The “hacks’ keep rolling in – Real time lightsaber on the Kinect on PC…
Proof of concept of tracking and rendering a lightsaber in real time using a Kinect hooked up to a PC. Imagine the possibilities. Best viewed in fullscreen 480p. I track a wooden stick and I overlay the light glow on the computer. Drivers using OpenKinect, image processing, tracking, and rendering using OpenCV. Audio recorded and processed using Audacity and played using libao.
The full moon of November arrives on Sunday and will bring with it a cosmic addition: It will also be a so-called “blue moon.”
“But wait a minute,” you might ask. “Isn’t a ‘blue moon‘ defined as the second full moon that occurs during a calendar month? Sunday’s full moon falls on Nov. 21 and it will be the only full moon in November 2010. So how can it be a ‘blue’ moon?”
Indeed, November’s full moon is a blue moon – but only if we follow a rule that’s now somewhat obscure.
It’s a pretty fascinating story, all told. And there’s probably a lesson in there about how we now quantify using months instead of seasons, and how that parallels the shift from a more agrarian lifestyle or something. Either way, it’s a good excuse to have a beer and toast our natural satellite.
…”If there is a Steven Spielberg of molecular animation, it is probably Drew Berry, a cell biologist who works for the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. Mr. Berry’s work is revered for artistry and accuracy within the small community of molecular animators, and has also been shown in museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In 2008, his animations formed the backdrop for a night of music and science at the Guggenheim Museum called ‘Genes and Jazz.’”
“‘Scientists have always done pictures to explain their ideas, but now we’re discovering the molecular world and able to express and show what it’s like down there,’ Mr. Berry said. ‘Our understanding is just exploding.’”
“In October, Mr. Berry was awarded a 2010 MacArthur Fellowship, which he says he will put toward developing visualizations that explore the patterns of brain activity related to human consciousness.”
The caption for the YouTube video above, a fantastic journey inside our cells as mind-bending as any space opera could hope to be: “Drew Berry… is a key member of an international team that recently won an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Science, Technology and Nature Programming for the episode ‘The Human Race.’ In 2004, Drew’s animations were also honored with a BAFTA Award.”
…entrepreneurs today don’t need as much money, or as many people, to start new businesses. Software, communications technology and high-tech equipment are far cheaper and far more powerful than they were a decade ago.
At Mr. Smith’s one-man San Diego start-up, Tesla Controls Corp., circuit boards, semiconductor chips and other components litter a plastic folding table he uses as a workbench. “The hardware stuff is all cheaper,” he says. “Any of these chips are $5 or less.”
Much of Mr. Smith’s economizing is the result of necessity. With a family to support, he doesn’t want to borrow against his house.
We are seeing lots of one-person companies in the kit world too – many sell direct and have resellers and many thriving!
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community – “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer – stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week. Mosfet the cat stops by too. Previous chats can be viewed at http://www.adafruit.com/ask
…3 minute animated video demonstrating the basic structure, techniques, and pitfalls of using pointers. There are separate versions of the video for C, Java, C++, Pascal, and Ada. There is also a more traditional companion text (below) that goes with the video, and a brief history of how the video was made – http://cslibrary.stanford.edu/
FLATOW: So you have no problem… with the people using the open-source drivers then?
Ms. LOFTIS (Microsoft): As an experienced creator, I’m very excited to see that people are so inspired that it was less than a week after the Kinect came out before they had started creating and thinking about what they could do.
FLATOW: So no one is going to get in trouble?
Mr. KIPMAN (Microsoft): Nope. Absolutely not.
Ms. LOFTIS (Microsoft): No.
FLATOW: You heard it right from the mouth of Microsoft.
MICROSOFT: “Kinect for Xbox 360 has not been hacked–in any way–as the software and hardware that are part of Kinect for Xbox 360 have not been modified. What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360. The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported. We strongly encourage customers to use Kinect for Xbox 360 with their Xbox 360 to get the best experience possible.”
MICROSOFT: “Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,” a company spokesperson told CNET. “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant”.
Congrats to everyone in the open source community, in about one week we turned “work closely with law enforcement” to “inspired’ by community finding new uses for Kinect.