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PopTech | Graphical expression of human emotion — video shows surprising consistencies: A new kind of Turing test?

February 15, 2011

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PopTech | Designer Orlagh O’Brien asks, “What if we try to visually represent the emotions that are running through our body?” She gave a simple emotion-specific quiz to a group of 250 people. Asking respondents to describe five emotions — anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love — in drawings, colors, and words, O’Brien ended up with a set of media she used to create Emotionally}Vague, an online graphic interpretation

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PopTech | Orlagh O'Brien
PopTech | Orlagh O’Brien helps us get in touch with our emotions
Emotionally}Vague

Cloverfield special effects from DVD release — computer graphics, compositing

February 15, 2011

cloverfield poster

The making of visual effects for Cloverfield. In the second video: “Subway Parasites” segment from the Cloverfield DVD’s “Cloverfield Visual Effects” extra. This 2008 disaster/monster “mockumentary” was directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams and written by Drew Goddard.

The film follows six New Yorkers attending a party on the night that a gigantic monster of unknown origin attacks the city. All footage is shot from the perspective of… read more

Related:
Cloverfield website

The significance of Watson

February 13, 2011 by Ray Kurzweil

IBM WATSON Deep QA program running on IBM Power7 Servers (credit: IBM TJ Watson Research Labs)

In The Age of Intelligent Machines, which I wrote in the mid-1980s, I predicted that a computer would defeat the world chess champion by 1998. My estimate was based on the predictable exponential growth of computing power (an example of what I now call the “law of accelerating returns”) and my estimate of what level of computing was needed to achieve a chess rating of just under 2800… read more

Brian Malow blog & Time | Science comedian Brian Malow’s Time video gauges our fears of a machine takeover

February 11, 2011

brian malow

Source: Brian Malow blog & Time — February 11, 2011

Time | Science comedian Brian Malow analyzes our fears of a day when machines are smarter than we are.

Brian Malow blog | I have a new video up on Time about the Singularity. If you don’t know what it is — find out here. I wrote it. Craig Duff shot and produced it. Jim Fields edited. The video complements Lev Grossman’s new Time magazine feature story on Ray Kurzweil. 

Also see:… read more

The Submarines’ song ‘Modern Inventions’

February 11, 2011

declare a new state

The apropos track “Modern Inventions,” from the Submarine’s debut album Declare a New State!, released in 2006. An acoustic version of this track was also used in the closing credits for the documentary The Pixar Story (below).

Related:
The Submarines website

Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see and interact with objects on the tabletop

February 11, 2011 by Sarah Black

(Image: Microsoft)

Microsoft Surface | Microsoft Surface’s vision system can see what’s going on on the tabletop. This allows for all manner of natural user interfaces to be employed both with everyday objects, and objects specifically crafted to work with Surface.

Wikipedia | Microsoft Surface is a surface computing platform that responds to natural hand gestures and real world objects. It has a 360-degree user interface, a 30 in (76 cm) reflective surface… read more

Earth is under seige by alien technology in new sci-fi thriller Battle: Los Angeles

February 10, 2011

Battle LA poster

Promos say this film is “an action thriller about a global offensive initiated by unknown extraterrestrial hostiles.” Looks scary, check out the two trailers below. Here’s the film’s official website from Sony Pictures. The release date is March, 2011.

And in case you’re curious, the ominous song lyrics featured in the teaser trailer are:

“The Sun’s Gone Dim and The Sky’s Turned Black,” by… read more

How fleas jump (not an Onion story)

February 10, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

The anatomy of a flea. Credit: Gregory Sutton

Well, the 44-year mystery has finally been solved, The Company of Biologists just announced. Biologists have settled the argument and resolved how fleas jump: with their toes, not their knees. (Ah, I could have told them that — ever try jumping with your knees, unless you’re a TM practitioner, that is?)

In 1967, Henry Bennet-Clark discovered that fleas store the energy needed to catapult themselves… read more

Social Times | 3D projection mapping taking the advertising world by storm

February 8, 2011

3D-Projection-Mapping

Source: Social Times — June 11th, 2010 | Megan O'Neill

3D projection mapping has recently emerged as one of the coolest forms of advertising, with big companies like Nokia, Samsung and BMW projecting beautiful 3D video displays on buildings around the world and sharing their campaigns on the web. 3D projection mapping has become something of a recent obsession for me, as well as for the advertising world. Read more about this technique and how it’s being used by brands… read more

Singularity video game by Activision

February 8, 2011

(Image: Activision )

While the concept behind this video game is likely riffing on the various defintions of singularity from physics, as opposed to the metaphorical “technological Singularity,” it’s clear that the term has wormed its way into mainstream pop culture, and is having a strong impact on the cultural zeitgeist.

Wikipedia | Singularity is a video game developed by Raven Software, published by Activision Blizzard, Inc. and… read more

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Singularity official website by Activision
Activision Blizzard, Inc.

Bigelow to lease space habitats to clients in seven nations

February 7, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Space habitat photo: Bigelow Aerospace

Bigelow Aerospace has announced plans to lease space aboard its inflatable space habitats to seven clients in The Netherlands, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirate of Dubai, according to Aviation Week.

At the meeting in Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, Bigelow Aerospace founder Robert Bigelow stated that one of the main types of customers that his company is looking at is… read more

Animusic’s virtual reality instruments of the future

February 7, 2011 by Sarah Black

Animusic LLC logo

Animusic’s fascinating and novel approach to creating and animating virtual instruments is full of possibility for the future of augmented and virtual reality.

Wikipedia | Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, the company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action,… read more

Video Source: Animusic, LLC

Related:
Animusic's YouTube channel here
Animusic, LLC

Julia Map generates fractals with just a browser

February 4, 2011 by Amara D. Angelica

Julia Map blue fractal

Google Labs has launched Julia Map, a fractal renderer in HTML 5. which lets you generate and explore fractals — specifically, the Julia set and Mandelbrot set — with just a browser (no need to launch a program).

It uses the Google Maps API to zoom and pan into the fractals. The images are computed with HTML 5 canvas. “Each… read more

TechCrunch | Lady-finder app hits the store — totally serious

February 4, 2011

lady finder

Source: TechCrunch — February 1, 2011 | Alexia Tsotsis

TechCrunch | Geo-location has come to this: After three weeks in review, Wheretheladies.at, a web app that aggregates Foursquare checkins by the female gender, is now available on the iPhone. The concept OF A BIG COMPASS POINTING YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF LADIES is so unprecedented that Apple actually called co-founder Jeff Hodsdon on his cellphone to ask about the app during the review process.

Co-founded by… read more

Jeopardy!, IBM, and Wolfram|Alpha

February 2, 2011 by Stephen Wolfram

About a month before Wolfram|Alpha launched, I was on the phone with a group from IBM, talking about our vision for computable knowledge in Wolfram|Alpha. A few weeks later, the group announced that they were going to use what they had done in natural language processing to try to make a system to compete on Jeopardy!

I thought it was a brilliant way to showcase their work —… read more

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