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Surf log 2008

“Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”
Andy Rooney.

December, 2008

November, 2008

  • Augmented reality in Papervision | <*> Control a 3D figure via a web cam and a paper sheet with a special computer recognizable pattern. Made with Papervision. Open source.
  • Google LIFE photo archive | “Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today.”
  • Two new examples of gesture based HCI: Mgestyk and Oblong Industries (If you wonder about why Oblong Industries sounds a bit like an evil empire from a Hollywood movie, it is probably because it was founded by people working on Minority Report - and yes, this shows quite clearly in their products.)
  • LiveMesh | <*> Microsoft offers 5GB free storage managed through a neat web interface. The storage can be mounted as self-synchronizing folders on multiple computers (even on Macs). Also makes it possible to use Remote Desktop between the added computers (even though I had no succes when I tried to do so). Update: The LiveMesh applications (Moe.exe and MoeMonitor.exe) use a lot of memory (often 100MB or more on Vista) and a lot of CPU while transferring. Hopefully this will be resolved in future releases...
  • Infrared and HDR photography | While infrared photography reminds me of cheap photoshop color effects, some of the HDR photos are really impressive.
  • Comodo offer free antivirus and firewall. Since AOLs free antivirus is no longer available and AVG simply annoys me, I have my hopes up for this one! (For a review of virtually all free antivirus programs, see Free Antivirus Program Roundup. Also remember the detailed test at AV-Comparatives). Update: This review at PC Magazine seems to indicate that Comodo just doesn’t live up to its own praise.
  • MTV Music | on this site, all some MTV music videos now appear to be free (a few assorted choices: Page/Plant: Gallows Pole, Bob Dylan: Not Dark Yet, David Bowie: Life On Mars, Neil Young: Old Man, KLF: 3AM Eternal)
  • Photofunia makes photoshopping easy. Upload your photo and choose one of the many templates.
  • Rightload | <*> Shell context menus for quickly uploading files to a list of predefined FTP servers. Combined with the built-in thumbnail generation this is an excellent tool for uploading files to a blog or wiki.

October, 2008

I decided to test the finalists with five independent questions, and check if they gave reasonable answers. A transcription can be seen here. Actually, some of the bots did OK. In particular Brother Jerome was quite impressive. Remarkably, most of them did nothing to hide that they were machines (as can be seen from the transcript). However, they are really not close to being able to fool anyone into thinking they are human. For instance, none of the were able to give a reasonable answer to: “Can a poor person buy a castle?”. And their shortcomings would be much more apparent for longer conversation with contexts and references to earlier questions. My ranking was: Brother Jerome: 4/5, Elbot: 3/5, Eugene: 2/5, JabberWacky: 1/5, UltraHal: 0/5. I was not able to get AliceBot to work.

September, 2008

  • The EOS 5D Mark II | Amazing movie clip demonstrating the HD video capabilities of this new Canon DSLR.

Baikonur Cosmodrome
Baikonur Cosmodrome

August, 2008

Burj Dubai
Burj Dubai

July, 2008

Large Hadron Collider

June, 2008

  • RTM for GMail | <*> I’ve been waiting for ages, for Google to add a To Do list to GMail. Now Remember The Milk has created an outstanding Firefox plugin (even works with FF 3) which embeds a RTM widget in the GMail view. Feature-rich, yet with a simple UI.

RTM for GMail
RTM for GMail

  • IconLook - Search engine for icons.
  • Firefox Reflow - visualization of the Firefox reflow layout engine in action.
  • Half a year ago, I considered if the patterns arising from Conway’s Game of Life could be used for driving a step sequencer (drum machine) on an iPhone. GlitchDS does exactly this, but on a Nintendo DS. From the video it looks very cool.
  • Seasteading Institute is a small group of Silicon Valley geeks (including PayPal founder Peter Thiel) trying to create their own independent off-shore societies on the sea. It seems like they are actually serious about this, having written a 300 page book which discusses how to implement their ideas.
  • Superlame lets you add cartoon bubbles to you own drawings.

May, 2008

Search Me
Search Me - search with coverflow
Moo-Cow-Music Band
Moo-Cow-Music Band

April, 2008

Garfield without Garfield
Garfield without Garfield
Boston Dynamics Big Dog
Boston Dynamics Big Dog

Marts, 2008

Korg DS-10
Korg DS-10

  • Libra | A free Delicious Library clone
  • KORE player | Free Natice Instruments KORE player + 300 MB Soundpacks.
  • Google Sky | Reaching for the skies are we?
  • Korg DS-10 | Software synthesizer + step sequencer for the Nintendo DS. Very cute indeed.
  • Down for everyone or just for me | Check if all the other people can access web sites.
  • When working with real-time audio (e.g. software synthesizers), the latency is the critical issue. Now low latency audio typically requires special, dedicated drivers, (for instance ASIO drivers), something which was previously reserved the higher-end audio card market. Enter Asio4All - a small program which wraps WDM-drivers into ASIO drivers. This is all good, but what about Windows Vista? WDM is the old (Windows XP) driver model, and Vista features new driver model: WaveRT. And installing an older WDM driver (while supposedly technically possible) is very tricky. But it turns out that the newest version of ASIO4ALL support Windows Vista WaveRT drivers. On my onboard SigmaTel HD Audio chip, this gives me an acceptable Latency of 11ms. Excellent for a generic on-board DSP chip.
  • Browsershots | Test your website in tons of browsers.
  • CloneDrive | Mount ISO-files as a virtual DVD drive.

February, 2008


  • PicLens | <*> Creates a fullscreen coverflow presentation out of existing services like Flickr, Picasa Web and Google Image Search.
  • iPaper | Embed documents on your website.
  • uTIPu Another free screencast recorder
  • andLinux | lets you runs Linux software in Windows.
  • KernRate | Kernel Profiler (from Microsoft)
  • Make3D | <*> Create 3D models from your 2D pictures (Stanford university). More details here.
  • Sleepy | Free sampling profiler for Windows. Its biggest limitation is that it only supports one thread.
  • Spin the Black Circle | Flash game
  • Issuu | Create very nice online flash books from PDF’s.
  • Dunbars number | The size of the largest coherent social group.

January, 2008

Google Maps
Google Maps - Denmark in Hires.
Nano Machinery
Nano Machinery

  • Trees reviewed | “Trees. It seems like you see them everywhere these days. But are trees viable in the long-term, or just another flash-in-the-pan fad for the under-30 crowd?...”
  • This Wikipedia entry tells the story of Swedish Stefan Eriksson, who started out as an auto body worker, went into organized crime (the closest Sweden ever was to having its own mafia), was convicted and sentenced to jail for numerous crimes, and then went on to become the CEO of Gizmondo. It also covers his rapid decline, the bankruptcy of Gizmodo, and the culmination, his wreck of a million dollar Ferrari Enzo at an estimated speed of 320 km/h, before he was arrested.
  • Wondering if your email works?: (1) write to or and they will mail your back, (2) this net test will write specific information about your mail servers response, (3) DNS-Stuff also has a email check at the bottom of the page. (4) this web form allows to send yourself mails with different form of attachments (EICAR virus attachment test).
  • Google Maps now has high resolution Maps for many parts of Denmark (including Ã…rhus). Great details, like this overturned truck.
  • New Google interface for iPhone | <*> Google has launched its new iPhone improved user interface for Google Search, Mail and Calender (and Picassa, and ...). For non-US users: When visiting ‘’ I am always redirected to ‘’ (which is not updated). Use ‘’ directly to avoid the redirection.
  • When Code Reuse is bad (Joel On Software)
  • Why Bruce Schneider does not encrypt his WiFi. (Wired)
  • PDF-XViewer | Free PDF Viewer with the ability to comment and insert annotions.
  • RunScanner | Malware detector with some nice features (as looking up MD5 checksums on running programs)

Some more iPod Touch links:

  • MNPLight | <*> Misc. power features: Google Calender Internet Synchronization with the iPod built-in calendar (one-way, but multiple cals are supported). PDF reader (using Safari). Added download support in Safari. Add MP3s to directly to the built-in db. Support internet radios.
  • Jiggy | <*> Allows you to write iPhone applications in JavaScript with (a limited set) of binding for the UIKit. Includes a webinterface for editing/running the JavaScript apps. Still Early in development.


picks08.txt · Last modified: 2008/12/18 00:10 by mikael