Saturday, December 26, 2009

26-Gigapixel Photo Breaks New Record

A new, 26-gigapixel panoramic image of Dresden, Germany, is now the world’s largest-resolution photograph. Taken from the rooftop of the “Haus der Presse” building, the giant panorama is made up of 1,665 individual shots captured with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera and a 400mm lens. This massive number of shots were taken with the help of a photo-robot, in the course of less than three hours, but the processing took 94 hours using a computer with 16 processors and a main memory cache of 48 Gigabytes. This is even bigger than the 18-gigapixel panoramic image of Prague that I've just talked about.

Click here to see it.

Friday, December 25, 2009


This is fun. What a present for Christmas. Had been using it to shoot my son's soft toys. Haha...

Merry Christmas to All. Ho Ho Ho!

Build your own blaster with five interchangeable parts that you can take apart and reassemble any way you want. Snap the parts in any configuration onto the TACTICAL RAIL, and gain the upper hand in any situation that calls for awesome dart-tag action. Other features include a flip-up sight for aiming precision and a dual-mode light beam with red-dot accuracy that's perfect for night missions! Use the shoulder stock to steady your shot and store an extra clip of ammo (sold separately). Get armed with the most exciting name in high-tech blasters: N-STRIKE power!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Control TV with a wave - Not googlewave...

WASHINGTON - TOUCHSCREENS are so yesterday. Remote controls? So last century. The future is controlling your devices with a simple wave of the hand.

A wiggle of the fingers will change television channels or turn the volume up or down. In videogames, your movements will control your onscreen digital avatar. It's called 3D gesture recognition and while it may not be in stores this Christmas a number of technology companies are promising that it will be by next year.

Softkinetic, a Brussels-based software company, is one of the leaders in the gesture-control field and has teamed up with US semiconductor giant Texas Instruments and others to make this touchless vision of the future a reality. Besides TI, Softkinetic has forged partnerships with France's Orange Vallee for interactive TV, another Belgian firm, Optrima, a maker of 3D cameras and sensors, and with Connecting Technology, a French home automation company.

'On the consumer side you have three markets - television, videogames and personal computers,' said Softkinetic chief executive Michel Tombroff. 'The objective is to be on the consumer market at the end of next year, by Christmas, so people can buy these things.

'In the same way that the Nintendo Wii completely changed the way that people play videogames this 3D camera technology will allow us to completely transform the way people interact with television.'

US software giant Microsoft demonstrated a gesture recognition program called 'Project Natal' for its Xbox 360 videogame console in June and has announced plans to launch it next year. -- AFP

ANDERS - Premium Shirts. Made to Measure.

A friend had recently ventured into making premium shirts, and it's available online too.

At ANDERS, they offer made-to-measure services for premium Men's shirts. You can browse and select from a huge selection of classic fabrics to the finest luxurious shirting fabrics and start creating your personalized shirt with them.

For local customers (Singapore), you can drop by their office (by appointments) to view the fabrics they have to offer, take your time and talk to them about your preferred styles and have your measurements taken. More details can be found on the Custom Shirts section.

International Customers, please refer here for instructions on how to order a shirt from us.

For more details, please click here to visit his online store and webpage.

Monday, December 21, 2009

M.I.T. students launch $150 space camera

(Credit: Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh)

You don't always need an expensive professional dSLR to capture awe-inspiring images. Sometimes, a basic Canon A470 point and shoot, a little ingenuity, and a beer cooler are all you need. That is what two M.I.T. students used to capture images of the Earth from space, well, actually the upper atmosphere; technically, it wasn't high enough to be space.

Justin Lee and Oliver Yeh, M.I.T. students, had a goal of flying a camera high enough to photograph the curvature of the earth, they named it Project Icarus. With out having a NASA size budget for a rocket, they opted for the more cost effective method of filling a weather balloon with helium and suspending a Styrofoam cooler underneath that held the camera. They also placed some instant hand warmers inside the cooler to try to keep the camera and its battery from freezing.

The balloon was launched from Sturbridge, Mass., on September 2, 2009. The University of Wisconsin maintains a balloon trajectory Web site that they used to try to determine where it might land. A GPS-enabled prepaid cell phone was placed in the cooler to let them track its return to Earth and to locate it after landing, a fairly low-tech but creative and effective navigation system.

The camera and balloon made it to 93,000 feet, high enough to see the curvature of the Earth. So high, that the cooler took 40 minutes to return to earth. It is around this altitude that a balloon will pop, allowing the rig to fall back to earth. The Canon A470 camera was hacked with the Canon Hackers Development Kit that modifies the firmware to add features such as an intervalomter. They set the intervalometer to shoot a photo every five seconds; an 8GB memory card gave them enough storage capacity to hold all of the images from the five hour flight.

Their project's total cost for everything was $148, cheap enough anyone could try it. The students say they will soon make available step-by-step instructions for their space camera project. Check out the project Web site for more information.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons played on the Microsoft Surface

Whether or not you're into Dungeons & Dragons, this story just keeps getting better. The team at the Entertainment Technology Center has come out with new video showing Microsoft Surface with their SurfaceScapes D&D project. This latest video brilliantly takes you through how the game mechanics work. Keep in mind that this isn’t a product from Wizards of the Coast, but a student project from a team at Carnegie Mellon University.

The reason this will appeal to a broader audience than D&D gamers is that it shows the strength of starting with a goal based on your user scenario, and then utilizing the right technology for the job as appropriate. They didn’t force the interaction through Surface. You can see in the video below how naturally it occurs with the game-play.

You’ll want to use Surface when you have groups of users who are using technology to work together and share an experience. Not only does Surface’s form factor make it easier for groups to come together, but it also doesn’t get in the way of face-to-face conversation. The added bonus is that the powerful vision system allows for objects to interact with the technology to augment the overall experience.

You can read more and see the video here

Prague from the TV Tower - 18 Gigapixel Panoramic Photo

Jeffrey Martin from 360Cities has spent over a month stitching together what he believes is now the world’s largest 360-degree panorama shot.

The photo was taken from a TV tower in Czech’s capital, Prague, and gives you a great digital glimpse of what the beautiful city looks like.

For maximum effect, head on over here and hit the fullscreen button.

Pan around the (18-gigapixel) image, and then zoom in on any part of the picture to be amazed how deep you can dive in. Heck, you can read the license plates off cars situated miles and miles away from the TV tower. The startup set up a treasure hunt that will kick off next week: find 30 things in the shot based on clues given on Twitter and Facebook and you get a chance to win $1000.

When you’re watching panorama shot, make sure to also right-click and check out the different views (I like the Little Planet view, which you can see in the video below as well).

It took me almost 3 minutes to locate prague castle and charles bridge. This is awesome!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cooliris Changes the Face of Media Sharing With Visually Stunning Custom Galleries Non-Technical Users Can Build

Cooliris Express delivers a free and easy way to embed unique photo and video experiences in social media, business, and personal Web sites

Palo Alto, CA – December 8, 2009

Cooliris, innovator of the fastest and most stunning way to browse photos and videos from desktops or mobile devices, today announced Cooliris Express, a free tool that lets non-technical users create compelling digital experiences that showcase their photo and video content.

With Cooliris Express users can easily build and share fully customizable, cohesive, and immersive walls of photos and videos – not just a single photo or album – to websites, social networks, and blogs.

As media-rich content booms, users are constantly looking for better ways to share photos and videos either on their personal sites, directly with business colleagues, or via popular sites like Facebook and Twitter. To address this, Cooliris provides a simple-to-use solution that delivers a cutting-edge experience and a giant leap forward compared with today’s presentation of single photo or album uploads.

With Cooliris Express users of all skill sets can pull any number of videos and photos from Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, or any media RSS feed; easily build a customized Cooliris Wall gallery for a supported social media site, their personal web site, or a business website and share it within seconds.

Coming soon, Cooliris will release a version of Express that will give web developers and premium content publishers a new, innovative way of delivering their media and advertising.

Customized Media Walls in Seconds
Cooliris makes it easy for users to get started creating custom galleries by providing a simple to understand, intuitive, step-by-step wizard that walks them through the gallery building and posting process. First it prompts them to locate their personal media-rich content, then it provides options for where the content will be viewable, and finally with just one-click post they are able to share their custom galleries to the world, or just to their friends.

A typical use case to share rich media involves selecting content from Flickr, Picasa, YouTube, or any media RSS feed to create a theme of your choice. Once content is selected, Cooliris pulls it into a custom 3D wall of rich media and automatically adds it to your news feed with one click, like any other post or gallery. Whether you are sharing a trip to Paris with your Facebook friends or a political topic for your blog that you want punctuated with numerous YouTube videos, the end user experience is intuitive and elegant.

Another compelling feature is that the Cooliris Express galleries are dynamic. Once you create and post a gallery you can update it at the content source (ie: YouTube or Flickr) and the galleries you have posted to your blog or social media sites will be automatically updated with no additional steps required from the end-user.

Express works across the web
Incorporating Gigya social media technology, Express supports social media sites and blogs include: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, TypePad, Netvibes, Yahoo, Hi5 and Orkut.

In addition to social media sites and blogs, Cooliris Express also allows users to integrate the Cooliris Wall into their personal websites. Instead of selecting a social media location, the user would select a personal site and the tool automatically generates the code they need to copy and paste into their page for the Cooliris Wall to appear.

Cooliris Express –

Friday, December 11, 2009

Regen ReVerb Solar-Powered iPod Dock

Fancy something a little different to dock your iPod or iPhone with? The Reverb solar-powered iPod dock from Regen is one of those that is green and good to our environment, where it is capable of offering up to a dozen hours of continuous playback on a full charge. If you thought that Regen’s Renu is one impressive solar powered iPod dock, the Regen ReVerb is all the more.

Once placed in sunlight, the photovoltaic panel on the ReVerb will begin gathering light and storing power in its Lithium Iron Phosphate battery. When charged, the ReVerb can provide up to 12 hours of high quality audio reproduction of the media files stored on an iPhone, iPod or any media player with a headphone jack and can run for a longer period of time when used in solar/electric hybrid mode.

Designed to provide brilliant acoustic output that sounds flawless, the ReVerb has a friendly user interface that provides feedback on the amount of power remaining in its battery, how much energy has been gathered over time and how satisfied it is with the user’s power generation and consumption habits. It is three feet tall and does 60 watts worth of power.

The ReVerb will be available April next year for a USD$2,299.

More details can be found here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

RCA student radically improves the UK plug

The Royal College of Art's graduate show has opened, and this year, the show-stopper was a plug. Min-Kyu Choi impressed every passer by with his neat, apparently market-ready plug that folds down to the width of an Apple MacBook Air. "The MacBook Air is the world's thinnest laptop ever. However, here in the UK, we still use the world's biggest three-pin plug," says Choi.

Choi's plug is just 10mm wide when it is folded. To unfold it, the two live pins swivel 90 degrees, and the plastic surround folds back around the pins so the face of the plug looks the same as a standard UK plug. The idea produced a spin off, too. Choi created a multi-plug adaptor, a compact standard plug sized unit with space for three folded plugs to slot in, as well as one that charges USB devices.

It's so plausible and so obvious a product that it should produce a few red faces; how many more years were we going to attach our palm sized mobiles and wafer thin laptops to an object that's barely been touched since its first design in 1946? Choi picked an everyday product that most other designers find too mundane to dabble with and drastically improved it - exactly the kind of thinking that we should be celebrating right now.

To see more pictures and the original article, click here.