Dubstep Love

A long personal journey through the evolution of music

I can barely contain myself - for the first time since 15 years I am excited like a little kid again. The reason is music - music for the clubs but also music for the home - a kind of music that fits strangely into any mood and continues to make me smile almost every day. To give you the right mood first a soundtrack to the journey I am taking you on:


When I was reading Gibsons Neuromancer some long years back I stumbled over the scene of the space Rastafari listening to dub in the lower cramped confines of a space station. Up to that point I loved the story and was totally immersed - I am having really vivid head films when I read so as long as the story seems believable I am in a different universe actually seeing it all in detail. Yet this scene somehow didnīt stick - it ripped me right out. It just didnīt fully fit into a space station - even so it was a funny idea of the author. It was the dirty analog feeling and the beach images and the old rastafaris making dub. My mind just wouldnīt believe they would roll their spliffs to that lowtech music on a hightech space ship - no matter how run down it would have been.

I have always listened to any kind of music you can imagine and didnīt really develop a taste for music that you can call taste until pretty late in my life. MC Hammer, Depeche Mode, ACDC, Kraftwerk, Genesis (yes Phil Collins - please beat me to death) where my early "favorites". With the fall of the wall things took an unexpected turn.

The reunited Berlin - it was like a new huge playground that waited to be explored and exploited. For me it mainly offered one thing - an absolute uncontrolled club scene that I was attending and getting involved with at a very young age. Of course that influenced my music taste quite a bit - I was going fully electronic for a long while - it didnīt really matter what but of course it being Berlin it was mostly that specific powerful housy style in the beginning that really got me. Some parties where so insanely energetic its hard to describe it in words.

Over the years then I got introduced to drum and bass and really fell in love with the slower more dreamy songs that genre implied. Somehow at that time magically Dub appeared in my life - I thought really hard where it actually came from - I donīt know - probably a song heard somewhere then getting into it more. Lee Perry, Mad Professor, Burning Spear - I bought tons of CDs with about any kind of Dub you can imagine and I loved it - but somehow it was dead music it was at a standstill there wasnīt anything really excitingly new coming out. Eventually I got bored and moved on - still playing it now and then.

11 years ago I started VJing. Playing visuals in clubs puts you in a very unique - if not always comfortable position. Standing there behind your laptop like a geek you have to listen and coldly analyze the music all night long - you listen to the breaks but also for the mood and the energy of the tunes. You also try to sense the energy of the room and either go with it against it amplify it calm it - whatever you think is appropriate. I have played by my last count 270+ gigs. Most of them all nighter - meaning 10+ hours for 270 nights same style of music. The styles changed - lots of electronic house music but also Jazz, Reggie, Rock, HipHop & some Punk - but mostly electronic in any form. After all its what I grew up with learned to love and where I had the most amazing experiences. Yet slowly but surely things started to get boring - I attributed it to me being in the clubs all the time and having to work. Then about three years ago I stopped the weekly gig sessions concentrated on other things and just went out for the fun of it (mostly). It sucked. I know people who came with me disagreed with me back then but really the spirit was out of the rooms. I debated with myself and friends what the reason for this could be. The music hadnīt changed much their where still fresh clubs in warehouses popping up - regardless it just wasnīt the same anymore. Some parties had on the surface a good vibe until you figured out that 100% of the people where totally and utterly wasted. You always had the drugs in the clubs of course but it was only adding to an athmosphere that was already nice and powerful - its totally different if people just take the drugs to get going at all and this is what I witnessed more and more.
After a while I got it - it must have been the music - I was utterly bored of it and subconsciously I think most of the people in the clubs are. Yes "minimal" is still heralded as the end of all music in the cooler clubs of Berlin - but its always the same same same and same in different shades of same. Its predictable boring without surprises and if the suspense in that music would be reenacted in a movie you would fall asleep after only 2 minutes.
Now its not sooo much different then what was on 15 years ago - what has changed then? Times have changed. As I have written in my VJ theory already I can repeat that here too - time has speed up, things have become more complex and to invoke any feelings you have to add a whole 'nother level of energy to it. A simpler example for anybody to see what I mean - look at an average horror movie from 1970, 1990, 1995, 2000 and now. It says all - the gore is multiplying 100 fold over each time period just to invoke any kind of reaction in people. While in 1970 you have maybe 3 cuts per minute you sometimes have 3 edits per second nowadays. Why would it be any different for music?
Bored with the house music I sidetracked myself with going back in time (not to phil collins ;) and generally just opening up to any kind of music again - as wide range as possible.

Through the local DJ around here (Jóse and mogreens) I was introduced to Brokn Beatz and electronic Jazz. I hated it at first. I still canīt totally say that I ever liked it. The nice thing about this kind of music was that it was not boring. It has always been a total challange to vj to that music - trying to see the breaks coming up and reading the ever changing mood is very hard. For the normal listener who doesnīt want to get deeply involved with the music its very hard to draw energy out of that music - while in the boring department its far beyond any other style listed so far - I just never couldnīt fully get into it and I really tried.
Just recently I found some temporary shelter with some local Punk bands. Why did it drive me to punk? Energy - raw freaking energy - energy that was still powerful enough to move people. God there is something about screaming singers and guitarr riffs that is unbeatable in the energy department.

The story could end here and I would still be looking for my hail mary pass to music heaven. Why? The problem with Punk as with pretty much any handmade music I have ever listened to is that after 10-20 minutes I get bored - it seems the same. Yes the music lovers can tell me there are nuances in there and I just have to listen closely and then it wonīt be boring. I am there to get my energy pushed inside a group that gets the same energy pushed. Its the ritual why you go in the first place - a convection of energy in the room can lift your spirit for days on end and give you an evening worth remembering - whats the fun in taking the music apart - so you can be cool and talk about it? Unless you are doing music yourself I donīt see the point. So Punk - nice distraction and I still like to go - but still there must be something advancing coming up please no?

It did - less then a year ago I started to stumble over something that I first took for an advancement of Drum and Bass - it sounded different then drum and bass - but on some level familiar to me. It wasnīt really revolutionary yet here was a whole force of new music called freaking Dubstep. I was skeptical. I had been listening to more dub recently again as there seemed to be some movement in root dub to get electronic but its wasnīt the Dubstep thingy by far. The early Dubstep that I listened too was just so close to some jungle tracks in the early 90s. I almost thought ok thats it with music from now on we are going in circles back to the past and forward again - it seemed all music styles had been mixed with each other and advanced to a point where just the music nerds could figure out that it was new. Its really been about five years since I really could discern a certain radically new style - since then - silencio. Yet here was this really heavy drum n bass coming around the corner that somehow grooved slowly. I listened hundreds of hours of dubstep internet radio channels. It was good - very powerfull - yet stil there was something missing - it was too dark to heavy to monotonous still. While it gave me 2 hour bursts of energy I had to turn it off after a while it just didnīt stick - I was again getting a bit sad about it - as they used dub - my old time favorite in the name and if that didnīt evolve that was probably dubs last chance or so I thought.
Then something happened that changed it all. It got diverse it morphed with the electronic dub we had been playing in our podcasts. There it was dubs soul together with raw energy and speed of drum n bass mastered as if it was an electro song and even inside one song more diverse then a whole night of minimal techno. It wasnīt to be the only song in that direction. More and more I heard here and there and then I had my first Dubstep party with this "new" kind of dubstep - the dub step with more dub in it - in a Punk bar in Potsdam. There is something about "special" parties that is hard to describe - its the vibe the connection with the other people in there. This party - even so extremely small - was like that - no chemicals - but a lofty vibe with smily persons who just canīt stop to groove.

In the last two month since then its exploding - Dubstep has gotten so diverse that its eating up about any and all music styles in its path - dub was always playful with samples but what is happening at the moment is on a whole new level and not only that its rarely really cheesy its mostly really fun and uplifting and powerfull - heck it can even be played live and still invoke all its positive things as I was allowed to witness last weekend. Its music girls enjoy and even people who normally hate ANYthing electronic like it and dance to it. And even after 10 hours constant listening it just doesnīt get boring (good DJ or mix is still essential of course).

There was once long ago a party in the Berlin Pfefferberg where 9teen and gregoa played under the name "chill at will" - it was in retrospect one of the top 10 parties I have ever been too - even so it was the chill out room. The concept of the duo was to mix very chilled music with danceble and energetic music - people freaked out. Dubstep - like I have experienced it lately - is exactly "copying" that concept but its much smoother as its all based on the same rythmic concept and flows together like water. Going slow then ultra fast (think gabba fast) in less then 2 minutes with basses that push your stomach inward and it all feels natural. I am totally obsessed - in my view its a new beginning for music. The boundaries have not been reached - its very exiting. The last time I witnessed something like that was in 1993 - the early days of Techno. And with it goes an early scene without pretentious people just like the early days. People scream again tick out just to then talk to each other on a slower bit of music - raw feelings in the room no hiding no "checking out". Ultra lovely.

So to vindicate Mr Gibson - he was maybe right when he said the Rastafaris of the future listen to dub in the space station - he just forgot to add "step" to it. If I would read the book again that scene would not get me out of my film anymore. Needless to say I am very very happy and feel really lucky that I see this much exciting music development in my lifetime - to all you dubstep producers out there pushing the boundaries - YOU ROCK.

Some links: Dubstep Forum for Berlin
Badda Boom Sound Reaggy Ragga Dancehall Dub and Dubstep from Potsdam
soundcloud/dub-zone Wide variety of different dub tracks Whicked live played dubstep from Berlin
Spoke DJane playing and producing wonderfull dubstep


The Thing about Augmented Reality

Ever since I heard of augmented reality games and subsequently read William Gibsons "Spook Country" I have been mesmerized by the idea of augmented reality and location based art. I have long come to the conclusion that the natural evolution of the web is to get its foothold into the real world. Since "Spook Country" I have gained quite a clear understanding of how that might come to happen. For those not having read the book - besides the forgettable story of some secret container and a group of random people locating the book talks at length about a network of artists who use mapping data from the world and put virtual artistic pieces into it.
The big problem is that you have to wear some quite sophisticated hardware to see these artwork (some is fictional some is documentary - like a reenactment of a dead famous person laying where he actually died - its gibson and he is "noir" ;) also the location information is quite difficult to generate.
Now in the last 2-3 years things have changed considerably to make this happen faster then I thought ever possible. I guess it all started with the Wii gaming console and its motion sensors and at the same time the ubiquity of GPS receivers arriving in mom & pops cars. Both created a mass market for sensors that are absolutely vital for AR. Each one on its own is already fun and powerfull - the one "sees" where you pointing the other tells you and your machine where you are. Its not a stretch that when you combine both a machine nows where you are and where you point/look put in a compass and you have hardware wise an almost perfect system (there are some quirks with the motion sensors and earths gravity not beeing stable etc pp but its only a matter of time (and how many sensors) to get this ironed out to perfection - WiiMotionPlus anyone?).
Now then came the iPhone - I know - a big yawn. But what the iPhone did was put a motion sensor and gps in one device. That was surpased by some Android phone which also put the compass in (now the iPhone has that too). Now the iPhone had a the problem that the APIs to get to the raw camera data are locked up behind bars so the attention for AR shifted completely to the Android platform (thanks god) for now where there are multiple projects that want to give you a platform to create AR content.
This is where it becomes extraordinarely interesting. What kind of content could that be. If you just think about it for a split second you mind will explode. A good working fluid AR system can give you all the content we have and put it in reality.
Fiction, Documentary, Games, Concerts, Guides are just a few examples. It can be linear (as in a soundwalk) or nonlinear (as in a game). It all happens in reality it can involve one person or 100 of person. Imagine for the sake of it a "Lara Croft" kinda multiplayer game one person in one city pulls an artificial lever and the other person in another city sees in realtime a door opening. Ugh wait - there is something wrong here. Yes the one shortcoming there still is - the interaction is all inside the "virtual" world while that might be overlayed in a cool way to the real world - fictional stories, historic documents etc pp. The thing that would break all dams is if the machines could "see and react" to the interaction in the real world. That would mean a) very good camera tracking b) object recognition c) reason. It will come but until then there is a lot of possibilities to explore. Its very exciting to see this happening - its a new media born and I am actually alive and old enough for once to see it from the very beginning and maybe even take part in it.


Watch the Watchers Do Their Dirty Work

3-22-09-taser-axom-system.jpgTASER International teams with to create the AXON a secure police recording system that is fully portable and strapped on the head. Now there is multiple things going on here why this is noteworthy. For one it sends (streams?) the data directly to the servers of in an encrypted secure way. That means nobody (also not the cops themself) can temper the footage. That means it could be an effective tool to watch the watchers and make them accountable for "mistakes" that might happen when an arrest or house search or such is being made. That of course would mean that makes the videos available to the public at large but I think this might be even a business model for them so I actually do seem to think this is likely. Now there needs to be a law that prohibits the nice policemen from turning these things of in the heat - make it a felony punishable with a prison sentence or immediate suspension from the job to avoid the "oh I forgot to turn it back on" kind of moments that these fellow friends would likely have at times.

Now that this is covered I would like to raise a voice that this whole system needs to make it to the general market for everyone and the next best VJ to wear all day. Imagine not having to worry about how long the memory stick in your pocket has capacity but instead you can record you whole day onto a server of your choosing (probably your own home server for the more intimate moments) all wirelessly and you wear just a black blob over your ear - no fugly sunglasses or baseballcaps or fake eyes or such - yes that clearly means I WANT ONE :) but I am sure the bright people at Taser int. have figured that out already and present us a mass market version (probably sans encryption so to give back big brother what has been taken from him).

via engadget


3d Scanner with Lego

scan12.jpgThings that used to cost around a million and one buck just a very short time ago seem to be available for almost nothing these days - especially if you roll your own. Such the case with 3d scanners it seems - while only 5 years ago its was inconcievable to even dream about owning a 3d printer - things started to get interesting 2 years ago when the prices dropped into the sub $5000 range and the first efforts of DIY open source 3d scanners appeared on the ether. Now we drop into the sub $300 range with a laser 3d scanner made out of the Lego NXT system. Oh good are the times.

via make blog.


Leg Lab

My robot friends grow legs can jump and make rolls in the air.

Via Tims Twitter.


The TED talks that nails it all.

It has been posted everywhere and the reason is that this TED talk explains the problem and solution as precise as it can be defined in a humorous easily digestible way. The only thing we need to find out now is how to fasten and embrace the reboot and make the transition gentle to our planet that enabled us to get there.


E-Paper at last

epaper-taiwan-24-inch-wow-rm-eng.jpegThe thing you see in Sci Fi movies - moving wallpapers and newspapers that update as the news happen. It has been a long time coming with first time mention of a working e-paper technology was like 10 years ago at least. While there have been ebook readers in first generation and magic ones with unicorn hairs embedded the real first epaper that really knocks me of my feet is the one shown here at a Taiwanese Book show. Impressive big clear crisp paper like and even the cmyk colors are there. Now just holographic storage quantum computing and some solution to the pesky energy problem and we are all set for a sciFi future…

via Engadget


crowdSpring the end of the design bussiness

It had to happen and I like how it happens. The bussiness I trained for in long years will not be the same anymore. CrowdSpring is a website aimed at destroying the "professional" design market once and for all - that is the multithousand dollar design projects that made circular logos with helvetica. What the website does is let a company make an offer for designs like logos, website etc. For example a logo goes between $200-$1000 at the moment - thats about the money a professional design firm asks just to come to the first meeting. Then everyone and their dog can submit logos and the design company can then select the one they want and the recipient gets the money - no matter where he/she is - in bed or in the high decorated office with the $2000 lean back chair. I am more then certain that this will catch on big time and in the process will probably completely wipe out the "pro" design market with its (wo)man in black. This is especially true in a time when firm want to cut costs and there are more firms doing inhouse design for the more complex stuff (like supervising a CI).
So if you need a logo go to crowdSpring offer $300 and get 1000 custom made for you to choose from in return.

And for the snooty designer out there - its gonna hit everybody.


A new Era of Airships to come upon us?

Aeolus-Christopher-Ottersbach.jpegYou know state where I live saw the death and the rebirth of one of the coolest vehicles ever built by humans (sans the bicycle). When the Hindenburg crashed the era of airships came to an unforeseen end - even so the concepts for future airships had everything you ever wanted - slow quite low fuel flight across the world. The problem with the Hindenburg was of course the wrong filling - you ainīt put a high explosive gas in huge quantities atop people and wrap it with burning fabric and install sparking engine beneath it - the consequences where that the only airships you could see since then have been the small blimps that are mainly used for advertisments and low altitude tourist tours (very few at that). about 10 years ago not far from where the Hindenburg crashed someone secured lots of funds from the government to revive the airship in all its glory. Sadly the guy was not good at bussiness and besides building the biggest hall mankind ever build - for the construction of the airships - nothing has come out of this endeavoure except the dream that airships are actually a really nice way to travel and transport goods (if you leave out the highly exploding hydrogen of course). The concepts even showed feasibility to transport goods as much as trains do but with much less environmental cost. Now the construction hall is a fake rainforest eating up so much CO2 that you could power a whole city and need another rainforest to offset the costs - and its horrible sterile from what I heard.
So by now you should be aware that I love airships - to my delight Inhabitat - my favorite "green" blog - has posted an article about a Zeppelin that could be straight out of a sci-fi movie - except that it exists and roams the earth pedal powered (so it combines the two most amazing vehicles ever created by mankind ;) in a zen slow smooth kind of way. It can land everywhere without any infrastructure needed.
The caveat? Helium - the gas that fills the sail.

Although the gas is the second most abundant element in the universe, it is a relatively rare and finite resource on Earth and must be extracted via low temperature gas liquefaction or recovered from natural gas.

There always is a problem... Nonetheless there is hope that this might catch on and we find a synthetic gas that can be had more easy!

More pictures here.


The hippy surfer dream car

solar powered - just $129.000,00 if the vapor becomes a product. From inhabitat

One Eyed Asks for Camera

oneeyedtanyavlach.pngIts like a dejavú for me of some sort. You know you come up with a story that you set in 10-20 years of the future and then only 2-3 years onward its already happening around you. First there was the viable solution for the tatooed interface featured in Kalkin:Revelation and then there is this blogger/artist who lost an eye in a car accident and now asks for engineers to make her a camera that she can plop into her empty eyesocket so she can blog about what she sees through her not so own eyes - just like my main character Ping - oh btw the tatoo interface and the eyesocket work in unison for ping - maybe that would be a good interface for the new cyborg lady from california too?

One Eyed Tanya Vlach


Speed Racer Meets Quad - future pop comic on the streets of Berlin

quadster001.jpgI am really not into any kind of motor sports but yesterday I came across a speed quad and thought I was temporarely beamed into a future that came straight out of a cool comic book. I had to look for a while and found that the vehicle in question is made by GG Quad. They only sell you a kit to roll your own. Sets you back between $55.000 and $65.000. I saw the one that you see in the picture in white and somehow all the motorcycles around it have lost all the "I want to be badass" appeal (to me at least). If you are interested go to the site for more pictures for various color combinations and addons.


Rapid Eye: Every Day a picture from any point on earth - made in Brandenburg/Germany

rapideye.jpgI know that there are a lot of people out there dreaming of an "realtime" google maps in ultra high resolution - for some its a nightmare, for others its fun, for the next a business opportunity and for a small number a survival tool and for some freaks a surveillance tool. Well we are not at the point yet anyway so no need to get hyped up - but we are one step closer now. I was happy to learn that a company that is based in Brandenburg Germany (so its almost local for me - the town that hosts this very website) has been sending five satellites into space since 2007 that are making ultra fast very high-res pictures anywhere on the globe. Rapid Eye AG is private company running these together with the German Aerospace Center which has bought the rights to use the data scientifically. They are also for sale commercially.
Today was the opening of the operation center and everything apparently works as expected. I hope I can get a photo from then on here through my informant Cassandra (thanks!).

More about it in an old german article on


One Step closer to the Bionic Eye

bioniceye.jpgIn a surprise announcement (read as: nobody saw that coming just yet) researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created an elastic image sensor that is mounted on a flexible silicone bubble that can be inflated. The silicone bubble protects the sensor and gives it heliospheric viewing angle. This is a big step forward for bionic eyes but in the shorter term (until they figure out how to wire this to the brain that is) it will revolutionize the way photographic camera lenses will work because stuff recorded with this sensor is always undistorted - something that lenses can only accomplish when there are lots of very very high quality lenses behind each other (read takes away light and makes the lenses extremely expensive). Also this approach would likely help to focus sub- and objects and do so much faster (inflate or deflate air instead of moving some heavy glass forward backward. It will be interesting to see how long this takes to hit the market - I think this will get into cellphones first as there is the biggest market with the biggest need of smaller lighter cheaper.

Original Article at


Mankinds more beautiful creations - the air jelly

If we try and go inside ourselfs we are apperantly capable of making beautiful and usefull creations that inspire - like this Airfloating Jelly Fish.


Enter the Holographic century

There have been hundreds of devices out in the last 100 years that all attempt to bring true 3d visuals to the masses. Now I tripped over the Cheoptics360 and I think this could be the real deal. While the website and the net in general is spare on details on how it actually works it surely looks like a R2D2 style hologramic projection is what this machine does - but watch the videos (and remember the videos you see are 2d so the 3d effect is not sooo visible - yet you can make out the floating object in front of the all the backgrounds which is a good indicator that this is actually working and quietly enough (read: no rotating mirrors) to be installed in an airport lounge. And large enough to eventually give us almost immersive environments... I still suspect this to be the old mirror trick but since its visible from 360 degrees this canīt be. Expect to see you live size game characters appear holographic in your living room in the next 15 years until then enjoy the video... or visit the developers vizoo website.


Prostetic arms shape up

lukearm.jpgThe Iraq war with its tens of thousand of lost limbs is creating a huge demand for prosthetics and it seems with lots of money to be made the artificial limb industry is working hard to get this bionic arm thing working. The inventor of the failed Segway two wheeled nobody needs it personal transportation device tries his genius anew and creates the first robotic arm that can pick up grapes and bricks without destroying either. It gives sensory feedback (although crude) and has a plethora of control mechanism (foot taps, nerve endings and muscle). Donīt let the prosthetic overlords take over out earth!

Watch the video at spectrum online.

HoloDeckCube coming near you

A Dutch comany called HoloCube starts marketing a similar called Device that lets you project movies in thin air. Its about 20 inch and geared towards the 3d advertising market (why? because it probably costs lots of mo and therefore the advertising market is the only market it could survive on). Expect StarWars HD quality holograms at your next fair visit. But donīt put you hand in one of these or they might get beamed to a 3rd dimension. (oh and of course in the video below you can NOT see the 3d effect as the video itself is only 2d! so just imagine the videos floating in air - if you believe the company. It must be the hardest thing to market anything "3d" with 2d mediums.)


Contact Lenses as Screens - a first step in the lab

6552_web.jpg6553_web.jpg Again one of those "wow yeah" moments by just seeing the picture. After all these ultra ugly "screens inside sunglasses" product coming out in the last week its refreshing that technology still holds the potential of actually making itself hidden in the long run. The University of Washington has developed a process to print small circuitry on an flexible eye safe material. The mother-eye-board can also emit light.
Good great god - imagine having a ultra small spy cam that can see in the dark (or two for stereo vision) and you just wearing these contact lenses. The only give away would be that your eyes would glow eery blueish from the OLEDs - you might need to wear sunglasses after all for not being accidently shot by people who think you are alien.
The press release forgets to mention how the things are powered (inductive power right on your head canīt be that healthy) or how a filmfeed could be fed to them but I am sure we see this down the road - the potential (also for - military - so big funding I guess) are overwhelmingly cool.
Have a small scale spy fly hovering over you and provide you with a fly view of your surrounding area, quickly search for a missing item while sitting on your desk... ah endless possibilities...

read more here:

20.12.07 future galore


One of these website where you go and think "wow" - its great even so too heavely on the flash side for my liking but content is king and this side has plenty. I still try to wrap my head around it but it seems like a kind of social networking side for artificial lifeforms - or carbon lifeforms with an artficial mind. Its about postsingularity and the positive advancement of humans - its great. Some of the art on there is simply stunning. Some of the shortfilms are moving you know just a great interesting site to check by. Invitation only if you want to join the team.

Blog Entries there include "I Donīt Think I Believe in Infinity" or "Algorithms are the intellectual currency of the future" or "Mystery space machines overhead" - if this is stuff you like with futuristic images then you should check out"

All pictures from the space collective website - get the correct copyright ownership over there!


Page full of Concept Products

bed.jpgThe occasional concept art that inspires you inspires me and when I stumbled across this page I was temporarily intrigued, not by the paper thin nokia concept phone, nor by the see through vaio display but the rug that can be a safe heaven or a bed or a rug...

See it all here:

Fully Solar Powered Computer

In our last podcast I was talking about the rollable Brunton Solar Panels. Now I stumble across a whole computer setup running linux that can be powered completely by these solar rolls because together with a 8 inch monitor (tiny) it only consumes around 20 watts (8 watt for the computer and 12 watts for the sceen). The freedom to have a working computer after the apocalypse (that hopefully will not blacken the sky) costs you $500.

See the aleutia product here:

PS: This product has of course more merits then giving the geek a apocalyptic backup plan - mostly aid workers in africa who need to use a computer in the wildnerness - for that I really think its great to have such technology.


Software Company Ethics 2.0 and the pleasant surprise I had today

First and foremost: I am a very skeptical person and I am very cynical especially when it comes to today companies and their policies but what happened today shattered a small part of my world view about kapitalism in a very positive way.

A little background story: As most of you dear readers know I am doing lots of 3D animation visual FX and similar virtual pop art media work. I do this since 1992 where I started with a program called Silver3D (that then became Imagine) on an utlra fast Amiga 2000. Anyway this backstory is getting out of hand already. I love doing 3d - or at least I love what comes out in the end because it allows me to put into visual form for other people what I see inside myself (even the boring small stuff) so for me its the only way to share my inner vision. The big problem is the technical side. It consumes so much energy that I can´t just pump out stuff. Things are getting better on a grand scale in this field. Jez – I can´t keep focus. Anyway one of the coolest things that I love to do is integrate 3d into real life footage. Its lovely and puts my innerpictures right into clash with reality (and I love it). BUT for doing that you either have to take a camera on a tripod (boring) or try to recreate a real world camera move inside your computer through a process generally called "tracking" today. While there might be a third way that I will hopefully talk about soon the tracking is the state of the art thing to do. Now as easy as it sounds it is not. Its a thing that until a couple of years ago you did by hand (yes I did that by hand in a 1996 project for a local bar commercial with a flying dragon - 30 seconds handtracking 3d is something you never forget in your life as a BAD experience). Of course it was the military that developed computerized tracking guides for their missles and some Hollywood studios got to think that it would be cool to use these algorithms and created half intelligent match moving programs. Now as it is with hollywood and its inner circle - they do not like healthy competition purely based on artistic merits (some bad tongues might interpret this as they would loose their monopolistic propagandistic business model) so in good american manner they keep competition out by either completely shutting out the public (they only use "inhouse software" thats never released in any form) or they price software at sums where any independent artist would need to sell both kidneys half a liver and three quarters of a heart to get their hands on it (outside the wrath of the studios that is) - oh and its not just Hollywood its the whole entertainment "industry". But I am loosing track again (pun pun). Match moving is no exception and in the early days matchmove software cost you the sum you would pay for a house and a garden. Match Mover I think it was that cost like upward of 50.000 USD until like 2 years ago then it all changed. First a university project came to the "market" called "icarus" and it rocked (and it was available for the mac - the only one at that time). It was a very crude interface and all but what it did was generate very accurate 3d tracks. The absolutely shocking thing was: It was free. Yes some student/prof hackers did something for free that the close to hollywood developers where charging you the price of a house for. (Just for the record about the same time it was when Alias|Wavefront|nowAutodesk Maya was dropping in price from like 20.000 USD for the "small" version to 1.500 USD). So the monopoly of big industry studios in terms of 3D was falling like the sky on a doomsday. Then when all independent 3D artists where dancing in the street filmed by shaky cheap DV cameras and later accompanied by their 3d visions the software disappeared. Speculation and conspiracy theories emerged in the whispery hallway chatters in rundown artist mansions all over the world. Did a big hollywood post house bought the right to the software, did a rival company made "contribution" to the University were the software was developed - nobody really knew until a small message on the icarus website hinted that the developers where going to become independent developers and form a company called The Pixel Farm (I am not so sure on that part, PixelFarm might have existed before, but for the drama lets say they created it). The company was also based in some English country side rather then on the self-dominating westcoast of the US of A. So they brought out Icarus under the new name PFTrack (PixelFarmTrack) und they did so for a far lesser price then the original about 4500 Euros and on top brought out cheaper siblings like PFMatch (750 Euros) and PFHoe (150 Euros) that seemingly put the 3D in reach the indy artist. Just last year another app entered the market called SynthEyes (crude interface not good project management but good tracks) which sells for like 350 USD. In the end if you are serious about 3D tracking you need the big PFTrack or one of the other big two (Matchmover boujou) that came down in price to match (pun again) PFTrack. PFTrack for me would still be the choice as it offers about every option available for 3D tracking and matchmoving and scene reconstruction and track project management available and you really want all that for a good workflow without boundaries. Still I mean 4.500 Euros come on, what artist is gonna be able to pay that chunk of money?

The real story (god I wish I would stay on point better): Having an ok start into my after school career at the moment and with some 3d projects that need tracking lining up on the horizon I decided to try out some demo versions to see what I really need and what tracking software would work with me best and so applied to PixelFarm to get a 3 Day fully functioning version of the app — and I loved it a lot.
After 4 days I got a lovely formulated email saying something like "thank you for testing of our product if you have feature suggestions, saw bugs or have general commentary please let us know". Needless to say that the inner betatester came out in me and I gave them a long detailed answer of my experience, send them some crashlogs and a very repeatable bug report and about six feature suggestions. A mail came back thanking me and while I planned the bank robbery to pay for the app the communication went silent. That was all about two weeks ago.

- a little pause for the suspense factor -

Today the phone rang with a number somewhere from germany that I had never seen before. Now normally those numbers only call to sell me something (like lottery tickets or "free" bankaccounts for all the money I don´t have or a vacuum cleaner or such shit). So I was reluctant to answer at first. But I do like to hear their sorry attempts to actually win me over (just so I can cruelly hang up on them) so I picked up the phone. A nice voice in broken german answered and ask if its me on the other end. I said sure that it was me already wondering why they get so personal. Then right in the second sentence he mumbled something that I understood - PFTrack. AHA...

- pause for more suspense -

Now I was preparing to ward off a reseller for PFTrack who probably got my contact details from the trial signup. First I offered him to switch the conversation to english (his german was not very understandable) so the conversation went on. He turned out to be really caring and listening and wasn´t in the slightest way pushing for a sale — a new tactic I though (I already mentioned that I am cynical and skeptical right?). Once we were over the smalltalk part of the conversation (great programm blah blah) I told him quite blunt that there is no way in hell that I can afford the program at this stage. Then (and I spare you another suspense pause) something happened that I have not ever witnessed in this capitalistic society. He offered to me that if I have a project coming up that needs 3d tracking we can talk about it that I would get PFTrack for that project for free.


He said they intend to multiply market share and get into the Industry and they need artists that can use the program and a bigger installed user base so that PFTrack can become the industry standard. Ok thats quite a capitalistic thought process but in the subsequent talk he acknowledged that companies need to care for the customers and see their needs to expand themselves and a lot of other things that normally would sound like marketing talk but sounded for once very honest. He also said that whatever I need we work something out - also for a permanent license in the future. Some more niceties and the conversation ended.
I am baffled - I mean we are talking not about a free Donut or something like that but about a 4.500 Euro software. No they won´t give it to me completely for free but help me establish my business. Something that makes SOOO much sense from my and their perspective its unbelievable.

Conclusion or that means the following: Software companies are start to realize that code can´t be sold like hardware. That there are different needs for the same product out there that deserve special treatment. That your installed user base with lots of experience using your software is more important then a single lost(or never to be done in the first place) sale. That leads to a completely new software sales paradigm for the future - the call today was definitely a right step into that direction and I will surely take them up on the offer rather sooner then later. It is a SURE way to get along with piracy or making the reason for piracy mood. I would always pay for software if I earn money with it but I can´t pay 5.000 euros for a software for projects that - at least in the beginning - only garner 500 euros - there is no relation in my not so humble opinion. Software needs to become an individual product that earns money through services (see all and every big opensource project where this works quite well already).

So thanks to Marcos Silva-Santisteban from FES Media GmbH - the german Pixelfarm reseller - for the enlightening conversation.

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Funkstrom at last ?!

Breaking my own rules I have to blog about a tech that has been the running joke on any tech enthusiasm geeks circle (around here at least). The so cool funky named "funkstrom" in german - or much more boring "wireless power" - is seeing the day of light. No, it does not seem to be a aprils fool joke. The - evil american kapitalistic private secret not for investing - company called powercast has been making such a system quietly over the last four years (they don´t even have a website it seems?).
It harnesses something that serbian born Nikola Tesla already proofed functional around 1900 and that I build when east germany was still east germany and every self made electronic device was highly valued. The Funkstrom device (because the english word wireless seems so boring and is filled with pre-filled ideas of wireless internet the company will probably go with their own name - powercast - how lame) will harness Radio Frequency waves mainly from a device plugged into an electrical outlet. These waves are not very valuable further away then a meter degrading one watt of power on the transmitter to about 0.1 watt on the receiver. However the receiver device is also capable of harnessing other RF waves in the room - like TV, Radio, WirelessInternet, Mobile&Cordless Phones or your hacked up microwave that you leave open during the day, bringing me back into that time loop hole when I made that radio that worked without any power whatsoever just harnessing the RF waves to power the headphones (so quietly that you had to be in an absolute quite room to hear anything). Now as a treehugger I might cry foul as every other treehugger will because such a device - on first look - is broadcasting more radiation into our slowly cooking brains who will then mutate to become a giant river monster. Fear not beloved friend of nature and psychic ascendents because the power used by the transmitter will be one watt on initial introduction - thats one watt somewhere in a wall plug. Compare this to the half watt that you are holding right onto your brain when making a cellphone call plus the quarter watt from your wireless transmission that goes straight through you when you sit in front of a shiny laptop and add another half watt from the cordless phones and probably at least another of a quarter of watts through TV and radio transmission in all kind of frequencies and another 1000 watt from your open door microwave and you see a picture forming that says "as long as it is really just one watt with a very radial field of distribution that is quite alright".
With that out of the way most people might say "oh its only receiving .1 watt, how is that useful to anything?" Well the speaker for the company talks about "trickle charging" meaning a lot of devices just laying on the desk anyway will charge constantly over a long period of time - which is good for battery life because what actually destroys recharge batteries (LiIon) - as I learned - is the chemical destroying fast charge of todays devices not the multitude of charging.
That 0.1 watt can also power keyboards, mice, headsets and other small gear that contribute to the desktop cable mess.
Still not all is good and I have to be the fearless treehugger again in an age facing global warming made by mankind because you loose 90% of direct power efficiency with such a device - of course that does not take into account the possibility to harness otherwise lost energy waves flying around anyways.
Now if you want more you can listen to a very indepth interview with the company speaker on the mobile computing authority podcast.
I for one can´t wait for the day that we can say goodbye to each and all cables forever as long as its not used to wirelessly light up even more poor christmas trees.

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Record only the important things in your life

gaze_detect.jpgThe dream of many media gangstas is it to have a constant record of the world surrounding, visual as well as audible (and possible in holographic quality). This "Feed" has been featured in quite a few science fiction writings (gibson etc pp) and as beeing heralded as the ultimate truth tool it is also a privacy fear device par excelance. Even if a camera inside your eyes and a direct soundfeed straight out of your brain would be feasable you still have that enormous amount of data where only a fraction would be interesting - sleeping would just produced a noozle sound and black pictures after all - and you sleep at least 1/2 of the time during the day (daydreaming included). This part of the problem seems to be solved by the Japanese Manabe Hiroyuki working for communication giant NTT DoCoMo. The device trains itself by looking at your attention peaks. Means when you daydream the device turns off an audio/video recording and saves the environmental setting as preset - so when you next encounter a similar situation it turns on automatically without consulting your brain. As anyone can see - this will probably stay away from massmarket at the moment. Original story found at engadget.


Chrystal Cathedral

ST_27_atomic_f.jpgChecking out how the waves that we are are working and why the neutrinos change their state three times a day the Japanese build a research laboratory dubbed the "Chrystal Cathedral". Due to an accident the facility had to shut down after 6000 of the tubes that collect the data crashed under pressure. Now its back to work and will tell us soon the inner secrets of the world unseen. The picture is so impressive that I just need to post it - just imagine standing inside this room.
via wired


The Film-Camera Revolution

Crosspost from LiveCinemaResearchBlog
RedOneCamera.pngRedOneCameraBack.pngLong has it been that indy filmmakers have craved for professional shots just to get DV compression and even more HDV compression over the years while Hobby photographers were outshooting the pros with under 1.000 Euro cameras. Last year panasonic announced the AG-HVX200 to the masses and set out to take over the indy filmmaker market that isnīt falling for the HDV compression hoax Sony and its followers wants to to hype the world with. While competitively priced to the Sony and JVC HDV offerings it sported 4 times the datarate at 4:2:2 (like DigiBetacam the profession broadcast standard) instead of the lousy 4:2:0 of the HDV that shows compression artifacts from ten kilometers away and that virtually kills all post production color correction and keying. On top of declaring war on compression Panasonic also declared war on the tape by including two P2 card slots and an uncompressed firewire out stream - for easy recording to a special firestore (not a normal firewire drive!) harddrive or a computer. It included a MiniDV drive too for recording stand resolution DV video.
Now all this seemed great - expcept for the horribly small and expensive P2 cards and the nondetachable lens (easily circumvented with special filmlens adapters) - the camera has been a huge success throughout the last year.
Now this years NAB was setting out to get boring with no real announcements at all. Yet there comes this company around and trumps a camera that is short of absolutely astonishing - yet a bit more pricey. The RED from the RED Digitial Cinema Camera Company is still in prototype phase but has already a price attached so a market product will follow very soon. First of all it has a CMOS sensor with full 35mm size - think of film depth of field. The sensor is apparently self produced and has no other casing then this camera. Secondly the sensor sports a resolution of 4520X2540. Thats OVER 4K resolution more then traditional 35 mm chemical film can hold. Thirdly it records in RAW format - yes not only is it uncompressed but also sport a higher bit depth for that color correction without limits. It can record up to 120fps in 2k with specific storage option on 60 fps in 4k! On top the camera is completely modular with individual parts to be upgraded individually - like switching out the CMOS censor when a better one comes available. Giving it a new casing that fits your need more (should mount, tripod, underwater skateboard unbreakable) it specifically encourages the community to make mods. Oh and of course it has no tape and sport a HD Raid

Needless to say that THIS is the camera of the future - nothing else can be desired. The price $17.500 for just the body (about a $25k package for a ready to shoot solution). Available for pre-order - no delivery date given yet.

More info at


When Robots become girly again

After Fritz Langs Metropolis there has been a shortage of girly robots it seems. Now that Robots are actually in production all over the world and especially in Japan where all things girly are in fact en vouge it was just a matter of time when the robots get put into a sexy form of some sort and if you are a shiny perfect plastic fetishist you might start to love it even....



Robot Sea Serpents coming to eat you

SeaserpentRobot.pngThe news of robotics donīt stop rolling in. Every day you see creepy automated creatures entering our event horizon. The packmule (that I was presenting drawing a year ago) has made it into the field and the newest of them all is really eerie. A sea serpent that can actually swim and crawl on land has been succesfully tested and videotaped. ACM-R5 runs on a lithium ion batteries and can dive. A video is available on the TechBlog.


Living the Virtual Live and earning Money

This Second Life thing is really beyond my comprehension. When I first reported about it here I thought it might be a big joke when someone shells out $25.000 for a virtual island. Then someone paid $150.000 for a virtual clubby spaceship and now the Second Life currency can officially converted between real and virtual dollars. And more. There are people "living there" that earn their real life money only virtually. Yes a cloth designer quited her day job to design with low polygons. Land owners rent out their bought land. Medicine people train inside the virtual island and making a person who creates low poly medical equipment a fortune. Other "artists" sell low poly sculptures, furniture, homes and and and... the economy in The Second Life is booming - some people making $150.000 real life dollars that is per year. Now is real life so bad that people are creating that alter ego and living it - yet even spending money there? Is this the first step to transhumans? I am going for a walk into the real woods with real snow and frosty cold air blowing into my face for the moment - thank you.

Inspired by the Wired article


Google between God and Death

An interesting article on CNNMoney that is talking about the future of the Search Engine Emperor that we all have that addiction to when it comes to expanding our mind with more or less usefull information from THE net. They interview Ray Kurzweil and a couple of other researchers, futurists and bankers to foresee the future of google. And it goes like this: Either its becoming the evil Media Mogul, or it becomes the Emporer of the Internet, or it will become God once we are ready to upload our soul into the GoogleCollectiveBrain, or it will simply die under its own weight. I would say after seeing the recent discussions on how they do in China and how they would bow down to any government other then their own the active netizens are already becoming aware of the Google gatekeepers power and only one small solution somewhere that would rival the search engine - which is still the core of Google - would take them out immediately leaving shareholders running away as fast as possible leading to a total crash. My bet is here on the distributed search engines like YaCy taking the google crown - especially in the fascist american reality.


Role Model Singularitarian

Listen to what a Singularitarian is all about.

Transparent OLED Screens

md12fo2m_tcm6-57589.jpgIts nice if you read about a new technology that you think would be a great fit for your work. I mean like most VJs dream about a transparent screen for the VJ Apps interface so the crowd can actually see how hard it is to generate the life content for them and that its actually work and not just posing behind a powerbook - right?
OLED displays are the hype for the last few years but only a minimal amount of actual products have hit the market. Yet the Frauenhofer Institut (those with the MP3 codec patent) of Germany has developed a new form of those displays that are transparent. What is even cooler? When searching around where I could grab a test unit I found out that the very same university - University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam - I am still enrolled in and soon finishing at has a group in the same department as I am studying (communication design, product design, interface design) that is at work with those displays to probably develop a new ultra cool interface. Be sure that I will check out the displays myself very soon - if they have them for touching at the school.


Apple patents "I look back at you!" LCD

One for the "the scary future is near" department comes surprisingly from Apple. While I love the general innovation Apple puts into its product its never THAT far ahead of the loop with its products that I would file them under "future fantasie". Not so if the newest patent application makes it into an actual product. The patent talks about a screen that can also look back at you just like you see in the cheesy Starfire movie from Sun and with that Orwell touch to it that your computer looks you straight in the eyes while you are working.
The concept is easy. Put a sensor between every pixel on the LCD panel the sensor then records while the pixel displays.

__ sensor

The question of why is easy answered. The number one problem of webcams and webchats is that you can not look your oponent in the eye while you are talking. You either see him/her on the screen and he sees you looking down or you donīt see him/her at all while looking in the camera and he/she sees you looking at him/her. The "integrated" display would solve that problem. At the same time it could act as (fingerprint)scanner.
Now how you would focus such a beast is not clear (nanomicrolenses only on top of the sensors?). Also have a blanket ready to cover your screen while not using - just in case its watching.


True 3D Advertising in Bars

The MIT advertising lab informs the world on their blog that a company called NextMedia is installing 3D flatpanel screens in high value bars. Without any glasses or other enabling gear guests will be bombarded with 30 seconds true 3D commercial interupted with the bars own program and other stuff that is displayed in 2D on the same screens. Interesting way for 3D viewing to gain a foothold in the media realm - so I am not sure if I would like to be assailed with adverts while I am in a bar paying for drinks - but modern day capitalistic realities seem to have no ethics anymore as more products you pay for sport advertising (lots of rental DVDs in the UK have an unskippable advert in the beginning and recent pushes from cellphone telcos see the new video functionality on the modern phones as a perfect way to push advertising - there is hope so that consumers will resist and a marketing backlash will occur at one point)


Is google working on a superintelligence?

In a recent critique on google the economist writes that google founder Larry Page always saw himself as a world changer (for his own personal vision of a "good" world). The article isnīt giving much information and reads like a google dissing - but the really interesting part is the last paragraph where the unknown author of the article claims:

Google is already working on a massive and global computing grid. Eventually, says Mr Saffo, “they're trying to build the machine that will pass the Turing test”—in other words, an artificial intelligence that can pass as a human in written conversations. Wisely or not, Google wants to be a new sort of deus ex machina.

So the race is up with IBM building a supercomputer last year that makes more then double the number of calculations per second thought the human brain would be capable of and the company with one of the biggest database structure in the world employing a world wide computer grid actually simulating humans intelligence to the degree of a formerly only theorized super intelligence. Lets see if they will be able to control the thing ones they breed it.
On a side note I find it rather fitting that Google undertakes such a project. They likely have the largest database to feed an intelligence in its infancy. The thing could access all and every data of the internet which would make it extremely powerful and knowledged. I think they are in a good position to make this happen - I would give them no more then six years to pull the Turing test.


Asimo 2.0

asimo20handinhand.pngAfter seeing the robot videos on TokyoDV yesterday I was quite impressed on how far robotics have come. Yet today Honda - the maker of the most human like robots - the Asimo series - are introducing version 2.0 of their already outstanding robots. Besides from just walking and shaking hands of presidents they now run in circles, push trolleys and go with you on a walk. Still only very rude in self-judgment Honda seems to have pinned down the mechanical side. They are already working on version 3.0 which will have more emphasis on Artificial Intelligence and self made decisions. Now I still do not understand why no-one is discussing publicly about the impact an even half intelligent robot has on todays culture - just taking low wage jobs for any example - I guess about three quarters could be overtaken by a simple AI inside a robot that must not be much more agile then the current Asimo.
The honda site has lots of videos of the new Asimo 2.0. You couldnīt render them any better at home I guess.



robochi.pngFrom one of the coolest vlogs on the block comes this wonderful video of a Sony Robot performing what looks like Tai-Chi. There are other dancing playing fighting real life robots on the stunning TokyoDV Videoblog - mostly shoot at the Robodex earlier this year. I knew that we have advanced quite far in robotics but looking at those creatures wave, walk backwards, nod their heads have small little gestures (totally unnecessary for movement or survival) throw balls hop around and all this perfectly smooth (no robomotion) its starting to get a little strange and fearsome. Its makes it not a single bit better that they are designed to look friendly. Look at your soon to be workforce replacement by clicking on the above link.


Games are Used for TV Productions

biaeib_screen_f.jpgI had to read the article twice to really get the scope of what we are talking about here. What enthusiasts and gamers have been doing for a while under the machinima brand big TV corporations are starting to mimic and using footage from games to prep up there documentaries. So the days of realtime film creation without lenses, tapes weather conditions and acting up actors are nearing an end? I would say not yet - only in speciality films - but ask me again in five years and my answer will definitely different. Now if someone would make a "film" engine that I can load with my own character (with their own behaviours) and own environments an life like cameras and a focus on realism at 25p 720x576 rather then ultra high frame rate high res low poly - it would be a good start. More on the World War II discovery channel production on

Update: Just on the heals of this story comes anyother one via boingboing that apperently some french independent film makers have completed a whole film using Activisions "The Movie" - a game made to make movies. Sounds cool so far ONLY that Activision is claiming all rights to the finished pieces in their prohibitive Eula. Well there is hope that the open source crowd will come up with something similar soon.

Artificial Hand ....

robothandprotheses.jpg... that starts to look like a hand and works like a hand. Now yes yes we are advancing and our robot/cyborg overlords are near. Are we having a vision for the short future that will come upon us? More info on this wireless touch sensitive 6 motor and 4 nerves only hand protheses here.


Entropia Spacestation goes over for $100.000 real money

30.jpgThe space station that will house the first virtual club that I reported about earlier this week is going over the virtual counter - and now I hope everyone is seated - for $100.000 in real world money. Yes those pixels and bits are expensive these days. This is even more expensive then the $20.000 island in the same virtual world. I am actually speechless.

More info on Siemens E-Paper - Printable Batteries and Funkstrom!

siemensepaper3.jpgsiemensepaper2.jpgThe news blurb about Siemens e-paper lasted for the day and about everyone writing about it put out a "lets see a product" mentality - including me. Now I did get some interesting background information about this technology and how Siemens wants to implement it from my China Connection. Here is an excerpt from the information sheet:

The flexible miniature displays operate using electrochromic substances, materials that change their color when an electrical voltage shifts charges in their molecules. As a result, the molecules absorb different wavelengths than in their original state. The display consists of a electrochromic material holding a pattern of electrodes. A conductive plastic foil serves as the other electrode and the transparent window. To date, the engineers have been using silicon switching elements to control the device. The objective now is to use a printing process to manufacture the entire display, including the appropriate control electronics, from conductive and semiconducting plastics.

Scientists from Siemens Corporate Technology and Automation and Drives are currently optimizing materials that react so quickly that the displays can also show moving pictures. A partner company is already working on integrating the displays into the packaging and production process.

The displays can obtain their energy from printable batteries, which are already available. Because they last only a few months, this solution is only feasible for merchandise with high throughput rates or short-use durations. It may also prove feasible to use printed antennas as a local energy source. They would receive pulses from a transmitter in the shelf and convert the pulses into electricity. The packaging, with the displays, can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner as a composite material.

So besides what we all knew how this would work they specifically want moving images on them AND they even want to print the battery on them AND they are environment friendly (we will see that I guess) AND on top they invent FUNKSTROM! :). So again I would like to state that this is the most promising of all e-papers I have seen out there and they think a 2007 release is a possibility but I highly doubt the FUNKSTROM (for the english readers: Funkstrom is what would likely be translated to wireless power transmission in english) becoming a reality in the first gen products.


Eco Cities in China from the UK

image6584.jpgThe new empire China asks the old one - England - to build them environment friendly cities. The english Arup corporation is in charge of the building and in 2040 China wants the first city - Dongtan - to be as big as Manhatten - by 2010 its supposed to house 50.000 people. All green affordable options are on the table to make it a smogtrafficjampollutionfree selfefficentgreengoodsmelling city. They even want to grow all the food that will be available inside the citywalls - a highly interesting concept. Now the question is - what happens to the old cities if everyone moves over to the high standard new lovely oases will they be the housing for the poor the ones outside the official system? China wants to model three more after construction for the first one has started.


Babel I come to bring you a Fish

littlebabel.jpgAnd The LORD said, "Lo! [they are] one people, and they all have one language, and this is what they have commenced to do. Now, will it not be withheld from them, all that they have planned to do? Come, let us descend and confuse their language, so that one will not understand the language of his companion".
Genesis 11:1-9

babelfishtest.jpg And then came the brilliant writer Douglas Adams (before the Americans could destroy Babel as an act of good) and reported to mankind that their where others who didnīt have gods but space ship with improbable propulsion and inter galactic highways that would need to pass through earth and that they have found a fish that is in contradiction with god and had god made disappear because its improbable for him to be existent. The fish so might be not a living animal but composed of some electrodes to be implanted into your mouth - not ear. They bring together mankind and their many different languages and therefore proof that god doesnīt exist.

What happy world will lie in front of us - if the Vogones wonīt get us before - but then god would exist...


Remote control for humans or first electronic drug?

Imagine you wearing headphones and all of the sudden your feet start to go right instead of straight ahead - an invisible hand is moving you and you canīt control yourself - you start dancing in the middle of the street and you canīt do anything about it. NTT - Japans biggest telephone company has developed what they call "The Human Remote Control". Apparently it sends small electrical currents into your ear and as a result you start moving in ways you canīt control yourself. They have a working prototype where someone can control someone elseīs way of path with a joystick you can even control yourself with the joystick.... It gets more interesting so. When you watch a rendering of a race care driving down the the street the sensation is according to the test journalist from the sf gate like sitting in the car. The most interesting use for me is so the music application he describes. The have hooked up the device (that seems to sit in normal headphones) to a musicplayer and used the musical frequencies to drive the remote - the result is something that you could explain as the first electronic drug like experience making you feel dizzy and disconnected from the world.
Of course there are also bad appliances like torture for the military that could be achieved with that so like all cool new tech take it with a grain of salt. iPod with iDrug headphones? ;)


Cellphone on a Chip

sim_ura.jpgIts more and more confusing if I should put certain products into the "ComputaStuff" or the "FutureIsNear" category as some products seems to be straight out of Sci-Fi movies of the past. Now Sharp has introduced something that is so übercool (yes with umlaut :P) that its hard to not say "FutureIsNear". After seeing all Cellphones in the world shrink and getting smaller and even having photo cameras in them or MP3 players or both or even tv receivers you might ask how small the cellphones can actually get. Well Sharp has the definite answer for now: about the size of a SIM card - yes that card that hold your mobile phone account information might soon pack everything you need to make a call - except the battery, the screen and the antenna. Now you think "why would I need this silly thing" and the clarification for that comes from the consortium that develops these. According to engadget the following companies sitting on the "W-SIM" forum that oversees the development on cellphones on a chip: Casio, Kyocera, Sanyo, Toshiba, Tomy, IBM Japan, Bandai, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Apple and about 40 other big industry players. Now the implications are manyfold. Have a phone on a chip and pop it into anything that has a numberpad and a screen and maybe an antenna and surf the web or make a call over existing cellphone lines - byebye cellphones? Maybe not so but having especially Apple sitting on that board proofes the most interesting thing - while sony is pushing its MP3 handies down your throat (and yes I might be getting one soon instead of on iPod) Apple might just push from the other side - making your phoning experience an addition to the iPod - in form of a plug in card - if you want it make it an option. The W-SIM seems the most appropiate thing for that approach - oh and while you are at it just plug in the same card into you computer and surf the web.
Not so fast. As with any new tech there is a catch. Right now the cards can only do PHS. What the heck is PHS? Its like GSM or UMTS but has a much smaller range and is only in widespread use in Japan - where seemingly doesnīt matter if you have an antenna every 300 meter to make this system work spotless. I just think that the W-SIM will be available for UMTS as well very soon - otherwise it just wonīt make any sense to have such a large international industry consortium overlooking the development. Interesting to follow and watch indeed.


e-paper made in Germany

I read this guardian article twice as I could not believe whats in it - a 50 Euro per square meter e-paper material has been developed - and not in Japan or at the MIT no in good old Germany at the company that just sold its handy market to the Asiens - Siemens. Not much information is floating around and neither are pictures but the article claims that this material is very cheap and very flexible paperthin and acts like a normal TV or monitor. It can be used to place moving advertising in magazines or little games on cigarette packs - and what sets it apart from every other e-paper in the labs - its COLOR and IT CAN PLAY FULL MOTION VIDEO. So how long until I can get e-wallpaper now? The article says that we will first see them in expensive magazines "high - impact adverts". Yummy.


Cellular Automata Musical Compositions

Steven Wolfram predicted in his book A New Kind Of Science that cellular automatons and surrounding mathematics can be used to create art and music. Everyone who does not believe this can listen to some very classical jazz like (but not noise and actual harmonic tunes) compositions completly automaticly generated through cellular automata science.
The Automatous Monk is even offering a mp3 radio that you can tune in around the clock and listen to this computer generated music all day if you happen to like it. His comment:

Turn off that smooth 'jazz' FM nonsense and listen to some AM Radio for a change, Automatous Monk Radio, that is.


Robocop becomes reality

JapaneseRobotGuardstoPa.jpgWell not quite as advanced as the film version but apperently the Japanese are deploying robots in malls and busy downtown areas to spot "sign of trouble". The robot then sends a signal to a human security team together with camera feed. Guardrobo D1 made by Sohgo Security Services Co., Ltd. is 1.09 meter tall and will detectsintruders, fires, or even water leaks and is aimed at controlling the uncontrolled youth that is becoming a minority in Japan. (however you want to understand that...)


Cyborgal Society Near

Insectcontrolledrobot.jpgOne of the creepiest things I have seen in a long while. A Madagascan cockroach is the control nerve center of a simple robot. The insect is the CPU of the robot and controls its behavior through a trackball type of device. The creepy thing is that this could be a model for a human controlled robot - where a hunam brain is attached to very capable robots as a processing unit if we can not make high capacity processing units on our own in a given timeframe that might be an approach that could happen in the future. Very creepy indeed - coupled with the recent finding that robotic prosthetics are en vouge in the US and the general population is more and more accepting of robots in live we are seeing the sci-fi future unfold in front of us.


Age of the Digitial Paper has begun

0.jpgFinally after years in the news and almost no actual products (except for one fancy Sony "e-book" that was only available in japan and with japanese characters (if you take the multiple hacks for it out of the equation) we are seeing more products based on the "eInk" technology that has tiny capsules embedded in the paper that turn their orientation and then are either black or white. Citizen puts out a bend clock - the display beeing ultra thin and based on E-Ink paper. Looks great and is probably just the opening salvo of hundrets millions of such usages of E-Ink - I still hope for the rollable wallpaper that I can use to project non-wallpaper vj work on... great stuff.

more: (german)


Blue Brain

Simulation of the human brain has been predicted by my favorite future prophet Ray Kurzweil to come at around 2010. While he has been on the spot with other predictions (like eye implants etc) there was no sign that anyone would attempt to use a huge mainframe computer for brain simulation just yet. This has changed. IBM together with a swiss research team is attempting to simulate 10.000 neurons. Officially they hope to find a cure to Alzheimer or other brain diseases but you canīt overlook the fact that this is a project aimed to simulate the human brain and have artificial intelligence. They will simulate this on a 22,8 Terraflop BlueGene IBM supercomputer. The team hopes to have one part of the brain functioning by 2008 - when there is more processing power available. So a fully functioning brain by 2010-2012 like Kurzweil predicted in his book "Age of the spiritual machines" might not be out of the question after all. Lets see how they fare with this experiment.


subvocal speech recognition

Technology never stops to amaze me. Something totally unexpected comes from NASA. Speaking something without opening your mouth. Just talking to yourself and the computer will recognize it?! Its really close to telepathy but not quite brain reading yet. Basically you have a sensor on your chin close to your Adamīs aple and it recognizes your nerves firing off before you even move your tongue or your mouth. This will really help speech recognition in noisy unstable environments but also has great applications of silent communication. Now you can sit in a restaurant and its totally silent and still everyone is talking to each other - really stuff from a sci-fi movie.


Nasa fund superconducting NanoWire research

Its future year I guess. The reports donīt stop flowing in talking about technology that seems to be taken from good sci-fi books. This time: the superconductor. A thing that was thought to be as impossible to produce as a perpetual-mobile. Now Rice University is cooking something up that seems to do the impossible in its Carbon Nanotechnology Lab. Apparently its the same technology they are using for the space elevator so in the end we will get two sci-fi concept in one technology. Future not near?
Grain of salt until a product is showed to me of course.


Deep Sleep hibernation coming near you?

Its future month with so many strange announcements concerning topics beforehand only covered in strange Sci-Fi novels. Now this one will knock you out: Researchers at the University of Washington have put mice in a hibernation deep freeze sleep and have woke them up without any problems and without any damage to the mice. It was just a first step to human hibernation sleep as you have seen in many movies and novels (StarTrek f.e.) and the possibilities for usage are manyfold. Not only could those with cancer and other diseases be put to sleep until a cure is found - also people could travel to distant galaxies and not become old in between. Philosophical and Ethical this raises a lot of concern that needs to be talked about rather sooner then later. Only the rich will be able to use it? Who is responsible for waking them up after a major disaster on earth? How will people feel after a 200 year sleep - waking up in a society totally different then the current one?

That said the only announcement missing in the last month is the travel-to-past-time-machine but maybe if I put myself in deep-freeze-sleep connected to a Matrix-Style-Wireless-Brainkoppler I can just wait for it.

Tiny Beamer on the horizon

tinyprojector.jpgThe VJ gods are good to us. After the announcement that you can put a black and white beamer in a cellphone there is more news on the beamaz front. Battery Powered projectors the size of your palm. Not as strong as the big ones - the possibilities for usage are tremendous. The (vj)video warriors of the future wait to get their dirty hand on those cold LED brightened DLP beasts that still can project at least a 27" large screen on almost anything that you can imaganine (walls in a moving subway, moving screens on night demonstrations, walls of big corporations making a non violent non destructive statement for the masses). Mitsubishi and InFocus are the first to come out and plan to put the thingies to market in quantities for around $600 shortly.

It will be interesting to watch when the first laws coming from our powergovernments that restrict the usage - if not it will spark a new kind of powerbattle in the streets.,1759,1749548,00.asp

and the discussion on


3D display technology coming to market

3D displays are the stuff of the future that has so many implementation problems - from producing content to actually viewing it - that every single approach to market such thing has failed. For viewing either you had to view it straight from the front or you had to wear special glasses or fill the room with smoke or the ideas without this never saw the light (literally). Now there are two announcments in two days that have two approaches that I see likely to overcome the former problems.
One tech is from a company called Puredepth. This aproach sound totally logic and the implementation does not seem to hard - but its a pricey solution as they put multiple LCD displays on top of each other. They already have a 17 inch monitor product that you can buy right now.
The other one is from a much larger company but the approach sounds almost esoteric. You simulate the light behavior of reality. the company that claims the revolutionary approach is Toshiba. They have no product right now but plan to introduce products based on this "very soon". I call it vaporware until I see it you can read the press release if you can read japanese and watch some 2D photos of the 3D technology.


Sony patents advanced Matrix Brain Koppler

Yes its seems it is future week. Today comes something totally unexpected this early in the millennium. A device that everyone who has seen one of the Matrix Films knows about: A Brain Plug. Its not quite a Plug though as you have seen in the movies. It works through ultra sonic sounds so you donīt even have to implant a port.

The pulsed ultrasonic signal alters the neural timing in the cortex…

now get this:

No invasive surgery is needed to assist a person, such as a blind person, to view live and/or recorded images or hear sounds.

If that is not something that is taken from imagination and patented "just in case we have a product in the next 100 years available" its one of the most revolutionary advances in technology I have ever witnessed. Basically it means you can now be totally immersed in a multi media landscape -> all fake and it happens right inside your brain. But I believe it when I see and test it myself. Would I test it? I think so... Sounds like one of the weirdest trips down memory lane.

original reuters article
arstechnica on the case
Slashdot bubbles as well


Bionic Eyes coming to a dealer near you

Yes artificial eyes are becoming a reality. Its no hoax and comes much earlier then anticipated by a lot of people - the eye that lets the blind see. Though its still a "camera in the glasses" version but the actual transceiver is in the retina of the patients real eye. Resolution is 100 pixel total right now and much worse then anything you expect from a normal eye. Apperently this is 100 pixels more then blind people ever saw before so it is a breakthrough. And …
… with all technology this is only the beginning. expect to see improved versions that can see better and in more spectrum then the normal human eye soon. Until you get something like this you can see how the world through an artificial eye will look like here.


Cybernetics on the rise

Not even two years ago (I think) there was an article somewhere on the net that told the world that someone implanted a "nerve to electronics" interface in his arm and could read out movement values. Noone seemed to care but it has set the tone for a scientific research arm that once was only the region of thought for science fiction authors. Then there where a couple of announcements by Cyberkinetics Inc. that they want to try out a brain to computer interface with real humans.
Now the day has come that a paralized man can move a robotik arm just by thinking about it. Needless to say that this is only the start and that we will see significant advancement in the near future.
Would you like to have a brain implant today and just think about a text and it types in front of you inside the computer? Or an implant that visualizes the pictures you have in your head. No? We speak in 20 years again my friend - I remember you didnīt want a cellphone 10 years ago.


Beamer in a CellPhone

Maybe its just me beeing a vj but I find this new phone prototype almost more useful then the camera phones. It looks like a normal cell phone but has a projection system build in where you can display a keyboard or presentations in front of a small audience. Yeahhhh a beamer in a cellphone. And its not even the normal LCD beamer type - its a LASER beamer. Something that was developed for big projection systems by schneider 3-5 years ago but never saw the light (literally) as an actual product. Now this tech goes into mobile phones. I hope they make it color and stronger and then put it into an iPod... maybe Mr. Jobs is then not so against video playing iPods anymore ;)
Imagine all the movies you gonna see in a commuter train when all the iPod junkies project their movies onto the ceiling.


Self Copying 3D Printer.

New Scientist is reporting that the University of Bath (apparently with no connection to a former iraqi regime) is developing a 3d Printer for everyone. 3D printers in todays use cost from $25.000 upward and are hard to assemble, manufacture and maintain as they contain high precision laser equipment. When the first 3D rapid prototyping printers came to market (back in the 70s) the inventors thought by the mid 80s everyone would have a 3d printer at home – this has not happened to the day. Adrian Bowyer of said UK University wants to bring this futuristic vision to life. By making a design that does not need the expensive laser he is pursuing a machine that could even replicate itself. But fear not that the machine makes millions of babies when you forgot to turn it off. You still have to assemble the individual copy parts on your own and put in a bought microprocessor to actually make the copy fully functional.
Now this is one research that could have a bigger impact then the TV, the Microwave and Powerlines alltogether, because in theory you could download design from the internet and print em out for just the cost of the raw material (which is an alloy, lead, tin combination for metal parts and some plastic/glue compound for the plastic parts). Read: you can make all the plastic/electric toys you ever dreamed of in a perfect fashion. Mr. Bowyer also wants all the designs to be somehow open source - means you get them all for free on the net once this thing goes into production. The total cost for the machine is $500 so affordable to most. Basically you have your own personal assembly line in the living room that can make you own customized gadgets or replace broken parts in you household etc etc. If that is not cool I donīt know. You could make all the little thing you always wanted to make... I hope he succeeds with his invention.


Synthetic Artificial Life comes to life

Not intelligent yet - researchers at the Rockefeller University have made a synthetic cell structure that can "eat" and produce -> for now glowy green jellyfish light gel. It might be groovy but again – as with all new tech – the downside is that another research group has put together some chemicals and created the first synthetic polio virus.

More info found here at the BBC


Nano Materials on the move

What can you say. It seems the nano front is moving forward at last. According to Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends humanity is on the way to take over natures duty and develop new perfect materials with better charcteristics then nature`s counterpart. Ceramics can be made stronger, Nickel can hold tons of information. There is an all universal patent for creating these nanomaterials (so no way you can roll your own solid state lightin that uses less power the fluorescent lighting and last 50 years). The developers think the market (us) will see the first products in a five year timeframe. They expect that the first application (hurray) will be simple plain 10 terrabit memory modules. OH YES PLEASE and make them 10 cents a piece please since they are selfassembling and you just have to watch them grow.


EPaper at last - but not flexible and surely not thin

Its shipping. After about a trillion years in computer universe E Ink coparation in cooperation with Phillips and Sony is unveiling the first device with the epaper technology. At an unimpressive 170 ppi (a little higher then the 130 ppi for Notebook Displays) its neither flexible nor thin as paper, requires some heavy 4 AAA batteries to function and looks like a iPod knockoff from Sony for the reading population.
The upshot: no backlighting, easy readable under sunlight and it can serve you 10.000 pages before the batteries need replacement.
Hope this is just the first step and there are some early adopter to the technology so it can move forward. So with the unimpressive clumsy design I do have some doubts about its success. Right now only available in Japan.


Reality SciFi of the present

Hot chick driving through radioaktive wasteland with fast motorbike. That is a line that describes lots of Anime comics or 80s science fiction books. Well it describes a heavy weight present. There is a girl who likes to speed through the abondened radioktive zone of Chernobyl because there is no danger of hitting someone else on the road. What she sees and finds you can see at her commented photo gallery. Its surreal. Look at the housing of the city guard on one of the last pages, no scifi author could think of those kind of buildings. Interesting are the wild horses that speed over the contaminated grass planes as if it was the purest best intact nature ever. As far as I heard there is also a village of people who did not want to leave. I was peeking through some planing for a documentary on that. Yes there are people living really close to the reaktor and so far noone has died yet (so they do take some care as to where plant food and how to obtain clean water). There is a priest who takes care of the mostly older people there.

via slashdot


Iceland to be first nation without fossil fuel?

The BBC reports that Iceland is planning to transform everything energy related to run without fossil fuel like gasolin or oil within 30 years. As replacement for powering automobiles and public transport they want to use hydrogen. The interesting part is that they want to get the hydrogen by using energy sources that they have plenty on their home turf, namely steam from hot springs and waterpower. The astonishing thing comes now: Besides that it is a program that was initiated by the people of Iceland it is funded and supported by DaimlerChrysler and SHELL. Yes this oilcompany that brought so much death to our planet is supporting one of the most futuristic green idea loving projects of our times.

Just off Reykjavik's busiest road, the construction of Iceland's first Hydrogen filling station is about to begin. Vehicles will simply refuel in the forecourt, as in petrol stations. The plans have been finalised with one of the world's biggest oil companies putting up the money.

Why would a company like you want to be involved in this?

(Shell Hydrogen Iceland)
Because we are distributing energy. If you're distributing oil or hydrogen...

You're distributing fossil fuels, the very thing this project wants to do away with.

Yes, but then we just start distributing hydrogen. We're working with the future as well. We cannot stay behind and just die.

Interesting indeed.



Anyone thinking robots will be off another 100 years NEEDS to have a look at these movies. They are moving fluently, standing on one leg. punshing each other in da face like real man would do. The whole ROBOlympics really knocked my sock off. Read through the contests, its worth to see how far we really are already. Exciting <->Frightening. Interesting for sure.


Flowerpower to detect Landmines

flower.pngVia Yahoo comes an interesting story that a Danish company has developed an genetic engineered flower that has a different coloured blossom where a Landmine is underneath. It will not develop seeds on its own and is not able to spread and contaminate not affected soil. The plant is "detecting" the nitrogen-dioxide (NO2) that dissipates from explosives underground. What a great way to use technology - what a positive way.


Brain Implants near

Ok get this: Matrix looking brain implants that lets you control your computer are set for trials THIS YEAR. Did I say future is near? Future IS NOW. Wired is reporting on a company called cyberkinetics inc. that has trials with monkeys who can already control a mouse on a computer screen just with their brain. They want to test this system with five quadriplegic in a couple of month and plan for a release to the general public if the tests are going right and the implants are easy to employ in human. Yes they plan a release for the general public you read that right, to help people with high demand on brain bandwidth - uh me me plzz. And it gets better. I always knew that the Matrix was falling apart when wireless technology was moving into the picture here so fast after the first Matrix was released. All of the sudden the wires to put into your head looked old and outdated and everyone wished the people connecting to the matrix would do that wireless. It looks we are moving beyong science fiction fast:

BrainGate's final version will be wireless and unobtrusive....

did I say that I want one. I want to dump all my thoughts to the computer and furthermore what is more important to me: I want to record everything I see in HighDefinition and billions of colors. Ah that can´t be far away then.


Robots learn from experience in laboratory tests

Heise reports that britisch scientist puplished a report in Nature Magazine that they are using a robotic system to make DNA analysis of the special mushroom breed "Saccharomyces cerevisiae". While the tests go on the robot learns from results and mixes other DNA to test the mushroom. This is almost completely autonomous. Right now the scientist check if the system is working as expected with tests they have already done themself. They say that the thinking machine is up to tens times faster with right conclusion then the human counterparts. The next step will be tests the humans have not done. The mushroom is used in antibiotic research and drug development. This is in fact the first story that I heard of where an intelligent computer is applied in real work outside a testing lab. They are getting brighter, they learn and all this is a fast process. 2004 will be the year of the first intelligent machines this is just an early sign of it. They are not spiritual yet but intelligence is not so far off.


Machine Like Robots as embassodors for technology

A couple of month the honda robot asimo shaked hands with Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla on his world tour. It made him (her? it?) the first ambassador from technology land. Today he gets a mate. Sony just unvieled their own robot ambassasor at the Computer Electronics Show called Qrio – Quest for curiosity. There own stating is: Its to expensive to build yet to be a home appliance, but yes it can shake hands and entertain. Just like our politicians. After my last blog entry I am quite happy that the robots are pursuing a diplomatic route for a peacefull understanding between this breed and human kind so early on.
An evolution chart for robots can be found on the honda site, worth looking at.

PC magazin has contributed to this story.


RoboDog - WarRobots come to earth

WE shape the future with our imagination. What could be from a SciFi movie, or as a matter of fact was a theme in lots of the sci-fi movie, now comes true. Terminator, RoboCop, StarWar all had them, animal looking robots that were much tougher bigger faster and smarter then their natural counterparts. Now Wired reports that a company called Boston Dynamics is supposed to build a ROBODOG or what they call "Big Dog" for the US Armee. If you look at the pictures you would think that they are an artist drawing for a upcoming sci fi movie. Yes its reality yes its happining now. I wonder where all the philosophical thinking about those robots went? What happens when they run loose, against humankind? Donīt get me wrong I love technologic advancments just not in the hands of the armee.
Also if you look really close you migh come to think about a scene of the first series of the Animatrix "The Second Renaissance". The scene where the machines attack the humans. Somehow they look very much like this RoboDog especially when you considering the size of this thing. Good thing is that the first version will be highly stupid, or at least not very intelligent.
story contribution:


Building you own Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Well we all want to make our own nano electronic robots. The problem all of us face with this is how we gonna see the nanowirebucketballies. The University of Muenster has a detailed explanation on its website on how to build a microscope that can show us the supersmall stuff the future will likely be made off. The instruction is published under an open source like license. Great stuff for the nanoquantum heads out there.


Display in Air

Can it be? A MIT student has come up with a solution to project an image into thin air – yes this thing that gots its scifi debut in the first ever star wars movie when the princess asks for help through C3PO. I have read about this a while back and did not believe. Now NYTimes and Arstechnica reporting on it and I want to believe. Not 3d but includes a laser tracking device to make it a touch screen – ehr touch air ähm whatever. See for yourself.


digitial going film - film going digital - all media to become one

a quote from Lev Manociches essay "Cinema and Digitial Media" that I would like to share:

Starting in 1936 and continuing into the Second World War, Zuse had been building a computer in the living room of his parents' apartment in Berlin. Zuse's computer pioneered some of the basic ideas of computing: binary arithmetic, floating decimal point and program control by punched tape. For the tape, he used discarded 35 mm movie film. One of these surviving pieces of film shows the abstract program codes punched over the original frames of some interior shot. The iconic code of cinema is discarded in favor of the more efficient binary one. In a technological remake of the Oedipal complex, a son murders his father. But the story has a new twist -- a happy one. Zuse's film with its strange superimposition of the binary over iconic anticipates the process which gets underway half a century later: the convergence of all media, including film, to digital code. Cinema and computer -- the Jacquard loom and the Analytical Engine -- merge into one.


Static Internet Noise

The internet communicates without us doing anything — that is not something new. An articel from the register tries to elaborate how much.


Computer starting to "understand" human language?

from our nerds feeds comes word that the smart guys from Cornell University are making progress in field of software that understands language semantic. This research is mostly aimed toward better search engines but I canīt stop to think that this could be used by "intelligent" computer system near you to understand what you are talking about.


Will Moores law hit a wall?

Microsoft News Network is writing about a report from four leading scientists of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) that our current processor technology will hit a limit around 2018 when transistor scale gets down to 16 nanometer. Then the gates will have a dimension of 5 nanometer and tunneling will be unavoidable. Anyone knows how output from such chips will look like? Will the tunnelling be random or are in a pattern? Solutions for speedier computer are near of course: carbonnanowires/buckytubes or making 3d chips (cooling?) or having a larger die.


Visible at Night through Light

Luminex introduces Light Emitting Fibre

The coolest thing on earth today have to be light emitting clothes. No not the glow in the dark style paint of the early 90īs I am talking about real light emission. Apparently the fibre can be woven into normal cloth and then used for making about everything you can do with cloth. Pants, sweater, skirts, bags or whatever you can think of. Cool stuff that will surely be overused not before to long me thinks.


Nanowire Displays

After Polymer and E-Paper Displays goes the way of the newest hype on the block - all things Nano

A Harvard Uni team has come up with a way to put premade nanowire films onto plastic sheets or glas at room temperatures. This tech has the potential to make flexible HIGHresolution displays. According to a story on /. ( this might be even used to produced contact lenses with displays on them. Imagine a club where you get handed out contact lenses on entrance and all the visuals come up right in the eyes of the punters. For the near future I would love to see this technology to be used to produce 1200 dpi reusable displays making the need for print absolute. Get the full scope:

nanowires (picture from: Nanosys Inc.)

(picture: NanoLetters)

Computer Control with Brain Implant

Cyberkinetics Inc. asks for permission to test a brain computer interface for paralyzed people

The Boston Globe via way of Slashdot is reporting that Cyberkinetics Inc. wants to test a brain implant that would enable paralyzed people to control computer directly with their brain. The talk is about controling cursors on the screen or play video games or even moves their limbs again - all through the same interface. Neuron to Computer Interfaces (NCI) first started to surface 3 years ago with a self experiment of a crazy scientist and have made great steps towards usability since then. Cyborgs anyone?

Miss Digital World

A contest to find the most beautiful DIGITAL girl in the world

Just in time Ars Technica is presenting a piece on an Italian contest for the digital beauties whose mother is Lara Croft. Its a contest that is open to any fully digital girl but the models are not allowed to enter the contest if they have shown up in any pr0n movie or still or if they have spoken out in a polical context (censoring in Italy yadayada). So what is the case with digital womans nowadays will they replace the real ones for the geeks in time before the geeks become extinct? Will they be able to have children? What about cloning them and adjusting them for your personal taste? Will they be open source to enhance them with new kernels? Will RealLife Models have a chance to pose on Posters and will Actors go distinct soon with the digitial creatures that seem to be almost perfect and exactly what a human needs. What will the perception of our real life beauties be? The advent of Digital Beings in our "Real Life" will for sure cause great concerns. What is different from a Britney Spears and one of Renes HyperModels? Brintey is real and altered to be surreal and the Hypermodels are surreal altered to be real. They meet in the middle and none is better then the other to give the unaltered versions in our life something to look after. They all want to be perfect. Hey we all want to be perfect but some have settled with what they are. Its a question of our time and a glimpse in the future. Some woman would do EVERYTHING to look like the Bittis (That is what I call the Digitial Creations). Now most of the persons surrounding me do not believe that we will eventually "emerge" into machine. My thought is that this is the path of evolution and we are not far from it and maybe some of the girls will lead this evolutions as first fully perfect cyborgs inside our society - I would even go so far to say that current "altered" girls are already a form of bio-chemical-cyborgs. Who says that cyborgs need to incorporate steel and wires. Maybe silicon is already a form in this direction? The next thing maybe a color adjustable iris? Or what about self building muscles that also absorb fat cells? All bio altering but maybe those muscles or controlled by a little chip implant. I could go on should I? Maybe this chip is tunable from the outside. Oh you still think its not a cyborg?

What has this to do with the contest you may ask? Well I guess that in the very very near future our Entertainment Industry will be swamped with Bittis. There is no weight problem no aging noa attitude and no salary to pay. Its a convenient way for the producers to get retro bands for real cheap. Right now they are not up to the task to make them as real as to be believed but this will go away very very soon and the contest is a first sign of this as they apparently have become close enough that the distinction between real and virtual (surreal) is fading.

At one time then maybe the real life girls/boys that want to be superstars alter themself to play in the same "perfection" level as the Bittis and with this point reached there is a whole economy behind the evolutionary transformation of the human race. If our current economic model will not change in the near future this will one route that some might go.

The most interesting thing that I have not mentioned is that the Bittis want to get more real (right now its their creators who want to make them more real but I guess if they were able to think they would be on the same track) by adding imperfections. They probably at one point will want to walk around next to you and me or be on stage and be perceived as real adding to the coming emergence of the two worlds.


RoboDrive LA - LasVegas

106 teams take the challange of unmanned robotic vehicles driving from LA to LasVegas without HumanInterception

If you thought robotics are a thing of the future I have to tell you the future has already started. The DARPA (Defense Advance Research Project Agency) has called for the yearly event and this time they have a record of participants

from zdnet:
"DARPA will award $1 million to the team of inventors that comes up with a robotic car that can drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on an off-road course in 10 hours. DARPA, ideally, will then be able to cull ideas tried in the race for its own purposes."

The drive will go through mud, sand, dunes, mountains and barbed wire and only those will win who complete the whole race without any human interference. Why does this remind me of the motorcycle race in "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas"? Maybe I should be a reporter on this :P

Please relieve human kind from driving.


Can you legally unplug an intelligent computer

Law in Order in a world not known - Unplugging BINA48

My favorite futurist Rai Kurzweil has set up a fictious court battle at the International Bar Association conference in San Francisco, Sept. 16, 2003. The case involves the first intellegigent computer BINA8 and if the company who owns "it" would be allowed to pull the plug. Highly interesting peek in the future and the problems this society will face rather sooner then later: