Shared posts

20 Oct 20:30

Inspiration: John Cleese on How to Be Creative

Legendary writer and actor John Cleese is known more for his sense of humor than almost any other attribute. But as he demonstrates brilliantly in the above video, he also has an inspirational outlook and deep interest in the subject of creativity.

In the half hour speech, Cleese talks about creativity and how it relates to both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ modes of thinking, each of which come with their own benefits and results. The open mode allows us to be curious, ‘playful’ and toy with ideas until we latch on to one… the closed mode allows us to be deliberate and followthrough with that idea once we’ve got it.

Creativity, it seems, requires the ability to switch between these modes quickly and easily — to alternate from playful creative thinking to deliberate directed action and back again at will… something the most creative among us are very skilled at.

creativity

Of course, this is only part of what Cleese is getting at. To try and summarize or give an adequate overview of the full 30-minute speech would be as difficult as talking about creativity is in the first place.

And so, instead, we’ll leave you with a worthwhile quote about what creativity isn’t, and just let Cleese take it from there.

Creativity is not a talent, it is a way of operating. [It] is not an ability you either have or do not have.

(h/t Reddit)

23 Oct 23:52

Colorful Abstract Macro Photographs Created by Injecting Watercolors Into Ferrofluid On a Magnet

by DL Cade

ferr1

Artist Fabian Oefner‘s project Millefiori is, like most of the projects we’ve ever shared by him, a mixture of science and art. By combining vibrant watercolors with a magnetic solution called ferrofluid, he was able to create these gorgeous macro photographs of the paint and ferrofluid interacting on top of a magnet.

According to Oefner’s description, these images come about because, when you put ferrofluid in a magnetic field, the iron particles in the solution start to rearrange to form these little black channels you see.

And as he injects more and different watercolors onto the magnet, the channels rearrange, adjust and encapsulate the paint in ever-more intricate ways, forming what Oefner has dubbed, “peculiar looking structures.”

Here’s a look at a few of the images he took. Keep in mind, the circles you see here are about the size of a thumbnail:

ferr2

ferr3

ferr4

ferr5

ferr6

Even cooler than the photos, however, is watching this process in action. The behind the scenes video below shows how the images are created — from plain ferrofluid, to colorful explosion. This, incidentally, is also a look at how Oefner created the artwork that appears on the cover of the band Guster‘s upcoming album Evermotion:

If you’d like to see more of Oefner’s work, check out our previous coverage of his projects, head over to his website, or give him a follow on Behance where you can see these images at higher res.

(H/T Boing Boing)


Photo credits: Photographs by Fabian Oefner

24 Oct 19:51

The Toronto That Might Have Been If Only Star Wars Was Real

by Udi Tirosh

Darth Vader riding a streetcar; Luke Skywalker hitting a home run at Rogers Centre; Yoda piggybacking a youngster to cross the road. For some impossible realities. For others, like Canadian photographer Thomas Dagg, a daily sighting. Thomas takes the wonderful streets of Toronto and mixes it with his childhood memories. The city succumbs to Thomas’s strong memories of renting the [...]

The post The Toronto That Might Have Been If Only Star Wars Was Real appeared first on DIY Photography.

24 Oct 20:15

The 360fly: A Waterproof, Panoramic Action Cam with a Single 360º Lens

360-fly-2014-10-24-01

This little device is the 360fly: a waterproof WiFi and Bluetooth-equipped action camera with an optical claim to fame. You see, its 360º horizontal and 240 degree vertical fisheye lens is, according to creators EyeSee360, the widest on the market.

The camera is waterproof up to approximately 16 feet, comes with 16GB of internal memory, an f/2.5 lens, an integrate mic and a 1,504 x 1,504 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. It holds its charge for two hours of use and comes in at a measly 0.3lbs.

And because it uses a single lens and sensor, the action camera eliminates the need to stitch together the video. Instead, the designated app, designed to be used both with iOS 8 and Android 4.3, allows you to swipe through the various views.

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 1.41.47 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-24 at 1.41.52 PM

The only real downside to the little spherical waterproof device is that the 16GB of internal memory is all you get. For one reason or another, the 360fly doesn’t feature an expandable memory slot, so you’ll be limited when out in the field until you can transfer files to your mobile device using WiFi.

EyeSee360 has amassed quite the following despite the 360fly’s limited abilities. So far they’ve raised over $17.8 million from investors, which looks promising for future consumers.

For now, the camera is still very much in production, with a vague release timeframe of ‘Spring 2015’ and a yet-to-be-determined price tag. We’ll be sure to let you know when it hits the shelves though. In the meantime, enjoy the sneak peek above.

(via Engadget)

24 Oct 20:48

Yardarm will tell dispatchers when and where police fire guns

by Sean Buckley
With the exception of maybe old Andy Taylor, most police officers in the United States carry a firearm as part of their standard equipment. Wouldn't it be nice to know when those sidearms are drawn, and why? A Silicon Valley startup called Yardarm...
23 Oct 17:04

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young

by Christopher Jobson

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

Sculptor Ben Young (previously) just unveiled a collection of new glass sculptures prior to the Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago next month. Young works with laminated clear float glass atop cast concrete bases to create cross-section views of ocean waves that look somewhat like patterns in topographical charts. The self-taught artist is currently based in Sydney but was raised in Waihi Beach, New Zealand, where the local landscape and surroundings greatly inspired his art. You can learn more about his sculptures over on Kirra Galleries, and follow him on Facebook.

21 Oct 19:37

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft

by Christopher Jobson

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric
Photo by Fearless Photography

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric
Photo by Fearless Photography

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric

DIY Geometric Paper Masks by Steve Wintercroft paper masks Halloween geometric
Photo by Fearless Photography

Need to do Halloween on a budget this year? Designer Steve Wintercroft has a series of inexpensive geometric mask templates that you can download, print, and color. From animals and skulls to stormtroopers and faces, he has a little bit of everything over on his Etsy page. (via NotCot, This Isn’t Happiness), All Things Paper

19 Oct 19:00

The Coolest Dad Ever Builds a Mech Suit for His Kids

Submitted by: (via sakakibarakikai)

Tagged: dad , DIY , Video , g rated , win
13 Oct 23:37

Dogs use teamwork to get ball out of the pool

10 Oct 17:00

Once a Garage, Now a Light-Filled Home in Amsterdam

by Caroline Williamson

Once a Garage, Now a Light-Filled Home in Amsterdam

This Amsterdam-based home used to be a garage before i29 interior architects got ahold of it. Now it’s a light-filled space with a long, pitched skylight that runs through the open floor plan living area. The main floor houses 230 square meters (2475 square feet) so each area feels open and spacious.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

The color palette was kept simple with bright white for the walls and ceilings, light gray floors, and rough oak and black surfaces, but they brought in a bold green spice it up.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

The green, along with the black and wood elements, ground the large space, and the hand-knotted rug, designed by i29 also, ties everything together.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

Two steps lead to the kitchen and dining room, which continues the use of simple materials. A black table is paired with black and wood chairs.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

The kitchen was custom designed with integrated storage within the large panels of wood.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

A black cooktop was incorporated into the black island that has a wood base underneath it.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

Built-in cabinets sit above the black fireplace creating continuity with the adjacent kitchen.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

An outdoor patio sits between the living area and the master bedroom.

Once a Garage, Now a Light Filled Home in Amsterdam in main interior design architecture Category

Photos by Ewout Huibers.








07 Oct 17:00

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects

by Caroline Williamson

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects

The Surfside Residence sits within the bluffs of Montauk, a beach community in East Hampton, New York, where summer dreams are made of. Designed by Steven Harris Architects as a series of volumes, the home blends the interior and exterior spaces, easily extending the square footage.

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

A glass box makes up one of the lower volumes and the transparent structure contains the kitchen, living, and dining rooms. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors fully open letting the space continue outdoors.

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

The picturesque swimming pool wraps around the glass volume making the water super enticing.

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

The upper volume houses the master bedroom wing that’s designed as an open floor plan. It hovers over the pool and gives the owners views of the ocean.

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

When the sliding glass doors are open, it’s almost like you’re living outdoors. The glass volume is attached to a structure that contains the garage and a guest wing above.

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Landscaping plays a key role in the design of the house making it feel like the home is meant to be there.

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Surfside Residence by Steven Harris Architects in main architecture Category

Interior design by Rees Roberts + Partners LLC (Lucien Rees Roberts, Partner, Kate Rizzo).
Landscape design by Rees Roberts + Partners LLC (David Kelly, Partner).

Photos by Scott Frances/OTTO.








08 Oct 16:00

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All

by Caroline Williamson

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All

The more you use a smartphone or tablet, the more annoyed you might be with the built-in digital keyboards. We all know it’s much easier to compose an email when we have an actual keyboard in front of us and Feiz Design Studio took this into account and created the Logitech K480. This one keyboard lets you work on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. That’s right – one keyboard, multiple devices.

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

Whether you’re on a Windows, Mac, or Android, the keyboard will work. It works between any Bluetooth connected device and can you easily switch between multiple screens.

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

There’s a slot to hold your smartphone or tablet while you’re working so you can keep your eyes on the screen. The keyboard is compact and well-designed so you can bring it on the road with you.

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category

Logitech K480: One Keyboard To Rule Them All in technology main Category








07 Oct 14:25

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

by paul0v2
Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Gediminas Pranckevicius is a digital artist and illustrator from Lithuania. Basic artistic knowledge gained at the academy of fine arts, fresco specialty. Check out his awesome works!

For more from Gediminas Pranckevicius visit gedomenas.com and behance.net/gedomenas.

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

Digital Artwork of Gediminas Pranckevicius

10 Oct 04:07

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

by GisMullr
Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Today we will show you the beautiful Cedar Park House in Seattle, Washington, a project by Peter Cohan. The house is simple and elegant. The good old wood, glass, concrete & open spaces combo works perfectly here and delivers a super charming environment. Certainly a great place to live.

Make sure to check out Peter Cohan website for further information about this and other inspiring projects. See you next week. :)

Description from the architects: The Cedar Park responds directly to the predicament posed by the site – that its most desirable location is also its most fragile. It takes advantage of the prospect afforded by a steep site, while at the same time strengthening the fragile slope, collecting the water that threatens to de-stabilize it and minimizing the energy required to do so. The building is formed by the interaction of site-cast concrete walls and water-collecting roofs. At the same time the transparency of the house creates a seamless spatial experience, connecting inside and out.

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

Beautiful Houses: Cedar Park House

We found this house at Contemporist.

Photos by Lara Swimmer.

24 Sep 23:10

David Zinn’s Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor

by Christopher Jobson

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

Since 2001, artist and illustrator David Zinn has stalked the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan, creating temporary illustrations with chalk and charcoal. Zinn improvises each piece on the spot and makes use of found objects, street fixtures, and stairsteps to create trompe l’oeil illusions. These are some of our favorite pieces from the last few months, but you can see plenty more on Facebook and in his 2013 book Lost & Unfounded: Street Art by David Zinn. All photos courtesy the artist. (via Street Art Utopia)

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

David Zinns Quirky Chalk and Charcoal Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor street art illustration humor comics chalk cartoons

09 Oct 14:00

Atmospheric oxygen can be created without plant life

by Xaq Rzetelny

Over the past 40 years, evidence has turned up on Mars pointing to the presence of oxygen. This suggested that some oxygen must have been created in the early Earth’s atmosphere as well, due to the similar compositions of the two atmospheres. Before this new idea, it was widely understood that oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere originated in an event called the “Great Oxidation Event,” which occurred about 2.4 billion years ago as the first plants appeared and converted carbon dioxide to oxygen.

But a new experiment has confirmed that there is a mechanism for creating oxygen that doesn't require the presence of life. The results have implications not only for understanding the evolution of Earth’s atmosphere, but also for the study of exoplanetary atmospheres.

The experiment

The team used a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) laser to break carbon dioxide apart, leaving free carbon and oxygen. Vacuum ultraviolet has a short wavelength (a range of 200-10 nanometers) that puts it at the far end of the ultraviolet portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Today, VUV is absorbed by the oxygen in the atmosphere (hence its name). But in the early atmosphere, VUV from the Sun could have been producing oxygen out of then-abundant carbon dioxide.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments








10 Oct 17:45

Fish unable to rapidly adapt to ocean acidification

by Scott K. Johnson
A species of damselfish.

Apart from strengthening the greenhouse effect, our emissions of carbon dioxide also affect the chemistry of the oceans. When CO2 dissolves in water, it lowers the pH, which makes it more difficult for organisms to make calcium carbonate shells. The low pH also has some direct physiological effects on other marine organisms like fish. The big question mark for the future is whether these organisms can adapt or evolve to better deal with a higher-CO2 world. A new study in Nature Climate Change digs into the adaptation part of that question.

The study, led by Megan Welch at James Cook University, follows up on a previous experiment we covered in 2012. In that work, researchers put spiny damselfish hatchlings in tanks with varying levels of CO2 and tested several behaviors.

First, researchers put the fish in a split tank with one side containing the odor of a predator, and then they measured how much time the fish spent in each side. High CO2 made the animals much less likely to avoid the predator cue.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments








10 Oct 20:11

ISS Astronauts Take the Nikon D2Xs on a Spacewalk, Snap Some Selfies Along the Way

15295388068_169dfd8782_z

While taking the first of three scheduled spacewalks aboard the International Space Station this month, the Expedition 41 team decided to make the most of their 6 hour and 13 minute spacewalk by taking some incredible photographs of their mission. Beforehand though, they made sure to turn the camera on themselves, capturing a few self portraits while hanging around outside of their vehicle almost 100 miles above Earth’s surface.

001_0

The beautiful shots – including the self portraits – were taken by astronauts Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst with a Nikon D2X and a Nikkor 10.5mm fisheye lens, designed specifically for space photography. The remainder of the extravehicular activity (EVA) photographs have been shared alongside the self portraits on NASA’s own Flickr page.

Here are a selection of the photographs:

002

15295388078_842a25c712_z

15295147259_2440fa4ee0_z

15458947366_f0fbaa3c25_z

15478896061_95ed30e517_z

If you’d like to keep up with the astronauts and the remainder of their Expedition 41 endeavors, you can do so on Wiseman’s and Gerst’s Twitter profiles, here and here, respectively.

(via The Digital Visual)


Image credits: Photographs by Reid Wiseman and Alexander Gerst, provided by NASA.

10 Oct 16:22

Why We Fight

06 Oct 15:37

Minispresso: A Shot Of Joe On The Go

by David Ponce

minipresso

Up until now, there were pretty much no products that allowed you to make a cup of espresso while away from a power source. The Minispresso changes all that, giving you the ability to brew anything from a Risretto to a double Espresso without needing any electricity. The integrated pump generates 116psi of pressure, driving hot water through your coffee at the optimal rate, and producing espresso that comes very close to what you would get from a traditional machine. You can use the Minispresso with loose coffee grind, or Coffitaly capsules, while water tanks of varying capacities determine the shot size. And if you have nothing to drink your coffee in, the lid doubles as a handy cup.

Best of all, it’s relatively cheap at $39 during the pre-order process, and only $49 afterwards.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Uncrate ]

The post Minispresso: A Shot Of Joe On The Go appeared first on OhGizmo!.

10 Oct 04:05

Ewok Heels: The Force is With These Furry Footwear

by Hazel Chua
Laszlo Tenki

have to get one for my wife. it will freak her out.

Ewok Heels

There’s nothing cute or cuddly about Stormtroopers, but all the cuteness you’ll ever need can be found in Endor’s forests, where the Ewoks thrive. Those teddy-bear like creatures can melt the coldest of hearts–well, except for the likes of Darth Vader, that is–and now you can wear ‘em on your feet.

Not actual Ewoks, mind you, but Ewok-inspired heels that look oh-so-adorkable. They look comfy enough and are as furry as you would expect them to be. Not to worry though, as no actual Ewoks were harmed in the making of these shoes.

Ewok Heels1

Ewok Heels2

 

You can hit up Etsy shop OrionsOriginals for more info.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

The post Ewok Heels: The Force is With These Furry Footwear appeared first on OhGizmo!.

10 Oct 04:15

Ditch Your Head This Halloween: Alien Mind Control Halloween Mask

by Hazel Chua

Alien Mind Control Halloween Mask

This mask wins hands-down against any other Halloween mask out there in the market. It’s strange, it’s creepy, and it’s all sorts of gross– in short, it’s the perfect mask for you if you want to win any awards this Halloween. A commandeering, noseless alien occupies the space where your head normally is, holding controls that presumably allow it to control your headless, bloody body.

The mask is foam-filled, so you don’t have to worry about the alien’s butt getting in your face when you’ve got this on.

Alien Mind Control Halloween Mask1

 

A testament to its awesomeness is the fact that it’s currently sold out. You can bookmark the site that sells it though, in the hopes of nabbing one before October 31st. It’s priced at $98.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GAS ]

The post Ditch Your Head This Halloween: Alien Mind Control Halloween Mask appeared first on OhGizmo!.

10 Oct 14:41

A Handy Flowchart That Helps Determine What Style of Beer to Drink

by Justin Page

What Style of Beer Should You Drink

Mike Newman, managing editor at Cool Material, has released a very handy flowchart to help determine what style of beer to drink.

It wasn’t long ago when liquor stores carried five or six different beers. A couple of U.S. heavy hitters and maybe an import or two. Times have changed. Walk into your local booze shop now, and you’ll be greeted with shelves of interesting brews. So how do you decide what to drink? While there are countless beer styles, we choose a handful of popular ones and decided to help for when you’re trying to pick a beer for the day.

image via Cool Material

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

07 Oct 17:00

It’s Official: A.I.s are Now Re-Writing History

by Rob Smith
Laszlo Tenki

It's actually my long-waited wish. Getting rid of tourists on my pictures.

AutoAwesome Smile

The other day I created a Google+ album of photos from our holiday in France. Google’s AutoAwesome algorithms applied some nice Instagram-like filters to some of them, and sent me emails to let me have a look at the results. But there was one AutoAwesome that I found peculiar. It was this one, labeled with the word “Smile!” in the corner, surrounded by little sparkle symbols.

It’s a nice picture, a sweet moment with my wife, taken by my father-in-law, in a Normandy bistro. There’s only one problem with it. This moment never happened.

The photo is a not-so-subtle combination of this one:

Original One

and this one:

Original Two

Note the position of my hands, the fellow in the background, and my wife’s smile. Actually, these photos were a part of a “burst” or twelve that my iPhone created when my father-in-law accidentally held down the button too long. I only uploaded two photos from this burst to see which one my wife liked better.

So Google’s algorithms took the two similar photos and created a moment in history that never existed, one where my wife and I smiled our best (or what the algorithm determined was our best) at the exact same microsecond, in a restaurant in Normandy.

So what? Good for the algorithm’s designers, some may say. Take burst photos, and they AutoAwesomely put together what you meant to capture: a perfectly coordinated smiley moment. Some may say that, but honestly, I was a bit creeped out.

Over lunch, I pointed all this out to my friend Cory Doctorow. I told him that algorithms are, without prompting from their human designers or the owners of the photos, creating human moments that never existed.

He was somewhat nonplussed. He reminded me that cameras have always done that. The images they capture aren’t the moments as they were, and never have been. For example, he pointed out that “white balance” is an internal fiction of cameras, as light never appears quite that way when it hits our eyes and minds. He recounted that at one time there were webcams that were so tuned to particular assumptions, they simply ignored non-caucasians in their algorithmic refinements of images. White balance indeed: ironic racism, in algorithms.

And he reminded me that while I don’t know the designers of AutoAwesome “Smile!”, I don’t know the guys who designed the image adjustment algorithms in my camera either. And those camera builders had nothing more to do with the eventual image adjustments my camera makes than Google’s programmers had to do with inserting my wife’s face on her body at a different point in time.

And it’s not just cameras of course. After all, “this” is not a pipe. Any history recounted in symbols, whether rendered in images, writing, or even spoken words , is not “what happened” or “what existed”. All histories are fictions. And histories that involve machines are machine-biased fictions.

But I do think there is something different, possibly something portentous, going on with AutoAwesome “Smile!”: a difference in quality and kind. And Cory agreed with me that shades of grey do matter, and not in the sense of exposures on silver halide paper.

What is a more fundamental externalised symbol of a subtle, human feeling than a smile?

You may say that the A.I.s in the cloud helped me out, gave me a better memory to store and share, a digestion of reality into the memory I wish had been captured.

But I’m reasonably sure you wouldn’t say that if this were a photo of Obama and Putin, smiling it up together, big, simultaneously happy buddies, at a Ukraine summit press conference. Then, I think algorithms automatically creating such symbolic moments would be a concern.

And why am I saying “then”? I’m certain it’s happening right now. And people are assuming that these automatically altered photos are “what happened”.

And I’m sure, at some point in the not to distant future, a jury will be shown a photo that was altered without a single human being involved, without a trace of awareness by the prosecution, defence, judge, accused, or victim. And they’ll all get an impression from that moment that never happened, possibly of a husband’s lack of adequate concern soon after his wife’s mysterious disappearance. It’ll be “Gone Girl” with SkyNet knobs on.

And “look who’s smiling now,” the A.I.s will say.


About the author: Robert Elliott Smith is a faculty member in Computer Science at University College London and co-founder of The Centre for The Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty, Plexus Planning Ltd., and Diphrontis Analytics. You can keep up with him on his website or by following him on Twitter. This article originally appeared here.

08 Oct 23:46

America Really Needs One Of These

by Tyler Durden

Perhaps, in the interests of keeping its population satisfied that government is busy and working hard for the nation's good, India has unveiled a real-time dashboard to monitor how many government workers are in attendance at any moment...

click image for fully real-time-updating version...

 

One question - if India can do this, why can't America?

01 Aug 15:00

Agile Micro-Yachts: Adaptible ‘Jet Capsules’ as Water Taxis

by admin
[ Filed under Transportation & in the Concept Vehicles category ]

jet capsule water taxi

We have already seen civilian and military, everyday and emergency applications of the Jet Capsule design, but its creators have envisioned a new array of uses, including a highly maneuverable water taxi able to fit in tight spaces, corner easily and go anywhere.

jet capsule colorful taxis

jet capsule designs ideas

jet capsule remodeled version

Much smaller than conventional boat taxis or luxury yachts, these sleek vehicles can take people through canals and other urban water ways in places like Venice or Amsterdam, where it is often faster (if not inevitable) to travel by water.

jet taxi back entry

jet taxi interior shot

Prototype versions of the Jet Capsule have already been deployed in Italy to test interest as well as functionality. These are just the start, though – the modular nature of the design makes it possible for people, companies or countries to order highly-customized versions for all kinds of unique and site-specific applications.

jet taxi side view

jet capsule fully customizable

jet taxi real example

From the creators: “the current capsule model has a built-in hydro-jet system that can be equipped with one or two engines, but the team are also working on the first electrically powered design to be presented in june 2014. all the jets come with an international sail certification and can navigate and operate in any country/region, and waves of up to 4 meters.”


Share on Facebook

[ Filed under Transportation & in the Concept Vehicles category ]

[ Gajitz | Archives | Categories | Privacy | TOS ]

28 Aug 21:00

Wonderul Wooden Light Bulb Shines With Warm Subtle Glow

by delana
[ Filed under Home & Personal & in the Gadgets category ]

wooden light

Nope, you aren’t looking at a weird decorative light bulb-shaped sculpture. The Wooden Light by designer Ryosuke Fukusada is a functional light bulb that looks just like a solid piece of wood.

pine wooden light bulb

Fukusada created the light bulb in collaboration with German light bulb maker LEDON. The illusion was invented by creating an exceptionally thin – 1/10th of one inch – bulb shaped casing of wood veneer. An LED is fitted inside to illuminate the illusory mini-lampshade.

led wooden light

When the light is turned off, the bulb looks just like a solid piece of wood hanging from a cord – perhaps a piece of minimalist art or funky decor. But when it is turned on, the light shines through the rings, swirls, and natural shapes of the wood grain.

lighted wooden led light bulb

The lovely light looks red as it makes its way through the pine covering. It isn’t as bright as a normal light bulb; the designer likens it to holding a flashlight in your hand. But its unique look and lovely ambient light would let it fit in perfectly in any room.


Share on Facebook

[ Filed under Home & Personal & in the Gadgets category ]

[ Gajitz | Archives | Categories | Privacy | TOS ]

03 Oct 17:56

Ebola patients buying survivors’ blood from black market, WHO warns

by Klint Finley

It doesn’t get much more biopunk than this:

As hospitals in nations hardest hit by Ebola struggle to keep up, desperate patients are turning to the black market to buy blood from survivors of the virus, the World Health Organization warned. [...]

Blood from survivors, referred to as convalescent serum, is said to have antibodies that can fight the deadly virus. Though the treatment is unproven, it has provided some promise for those fighting a disease that’s killing more than half of those it has infected.

Full Story: CNN: Ebola patients buying survivors’ blood from black market, WHO warns

06 Oct 05:33

The U.S. is so beautiful

Laszlo Tenki

OMG never been to America.

05 Oct 17:35

Make your smartwatch even less useful by installing Windows 95

by Ron Amadeo
Laszlo Tenki

It disturbs me a lot.

The smartwatch product category is still just getting off the ground, and right now they aren't the most useful things on the planet. There is a ton of power packed into them, though, and the main problem is essentially limited software. In that regard, how about running a full desktop OS on your wrist?

Corbin Davenport has been torturing his Android Wear-powered Samsung Gear Live by making it run all manner of things it shouldn't ever be asked to run. Thanks to the Android DOS emulator aDosBox, he's even gotten Windows 95 to boot up, which you can see in the above video. Sadly, it's not running perfectly. Thanks to a lack of emulator configuration, Windows 95 keeps running out of memory and apps just crash. The Gear has a whopping 512MB of RAM, but the emulator just doesn't let Windows address it all.

It's not just Windows that Davenport has gotten running on the Gear Live. He also has video of the Android version of Doom (of course) and Minecraft PE. The 1.65 inch screen makes everything pretty unusable, but it's all in good fun. If you want to see more microscopic programs running on a smartwatch, don't forget our attempts with the original Galaxy Gear—we got Candy Crush and a full Android Launcher up and running on these little things.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments