Friday, March 20, 2009

Software / Art, part I

While running into images created in the style of the iconic Obama "Hope" poster, I wondered whether there is software that can help create such images. Wikipedia to the rescue! There are step-by-step instructions for Illustrator, as well as a fully automated "Obamify" plugin for Mac that works with realtime video.

How long until artists start selling software components instead of static works? I guess we are already there...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time? Will tell.

Here's my attempt to build a better mousetrap clock.

There are two main ways to visualize time: using digital display, or an analog dial. Each one has its advantages: digital display is precise, while analog is more intuitive. Some watches have both displays, but this results in clutter. Why not combine the best of both worlds?

With the clock face on a fully programmable screen, there is no need to display irrelevant information. I had this idea back in October 2004; the flash demo was implemented by Will Law of Hostcast. Technology—such as electronic ink—is catching up and making it practical.

This can be marketed as a dedicated clock with several "skins", as a feature of a digital picture frame, or perhaps as a screensaver for Kindle. It may be especially useful in helping kids learn to tell time.

Somewhat related: visualizing weather forecasts.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

99.99% off

$1000000Recently I bought 3TB of storage for my home machine at a cost of $260. When I was buying my first PC, the sweet spot was $1/MB. The same amount of hard drive space would set me back $3,000,000. Three million dollars. Not adjusted for inflation.

It would be even more impressive if our sense of awe at numbers with lots of zeros was not blunted by the news reports.