November 22, 2002

The Rosetta Project

Another milestone for open source software? The ZOPE powered Rosetta language archive (1445 languages and counting at ) goes into space Jan 8. The project is manufacturing analogue content that may just last the test of time.

Rosetta disk

Jim Mason, Project Director, of the Rosetta Projct writes:

the european space agency has asked long now to contribute a rosetta
language archive disk for their next mission to the comet p/wirtanen. this
is a 9 year research mission to go land on a comet way out in the boonies of
the solar system to take "soil" samples to study early solar system
formation. they want the rosetta disk as an icon of the societies that sent
the craft and also a sort of mythic frame for the elaboration of the
scientific genesis story that is the point of the mission. (remember, one
of the ten descriptive components of the rosetta disk is parallel
translations of genesis ch 1-3 in 1000 languages)

they are mounting the disk on the vehicle nov 18 at the esa launch facility
in french guiana and there is a big press hoo haa around this. it launches
on jan 8th. they've invited me to go for the press event, and i of course
did not argue too much. so this thursday i'm leaving on a 10 day trip to
french guiana. i leave on the 14th and return on the 23rd.

i admit to this being a little exciting for me. the invitation literally
fell out of the sky, unexpectedly. who would have guessed?

more info on the mission

Posted by .M. at 06:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Outernet Exists....

When I was looking through the kid's section in my local bookstore recently I came across a new title, "The Outernet". It is a science fiction adventure mystery in which 'The Friends', led by 'Weaver' fight an electronic cold war against 'The Foes'. Readers work their way through the book and connect to its web-site ''to search for clues and tips in order to work out what is going on.

Even though I'm nearly thirty even I thoroughly enjoyed working my way through this. Check out the web-site and log on as 'friend' for a quick tour. The mini-internet the creators have set up is terrific fun to surf around!

Posted by at 12:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 21, 2002

British Pathe

Funded by the UK Lottery, British Pathe has released an online archive and preview service of their full library. "3,500 hours of video, 90,000 web pages, 75 years".

Posted by .M. at 01:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing from Nintendo.

"Ever wanted a dream life where you're in total control? Then welcome to Animal Crossing, Nintendo's real-time game where you live in a world that is wholly unique and you call all the shots. In this imaginary world, you own a home, you work hard to get ahead, and you play even harder to enjoy the irresistible challenges of each day and each season. Join the growing population of players who live to play and play to live in a land of fun and surprises."

Posted by .M. at 10:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 20, 2002

Blinx patents time

BLINX is the first XBox game to record time, or rather all the actions of the game. Gotta check that one out. Patents have also been filed for the game design. What exactly Microsoft thinks it owns is still a mystery, to me anyway. Comments and URLs welcome.

Posted by .M. at 11:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 17, 2002

Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers Soldiers on exercise in the Scottish Highlands meet blood thirsty werewolves. Dog Soldiers is a well paced action movie that smoothly executes all the usual conventions without CG or too much budget.
Posted by .M. at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

Gitaroo Man

gitarooman.jpg Gitaroo Man, the strangest but very compelling rhythm game from Koei. The game tries to distract you from the fact that you are supposed to concentrate on a small blue dot in the middle of the screen and move the Playstation 2 joystick around in the direction of shapes and lines.
While this seemingly simple coordination test is playing out, you've got a collection of kooky keyboard ufo creatures circulating you, standing as a guitar clad super guy in a very Japanese little town gathering in the streets. It's worth a look for the soundtrack by japanese band Coil alone. "You lose!" (images)
Posted by .M. at 01:33 AM | Comments (1)

November 15, 2002

The Massively Syndicatable Movie

When will someone make a movie that is simply elements from the web, sampled on the fly? I guess once everything is machine readable and the camera can roll by.

Posted by .M. at 11:33 PM | Comments (0)


Que? Wordlab is pretty cool.

"Are you looking for a unique name or slogan for your business or personal use? Simply post your specific needs to WordLab's discussion group, the WordBoard, where you are sure to get a variety of responses from members of the WordLab community as well as the WordLab team."

Posted by .M. at 11:29 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2002

Mr Pay-back didn't pay-off.

Mr Pay-back, an early attempt at commercial interactive cinema, might have shot itself, and everyone else involved in interactive film-making, in the foot. Audiences moaned about bad acting, a terrible script, the short running-time and poor quality in general.

Perhaps the problem was that, interactive movies being an experimental area, the studio was not prepared to budget for a full-length film with an engaging well-written script and big-name actors to draw in the crowd. The novelty piece they came up with was shoddy and may have put audiences off interactive movies for a while. At the very least any new forays into this area are going to be viewed by the media with suspicion and sceptisism. But what studio is going to take the leap and put some serious money into interactive movies? Are we seeing a Catch-22 situation here?

Posted by at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

Euro animation enjoys production surge

A article on european animated film reports that
production of animated feature films in Europe is at an all-time high, according to a study of the industry published by Cartoon, the European animation association. The full report costs 300 EUR

Posted by .M. at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2002

Synthesising Reality

This London event, on 26 November, focuses on VR and real-time 3D applications.

Synthesising Reality showcases a rich and varied mix of artistic, commercial and academic projects which have been developed with real time 3d applications and visual simulation software.

Posted by .M. at 04:32 PM | Comments (1)

November 07, 2002

Attack of the Clones IMAX edition

Last weekend marks the debut of the first Star Wars movie presented in IMAX® format. Episode II has undergone the revolutionary IMAX-DMRTM process, which not only results in a clear image up to eight stories tall, but also a colossal 12,000 watts of sound for a truly immersive experience.

Posted by .M. at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2002

Massive crowds in Lord of the Rings

Massive happens to be the name of the crowd animation software used to spectacular effect by Weta Digital in the Lord of the Rings movies. Popular Science magazine has published an article on Massive.

Speaking of massive crowds in Middle Earth, what will ever happen to Middle-earth Online, the MMRPG that was touted last year? Not much besides lawsuits it seems.

Middle-earth Online, a massively multiplayer role playing game, was announced in mid 1998. Nearly a year later, Sierra underwent a reorganization, which resulted in the cancellation of several game titles and the restaffing of the Middle-earth Online project. Since then, Sierra Studios has been tight lipped about the progress of the game but has repeatedly stated that it is being worked on and that new staff is being hired for the project. The current state of Middle-earth Online is not known at this time, but we'll keep you updated as things develop.

Posted by .M. at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2002

The Movie of your Dreams?

Whatever happened to the 'MindDrive' movie? In 1995 California based 'The Other 90% Technologies' announced an alliance with Miramax films that would enable film-goers to determine the outcome of movies using "the power of their minds."

The Other 90%'s MindDrive technology incorporates a large ring that users will slip on to their fingers. The ring acts as a sensor, receiving signals from the mind which are transmitted to the MindDrive and a computer. MindDrive then interprets those signals and allows viewers to alter the course of a film with a simple thought. an amazing idea, much reported by the press and looked forward to by sci-fi buffs, tecchies and movie lovers alike. So what happened to it?

The whole Minddrive thing came as a complete surprise to me when I came across it whilst researching something totally different. And loving the movies and new technology as I do I was amazed that I had never heard about it before. So with trembling fingers I proceeded to search the internet for up-to-date information on the movie project, and what did I find? Well, nothing that's what. At least, nothing postdating the initial reporting. I certainly don't remember a film being released which made use of this technology and there's nothing to be found on the Miramax or The Other90% sites. Mysterious....

There is a lot of information to be found on Minddrive gaming and virtual reality uses, but as for the application to film-making the page is blank. Does anybody know what went on?

Posted by at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Bad hair day

Poser 5 arrived this week and it took about five minutes to produce a human head that looked this good. Hair and cloth simulation - no longer something just for the experts. Maybe I'll open a salon.
Posted by .M. at 12:55 AM | Comments (0)