News for April 2010

Kinetic Text (through Rubz)

Rubz is doing Kinetic text.

This is amazing (not his though … )

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Posted: April 29th, 2010
Categories: general
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Comments: 2 Comments.

I can haz Audiomixer?

audioChannels

Ok.

So we are tinkering with this interactive video platform, Marduq, and I wanted to make an Mp3 player, to go with your video. Or slideshow. Or whatever. Like so. But you may notice that if you start fiddling with the volume, the system breaks. Crashes. Burns. Death. Agony.Wailing.

This is because in Marduq, we only have 1 channel of audio mixing, ie. the video-soundtrack. But as research of Surfinnetje showed over a year ago: Watching snowboarders in a half-pipe and choosing different mp3-files is fun. So we needed a way to track different soundtracks in the system. Both mp3, system sounds, ambient sounds, youtube sounds and video sounds. And of course a master.

Well. Here is the prototype.

* applaus *

* applaus *

This thing mixes a youtube channel and flash net video together with a couple of mp3 files. The mp3 even have balance dials The youtube and the master have balance dials, but they do nothing. Also. The video and youtube can not be paused in this prototype. The PlayheadController will take care of that.

And when you start-up, everything is ON . TOGETHER. Making NOISE!

And some props. On a side note. I can now also build twoyoutubevideosandafuckingcrossfader. Now if only I could get those youtube players to pitch… hmm…

Posted: April 29th, 2010
Categories: nerd, research, site, technology, web, work
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Comments: No Comments.

Comic Review: Air

air_cv19_02

Ha! It’s that time again! I’ve found some time to read up on my comics list and decided to pick a new one that I hadn’t got around yet. Air, by G Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker is one of the newer ongoing series from DC/Virtigo. It now runs for just about a year and half (october 2008). I already got the first trade-paperback handed to me at my local comic shop about a year ago. Back then I decided not to buy it, as I had just bought about 5 or 6 trades already. I promised however to look it up online. Well, that moment arrived last week and I’ve been reading it through over the weekend.

Air is a fun read! But it has a slow start. It mingles Airport-fiction loosely with Terrorist-detective and does an adequate but not brilliant job on it. I must note that it is written by a woman, G Willow Wilson, and it shows. Not in a bad way, mind you.
Her heroine, Blythe, is a stewardess and a very believable, strong woman. The character gets her power from her no-nonsense attitude and her “girl next door” wit, which makes her a very suited protagonist. There is something chick-lit about the whole ordeal, but it is never annoying, better yet it adds to the story.

After the first introduction of the main characters, Zayn, an Interpol Agent, some flight attendees, a couple of bad guys and Blythe, the story takes of. It develops easily into a love story against a background of terrorist threatened airports and airplanes. A lot of the story takes place in Schiphol Airport, which I find funny as I live an easy 2 miles away from there and can actually see it from my window. The dutch which is  spoken now and again in the strip is almost right, missing a letter or a noun here and there. Which is often the case when English native speakers try to write our language.

*spoilers*

The story after the first couple of issues picks up and enters a new dimension as we find out that our Heroine has some special teleporting abilities called “hyperpracting”, not unlike ‘folding space’ which we know out of the Dune series. Wilson connects this through the Aztec-culture proclaiming that we did not invent symbolism, but that symbolism actually invented us, and spacial relations are nothing more then connected dots (interesting notion, not unlike Plato’s world of forms).

AIR-Cv22

Now the story both deepens and weakens at this point. The central theme of the story; Symbolism as opposed to Euclydian space is interesting but is not worked out nearly enough to strike some ground. The ‘hyperpracting’ is a loose background on which  the relationship between Blythe and Zayn is played out. Admittedly the human part of the story is so good that the loose ends in the philosophical part are soon forgotten, but it gets fishy here and there. I think it could do with more support for the paranormal and spiritual claims. The way it’s set up now reads more like new-age-abracadabra.

I did like the winged serpent though.

As it appears there is some ancient technology that allows matter, preferably airplanes, to get from place to place without moving called hyperpracting. Now this technology can only be controlled by ‘gifted’ people, who, more often then not are women. And one of those woman is Amelia Airhart, whom we all know vanished mysteriously when flying as the first women across the Atlantic.

To summarize, the writing is good; it’s not eye-dropping gorgeously good, but is good. Definitely worthy of the DC/Vertigo imprint. The remarks I make here are the only real critiques I have, the story flows fluently (although a bit slow at the beginning) there is always a ‘moar moar moar’-cliffhanger at the end and the supporting characters are believable and well plotted out. There is depth and warmth in this comic, and that is saying a lot.

* end of spoilers *

The art is good. It’s not brilliant. I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s solidly drawn, high realism with very profound expressions. It reminds me a bit of Matthew Sturges) The color could be a tad more expressive. I get a good sense of movement, intelligently positioned and well set, good perspective. In short; it’s good craftsmanship. Still it is lacking something.

In a comic like this one, with a rather outrages plot; the art could make up an awful lot. There are (many) visions and hallucinations in there, and as an artist that would be a good opportunity to go all-out. Experiment more, try to get into the feeling and emotions of the character, rather then draw page after page like a machine.
On the upside; the expressions work really well, the curves and postures all fit perfectly, the artist never ‘overstretches’ himself trying to do an impossible perspective and I never get the feeling he was missing any deadlines. It’s pretty friggin’ well done. but still…

And that goes for the whole comic then. It’s good. Very good at points, but there is an uncanny feeling that it could have been better. It feels like a spin off from a larger comic series that is really excellent ( Like Jack of the Fables ), but it nowhere looses it’s craftsmanship, and is absolutely a fun read!

So in conclusion, should you buy this comic. Well, yes. I think you should. But if you have just bought five trades already then leave it at the shelve and buy it the next time you come around.

Wikipedia: Air

Posted: April 26th, 2010
Categories: comics, general, nerd
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PsysiXX are cool

almost_alive

“It’s so… Alive ?”

Soo… I was tinkering with a project for a company called 9292. The problem was this; I needed to draw buttons (or dots actually) on a map of the Netherlands, only the coordinates are set per city, an not on the actual location. This can result in multiple dots in one place.
Now here is a problem because users need to be able to click on the different dots, which they can’t if dots overlap each other. Agony. Headache. Problem.

So this got me thinking; First, I thought, making some random variations to the x and y coordinates would solve it. Alas; even with random variations dots can still intersect and Overlap.
Then Gnuif pointed me to a system where every second dot in the same place is mapped in a spiral, thus never making them intersect. But although it seemed to work, I didn’t find it satisfactory. All those spirals gave weird and unnatural patterns on my map.

So I tried a different route, adding the dots to a Particle System where I gave all the dots a negative gravitation. With an inverted mass, the dots would repel one and other.
Now if a number of dots happen to be in the same place, they will repel each other until their boundaries stop touching.  Tada! Problem solved.

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Posted: April 20th, 2010
Categories: web, work
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Yes, You need to see this

“5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.”

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check it all at Collateral Murder and bookmark the site

Funny video editing bits

The introduction of digital editing was for television makers the equivalent of switching from the type writer to a word processor. You could now edit 24 hours of film on the fly, giving way to reality television.

This is brilliant. Funny too.

Charly Brooker on Making a news item

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Charly Brooker on Making a reality television

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Posted: April 13th, 2010
Categories: media, propaganda, research, weird, work
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Comments: No Comments.

Flash AS3 Bug of the Week

SecurityError: Error #2121:  Security sandbox violation: SoundMixer.computeSpectrum:
http://www.learningactionscript3.com/wp-content/uploads/mixer/Mixer.swf  
cannot access http://xangadix.marduq.tv/Smoov.swf.
This may be worked  around by calling Security.allowDomain.
at  flash.media::SoundMixer$/computeSpectrum()
at  app::Spectrum/onLoop()

So. I was tinkering with a ComputeSpectrum function in, Flash for Marduq, which basically gives you a music equalizer display. Little bars going up and down with music.. Nifty. So I build it in and started to get really weird security bugs. First I thought it my allowDomain(*) then my crossDomain.xml policy files. Then I asked Urias. Then Daniel. Then I started to scream and bitch and moan. Then I started drinking beer. Then, finally, I found this bug report: [#FP-147] which basically told me to write the fucking spectrum analyzer myself.

It’s these kind of bugs that makes me want to switch platform.

(sigh)

Posted: April 13th, 2010
Categories: nerd, research, site, technology, work
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Multitasking is for the Rich

iphone-dial-retro

Yes, Steve? I want my money back

Ow that is just dandy, Steve;

11:38AM Q: Are you concerned about leaving out your older customer base (with the lack of features for older devices). A: (Steve) Well, a lot of these products that are out there are the most recent products. The old devices will get the update, but they’ll miss some of these features like multitasking. If that’s an incentive for them to upgrade to a new device… terrific.”

So I have to buy a new phone if I want to listen to music and check my mail at the same time. Well, I will buy an new phone, and it’s going to run on Android so I can download porn from the app store. Thank you very much.

11:00AM These ads are looking a lot more like apps. Almost totally separate apps that live inside apps. Is your mind blown yet?

As it turns out with OS4 the iPhone platform will soon run with better iAds than Apps. Go fucking stick it somewhere. Taking the world by the Balls here. And what is also not really to my liking is the fact that the whole printing industry is licking the iPad like crazy; they should; it’s there last resort, but still. I’m slowly thinking of spraying the lot at Apple with some vaporized drug that will make them think that they are fondled with, by catholic priest who have a special interest in the color of their testicles. They want to dig their way unto the balls themself. And they have cutlery ..!

#Update; Also a nice one for the macevangalists; When quizzed on why Apple wouldn’t allow unsigned apps on the iTunes App Store he was equally combative, claiming that:

“You know, there’s a porn store for Android. Anyone can download them. You can, your kids can. That’s just not a place we want to go.”

Ow? But that is exactly where I want to go. Is this idiot seriously claiming that I shouldn’t be watching porn on my own phone? Should we explain again why Video 2000 failed against VHS? Why Joost failed? tsk.

So the next phone will be nice and Android.

More through engadget

But my guess is that they have used it already. So. How do I make money from this?

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Posted: April 9th, 2010
Categories: media, nerd, research, web, work
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Comments: 1 Comment.

Angel Study

Photoshop, patience...

Yes, that actually is Frontal Nudity…

Made with Photoshop. No reference was used.

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