

I wrote about Levelhead and it’s stunning concept not long ago. Now you can play with it’s code and try it for youself:

floorplan_lg2

“First thing’s first, this is a developer release and needs to be compiled. It has many third-party dependencies from the renderer to the video capture context. As yet there is no lovely statically linked binary of levelHead or automagical build script for a folder of dependencies. Nonetheless, I’ve installed levelHead on many (Ubuntu) systems now and what’s listed below should work fine for you.
levelHead is known to build on Ubuntu 7.10/7.04 and Debian Etch systems against the following external dependencies. It’s adviseable you adhere to these versions if you want to avoid going spontaneously mad”

The site goes on:

Code and assets are provided under two differing licenses: the code is governed by the GPLv3 and the art is covered by the GPLv3 compatible CC-BY_SA 3.0. Make sure you understand what that implied before downloading this project. For the rationale as to why I chose this configuration, please read the comments in the top of the levelHead.cpp file itself. Both art and code are available in a subversion repository, aquired with the following command:

svn co http://www.inclusiva-net.es/svn/levelhead "

Since I will try it myself (installing Ubuntu now) – I will give a detailed tutorial about it in the future…at least I hope so.

Source: http://julianoliver.com/levelhead

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a matter of perspective

It’s a piece of art in a carpark:

“In Melbourne I developed a way-finding-system for the Eureka Tower Carpark while working for Emery Studio. The distored letters on the wall can be read perfectly when standing at the right position. This project won several international design awards.”

et1

3d_parking_garage_2

Source: http://de-war.de/eurekacarpark.html

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NASA opens it’s picture library

It’s just great to see more and more big archives are getting available online. This time the National Space Agency of America opened it’s picture library:

“NASA Images is a service of Internet Archive ( www.archive.org ), a non-profit library, to offer public access to NASA’s images, videos and audio collections. NASA Images is constantly growing with the addition of current media from NASA as well as newly digitized media from the archives of the NASA Centers.
The goal of NASA Images is to increase our understanding of the earth, our solar system and the universe beyond in order to benefit humanity. “

nasa

Source: http://www.nasaimages.org/

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Graph theory: How to visualize a network

Since I am a bit familiar with graph theory and building technologies around graphs I came across this neat little library originally developed by Marc Smiths Team at Microsoft Research. It’s now up on Codeplex for your own study and research:

“.NetMap is a pair of applications for viewing network graphs, along with a set of .NET Framework 2.0 class libraries that can be used to add network graphs to custom applications.

A network graph is a series of vertices (sometimes called nodes) connected by edges. See this Wikipedia article for an overview of network graphs.”

Graph6 Graph1

Graph12

It even integrates into Excel…well if you need that… more interesting is:

“The Windows Forms control is one of several graph “visualizers” that are packaged in a Microsoft.NetMap.Visualization assembly. There is also a Microsoft.NetMap.Adapters assembly for reading and writing graph data in various formats, a Microsoft.SocialNetworkLib assembly for analyzing social networks, and a Microsoft.NetMap.Core assembly that implements the low-level vertex, edge, and graph classes. The framework for a Microsoft.NetMap.Algorithms assembly is also provided, although most of the graph algorithms are still work items as of May 2008.”

Source 1: http://research.microsoft.com/~masmith/
Source 2: http://www.codeplex.com/NetMap

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What about the user interface? UI guidelines all together now!

You may have heard about things like “guidelines for user interfaces” – Sometimes I tend to think that there is no such thing as a design guideline for a better user interface because some applications are just plain unusable for a normal human being.

But there are guidelines for almost everything and I wanted to give an overview:

Microsoft:

Apple:

Linux:

  • KDE Standards User Interface Guidelines
  • GNOME Human Interface Guidelines
  • Motif Style Guide

interesting ones:

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trueSpace 3D 7.6 is available for free

I used trueSpace years ago when a demo version appeared on one of those CDs that often came with computer magazines… it must be more than 10 years now. I was pleased to read about the availability of the current version of trueSpace as a completely free tool:

“trueSpace7.6 is a fully-featured 3D authoring package that will let you model, texture, light, animate and render 3D content. As well as traditional images and movies, you can also make 3D content for online shared spaces, and for Virtual Earth.”

truespace76

Source: http://www.caligari.com/Products/trueSpace/tS75/brochure/intro.asp?Cate=BIntro

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speaking of Augmented Reality

It seems that I missed that Augmented Reality Toolkit all the way until now. It’s ARToolKit and it’s completely OpenSource.

As a matter of fact there are a ton of demos available… HOW could I possibly miss that for so long?

“ARToolKit is a software library for building Augmented Reality (AR) applications. These are applications that involve the overlay of virtual imagery on the real world. For example, in the image to the right a three-dimensional virtual character appears standing on a real card. It can be seen by the user in the head set display they are wearing. When the user moves the card, the virtual character moves with it and appears attached to the real object.

One of the key difficulties in developing Augmented Reality applications is the problem of tracking the users viewpoint. In order to know from what viewpoint to draw the virtual imagery, the application needs to know where the user is looking in the real world.”

Here is a short video demonstration of what you could start with:

…not talking about the things that would be possible if someone had a great idea 🙂

Source: http://www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit/

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Augmented Reality Game soon available (full source!)

You may have heard about Levelhead – an augmented reality game made by Julian Oliver – if you did not hear about it? No problem:

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data. At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and “augmented” by the addition of computer-generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion-tracking data, fiducial marker recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators.”

So – Augmented reality mixes the reality and the computer graphics and creates a new reality for you. That’s a lot of theoretical…so let’s talk about Levelhead:

It’s a game where you have to move plastic cubes with printed-on patterns in front of a camera – the computer now renders a new world inside of the plastic cubes – when you move the cube, the world inside the cube moves too… it looks like this:

lh_4_med

“levelHead uses a hand-held solid-plastic cube as its only interface. On-screen it appears each face of the cube contains a little room, each of which are logically connected by doors.
In one of these rooms is a character. By tilting the cube the player directs this character from room to room in an effort to find the exit.

Some doors lead nowhere and will send the character back to the room they started in, a trick designed to challenge the player’s spatial memory. Which doors belong to which rooms?

There are three cubes (levels) in total, each of which are connected by a single door. Players have the goal of moving the character from room to room, cube to cube in an attempt to find the final exit door of all three cubes. If this door is found the character will appear to leave the cube, walk across the table surface and vanish.. The game then begins again.
Someone once said levelHead may have something to do with a story from Borges.. For a description of the conceptual basis of this project, see below. “

If you are not amazed now? You should watch this:

The thing is – this cool game and technology will be available at the end of this month as full open-source. I suggest to check Julians site back at the end of the month at last.

Source 1: Augmented Reality @ Wikipedia
Source 2: Levelhead homepage

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How to play a shooter in 16 pixel by 16 pixels space

It’s really a piece of art with only 256 pixels space – it’s the remake of the Defender game you won’t be able to play in Full HD:

DEFENDER of the favicon is a JavaScript remake of Eugene Jarvis‘ brilliant arcade game Defender written by Mathieu ‘p01’ Henri and inspired by Scott Schiller‘s experiment with generated favicons VU meter. The idea was to push the concept of generated favicons further and pack a thrilling retro shooter in 16×16 pixels using JavaScript, canvas and data: URIs.”

“Each frame of the game is generated on the fly in JavaScript into a 16×16 canvas element, then converted to a 32bits PNG image and used in place of the favicon.”

To be clear: This is not a joke – it’s an actual game… the size of:

16x16defender

Source: http://www.p01.org/releases/DHTML_contests/files/DEFENDER_of_the_favicon/

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Wie die Karten in das Navigationsgerät kommen

Wer schon immer mal wissen wollte wie die Karten eigentlich erstellt werden die in so ein Navigationssystem den Weg weisen der sollte sich mal folgenden Artikel und höchst interessante Bilder anschauen:

“Navteq fährt mit speziell ausgerüsteten Fahrzeugen rund 7,5 Mio. Kilometer ab, und das Jahr für Jahr. Denn auch wenn auf der Verpackung steht: 7200 neue Kilometer, dann bedeutet das nicht, dass der “Rest” nicht auch unter die Räder genommen wurde. Und das lohnt sich immer: Hier steht mal ein neues Schild, da ist eine neue Einmündung und dort wurde vielleicht die Straßenführung geändert.”

Source: http://www.ksmichel.de/?p=289

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RAW digital photo codecs for Windows Vista

If you got a digital SLR camera you probably do RAW shoots from time to time…so this could probably be interesting:

Many photographers—especially those with digital SLRs—shoot in ‘RAW’ mode, which outputs a file format that is proprietary to their camera make and model (for example, .CR2, .NEF). These RAW formats preserve more of the original information from the camera than the JPG file that most other cameras output. This extra information provides greater quality, but it comes at a price of convenience. JPG is a universally supported image file format, but as anyone who has used RAW files can tell you, they are anything but universally supported.

In the past, RAW shooters had to either rely on RAW conversion software provided by their camera manufacturer, or put their fate in the hands of the myriad of software makers who have attempted to reverse-engineer these formats for support in their software applications. This led to a number of problems: compatibility issues, varying quality or inconsistent results from one application to another, and holes in the user workflow where RAW support is lacking.

Windows Vista attempts to solve these problems by providing an extensible platform that allows support for these (and other) new file formats to be added to Windows by the owner of the file format. This support comes in the form of a codec, which users will get from their camera manufacturer, either by downloading it, or provided with a new camera body. The Photo Gallery will even detect the presence of these files and help you download a codec when it exists.

Microsoft has been working with the major camera manufacturers so that they can provide codecs for their various RAW formats to their customers. Once these codecs are installed, users will find that they can view their RAW files and thumbnails throughout Windows Vista.

There are Codecs available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax and ArdFry

Source: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/codecs.aspx

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Cheat Sheets for all things web developing

“Cheat sheets are helpful to have around because they allow you to quickly remember code syntax and see related concepts visually. Additionally, they’re nice decorative pieces for your office.”

There are more than 20 cheat sheets available – heck even I found several ones that could come handy in the future.

Source: http://sixrevisions.com/resources/cheat_sheets_web_developer/

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Xbox Media Center for OSX renames itself to PLEX

It’s not as many of those fance company-blogs like gizmodo have written: not the Xbox Media Center project (which makes XBMC for Windows, Linux, Xbox 1 and OSX) renamed itself – infact only the fork of OSXBMC renamed itself to PLEX.

“The one name that stuck was Plex. I like it because it evokes “cineplex” and the suffix means “comprising a number of parts” which the application certain does. In mathematics, you use the suffix to mean “ten to the power of the number” (e.g. oneplex = 10).

Because there are no four-letter domain names left (seriously, try to find one!) we decided to square the plex, so to speak. Think of either plex^2 or plex squared (the beta logo below tries to connote the word “plex” inside a square that might represent a TV screen). The domain names are plex2.com, plexsquared.com, and plexsquare.com for good measure. They are not active yet.

In the coming days, we’ll be working on the rebranding process, including the application packaging, logo, web domains, etc. In the longer term, we have some exciting things in the skin department as well. Stay tuned, and thanks for all your support; we really are lucky to have such an great community.”

Along with the new name comes a new logo:

plex2

Source: http://www.osxbmc.com/
Source 2: http://www.plex2.com

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great Nintendo game themed decals available for your wall…

Blik just announced that they as of now offer official Nintendo game themed wall decals. I was sold with the first picture I saw of it – I know it’s a bit pricey but hey – it sure looks great.

smbbrosdecal

Actually they have more than this Super Mario Bros. 1 theme – they even got the “New Super Mario Bros.” theme which is more of a 2.5d than 3d version of the brothers.

“In late 1985, Super Mario Bros., created by the highly revered Shigeru Miyamoto, came to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) making a splash by ending the two year slump of video game sales in the US. As of 2008, it is the highest selling video game of all time – 40 million copies to date. Its theme music is recognized by gamers and non-gamers alike.

Made with blik Re-Stik™, these movable and reusable decals are based on the same 8-bit graphics from the original Super Mario Bros. game. This is an official Nintendo licensed product.”

Did I mention that it has the official Nintendo seal?… Yeah I did.

Source: http://www.whatisblik.com

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note to myself: hundreds of hd resolution wallpapers

This is just a small note for myself – If I will ever search a new wallpaper for one of my machines I should take a look at this link:

GrOfcuBacteria_full

Source: http://nerdbusiness.com/blog/218-hd-resolution-desktop-wallpapers-nerds

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I want this 3D underwater mosaic … wait … first I need a pool

It’s an underwater mosaic that is on the bottom of the pool and it just looks great… at least for us 🙂

8169_004

8169_005

8169_007

Source: http://www.sinn-frei.com/unterwasser-3d-zeichnungen_8169.htm

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the next creative commons rendermovie is available: Big Buck Bunny

It’s made entirely with free software and released under the creative commons license: Big Buck Bunny is the name of the brand new short movie made with blender, inkscape, gimp and more.



“The Amsterdam based ‘Blender Institute’ announced today the premiere of the short 3D animation movie ‘Big Buck Bunny’. After a production period of over six months, the short film will premiere with a grand party on Thursday 10th of April, in the hip new Amsterdam cinema ‘Studio K’.

“The primary intent of the movie was to stimulate the development of open source 3D software” said producer and Institute director Ton Roosendaal, “But the result equals on artistic level as well as on technical ingenuity the quality of what you would expect from large animation studios”.

The movie differentiates itself mostly by its totally open character. Not only open source tools such as the 3D suite ‘Blender’ were used to create the movie, but also the movie itself – including all materials as used in the animation studio – will be freely accessible for everybody to reuse, to learn from it or just to enjoy it.

The promotion of Open Content creation and distribution is one of the main goals of the Creative Commons, the organization that created the ‘Creative Commons’ licenses, which have been widely adopted by artists, musicians, and other creative individuals who wish to freely share their creative endeavors. Blender Institute in Amsterdam is one of the first companies worldwide exploiting Open Content professionally and commercially. Currently 14 people are working full-time in the Institute, wrapping up Big Buck Bunny and working on an Open Game based on the characters from the movie.

Big Buck Bunny is a comedy about a well-tempered rabbit “Big Buck”, who finds his day spoiled by the rude actions of the forest bullies, three rodents. In the typical 1950ies cartoon tradition Big Buck then prepares for the rodents a comical revenge.”

Source 1: http://www.bigbuckbunny.org/

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basically beautiful

There’s this tool called “Processing”…apparently you can create stunning things with it:

The video was created by flight404 using Processing…

“Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is developed by artists and designers as an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.”

Source 1: http://www.flight404.com/blog/?cat=1
Source 2: http://processing.org/download/index.html

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Zak McKracken is back! And you can download it for free!

zakmckracken

“”Zak McKracken: between time and space” is an unofficial sequel to the adventure game “Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders” released in 1988. We, the “Artificial Hair Bros.” have devoted our time to create a worthy follow up to this all-time-classic. Capturing the mood and of the original game and creating something new nonetheless.

It’s been a while since Zak’s last adventure. People have forgotten all about our hero who saved humanity from enslavement. His five minutes of fame went by way too quick and the money he earned with his award winning book went down the drains when Zak decided to get his own newspaper off the ground.

But now Zak has to prove his worth once again. Stumbling into his next adventure, Zak gets yet another chance to show the world what real heroes are made of…

Why a sequel to ZakMcKracken?

Zak McKracken is one of the few adventure games that never got a proper sequel. There are no high-res backgrounds and no sweeping soundtrack, this left us with a lot of freedom when we started working on this game.

Handmade backgrounds, elaborate cut-scenes

We think that hand-drawn backgrounds made some of the old adventure games something very special. This is why we decided to keep the gameplay stricly 2D. But Zak:btas isn’t just a pixel-adventure, we have created the scenery and characters in our own graphical style and added 3D cut-scenes to add some diversity.

How long did it take to develop this game?
Work on the project began in 2002. In the beginning starting out as an amateur-game, we soon found ourselves reaching higher levels of quality step by step. By the time we are done 5 years of hard work will lay behind us.

What problems had to be solved when making this game?

One of the biggest challenges has been recruiting a team one could rely on and keeping the members of the team motivated to work on their respective parts. Unfortunately not everyone is motivated and passionate enough to work on a project for free over such a long period of time. But we were lucky enough to find reliable members for each part of development. You really do need a good working team to master a project like this.”

Source: http://www.zak2.org

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CHDK – the alternative firmware for many Canon Digital Cameras

“CHDK is a firmware enhancement that operates on a number of Canon Cameras. CHDK gets loaded into your camera’s memory upon bootup (either manually or automatically). It provides additional functionality beyond that currently provided by the native camera firmware.

CHDK is not a permanent firmware upgrade: you decide how it is loaded (manually or automatically) and you can always easily remove it.”

chdk

Main features:

  • Save images in RAW format
  • Ability to run “Scripts” to automate the camera
  • Live histogram (RGB, blended, luminance and for each RGB channel)
  • Zebra mode (blinking highlights and shadows to show over/under exposed areas)
  • An “always on” full range Battery indicator
  • Ability to turn off automatic dark-frame subtraction
  • a higher compression movie mode, and double the maximum video file size
  • exposure times as long as 65 seconds
  • exposure times as little as 1/10,000 of a second
  • ability to use the USB port for a remote trigger input

Additional features:

  • a depth-of-field (DOF)-calculator
  • File browser
  • Text reader
  • Calendar
  • Some fun tools and games

Source: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK_in_Brief

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SPAM-Bots can decrypt Captchas… ups…

If you thought that those fancy Captchas would serve their purpose of SPAM prevention forever you might want to think again.

From Wikipedia:

“A CAPTCHA (IPA: /ˈkæptʃə/) is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine that the user is not run by a computer. The process involves one computer (a server) asking a user to complete a simple test which the computer is able to generate and grade. Because other computers are unable to solve the CAPTCHA, any user entering a correct solution is presumed to be human. A common type of CAPTCHA requires that the user type the letters of a distorted image, sometimes with the addition of an obscured sequence of letters or digits that appears on the screen.”

It usually looks something like that:

Captcha

Now the news:

“Websense Security Labs ThreatSeeker™ technology has discovered that spammers in their recent tactics have drawn their attention towards traditional and infamous Hotmail, aka Live Hotmail services after the streamlined Live Mail Anti-CAPTCHA operations. Spammers have managed to create automated bots that are capable of not only signing up and creating random Hotmail accounts, but also use these accounts for spamming purposes from a proper Live Hotmail service.”

hotmailcatpcha-1.7[1]

Source 1: http://securitylabs.websense.com/content/Blogs/3063.aspx#
Source 2: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAPTCHA

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the Quake family tree

If you ever were into egoshooter / games you would come across the different game engines that are used to create games. One of them is the Quake engine which in fact is one of the most successful. This is the “family tree” of the Quake engine:

“Most games rely on enhanced versions of the original Quake engine with better lighting, more complex model support, better netcode and other modifications.”

g2750

Source: Quake

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YAPS progress (epg, sap / sdp, asp.net integration,…)

It’s been some time since I wrote about my little digital video disk recorder project and I think it’s time to wrap up some things. First of all I am using this software myself on a daily basis, having recorded about 1000 recordings in the last 4 months alone tells something. YAPS now is capable of handling multiple users – with each one having their own recordings and play-stop-positions.

Here are the new features in a short list:

  • Electronic Program Guide (EPG) Integration (multiple transponders/streams if you like)
  • Session Announcement Protocol / Session Description Protocol Integration
  • Multi-User support with capability checking
  • Cassini / ASP.NET Integration to allow ASP.NET web applications to run on YAPS
  • WCF Webservice interface to expose video disk recorder internal data (recordings list, event list,…)
  • Automatic and Reoccuring recordings
  • several new graphics
yaps_frontpage

yaps_add_recording

The daily-build system is broken as of now but you can always grab the latest sourcecode from here.

For a complete changelog hit the jump.

Here’s the complete changelog since the last article about yaps:

13.04.2008

  • added %render_automatic_and_reoccuring_recording_table% keyword; the other recording table keywords don’t display automatic/reoccuring events
  • added canAccessOthersRecordings capability and capability handling
  • added %holdingtime%, %comment% and %elapsed_holdingtime% to the Recording/Recorded/AutomaticReoccuringRecording table
  • added %render_currently_running_epg_events_table% keyword

06.04.2008

  • added Session Description Protocol parser
  • added Session Announcement Protocol setting data (SAP_IPAdress, SAP_Port)
  • added Session Announcement Protocol processor
  • bugfix attempt to fix a race condition that leads to no RecordingList rendering and no more recordings…

03.04.2008

  • added WCF Service Host to allow self hosting of data
  • switched to .NET Framework 3.5

23.03.2008

  • added feature that automatic EPG recordings end when they do end on the channel – Event EndTime is used now
  • rewrote Cassini Webserver integration
  • fixed a bug in the Template Processor that caused a display of the runtime as fraction of minutes…

15.03.2008

  • automatic epg recordings are now looking at the channel id and if it’s set they only record events on that channel
  • automatig epg recordings are now looking for a timespan in which they are active
  • recorded listing template processor is now aware of automatic recordings (icon, time rendering)
  • added automatic epg wait icon on recordingslist html page
  • changed automatic epg recording to take the real name from the epg instead of the one that was entered

14.03.2008

  • Recording data structure changed to reflect new “automatic epg based recording” feature
  • added automatic EPG recording feature; based on “AutomaticEPGRecordingKeywords”
  • changed Tuxbox Implementation to show channel ID on Xbox Media Center
  • changed addrecording.html and http vcr command handling (addrecording) to reflect automatic epg recording feature
  • implemented automatic epg based recording; just enter keywords + recordingtime + name + isAutomatic=true –> Automatic recording

13.03.2008

  • changed EPG error handling to only stop listening to EPG events when 25 errors in a row occur
  • changed EPG handling to display new events on unknown service ids

14.01.2008

  • fixed holding-time bug

13.01.2008

  • updated neu.png
  • added Holding-Time Handling

12.01.2008

  • added reoccuring event handling in VCRScheduler
  • added reoccuring event handling in HTML page AddRecordings
  • updated years and version numbers
  • bugfixed RecordingsPlayed statistics
  • updated Recordings-Table to reflect status if recording is reoccuring or not
  • added SVG Files for all YAPS graphics

03.01.2008

  • updated solutions to Visual Studio 2008

17.11.2007

  • Added HoldingTime to make “forget to delete a recording” impossible; HoldingTime of 0 is indefinite, everything else means hold n+1 days
  • Changed behaviour of Recordings Streaming: The StopPosition Counter is updated in realtime which means: You don’t have to close a recording to watch it from the current Position
  • added Cassini Wrapper

8.11.2007

  • integration of Cassini v2 into YAPS
  • added some statistics

22.10.2007

  • added a new management data structure to the data structures/Recording.cs that holds a list of UserStopPosition; Each User now has his own LastStoppedPosition for each recording.

08.05.2007

  • added RecordingsThumbnail class to generate a Thumbnail picture for a recording
  • added generateThumbnailFilename to XBMCPlaylistFilesHelper
  • added thumbnail creation and deletion routines to multicast_vcr and others
  • udpating thumbnail when playcounter/position is updated…
  • added “Updating recording…” console output
  • added isRTP property to channelist (default value is false); you can determine if RTP header should be stripped or not for a specific channel

07.05.2007

  • fixed a bug in the /xml/CurrentServiceData section that caused an exception when no EPG data was known
  • added error handling to the EPG Processor Thread; after 25 errors a thread will be shut down

06.05.2007

  • added /cgi-bin/zapto to http handling
  • added /xml/streaminfo to http handling
  • added Name2ServiceID to ChannelAndStationMapper
  • added TuxboxCurrentServiceData structure and handling
  • added /xml/currentservicedata method to http server
  • added /xml/boxinfo method to http server
  • added boxinfo data structure

05.05.2007

  • several changes for debugging purposes to the YAPS multicast processor to debug a specific problem
  • fixed a thread unsafe bug in multicast processor
  • fixed several more thread unsafe things in multicast processor and vcrscheduler
  • changed behaviour: If a streaming client now refuses to accept data packets he will be disconnected after 1 second (until timeshift is implemented)

01.05.2007

  • fixed a bug in VCRScheduler that could lead to a crash on startup (was not threadsafe)

24.04.2007

  • added %rendertransformation($input_url,$xslt_url)% keyword to the TemplateProcessor

21.04.2007

  • fixed a memory leak in the rss generator
  • added TuxBoxServices data structure
  • added tuxbox /xml/services call handler to http processor
  • changed the MulticastEPG source data handling so that the multicastEPG Sources are now stored in the settings.dat.xml (misc settings) file
  • fixed a bug in the EPGProcessor that caused an empty CurrentlyPlayingList
  • added small testing portion
  • fixed some bugs in http server
  • rewrote tuxbox services data structure and handling (helping hand: Andreas Heil)

18.04.2007

  • reimplemented the whole Channel-Name-Picture-ServiceID-MulticastIP-MulticastPort Mapping and created a new data structure and XML file that holds that data
  • added filtering functionality to the EPG Processor that filters only known channel EPG data and discards data for unkown channels
  • fixed the XBMCSyncProcessor bug; I had the file deletion functionality disabled….

17.04.2007

  • added the multicastedEPGProcessor Implementation, does maintain a CurrentlyRunning List but is not used yet (Implementation just for leak and stability testing)
  • added new Channel/StationID mapping data structure

13.04.2007

  • removed JMS/DVB subproject
  • several changes to the JMS/EPG subproject to make JMS/DVB obsolete
  • working EPG implementation (not yet activated) — need to get working

02.04.2007

  • now displaying associated username instead of IP address in the http logfile
  • added EPG Processor startup to YAPS.cs

01.04.2007

30.03.2007

  • fixed a bug in the XBMC Playlist File branch; XBMC Playlistfiles respect now a port number setting != default port 80

29.03.2007

  • changed multicast behaviour: we don’t use RTP from now on; there’s just plain UDP
  • added new EPG test data
  • fixed a bug in multicast_vcr
  • fixed DeleteRecordings; did not work for several versions – you can now delete scheduled recordings
  • fixed a bug in the ConsoleOutputLogger that leads to a “Collection was modified after the enumerator was instantiated.” exception when the logoutput is accessed while it’s written

Source 1: http://www.dotnetcommunity.de/yaps/yaps_daily_source.zip
Source 2: http://www.schrankmonster.de/PermaLink,guid,71a24ec5-8576-4fe6-b5f5-8607017e5f00.aspx

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free IP-TV (includes many german channels) Zattoo

Since joost doesn’t give you that much choice there are several other IP services – like Zattoo:

“Zattoo is live TV on your PC – it’s the football game as you chat, the news as you email, and your favorite soap as you pay your bills. Zattoo is also TV when you don’t have a TV – it’s the channels you want, when you want, where you want.”

1

That’s almost every german public service channel is available… whuuuuuuu!

Source: http://zattoo.com/

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the Excel 3D Engine…

OMG! Someone really did it. Either he was bored and didn’t know what to do with his time or he just is plain genius!

Read the article and get the Excel files and play with it for yourself…

Source: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3563/microsoft_excel_revolutionary_3d_.php

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how about 16.8 Terabytes of Mars? (the planet!)

You do realise that, despite that fact no mass media is talking about it, there are still robots around and on Mars doing research for the last years? Yeah you’re right: Spirit and Opportunity are still well and alive on Mars. There were several other missions and this newly released 9.9 Tbytes of data (adds up to 16.8 Tbytes) is just fantastic stuff.

See an avalanche on Mars:

PSP_007338_2640

“How much data was released? 2422 observations, making up 9.9 terabytes “in over 225,599 standard PDS and extras products” according to our database specialist. This was for data between orbit ranges 4400 and 6999, or between July 05, 2007 and January 23, 2008 (which is a lot of loops around the Red Planet!)

We have now released a total of 16.8 TB worth of data, or nearly 500,000 image products. Please check out the latest images on the HiRISE website on the “March 2008: New HiRISE Images Released to the Planetary Data System” page.”

Source 1: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/HiBlog/?p=147
Source 2: http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_007338_2640
Source 3: http://pds-imaging.jpl.nasa.gov/
Source 4: http://hirise-pds.lpl.arizona.edu/PDS/
Source 5: http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html

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sones flyer are ready to fly

For the last year and something I am affiliated with a startup called “sones“. The website already launched, the products are buyable and now the marketing machinery starts to roll.

Today three flyers came from the print shop… take a look to learn more:

contentplatform ecommerce socialnetwork

There will be more articles about sones in the future… depending on the time I will have 🙂

Source: http://www.sones.de

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have serious fun with…free 2D physics sandbox tools

The standard nerd knows: physics is fun. Even better: When you play with gravity and friction and water an what-not in a sandbox. Now there are several tools available that allow you to do just that: Play with physics.

The first tool is called “phun” and is Windows and Linux only. It’s a small tool that allows you to draw circles, boxes, springs,… and when you finished: press the “play” button to start the simulation. You can interact all the time with the objects and the simulation by draging and manipulating everything.

phun 

There’s even a video available of phun in action:

It’s serious fun…that phun tool… yeah I had to write that, you know?!

The second tool I want to write about is called “Chipmunk” and is available for OS X only. To be fair: this is not a real drawing tool like phun – it’s more or less a game physics engine that cames with several samples in sourcecode that you can play with if you can… You need XCode and some Objective C knowledge.

tower

So now go and play!

Source 1: http://www.acc.umu.se/~emilk/index.html
Source 2: http://wiki.slembcke.net/main/published/Chipmunk

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real great and smooth Today Screen replacement for Windows Mobile

Just minutes ago I was pointed to an application that replaces the Windows Mobile today screen (and many other features) and comes along with all sorts of next-gen Touch Controls:

pointui

“After grinding our teeth with enterprise mobile systems, we came to the conclusion that end users need applications that focus on usability, performance and consistency.

Pointui (pronounced point-you-i) has been built from the ground up and sets the benchmark in pioneering the delivery of total user experience, never before achieved on a Windows Mobile device.

Our main focus is structured around simplicity and usability while extracting the most out of your current Windows Mobile device. All products we develop forge stability and dependability while maximising performance.”

 

The thing is – these guys deliver on their promise:

 

 

If you’re a Windows Mobile user, go and try this piece of software – it’s free and small.

Source: http://www.pointui.com

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uhh… me wants that coffee table…

FeM is in need of one… for more than two years now… maybe this will do the job? It’s bright, nerdy and cat-compatible (needed for keeping certain Mr. S’s out of the office)

Source: http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/tablekits

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this is what Flip3d should have been…

Switcher is the name of the tool that is available since some months and if you ever used Flip3d in Windows Vista you maybe know what it means when I say: Switcher is the Flip3d that should have shipped with Vista.

There are several usability issues with Vistas built-in Flip3d, take a look:

feat_UX_09

First of all you just don’t see the content of the windows… then you don’t see their name… then… who came up with that layout?

Compare that to the UI of Switcher:

switcher-1984-1

Neat, isn’t it? Try it, love it.

Source: http://baostuff.spaces.live.com/default.aspx

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Echochrome… just for the PC and right now.

“OLE Coordinate System is trompe-l’oeil interactive software that enables characters to wander along blocks and staircases in impossible ways. While M.C. Escher is famous for his “trick of the eye” works, this piece enables users to create and experience their own Escher-esque worlds. Examples of such animation expressions are: character movements based on a 2D interpretation of attached blocks which are not contiguous in three-dimensional space; falling motions on a single plane, etc. You don’t have to do anything special to create “trick of the eye” images like these. The user just clicks to position the block, staircase or character and change the angle.”

For a better understanding, look at the pictures and the video:

Source: OLE Coordinate System

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I just finished a paint job on my new car…

Look what I got here:

Painted from scratch just with the original game as a guideline. I’ll put some of these up in the auction house soon. So keep an eye out for them… Any sort of comment is appreciated.

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another Forza Motorsport 2 panoramic view

New York this time… hmmm looks sweet…

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how to embarrass yourself (pt. 2)

I did not write about that one time when Sony made the mistake to use a Project Gotham Racing 3 Screenshot in their advertisements for Gran Tourismo:HD (the PGR3 thing is a racing game by Microsoft exclusively for the 360 and GT:HD is the Sony exclusive racing game). They pulled it just hours after it went up and we all had a good laugh.

Oh… it looked like that:

Just today the car maker KIA decided to start his PS3 related marketing campaign. And guess what? Someone did it again. They used a PGR3 screenshot in a Playstation 3 advertisement.

Have a look:

There we have it: Two advertisements for the Playstation 3 doing all the same: Advertising the fact that you’ll better buy a 360. Priceless.

Do it again Sony, Kia, or whoever would like to make my day…

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Prototyping a world… or an application… or …

Yeah you probably know that: You got the idea, you start the coding and you stop at that same point you stopped last time because you run out of talent. It’s that art thing you’re not into. I for myself have to admit that I cannot draw. Well to be precise I can draw technically but nobody every recognized what I was drawing so I suppose …

Well to make a point: Someone who can actually draw took a heart and created what a person like me wanted for years: A proper tile set for prototyping.

The author wants to tell us this:

“The PlanetCute set attempts to wiggle past many of those problems.

  • Building blocks, not tilesets: Instead of having complex tilesets, each block stacks nicely with pretty much any other block. If you can understand Legos, you can understand how to put together these graphics. These tiles should be useful to children, not just uber-elite game gods.
  • Standardized format: All the graphics are uniform sized PNGs. The graphics will also work in almost any graphics engine out there that can do 2D sprites. Once you get your offsets right once, you never have to change them again.
  • Source files included: If you do need to make changes, I’ve included the source files. If you really need to change a color, go for it. If you need a big gem, just scale up the original. Everything is a vector so you’ll alway end up with clean results.”

And yet it does look very very good:

You can grab them and:

“The next time you make a prototype, use these graphics. If you can reduce the time you spend on futzing with graphics from 40% to 5%, you can put more time into those fun game mechanics you’ve been dreaming about. The magic is that your graphics will now look good enough to get you through the first 15 seconds of your demo. Your friend will perk up and stay engaged long enough to give you feedback all the wonderful work that you’ve put into your prototype.”

To complete this article: They are available as pixel graphics and Silverlight/Expression compatible .design files…hurray!

Source: http://lostgarden.com/2007/05/dancs-miraculously-flexible-game.html

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realtime radiosity getting closer

I wrote about geomerics approach on realtime radiosity lighting less than a year ago. They now have something to show and be proud of: Enlighten is there and they are working on porting it to the 360 and PS3.

Watch what’s possible:

Source 1: real time radiosity lighting
Source 2: http://www.geomerics.com

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new Design…

I finally made it!

I tried for more than 2 years to get this done: A new design and layout for this website. And now it’s finally done!

I hope you enjoy the new colors and elements like the nice tagcloud there. Feel free to tell me what you think!

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Beyond the Red Line: Battlestar Galactica game

There’s a free fan made Battlestar Galactica game available…

“Beyond the Red Line is a stand-alone total conversion for the award-winning Freespace 2 released by Volition and Interplay for the PC. It is based on the popular new tv-show Battlestar Galactica. No, not the one from the 70s.”

It’s free and available for Windows, OS X and Linux.

Source: http://www.game-warden.com/bsg/

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XNA got a new website…

“We’re delighted to offer you this place where you can learn and share experiences with the XNA family of products. Whether you’re using XNA Game Studio Express or the native DirectX tools and APIs, this is the place to come to!…”

I really do love the pivot function of my display…

Source: http://www.xna.com

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Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe

You are a fan of SIM* games? You want something light to take on your travels and play from time to time? I got good news for you: Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe is available in it’s final version 0.5.

It’s running on Windows, Linux and MacOS and you will need the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe files because OpenTTD just reuses the graphics of the old version.

But when you got all that you get a very very great game that doesn’t need much resources and is insane fun.

Source: http://www.openttd.org/index.php

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XNA is tracing rays…

I had this very same idea just a week ago and now someone has done it: A Raytracer written entirely in C# and running upon XNA.

“Ok, I’ve got most of what I want done on the Ray Tracing project — enough at least to publish some code and do some blogging. This first article describes the overall coding structure, and how to use the project. I’ll get into some of the more difficult aspects of ray tracing in future posts.”

It obviously doesn’t run on the 360 yet – so keep on watching this project. (due to some limitations on the 360 XNA Implementation I would also recommend waiting for the next run)

Source: http://www.bespokesoftware.org/wordpress/?p=18

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