Archive for August, 2010

John Cleese on Creativity

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 8:31pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: art,education

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Mobile is Transforming Indian Agriculture

For decades Santosh Ostwal obsessed over an obscure problem: how to make it easier for Indian farmers to water their crops.

As a kid in 1981, Ostwal would watch his one-legged grandfather make the one-mile trek out to his fields to irrigate his land. It was arduous and repetitive; access to electricity and water was sporadic. Now an engineer, Ostwal has finally solved his grandfather’s problem with a phone-controlled water pump-starterAcalled the Nano Ganesh. It’s an elegant example of how mobile phones are being used in the developing world in incredibly innovative ways.

Here’s how the Nano Ganesh works. A farmer purchases the device for between $12 and $268, depending on the model. The device is then connected both to a mobile phone and the electric water pump. Once it’s set up, the farmer just needs to call that phone and enter a code to get it going. No cell service? No problem. Ostwal also made a remote control. He claims the water, electricity and time savings can cover the cost of the device in 11 days.

.:theatlantic.com->

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 4:42pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: green,cell phones,grub,development

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Why Robots Don’t Dance

Decision making has two dimensions: A decision-made dimension and a time dimension. For example, a chess game. A game is divided into discrete time chunks, and each time-chunk has a decision made. Say for example, on each move, a player has 15 possibilities of moving on average, those 15 exist on a vertical axis. The time-chunk where each decision is made exists on the horizontal dimension.

Chess is a pretty hard processing problem, because the amount of possible decisions from all previous time chunks makes each following decision pretty difficult.

Free dance is similar in that it is divided into time-chunks, and each chunk also has a particular decision to be made. This decision involves the position of the arms, the legs, the feet, the head, etc. There are additional factors, however: the positions have to match the music, the positions have to match what other people around are doing, and the positions have to fit into the space available. Additionally, each position has to take into account the known flexibility and balancing ability of the body being controlled.

And finally, a particular routine has to be changed after a guaged time so as not to get ‘boring’. The set of routines have to be pre-learned, not by actually having the limbs being moved into position, but by simply observing another body making the moves, reproducing the moves and then comparing the reproduction to the original.

.:meta.maxkle.in->

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 4:31pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: games,robots

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Twilight, the Anti-Fan, and the Culture Wars

What is the cause of the astonishing schism surrounding Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga? The internet has become a scorched earth of rabid fans (so called twihards) and anti-fans doing battle over the legitimacy of Twilight as a cultural product. What is it exactly about Twilight that inspires these extreme reactions? How exactly should these novels and movies be evaluated? AWhat is the ultimate explanation of the battle lines drawn over such a derivative and ordinary cultural object? AIn this review I'm going to delve deep into these questions. AWe'll learn much about the nature of the fan and anti-fan and explore the dark psychology that drives them both.

.:reviewsindepth.com->

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 4:23pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: film

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The Evolution of a Button

A little while ago I wrote an article about 'Call to Action' buttons and how specific colors feature greatly in rates of conversion. I'm personally interested in the 'what' and 'why' areas of a persons reaction to a button. Whether it's the size of the button, the color or the text so over the past week I've been designing some buttons and then testing these buttons on a range of users.

.:gavinelliott.co.uk->

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 4:18pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: web,design

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What’s New? : SIGGRAPH 2010

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What's New? covering what's new in tech, we head on over to SIGGRAPH 2010 for theirAEmerging TechnologiesATrailer…

.:architectradure.com->

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 8:55am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: what's new?

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Soft-headed Intellectuals

Perhaps the most unlikely hero to emerge from this summer's World Cup was Paul the octopus, a lightly spotted invertebrate living in an aquatic center in Germany. Paul earned worldwide fame for successfully "predicting" the winner of eight out of eight soccer games, including the final match. Before each game, Paul's keepers would place two food-filled boxes, each of which was decorated with one team's national flag, in the creature's tank. Whichever box Paul ate from first was considered to be his pick. The octopus nailed it all eight times.

Though Paul's success seems mainly to have been luck a evidence for psychic sports forecasting ability in octopuses is, well, somewhat lacking a if you were looking to consult a brainy animal, you could do worse than an octopus. Research is increasingly revealing that there's something sophisticated going on inside the octopus's soft and squishy head. The critters, it seems, are surprisingly smart.

Octopuses "make decisions all the time, complicated decisions," says Roger Hanlon, a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. "People don't expect that from a creature related to an oyster."

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Posted: August 14th, 2010
at 8:23am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: too good to be true,games,science,10th dan

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Be Happier : Rent Everything

I recently read a short book entitledA"Life Nomadic." It was written byAa programmer who one day he realized that living in Austin Texas wasn't that cool. He put up a Craigslist ad telling people to come to his house and take all his belongings. Shortly thereafter he flew out of the country and began a life hopping from continent to continent working from his laptop.

This story fascinated me and my cofounders. The idea of living entirely out of a small backpack and sculpting the very texture of one's life struck us as equal parts satisfying and empowering. This got me thinking: the biggest hurdle between me and a life like that was the fact that I owned too much stuff.

.:georgesaines.com->

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Posted: August 13th, 2010
at 9:02pm by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: life,development

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Mike Stilkey

.:fecalface.com->

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Posted: August 13th, 2010
at 8:38pm by orangemenace


Categories: contemporary

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