zaterdag, augustus 13, 2005

Streamload - freedom for your digital lifestyle

Hey everybody! Just wanted to inform ya'll on the Streamload-service; this service offers unlimited storage, the ability to send and receive megafiles, but most importantly: you have access to your files from anywhere (so you can host your files and unburden a website or something).
So check it out if you'd like and if not, well then don't! Oh and remember: If I'm not back in 5 seconds, just wait longer... take care now, bye bye then!

Do YOU ever have tech-burnout?

Just wondering: have you ever had the feeling of being burned out on technology; that you're just sick and tired of writing emails and IM's, that you have to force yourself to pick up the phone? A feeling that kicks in just once or a few times a year, that you're just DONE with it all, that you just need a break? That you basically get all technophobic or communifobic? Do not think you are the only one..

Virtual Keyboard finally available!

It has taken some time, fuzz over patents and what's more, but now the damn thing is finally available: A Virtual Laser Keyboard. US-citizens can buy it here (not bluetooth version for $149), Europeans here (Bluetooth version for Euro 199).

As you can see it's a device that projects the keyboard onto any desired surface, by use of a red laserbeam. Obviously it also detects the movement of your fingers, so it knows what keys you've been hitting :) And when you hit a key, a subtle soundsignal is given. Uhm, what else? Oh yeah, with the included lithium-ion batteries it's supposed to 'be alive' for 120 hours @ a time.

Of course, there are obvious disadvantages: since there's no tactile feedback, pulling thru a long computer-session might result in painful fingertops. But then again, if you ask me (I know, nobody does, but this is MY virtual space :), this is a typical mobility-device. I haven't tried it out yet, but I can imagine, if you do a lotta typing on your cellphone or PDA-type device, it might actually come in handy (especially the Bluetooth version). And if you have a girlfriend (or are there actually females in my audience, cause in that case let me rephrase 'if you have a boyfriend...') you can first give her a massage and by the time she has fallen asleep, use her back as your keyboard (not that I have any idea what good that would do, but hey, we gotta try things out in life).

And if you know how to read the wonderful Dutch language, then here's the source..



vrijdag, augustus 12, 2005

56 cents/hour in a 'videogame-sweatshop' >> Welcome to the online underworld!

Goodafternoon fellow-earthbots! Here's yet another wild story, straight from Rotterdam. But first for something completely different: The Dance Parade! What? Hundreds of thousands of people going nuts on Trance & Techno, tomorrow, right here (After clicking, you'll be requested to download a file: Don't worry, it's a Google Earth Placemark (kmz-file), so you'll be flown to the exact place where I'll be dancing! And I am not going to tell you again that you need to have Google Earth installed).

Now that I've slipped into the realm of Marketing anyways, I might as well say this: We've also had Formula 1 Racing (yes, in the centre of Rotterdam, once again, The Dutch are known for smoking too much..), Summercarnaval and the Red Bull Air Race. All this summer! So now for the moral of this story: Rotterdam = cool! Thank you for listening, let's get back to the program >>

And today's program is about Sack (I am NOT responsible for this name), a chinese guy who works for 56cents an hour, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the U.S. Lineage II server. On a monthly basis that means $150 for him and $60.000 for his employer. And what does he do? He's a 'farmer', exacly, not in the original sense, but in the dawn21stcentury-sense. He works in a MMORPG and he manually controls automated agents (so they're not automated enough if you ask me) out of 'their dungeons' to go sell their goods (gold & items & stuff) and then returns them to their dungeons again so they can beef up on gold, items and stuff again. And that's it. So the moral of this story: If you want to make real money in the virtual world, it's all about the ability to write game macros or the money to purchase them. And if you know where to look, they are on the open market. A macro that uses a teleportation exploit in World of Warcraft is currently going for $3,000. Then just hire cheap labor to monitor the bots...

It's a strange planet.

donderdag, augustus 11, 2005

Space Adventures offers moontrips by 2008!

They cooperate with the Russian space agency Energiya, they're gonna fly in the Soyuz, it's gonna cost 100 million dollar per trip, 2 people @a time and eventually, of course, they want to put people on the moon.

I don't think there's much left to say, other then, I really hope I can afford a space- or moontrip, let's say, 30 years from now; so really rich people: Go and invest and invest and invest!!! So that the 'simple people' like me can afford this in the near/midterm future!

Read more

By the way, which reminds me! Did you know the Japanese wanna have a true robot moonbase by 2025?! Complete with "robot satellites" (they service, repair and refuel other satellites) and all. Advanced versions of Qrio and Asimo would be walking around there. Nice! Then all we need to do is make sure that that crazy dude that's running Virgin Galactic has our moonhotels ready. Something like a dome like Eden would be nice virgin-dude :) complete with nice-looking female android hostesses and all. In this garden of Eden-type dome we obviously would have a bar to go to, but we'd call it the Spacebar and let the Dutch run it (so as to make sure it would REALLY BE a Spacebar :), take that, a female android and the view and Wow, you'd have yourself a hell of a vacation man!! But I guess I personally don't need space, I seem to be trippin anyways! And so far for our weekly Irrelevant Information Show! Have yourself a nice one and remember! Be well and be efficient, my fellow Earthbots :)

Jarno says bye.

woensdag, augustus 10, 2005

Very virtual & Very real: 50hrs gaming kills South Korean dude

There are many addictive things in life (this remark has nothing to do with the fact that I am Dutch, ok!), anyway, gaming is clearly one of of them. I personally also remember many a times that it was sooo damn difficult to 'stop gaming' and go to bed. I had my toughest moments with Halo on the X-box. I'll never forget how impressed I was when I saw that game for the first time. But these South-Korean dudes!? Wow, they definitely top off the charts! I think 16 hours straight is my personal best, but 50 hours? This guy did it and died...

Nanotech & Space Exploration - Nasa's thinking small...

Good morning planet Earth! Just passed by an interesting feature on Nasa's site; it's about Nanotech and the future of space exploration and that's what Jarno likes! It explains that Nanotech is about more then just shrinking things, because when deliberately ordering and structuring matter @the molecular level, amazing new properties sometimes emerge.

Currently all trendy in the nanotech-world and a great example of this: The Carbon Nanotube! (see drunk nanotube above). Did you know that carbon can occur as graphite or as diamond and that the only difference lies in the specific 'arrangement of the carbon atoms'? Anyways, when scientists arrange the same carbon atoms into a "chicken wire" pattern and roll them up into miniscule tubes only 10 atoms across, you get the so-called Nanotubes. And they are very very strong (100 times steel) & light & act as great conductors & semiconductors, so that's all just great. Because of these rather extraordinary traits carbon nanotubes can be used for all kinds of things: a strong cable for a space elevator, as molecular wires for nano-scale electronics (see what IBM's doing) or as tiny rods and gears in nano-scale machines (watch a Nanofactory Animation Movie here), but that would just represent the short term...

Read more on Nanotech...

maandag, augustus 08, 2005

600 square miles of free Wifi-access in Oregon >> we need this in Holland!

This NYT-editorial describes Hermiston, Eastern Oregon, where highschools hold 'kiss the pig' - contests; pretty rural. And you know what? They have the largest wifi hotspot in the world; 600 square miles and they're already starting to introduce WiMax, the next generation of technology after Wi-Fi. What's more: it's free for consumers and has been up and running for more than a year and a half.

Now that's how the cookie crumbles! 600 square miles ~ 1500 square kilometres. Holland has about 35000 in total! And although we do have pigs too, we also have 16.5 million people! And it's not like our flat lands are the most difficult terrain to cover. Kim Puzey, the general manager of the Port of Umatilla, envisions broadband Internet access as just another utility, like electricity or water. I think that's clever thinking, but who am I? Considering the fact that computerchips get 10 times as powerful in 5 years, considering the fact that RFID-chips will break the 5cent barrier in the next 5 years & will then be put in everything, considering the fact that computerscreens get better, thinner and cheaper @a frantic pace, considering the fact that one new blog is being created every second & that everybody I know thinks the Internet is cool, YEAH, I'D SAY A FREE DUTCH NATIONWIDE WIMAX-NETWORK WOULD PROBABLY PAY OFF FOR THE DUTCH ECONOMY!

So are you listening Jan-Peter? (the Dutch government finds being modern very important...). Now, I don't know how much such a thing would cost but, well, first of all, I don't think it would really matter, cause it would pay off anyways, but second of all the Dutch government should easily be able to afford this by using a bit of the money they make on gasoline...

... Yes, we (although I personally do not have a car right now) pay Euro 1,41 for a liter of gasoline. With the Euro being about 1,25 dollars right now, that means $1,76 for a liter, which translates into (3,6 * $1,76 ) = $6,34 for a gallon of gasoline and about 75% of that is money for the government! Now IS THAT a good deal or what!? It truly is, since we have about 7 million cars riding around in our 35.000 square-kilometre pot-clouded water-managed Harry Potter theme park. How much is that per square kilometre per year? Could you finance a Wimax-network with that? All the roads in the world won't alleviate the clogged-ness of the Dutch highways; with a new road here, the bottleneck moves there! Building more roads now results too much in 'bottleneck replacement' and too little in a fundamental solution. So hold back on the roads, build the Wimax-network and by the time it is ready, it can be used by the by-then 8 million cars to communicate with eachother and drive themselves (@ fixed speeds & distances so as to use the existing roads way more effectively).

But, then again, why am I worrying about all this?

Remote-controlled woman :)

Ever heard of galvanic vestibular stimulation, or GVS? Well I hadn't, but now I have and such an interesting article I stumbled upon, oh jolly! ;)
Anyway, this is the deal: Your vestibular system controls your sense of movement and balance, and apparently it can be trown off-kilter by delivering two weak electrical currents to the mastoid (area of bone) behind your ear. Because when this happens,
the body responds by shifting the balance toward the anode & if the current is strong enough it won't just throw you off-balance but will alter your course of movement.

At the 2005 SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference in Los Angeles NTT-researchers have shown a remote-controlled device to deliver these currents. And why is that cool? Well, just watch this remote-controlled woman

zondag, augustus 07, 2005

What is it with Black Holes?

What is it with black holes that intrigues me so much? (the picture to the left is not a black hole, but nice anyways) Or is it simply the fact that it's too easy to intrigue me? I don't know. I do remember my mom used to tell me how, when I was 4/5, and we lived on a farm, I used to walk all the way towards the end of the path leading to our house. There was a fence there. But after I had figured out how to open that fence, I would simply walk into the woods nearby. And I would simply not stop walking, which resulted in many scared moments for my mom. Well, sorry! But anyway, I loved to discover then, and I do now, so what is it with black holes that intrigues me so much? Well, anyhow, they say they discovered a whole bunch of new ones.

PS: 'Black holes cannot be seen directly, because they trap light and anything else that gets too close. But astronomers infer their presence by noting the behavior of material nearby: gas is superheated and accelerated to a significant fraction of light-speed just before it is consumed.'

Welcome to blogumentary!

This morning, when I was 'virtually tripping' again, I hit upon Chuck Olson's Blog: a true Blogumentary about the blogosphere.

He writes: 'Blogs empower us to tell our story, spout and debate our politics, and share ourselves with the rest of the world – or at least the 5 people who read our blog. What compels us to blog? How does it affect us, each other, our work, the mediascape, the world? Do bloggers have anything in common? Does the blogosphere have a life of it's own, like the emergent behavior of an ant colony excited by the discovery of food?'
and explores themes like 'Personal expression and transformation. Democratic non-corporate media in action. Tension between revelation and anonymity. Blog personality vs. real-life personality (e.g. shyness). Relationship dynamics: romantic, family, friends, work. Connectedness. Blogosphere as a living organism. Humanity.'

Well Chuck, let me tell you that I find this truly interesting! This apparent 'urge' that many of us seem to have to write about our interests, ourselves, to show the world with imagery and videos, to share all that makes 'me'. It seems to be in our nature to wanna communicate, explore & understand and then store Information. That's also why I liked the specific arrangement of the following 5 words :) 'Blogosphere as a living organism', Because I truly believe that that's what we're doing: creating a worldwide metallic/silicon 'autonomously operating' organism (like pieces of a grant puzzle: blogging/videologging/omnipresence of access to the web/chip-size being reduced to dust >> omnipresence of chips [in products/food/medicine/our own body] /step by step creation of 'virtual personalities' [avatars/verbots/game personalities/'autonomously operating' blocks of software]/robotics/'smart materials' and Nano-tech in general/genetics=software)

That's why this is my personal ideal: to have a house in the mountains/forest with an amazing view and nothing much in the house but 'the connection'. More and more of what we are doing on a daily basis, seems to be lying in or near the realm of the virtual. The Internet like quicksand. As if the virtual world is slowely but surely covering our beings.

Which reminds me of this article about the fact that real-world trading of virtual items used in online games has rocketed (also check this previous post). Imagine paying 100 real-world dollars for a virtual sword, then blogging about it and posting videos of you 'in action' with the sword. Yep, the realm of the virtual is closing in on us. So now imagine to have the inside of your house wallpapered with 'video-plastics' and your occasional 3D-screen and that you stand in your living room talking to Ramona, 'the virtual personality' if you want something from Google. Once that's the case, of course we will say: "Nice, but now what?" and further down the rabbit hole (inspired by The Matrix, thank you) we will move. What an akward future we must have ahead of us...

Statement I found @ this blog, nicely reflecting the urge to express oneself: 'This VideoBlog will be updated everyday of 2005 with a video. It'll kill me. But what the hell. So Check back daily!'.

Blablablabla and so it goes on & on, enough now Jarno, down boy!

zaterdag, augustus 06, 2005

Boost for narrowcasting: holograms!

An image that floats in front of a screen, but can turn around as well, visible upto 30 metres. McDonalds Australia already has it and its coming to a cinema near you pretty soon: Holographic imagery.

Watch this flash-movie
Read more here and here
Visit Opticality Corp. and Vizoo

vrijdag, augustus 05, 2005

Food for thought

Dear reader,

Did you know that if you want to buy a ticket for the train in Holland, then you can either buy that ticket @ a touch-screen ticket machine or go to the counter & buy it there. Since last year though, if you go to the counter, they do not only print you your train ticket but also an extra one for which you have to pay an additional 0,50 euro. They call it 'administrational costs' but the underlying thought is to force your inefficient ass to the machine next time you wanna catch a train - so they don't have to keep those expensive human beings on their payroll forever. So instead of 'administrational costs' I like to call it 'Inefficiency Fine'; They print you an extra ticket! One that specifically says 0,50 Euro. I mean: if you have the guts to bug a poor human being with something as futile as the purchase of a ticket, to whatever service for that matter, well then that's your call, but don't expect us to not say anything about it, you Inefficient System! 0,50 Euro, woohaha!! You should be happy we don't charge you 5,00 Euro's for this. Any idea what human beings cost to maintain? ... ... ...

Did you know that between 1995 and 2002 the U.S.A. lost 2 million industrial jobs, mostly to China? Did you also know that China, in that period, lost 15 million such jobs, mostly to machines?

Dìd you know that automation of farming pushed people into factories and that automation of factories is pushing people into service and that automation of service is pushing people into information tech and that automation of information tech will push people into symbiont groups and that automation of symbiont groups will push people beyong biology and that we will then be transhuman, whatever that means?

Am I confusing everybody again? Well, I can imagine! But anyways, the moral of the story is that I think ultimately, everything is about efficiency. I mean: when we discovered fire, why did we keep it? Not JUST because it was cool, I'd say. I'd say that it helped keeping us warm more efficiently and it helped us catch our food more efficiently, by allowing us to scare each & every animal's pants off by chasing them off a cliff with the fire on a stick. So if you ask me (who does? But that's the great thing about this virtual world, what do I care! :), every choice we have ever made, was essentially a choice towards greater efficiency...

... I mean, @ the 'beginning of days' each & every individual was surviving for him/her self. Then we figured out the concept of 'division of labor', so some people went hunting and others went searching for food. then we discovered that we could actually stay 'home' all day and simply grow the food from the ground up. Then we decided to extrapolate on that concept by doing the exact same thing, but by the millions; welcome to the age of empires! Ratata! The Greec, the Romans etcetera. Then we discovered things like alchemy and before we knew it we got scientific, which was handy cause now we could invent something called 'machines'. Food organization by the millions, but why do the hard labour ourselves? And so we build ever bigger and more efficient machines. But in order to operate the machines you need to pull all kinds of levers & stuff. Whaa, we don't wanna pull levers! So let's invent another machine that can operate the machines; we'll call it 'a computer'. But for computers to be useful we have to make them faster. And faster and faster. But then computers got so fast that it became difficult for the humans to operate them. All this typing & clicking! Whaa, we don't wanna type & click! So let's invent a way that we don't have to. And so the age of symbioses began. And from 'talking to' and 'being with' it went to 'merging with'. Cause this way things were more efficient.

The end.

From Gmail to Lifelogs & the arrival of the Symbiotic Age

Did YOU know that it's Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful? No? Well, it is. And within that context they're testing this new Email-service, called Gmail (how original) >>

Gmail differs significantly from other mail-services though; it is built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail and you should always be able to find the message you want. So they give you over 2000 Megabytes (2 Gigabytes) of storage for free and preserve, for the first time, everything you will ever type and Google Search quickly recalls any message you have ever sent or received - so no more need to file messages! So Gmailers are bloggers really, even if they don't realize, since everything that gets typed, gets logged. Next thing you know, we store everything we've ever said and then everything we've ever seen. Combined with effective systems for auto-archiving and auto-indexing, this is where the true realm of LifeLogging begins.. (check out the Nokia Lifeblog to get an idea)...

... Lifelogging or not, since technological development itself is speeding up exponentially, quite quickly we're brought back to that one question again: 'Yeah, but now what?' And then I say: well, better to brace yourself and prepare for the coming of the Symbiotic Age...

" Technology is becoming organic, Nature is becoming technologic " (Brian Arthur, SFI)

Yahoo gets serious with Audio Search

Hello! Information-access has just taken yet another step towards complete 'seemlessness'; see, in the not-too-distant future Microsoft's operating system might not be called 2000, XP or Vista but something more along the lines of Communications and a Google-search will entail talking to a virtual personality instead of typing words - the moral of this story: a single point of access for whatever you want to do...

In the meantime however, I just find it interesting to watch the steps taken towards that goal. As if we humans are ants, frantically working to complete the hundreds of thousands of pieces that alltogether make up that one giant puzzle: One big earth-wide electronic brainsystem! I mean, if you'd separate an individual ant from its antfarm and ask him what exactly it is he is building, then the ant would probably reply by saying 'Huh?', because most likely the ant wouldn't have a clue - all it knows is how to work - the endgoal is not what's relevant. Well, you know what?! That strikes me as an intriguing parallel to humans; there's no individual human being who has a clue what's happening on this planet, where all changes will lead to - humans just know how to work. The only difference between us and the ants is that we're not building a giant ant-palace but a planet-wide electronic brain.

Anyway, look at me babbling again; the Internet is definitely a place where it is not all that difficult to almost literally go virtually crazy. Then again, since the word 'crazy' reflects no more then a 'certain deviation from a norm', in this case the question arises 'what's the norm?' - isn't that just exactly it with the current weblog/videolog/lifelog - development? Isn't the only reason why they're so popular, the fact that they give each and every person a chance to create his/her own 'virtual' - reality? Like a virtual cocoon, with your memories, your thoughts, your rules; we'll soon be starring in our own movies and that in itself reminds me of The Matrix again...

For all you truly interested readers, back to the subject at hand: Yahoo Audio Search. The free service allows you to sift thru a database of over 50 million music files, podcasts, spoken word-files and artist websites! The first service to give access to songs featured on most major music download sites, thru a single point of access. Ever heard of the 'Trockener Kecks' or 'Normaal'? Old Dutch audio-stuff, but I DID find it using Yahoo Search. And you know what that means? That I'm impressed :)

And don't forget to have yourself a lovely day now, cause, whether it's God, Allah, Green Tara, nobody, some 'unknown dude's intelligent design' or just the mathematical way of the universe, fact is: we're stuck in that universe and life is short so enjoy damnit :)

donderdag, augustus 04, 2005

Uhm, ever heard of Robot camel-jockeys?

Date: Monday July 18, 2005
Location: Al Wathba racing track, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Subject: Desert racing! Yeah Baby!

Why do I tell you this stuff? Because 'robots' were used! I got this from & the article literally says that since the use of child jockeys has been condemned by human rights activists, robots have now been developed; remote-controlled riders with mechanical legs for balancing or leaning and mechanical arms for pulling on their camel's reins.. intriquingly weird if you ask me.. by the way, this reminds me of the Japanese, not that they're not allowed to use children for whatever cause, but in the near future they won't have any! And that is their reason for pumping shitloads of money into 'robotic reasearch'. By the year 2015 the Japanese government wants to 'put robots to use' in daily chores; helping the elderly finding their daily route to the toilet & stuff like that. No I'm not joking damnit! The Japanese love robots..

Or check out some of the previous posts (brought to you by 'The Marketing Department':)
-> Robots help Japan care for its elderly
-> Toyota to employ robots
-> New robots walk like humans
-> Did you know the Honda Asimo robot could run?
-> Robots that can feel, reason and desire

Robot catcher grabs ball at 300 km/hour!

Hello everybody. Here I am again to bore you all with some high tech news. This time: the realm of robotics. Here we go :)
Scientists at the University of Tokyo, Japan (where else..) have developed a 'robotic catcher' that can comfortably grab a ball flying thru the air at 300 kilometres per hour, or 83 metres per second. And then I say: wow! yet another little piece of the big "Come with me if you want to live/Terminator II" - puzzle, solved! Anyway, the damn thing has an array of 32 by 48 individual photo detectors in its “palm” so as to track a ball's trajectory @ high speed and a series of specialised image processing circuits to 'recognise' the movement almost instantly. And last but not least: It uses High speed actuators to move its fingers through 180 degrees in 0.1 second!

And the reason for making this thing? Well, there was some blabla, but I think they just had nothing better to do and did it because they could. Cause come on.. if we human beings needed any other reason, we would still live in the jungle.

So greetings fellow earthlings & don't forget to smile once in a while!

Meet Snuppy, the cloned South Korean dog!

He's 16 weeks down the road and amazingly Snuppy is still alive. Already to be found in the Museum of cloned animals were: Dolly the sheep, CC the cat and Ralph the rat. Snuppy, whose name stands for Seoul National University puppy, was made from a cell taken from the ear of a three-year-old male Afghan hound.

woensdag, augustus 03, 2005

Using an online game to help teach computers to see

Hi everybody! This is a story about so-called computer vision. Computer vision is still at a primitive stage, in part because it takes so much time to teach computers how to identify objects -- a process that involves highlighting objects or features in images for the computer. But now there's this online game: Peekaboom (How Peekaboom works and why you should play). Peekaboom is intended to help teach computers to see. Since the Post-Gazette first wrote about Peekaboom in October 2003, more than 80,000 people have played the game and in the process have generated more than 10 million descriptive words for 1 million images...

Read more

The beauty of reality captured in virtuality

After typing the words surreal and purple in Flickr Photo Search I got some interesting search results. One of them is the picture to the left. It came from A Blog's Eye View of Sydney. the picture was taken at Yarramalong Valley, a picturesque spot an hour north of Sydney during foggy weather.

The moral of this story? Well: some guy in Australia decides to take a road-trip and then happens to catch this purple sunset scene on camera. Thru the fog it looks so purple that it's almost surreal. And then there's this bored guy, 20.000 km away from the roadtrip-guy, in a country called Holland. He has absolutely nothing to do and therefore he decides to look for purple surreal pictures on the Web. And then he ends up looking at the picture of the roadtrip-guy. The Internet is just amazing! We must never forget how insane this is! Imagine 10-15 years ago. If I had wanted to find a purple surreal picture taken by an an Australian dude, wow, that would have taken quite some effort. So I am amazed and intrigued that all this is possible. Just so you know :)

Cool new features in Flickr!

Have you heard of Flickr yet? No! Well listen up then: It's almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world! (No, nobody's paying me to say this, I just got outta bed with a lot of enthusiasm today). On the Flickr-blog 2 new features were recently announced:
Clustering, a better way to explore photos through tags, and Interestingness, a ranking algorithm based on user behavior around the photos.

With the clustering-feature, when exploring photos, you can now also root around finer distinctions. So 'dog nose red' will leave you with other hits then 'dog nose blue' (and they make sense too, try it out yourself)

But there's more to tell about Flickr. In order to get there though, firstly for something completely different: KML-documents. Google Earth KML Documents detail everything you need to know to create and share information with the Google Earth client. The simplest kind of KML documents are those that can be authored directly inside the client (Google Earth). That is, you don't need to edit or create any KML in a text editor. Placemarks, ground overlays, paths and polygons can all be authored directly in the Google Earth client! So that's cool, now back to Flickr >>

This guy at has created a so-called KML-network link so that after opening the file (which you can download here) Google Earth will open (so obviously you have to have Google Earth installed) it will enable you to see the 50 photos hosted on Flickr that are geospatially tagged as being closest to the center of your present viewpoint (so far 36,938 photos have been tagged)

'The photo set will refresh four seconds after you stop moving, so fly where ever you want to visit, pause for a few seconds, and then enjoy the arrival of 50 thumbnail images that are tagged as in that neighborhood. Like what you see? Click on one of the thumbnail images to get a link to the full-size hosted image'.

And I just think all this stuff is cool.


dinsdag, augustus 02, 2005

A story about Google Earth, virtual flights & logfiles

In Google Earth, there is this feature called 'layers'. One of the layers you can activate is the 3D-layer. When flying thru Houston for example (see picture below), you can then really see the buildings in 3D, although they still look like giant white boxes, I think it's still pretty darn cool! Anyway, since I live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, I am obviously frustrated that the Rotterdam architecture hasn't been mapped out yet. But I guess that's just a matter of time. Wouldn't it be cool though if you could actually see what the buildings would like like, instead of white boxes? But I guess that's also just a matter of time. If you would then add a 'game-like layer' by means of which you could actually land on the ground in Google Earth. You could then walk around (just like in the games) and 'enter shops' and so on in the virtual world. By accessing the physical location, you would then get access to the store's website or something.

The other way around, maybe they could develop this easy-to-use software-tool for the cell-phone. By pressing one button you could have 'your journey logged'. The log would contain both audio, video and location-based meta-information. The logfile would than be contained in a format compatable to Google Earth. So back home you can enjoy a virtual flight thru the places you just actually visited, on your large screen TV.

Then imagine a world in which RFID-chips have reached the 2.5 - 5 cent price-level. So let's say, in 5 years, all products the consumer can buy anywhere will then be tagged. All portable devices will then also have an RFID-capability. Again, with a nice software-tool added to the mix, this way, a logfile can automatically be uploaded to your 'lifelog' on the web, containing information about what products you bought at what time in which stores, at what price etcetera etcetera. Since the RFID-chips contain information on the specific manufacturer of the product at hand, date of fabrication, contact-info, etcetera, all this info would also be contained in the logfile.
Combined with the Google Earth - story this would mean that you would for instance go shopping on saturday. Then you come home, switch on the television, upload the Google Earth compatable log-file from your cellphone or whatever mobile device and then on screen your taken on a virtual flight thru the streets that you just visited. Then you could 'stop the movie' at any time, fly around yourself simply because you can, enter the shop you just visited, but virtually this time, and then get access to the log-file of the products you just bought there.

With storage capacity growing, processing speed further increasing, manufacturing costs of chips decreasing, over time we will log a an-ever growing percentage of our daily lives. From whatever perspective you take. Whether it is the logging of 'meta-ìnformation' (what product was bought at what price), or actual info (audio/video/your own movements) or 'related information' (product and manufacturing information on RFID chips etcetera). And why would we store and log so much? because we can! Just look at the growth of weblogging. Does THAT make any sense? Most people just like myself do not really have anything very much substantial to say in their weblogs, yet every 5 months the number of weblogs is still doubling! It's in our nature to 'store information'.

One blog created 'every second'

This article talks about the fact that according to blog trackers Technorati, the number of blogs it was tracking now stood at more than 14.2m blogs, up from 7.8m in March. They suggest, on average, the number of blogs is doubling every five months. They also pointed to the growth in moblogs, blogs to which people with camera phones automatically send pictures and text.

Read more about the State of the Blogosphere on David Sifry's (founder and CEO of Technorati) Alerts.

Inscriptions in a cave's bedrock, inscriptions on stone tablets, writing onto paper (books), photo-albums and letters, weblogging, video-logging, life-logging, uploading of thoughts&emotions/ personality capture, moving beyond biology, isn't the future just bizarre?