16 Nov 2004

critical blogging component out of service

my lame excuse for a phone, or more recently referred to as the piece-of-shite formerly known as a nokia 6600 has stopped providing this blog with the vital ingredients to keep its audience. so for the 4 of you who actually read my blog, i would like to apologise on behalf of my phone, and the state of bluetooth on series 60, macosx and the world. if there is any consolation, at least they are still better than using bluetooth under windows!

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11 Nov 2004

evobarcode - isight barcode scanner

so i'm intrigued by this evobarcode scanner from evolution software. this uses an isight, which along with autofocus, apparently allows you to do manual focus as well, so it gets around the problems with normal webcams.

anyway, i did some simple playing around in my room, which is a little dark, just to stress test this thing a bit to check out what it can actually achieve. there's another piece of software that was recently released called delicious library that also has isight barcode scanning, however, that you can only use if you fork off US$50 for a registered version.


first experiment is with a extra chewing gum packet. as you can see, the barcode is quite visible, and clear, edges are well defined, it gets that without any problems


now if you pull away a bit, the barcode edges are a little blurry, and it can't recognise it anymore. this is around the furthest away you can get it to recognise it. if i put it closer around 1-3cm more, it'll lock on to it again.

another thing i noticed when you use this is that its very hard to position the barcode in front of the scanner, because it is in mirrored mode. maybe one thing to do is to have the display flipped so that moving the thing to the left, also shows the image moving to the left.

throughout the thing, CPU stayed at around 60% on my 1GHz Powerbook, so i suspect that maybe 1/2 of it was to do the image capturing and 1/2 to do the recognition? which isn't too bad.

finally, this isn't really a review, just writing up what might be an interesting app that i've come across. without a compelling reason to index my life, the barcode scanning is sort of useless.

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11 Nov 2004

where art is dangerous

more arty stuff at mocoloco. this looks like lego cushions, that are stackable!

Morlen Sinoway Its A Pill N

and another is the guerilla portable projector, designed to play pranks on ppl!!


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11 Nov 2004

sn17.org updated

after several requests from farnsworth (the one that isn't a doctor or a professor yet), i've wide-screen enabled sn17.org. it is now wider than ever!! on another note, i've added new cute little icons and tweaked the colours/fonts a bit, added a new fancy punchline, added some unix-username to cutesy psuedonym mapping to my custom planet.py for pybloxsom.

we're still waiting for bender's ml-blog. apparently its coming along, only stalled because there is something called "research" that needs to be done. hopefully now its totally kicking ass and "taking names", we can convince more sn17 people to contribute. i've got the icons setup and everything.

there are still issues with the rss feed and encoding entities, plus blog links don't work yet. i want to add a per user feed (well, actually just to separate farnsworth's feed from the "all users" feed.) also want people to start using del.icio.us to share bookmarks. we can create an sn17 keyword and have an rss feed for that as well on the page.

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09 Nov 2004

lord of the rings - dramatisation of a phd.

terrific story about how frodo gets his "phd". (via camilla)

choice quote:

"After Frodo has completed his first project, Gandalf (along with head of department Elrond) proposes that the work should be extended. He assembles a large research group, including visiting students Gimli and Legolas, the foreign postdoc Boromir, and several of Frodo's own friends from his undergraduate days."

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09 Nov 2004

uwb no-go in uk.

how typical! bureaucratic red-tape is at it again.

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09 Nov 2004

back on the intraweb super tollway

after slugging it out for the last couple of days to get a submission into mobisys 2005, i can now enjoy the sweet fruits of the internet. here's a link round up of all the crap that is currently open on my omniweb visual-thumbnail-tab-drawer-thingy!

rawr-denzvous - growl-enabled rendezvous listener. listens for mac/rendezvous enabled applications appearing on your LAN. great for stalking people on college and lab networks :P similar to how we use bluetooth in SN17 to track people ;)

1TB Network Attached Storage (NAS) - what looks more cool and holds more MP3/AAC/AVI than this? especially when it comes with the all useful "store shit mode".


self-powered bike pedal lights!! i gotta get me one of these things, so people can steal them in cambridge .. emm ..


itunes compate oakely mp3 sunglasses?? i guess so. why don't other mp3 player manufacturers do the same?

view large documents on a small screen by using tilt. i wonder if this will take off.


delicious library, the index-your-life application has just been released! isght barcode scanning, emm .. here i come and test you out. reviews are already rolling around.

btw, why don't people just use OCR on the numbers underneath the barcodes? i read somewhere in the specificaiton that they were there because they were easily machine readable.

Cover Big

six tuner PVR? rock on brother!


wonderful picture taken from the daily dose of imagery.

Distillery Negative Single Cloud Dark-2

sleepy japanese people!

Japanese Business Man-12

last but not least, what japanese people think of operating systems (via wikipedia).


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03 Nov 2004

the most trusted name in (fake) news?

look at the opinion poll for this sfgate article! in other election related news, people have trouble with voting machines. most disturbingly, they've been hacked. woohoo! party at my place which anarchy brews in US. and finally, a humourous voting video that bares UNCANNY resemblance to real life.

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02 Nov 2004

flexible chocolate

went to an interesting talk tonight by prof. malcolm mackley who applied things he learnt with polymers called cold extrusions (eg, forcing solid things out of a small aperature to make them appear flexible) to chocolate!


the resulting chocolate looks like spaghetti. in this picture you see the chocolate tied in a knot! apparently there is some engineering and science behind this, enough to do some research and patenting! i wonder what would happen if you could do the same with ice cream. imagine ice cream spaghetti .. mmm .. i can just imagine the suitcases of cash i can earn :) hahaha .. too bad its all patented!

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31 Oct 2004

are iraq bombings news?

look at the numerous articles about iraqi bombings. its not really news any more, can we get reports of "peace in baghdad"? like, "bomb free since 0 days ago". someone needs to put a ticker on their site with the number of bombings since bush declared that "major combat operations are over."

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