a font for number people

OpenType is a font format which I personally might have underestimated in the past. Well you know – fonts and stuff. This all seemed not too interesting up until now. Now that changed dramatically when a font came to my attention which can be used for various purposes and as a font does not resemble the normal numbers and characters scheme. But what can it be used then if not to type numbers and characters?

Well. What about typing graphs?

Everything in the above image is generated by a font… like in your Word-processor (if it uses that font)

“Designed by Travis Kochel, FF Chartwell is a fantastic typeface for creating simple graphs. Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications (primarily Adobe Creative Suite) and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and ­­FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process.

Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling.”

Source 1: https://www.fontfont.com/how-to-use-ff-chartwell

137 years of Popular Science is available now

That’s great news for everyone interested in science and history. As it turns out Google and PopSci just made their entire 137-year archive available online… good times!

“We’ve partnered with Google to offer our entire 137-year archive for free browsing. Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements. It’s an amazing resource that beautifully encapsulates our ongoing fascination with the future, and science and technology’s incredible potential to improve our lives. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

137years

Source: http://www.popsci.com/archives

T-Online Venture Fund investiert in die sones GmbH

Bonn, 2. April 2009

Der T-Online Venture Fund gab heute ein Investment in die sones GmbH bekannt. sones sicherte sich in einer zweiten Finanzierungsrunde eine Beteiligung im einstelligen Millionenbereich. Mit den zusätzlichen Mitteln soll das Produkt bis zur endgültigen Marktreife weiterentwickelt werden.

Das 2007 gegründete Software-Unternehmen aus Erfurt hat eine völlig neue, innovative Datenbanktechnologie entwickelt. Die objektorientierte Datenbank kann die relevanten Informationen aus komplexen, unstrukturierten Datenmengen direkt miteinander verbinden und setzt somit neue Maßstäbe hinsichtlich Skalierbarkeit und Performance. Mit dieser Technologie werden komplexitätsbedingt bisher unlösbare Probleme in der Datenspeicherung und -analyse beherrschbar.

soneslogo 

“Bei sones hat uns vor allem die innovative Technologie überzeugt und der Ansatz, Bestehendes in Frage zu stellen. Somit können völlig neue Möglichkeiten des Datenmanagements geschaffen werden“, so Christoph Schmidt, Senior Vice President bei der Deutschen Telekom AG für den Bereich Personal Social Networks.

sones arbeitet derzeit am Ausbau seiner Datenbanktechnologie sowie am dazugehörigen Dateisystem. Gegen Ende dieses Jahres wird die erste Vollversion des objektorientierten Datenbankmanagementsystems (DBMS) zur Verfügung stehen. Softwareentwicklern und Partnern wird es via SDK (Software Development Kit) ermöglicht, weitreichenden Einfluss auf die Entwicklung zu nehmen und Veränderungen am System vorzunehmen. sones lädt interessierte Softwareentwickler und potentielle Partner ein, sich über die Webseite www.sones.de für das Preview- und Partner-Programm anzumelden, um die kostenlose Entwicklerversion zu erhalten und Feedback für die zukünftige Weiterentwicklung zu geben. Derzeit steht ein auf Webservices basierendes Tagging- und Recommendation-System zur Verfügung, das bereits kommerziell eingesetzt wird. „Das System kann an die jeweiligen Anforderungen in den Bereichen eCommerce, Social Networks und Portal/Content-Lösungen angepasst werden“ sagt Alexander Oelling, Leiter New Business Development bei sones. Auch hier setzt sones auf die Zusammenarbeit mit Software-Partnern, um das Produkt in die jeweiligen Webseiten zu integrieren.

Mauricio Matthesius, Geschäftsführer von sones: „Der T-Online Venture Fund hat erkannt, dass unsere revolutionäre Technologie die Zukunft der Datenbanken mitbestimmen kann, und uns in die Lage versetzt, diese Vision konsequent umzusetzen.“

Mit dem Einstieg des T-Online Venture Fund sucht das Unternehmen weitere Mitarbeiter vor allen in den Bereichen Softwareentwicklung und Vertrieb.”

Source 1: http://www.t-venture.de/de/topnews/090402_PM_TOVF_sones_dt
Source 2: http://www.sones.de

how to create your own photosynth

Photosynth is publicly available and it’s time to give it a try and play with the technology. Before starting you should be aware of some facts about the public photosynth technology-preview:

  1. all synths are uploaded and only available online (broadband needed)
  2. all synths are public, everyone can access them
  3. the synther tool runs only on Windows
  4. you’ll need a Live ID

When everything is checked you can go and upload up to 20 Gbytes of image data – my test synth takes up 200 Mbytes of the available space – so you have plenty of space to play with.

To start just install the photosynth application to view – and click “create” on the website. After the obligatory login you immediately can upload your pictures. Give it a name, ssome tags and a license and select your pictures.

createsynth_step2

Your pictures should show the same scene from different perspectives – photosynth is all about matching perspectives. After clicking on “Synth” the process starts.

createsynth_step3

And after a surprisingly short period of time your synth is done. Click on “View Synth” and you’re taken back to the website and you can browse your synth. That’s it – easy!

createsynth_step5

Source 1: my first photosynth
Source 2: Photosynth is open for the public
Source 3: create a synth

“I ain’t afraid of no quake!” – classic Duke Nukem quotes

If you – just like me – played Duke Nukem 3D excessively in times when there was “CompuServe” instead of “Internet”, mailboxes instead of social websites and when there was 1on1 dial-up modem multiplayer instead of MMOs you may recognize those cool quotes you could hear while playing Duke Nukem 3D in single player or the ones you could say to your multiplayer opponent… there’s a list of many of them:

“Uh, Uh, Uh. Where is it?”

Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0228246/quotes

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

TVR is back in business and they just presented the 2008 Sagaris 2 *drool*

That’s the best news for months!! After TVR being out of business for some time they seem to be back in business now – they even presented the new Sagaris 2008 modell yesterday.

“Announced this morning by TVR Managing Director, David Oxley, at an exclusive preview event held at the new TVR development works in Lancashire, England – TVR Production has resumed!

Upon the momentous occasion, which included invited members of the TVR Car Club, TVR staff presented the TVR Sagaris model year 2008. Exterior design has remained the same except for new 5 spoke wheels, while the interior receives a new center console with satellite navigation.

As promised back in 2006 by TVR owner, Nikolai Smolenski said “My intention is to expand the sales and distribution of TVR cars throughout Europe, the rest of the world and USA markets is a key part of the business strategy of the company.” Built as a left hand drive model, the 2008 Sagaris confirms it will be exported internationally.

Preliminary pricing puts the 2008 TVR Sagaris just below 85.000 Euros.”

So now the only thing I need is the money to buy one of these beasts… I’ll have one in black or white :-)

IMG_1956-1024
the re-designed interior included satnav…touchscreen…

back3
…and re-designed exhausts… I actually liked the side-exausts better…

IMG_1945-1024
the new bonnet … and the gorgeous speed six…*raaawwr*

Source 1: http://www.worldcarfans.com/9080710.012/page1/tvr-production-restarts—2008-sagaris-presented
Source 2: http://www.tvr-car-club.co.uk/tvrpreviewevent.asp

Battle before Christmas – Appendix

What happens when something rare gets rarer – you’ve read it an article below. But it’s also interesting to watch what happens when the fate twists to the opposite – a “strictly” limited edition gets a second one.

afd936c622a0b21a3e253110._AA240_.L

Limited Edition of 300, first release

That took place in context with the Limited Edition of “300”. Every fanboy and collector got his copy and had been happy, proud and (I guess) felt also a little bit arrogant – what a great divinely thing he owns and others not.

51zvZEMgORL._AA240_

Limited Edition of 300, second release

Now everything is different. The big exclusiveness has gone. More fanboys can have their limited edition and doesn’t need to feel inferior any longer. Additionally this new version is different from the first one.

The reactions?

The previously exclusive owners of the first limited edition moan, that it’s only a rip-off of customers. In reality they are annoyed about spending much money for something (perhaps via bidding or third-party usury) that simply was not worth it.

All the other ones are happy and satisfied.

Jens Heymann

it’s Talk like a Pirate Day, arrr!

“Once upon a time — on June 6, 1995, to be precise — we were playing racquetball, not well but gamely. It wasn’t our intention to become “the pirate guys.” Truth to tell, it wasn’t really our intention to become anything, except perhaps a tad thinner and healthier, and if you could see our photos, you’d know how THAT turned out. As we flailed away, we called out friendly encouragement to each other -“Damn, you bastard!” and “Oh, jeez, my hamstring!” for instance – as shots caromed away, unimpeded by our wildly swung rackets.

On this day, for reasons we still don’t quite understand, we started giving our encouragement in pirate slang. Mark suspects one of us might have been reaching for a low shot that, by pure chance, might have come off the wall at an unusually high rate of speed, and strained something best left unstrained. “Arrr!,” he might have said.

Who knows? It might have happened exactly that way.

Anyway, whoever let out the first “Arrr!” started something. One thing led to another. “That be a fine cannonade,” one said, to be followed by “Now watch as I fire a broadside straight into your yardarm!” and other such helpful phrases.

By the time our hour on the court was over, we realized that lapsing into pirate lingo had made the game more fun and the time pass more quickly. We decided then and there that what the world really needed was a new national holiday, Talk Like A Pirate Day. “

Source: http://www.talklikeapirate.com/about.html

what would you do with a brand new CISCO 6509 ? Right. Have a tea break on it.

Oh well. Just after the 43 thousand Euro pile-of-metal arrived some of our office-technicians just thought: It’s tea time, we got a new toy, would that blend?

So they got the tea set and the digital camera out:

We don’t just think of our new hardware as the core equipment of a enormous network. We think of it… well… in a different way.

Source: http://www.fem.tu-ilmenau.de

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

private space mission (the one with 20 megapixels…)

It just seems like make is going to get some interesting pictures tomorrow:

“We’re using weather balloons to go up to approximately 100k feet armed with 4 cameras… 20 megapixels of camera! We’ll be taking shots every 7 seconds for two hours and measuring the temperature with the Make: controller and thermistors!

It took 16 people working on this, countless cases of mountain dew, lots of take-out food, and a lot of sleepless nights, and we intend to fly Sunday!

Cloud cover, snow, and mechanical failure may postpone the launch, but we’re ready to give it our best shot this weekend.

In this Make: Video Podcast, you’ll learn all the details of how to put a weather balloon up into space! The weather balloon will make it up to about 100,000 feet. That’s almost 20 miles up and more than twice the height of being in an airplane. It’s high enough that the sky is black and you can see the curvature of the earth.”

So be sure to check back if you’re interested.

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

Atari code posters…

“Like any other game console, Atari 2600 cartridges contained executable code also commingled with data. This lists the code as columns of assembly language. Most of it is math or conditional statements (if x is true, go to y), so each time there’s “go to” a curve is drawn from that point to its destination.

When a byte of data (as opposed to code) is found in the cartridge, it is shown as an orange row: a solid block for a “1” or a dot for a “0”. The row is eight elements long, representing a whole byte. This usually means that the images can be seen in their entirety when a series of bytes are shown as rows. The images were often stored upside-down as a programming method.”

And it looks like this:

Source: http://benfry.com/distellamap/

Play PACMAN with Excel…

“This software works on Excel 97 and 2000. I was absorbed in video game named *pacman* when I was a schoolchild. I would like to reproduce that on Excel. I’ve held the thought from two years before,
and finally…It’s realized.

All actions are expressed by rewriting of a cell background color. Each one of cells as a dot, and move it by make cell’s background color high-speed rewriting. Although I did not think it’s possiblele, but now it’s possiblele by the favor of the improvement in a performance of a personal computer. The window zoom is 10%, so the each cell can not be seen. But it is A CELL.”

Oh…of course Space Invaders is available too…

Source: http://www.geocities.jp/nchikada/pac/

Building Visual Studio projects/solutions without having Visual Studio installed – MSBuild howto

Did you know that you can build almost every Visual Studio 2003/2005 Solution/Project without even having Visual Studio installed? You only need to have the Microsoft.NET Framework v2 (or better) installed. The Framework brings a great tool named “MSBuild” which helps you to build, for example, YAPS on your own machine.

  1. Download the YAPS sourcecode (or any other project…) and extract to a folder
  2. open a commandline window (Start->Run->”cmd.exe”) and change to that folder
  3. run MSBuild in that folder. Normally MSBuild is in \WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\MSBuild.exe
  4. When no errors are reported, you’re done. If there were errors, check the source and/or the folder. You need to run MSBuild where the sln/csproj files are…

This is what compiling the YAPS daily sourcecode looks like on my machine:

Source 1: MSBuild at MSDN
Source 2: MSBuild Team Blog

program your YAPS VCR recordings from within tvbrowser…

I recently wrote about the progress I made with YAPS – the multicast to unicast proxy that suddenly became even a vcr. And today I found “TVBrowser“:

“TV-Browser is a free electronic program guide. It offers more than 140 mainly german stations.”

You get everything you might expect from an electronic program guide with TV-Browser and even more. It’s extensible and fast. The extensibility is exactly the reason why I am using it as the EPG frontend for YAPS/VCR.

I used the WebSearch Plugin of TV Browser to actually do a http-request on the YAPS/VCR webserver. This request adds the recording to the schedule list…easy as it could be…

It looks like this:

right click on the programme and you’re about to
program the recording…

Infact the only thing I had to do is to add one line to the WebSearch Plugin config, which looks like this:


Simple, isn’t it… one webrequest and the recording is added.

Finally I’ve got a great EPG to program my recordings…yeeehaaa!

Source 1: udp multicast to tcp unicast proxy extended to be a vcr
Source 2: http://www.tvbrowser.org