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User Journal

Journal Journal: Simple 2-D to 3-D?

Earlier I had a dream. I was with my older sister and her husband, they were owners of some sort of art gallery/store; a customer was interested in getting something from overseas, and I said I hoped they had a legal agreement in which a return wasn't possible (like midnightbox.com has). Later, I was listening to the first part of a Family Guy episode, like the season premiere (opening theme not at start). I was driving from my parents' house. I stopped my Buick Wildcat at the Hochmann's and hoped other vehicles coming SE through the intersections wouldn't hit me. About three went around me. Five bicyclists approached, spread across the street, and the one who would've hit me instead did a flying summersault; I didn't check to see if the rider landed okay. I drove on, and nearly exited Brettonwood. Someone it was playing on the street, with colored chalk showing the animation. I exited and entered the apartment complex across. Now I was able to watch it closely and somehow TiVo it to the beginning. Somehow it was in 3-D; it started with objects bombarding Peter, and him not noticing, but his face was nearly a hemisphere. It had a strong resemblance to claymation.

So, ignoring that my sister doesn't have an art gallery, I rarely go to my parents' house, there's no SE approach where the Hochmanns used to live, I sold the Wildcat and bought a Honda Element a couple years ago, and bicyclists don't fly, why am I posting this to Slashdot? I pondered how to automate 2-D to claymation conversion, and settled on a potential technique.

  1. Create a perspective drawing, perhaps even coloring it (obviously with a limited palette). Use only right angles (so triangular items would be square).
  2. Use a computer program to convert to 3-D and control a clay-carving process. Any curves would become partially spherical.
  3. Remove more clay for triangular objects as needed.
  4. Use resulting clay layout within the motion picture.

Admittedly, this was a very limited motion picture; it was like clay on top of paper, like Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer video, so more 2-D than 3-D, but still visually appealing.

I don't know how useful this idea is, but I thought I'd get it out there. I'm sure I'll laugh at it once I'm a bit more awake.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Adapter for headphones - patented? 1

I'm a big fan of Zip-Linq cables - I have two of the RJ45 network cables and a PDA sync'n Charge. I personally think their crossover is pointless - I got a small red adapter that does it M-F in 1.75 inches - but I digress.

When I was out shopping on Sunday, I was looking for an audio Zip-Linq cable at Fry's Electronics in Renton WA - the closest they had to retracting audio was manually spooled Sony cases and something by... I think it was RCA and terribly bulky (compared to Zip-Linq).

Today I ventured out to Zip-Linq's site in their audio section and see that they have a ZIP-AUDIO-PC2 with both binarual headphone and microphone. But it isn't enough.

Ideally, I'd like that plus an adapter for telephone use. The adapter would have two 3.5mm jacks and a phone (2.5mm or Nokia or other) plug:

  • Each jack would be color-coded to accept a headphone plug or a microphone plug.
  • The 2.5mm/Nokia/other plug would fit into a cell phone jack or cordless phone jack.
  • The internal wiring of the adapter would have the phone output going to both "ears" (an ideal mono to "stereo" conversion) and, obviously, the microphone input to the phone input.

The 2.5mm edition would resemble Radio Shack's 274-945.

Optional bonuses for this adapter:

  • A volume control (on/off or mute one ear or potentiometer). But that could be expensive.
  • An onhook/offhook (hangup/pickup) control. I don't know if the 2.5mm standard covers it but I know Nokia can do it.
  • A clip or lanyard or similar for attachment.

Alternatively, an adapter that converted a headset (preferably binaural) with a 2.5mm/Nokia/other plug to dual 3.5mm plugs (one for microphone jack, one for speaker/line jack, of course) would be a great invention, with or without any of the optional bonuses above. I see one that seems to have one plug only but it's probably merely straight-thru; that just isn't enough.

With either adapter, one could use it or remove it to toggle between participating in a normal phone conversation or a normal stereo/MP3/computer interaction without the hassle of carrying around two headsets.

Anything like this exist?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Adding teeth to the GPL?

In The FSF, Linux's Hit Men, Forbes berates the GPL, mentioning:

In some ways, these Free Software Foundation "enforcement actions" can be more dangerous than a typical copyright spat, because usually copyright holders seek money--say, royalties on the product that infringing companies are selling. But the Free Software Foundation doesn't want royalties--it wants you to burn down your house, or at the very least share it with cloners.

Analogies aside, a possible fix to this would be to add a clause in the GPL (or call it some other license, perhaps there already is something like this) that, for the specific author's particular copyrighted adds/changes:

An amount no less than ___________ paid to one particular author may be adequate to obtain full non-exclusive rights to said author's adds/changes.

While there is probably no case law that justifies mentioning any premeditated amount (think patent lawsuits and/or a future wherein a particular country's currency is worthless), I've read that some courts are hesitant to award a remedy for a copyright infringement if the plaintiff cannot name a particular dollar amount for damages - IIRC, one case in particular was in relation to an author who'd written some "open textbooks" and found that a publisher was distributing them on CD-ROM without giving the author the due credit required by the license.

Maybe having a lower bound is better than no lower bound?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Google filetype:txt has <HTML> entities?!?

Lately, I've noticed that files of type txt frequently have what looks like raw html in the Page Title and excerpt. The raw html is also expressed in the Cached link, even though it arguably shouldn't be there.

For example: google filetype:txt brings up several entries.

Looking at site:interconnected.org google pyra filetype:txt in particular has two text files around the same time but with different formatting.

I hate to compare Google with Microsoft, but it's somewhat reminiscent of Microsoft Internet Explorer claiming that a zero-length (empty) page has html content when you View Source.

Any idea what's causing this? Perhaps they're still debugging it and that's why they don't list it on their File Format pulldown in the Advanced Search?

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