Here’s a bunch of seamless pictures reminiscent of Escher (particularly his tesselations): part one, part two. This blogger most likely just stole them from some art site, but they are fun to scroll through. The second page in particular reminded me of the movie I watched last night, Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle. (via MetaFilter)
Archive for the ‘Web’ Category
This morning I finished listening to Paul reading “Tk’tk’tk“, a sci-fi short story by David Levine about an enterprise software salesman on an alien world far from home. It’s currently nominated for a Hugo. I enjoyed the story (you can also read it online), and Paul’s presentation of it was clear and well done.
The story involves an alien language that lacks vowels, so it’s full of unpronouncable words like “Fthshpk” (a holiday) and “thshsh” (a beverage). To record these words for the story, Paul added sufficient long vowels to make them pronouncable, then the producer used an audio editor to delete the vowel sounds, leaving only the sibilant consonants. The effect works very well – it gives the idea of a non-human language while still being sort of recognizable, at least in the sense that when you hear the same word twice you can tell that it’s the same word again. It helps that there aren’t too many alien words included in the story text.
If this is an indicator of the quality of the rest of the Escape Pod recordings (Paul tells me that it is actually “weaker than their normal fare”), then I expect to be a regular listener.
This article at “Innovation: The Princeton Journal of Science and Technology,” dated May 2004, is illustrated with a picture from my ELEC 301 project with Indraneel Datta. For several years, I would occasionally get email from random people, mostly with questions about general linear algebra topics—apparently some search engine considered us authoritative on eigenvectors or something.
Anyway, I don’t mind the article using the image, but the caption they’ve given it is more than a little misleading: “A compilation of photos and processed images from a system currently being researched for face detection.” It’s definitely stretching the definition of “currently”—the pages clearly say “Last modified: Fri Dec 17 20:45:40 CST 1999″ at the bottom.
You should watch this neato animation set to Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.”
Play twenty questions against a very funky AI. This has apparently been posted to MetaFilter at least four times, but this is my first encounter with it. Highly entertaining.
Hacking Netflix has finally made contact with the PR guys at Netflix. It seems that they’re working on a plan to “reach out to the online community.” That sounds like a good thing. With competition in DVD rental by mail from Wal-Mart, Blockbuster, and several others, Netflix will have to differentiate themselves to stay on top.
Their distribution center network is strong (turning Wal-Mart and Blockbuster retail outlets into mail distribution centers would be non-trivial, to say the least), their website is decent, and their selection is comprehensive. However, these advantages are all vulnerable. Since I would rather have a service of Netflix’s caliber than a stripped-down Wal-Mart-style service for a couple bucks less, I want to see Netflix stay profitable (well, return to profitability, I guess, since they posted a loss last quarter). The way for them to achieve this is to be creative and force the competition to play catch-up.
“They do get it. We just have to give them some time to figure out what to do with us.”