Pretty cool. Dangerous as all hell, but pretty cool.
April 30th, 2012 by Thomas
Engadget is reporting that Microsoft is investing $300 Million into Barnes & Noble’s Nook, forming a “strategic partnership”. I have absolutely no idea what this means for the publishing industry, but it is nice to see the underdog eReader getting someone to stand in its corner.
Digital Book World reports that this is aiming largely at digital classroom material:
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble will collaborate on “management and distribution of online course materials” and will “build a robust platform for digital and physical distribution of course materials, providing schools with unrivaled course management and retail services,” said [Barnes & Noble CEO William] Lynch.
April 24th, 2012 by Thomas
From the Official Google Blog:
You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.
Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future.
This is just the beginning for Google Drive; there’s a lot more to come.
Get started with Drive today at drive.google.com/start—and keep looking for Nessie…
That sound you hear? That was the sound of DropBox pooping themselves.
April 17th, 2012 by Thomas
From the “headlines I never thought I’d write department”, Gizmodo has a series of articles on the digital reincarnation of Tupac and Nate Dogg.
First up is this video, which shows Tupac and the D-O-Double-G (someone’s going to throw something at me, aren’t they?) performing at Coachella*:
It’s kind of freaky, honestly. The Tupac CGI cost somewhere between $100,000 and $400,000. How did they pull it off? This article explains that it’s actually a bit of nineteenth century stage magic called Pepper’s Ghost. From Wikipedia:
Pepper’s ghost is an illusionary technique used in theatre and in some magic tricks. Using a plate glass and special lighting techniques, it can make objects seem to appear or disappear, transparent, or make one object seem to morph into another. It is named after John Henry Pepper, who first demonstrated the technique in the 1860s.
Finally, this article has some (very sparse) details on how they made two dead men sing a song together:
Smith said he wasn’t allowed to talk about the creative aspects of the production – including how the hologram was able to seemingly perform the set in synch with Snoop and whether all the vocals were ‘Pac’s – but he did say that his company has the ability to recreate long-dead figures and visually recreate them in the studio. “You can take their likenesses and voice and … take people that haven’t done concerts before or perform music they haven’t sung and digitally recreate it,” he said.
So there we are, folks. We can take dead people and have them say and do things they never said and did. We’re … let’s say five years away from actors licensing the digital representation of their bodies and voices and appearing in movies without ever setting foot on a set. That’s awesome … and kinda scary.
* WTF is Coachella, you ask? I don’t have a goddamn clue, and I’m way to lazy to Google it.
April 13th, 2012 by Thomas
BOOM. I’m surprised they beat Amazon to market with one of these. It’s available for preorder now.
April 11th, 2012 by Thomas
Chrome OS, the webapp-only operating system from Google, has been updated with a new window manager, making it a lot more like Windows or Mac OS and less like a glorified web browser.
There’s nothing particularly special about this – a window manager is kind of a window manager at this point – but the fact that they’re moving toward a more traditional application switching model is interesting. Still, until Scrivener runs on it, it’s kind of useless to me.
April 9th, 2012 by Thomas
Back-lit LCS, like your computer or cell phone, can be hard to read. eInk, on the other hand – the stuff used in the Kindle and Nook Simple Touch – are a lot easier on the eyes, and can be used outdoors.
But they can’t be used at night, which makes a built-in front light, a light built into the bevel around the screen that shines onto the eInk, and not out from it, an obvious addition.
Amazon agrees, and is experimenting with a front-lit Kindle.
Of course, they’ve patented the technology. You know what? I’m not even mad at Amazon about this. I’m mad at the US Patent office, who keeps giving out this ass-headed patents.
April 3rd, 2012 by Thomas
This looks enough like the classic Zeldas that it tripped my happy switch, and the shot where the guy is controlling the same instance of the game on his computer and phone at the same time is amazing. I might actually grab the source code to this just to see how they pulled some of this stuff off.
March 29th, 2012 by Thomas
We really are living in the future. When I grew up, there were three things I desperately wanted: a Start Trek communicator, a phaser, and a tricorder. Cell phones outpaces the communicator a few years ago, and we’re still waiting on the phasers. But Dr. Peter Jansen of McMaster University has brought the tricorder to life.
His Tricorder project – which looks amazingly like the television prop – combines atmospheric, electromagnetic, and spatial sensors into a single handheld package. And, for the hardware geeks in the audience, the plans and code are available under open source licenses.