Monthly Archives: June 2018

ZOMG, Lego Hasselblad!

Oh myyyyyy…

Per PetaPixel (which features a great gallery of images):

In all, the build took Sham about 2 hours and used 1,120 different pieces. Sham says she’s hoping to create a system in which you can create photos using the LEGO camera and a smartphone.

Sham has submitted her Hasselblad build to LEGO Ideas, LEGO’s crowdsourced system for suggesting future LEGO kits. LEGO has already selected Sham’s build as a “Staff Pick.” If Sham’s project attracts 10,000 supporters (it currently has around 500 at the time of this writing), then it will be submitted for LEGO Review, during which LEGO decision makers will hand-pick projects to become new official LEGO Ideas sets.

NewImage

[YouTube]

The AI will see you now—specifically, right through your wall

Fascinating:

The system works because those radio waves can penetrate objects like a wall, then bounce off a human body—which is mostly water, no friend to radio wave penetration—and travel back through the wall and to the device. “Now the challenge is: How do you interpret it?” Katabi says. That’s where the AI comes into play.

Now maybe we can get it running in your web browser, too. 🙂

NewImage

[YouTube]

“Bumping the Lamp”: AR storytelling insights from Roger Rabbit (for real!)

If you’re interested in making augmented reality characters feel natural in the real world, it’s well worth spending a few minutes with this tour of some key insights. I’ve heard once-skeptical Google AR artists praising it, saying, “This video is a treasure trove and every artist, designer or anyone working on front-end AR should watch it.” Enjoy, and remember to bump that lamp. 🙂 

NewImage

[YouTube] [Via Jeremy Cowles]

WTF is with this dark pattern in iOS app trials?

Three of the free-to-download iOS apps I’ve tried in the last few days have led with a nasty trap for the less-than-vigilant: If you even want to try this app, agree up front to an expensive (like, orders of magnitude more than a usual app), ongoing subscription that quietly and perpetually renews until you figure out how to stop it.

This upends the normal trial relationship of “If & only if you like this offering enough to buy/subscribe, take action to do so; otherwise you’re off the hook.” Screw that: these apps are getting summarily shitcanned.

Meanwhile I’m amazed that Apple allows this practice to continue.

NewImage

Augmenting (?) Lego reality

Hmm—I’m intrigued by the filmmaking-for-kids possibilities here, but deeply ambivalent about introducing screen time into one of the great (and threatened) pure-imagination oases in my kids’ lives:

Up to four friends can play in the same set on four different iOS devices, and notably all of the virtual aspects of the LEGO AR app will be connected to physical LEGO sets. “We can save our entire world back into our physical set, and pick up where we left off later,” Sanders said.

NewImage

Flying cars (er, pontoon boats?) take a step forward

Someday soon, I really want to come around a corner & see Larry Page (who evidently backs this company) tooling around over a nearby reservoir:

The Verge writes,

The Flyer weighs 250 pounds and sports 10 battery-powered propellors and two joysticks. It looks sort of like bobsled mounted on a couple of pontoons surrounded by a bunch of drone rotors — so, you know, totally safe I’m sure. Its not intended for soaring through the clouds like you’re George Jetson, with a maximum elevation is 10 feet and a top speed (limited by the flight control system) of 20 mph. Kitty Hawk has kept the pontoons for water landings, but gotten rid of the protective netting from the original prototype.

NewImage

[YouTube]

Moatboat: Voice-driven VR creation

Hmm—interesting, if embryonic

 

Use simple sentences to add objects and give them behaviors. Say ‘I need some sheep’ to add sheep into your world. Then give the sheep something to do by saying ‘Sheep eat grass’ or ‘Sheep breed’.

Everything you add becomes part of a working system. By layering multiple objects and behaviors, you can keep increasing the complexity of your creation.

Everything old is new again: Anyone remember The Subservient Chicken? You could ask it to perform more than 300 commands, many of which live on Wikipedia, because the internet is magic. Anyway, driving things via voice for its own sake is generally cool but stupid, but I know someone will do it well.

NewImage

[Vimeo] [Via Mike Rotondo]

Microsoft drops 800+ computers to the bottom of the ocean

…and not just for Teh Lulz. This effort is actually quite fascinating:

The Verge writes,

Today’s underwater data center will be deployed for five years, and includes 12 racks with 864 servers and 27.6 petabytes of storage. That’s enough storage for around 5 million movies, and the data center is as powerful as thousands of high-end desktop PCs. The data center will be powered by an undersea cable and renewable energy from the Orkney Islands. The cable will also connect the servers back to the internet.

NewImage

[YouTube]

Machine learning in trees: Cupertino students build a Smart Wildfire Sensor

Kids these days: Two high school students used TensorFlow, Google’s open-source machine learning tool, to build a Smart Wildfire Sensor, 

Aditya Shah and Sanjana Shah, two friends and high school students from Cupertino, California… built a Smart Wildfire Sensor, which can help predict where wildfires are most likely to occur in a given area so firefighters are better prepared to stop them.

NewImage

[YouTube]