Over the past couple of weeks I have been going through our scuba diving footage from our recent trip to Malapascua Island, Philippines. This was the first time we shot with our new GoPro HERO 3 Black Edition.
So far the footage looks great. We shot at 720p, 60fps. We were originally going to shoot at 1080p, but we were limited on micro SD capacity and we only took out iPad for additional storage.
So, like I said, the footage looks great, but… the user needs a bit more practice! Strong currents, limited light, using a solid tray mount for closeups, it was a bit too much on some days and the footage didn’t come out great. But like they say ‘practice, practice, practice.’ It just means we have to go diving more… shucks.
Any-who, I am editing together a 3 minute montage video which I’ll be posting to my new YouTube channel soon. I say new channel but it’s not really new, Ive had this channel for years, but this montage will be my first proper edited video I’ll be posting online.
Cheers again for all the emails. Sorry I haven’t had time to respond. Who would have thought RL could be so time consuming.
News.com.au - Mike Koehler promises lifesize AT-AT walker will be Ewok-proofed with anti-log technology
AUSTRALIA’S status as the world capital of Big Things is under attack.
In February, the citizens of Detroit successfully lobbied for a giant statue of RoboCop to keep its crims in line.
In the same week, news broke that a three-metre tall Arnold Schwarzenegger statue will stand guard outside the Governator’s former home in Thal, Austria.
Both of which kick Robertson’s giant poo-tato and Ballina’s prawn to the kerb when it comes to cool icons for your country.
And now you can add — possibly, unless George Lucas hears of it — a lifesize, fully-functioning replica of a Galactic Empire AT-AT walker to the countryside somewhere in Oklahoma, if Mike Koehler gets his way.
Note fully-functioning — not like that static tat at Disneyland’s Hollywood theme park.
The 16m tall (some nerds experts put them at 23m) All Terrain Armoured Transports featured most famously in the attack on the Rebel forces’ secret base on Hoth in Empire Strikes Back, where one tripped over a bit of rope and exploded.
Another one makes a cameo in Return of the Jedi after a smaller version — an AT-ST — gets smashed by monkeys with logs.
But they look fearsome enough and Mr Koehler has been given the green light by online fundraiser Kickstarter to begin collecting cash to realise his dream.
It’s called AT-AT for America and Mr Koehler’s welcoming any offers of help or donations.
We chatted to him about why his country needs it…
Why did you choose a symbol of the Empire’s destructive capabilities to represent the US?
The AT-AT is not so much a representation of the US as it is a monument to what geek culture and its know-how has done for people in the country and, as I am quickly learning, folks all over the world.The can-do and cooperative spirit that nerdy pop culture has inspired can’t be overlooked in the past 30, 40, 50 years.
I wanted to make something that was: A) Doable. Fast-than-light and force field technology made many options unrealistic. B) Big enough to be awe-inspiring. Many people have made R2 units and Back to the Future Deloreans. The AT-AT is 50-feet tall.
If it proves too difficult, do you have any smaller scale Star Wars projects in mind?
I guess we could do one of the smaller scout walkers, but that seems like copping out.
If it proves easy, would you consider building a Death Star?
The Death Star would involve too much red tape I’m afraid, unless I could get Richard Branson on board.
The original AT-ATs had some notable design flaws. How will you Ewok-proof it?
No Ewoks will be allowed around the build sites. Sharpened logs will also be strictly prohibited. We are working towards some strong anti-log technology.
Have you had any interest from Mythbusters et al?
No word yet from the Mythbusters, though I hope as we continue to build momentum that we will get a lot of help from some of our geek heroes. When I first thought of this, my ideal project managers were Adam and Jamie.
If Detroit can get a RoboCop statue, maybe you should pitch your AT-AT for a permanent public space…
Once we’re done, I would like for the AT-AT to find some place nice to be housed and admired as a monument. Since it will be fully operational, people will be able to ride it. It would be an art piece on par with the Statue of Liberty, but with the ability to mosey around the block.
Have you had any cease and desist orders from George Lucas yet?
We have not heard from Lucasfilm yet, though there is that expectation. All I can say is that we won’t be making any money off this project, we consider it a public work of art and we would gladly locate it where ever Mr Lucas would like us to. This is a testament to how many dreams his work and other work like his has inspired in people my age and younger.
Will you live in it once it’s finished?
No, I won’t live in it.
You can’t live inside it, though you are welcome to string a hammock between its knees.
Is there ever a chance that such a monolithic, relentless corporate machine could ever be seen in Australia?
Given enough support and volunteers, the AT-AT, like Oprah, would be happy to visit Australia.
[Report by: Peter Farquhar, Technology Editor for News.com.au]
It has been reported across the web, Facebook is restricting what ‘Status Updates’ you see. By default, users will only see recent Updates from friends they regularly interact with. This default setting has been active for some time. Facebook users report the same default setting was active in the old Facebook layout.
This default setting has angered many business owners who use Facebook to advertise and interact with clients.
There is a solution:
On your homepage click the “Most Recent” title on the right of the Newsfeed, then click on the drop down arrow beside it and select “Edit Options”. Click on “Show Posts From” and change the setting to “All Of Your Friends and Pages”
Note: Business pages do not have a newsfeed. Owners of business pages should adjust the settings on their personal accounts.
Players adopt the character of a mercenary fighting against different enemies in the near future when civilization has collapsed. As players progress they have a chance to unlock hidden medals and weapons.
Sky News for iPad (news) This application from news channel Sky provides breaking news updates and allows users to stream live Sky News TV coverage. In addition users can access background news stories in order to put contemporary events in context and view a range of graphics and media.
Overkill (games) It’s the same as the US one, except with the option to stop fighting and share garlic-soaked baguettes instead. Probably.
CBC TV (entertainment) Watch the latest episodes of popular series such as Dragon’s Den from TV station CBC with this app. Users can stream full-length episodes, browse the CBC programming schedule and receive notifications when new episodes of their favorite programs become available.
Flowpaper (entertainment) The Flowpaper application serves as an interactive drawing tool for the iPad; users of the application can create their own designs which can then be shared with contacts or used as a background to the user’s phone.
Overkill (games) It’s the same as the French and US version, only with more sausage. You get the picture.
"QQ HD Browsser" (utilities) An alternative internet browser for mobile devices. The browser is developed by the instant messaging service QQ and features multiple tab and page options as well as tools such as bookmarks.
Lane Splitter (games) Users play as Jake Melton who must weave his motorbike in and out of heavy traffic at high speeds in order to make it to his wedding on time. The game is integrated with Facebook and includes a global online leader board.
"Around the world game" (games) This iPad application loosely translates as “around the world game”. The game involves trying to develop property in different countries around the world; according to the translation the game is designed to be played simultaneously by up to four people.
Google has observed access issues with their popular web-based email service Gmail and is accusing the Chinese government of causing the problem.
Gmail users have apparently been unable to access their accounts over the past few weeks and some are claiming that their accounts have been compromised. Google is saying that the interruptions are coming from outside their system.
Google Statement - There is no technical issue on our side; we have checked extensively. There is a [Chinese] government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail[.]
Over the past couple of years Google has repeatedly argued with the Chinese government, they have even moved their corporate headquarters to Hong Kong, where there is little government authority.
We all remember when Google accused Chinese hackers of stealing source codes and apparently accessed email user information. This included personal data of pro-democracy supporters.
These new accusations will only throw more fuel to the Google vs. Chinese rumble!
NASA launches the Ranger 9 Lunar Lander on a mission to photograph the surface of the Moon. It will return 5,814 pictures before impacting the surface of the lunar surface.Browse photographs returned by Ranger 9.
In a San Francisco Federal District Court, Judge William Schwarzer rules that Microsoft’s Windows 2.03 is not covered in the 1985 Apple Computer/Microsoft technology licensing agreement. The judge rules that only Windows 1.0 is included in the agreement,and that Windows 2.03 is fundamentally different. The ruling allows the issue to proceed to trial, in Apple Computer v. Microsoft, which was filed in March 1988.
Atari announces a new reduced price for the 64-bit Jaguar video game system of US$159.99. The new price for the system is without the gameCyberMorph, which was previously bundled with the system. The bundle was previously sold at prices between US$189 and US$249.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) publishes version 1.0 beta of PGPfone, a utility for allowing users for securing telephone conversations over the Internet (VoIP) with a 4096-bit public key, for Windows 95.
Square releases Final Fantasy IV for the PlayStation in Japan.
Apple Computer announces that beginning March 24, customers will be able to purchase Mac OS X in retail stores around the world. Apple markets the software as the world’s most advanced operating system, combining the power of Unix with the ease of use of Macintosh systems.
The Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth with first residents of the International Space Station (ISS), Expedition 1.
AOL launches AOL Mail, a free webmail service.
Jack Dorsey, creator, chairman, and cofounder of Twitter, sends the first tweet at 12:50pm PT. The tweet reads “just setting up my twttr”. Twitter is a social network that allows users to send and receive text posts of up to 140 characters. [Read the original message online].
Apple Computer begins shipping the Apple TV, a digital media receiver. The device features a 40GB internal hard drive and the Mac OS X v10.4.7 operating system.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been the center of wild theories since the particle accelerator underneath Geneva was even switched on, and there seems to be no end to the speculation surrounding the facility. The latest comes from a group of scientists who theorise that not only is time travel possible, but that the means may be within our grasp thanks to the LHC.
The theory hinges on a subatomic particle called the Higgs singlet, a particle related to the Higgs boson. The catch is it is not yet clear if the Higgs singlet, or even the Higgs Boson, exist at all. Assuming they do, MSNBC reports that time travel for the Higgs singlet would work something like this:
[The Higgs singlet] may have a unique ability to jump out of the normal three dimensions of space and one dimension of time that we inhabit, and into a hidden dimension theorized to exist by some advanced physics models. By traveling through the hidden dimension, Higgs singlets could re-enter our dimensions at a point forward or backward in time from when they exited.
Scientists believe that Higgs singlets could be used to send messages backwards or forward in time, thanks to the particle’s theorised properties. Vanderbilt physicist Tom Weiler says that this limited time travel is the theory’s greatest strength, since it avoids paradoxes and does not violate the current understanding of physics.
In a letter, Alessandro Volta announces his invention of the voltaic pile, the earliest battery, to Sir Joseph Banks, president of the Royal Society in London, England.
An alternating-current (AC) electrical system is demonstrated by lighting Main Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts with electricity generated by the power planet of George Westinghouse.
Albert Einstein publishes an academic paper on his Theory of General Relativityentitled “Die Grundlagen der allgemeinen Relativitästheorie” in the journal Annalen der Physik. Einstein’s theory accounts for the slow rotation of the elliptical orbit ofMercury, which Newtonian gravitational theory failed to explain.
The first practical radar system is tested by Rudolf Kuhnold, Chief of the German Navy Signals Research Department, in Kiel Harbour, Germany. The systems uses a 700-watt transmitter on a frequency of 600 megacycles. During the test, the system successfully receives echoes off the battleship Hesse, 600 yards away.
JVC launches its VHS video format with a two-page advertisement in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Contagion” first airs. (No. 211) In it, the Enterprise and a Romulan vessel are infected by a virus that destory another Federation ship.
Infogear files for a U.S. trademark “IPhone”, which will be granted in 1999. The trademark covers “computer hardware and software for providing integrated telephone communication with computerized global information networks.” In 1998, Infogear will release a telephone with an integrated web browser under the brand name iPhone. Shortly after Steve Jobs announces the Apple iPhone in June 2007, Cisco will issue a statement explaining that it had been negotiating trademark licensing with Apple. Then, on January 10, 2007, Cisco will announce a lawsuit charging Apple over the infringement of the trademark, seeking an injunction in federal court to prohibit Apple from using the name.
Apple Computer releases the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh computer (TAM) to commemorate the company’s twentieth anniversary. The system features a 250MHzPowerPC 603e, a 256KB Level-2 Cache, 32MB – 128MB RAM, 2MB VRAM, a 2GB hard drive, a 1.4MB floppy drive, a 4x CD-ROM drive, an FM radio and television tuner, a special sound system with a subwoofer, and the Mac OS 9.1 operating system. The system is the first Apple desktop to feature a track pad, the first Apple desktop with a flat screen (a 12.1-inch active-matrix display), the first Apple PowerPC desktop to diverge from the beige tower design, and the first Apple to feature a vertical CD drive. Production will be limited to twelve thousand units, in five countries: France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States. Though the system will be widely derided for being all style and no substance, it marks a turning point for the company, after which Apple will rise to gain a reputation for producing some of the most trendy and stylish computers on the market. Browse a gallery of photos of the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh. Price: US$7,499
Two teenagers hack T-Online, the online service run by Germany’s national telephone company and steal the details of hundreds of bank accounts. The two sixteen year old hackers brag about their exploits, calling Deutsche Telekom‘s security for the online service “absolutely primitive.”
GameDaily reports that Capcom announces that it is withdrawing from the arcade industry, which it has been in since 1984, in order to focus on the development of home game systems. According to a statement released by the company, arcade games accounted for only thirty percent of its gross revenue, even at the peak their popularity.
At the Macworld Conference & Expo in Tokyo, Japan, Apple Computer introduces the 10GB iPod. This version offers the ability to display contact information in a business card style format. The advance, which follows in the footsteps of other MP3 developers, raises speculation that the iPod may one day be more than a simple music device. Price: US$499
The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rules that the identities of filesharers may not be revealed to media companies alleging infringement. In the future, only those accused of what the court terms “heavy crimes” such as child pornography, kidnapping, or murder will have their privacy breached. The ruling is a major blow to organizations seeking to clamp down on peer-to-peer networks.
Toru Iwatani, creator of the game, offered a postmortem on the industry’s biggest franchise-and told a few tales most fans have probably never heard. Here are the five most surprising:
The point of the game was to attract girls
While today’s player is slightly more likely to be male, gaming in the late 1970s was pretty much exclusively a men’s club. Iwatani wanted to change this, creating something that could appeal to both women and families, he says.
"The reason I created Pac-Man was because we wanted to attract female gamers," he says. "Back then, there were no home games. People had to go to the arcade center to play games. That was a playground for boys. It was dirty and smelly. So we wanted to include female players, so it would become cleaner and brighter."
Each ghost had specific orders
When you play the game, it might seem as if the four ghosts are actively chasing you. That’s not exactly true. Iwatani intentionally avoided programming them with that purpose, since that would have resulted in Pac-Man zipping around the screen with four ghosts always right behind him.
Instead, it’s only Blinky, the red ghost, who doggedly pursues you throughout the game. Pinky, the pink ghost (naturally), simply wants to position itself at a point that’s 32 pixels in front of Pac-Man’s mouth. The blue ghost, Inky, is seeking to position itself at a similar fixed spot. And Clyde, the orange ghost, moves completely at random.
Because the player constantly has Pac-Man on the go, however, the ghosts are always changing direction and trying to achieve their goal, which adds to the challenge of the game.
What, exactly, does Pac-Man mean?
You may have heard the story about how a pizza with a missing slice inspired Pac-Man’s design. But it turns out the game was designed entirely around food.
"I thought about something that may attract girls," says Iwatani. "Maybe boy stories or something to do with fashion. However, girls love to eat desserts. My wife often does! So the verb ‘eat’ gave me a hint to create this game."
That theme continued with the game’s name. In Japanese, “puck puck” is akin to the U.S. saying “munch munch”. So the original name - Puck-Man - translated as “Munch man”. (A savvy Midway Games official changed it to Pac-Man when the game hit the U.S. to discourage vandals from shaving off part of the “P,” thereby creating an obscene word.)
The missing puzzle piece
Pac-Man was designed to be as simple as possible, to attract a wide audience. The limits of technology in 1980 made this a little easier to achieve. Iwatani says he’s happy about this now, but at the time, there was one more thing he wanted to add to the game.
"I wanted to have a shelter and it would move up and down," he says. "When the ghost comes, the ghost would be pinched by the shelter which would disfigure the ghost."
The ghosts were almost just one colour
It’s kind of hard to picture Pac-Man without the brightly colored ghosts today, but when the game was being developed, Iwatani says he was pressured hard to change that.
The president of Namco ordered him to make the ghosts a single color - red, to be precise - since she believed players would be confused that some ghosts, perhaps, were Pac-Man’s ally.
Iwatani refused the order and on questionnaires to the game’s testers, asked if they would prefer a single color ghost or four. Not a single person wanted the single-color option. That ultimately convinced the president she was wrong.
This is a robotic tattoo machine designed by Chris Eckert that does all the work for you - including choosing your design… But not just any design…
"Auto Ink is a three axis numerically controlled sculpture. Once the main switch is triggered, the operator is assigned a religion and it’s corresponding symbol is tattooed onto the person’s arm. The operator does not have control over the assigned symbol. It is assigned either randomly or through divine intervention, depending on your personal beliefs.
I doubt too many people will sign up for this thing, partly for the lack of choice in design and partly in just not trusting a robot with a tattoo needle. If I were to get some ink, I’ll trust the fat bald guy down the street…
Typewriter salesman Harry C. Gammeter of Cleveland, Ohio, patents the first commercially successful device to simplify the printing process, the Multigraph duplicating machine. (US No. 722,404) The device, which consists of a metal drum with vertical channels running across it, allows laymen to rearrange a set of movable type to produce professionally lettered messages.
The final episode of “The Silver Eagle” is broadcast, marking the end of the the era of adventure stories which were so prominent during the golden age of radio.
Mika becomes the first satellite launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guyana.
According to Twin Galaxies, Kim Jackson scores a record-setting 327,400 points playing the Namco arcade game Xevious at Goldie’s in Seattle, Washington.
The ashes of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry are launched into space in a capsule about the size of a stick of lipstick aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. The ashes will remain in orbit for approximately five years, until their canister burns up on re-entry.
The fantasy television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar premieres on The WB with the episode “Welcome to the Hellmouth.”
A hacker known by the web handle “Jester” becomes the first juvenile charged with federal computer crimes. Jester allegedly disabled a key telephone company computer servicing the Worcester airport earlier in the month. As a result of a series of commands sent from the hacker’s personal computer, vital services to the FAA control tower were disabled for six hours. In the course of his hacking, he also electronically broke into a pharmacy computer and copied patient records. Jester will later be sentenced to paying restitution to the telephone company and two hundred fifty hours of community service. He will also be required to forfeit all of the computer equipment used during his criminal activity.
At the Game Developers’ Conference in San Jose, California, Bill Gates, chairman of the Microsoft Corporation, formally announces that the rumored Xbox video game system will be released in the fall of 2001. “The Xbox provides performance better than twice that of any previous platform,” boasts Gates. “X-Box is a global product so we’ll be selling it worldwide.” The system will feature a a custom Intel Pentium III 600MHz CPU, 64MB RAM, an 8GB hard drive, a special nVidia graphics processor, 64-channel 3D audio, and high-speed Internet connectivity.