Friday, October 29, 2004

Ex Nihilo

This Nerdblog post claims resurrection of the accompanying image "out of total darkness" using a Picasa image enhancement feature.

Hmmmm... Total darkness?

Easter Egg or Claude Shannon spinning in his grave?


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Grandfather of Patterns

Discussions of Christopher Alexander and design patterns have been ubiquitous in software development for quite some time. The other day I was reading an Atlantic article titled Tales of a Tyrant. This piece was written by Mark Bowden, and it covers the life of Saddam Hussein, his roots, his rise to power and his behavior thereafter. What struck me was how closely it all followed Plato's "Tyrannical Character" from The Republic, right down to the means by which Hussein seized absolute power.

In design pattern parlance, Hussein was an instance of Plato's Tyrant Pattern, I thought. Then it struck me, if you think in terms of patterns, old Plato really was the pattern master. Usually Plato's word for pattern is translated as "form," but I think "pattern" is apropos. He really was describing his perspectives on patterns of individuals and societies in Boox IX of the Republic.

Given this perspective on patterns, I think many people interested in design patterns might enjoy Plato's Republic. Not only are a lot of patterns presented, Plato managed to touch most of the classic philosophical questions, which is another reason the book has such an influential history.

Do you like Apples?

Earlier, in response to Ballmer's benefit cuts and dubious justifications of doing what's best for the shareholders: "If I were Google, I'd consider doing Schumpeter proud by opening a Redmond office."

Today, ex-Microsoft employee Joe Beda writes "It's true -- Google is opening a development office in Kirkland..."

This made me think of the scene in Good Will Hunting in which Will asks the Harvard dweeb, "Do you like apples?" before slapping her phone number against the window.

I'll save my Google concerns for another post.

Three more cheers for Google!

Monday, October 11, 2004

Paint Shop Pro 9 reviewed at PC Mag

Flickr is tres cool.

I know I'm way behind the mover and shaker curve on this, but I must give Flickr its due with its incredible fusion of social software and photosharing. RSS feeds for images, Creative Commons support, great community, great integration. Very impressive. Very well done.

Telereality & Teleprescence

Whilst in my futuristic mood, I was also struck by thoughts on telereality and telepresence. I was thinking about this a few years ago, and I'm surprised the concept hasn't taken off more. I thought by now people would be selling telepresence walking tours of Paris or the like. The technology to do it, at least on some scale, is readily available. Hmmm...

Thoughts on the Digital Camera of the Future

Earlier I mentioned HDR. Today I was thinking of the issue of digital photo management; near zero costs have us all clicking our shutters like crazed monkeys, and that translates into organizational needs.

It would be nice, I thought, if GPS were used to tag the locations where pictures were taken. Of course, this time, I knew better than to think the idea might be an original one. Google verified that. I hope GPS in cameras becomes ubiquitous in the future.

With broad support, the coordinates supported in EXIF would be really nice for organizational purposes, Google images searches in the future would be quite incredible, one could sort images on the web by proximity to a specified location or even a trail of photos taken nearest a path.