Archive for ‘August, 2007’
Posted on 23:27, August 31st, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
If you’re travelling in the near future you really should take a look at Farecast.com. It’s a little bit like kayak.com in that it queries multiple other travel sites and presents a ajaxy interface to you to narrow your search down. Unique to farecast is their new Hotels search that is basically a web2.0 app with a mapping interface. Farecast also has a neat utility that can roughly tell you when to fly (in the next 30 days), so you can get the lowest fares. It’s free so give it a try and bookmark it now.
Well google has done it again. It turns out that there is a “hidden” flight sim built right into google earth client. You’ll need version 4.0+ for this to work. Here is the info on how to activate it and a listing of navigation keys. The short of it:
To enter the flight simulator mode, press Ctrl + Alt + A (Command/Open Apple Key + Option + A on the Mac). Once you have entered flight simulator mode for the first time, you can re-enter the mode by choosing Tools > Enter Flight Simulator. To leave flight simulator mode, click Exit Flight Simulator in the top right corner or press Ctrl + Alt + A (Command/Open Apple Key+ Option + A on the Mac).
So following Amsterdam, we went to Stuttgart, Germany for some project meetings. You might have noticed some posts at some ungodly hour of the morning….Well they were probably made during a refreshment session at the bar. Once our official work was done we took off to see Bodensee for the weekend (Aug. 25-26, 2007). We grabbed Hwy.81 and drove through Eigeltingen, Nenzingen, Stockach, Ludwigshafen, Sipplingen, Ueberlingen, Nuessdorf, Uhldingen, Meersburg, Kippenhausen and ended up staying in Lippertsreute for the night. The next day we drove through Ueberlingen, Nuessdorf, Uhlingen, Meersburg. Took the ferry in Meersburg and visited Insel Mainau and drove back to Stuttgart. All in all a fantastic trip, if a bit short. I definitely have to keep Bodensee on my “Gotta come back” list. Here are some of the trip Pictures and don’t forget to check out the rest of my photo gallery.
Hot on the heels of our coverage of Image Slicing and Stretching paper titled Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing (Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir), here is a fully working prototype of the shrinking part of the paper by Patrick Swieskowski. So how long do you think it will take for Adobe to snag these guys up?……
Posted on 17:34, August 31st, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
So today I had a choice to make. You see I had to draw a small diagram and needed a editor. Now I know visio is the end-all-be-all of editors, but I needed something fast and simple. Oh and I really didn’t want to go down to the office to pick up the install disks for visio (on vacation). That’s where web2.0 came to rescue again. After a short google search I found two online services that allow you to edit/share Diagrams right in your browser:
Gliffy Online: Gliffy allows you to create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, UI wireframes, Floor plans, Network diagrams, UML diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram. Gliffy Online brings you a familiar desktop application feel in a web browser. Features such as copy,paste and undo are all a part of this advanced web application.
Best4c: Best4c(Best for chart) is a Web-based, online diagram tool that allows you to create, edit and share charts anytime, anywhere. It allows you to create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, Floor plans, Network diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram.
I’ll leave it to you to decide, for me personally Gliffy is more polished and has a better feel. Try them both (they are free) and let us know.
Follow this link and check out pictures from my recent trip to Amsterdam. I was there for 3 very short days (August 18-20) and I can’t wait to go back. If you ever get a chance to go there, DO IT. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I’m comparing it to Nice, Salzburg, Prague and Paris. You’ll need atleast two full days (ie: none Jet lagged days) to get a appreciation of what it has to offer, a week would be fantastic. One piece of advice, take your most comfortable shoes and practice your bike riding and when you get there watch out for those bicycles :-). And don’t forget to check out the rest of my photo gallery.
Posted on 10:15, August 31st, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
Well I’m not sure how long these guys will run their service for free, but I really like the service and if you’re a researcher or student it might even be worth a subscription fee. The service is called scanR and as long as you send them semi-decent photographs (2+ megapixel) of either your Whiteboard or Documents, they will generate and email you the PDF versions of those. I particularly like their Business Card scanR. Photo goes in, vCard information comes out. Check out their examples of Whiteboards, Documents and Business Cards. BTW, Qipit is another online service that does the same stuff (less the Business Card scanning). Personally I like (and use) scanR’s Business card scanning since I’m too lazy to type all the info into my addressbook, your mileage may vary.
Well, I’ll leave this one to you. You can decide on it’s Kosherness. The application is called TED and it can find all sorts of TV episodes you might have missed. From the homepage:
ted can find episodes of any TV show you like to watch. Just add your favorite shows to ted and he will search for the newest episodes and downloads them for you. ted uses bittorrent and RSS technology to get you the newest episodes as fast as possible! ted comes with a huge list of shows, all waiting for you to be watched. ted even displays a summary of each show, to help you choose shows you like.
ted requires Java 5 and a bittorrent client and is available for all platforms (Linux, Windows, Mac). Download here.
NeoOffice is a full-featured set of office applications (including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing programs) for Mac OS X. Based on the OpenOffice.org office suite, NeoOffice has integrated dozens of native Mac features and can import, edit, and exchange files with other popular office programs such as Microsoft Office.
It is available for free from the NeoOffice download page.
You all know my dislike for Microsoft and their products. Whenever possible I’ve tried to get away from having to use their software. Here is another opensource product that allows us to do our thing without them. From their overview page:
OpenProj is a free, open source desktop alternative to Microsoft Project. The OpenProj solution is ideal for desktop project Click to enlarge in a new windowmanagement and is available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows. OpenProj is a complete desktop replacement of Microsoft Project and even opens existing native Project files. OpenProj shares the most advanced scheduling engine in the industry with Project-ON-Demand. The OpenProj solution has Gantt Charts, Network Diagrams (PERT Charts), WBS and RBS charts, Earned Value costing and more.
Desklickr is my latest obsession. Great little utility that grabs images from Flickr and constantly refreshes your desktop background. There is even a Desklickr group for people who don’t want to think too much. Just set it and forget it.
Google has just announced google earth 4.2 and new to this version is the Skies. Several Sky layers are listed on the left-hand side, including Constellations, Backyard Astronomy, Hubble Showcase, The Moon, The Planets, User’s Guide to Galaxies and Life of a Star. The Sky layers are composed of over 1 million photographs from various scientific and academic sources.
Another new feature in Google Earth is the addition of super-high resolution photo content, which you can see by adding the layer Primary Database -> Featured Content -> Gigapxl Photos. Unlike Google Street View, these photos however are only available for a few select places (like buildings), so there’s not a lot of random fun stuff to be found.
So go download your free copy, install and hit “Switch between sky and earth”. This is absolutely fantastic and serves as a great resource for research and education. Thanks Google….You guys ROCK!!!
Posted on 05:25, August 23rd, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
Here is a quick link to WeatherDock for all you weather nuts. This is one of the best weather utilities I’ve seen in a longtime. Best of all…..It’s Free. Sorry Mac Only.
Found this while having a beer in Stuttgart, Germany. Video of the excellent paper presented by Shai Avidan from Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) and Ariel Shamir
From their excellent Paper titled Seam Carving for Content-Aware Image Resizing:
More info on the technique can be found in this PDF file.
Yeah these were shot during the last day of my Siggraph 2007 trip to San Diego. If you like the zoo, you’ll love the one in San Diego. If you don’t, go and visit anyway, you might change your mind. From Wikipedia entry:
The world-famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California is one of the largest, most progressive zoos in the world with over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species. It is privately operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego on 100 acres of parkland leased from the City of San Diego, and ownership of all animals, equipment and other assets rests with the City of San Diego.
Posted on 20:48, August 13th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
The people over at 5VoltCore have put together a PD installation that really tests your courage and trust in machines. The installation sets up a feedback loop between computer, robot and the user. The user is right in assuming that the machine can fail, the machine can fail because the user assumes.
Let me explain, it all starts with a PD patch that controls a knife held by a robot that will try to hit the space in between the users fingers. Once the user places his/her hand under the robot, the program takes over and the knife movements slowly speed up. At this point the user will either trust the machine or they will get nervous and start sweating. The sweating will then trigger a series of short circuits inside the computer that will cause the knife to move in a more erratic manner. The question is, will the user manage to hold still and not break into a sweat as the machine is doing it’s thing. Pretty scary stuff…….
Well maybe a bit too simple. I couldn’t decide if this one was totally evil –under a cutesy name and interface– or just simply useful and cool, so I’ll let you guys decide. Hop on over to Texty and give it a whirl.
The neat part of a service like texty is that you can craft your HTML pages the standard way (maybe through a webbased editor like WriteToMyBlog) and add elements to that page that can be updated and changed by others without disturbing the main content of the page. Again keep in mind that the texty elements will most likely not get indexed by search engines.