Showing posts with the label research

IMVU: 3D Chat

I just got a total blast-from-the-past when I clicked on an ad to "meet new people". It reminded me of a 3D chat program using VRML back in 1996 called OnLive! 3D chat. I used it for my research back when I was working for KPN Research.
IMVU seems much like it. Add a little Second Life added in and a little bit like the Sony PS3 chat service I have at home (and never use). Still kinda cool because you can easily create a virtual house (like Alphaworld), virtual outfits (like Second Life) and chat in 3D. OnLive! also used audio chat, which made it the coolest, because people farther away sounded softer.

Element 114 verified

The existence of element 114 (in the Periodic Table of Elements) has been verified by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 10 years after the first discovery by researchers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. The independent verification of their discovery is important because many claims have come from the same research group since, but no one outside of their group.

Online Makeover to test make-up

A cool example of 21st century thinking is Daily Makeover. A website that works together with 60 beauty brands to enable users to try make-up on their own face. Upload a photo and try out different brands, types and colors. Cool, I predicted this back in 1999 while at KPN Research.

Green diode lasers breakthrough

Ah the researcher in me got a big boost today from the news that Green diode lasers got a big breakthrough! Now we have red, blue and green diode lasers and we can expect laser displays to arrive in the near future (1-3 years). Instead of a big LED display, these will be illuminated by lasers! Ars Technica has a great, detailed, technical write-up of the breakthrough.

And of course, I'm expecting Awakenings in the Westergasfabriek to get the first ones by next year! ;)

Object-based media: an iPhone and RFID together

Given that everyone has a smartphone these days, OK everyone in the Western world i.e. roughly 1/5th of the world population ;), there are some pretty cool things you could do if objects would have an RFID chip in them.

Researchers have made a proof-of-concept with an iPhone and RFID in a object-based media project. The phone will show particular video clips depending on which is the nearest you. Commercial, sure, but it could also be a tour guide video, a music video, a health hazard warning or directions...

iPhone RFID: object-based media from timo on Vimeo.

Quake Live Beta Opening Next Week

I heard of Quake III Arena being played on all kinds of small, embedded systems, but now it'll run in your browser too! Check Tom's Hardware for details...
Man I used to go through all these troubles to let people play easily and quickly while at KPN Research, if I had known then I'd be able to run q3 in a browser...! /me chuckles

Seam Carving aka Content-Aware image resizing

After research showed a prototype (PDF) years ago and the open source community jumping on it, giving the GIMP the first public filter that does content-aware image resizingaka "seam caring", photoshop and the iPhone now also get it.

To dye for: Blondes really do have more fun as study reveals women with lighter hair have more confidence

Research reveals that Blondes really do have more fun. They stand up for themselves, approach someone more easily, ask for raises earlier than non-bleached women. Although this holds for most people who dye their hair, the increase is most noticeable with blondes. There is one down-side: blond women make £4000 per year less than brunettes! ;)


Belysio reminded me of Bliin... I'd love to play with all these things. Lately, Web2.0 is ablaze with new start-ups, tools, mobile gadgets and services... *Sigh* Wish I was back at R&D... :(

Optical storage 1TB stored on standard DVD

Heavy nerd alert!
Researchers have stored 1TB stored in three dimensions on a standard format DVD disk (120 mm). They put 2 molecules in a layer substrate called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). One molecule referred to as a dye precursor (DP) and another light sensitive photoacid generator (PAG) molecule. When energy (light) strikes the PAG, it breaks down and releases an acid. The acid converts DP molecule to Rhodamine 700, which is colored and fluoresces strongly. Hence, it can be detected in UV light. This way they were able to make dots 5 microns apart. That's small enough to store about 5 GB per layer. Creating several layers, they could store about 1000 GB in 20 layers. Improving the technology, they hope to be able to store one Blu-ray disk per layer, yielding room for 5000 GB per disk!
/me is seriously impressed and psyched

Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren't Allowed to See on Google Maps

Blurred Out: 51 Things You Aren't Allowed to See on Google Maps. A surprising number of which are in the Netherlands...! Lots of NATO things, airfields, Royal real estate and EU research labs... interesting!

Journey to the center of the brain

Researchers have identified the central "hub" of our brain, something that was previously believed to be true but not really proven.
Turns out, there is an area of the brain that straddles both sides and sits towards the back, where most activity is centralized or perhaps regulated. Lots of neurons come together here and deliver information... Slashdot already joked if we can upgrade the hub to a more efficient switch and become better at processing info... ;)
/me chuckles at the nerd joke

Dutch government gags Oyster researchers

The Dutch public transport MIFARE chip card, that was supposed to be launched next year, is on hold due to researchers at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. Now, our secretary of state Tineke Huizinga, has explicitly asked them to be silent about any details on or information about security flaws in order to make abuse more difficult. As if shooting the messenger will change the news! Read Dutch government gags Oyster researcherson The Register.
/me shakes his head in distaste

Computer uses 4 MW of power

In an effort to out do ourselves all over again, climate researcher have proposed building a new computerSuperDuperPuter™ with 20 million CPUs to model the Earth's climate on a 1 km scale (1km3). It will be about 1,000,000 more powerful than the current supercomputers. They estimate the machine will consume 4 Mega Watt of power...
Anyway, dream away over the rest of the article at Tom's Hardware :nerd:

Lawnmower carries army soldier's load

Boston Dynamics has developed a dog-like robot (judged by its size) for the army that can be used to carry up to 150 kg of load. The robot walks autonomously on 4 legs, balances itself, can handle steep up or downhill climbs, walks on ice and can even do small jumps!
While its use is very ordinary, the robot is totally state-of-the-art! Watch a YouTube video of the "dog" in action. The first thing you'll notice is the nosy lawnmower engine use to power the thing... so much for a stealth attack! ;)

Content-aware resizing already in GIMP

If you've watched the seam-carving video about dynamically resizing images while preserving their content and lay-out, you may cry to be able to do this yourself. The video is only a research project, although they show a Windows app in the video. Well... the app is available as GIMP filter... GPL3 and all! :) hehe Open Source RULES!

Wikidot - Free Wiki Hosting

Need to keep a set notes with a bunch of people? Everyone live somewhere else but you need to document a bunch of stuff and list issues of what's left to do? You must write a piece of documentation for something, but you don't really know where to begin and would like to just dump your minds and log everything you know as well as what you still need to research or solve?
Get yourself a free wiki from Wikidot and get going. You can also install and maintain a wiki yourself, but sometimes you just need to get going and don't want to be bothered with admin details. Wikidot fills that gap!

Canon will use CMOS in compact digicams too

Canon will start using its excellent CMOS chips in compact digicams as well. Currently, the CMOS designs only appear in more expensive DSLR cameras, whereas cheaper digicams use CCDs.
The CMOS design is more cost effective and makes them less dependent on Sony, who supplies them with CCDs. Research has also proven it can circumvent most negative aspects of the CMOS design... See Reuters for the article.

Intel shows Teraflops Research Chip with 80 cores

Intel recently showed a new chip design which contains 80 (!) cores, each running at 3 GHz. The CPU delivers more than 1 billion operations per second. In other words: 1 TeraFLOP.
Oddly, the design only consumes 62W of power when doing so, which is about the same as current mainstream CPU design with at most 4 cores.

Great moments in human research

The Register has gathered a great and funny collection of Great moments in human research... ROFL