Archive for September, 2006

big google is watching you

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

The current buzz about Brazil sueing google for obtaining user data (see e.g. washington post or AP) or this years message about China give an even more stale flavour to a technology which was discussed in a rather recent article in MITs Technology Review .


Games Convention Part II

Friday, September 8th, 2006



Thursday, September 7th, 2006

addendum to last post: according to Heise the offer of a free version of the software Poser by e-frontier, which was limited from Sept. 1 -Sept. 4 is extended to Sept. 8 due to the unavailability of the offer on their selling site contentparadise (which was due to too many requests). However the site seems still to be blocked (I tried already about a day ago) …I hope this is not just another form of viral marketing. Poser is a kind of library of 3D human models together with an application to dress them, animate them a bit etc. It is a smaller kind of application – means it has no modeller etc.


Wednesday, September 6th, 2006


daytars project “d-room” was originally a proposal for a rhizome commission – however it didnt make it to the rhizome commisson‘s top ten. The proposal URL was only made public for rhizome members and since january the proposal is rotting on our server. So, I thought to make it public now.


Monday, September 4th, 2006


It is allways an interesting question at what point a picture becomes a symbol, i.e. a representative for something more abstract. This is also what I found to be the most important point which I missed in John Maeda’s commentary in this weeks post. How much is an avatar a symbol for the person behind it?

In the case of a logo the symbol nature is usually easy to manifest, but e.g. in the case of characters – especially from computer games – this depends. Sometimes they are pixymbols – just think of the pac man characters. For the smiley I find this is similar.

In this context it is worthwhile to see how early character design in computer games has transformed by time. And so I stumbled over these funny “round voxel”-3D analogs of game characters by designer Jeremy Dower who did – among others – also character design for the gameboy.

-See also an old randform post about pictoplasma.
-fake (?) space invaders characters e.g. here

Blender Bullet Physics 2006 Contest

Monday, September 4th, 2006


A good way to see some of the capabilities of blender‘s physics engine is to have a look at the outcome of the Bullet Physics 2006 Contest at this youtube link.
More info here.


Monday, September 4th, 2006


Usually I try to keep away from gadgets (:)) but I was really waiting for the above image to come. Tinky winky the telechumby holds a socalled chumby inside its belly – a product to be expected march 2007 for the price of approx. 150 $ according to gizmodo. Chumby seems to have a linux kernel , a WiFi hook to the internet and may thus be an alternative to Nintendo DS, who has also a linux kernel. Another interesting feature of chumby is the hookup to Adobes Flash lite, which is interesting for Flash programmers. The rumors are that the Nintendo browser (to be released Oct 6 in Europe) won’t support Flash (sofar) and the new Flash for Linux…well…needs some time.

via etienne mineur and gizmodo

Pianosociety again

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006

short addendum to my recent post about the pianosociety: The pianosciety has since yesterday a very improved website, which displays their structure and goals much clearer than last week, when I set a link to their site.

Suzanne Vega in Second Life

Saturday, September 2nd, 2006


speaking about virtual architectural icons in my last post, it worthwhile to mention that the american company Lichtenstein Creative Media is organizing concerts and interviews in the commercial (and expensive) virtual environment called second life. On their webpage they currently feature a virtual concert with wellknown songwriter Suzanne Vega, including a machinima of her concert. If the link is gone — here is another youtube machinima of the concert.

Also MIT professor John Maeda was there. Reflecting on his second life experience in his blog, Maeda suddenly expressed his concern for mathematicians (thats how i interpret it ;)):

At the recent SIGGRAPH, one of the most popular talks was the fellow from i>SL where he spoke about the higher “emotional bandwidth” one gets with communicating through a fully-rendered avatar versus a pitful smiley like :-). Our resident media philospopher Burak took great offense at this comment. He felt that signs/symbols were invented not because we crave for constant realism in life, but that we can get engage deeper feeling through experiencing abstractions of reality. The more abstract the better, in his mind.

And that’s where it is: “in his mind.” Where the emotional bandwidth is truly the highest and where no computers (currently) can venture. To live without reality (or even a simulation of it) and to instead be immersed in a sea of symbols and even more abstract thoughts. Seems like one can go crazy in such a world.

So let’s wait for Madonna to appear there — would relieve her may be from the pressure to do cosmetic surgery for being an icon.

Fallingwater in heaven

Friday, September 1st, 2006

youtube link
Every architectural student has to pilgrim to Falling water. For european architecture students this is a rather expensive architectural initiation rite. A cheaper possibility is to visit it with the game engine Half-life II, where an architectural student named Kasperg did a model of it. Students at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (what a name!!!) at University College London did a fast machinima of it, using the standard sounds of Half-life so that in fact – as Pierre pointed out – one expects the grenades coming every second. Lets see when some US students do the same with Haus Wittgenstein.