Quotes I like

The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.
William Gibson

Be creative. Try harder.

Form follows function.

Keep it simple. Stupid.

The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull.
Edsger W. Dijkstra

I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.
The Martian

When data disproves a theory, a good scientist discards the theory and a poor one discards the data.
Will Spencer

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team. – John C. Maxwell


My problem is that I find everything increasingly interesting.
William Gibson

Man muss nicht in der Bratpfanne gelegen haben, um über ein Schnitzel zu schreiben.
Maxim Gorki

Virtual Reality as a Tool

The VR hardware market exploded after Facebook deemed VR investment worthy with its 2 billion acquisition of Oculus in 2014. A lot of serious players entered the game and Q1/2016 is gonna be the culmination of this. All major players Oculus, HTC/Valve, Sony and Microsoft with their AR headset, announced the public release of their consumer products for the beginning of next year. What still seems the most interesting to see though is what Magic Leap can come up with.

I always thought that the real magic of VR and AR technology doesn’t lie in entertainment but in its great potential as a tool for engineering and creation in general. So far only one company, HTC, lets this idea reflect in its marketing leading up to the big battle of the platforms next year. The following video is an example for this.

Electroadhesive Robot Climbers

By now, most roboticists are familiar with the myriad gecko-type robots that employ Van der Waals forces (created by microscopic synthetic setae) to cling to walls.  Less well-known is the work on an electrically-controllable alternative developed by researchers at SRI International (formerly called Stanford Research Institute) called “electroadhesion”.  Impressively, the electroadhesive can support 0.2 to 1.4 N per square centimeter, requiring a mere 20 micro-Watts per Newton.  This means that a square meter of electroadhesive could hold at least 200kg (440 lbs) while only consuming 40 milli-Watts, and could turn on and off at the flick of a switch!  Read on for pictures, videos, and discussion.

The patent: US 20080089002 A1

via Electroadhesive Robot Climbers | Hizook.

Browser Based Video Editing

Mozilla has released Popcorn Maker 1.0 a Browsers based video editing and compositing tool. It’s pure HTML, CSS and Javascript and builds on the fact that with HTML5, video is just another HTML element — editable, hackable, remixable.

That means it can interact with other HTML elements or use JavaScript to augment video in real time — annotating videos with information like location, details about the people and topics in the video, subtitles, Twitter feeds, current weather information, links and much more.

Once you’ve got your base video (or videos) in Popcorn Maker, adding elements to it is as simple as grabbing one of the “events” from the right hand side of the editor and dragging it onto either the video stage itself, or the timeline below. Once your event is in the timeline you can change the settings, resize it, move it around and otherwise tweak it to behave the way you’d like. And finally just click the share link and Popcorn Maker will give you either a link (or an embed code) you can paste anywhere on the web.

To get started remixing videos, head on over to the Popcorn Maker site. If you want to see some examples, check out new Popcorn Maker projects on Webmaker.org. For more background on how Popcorn Maker works, check out the Mozilla Hacks blog post.