Monday, May 31, 2010

Demand Iron Sky

After revisiting Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning, a Star Trek parody, I discovered that the director is up for another project called Iron Sky. It looks much more ambitious than Star Wreck. They ask for a lot of support, including spreading the word (done here), donate, or even Demand Iron Sky, which includes putting a dot on the world map. The story is easy to sum up, see the posters below. It is of course always dicey to make Nazi parodies, but it looks interesting so far. Two teasers are out already (1, 2).

Friday, May 28, 2010

Chrome Speed

It's a few weeks old, but since it is a long weekend, now it is time to post it: Google produced a geekish video proving that their Chrome Browser is faster than a potato and a few other interesting things. Enjoy....

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vermicompost Harvest Time

Pretty much exactly one year ago I posted first about our Vermicompost attempt: we got a Can-O-Worm and started to collect organic kitchen scrap for compostation by way of the digestive power of Red Wigglers. At the time of the first posting, we had it already going for a while, so the process take well over a year. But today was the day of harvesting: the third level is getting full, and we need to take out the first one and make good use of the result. It turns out that there are still plenty of worms in the lowest bin, despite the myth that the Red Wigglers would move up to where the fresh food is. Other than this, the result is nice, black, homogeneous compost. We got probably a gallon out of it, which is really not much compared to the effort and time it took. We used it for a few roses, and now wait for great growth.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Commencing Countdown...

...engines on. The Big Picture celebrates what they call The first of the Last Space Shuttle launches. The title of photo spread this is odd, but the pictures are good as always. They show quite much of the dimension and peripheral effort to get a Shuttle up. There is a lot of transporting, building, testing, preparing going on with machinery much bigger than the Shuttle itself. Anyway, in the meantime, STS-132 is in orbit. Hail Atlantis!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Exploring Picnik

Today I revisited Picnik, an online photo editor and picture manipulator. They caught my attention quite some time ago, when Google acquired the company. Since then, not much seems to happen, but probably they work somehow to integrate Picnik with Picasa. Picnik is actually amazing: it can do a lot of photo stuff online, no installation of anything required. They connect to the usual photo sharing services and have a ton of effects and picture tools available. Below is an example (stupid manipulation, though. Here is the original). They ask for an annual fee to give access to "advanced" features which may or may not be needed. But in any case, Picnik is a reason to believe in web based services.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

iPhone Soccer

Here is a strange application for the iPhone. The theory is that sound coming out of the phones speaker pushes a little bit of air, which in turn can push objects. Small, light objects, that is. So someone created a simple soccer game app. Is it real?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Directions by Darth Vader

TomTom's GPS units allow for a long time custom voices for turn-by-turn voice navigation. I remember that Mr. T from the A-Team was a choice a long time ago. Now there is a StarWars edition of some kind coming out, with Darth Vader appearing first. TomTom produced a advertisement video, very funny, including the very end.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

An iPhone Sketch App

Here is a funny web application that allows you to craft an iPhone user interface, either exactly or in a draft mode which looks like a hand-drawn sketch. I think I need to feed a napkin into my printer to make it fully authentic.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Robot Balance

Here is a useful invention: a robot that can balance on a ball, and do something useful, like helping to carry something, or hold a tablet. It reminds a little to a Segway, but it is quite different.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The iPad

I am certainly late to the review-the-iPad mania. But now I got my hands on a loaner, and it is pretty impressive. A very good screen, and surprising performance. It is a little heavy, but in exchange there is good battery life, so I take that. Wifi is not that great, I had to disable the 'n' from my dual band router. Some of the apps are super-impressive, for example the Epicurious cookbook, or the Marvel comic app. I also tried Apples own Keynote, and even that was much better than anticipated. Overall, the iPad is certainly better for consuming stuff rather than producing. But the occasional mail works well. Actually, I'm writing parts of this blog entry on the iPad. I used free a free photo app to rotate and scale the image below, but the text entry does not work in wysiwyg - need to use the HTML editor :-( Perhaps I should look for a blog app. At the end, I finished this entry on the PC... Anyway, it is enjoyable.