- Fair Use in the US Economy (PDF) — prepared by IT lobby in the US, it’s the counterpart to Big ©’s fictitious billions of dollars of losses due to file sharing. Take each with a grain of salt, but this is interesting because it talks about the industries and businesses that the fair use laws make possible.
- Disassembled Household Appliances — neat photos of the pieces in common equipment like waffle irons, sandwich makers, can openers, etc. (via evilmadscientist)
- GelSight — gel block on a sheet of glass, lit from below with lights and then scanned with cameras, lets you easily capture 3D qualities of the objects pressed into it. Very cool demo–you can see finger prints, pulse, and even make out designs on a $100 bill.
- Redis Tutorial (Simon Willison) — Redis is a very fast collection of useful behaviours wrapped around a distributed key-value store. You get locks, IDs, counters, sets, lists, queues, replication, and more.
"computer vision" entries
Fair Use Economy, Deconstituted Appliances, 3D Vision, Redis for Fun and Profit
notmuch Email, Mobile Processing, Realtime Mocap, and Making Money from Books
- notmuch — commandline tagging and fast search for a mailbox, regardless of which mail client you use.
- Processing for Android — pre-release versions of a Processing for Android devices. Mobile visual programming makes for interesting possibilities.
- Binary Body Double: Microsoft Reveals the Science Behind Project Natal for Xbox 360 — machine learning to recognize poses and render in the game at 30fps. It’s a basic real-time mocap and render.
- The Monetization Paradox — interesting post by Charlie Stross about the quandry of authors. he proposed $9.99 cap on ebooks replaces the high-end $24 hardcover. Not only does it mean less royalties for the authors, it means less money for the publishers — or, more importantly, their marketing divisions. Here’s a hint: if I wanted to spend my time marketing my books I’d have gone into marketing. I’m a writer. Every hour spent on marketing activities is an hour spent not writing. Ditto editing, proofreading, commissioning cover art, and so on. This is what I have publishers for.
Python Moratorium, Math Pictures, Assemblers Needed, Tennis Vision
- Python’s Moratorium — Python language designers have declared a moratorium on enhancement proposals (feature requests) while the world’s Python programmers get used to the last batch of New And Shiny they shipped. I’m reasonably sure that the ALGOL designers went through exactly the same discussions, and I know Perl did too. So, don’t be afraid of it – don’t think that Python is evolutionarily dead – it’s not. We’re taking a stability and adoption break, a breather. We’re doing this to help users and developers, not to just be able to say “no” to every random idea sent to python-ideas, and not because we’re done. Reminds me of Perl god Jarkko Hietaniemi’s signature file: “There is this special biologist word we use for ‘stable’. It is ‘dead’. — Jack Cohen.
- This Week’s Finds in Mathematical Physics — I can’t meaningfully contribute to the math, but golly them pictures are purty! (via Hacker News)
- x86 Assembly Encounter — To use a construction industry metaphor, an average x86 assembler has the complexity and usefulness of a hammer, while the DSP world is using high-speed mag-rail blast-o-matic nail guns with automatic feeders and superconducting magnets. […] I find it ridiculous that the most popular computing platform in the world does not have a decent assembler. What’s even worse, from the discussions I’ve seen on the net, people are mostly interested in how fast the assembler is (?!) rather than how much time it saves the programmer. (via Hacker News)
- Finding Tennis Courts in Aerial Photos — more hacking with computer vision techniques and publicly-available data. This is going to lead to good things (and some unpleasant surprises, as that which was formerly “too hard to find” ceases to be so). (via Simon Willison)
- ProFORMA — software which builds a 3D model as you rotate an object in front of your webcam. Check out the video below. (via Wired)
- Historic Documents in Computer Science — my eye was caught by John Backus’s first FORTRAN manual, Niklaus Wirth’s original Pascal paper, the BCPL reference manual (the C programming language got its name from the C in BCPL), and Eckert and Mauchly’s ENIAC patent. (via Hacker News)
Scams, Swirl, Crisis, and Coasters
- Top E-Tailers Profiting From Scams — Vertrue, Webloyalty, and Affinion generated more than $1.4 billion by “misleading” Web shoppers, said members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. […] The government says the investigation shows that [the companies] “trick” consumers into entering their e-mail address just before they complete purchases at sites such as Orbitz, Priceline.com, Buy.com, 1-800 Flowers, Continental Airlines, Fandango, and Classmates.com. A Web ad, which many consumers say appears to be from the retailer, offers them cash back or coupon if they key in their e-mail address.
- Image Swirl (Google Labs) — interesting image search result navigator. It’s fun to play with, trying to figure out why particular sets of images are grouped together.
- Create Crisis (Dan Meyer) — great call to arms for educators. It’s still astonishing to me how few “learning xyz” books follow this advice. Would-be authors, take note! If there were ever an easy way to make your computer book stand out for being better than the rest, this is it!
- Typographic Character Coasters — the single best argument for laser cutters evar. Send the patterns to Ponoko if you don’t have a laser cutter handy.
Birdwatching Technology, Transportation Data, Multitouch in Python, and Face Detection on the iPhone
- Bird-watching Turns To Technology (BBC) — CCTV-esque automated bird watching. Sensor networks + computer vision for an ecological purpose. In a bid to track the guillemots behaviour, Dr Dickinson is refining established work that involves modelling the visual structure of an area around a nest. The computer system will be able to use this model to identify changing elements in the scene, and determine if they correspond to movement by a guillemot. “That is the typical way of doing surveillance,” said Dr Dickinson, “work out what’s moving, that gives you an idea about what is interesting in a scene.”
- The Case for Open MTA Data — If you live in Portland, there are dozens of mobile applications that help fill gaps in transit information. You can check your phone to see when the next bus is supposed to come. You can plan a trip from one unfamiliar part of town to another. You can even have your mobile device buzz if you fall asleep before reaching your destination. For the basic stuff, there’s no iPhone necessary (although that certainly helps for information luxuries). Anyone who has a plain old cell phone with text messaging can ride the train or the bus with greater ease thanks to these apps. (via Making Light)
- PyMT — a python module for developing multi-touch enabled media rich applications. Currently the aim is to allow for quick and easy interaction design and rapid prototype development. There is also a focus on logging tasks or sessions of user interaction to quantitative data and the analysis/visualization of such data.
- Near Realtime Face Detection on the iPhone with OpenCV Port — we’re probably only one or two revisions of iPhone hardware away from being able to do some serious computer vision tasks on the handset. Proof of concept adds a tie to the face you’re pointing the camera at.
Augmented Reality, A/B Psych, Open Source Heartbeat, Launchpad Launches
- ARtisan — AR Flash library, the fastest and easiest way from point A to point B in browser based augmented reality. Love the demos on the home page. (via and bjepson)
- How to Increase Sign-ups By 200% — A/B testing from 37Signals showed that “See Plans and Pricing” got twice the clickthroughs of “Free Trial!” and variations thereon. (via kathysierra on Twitter)
- Open Source Heart Monitor, Possible Blood Sugar Level Detector — another step forward in sensor networks and personal data: I’ve set up a quick prototype of a device that will monitor my heart rate while I sleep. It includes a BUGbase + BUGvonHippel module (from my company Bug Labs). I’m also using a custom module we put together that uses a Polar radio receiver (from Sparkfun) and a Polar strap that I wear around my chest. Lastly, we wrote a simple program that runs on the BUG to log the data. (via chr1a on Twitter)
- Launchpad Opensourced — Canonical’s code hosting and collaboration platform that was heavily lusted after in the open souce world, finally open sourced and in its entirety. GNU Affero license.
Web Awards, Speed Thrills, Magazines in the Cloud, Augmented Reality
- The Onyas — New Zealand web design awards launch, from the people behind Webstock and Full Code Press. The name comes from “good on ya”, the highest praise that traditionally taciturn New Zealanders are allowed by law to give.
- The Year of Business Metrics: Don’t make your users run away! — wrapup of the Velocity conference. AOL: Users who had a slower experience view far fewer pages. Some interesting notes on performance from a Google-Bing study: Notice that as the delays get longer the Time To Click increases at a more extreme rate (1000ms increases by 1900ms). The theory is that the user gets distracted and unengaged in the page. In other words, they’ve lost the user’s full attention and have to get it back. […] As much as five weeks later, some users, especially those who saw delays greater than 400MS, were still searching less than before. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- Printcasting — very simple content management system for print magazines that lets anyone start a magazine, add content, sign up contributors, sell ads, and go. Clever!
- Pachube Augmented Reality Hack — sexy hack that pushes all my buttons: computer vision, Arduino, sensor network, ubiquitous computing, pervasive alternate reality cyborg villians with chalk designs hellbent on world domination and the enslavement of the human race to use as meatsack AA batteries for their sex toys. Okay, four out of five ain’t bad. (via bruces on Twitter)