frank's blog

About Wear and Patina [Picture]

Posted in inspiration, quality by aldorf on November 1, 2011

I was looking through my links for other articles about wear and patina, and I found this Reuters photograph from last year. It’s of the floor of a Tibetan monastery, where, over twenty years of daily prayer, Hua Chi has worn his own footprints into the floor.

He has knelt in prayer so many times that his footprints remain deeply, perfectly ingrained on the temple’s wooden floor.

Every day before sunrise, he arrives at the temple steps, places his feet in his footprints and bends down to pray a few thousand times before walking around the temple.

The footprints are three centimeters (1.2 inches) deep where the balls of his feet have pressed into the wood.

1.2 inches of prayer. There’s something beautiful about the smooth imprints of a human foot worn into wood. But the wear itself also comes to symbolise the action that led to it: in this case, Hua Chi’s prayers.

(via Tom Armitage at BERG London)

Have Eyes Ready – First Ever Showing Of HDR Technology January 19

Posted in film, innovation, Media, photography, quality by aldorf on January 18, 2011

The world’s first complete high dynamic range (HDR) camera can capture high-quality video in a wide range of lighting conditions, including inside the human body. HDR also can complement 3D technology by providing depth perception without the need to wear 3D glasses. A human eye can cope with rapid changes and variety in lighting levels but a traditional camera is only capable of capturing a limited range in any scene. The actual range it can cope with depends on the exposure and f-stop setting of the camera. Anything outside that limited range is either under- or over-exposed. The camera is capable of 20 f-stops, full HD (1920 × 1080) resolution at 30 frames per second. Researchers at the University of Warwick developed the technology and will demo it January 19 in the first ever showing of a short film shot using this new HDR technology. Although HDR imagery for static images has been around for 15 years, it has not been possible to capture HDR video until now. This project brings together internationally leading expertise in HDR imaging and a unique HDR video technology from the University of Warwick with an innovative professional film maker, Entanglement Productions and a new high-tech company specialising in HDR technology. For more information and the upcoming event go to:

Google’s Weak Spot – Trying To Replace People With Algorithms.

Posted in ideas, internet, web by aldorf on November 23, 2010
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

It’s not always just about Google and Facebook. But what happens on their level will actually effect the entire digital infrastructure.

(excerpt from an interview with David Galbraith)

“…The internet is a communication network, it needs people in it. Some companies are trying to replace people with algorithms, but I think it is a ridiculous idea. Google is imposing algorithms on us. Google or Google News have no human intervention. The Google car can drive itself without a human being behind the wheel. That is Google’s weak spot, what they are trying to do is fundamentally against the DNA of the internet.

And that’s the biggest difference between Google and Facebook. They are about people, and they clash frontally with the model of Google. Like all good battles, it will be fought on a fundamental level. It’s really algorythms vs people. The next big war on the internet. …”


Restaurant Service Robot – Recognizing Users’ Intention

Posted in ideas by aldorf on September 22, 2010

In the near future, the service robots will come into human society such as home, office, and restaurant. In order to make the service robots sociable for better service, the robots should have to interact with humans. We aim to develop emotionally interactive service robot in the restaurant service area using emotional human-robot interaction technologies which have been researched in our group. This movie clip shows our emotionally interactive restaurant service robot scenario.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The practical interactive service robot have to integrate many robot technologies. We are focusing on these research objectives below, and integrate the technologies to implement the practical restaurant service robot system.

  1. Mobile robot platform with robust stability and high mobility in the service area.
  2. Path recognition and planning via points in the service area
  3. Restaurant service integrated software system from registering guests to controlling robot
  4. Restaurant service by robot such as menu ordering and beverage service
  5. Human recognition, tracking, and human’s intention recognition for situation assessment

More about this project here.

Human Robot Interaction Center at KAIST

The First Authentic Klingon Opera On Earth

Posted in art, film by aldorf on August 20, 2010

The goal of the project ‘u’ was to create and perform an authentic Klingon Opera, here on earth, with a human cast. Floris Schönfeld is the initiator and artistic leader of ‘u’ and will be researching at the center. He is a visual artist from the Netherlands and lives and works in The Hague and Amsterdam. He studied time-based arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and has recently completed a masters at the Interfaculty ArtScience at the Royal College of the Arts/Royal Conservatoire The Hague. In his film and performance work he is primarily concerned with the awesome power of fiction and it?s effects on humanity. With a classical actor’s education in London as a background, Thomas Johannsen studied with many great contemporary teachers of voice, movement, dance, theatre and instant composition (e.g. Julyen Hamilton, Germaine Acogny, Enrique Pardo, Linda Wise, Franki Anderson, Andrew Morrish, Jonathan Hart Makwaia). He has initiated and lead a number of projects which are concerned with interdisciplinary instant composition, amongst which notably the Genetic Choir. Thomas performs regularly as a vocalist and physical actor and likes, as a theatre director, to create performances that cannot completely be controlled.The Klingon Terran Research Ensemble is a musical/theatrical ensemble dedicated to study and performance of Klingon music. The ensemble is resides at the Zeebelt Theater in The Hague, the Netherlands. The project strives to learn the ways of Klingon music through theory and practical application. The Klingon have a rich musical culture that until now has been largely overlooked by the musical establishment. The KTRE wish to bring this unique musical culture to the attention of (inter)national audiences and contribute to its legacy. (via Watermill Center, New York)

The next performance will be at:
Zeebelt Theater, The Hague from the 9th to the 12th of September 2010

+ a special event exclusively for Klingons!
The Celestial Vault (by James Turrell) in Kijkduin on the 18th of September 2010

Go to U-Opera Website

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TED – Headset That Reads Your Brainwaves

Posted in ideas by aldorf on July 27, 2010

Truly amazing technology. Such things, for example, open a new future for those disabled. But in the current state you need to have clear thinking and no distraction, that might be tough in real life.

What is Geoengineering?

Posted in ideas, your take on... by aldorf on June 13, 2010

It’s human manipulation of the climate. Scientist believe it could be a way of slowing down global warming while efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continue. Cloud whitening is one example. Geo engineers are proposing to use off-shore vessels to pump sea spray into the atmosphere. The salt particles in the spray would in theory help to form brighter clouds that reflect more sunlight back into space, thus having a cooling effect on climate. Unfortunately scientists from the University of Leeds and the Finnish Meteorological Institute found that generate brighter clouds may actually hinder natural cloud formation in some areas.

Human v2.0, by BBC Horizon

Posted in ideas by aldorf on January 3, 2010

Meet the scientific prophets who claim we are on the verge of creating a new type of human – a human v2.0.
It’s predicted that by 2029 computer intelligence will equal the power of the human brain. Some believe this will revolutionise humanity – we will be able to download our minds to computers extending our lives indefinitely. Others fear this will lead to oblivion by giving rise to destructive ultra intelligent machines.
One thing they all agree on is that the coming of this moment – and whatever it brings – is inevitable.

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Quote Of The Day

Posted in Quotes Of The Day by aldorf on October 13, 2009

Albert Einstein

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