Now visit Hawaii in VR

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Thursday June 1 2017

When it's not been too warm, the weather's been decent enough in Seattle - but if it does start raining again, I can always retreat to the simulated baleful glare of the vicious day-star courtesy of a VR headset.

For the record, I did get sunburned shooting this thing - a post-breakfast, sunscreen-free perambulation meant I absorbed more than a little too much UV radiation, all in the space of 25 minutes or so. I also vaguely hurt my leg shooting a lava tube in Iceland. Oh, the sacrifices I must make for the photogrammetric arts...

Farted out from the bottom of the ocean. Deckchairs not included.

Yes, SteamVR Home has updated again, and there's a new, photogrammetric Hawaiian Beach scan on the Workshop - complete with (mostly) authentic audio recorded on site. And slightly fake palm trees replacing the real ones, which were wobbling around a little too much for a good reconstruction...

More to come!

Sunday Things - last minute edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday May 28 2017

Too bloody warm in Seattle. I'm almost tempted to move somewhere with shite weather, like San Francisco.

SPANG!

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What Does A Meteorite Hitting A Spacecraft Sound Like? - using wobbles in image data captured with a pushbroom camera to figure out the sound a micrometeorite collision made. I've monkeyed with turning a video camera into a pushbroom camera myself. Now to reconstruct the sound of a 550 bus going over bumps...
Chilly.
Days of Night/Nights of Day - a post-Soviet mining city far north of the Arctic Circle. As bleak and desolate as you'd expect, but hauntingly beautiful photography.

A spy's main problem is figuring out the keyboard shortcuts.

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Agent 327: Operation Barbershop - fantastic animated short from the people behind Blender. Myself, I'm one of those filthy modo users.

Bonus Robotic Colour corner:

SteamVR Home

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Sunday May 21 2017

That oft-mentioned Destinations is going away - and is being replaced by SteamVR itself.

Concrete on the right is 'borrowed' from a bus station in Seattle.

The previously unannounced SteamVR Home has just entered public beta - it's now the place for all scanned and imaginary VR content from yours truly, and is more accessible than ever.

Sunday Things - tiny code edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday May 14 2017

The text for this article is likely longer than most of the things I'm linking to - tiny pieces of algorithmic sculpture that makes things like elevated look positively obese.

A Mind Is Born

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A Mind Is Born - 256 byte audiovisual demo for the Commodore 64, with a full writeup of its inner workings. If that's too much for you, there's always the 23 byte (yes, twenty three byte) Wallflower, coincidentally also for the Commodore 64.

Music from very short programs - the 3rd iteration

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Music from very short programs - the 3rd iteration - ridiculously simple code fragments outputting PCM audio. The one at 3:25 sounds way too complex to be the product of so little code. Have a Javascript web-app for live experimentation!
1024 bytes should be enough for anyone.
1kB Challenge: and the winners are... - the implementations of all those previous tiny demos are cheating in some respect, in that they're relying on operating systems - from the modern (and gigantic) to the vintage (and merely small). But what if you don't have such luxuries as gigabytes of software libraries, or even kilobytes of mask ROMs in hardware peripherals? Hackaday's 1kB challenge saw to that, with the winner making use of an ultra-compressed character set for visual output on an LCD.

Bonus Baby Strandbeest corner:

Techmoan pointed out the existence of Gakken's lovely educational kits. And, with my long-burning Strandbeest obsession...

  • Mini Strandbeest Kit - really motors along when stuck in front of a fan. Also, packaging and accompanying magazine look gorgeous - although it's all in Japanese...
  • Mini Rhinoceros Kit - lumbers slowly but gracefully into the wind. No English instructions, but the pictures are pretty informative - and the English text online for the previous one points out potential pitfalls more clearly. Construction is pretty similar, although not identical.
  • Strandbeest USA Web Shop - looks like they're also available here much more cheaply, but I've no idea what delivery is like. I need to build up an army for releasing on to windswept beaches around Seattle. Is this how Strandbeest reproduce, through human dispersal of tiny Strandbeest nymphs?

Sunday Things - still not Monday edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday May 7 2017

Sunday evening is the new habit. So, enjoy some space-themed links.

Spaaaaaace!
Approach above Sunset - looking like a gorgeously colourful 1970s science fiction novel cover, here's a Cygnus supply ship arriving at the International Space Station, capably snapped by ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Bonus unofficial APOD RSS feed!
Captain Blood says hi.
The Coming Amnesia - the expansion of the universe will continue to drag galaxies apart, until at some point in the far distant future they cease being visible from each other. At that moment, cosmology from scratch becomes impossible, and the origins of the universe itself will be hidden. Quintessential BLDGBLOG plus Alastair Reynolds - and I'll throw a little Iain M. Banks into the mix by referencing Against a Dark Background.
Slightly smaller than the real thing, fortunately.
Introducing LEGO® Ideas 21309 NASA Apollo Saturn V - a roughly 1:110 scale, one metre high Lego model of a Saturn V and associated Apollo hardware, going on sale the beginning of June. So tempted!

Bonus Machine Dreaming corner: