Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017

Robotic Nightmares  

Boston Dynamics make the creepiest robots. Covering them in yellow plastic doesn’t help, it just means they’ll soon be commercially available.

Update: for bonus nightmares, check out Handle their two wheeled, transformer-looking robot – fast enough to outrun you.

Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017

Visualising Git  

I have a hard time getting my head around what Git commands I should be using, should I fetch, pull, push or merge? I miss the days when version control just meant having backup folders, and backups of backup folders, and backups of backups of backup folders, etc.

I recently came across this site that visualises common Git commands to help people like me get a better understanding of how each command affects your repository. If you’re Git challenged like me, check it out.

Tuesday, 3 Oct 2017

Beyond the Edge  

Digital artist Teun van der Zalm has produced a series of 3D computer generated animations of distant nebulae. He uses several algorithms to generate the images.

While experimenting with the noise algorithm, I find out that this was not good enough for the base of the nebula system. Therefore I had to use multiple and different noise fields to produce a more life like nebula form. It became clear through experiments that I needed a starting point to build on. First I created an primal object designed by a procedural algorithm based on the Perlin Noise. After that I transformed the object to particles and manipulate these with the noise algorithm. The result is the base nebula without all the detail. In the second phase I deform the base through maps that are based on fractal noise. The final result is an high dense and high detailed particle system. This way I can create close up, medium and total shots of the nebula.

Check out more of his videos here.


Tuesday, 8 Aug 2017

The Loot Train Attack, behind the scenes  

HBO just released a behind the scenes video of the “Loot Train Attack” scene from Game of Thrones season 7 episode 4. This was my favourite scene so far in the entire series (although the Battle of the Bastards comes a close second). I love how HBO do these videos, especially the way they layer on the effects from green screen through to final production, very clever.


Friday, 11 Nov 2016

Leonard Cohen 1934 - 2016  

The end has come to one of modern music's most influential singer songwriters, Leonard Cohen. His song, The Partisan, still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. A sad day.
Thursday, 13 Oct 2016

Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out  

I've been a Danny MacAskill fan since seeing his first video years ago. He's come a long way since then and now does regular short films for Red Bull. They've just released his latest one titled "Wee Day Out".
Not my favourtie film he's done but still worth watching and the Scottish coutryside is beautiful (must have taken ages to get all that sunshine).

Also check out this one from 2014, amazing footage.

Tuesday, 11 Oct 2016

Donald and Hillary  

This is probably the only good thing to come out of the second presidential debate.
What will the internet do for entertainment when this election is over?
Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016

Samsung Tried Too Hard  

Bloomberg Technology takes a look at Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 battery problems and how it happened. It appears in their rush to beat Apple to market they took a few too many shortcuts.

The chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was more explicit when his agency announced an official recall on Thursday. He said the phone’s battery was slightly too big for its compartment and the tight space pinched the battery, causing a short circuit. “Clearly, they missed something,” said Anthea Lai, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “They were rushing to beat Apple and they made a mistake.”

This all came about because they underestimated the impact the new iPhone 7 would have. Their assumption was that it would not be a big hit because it was too similar to the iPhone 6S. Based on recent years, they should know by now not to underestimate the power of the iPhone brand.

Apple’s iPhone 7 also wasn’t as uninspiring as Samsung may have anticipated. Though it kept the same physical design with modest technology changes, loyalists still lined up at stores around the world on Friday to get the company’s latest gadget.

Just five days into launch and the iPhone 7 looks set to break new sales records.

Saturday, 17 Sep 2016

A real world review of the iPhone 7  

A great review of the new iPhone 7 and 7 plus by Matthew Panzerino of TechCrunch. Bonus points for using the word “fart” in the opening sentence.

If you’ve read one of my reviews before then you’ll know I do things a bit differently than other tech writers. For one, I use the phones as normal. I don’t torture test them or run dozens of artificial benchmarks unless they provide an interesting window into advancements in performance that are going to make a real difference to you.

Frankly, with platforms like iOS, where the hardware is a near constant, developers are going to be producing software that utilizes exactly what resources Apple makes available to them — no more and no less. So wasting time on a bunch of random numbers (higher is better! lower is better!) doesn’t really serve the audience most of the time because everything should run well.

Well worth reading if you’re even remotely interested in the new iPhones.