Category Archives: cool and stuff

Future of Imaging – UCL Advances with support from NESTA

Summary from afternoon event at UCL on the future of imaging. Organised by UCL Advances, left half way through afternoon, got a bit fed up with the hard sell on how well academia can solve all industries research needs. Had planned to listen to the Space Syntax talk but missed it. Notes below.

Google Earth – Changing our View of the Earth’

Ed Parsons (Google – from the Geo team – maps, earth, sketchup etc.)

Organising information geographically to make it universally accessible. 3 billion users can have access to google earth images of their own home. Half the population of the world. Nice example of photos being placed vertically on the surface of google earth – when you move to the position the picture was taken you can see it in the context of google earth.

“People like google earth because it is personal – the first thing you do is zoom into the place where you live or a place that you like.” The context is provided straight away. Learning from that observation the focus of future work will be on google earth as the context not the content. He mentioned that KML had been accepted by Microsoft as a defacto standard for marking up geo info and the increased use of geoRSS in apps like flickr.

He mentioned 3 other cool things:

Have you played the google earth flight simulator? – hit Ctrl + Alt + A to turn it on.

Google teamed with Amazon mechanical turk to try and find Steve Fossett using recent imagery from google earth – didn’t find him but did find 6 other crashed planes.

mentioned the work with chris anderson ( and pict’earth real time mashup of google earth and live video from UAV’s

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iphone magic

Couldn’t resist this. Played with the iPhone in Apple Store, SF. The touch interface including typing is pretty cool and the web page navigation was pretty useful – e.g. tap to resize to column width. You end up just trying gestures and they work. The resizing of images etc was very nice. So, when can we get one….

[more photos]

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Nice example of time lapse photo. Posted on Flickr but saw via everyoneforever – amazing photograph currently showing at the Seoul City Museum in South Korea.

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engineers at the top

In 2005 all members of the Chinese Politburo were engineers

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Corian – led pong

I want one of these…

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LAb[au] – Dexia Tower – Brussels

Nice example of an interactive facade and building as a device that can be altered by the public. What makes this different from other similar projects is the fact that you can interact with the building *screen* via a kiosk. A distant camera then takes a picture of your artwork and emails it to you. Visit the site to see what images others created.

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Drawing water challenge

This competition, aimed at finding an original idea that could help many impoverished people gain access to safe water and effective sanitation, needs your creativity and enthusiasm. There are many ways to get involved – participate by proposing a new solution, or promote the competition, encouraging others to help make a difference.

The closing date for entries is 5pm (GMT) on 31 January 2007. Entries must be submitted to More information about the competition and details on how to submit can be found by visiting:

The competition jury will include:

Sir Christopher Frayling (RCA)

Ken Shuttleworth (make)

Marcus Fairs (icon)

WaterAid directors

David Glover and Jo da Silva (Arup)

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innovations in washing

I thought this was urban myth but maybe not, anyway, good story from our current chairman…

Haier, China’s largest white goods manufacturer prides itself on after-sales service. A high number of washing machine faults started being flagged by their maintenance staff and when they took the machines apart found vegetables cuttings trapped in the filter. Oh, said customers, we use the machine for washing our vegetables too.

Rather than ruling the warrantee invalid, Haier took the challenge back to R&D and within a week had found a solution; modify the pump, open the filter a bit, etc, and within a month had the new model back on the market proclaiming best for washing your clothes and your vegetables!

Sales leapt again.

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Design Hotel – Copenhagen

Staying in Hotel Skt Petri tonight. Nice website but just wanted to find a picture of the place… also led me to find which looks handy for trying to find nice hotels for those city stop overs…

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nVIDIA on fire

Alvise found this when looking for reviews on the new laptop he is getting…. nothing like seeing other peoples experiences. I like the quote from the guy who posted this *It is only a matter of time until such an incident breaks out on a plane*…

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