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March 19, 2014

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8:00 AM | Tested Explains: What The Heck is Inflation Theory?
If you were conscious on Monday you probably heard there was big news out of the physics community. So big, in fact, that there’s already talk of Nobel prizes and jokes about Einstein patting himself on the back for being proven right...again. Let’s be honest though, big physics news is always kind of hard to understand. There’s always GeV’s and B-modes and jargon and, well, math. So, in the event that you’d actually like to understand what the heck everybody is […]
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6:15 AM | Gallery: The Posters of Flatstock 43 at SXSW 2014
Even though Adam's SXSW keynote was last Monday, I stayed in Austin for a few more days on my own to watch film screenings and explore other SXSW-related activities. One event that I knew I had to stay for was Flatstock, a poster show series presented by the American Poster Institute. I had never been to one before, and only first heard about it in the amazing documentary about the history of concert and alternative film posters, Just Like Being There (it's streaming on Netflix!). Screenprinted […]
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6:00 AM | In Brief: Sony Announces Project Morpheus VR Headset
I think this is something most people saw coming, but Sony today announced that it has been working on a virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 4 console. And thankfully it's not the virtual reality headset prototype we saw at CES, which was little more than a motion tracker slapped on Sony's HMZ-T3 display. Unveiled at a GDC press conference, Project Morpheus (as in Dream of the Endless, not the character from The Matrix) is a head-tracking HMD that's much more Oculus Rift than personal […]
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5:46 AM | Jamie Hyneman Describes His Perfect Sunday
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March 18, 2014

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8:47 PM | How To Get Into Hobby RC: Radios and Motors
This is the second in a series of guides that will walk you through the wonderful hobby of radio-controlled (RC) vehicles. We started off last month with an overview of the different types of RC vehicles, but still have some basics to cover before we get into the actual cars, boats, and airplanes. Specifically, this installment will deal with the radio equipment that controls your model and the types of motors that could power it. It’s crucial to have a basic understanding of both of […]
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7:42 PM | 2013 ACM Turing Award: Lesley Lamport
Today, the 2013 ACM Turing Award has been awarded to Leslie Lamport, Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research: For fundamental contributions to the theory and practice of distributed and concurrent systems, notably the invention of concepts such as causality and logical clocks, safety and liveness, replicated state machines, and sequential consistency.   Lamport has not only […]
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6:31 PM | In Brief: Google Announces Android Wear Platform
Google's watch project isn't hardware at all, but an extension of Android for wearables. It's called Android Wear. Google unveiled the project today in a blog post, describing it as a way to bring Android to wearables, starting with smart watches that will be released later this year. Two concept videos (embedded below) show how Google envisions users will interact with Android Wear devices, though it's unclear if these devices will have to be tethered to Android phones, or will offer […]
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6:00 PM | Superman with a GoPro (Phantom Drone Footage)
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5:00 PM | In Brief: The Cinematography of The LEGO Movie
If you've seen the LEGO Movie, you'd believe it when I say that it's a marvelous technical achievement. It's one of the first [nearly-all] CGI movies that approaches photorealism--the animation looks convincingly like actual stop-motion, photographed in the real world. Just ask our pal Jeremy Williams. The movie's 3D artists have talked about using microscopes to photograph and scan the texture detail of minifigs and other LEGO pieces, and the lighting gives the characters an almost hyper-real […]
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3:46 PM | Leslie Lamport wins Turing Awards
In another sign that these Turing Award committees really know what they're doing, Leslie Lamport has won the Turing Award.  There's a very nice writeup including the history of his work up on an official Microsoft blog post.While I know there are arguably many people deserving of a Turing Award, Leslie Lamport is an amazingly obvious and absolutely fantastic choice.  His body of work is truly inspiring, and as the above links show, his work has had a huge […]
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2:57 PM | iStrideMaster Interactive #Exergaming on Idiegogo Fundraiser
Does exercising (mountain climbers) on a StrideDeck with sensors using Bluetooth connected to a tablet or mobile app (to track your force, speed and stamina) sound like your next amazing #exergame... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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2:00 PM | The State of OEM User Interfaces on Android
The OEM Android skins that have now become so reviled were almost essential in the early days of Android. It used to be that you NEEDED something like Sense UI (as it was called at the time) to get any advanced software features in your smartphone. Google was rolling updates fast, but those early days were about laying the groundwork, not polishing the user experience. Fast forward to today and we've got a stock Android platform that is functional, feature-rich, and quite attractive. The OEM […]
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1:00 PM | The Best Computer Speakers Today
If someone asked me what’s the best all-around buy in a 2.0-channel computer or desktop speaker system today, I’d recommend the M-Audio Studiophile AV 40. It offers sound that’s competitive with everything we’ve heard under $300, yet it’s readily available for just $119.That said, the AV 40s can be a bit large and not very nice to look at, so we have some alternative picks as well. The Audioengine A2+ is sleekly designed, super-compact, and sounds fantastic, […]
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12:27 PM | Embrace logic
Let him who is not come to logic be plagued with continuous and everlasting filth. Metalogicon II (1159) John of Salisbury (1120-1180) Filed under: Mathematics, Science
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9:57 AM | First issue of Fafnir, science fiction studies journal is out
Spread the word: the first issue of Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research is now out. Here is the table of contents: Table of Contents: Fafnir 1/2014 And Siegfried thought he killed Fafnir. How wrong he was…! (From Wikimedia Commons) … Continue reading →
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7:00 AM | We Went to SXSW - 3/18/2014
Adam, Will, and Norm share stories and experiences from SXSW 2014, including a visit to the Game of Thrones prop tour, Adam's 30 hour SXSW whirlwind, and a surprise Austin connection to Adam's family. Enjoy!
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5:00 AM | The Flutter Shutter Code Calculator - implementation -
At the First French-German Mathematical Image Analysis Conference, I noted a rather interesting presentation by Yohann Tendero entitled On The Foundations of Computational Photography. Of interest was his ability to develop a model for the Flutter Shutter so that better pictures could come out of this technology than regular snapshot. This is important because a few of the multiplexing schemes undertaken in compressive sensing use similar set-up. A very important item to remember when […]
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12:45 AM | Game of Thrones: The Exhibition at SXSW 2014
In between filming each season of Game of Thrones, the beautiful props and costumes are put on tour in a traveling exhibition, open to the public. The exhibit is making its way across the globe, and stopped for a weekend in Austin to coincide with last week's SXSW conference and festival. We waited in line with other fans to get a close look at costume designer Michele Carragher's stunning embroidery and "dragonscale" work, seen on dresses worn by the characters of Cersei, Daenerys, and Sansa. […]
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12:21 AM | The 2014 CinemaTech Awards: Our Favorite Sci/Tech Movies
With a little guidance by Adam Savage, the second annual PopMech CinemaTech Awards hands out some hardware that really matters—including best alternate universe, coolest vehicles, and best explosion. Can Pacific Rim, Iron Man 3, or Europa Report stop the geek juggernaut Gravity?Sci-Tech Movie of the Year: GravityWas there another choice? Alfonso Cuarón's story of two astronauts' incredible battle for survival 220 miles above Earth is intense, fresh, and so groundbreaking in its […]

March 17, 2014

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10:24 PM | Digital Orthochromatic Photography
I’m playing with ways of emulating early orthochromatic film, if anyone knows any technical aspects to this that might help – feel free to suggest ideas. So far I’m just winging it. Light Response of Film In terms of light … Continue reading →
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8:39 PM | ICERM (Brown) Workshop on Stochastic Graph Models
I'll be commuting throughout the week to the ICERM Workshop on Stochastic Graph Models.  ICERM is the Institute for Computational and Experimental Research in Mathematics, a new-ish place associated with and walking distance from Brown University, and Eli Upfal (among others) is making sure that it's closely connected with Brown Computer Science as well as other mathematical disciplines.  The building is very nice and new, with a great view of Providence.  It's also very close to […]
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6:32 PM | Picking and Gutting a Prison Lock
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