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raindropper

pouring…

Monthly Archives: October 2006

Just doodling around – this is the result:

Doodle 

I tend to draw staring faces with innocent eyes, like the one above. Inner me, perhaps.

And do check Hugh MacLeod’s website for his ingenious business card-sized insights. The article on creativity is particularly excellent.

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Jade Warrior is a wuxia movie shot in Finland, China and Estonia. In China, it will be shown in 80 cities.

What strikes me as odd are the estimates for box office sales in China. According to Helsingin Sanomat, the movie will probably get around 1 million euros in the box office. In my opinion, 1 million is an unbelievably small number considering that it is a country with a population of 1,315,844,000 we are talking about. It is the country where each event or happening or accident, no matter how small, has always an effect on millions of people, at least. 😉

Yesterday, I watched the Mission Impossible III on DVD. Tom Cruise does an excellent job as a vulnerable agent – the plot is good. Me and Nina liked it. There are some echoes of the Fight Club’s beginning scene.

The prequels were not that good. Everything I remember from those is the Limp Bizkit version of the theme with the reverb guitar sound. 

IMO, the overall style is influenced by the Matrix trilogy which brought fresh ideas to the action genre. Except that on this movie, there is not that much whispering. 😉

I also like the fact that the physics are getting a more visible role in the movies as the hero is tossed around by an impact wave of an explosion. And he does not use a stunt in that scene.  

I had an Alfa Romeo 156, the Walter de Silva masterpiece, for three years. Its cam belt broke – the first cost estimates for fixing the damaged engine were between 3500 and 6000 euros. Ouch. Luckily, I got it fixed for 1300 euros.

In addition, several worn-out parts were also changed during the normal maintenance checks. They were expensive. Some irritatingly loud noises occasionally came from the brakes behind. The doors froze in winter time.

And still there are no lessons learned; I still admire Alfa Romeos. Like there were some links missing between important portions of my brain.

So, here’s the new Alfa Brera: 

Alfa Romeo Brera

Alfa Romeo Brera

Alfa Romeo Brera

Alfa Romeo Brera

Alfa Romeo Brera

It’s slightly diluted from the original concept, but still a breathtaker.

No, I do not own it. I just took it with my father Asko and wife Nina for a rainy day test drive from a local Alfa dealer.

Some interesting (ahem) pics generated by the applet:

Flock, Fried Egg, Knot and Ninja Star.

InnerSpace applet, FlockInnerSpace applet, Fried EggInnerSpace applet, KnotInnerSpace applet, Ninja Star

Some of the pictures look like CGI renderings, but most often the High Dynamic Range pictures look really jaw-droppingly good. They are so detailed that they are bordering on “ultrarealism”. Landscape photos make you feel like you are really there.

I am a bit amazed that the ages-old 2D photo technologies are still improving and having this kind of breakthroughs.

Take a look at these examples:  HDR pictures from Flickr  Examples from Photomatix

Microsoft’s Live Labs have presented Photosynth, an innovative software for browsing photos. It’s an user interface to vast photo collections, leveraging the power of the millions of digital image producers of the web.

The technologies do have something in common; both the Photosynth and HDR work better on static scenery. Moving people, flickering lights and rain break them.

[originally posted 09.08.2006]

JARS is a Java review site. In Internet years, the site has existed for an eternity. They awarded a Top 5% accolade for InnerSpace applet – thank you very much!

[originally posted 29.03.2006]

Wow, what an excellent article – Tim O’Reilly discusses about the history of the web, its current incarnation as a platform and a harvester of collective intelligence, among others.

What is great about the web is the way it unifies us people – we are in this together, on this common playground nearly without any borders. Compare this to the ancient times when everything outside the home village was quite easily portrayed as evil or harmful. We now have the power to know, we all have a voice.

[originally posted 08.02.2006]