Thursday, August 16, 2018

Origami Simulator

Amanda Ghassaei has built a site that allows you to simulate how an origami crease pattern will fold. Fascinating.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Naked Labs 3-D Body Scanner

Wired reports: [edited]

Naked Labs's scanner is a full-length mirror lined with 3-D cameras that capture a 360-degree image of your body. There’s also a turntable/weighing scale.

Three Intel RealSense 410 series cameras line the left side of the mirror frame, along with a laser pointer and a round indicator light.

To obtain a scan, you stand on the turntable which, erm, turns while the cameras scan your body.

The scan takes 15 seconds. Crunching the 2 gigabytes of visual data into a 2-megabyte file takes a few minutes. The processed image files are then transferred to remote servers, and then to the Naked Labs app.

The scans appear in grayscale, the goal being 'to make the body model as objective as possible'.

Your body fat percentage is shown, along with your weight, your lean mass, and your fat mass. You can swipe through different parts of your body and get measurements for your waist, chest, thighs and calves. You can look at comparative charts illustrating the changes to your body over time.

Body fat and bone density is calculated using a database of body shapes and DEXA scan data (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry).

Price: $1,395

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Naked Mole-Rat

Wikipedia reports: [edited]

Naked mole-rats are rodents, native to East Africa.

— They can survive up to 5 hours in only 5% oxygen.

— They can live in 80% carbon dioxide and 20% oxygen.

— They lack an insulating layer in their skin.

— Their body temperature tracks the ambient temperature.

— Their skin does not register pain.

— They have a high resistance to cancer.

— They live 10-times longer than similar size rodents.

— Only one female and up to three males in each colony reproduce.

— The other colony members function as workers.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

CeramicSpeed Bicycle Drivetrain

dezeen reports: [edited]

Danish company CeramicSpeed has developed what could be the world's most efficient bicycle drivetrain.

The Driven drivetrain has no chain or derailleurs, making it more than 99 per cent efficient. The prior drivetrain to beat was a Shimano Dura-Ace at 97.8 per cent efficiency — or 98.37 per cent when upgraded with CeramicSpeed parts.

The Shimano Dura-Ace, like the drivetrains on most bikes, is driven by a chain. While there are many advantages to chains, they eventually stretch and wear.

In contrast, CeramicSpeed's system is connected by a carbon-fibre shaft, which turns 90 degrees from the rear wheel and pedals. On either end of the shaft are 21 low-friction ceramic bearings, which transfer torque from the rider's pedalling through the drive shaft and onto the rear cog.

Monday, July 16, 2018

London - Somerset - London, 14-07-18 & 15-07-18

London to Somerset
Daybreak (GoPro HERO3 Edit) - OVERWERK
Chillout Tent - The Hold Steady
Mambo italiano - Alma Cogan
Rebel Girl - Bikini Kill
I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night - Kiss
Love Hurts - Nazareth
I Can Only Give You Everything - Them
Robert De Niro's Waiting - Bananarama
Did You Ever? - Nancy Sinatra
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran
Rapper's Delight (single) - Sugarhill Gang
The Reeling (Calvin Harris Remix) - Passion Pit
Here Is A Song - Go Kart Mozart
Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky
Bulletproof - La Roux
Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
Seven Little Girls (Sitting In The Back Seat) - Paul Evans
My Doorbell - The White Stripes
Confusion Girl (single) - Frankmusik
Feels Like I'm In Love - Kelli Marie
Chewing Gum (mylo remix) - Annie
In A Broken Dream - Python Lee Jackson
Black Betty - Spiderbait
Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman
Jealous (I Ain't With It) - Chromeo
Planet Earth - Duran Duran
Let It Go - Idina Menzel
Dreamer - Supertramp
Got To Be Real - Cheryl Lynn
Magic - Pilot
Feel Good Inc (Single Edit) - Gorillaz
You Spin Me Round (like a record) - Dead Or Alive
Too Shy - Kajagoogoo
Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind & Fire With The Emotions
Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear - Alan Price
Living On Video - Trans-X
C'est la vie (radio edit) - B*Witched
We Bros - WU LYF
Might Be Stars - The Wannadies
Missing (Todd Terry Club Remix) - Everything But The Girl
Shine A Little Love - Electric Light Orchestra
Pump Up the Volume - M&A&R&R&S (Marrs)
Gangnam Style (강남스타일) - PSY

Somerset to London
Just A Girl - No Doubt
Bodys - Car Seat Headrest
Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) - Edison Lighthouse
Moonlighting - Leo Sayer
Finest Dreams (feat. Kelis) - Richard X
Steal My Sunshine - Len
Astounded (feat. Curtis Mayfield) - Bran Van 3000
Xpander (7" Version) - Sasha
Wedding Bell Blues (Marry Me, Bill) - Fifth Dimension
John, I'm Only Dancing - David Bowie
Girls On Film - Duran Duran
The Boy From New York City - The Darts
Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
Creepin Up the Backstairs - The Fratellis
Dancing in the moonlight - King Harvest
Chain Reaction - Diana Ross
Macarena - Los Del Rio
Camouflage - Stan Ridgeway
The Diary Of Horace Wimp - Electric Light Orchestra
6 Underground - Sneaker Pimps
Whip It! (feat. Chloe Angelides) - LunchMoney Lewis
Skin Deep - The Stranglers
Informer [Radio Edit] - Snow
Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
My Baby Loves Lovin' - White Plains
Ready to Go - Republica
Bang Bang - B.A. Robertson
Everyday I Love You Less And Less - Kaiser Chiefs
Show Me the Wonder - Manic Street Preachers
Faith - George Michael
All Star - Smash Mouth
Blue Moon - Showaddywaddy
He Said He Loved Me - Reverend and the Makers
Hole In My Shoe - Traffic
Come back and stay for good this time - Paul Young
Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
Misirlou (Theme From Pulp Fiction) - Dick Dale & His Del-Tones
My Give A Damn's Busted - Jo Dee Messina
Hungry Like The Wolf - Reel Big Fish
Hotel California - SkaDaddyZ
Hot Pink - Let's Eat Grandma
Your Woman - White Town
The Distance - Cake
I'm a Believer (radio version) - Smash Mouth
Holiday - Madonna
What I Am - Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
Ray Of Light - Madonna
Carey - Joni Mitchell
Django Jane - Janelle Monáe
Tonight's The Kind Of Night - Noah and the Whale
Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit - Gina G
Devil's Haircut - Beck
Call On Me - Eric Prydz
Dr Fell - Juliet Turner
Umbrella (Radio Edit) - Rihanna
Memphis In The Meantime - John Hiatt
Sleepyhead - Passion Pit
Superstar - Jamelia

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Icon Construct 3D Printed House In One Day

Wired reports: [edited]

A typical family home in the US takes an average of six and a half months to build. An Austin-based startup called Icon can produce a house nearly 200 times faster. In a day.

To be fair, the company is building houses that max out at 800 square feet. The fabrication is the work of a huge 3-D printer called Vulcan. Engineers run digital blueprints for the home through so-called slicer software, which translates the design into the programming language G-code. That code determines where the printer moves along its track, extruding 3⁄4-inch-thick layers of concrete like icing on a cake. The base material — a finely calibrated mix of cement, sand, plasticisers, and other aggregates — gets poured into a hopper at the top of the printer and flows onto the rising walls below.

The resulting abodes, which will cost $4,000 to build, are the latest addition in the tiny-house movement. In 2019, Icon intends to ship the Vulcan to El Salvador, where it’s slated to print 100 homes for disadvantaged families.

The startup’s next excursion may be even farther afield: Icon is participating in a NASA competition to develop printable space habitats using “indigenous materials,” the planetary soil available onsite.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

IBM Computer Debates Humans and Wins

Cnet reports: [edited]

IBM has created a system called Project Debater that competes in what the company calls computational argumentation – knowing a subject, presenting a position and defending it against opposition. At a press event, IBM pitted the system against two humans with a track record of winning debates.

In one debate, Noa Ovadia overall nudged two people among a few dozen in a human audience toward her perspective that governments shouldn't subsidise space exploration. But in the second, Project Debater soundly defeated Dan Zafrir, pulling nine audience members toward its stance that we should increase the use of telemedicine.

Project Debater was trained in advance on debating methods, but not the details of the debate itself, which it found out about only moments before the debate started. To formulate its argument, it had at its disposal a collection of 300 million news articles and scholarly papers, previously indexed for quick search results. But it had to find the information, package it persuasively, listen to its opponents' arguments and formulate a rebuttal.

Although IBM didn't try to pretend Debater is human, it speaks in a well-modulated female voice, and researchers call it "she." At the top of the pillar was a display showing its state of mind with curvaceous shapes in a soothing blue.

Debater showed a grasp of debating's nuts and bolts. It marshalled evidence, told you its stance, explained how its argument would proceed and made its case. It quoted authorities, like German ministers touting the economic benefits of space exploration or scientific studies showing better health outcomes for diabetes patients monitored from afar.

There were gaffes, like the moment Debater said subsidising space exploration "is more important than good roads, improved schools or better health care."

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

7.3-gigapixel panorama 'timelapse' of London

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Photographer Henry Stuart has created a 24-hour panoramic timelapse image of London that combines 6,240 raw photographs to form a picture that contains over 7 billion pixels.

Captured through a Nikon D850 and AF-S Nikkor 300mm F2.8 lens using a robotic mount by Nikon-owned robotics company Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC), the 155° view presents the city in an incredible amount of detail, with Nikon claiming that you can read signs up to 5 miles away from where the image was captured.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wilier Cento1 Hybrid Road eBike

Digital Trends reports: [edited]

Based on the company’s best-selling Cento1 platform, this electric version comes outfitted with a rear-mounted hub motor designed by ebikemotion that provides pedal assist when riders need it. The electric motor is powered by a 250-watt battery pack that is hidden in the bike’s down tube.

The electric components of the bike – motor, battery, and control systems – weigh 8.15 pounds. The Cento1 Hybrid reportedly tips the scales at just 26.2 pounds, putting it within striking distance of traditional road bikes. The main controller is embedded in the bike’s top tube, enabling riders to turn the system on and off, and adjust the level of pedal assist, as needed.

The electric motor can also be connected to a smartphone via the ebikemotion app (iOS/Android), which allows the rider to track metrics like speed, distance, and time. It also offers navigation features, weather alerts, and Strava integration. The app can even help with route planning, keep a log of a cyclist’s activities, and in that respect is comparable with the Apple Watch and Apple’s Health Kit API.

The Cento1 Hybrid uses Wilier’s carbon fibre frame and fork, and Shimano Ultegra hydraulic disc brakes and crankset. It also features a Selle Italia X1 seat, 28-millimeter Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires, and a geometry that is more designed for comfort out on the road than all-out racing.

Availability for the Wilier Cento1 Hybrid has yet to be revealed, but the new ebike is priced at 4,500 euros.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200

Digital Photography Review has published an in-depth review of Panasonic's latest compact travel zoom.

Snippets from the conclusion follow:

"There's a lot to like about the ZS200. It's 'jacket pocket' compact and feels like a premium product with good fit and finish."

"What matters the most about any camera is the quality of the images that it produces, and the ZS200 is a mixed bag. The combination of incredible zoom range, a complex optical formula and impressive compactness means the lens was a little softer than we'd like."

"The TZ200 is the camera I most often recommend to photographers looking for a small and highly capable option for travel or to have on hand for daily life photos."

"When I brought it along on a trip to a family theme park, I was impressed with how much it offered me from a capability perspective while it stayed out of my way from a user experience perspective. I was able to capture photos in a wide range of circumstances (from low light indoors to zooming in on the top of a roller coaster loop) without having to think too much about camera settings."

"The only thing I really missed was an articulated LCD screen, but that was a pretty minor thing to give up in favour of the incredible versatility and reach of the 24-360mm equivalent lens."

Price: £680.00

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

M.C. Escher Prints & Drawings Online

Kottke reports: [edited]

The Boston Public Library has digitised their collection of M.C. Escher prints. The level of zoom you can get to with these images is amazing. Browse the whole collection here.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

London - Northampton - London 12-05-18

Dixie Drug Store - Grant Lee Buffalo
Like a Virgin - Madonna
Contact In Red Square - Blondie
Ready Or Not - Fugees
Every Day Hurts - Sad Cafe
Take on me - a-ha
You Are The One - a-ha
Dr. Jones - Aqua
Mr. Wendal - Arrested Development
technologic - Daft Punk
Special Brew - Bad Manners
Take On Me - Reel Big Fish
The Boys of Summer - DJ Sammy
Got To Have Your Love - Mantronix (feat. Wondress)
I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
Emma - Hot Chocolate
Spirit Of Radio - Rush
Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr.
Relax, Take It Easy (single) - Mika
Tiny Dancer - Tim McGraw
Everytime We Touch [Club Mix] - Cascada
Killer Queen [2011 Remaster] - Queen
I Am The Mob - Catatonia
Carry on Wayward Son - Kansas
Borderline - Madonna
Falling - HAIM
I Can Dream About You - Dan Hartman
Manic Monday - The Bangles
Burn Baby Burn - Ash
Keep Your Hands To Yourself - The Georgia Satellites
Sick Muse - Metric
Ambling Alp - Yeasayer
Sweet Talkin' Woman - Electric Light Orchestra
Only You Can - Fox
Hey you Rocksteady Crew - Rock Steady Crew
You Are My Sunshine/Open Up Your Heart - Frente!
Stand - R.E.M.
Rock Lobster - The B-52's
Call it Love - Poco
I Turn To You - Melanie C
Gertcha - Chas 'N' Dave
Reelin' & Rockin' - Chuck Berry
I Need You - N-Dubz
Robot - The Futureheads
Here I Go Again - Whitesnake
Killing Me Softly - Fugees

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Honda Clarity Hybrid

Wired reports: [edited]

To combine the benefits of electric propulsion with the reassurance of internal combustion, Honda brought in two electric motors and a 1.5-litre petrol engine. Like a small company of actors putting on an epic play, each fills a variety of roles. Those vary based on whichever of the dozens of possible mode combinations the driver engages via buttons, paddles, and pedals.

The Clarity Hybrid can go 47 miles on battery power (340 miles total), gets the equivalent of 110 miles per gallon, and delivers a respectable 212 horsepower, in a large, comfortable package that starts at $33,400.

The logic behind Honda’s newest addition to its dedicated line of electrified vehicles is simple: function as an electric as much as possible, and use the engine to maximise efficiency by charging the batteries or directly powering the wheels – whatever makes the most sense at the moment.

Say you start in the default Normal mode, with the battery charged (just 2.5 hours to fully top off from a 240 volt home hookup). The Clarity will disengage the engine and operate on battery power alone, letting the electric motor drive the wheels. If you baby the throttle, you can keep it that way, even hitting the 100 mph top speed in electric mode. If you floor it, the petrol engine will kick in to help drive the wheels and produce maximum acceleration.

As the 17 kWh battery drains, the Clarity will automatically modulate use of the petrol engine based on the driving conditions. The petrol engine will supply electricity to the propulsion motor directly, via the second electric motor that functions as a generator, and may also drive the wheels directly at medium and highway speeds.

Where most hybrids link their engines to the wheels with a continuously variable transmission, the Clarity uses a single speed transmission with a direct connection to the wheels. This mitigates the efficiency losses that come any time the engine acts as a generator. When the engine drives the wheels directly, the loss is zero, and that power can either be supplemented by the motor’s propulsion or replace it entirely, if the driver wants to conserve battery use.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Pipistrel Alpha Electro

Clean Technica reports: [edited]

With its short takeoff distance and an impressively powerful 1000+ fpm climb rate, the Alpha Electro can fly for over an hour plus reserve. The electric airplane is optimised for training schools and traffic-pattern operations. It uses aviation’s equivalent of regenerative braking, which gives it a 13% of energy recuperation on descent.

Originally, Pipistrel was working on its electric aircraft prototype the WATTsUP, developed in partnership with Siemens AG. Siemens provided the main electric propulsion components for the Alpha Electro, while Pipistrel refined the aircraft's components to be lighter, more efficient, and more reliable.

Using a 17 kWh battery pack designed to be dual-redundant and quickly swappable, it can be charged in less than one hour.