Archive for category Media

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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a selfmade web drop box in 10 minutes

I often have to share files with people – files which most of the time can be publically accessible – the problem is though that it’s far to much copy-n-paste involved to get the file uploaded and the URL of the file put together. I just made my life a bit easier and invested some minutes to write a small “DropBox” application that uses a custom webservice hosted on one of my machines to upload, list and delete files and to allow users that have the correct URL to download files.

paths

The path scheme is obviously just that I added a dropped folder in which the files will be stored and the webservice itself – that’s all on the webserver machine (having this folder setup as a website using ASP.NET 2.0)

For the client I wrote this little app:

dropboxapp

It’s no rocket science but it’s a good example for a small app that utilizes a webservice. If you want to use it you have to configure the webservice and the Client Application:

for the webservice:

wsconfig

You have to adjust the paths, URLs and the Password.

for the application:

appconfig

You just have to set the right Password.

If you’re set everything up correctly you should be able to drop files onto the Client Application window and get them uploaded to your webserver – the URL is automatically in your clipboard when everything worked.

If you click on the “Manage” tab in the Client Application you can get a list of all files on the server – clicking on the name of the file will automatically add the url to that file to your clipboard – if you want to delete a file – just click on it and click “delete selected file”.

The code can be considered public-domain and can be downloaded here.

I used the open-source icons from the Tango Desktop project to make a simple icon for the client application.

Source 1: DropBoxService-v1.rar (94,09 KB)
Source 2: http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Desktop_Project

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How to use the intertubes to display music videos along your ordinary music

If you got a Mac (and that’s the platform it’s only running on) and if you’re using iTunes to listen to your music you probably want to give this Dashboard Widget a try – it automatically searches the music video which supposedly belongs to the music you’re currently listening to and plays it in a small window on the dashboard:

“YouTube has stacks and stacks of music videos on their website. I have written a little dashboard widget called iTube. iTube gets the artist and title of the song you are playing in iTunes. It then performs a search on youtube and plays the first hit in the widget window. Once installed iTube works by itself in the background, so start a song up iTunes then look at your dashboard and with a little luck you’ll be watching what you are listening to.”

itube

Source: http://philipandrews.org/blog/itube/

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How much memory can you put into one giant x64 machine and actually use it?

The answer is: 2 Terabyte.

“You can see physical memory support licensing differentiation across the server SKUs for all versions of Windows. For example, the 32-bit version of Windows Server 2008 Standard supports only 4GB, while the 32-bit Windows Server 2008 Datacenter supports 64GB. Likewise, the 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Standard supports 32GB and the 64-bit Windows Server 2008 Datacenter can handle a whopping 2TB. There aren’t many 2TB systems out there, but the Windows Server Performance Team knows of a couple, including one they had in their lab at one point. Here’s a screenshot of Task Manager running on that system:”

image_thumb_1

P.S.: Thx boonkerz.

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/07/21/3092070.aspx

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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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Radioheads “House of Cards” music video + raw data released under CC license

I seriously don’t know why they are doing that – it’s not as if any material released previously came to any notice so far – but what the heck – Radiohead decided to put their current music video (which isn’t bad) and the raw data that was used to create it to the public using the Creative Commons license:

“The animation data used to make the video are licensed to the public under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license at Google Code. This means you are free to use the data to make your own video projects, as long as you abide by the CC license’s conditions. (To be clear, the song and its accompanying video are not under CC license; the data used to make the video are.)”

houseofcards_radiohead

Source: http://code.google.com/creative/radiohead/

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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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Say goodbye: Windows 3.11 reached end-of-life

Amazingly enough OEMs could license WfW 3.11 for this long period of time…

“we recently announced that effective November 1st, 2008, OEM’s will no longer be able to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel.”

wfw311logo

but it’s time to say goodbye.

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/jcoyne/archive/2008/07/09/it-s-the-end-for-3-11.aspx

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new single from Emiliana Torrini – (free download)

emiliana

“Following on from her critically acclaimed sets ‘Love In The Time Of Science’ and her first for Rough Trade ‘Fisherman’s Woman’, the forthcoming ‘Me And Armini’ (released 8th September) sees her working once again with her long time producer/collaborator Dan Carey resulting in what we feel is destined to be one of the albums of 2008.

‘Me And Armini’ is a hugely ambitious and aspirational pop record with Emiliana’s soaring voice centre stage, bolstered by a rich gamut of musical styles. From the summery skank of the title track to the surging, breathless, first single ‘Jungle Drum’ (released 29th September) and yearning, spine-tingling ‘Big Jumps’ and much more in between ‘Me And Armini’ is a truly fantastic album.

‘Me And Armini’ will be released as a digital single in the US exclusively via iTunes on 19th August, with the album of the same name to follow on 9th September. “

Download the song “Me and Armini” here.

Source 1: http://www.arjanwrites.com/arjanwrites/2008/07/free-download-e.html
Source 2: http://www.myspace.com/emilianatorrini

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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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Congratulations Sony

In the newest Firmware update of the Playstation 3 there’s support for “Trophies” – which plain and simple are a copy of the Achievements available on the 360.

Create your own Achievements with the Achievement Generator.

Source: http://achievements.schrankmonster.de

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nur in der ehemaligen DDR!

Ähm… was hat das zu bedeuten? (Sorry, german article again…but it’s a german website…)

spiegel_ehemaligeddr2

“nur in der ehemaligen DDR”, gesehen auf Spiegel-Online Fussball Liveticker.

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german Citizens’ band radio over the internet…Freies Funknetz!

The internet makes things possible some people dreamt of for years. One of these things is the possibility to stream live-voice-chat over the internet. Many people used the citizens’ band radio – CB radio – for the last decades:

Citizens’ Band radio (CB) is, in many countries, a system of short-distance, simplex[1] radio communications between individuals on a selection of 40 channels within the 27 MHz (11 meter) band. The CB radio service should not be confused with FRS, GMRS, MURS, or amateur (“ham”) radio. Similar personal radio services exist in other countries, with varying requirements for licensing and differing technical standards. In many countries, CB does not require a license and, unlike amateur radio, it may be used for business as well as personal communications.”

For several years now there is a group of people from virtually everywhere in germany who connect their CB radios to the internet – they link their “gateways” together using a software normally used by online gamers called “TeamSpeak”. All you have to do to take a look is to read this short how-to and follow the steps.

Here’s a sneak-peak at the current status of the server:

There’s even a livestream available (but sometimes not working):

Source 1: http://www.freiesfunknetz.com/
Source 2: http://www.goteamspeak.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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Online Addiction.

Spooky. Hilarious!

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hear and chat about the MacWorld San Francisco with the bits-und-so crew

Next tuesday it’s once again MacWorld-time – Apple will kick off it’s developer conference with a keynote and the guys of bits-und-so are going to meet and live-stream their comments and thoughts.

See you tuesday about 1730 local german time…

Source: http://www.bitsundso.de/live/

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german radio station WDR has it’s own “Radio Recorder”-Tool to record live broadcasts

Oh joy! It seems that the public-law radio and tv channels in germany start to think about the possibilities the internet can bring us.

One of these channels is the WDR radio which just started it’s internet push: the WDR RadioRecorder is available now – and it allows you to select a broadcast and mark it to be recorded. Actually it sounds a bit strange because I tend to think that the people at WDR radio don’t really get it when it comes to “on-demand”. Recording is not on-demand… The tool is available for Windows only at the moment and looks a bit like iTunes…

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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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watch NASA TV live streams at higher bitrates (quality)

They landed on the mars again…and they will launch a space shuttle within the next 22 hours if everything works out as planned. So maybe you, just like me, are interested in getting some live-information about that.

There’s NASA TV but on the NASA website you only get low (150kbit) bitrate streams. If you want better quality, just try these links:

Of course you can always go with the standard website livestream…

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the ethernet wedding ring… OMG!

Since we already got them this is not an option for us… but maybe for your wedding:

Source:http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10501732

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Fork you!

There’s a lot going on in the world of opensource these days – but it seems that not the development side of things is discussed most of the time in some projects – it’s the social side, the “I want this, you want that, I don’t like you”-side of things.

Ever so often some opensource project split up and do a “fork“.

These are just two examples for your reading pleasure and studies of human behaviour:

1. Project Pidgin:

Well – the developers and users of project pidgin are not able to reach a consensus on the question how their beloved software should look like and behave. Believe it or not: There’s a project fork and a hefty discussion just on the question wether or not the Chat Input Text field should be resizable or not.

This picture should visualize the problem:

The developers did not want to make it resizable, the users wanted it to be resizable. Problem – Discussion – Fork you!

You can read the whole story here.

2. Project XBMC / OSXBMC

OSXBMC is the team that forked in this example: They develop – aside of the main XBMC team – the Mac OSX port of the Xbox Media Center (which actually runs on Xbox, Linux, Windows, OSX now).

Obviously there were hefty discussions going on with the main XBMC team. Mainly because teh XBMC main team thinks that the OSXBMC guys didn’t check-in their source changes often enough.

You can read one side of the story here and click you through to the other side.

The problem with these forks is not the fork itself but the way the people in these projects seem work with each other. Many very promising projects died because people just could not work together…

As far as I am concerned: For opensource projects I prefere the maintainer-scheme that for example the linux-kernel uses. Have one gracious dictator who has the final word about the release and people that maintain different parts of the project.

Source 1: http://developer.pidgin.im/ticket/4986
Source 2: http://www.osxbmc.com/2008/05/21/exodus/
Source 3: http://xbmc.org/

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ScribeFire Test – one, two, three…

I just found that Mozilla Firefox plugin that allows me to blog from the Mac (which still lacks a great and compatible blog-tool for this site).

If you can read this text AND if you can see the picture – everything worked fine.

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sorry for the technology-ninjas!

Uuups! It seems as if I missed a domain name while I was moving this website to a new machine.

All people who accessed this site from the domains *.technology-ninja.com have seen just a “Bad request” error message in the last week. Damn it!

It’s been fixed – sorry ppl.

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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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Review: Speed Racer

This past Saturday I had the rare pleasure of being the exclusive attendance (along with a friend) for a screening of the movie “Speed Racer”, the new one from the Wachovski Brothers.

speed-racer-logo

To cut it short – it was a 135 minute cotton candy eye overload. Some nice actors (with cameos of German actors), but nothing real and therefore nothing of deeper interest.

Like rumored before in Hollywood: This movie has the aura of a big flop. My experience now confirms that.

Jens Heymann

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It’s a gigantic thing!

I just noticed that Windows Server 2003 has a great way to tell me how incredibly mind-boggling huge my storage space is…:

gigantic!

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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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the definition of "gone fishing"

Because so many people just didn’t understand what I meant with “gone fishing”:

  1. A procedure in which a man hangs his wang out into the red sea with bait in which will track down eggs that look hot and sexy(try not to go for a retarded one).
  2. A sign that tells someone that the person is gone(but they are really doing definition #1).
  3. A women that shoves fish into her vajingo.

Dude, how many times have you gone fishing with her? Go hang a gone fishing sign first. You women have gone fishing too much.

Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=gone+fishing

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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.”

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

Source: http://zattoo.com/

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How much can you drink?

I don’t know, but here is a picture of what I ordered of the cherry coke:

Photo-0101

(Yes, that are 72 cans.)

Jens Heymann

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publish your iTunes library on your network without actually using iTunes on the client

There’s a new version of Dot.Tunes out which is now available for free. That’s good news and if you ever wanted to access your iTunes Library and you were not in Bonjour range…try this great tool!

Bild 1

“DOT.TUNES is not some lightweight iTunes utility. It’s a fully developed web server application that supports MP3, AAC, AIFF, WAV, MPEG, MP4, and MOV files, allowing you to share your iTunes library contents with your friends in other cities, your classmates across the dorm or the coworkers scattered throughout the building. DOT.TUNES contains a custom web server designed specifically to serve the audio tracks from your iTunes at lightning fast speeds. Through seamless integration with your iTunes base, DOT.TUNES easily handles large libraries without missing a beat.”

I tried it and it’s working quite well – especially if you consider that there’s a bunch of plugins available.(which you have to pay for)

Source: http://www.dottunes.net

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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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see the MIX08 keynote…

MIX08 just started and you can now watch the keynote on-demand…just follow the link:
“The Next Web Now

Now in its third year, MIX is an intimate opportunity for cutting-edge technical, creative and business strategists to engage Microsoft in a conversation about the future of the web. Come explore the latest wave of opportunities and help redefine the boundaries between: content and commerce, PC and TV, Windows and the Web. “

mix_keynote

Source: http://www.visitmix.com/blogs/Joshua/Day-1-Keynote/

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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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Mercedes Benz Mixed Tape 19 available…

The previously discontinued Mixed Tape is back!

mixedtape19

They even started to make a whole show centered around the current mixed tape.

Get it now!

mixedtape19_2

Source: http://www.mercedes-benz.tv/mixedtape

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"Ich bin für mehr Sex – mehr Schweinereien, keine Tabus." Charlotte Roche

Und wieder ein deutscher Artikel über Charlotte Roche. Schon vor ein paar Tagen war sie auf Spiegel Online – nun auf ein zweites: Es geht um ihr erstes und aktuelles Buch: “Feuchtgebiete”:

Amazon schreibt über das Buch:

31dmrNZQFTL._SS500_

“Nach einer missglückten Intimrasur liegt die 18-jährige Helen auf der Inneren Abteilung von Maria Hilf. Sie wartet auf den Besuch ihrer geschiedenen Eltern, in der irren Hoffnung, die beiden könnten sich am Krankenbett der Tochter endlich versöhnen. Unterdessen nimmt sie jene Bereiche ihres Körpers unter die Lupe, die gewöhnlich als unmädchenhaft gelten, und lässt Krankenpfleger Robin die Stellen fotografieren, die sich ihrem neugierigen Blick entziehen. Nebenher pflegt sie ihre Sammlung von Avocadokernen, die ihr auch in sexueller Hinsicht wertvolle Dienste leisten. Selbst wenn Helens Besessenheit eine Notoperation nötig werden lässt – ihr ungestümer Witz und ihre Wahrhaftigkeit machen sie zu einer Sensation nicht nur auf der Station des Krankenhauses. Sie spricht aus, was andere nicht einmal zu denken wagen. »Feuchtgebiete« ist eine Exkursion zu den letzten Tabus der Gegenwart. Mutig, radikal und provokant rebelliert Charlotte Roches Roman gegen Hygienehysterie und die sterile Ästhetik der Frauenzeitschriften, gegen den standardisierten Umgang mit dem weiblichen Körper und seiner Sexualität – und erzählt dabei die wunderbar wilde Geschichte einer ebenso genusssüchtigen wie verletzlichen Heldin.”

Source 1: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,537317,00.html
Source 2: Amazon

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Fischessende Vegetarier

Vegetarier die Fisch essen sind mir suspekt. Womit entschuldigen die den Ausrutscher hin zum Tiermord?

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Count the bodies

The most (in)famous action-flick of movie history now has its third sequel, but nowhere a company producing a proper first-person shooter? It’s kind of strange that nobody seems to be interested in picking up a worldwide-known character.

rambo4 

Is it too much guilty pleasure? Too much far-right, political incorrect or just old-fashioned? Maybe it’s the lack of box-office in the US. Or simply no licence is available.

Anyway, back in the Reagan-era these concerns didn’t exist.

rambo_title

rambo_ingame

The 1985-game with a well-known score by Martin Galway was a huge bestseller.

Jens Heymann

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Oscars ’08

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It’s time again for voting: Load down a ballot, make your choices and see tonight (or tomorrow) if you’re an expert.

Home Oscar ballot

Jens Heymann

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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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