18 December 2011
08 December 2011
What's got 15 cameras, three laser scanners, and a very friendly driver? The Google Street View car, which took a little rest this afternoon near the offices of Optics for Hire (Arlington, MA).
08 November 2011
- Installing a ton of Lenovo ThinkVantage updates (actually this seemed only to cause a new problem related to an ATI video driver)
- Turning off the update service, deleting the contents of a particular Windows folder, and restarting the update service
- Generally freaking out at 11 pm
19 August 2011
- Hack a Day
- Cool light-oriented product designer: Right Brain Electronics LLC
- Weather balloon space probes [Make]
- Electronic circuit design for beginners
- Cool animated LED art (though lately NSFW)
- A cat-cam "CatEye"
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Boston Tech Community 2011
- Steve Blank's startup tools and blogs - massive list
- "How I raised $24k on kickstarter"
- (literally) Killer Elevator Pitches [MIT YouTube]
- How VCs value startups differently than entrepreneurs (Tricks)
- "The story of General Computer" (my former landlord was the MIT student who co-invented Ms. Pac Man)
- New type of patent auction: "covenant not to sue" [PatentNews]
- LANL paper, "Life Cycle of a Minimal Protocell - A Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study"
- Gigantic PDF of the complete blueprints of the Clock of the Long Now
- Web help for Mathematica 3 (!! 3 !!)
- Fundamentals of holographic data storage [Madrid]
- Prakash: Lighting-aware motion capture [MIT Media Lab]
- MITRE "modified light field architecture for reconfigurable multimode imaging"
- [EDGE] A short course on synthetic genomics
- Perception: see lots of colors despite there being very few... [Land]
- How plants grow rings of branches: New Kind of Science pg 410
- Beal / Bachrach "infrastructure for engineered emergence on sensor / actuator networks" [PDF / CSAIL]
- Boston Acoustics - budget audiophile speaker
- How to jump ship from GoDaddy to a better host
- Screencap: Camtasia
- Building a quick website, RISD (2010) tips
- Transvideo studios
- The anatomy of a perfect landing page
- [CNN.com] Why on earth are the Kardashians famous?
- Yes - live performance of "Changes" [YouTube]
- Remember these stickers from the 1970s? WACKY PACKAGES!
- In defense of the "Jump the shark" episode
- A big trend in sunglasses
- TV appearance of Lincoln assassination witness (!?) a 96 yr-old in 1956
11 July 2011
27 June 2011
Websites. Mobile. Deal-aggregators. Game layers on life. Blah, blah, blah. What if you want to create and sell a product made of stuff or light?
Entrepreneurs getting into the hardware game have a few tools in 2011 that make it easier than it was, say, in 2005:
- GrabCAD turns mechanical concepts from napkin sketches (or better) into professionally designed-and-reviewed mechanical drawings for prototype. [note: I haven’t tried ‘em]
- Optics for Hire turns your optical wish into a prototyped reality. LED light-shaping? Medical device? Zoom lens? Done. They do the optical design, and if you want, the mechanical design. And the electronics. [note: I work for Optics for Hire, but I wouldn’t if I didn’t believe in it]
- KiCAD is open-source schematic capture.
- Many firms offer rapid protoyping “personal factories” – AlphaPrototypes, Ponoko, QuickParts, just Google it.
How do you market-test your idea, make a logo, and launch a website? 4-Hour Workweek has some ideas:
- Goodle AdWords, which is wildly useful
- Shopify – instant e-commerce websites
- 99designs.com – logos, websites, and other designed-stuff from a crowd of artists hoping to get your dollars
- Elance.com – outsource artwork, copywriting, and coding
- ODesk – even more outsourcing: code, writing, engineering, design
What would you add?
14 June 2011
Hello from the Orlando office -
This week’s Projection Summit 2011, an Insight Media event, offered a good view of topics of current interest to the A/V professional. (And by “A/V professional,” I mean: people who design digital projectors, buy digital projectors, make the guts of digital projectors, or love the Earth sufficiently to only buy digital projectors that don’t, you know, screw up our little planet.)
Normally I attend conferences like SPIE-IS&T SD&A, or SID, for their 3-D technical content. I was invited to speak at PS2011, and this was my first time attending.
The conference’s Agenda provides abstracts of each talk, so I won’t repeat that. Instead, here’s an overview, and an informal bullet point list of some key take-aways.
(Those take-aways are conveniently provided after this photograph of the impressively chocolatey brownies served at PS2011:)
So, what was covered at PS2011?
- Autostereo 3D, emphasizing “light field displays:” OFH’s and Zecotek’s time-domain view-scanning systems, and Holografika’s advances in multi-projector 3-D display.
- Tiled displays and stereoscopic projection (ROAM, Scalable, XpanD, Lightspeed Design, Brawn)
- Projector components, emphasizing microdisplays, geometry-correction silicon, MEMS, and LEDs
- Low-power Green Laser (Panel discussion). I learned too late that “green” here meant… the color green: #00FF00, 520 nm, you know.
- Projectors in Education
- Green AV (in which “green” meant earth-friendly)
- Laser-based digital cinema
What were some key takeaways?
- Gregg Favalora is a brilliant public speaker, and I understand he might be available for paid engagements on topics as diverse as: autostereoscopic display. With the deftness of an Olympic gymnast and the slight-of-hand of… oh, who am I kidding.
- According to one speaker, JVC seems to be the gold standard of home 3D projection. (I have not heard this comment elsewhere.)
- According David Chechelashvili of XpanD, the US stereo market is dominated by passive eyewear, Europe and Asia use active. So far.
- Chris Ward of Lightspeed Design announced a new modulator with very fast rise- / fall-times for passive stereo projection.
- Jonathan Brawn, who is well-known as an educator in A/V circles, is a really compelling speaker. Here, he explored the difficulties in designing projection systems optimized both for 2-D and 3-D, one of which requires different gain than the other.
- Syndiant’s CTO, Karl Guttag, voiced a popular sentiment of Projection Summit – green (as in the color) lasers are a critical need in the world of projector components because of their etendue. (I knew I’d get that word in there somehow.)
- I could listen to Luminus Devices’ Andrei Kazmierski talk for hours about LEDs (honest). Excited to see continued advances from this MASSACHUSETTS-BASED LED fabricator.
- Ten lashes with a wet noodle for not knowing beforehand who William “Bo” Coggshall was, an eloquent industry analyst in the world of large-screen display. Also, props to a guy who synchronizes his wardrobe with his corporate logo. He discussed the market saturation of educational “interactive whiteboards and interactive projectors” (e.g. SMART Technology); UK & US is nearing saturation, and there’s a big opportunity in developing markets. Evidently there is a not-quite-closed tender in Turkey for 600k units…
- Len Scrogan gave a fascinating talk about his efforts to guide Boulder, CO’s schools in testing the efficacy of stereoscopic projection. (Test scores have improved, behavior has improved, and kids with vision problems have gone to eye doctors and improved.) See: http://edtechfuture-talk.blogspot.com/ and www.3deyehealth.org .
- Educators (who genuinely care about helping the earth) and large corporations (who might, but who also care about avoiding bad PR) want their new digital projectors to be eco-friendly. Does that mean the bulbs are recyclable? That the projectors lack Hg? Much discussion about this. Some claims that EnergyStar 2.0 is “useless” for defining requirements of A/V equipment; that Christie Digital is making incredible strides towards eco-friendliness; that TCO Development has a certification process for “…driving IT towards sustainable use…”. Particularly compelling talk from Chris Maione Associates. (It might have helped that his NYC intonation reminded me of my mother country of New Jersey.)
Until next time,
07 June 2011
- I've long found the accomplishments, creativity, and speaking style of inventor Danny Hillis inspirational. (1) Danny shares two anecdotes about Richard Feynman in this brief video [YouTube]. (2) For you computer geeks, here's a promotional video about the first Connection Machine supercomputer [YouTube].
- Science fiction author Neal Stephenson's very brief PSA to get out there and make stuff with atoms instead of bits [YouTube].
- Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget is not your average "Web 2.0 is bad for you" book. It's also a book about the brilliance of cephalopods, self-expression, and how to stay human in a world of broad but fleeting interconnectedness. [Amazon]
- Have you ever heard of the Jasons, a real-life cluster of top scientists that advise the government? The Jasons: the Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite. [Amazon]
- Staying positive, following the beat of your own drummer: some of Seth Godin's brief blog postings still get it right. [Seth's Blog]
- In early 2010 I did some self-help / happiness / be-a-better-leader reading. My favorite: Zander and Zander's The Art of Possibility. My least favorite: The Happiness Project, from which I only learned that you really will feel a lot better if you get a good night's sleep. Otherwise, a pass.
- Alan Lightman's The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th-Century Science, Including the Original Papers, is awesome. For each of 25 breakthroughs, Lightman tells the story-behind-the-story, and then, yes, really does provide the original journal article in which the discovery was announced. That is so cool.
- My kids are 2 and 5, and evidently they like making stuff. Isn't is wonderful that there's also a reawakening of hobbyist / "maker" culture? An example of this around Boston is Parts and Crafts. Or, Make magazine. Etc. Here are some ideas on easy projects to do with your kids.
- Are you an entrepreneur? Consider actually attending a networking event. My pre-event reluctance to get my butt out to a meet-and-greet is 100% of the time rewarded with reinvigoration about entrepreneurship. Around Cambridge, MA, the best resource is Greenhorn Connect.
- Got a Kindle? Try Science News and PhysOrg.com. Totally worth it.
- Go check out the annual Edge question. This year, 159 intellectuals indicate useful modes of thought gathered from doing science, which everyone ought to add to their "mental toolkit." [Edge.org]
- Stop reading this stuff, buy a decent notebook, and go create something.
02 June 2011
27 May 2011
- they're getting so much view-aliasing outside the sweet-spot
- [+5 points] I can't believe they're still spatially-multiplexing, how 1908!
- order log N
- obviously NP-complete
- sticky portal with p13n
- obviously fail fast, and then pivot
- not really impedance-matched to the customer
- they didn't get the optics right on the investment thesis
- That NA will be tough with that fiber
- ...can squeeze all the etendue out
- Hexagonal close-pack
- it's normative
- obviously too much crosstalk
- too much vertical disparity
- (evidently, too much [anything])
20 May 2011
A return to our blog-roots in display -
I came to SID in search of new stuff in autostereo, chance encounters with colleagues, and a week-long forced “immersion program” back in my native skillset. Hello, 3-D without glasses, I have returned.
What did I find noteworthy? I mean, besides realizing that the volume level on the SID show floor was conducive to actual, rational, lengthy conversation? What a welcome change from CES.
CE Companies Pushing Autostereo Too Soon
Well, that’s what I think, at least.
Toshiba, LG, NEC, and Samsung are displaying various spatially-multiplexed autostereo panels, e.g. parallax barriers and lenticulars. Fraunhofer HHI showed several which used head-tracking to improve the imagery.
Still, universally, observers must position their heads carefully within a sweet spot, so that left- and right- eye zones straddle their nose. I saw many people walk up, try to use a display, and wander away in confusion.
In my opinion, couldn’t more companies try an alternate approach – time-multiplexed displays – that will give you 100 instead of 8 views, with very realistic imagery and freedom in head placement? All it takes is a fast image source, like a DMD… Perhaps that’s just my bias. 3-D that actually works.
A tiny sampling of the autostereo on display:
- NEC: 7.2” SVGA, 400 cd/m2, demo of dog swatting at butterfly, perhaps 2” of depth, unusual curved “fringing” at upper corners
- 55” 9-view autostereo 1920 x 1080 “LC lenticular,” switchable on/off
- 15.6” notebook with “moving parallax barrier” 1366 x 768 – looked pretty good to me
- Hitachi: 4.2” WSVGA, parallax barrier, 600 x 1024, 0.03 x 0.09 mm pitch
I wonder, my fellow researchers, if the key to breaking free from “hold your head still,” might be breaking away from spatial multiplexing?
Here’s what I mean about this. [YouTube playlist]
The SID 2011 program lives (lived?) here.
- Mike Klug gave very impressive talk about Zebra Imaging’s dynamic 3-D display, as part of a co-located conference on the future of touch technology. Photos!
- Wavien is developing their dual-paraboloid bulbs for digital cinema, and provided analyses trading off arc-length, drive power, and on-screen lumens. Some Barco disagreement from audience. Hilarity ensues.
- Wavien also spoke of their LED arrays with light-recycling for low-power apps.
- Kodak: 12-laser digital cinema projector, 11k on-screen lumens. f/6 instead of f/2.6, allowing less expensive lenses.
- Viewzone tripling. (34.3) National Chiao Tung University / Coretronic Corp (Taiwan) – tripled the number of viewzones on directional sequential backlight systems (like 3M’s) by adding a filter with a sort of repeating trapezoidal cross-section. One could call it the Toblerone Display.
- Holographic “Retinal” Display. Though I don’t understand the cases in which researchers insist that they are projecting “right into the retina!” (I mean, doesn’t perceived light always enter your eye?) the folks of paper 41.1 managed to create a multi-planar near-eye display ostensibly to help with focus / vergence mismatch pain. Oh, the pain of focus / vergence mismatch.
- Unfortunate no-show. I was looking forward to V V Petrov’s talk regarding his acousto-optical holographic displays, but he was not present.
- 360-degree panoramic imaging – in stereo! D Montgomery (Sharp Labs Europe) shocked and amazed in paper 41.4 with their three-truncated-hyperboloidal mirror camera system. Here on Google patents. Plus, if you replace the camera with a projector, it’s a stereoscopic panoramic projector.
- Physically-accessible 3-D above a tabletop. X Xia et al from Zhejiang University (Hangzhou, China) demonstrated several 3-D displays using various horizontal directional diffusers. These looked very promising. They did remind me of this Actuality invention [YouTube].
Something literally cool
Did you see Samsung’s collection of large transparent displays? One covered the face of a see-through fridge. This video doesn’t quite convey the awesomeness.
Time to Return to the East Coast
I don’t have a tinted-window Mercedes, and I’ve never purchased wrap-around sunglasses, so that’s my signal that this East Coaster needs to return to Beantown.
Oh: this life-sized advertisement struck me as just a wee bit odd. “Oh, come on over, I’m just watching my show. The one about OLED, LCD, and PDP.”
The long hours of this conference-visit and blog-update were brought to you by:
- Wondering why 30% of the folks in the audience were diligently photographing every slide.
- Puddle of Mudd, “Drift and Die”
- Emmanuel Santaorromana, “Metropolitain”
- David Battenfield, “Sonic Ghazal”
- Traffic, “Dear Mr. Fantasy (Stereo Version)”
- Bright Eyes, “Lover I Don’t Have to Love”
- John Kelley, “Desert Days”
ps Have you joined the NON-GLASSES 3D DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY group on LinkedIn? There are several autostereo groups, but this one seems to be where it’s at.
25 March 2011
- Connect iPod to computer & sync
- Click Devices > (your iPod)
- In OPTIONS, make sure that "Sync only checked songs and videos" is CHECKED
- Click Library > Music
- Click any song name
- Press Ctrl-A to select all songs
- Right click & pick "uncheck selection" (all songs will be unchecked)
- Sync (this will remove all songs from your iPod)
- Click any song name
- Press Ctrl-A to select all songs
- Right click & pick "check selection" (all songs will become checked)
- Sync (this will load all songs back into your iPod - it will take a long time)
- Comment here to let the readers know if this method worked or not