July 2003 Archives

Matrix Reloaded

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A little late I know but I finally got around to seeing Matrix Reloaded. Expectations having been set suitably low by the reviews I was pleasantly surprised. The white "matrix" images of Zion Control were beautiful and the whole "life as a programme" proposition kept going well. Some of the fight scenes could have been shorter though......

KurzweilAI.net

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Ramona

This is more like it. KurzweilAI.net collects the thoughts of Ray Kurzweil, he of synthesisers and speech programs, and is hardly suprisingly about AI and future tech. Includes a fairly basic Virtual Personality - Ramona - who seems at first glance not as advanced as the one I was working on a couple of years ago. Time to dig Halo out of the cupboard.

Guardian on the beach

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G2 on the beach

The Guardian's got it right. A voluntary group called PierToPier.Net(sic) has started providing free wireless access to Brighton Beach. To test this new fangled wi-fi stuff out, the Guardian dispatched its G2 editorial team to the beach armed with laptops, cameras, wi-fi cards and a VW microbus. From the beach they edited and produced todays G2 supplement. Wonderful. Next stop Cannon Hill Park.

Why Blog?

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My thoughts on why people blog inspired by my first month or so in the blogosphere.

Asimo Number 2 in

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Asimo

Asimo

Number 2 in the robot catalogue has to be Asimo. Standing for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, Asimo's focus is very much on mobility not automony. Standing about 1.4m tall Asimo's human form and natural movement is very much intended to show the human face of robotics. Remotely controlled by an operator Asimo is a marvellous platform for showing how mobile and dextrous future robots could be - but isn't about how smart they may be.

Ok now blogging by wap

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Ok now blogging by wap fm my nokia. very slow. What about sms 2 blog?

Wapsilion Wapblogger Test
OK this is a test from the Wapsilion PC interface. Try from a phone next.

Guardian On-Line

Kensington wi-fi detector

The Guardian's On-Line supplement excelled itself today. Linksys are releasing a wi-fi box to connect your hi-fi/TV to your PC to stream MP3 - just what I've been after and at £230 affordable. It'll save me having to burn all those MP3 CDs. Pity it's only 802.11b though.

A US outfit called Kensington has released a credit card sized wi-fi sniffer to tell you when you're in a wireless hot spot.

There' a link to a good article in Business Week on wired homes, there's a preview of the new Palm Tungsten 2 and Sony Clie, and a reader has flagged up a WAP to blog service at http://ubique.ch/wapblogger. Must go try it out.

Anime Music Video (AMV) Ten

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Anime Music Video (AMV)

Bachelorette

Ten hours later and I'm a fully signed up fan of AMV. Totally PR like the more you push into something like this the depper it gets and before long you've found a whole otaku powered cottage industry turning out the videos, showing them at Cons, and sharing them via anonymous-FTP. Best so far has to be Lee's Bachelorette video using the Bjork song (which I love anyway) and clips from Utena, a stunning looking women's anime.

It looks like a current driver for AMV is DDR - Dance Dance Revolution which looks big in the US at the moment and I've seen some coverage of it here in the UK. I suppose those people need something to look at while they do their moves - and the AMV stuff beats most other music videos I've seen recently.

Transformation - The Becoming Video

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Transformation - The Becoming Video - Nine Inch Nails/Akira/GITS/Lain

Transformation

Reading Pattern Recognition is making me think more and more of my hunt for Serial Experiments:Lain episodes as some sort of Footage fetish. Anyway the hunt just turned up a real gem. Transformation is a video made in 2000 by Hsien Lee to a track by Nine Inch Nails that mixes clips from Akira, Ghost in the Shell and SE:Lain into a great industrial noise anime-fest. Find it on Kazaa or at Lee's Kusoyaro site which has a load of great looking anime video projects.

Mob-blog Commentary

I've got the feeling that mail to blog could be quicker than using the lo-fi editor. Doesn't help that Blogger puts the sign on form at the end of a long page, ditto the blog selection screen. If that could be simplified. Also took a couple of goes each time to submit on any of the forms. Will persevere [?] until the Pro option is back on again.

Mob-blog Test First test of

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Mob-blog Test First test of try to blog from my Palm over Bluetooth/GPRS. OK apart from the fact it ignores CRs.

Cats Eye Vision

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Didn't want to lose this story. Looking through cats' eyes - although almost 4 years old it shows what could be done - and would love to find out how far advanced this tech is now. Scientists wired up a cat's brain to see what it was seeing through its own eyes.

Compare and contrast with:

which shows what a blind man fitted with a camera wired into his brain sees. Again the story is 3.5 years old.

Future of Space Flight

Interesting article on the Future of Spaceflight at space.com. Mars and Moon bases and outer solar system exploration by the end of the century. Not far off my own working assumptions. I'd probably add the first interstellar probe - Project Deadelus style - leaving second half of the century and arriving in the first quarter of the 22nd century. I'll upload my space time-line sometime.

Robot Index

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Robot Index

Here is an index to all the robots covered in this blog.

Aibo - 22/7/03
Asimo - 24/07/03

Aibo

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Aibo

Another area I want to touch on in this blog is robots. Whilst the best I'll probably be able to rustle up over the next few years is something around Lego Mindstorms I think that robotics has a great future ahead of it. Speculative essays later, but for now I just want to collect some of the key robot developments around today. At Number 1 has to be Sony's Aibo.

I had a play with one at Orange's Future House. The girl's bedroom had one. It also had a smart board that was used to display the Aibo's camera view and provide touch control of the robot so you could send it through the house and get a live video feed back. Great fun. All the Exec's I had with me to look at the more serious side of the technology in the house went away remembering Aibo but little else! If Aseriti actually starts making some serious money the MD and I have promised we'll get the company to buy one. Ever wanted your utility bill read out by a robotic dog?

Desert Island Choices

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These are copied across from my old static site. I'll link them in due course.

Music: Tangerine Dream, Marillion, Pink Floyd/Roger Waters, 10,000 Maniacs, Throwing Muses, Ultravox, Stockhausen, Wagner, Klaus Schulze


Books: Iain (M) Banks, Alisdair Gray, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Gene Wolfe, Thomas Pynchon, Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, Dave Sims(Cerebus), Paul Gallici (Erma Felna)


Films: Blade Runner, Tarkvosky, Woody Allen, 2001, Excalibur, Diva/Betty Blue, Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Luc Besson, Ghost in the Shell


TV: Flipside of Dominic Hide, Gerry Anderson, Butterflys, Drop the Dead Donkey, Frasier, Friends, The High Life, Thirtysomething, 24, Babylon 5, Serial Experiments: Lain


Gurus: John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Schumacher


Graphic Novels: Halo Jones, Cerebus, Albedo, Puma Blues, Love and Rockets, Doonesbury, Red Star


Places: Birmingham, Malawi, Finland, West Coast, Pacific North West, Berlin, Paris, Snowdonia, Lakes, Nassau, Kilimanjaro, South Island NZ, Retshmalh Crossing - Alpha World


Blogging at Breakfast

Sunday morning. Papers haven't come and no rush and everybody else out (just) so a good excuse to wi-fi from the kitchen and read the BBC news. Finally finished Dead Air by Ian Banks last night. Probably the worst Ian Banks novel so far, nowhere near as good as the early stuff, or even the later things like The Business and Complicity. Not the worst Iain Banks though.

Up side is I can finally start reading Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. Like Banks I've read everythings he's ever done, as he's done it, having picked up on Neuromancer soon after it came out. PR looks really good but I'm only 30 pages in. Will certainly force me to get around to reading No Logo. Gibson's blog is a great companion to the reading, as is the discussion board - which almost out fetish's fetish:footage:forum in what it reads into his work.

The Battle of the Blogs

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The Battle of the Blogs

For some reason this week has all be about blogs. Started using Blogger for this and the Headcrash blog. At week spent a lot of time playing with Geeklog. Geeklog is an open source blogger/portal builder. Very powerful but appallingly documented - have to hunt all over the Geeklog site and other places and still can't find the info! Then started looking at Movable Type. More corporate than Geeklog, just got a VC funding round and has a paid licence for corporate use. On the plus side the documentation is all there, the site is nice and clean and its written in Perl, which is my language of choice ( getting Java development/hosting space is just too complex. Will look at setting Movable Type up if I can get the MySQL database sorted out, and then use that for a project and decide which of the three ways to go for my own stuff. All three have major new versions about to be released so too early for a decision anyway.

Web Pads

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Web Pads

A running theme of this blog (for the next few years at least) is likely to be the search for the perfect domestic wireless web device. I'm currently writiing this sat in the garden on a very hot day using my IBM Thinkpad laptop over a Wi-Fi link to our broadband connection. But the laptop is a very intrusive form factor. What I really want is an A4 "slate", just a display, a stylus and the w-fi card (oh and the ability to handle streaming media and plug-ins, but no other local storage. At the moment these devices are £1000 plus, and too heavy and too short on battery life (in fact I've just had to retreat in doors to a power point to finish this post. We'll see how I get on.

Current Anime and Manga

Currently trying to get hold of the episodes of Serial Experiments: Lain, an excellent contemporary cyber adventure anime. No giant robots or anything like that, just a school girl searching for a dead friend who appears to have ended up in the net.

Also reading the Manga version of Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell. Not as good as the movie, and the style is very cartoony in places.

Headcrash Started

I've started building a blog for Headcrash, probably the best radio play that the BBC ever did - possibly including The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (and as someone who herad HHGTTG the vey first time it was broadcast I ought to know :-)) Since that's a very structured blog I thought I'd set this up for a more random collection of observations - a true blog..

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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