g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Sunday, April 12, 2009
06:25 - BYO Multitouch
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/maximum_pc_builds_a_multitouch_surface_com

(top)
The iPhone isn't the first multitouch device out there—just the first to get widespread recognition and show up in everyone's pocket. Microsoft (!) had that "Surface" tabletop PC thing going right about the same time. Whoever holds any patent on the technology, it's got to have prior art going back to the dawn of touchscreens (because honestly, who could conceive a single-point touchscreen and not think about multi-point variations?). And now, via JMH, Maximum PC has built their own, along with detailed documentation.

There is, it turns out, a whole community of very smart folks out there on the internet perfecting the art of building DIY multi-touch surfaces. The process isn’t exactly simple, but the results we saw were stunning: multitouch surfaces with responsiveness rivaling Microsoft’s $12,000 offering, built in a garage on a shoestring budget. “Future UI article be damned,” we thought, “we’ve gotta build one of these for ourselves.”

Truth be told, I've found the fact that the iPhone's touchscreen is limited to only two points to be sorta limiting from time to time—it's hard to zoom a map or a web page with one hand, and frustrating not to be able to pull two fingers apart at a weird angle and then add a third finger to zoom in still further. This solution appears to have that limitation dealt with.


06:13 - First of the Hoverbots
http://newsrelease.uwaterloo.ca/news.php?id=5055

(top)
Via JMH:

WATERLOO, Ont. (Wednesday, April 8, 2009) -- A University of Waterloo engineering research team has developed the world's first flying microrobot capable of manipulating objects for microscale applications.

The microrobot discovery provides researchers with more control over the microscale environment, allowing them to move and place tiny objects with far greater precision. The microscale deals with tiny objects, at levels that are too small to be manipulated by humans.

Behrad Khamesee, director of UW's Maglev (Magnetically Levitated) Microrobotics Laboratory, heads the team that built the prototype flying MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) robot.

The microrobot defies the force of gravity by flying or levitating, powered by a magnetic field. It moves around and dexterously manipulates objects with magnets attached to microgrippers, remotely controlled by a laser-focusing beam.

It can be used for micro-manipulation, a technique that enables precise positioning of micro objects. Applications of micro-manipulation include micro-assembly of mechanical components, handling of biological samples or even microsurgery.

Cool in and of itself, but the obvious question is whether and how it could be made to scale up to larger applications. My suspicion is "no" and "Didn't you hear me? I said no".

Friday, April 10, 2009
18:38 - Just business
http://www.kanyeuniversecity.com/blog/?em3106=227887_-1__0_~0_-1_4_2009_0_0&em3298=&

(top)
How does Kanye West respond when the South Park guys smack him around?

Like this:

SOUTH PARK MURDERED ME LAST NIGHT AND IT'S PRETTY FUNNY. IT HURTS MY FEELINGS BUT WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM SOUTH PARK! I ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN WORKING ON MY EGO THOUGH. HAVING THE CRAZY EGO IS PLAYED OUT AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE AND CAREER. I USE TO USE IT TO BUILD UP MY ESTEEM WHEN NOBODY BELIEVED IN ME. NOW THAT PEOPLE DO BELIEVE AND SUPPORT MY MUSIC AND PRODUCTS THE BEST RESPONSE IS THANK YOU INSTEAD OF "I TOLD YOU SO!!!" IT'S COOL TO TALK SHIT WHEN YOU'RE RAPPING BUT NOT IN REAL LIFE. WHEN YOU MEET LITTLE WAYNE IN PERSON HE'S THE NICEST GUY FOR EXAMPLE. I JUST WANNA BE A DOPER PERSON WHICH STARTS WITH ME NOT ALWAYS TELLING PEOPLE HOW DOPE I THINK I AM. I NEED TO JUST GET PAST MYSELF. DROP THE BRAVADO AND JUST MAKE DOPE PRODUCT. EVERYTHING IS NOT THAT SERIOUS. AS LONG AS PEOPLE THINK I ACT LIKE A BITCH THIS TYPE OF SHIT WILL HAPPEN TO ME. I GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF ME TO MAKE PEOPLE BELIEVE I'M NOT ACTUALLY A HUGE DOUCHE BUT I'M UP FOR THE CHALLENGE. I'M SURE THE WRITERS AT SOUTH PARK ARE REALLY NICE PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE. THANKS FOR TAKING THE TIME TO DRAW MY CREW. THAT WAS PRETTY FUNNY ALSO!! I'M SURE THERE'S GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN THIS... THAT'S HOW YOU KNOW IT'S ME!

That's pretty manned-up, I gotta say. Not to mention self-aware about the whole "product" aspect of the hip-hop industry—and other similar entertainment pipelines, like South Park for example. A little disillusioning to the fans of each, I'm sure, but that's probably healthy.

Via Chris.


06:28 - I understand your new band is called French Fried Pertaters
http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/showbiz/2009/04/09/billy.bob.thorton.interview.cbc

(top)
Who knew Billy Bob Thornton was actually a kook?

And it doesn't help that he's looking more and more like L. Ron Hubbard every day...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009
17:51 - No thanks to that one episode of Futurama either
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/5113781/P

(top)
Having spent officially one year far away from home and dog, stories like this one—surprisingly enough—don't help one bit.

Via Dave Price.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
18:04 - You can't trust those shifty devils

(top)
I'm sure this is somehow evidence that Apple's out to screw consumers and lock them into overpriced music players and phones that nobody wants:


We've sure come a long way, huh?


12:51 - You covet my ice cream bar!
http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/ice-cream/photo//090320/photos_ts_afp/745944776b44e1d0

(top)
We're so uptight. The Russians know how to advertise. And since they probably don't have Oreos...

This handout from Russian advertising agency Voskhod shows a smiling, cartoonish black man flashing the victory sign in front of the US capital building, along with the Russian slogan: "Everyone's talking about it: dark inside white!" Obama ice cream, anyone? Chocolate-vanilla ice cream is one of several Russian products being marketed using Obama even as critics call the ads racist.

It's all about getting that press, see. Good? Bad? Who cares?

Side note: said press seems after all to occasionally remember that that's the victory sign, not just peace.

Via CapLion.


06:11 - Bogey's airspeed not sufficient for intercept. Suggest we get out and walk.
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=7273710&page=1

(top)
The hell.

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© Brian Tiemann