23. October 2007

Making Music with a Dot Matrix Printer

Dot Matrix Synth

Any given thing will sooner or later be used as musical instrument. Even dot matrix printers, you ask? Even dot matrix printers. Paul Slocum hacked the firmware of his 1985 dot matrix printer to let it print in different frequencies.

» read on!

Keywords: musicprinterweird

MeeTimer: Which are your worst procrastination centers?


Some time ago I wrote about Using Firewalls to Fight Procrastination. But how do you know which sites to take out with your firewall?

MeeTimer can help you there. This extension for Firefox logs in detail on which sites you spend how much time. You can then see in its stats how many work hours you have wasted and which sites are the worst time killers.

» read on!

20. October 2007

Last.fm Normalizer – Charts by Listening Time Instead of Play Count


A little extension to Last.fm generates Charts of your personal listening habits. In contrast to the official Last.fm-Profile-Charts, it doesn’t rank artists by the number of times that you listened to their songs, but by the time you spent listening.

» Last.fm Normaliser

» read on!

Keywords: chartsextensionlast.fmmusictool

Vertical Panoramas I – World on the Edge

Vertical Panorama - World on the Edge

How comes that most panoramas are horizontal?

I believe, vertical panoramas can provide a much more unusual perspective on the world.

I shot this panorama, for example, near Schloss Rosenstein in Stuttgart, Germany. A small path led through a green park down to a kind of viewing platform. From there you have a great view at… railway tracks and a cemented landscape. A beautiful contrast which is emphasized by the “falling” view on the world of the vertical panorama.

Keywords: naturepanoramaphoto

18. October 2007

Pepper’s Ghost on the Catwalk

Recently, I stumpled upon an interesting video of a fashion show. Usually, fashions shows are about as attractive to me as a stamp collections, but this one had a special feature: The models were surrounded by projections.

From a technical point of view, this is very fascinating. Usually, images are projected on screens and not onto thin air like it appears to be in this show.

» read on!

Keywords: lightpresentationprojection

17. October 2007

Augmented Sculpture – A Light Installation

This installation by Pablo Valbuena is called Augmented Sculpture v1.0. I don’t think words can convey the fascinating effect of this installation of light, so better watch the video above. :)

This is one of my favorite installations. I have seen it in reality (at Ars Electronica 2007) and it was at least equally fascinating and beautiful there as in the video. The setup at the Ars Electronica Festival had a more mysterious atmosphere, because it was placed in a very dark, old, room which had the feeling of a ruin.

At the website of Pablo there are more beautiful pictures of the installation, the same video in better quality, as well as the artist’s description:

This project is focused on the temporary quality of space, investigating space-time not only as a three dimensional environment, but as space in transformation.


» Augmented Sculpture v1.0

(this article is also available in German)

Keywords: artinstallationlight

15. October 2007

Opera for a Small Room – A Music Installation

Opera for a Small Room

Some time ago, I visited the Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Most exhibited artworks could only raise limited interest in me, but there was one exception: The music installation „Opera for a Small Room“ by Janett Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Unlinke our interactive music installation Dave, this installation is not interactive, but it is nevertheless impressive.

» read on!

Keywords: artinstallationmuseummusicroom

14. October 2007

MovieLens: Personalized Movie Recommendations with Stunning Accuracy

Screenshot of MovieLens

How do you know whether you will like a movie or not? You could read reviews or ask friends – but unfortunately movie critics as well as friends usually have a different taste in movies than you.

MovieLens wants to help at this point. MovieLens is an internet project of the university of Minnesota. It can predict for almost every movie how much you personally are going to like it. With this basic feature, it provides a set of other functions like recommendation lists or group recommendations.

» read on!

Keywords: moviespredictionsrecommendations

12. October 2007

Global Dimming: The hidden Climate Change


The whole world is worried about Global Warming and the greenhouse gases responsible for it like CO2. Yet, another phenomenon is hardly known: Global Dimming.

» read on!

Keywords: climatecloudsdimmingenvironmentglobalpollutionsunwarming

11. October 2007

Nokia vs. Bluetooth (and Sitecom in particular)

My Nokia 6230i

For some time now I’m the proud owner of a Nokia 6230i. Connecting nokia phones to computers by wire is strangely expensive, so I bought a bluetooth dongle for my laptop instead. Unfortunately, this seemingly simple solution turned out to be quite time consuming and frustrating. *sigh*

What follows is my little troubleshooting odyssey. I hope I can save someone from going through the same trouble by posting this.

» read on!

Keywords: BluetootherrorNokia

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