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Submission + - Little-known video featuring Star Wars newcomer Daisy Ridley teaches CPR (youtube.com)

ofcourseyouare writes: Many articles about the Star Wars cast announcement focussed attention on "unknown newcomer" Daisy Ridley. What almost none of these articles mentioned was that Ms. Ridley has starred in a short interactive video app/website called 'Lifesaver' which teaches CPR. It was made for a UK health charity and has won awards (BAFTA British Academy Award nomination, Webby win). If you're into Star Wars (and/or CPR) you may it find interesting — extracts on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment one business model: military (Score 3, Insightful) 140

About business models: the only set of people I can think of who use something like Google Glass at the moment are military pilots, who have had head-up displays for decades and are getting helmet-mounted displays at the moment. Why do they find it useful? Because they need information instantly, don't have their hands free, have huge budgets available and don't care if they look like a cyborg. So there's a clue for a target market: the military. I imagine a squad on patrol would find it useful to have information on the area they're walking through sent to them in real time without having to take their hands off their weapons or look down; and their commanders would find it useful to be able to see what the troops are seeing in real time. They could afford a far higher budget than most civilians, and looking like a freakish cyborg from Hell could potentially be a bonus. Only issue: surely DARPA's on this already? But maybe Google could do it better...

Comment Consider the source: Wired (Score 1) 368

It's worth remembering that this is an article in Wired, for which a standard article format is: 1) X is a newer product 2) Y is an older product 3) therefore X will totally destroy Y; X = good/the future, Y=bad/obsolete; if you like X (and Wired always does) then you are cool, if not you're a loser. We've seen articles like this about how "The Web is Dead", "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business" etc. The irony is that IMHO one of the most interesting ideas Wired ever floated was "the long tail" - i.e. that the internet makes it possible to buy/ sell/ enjoy a far greater variety of content than physical shops. In other words, the opposite of the winner-takes-all argument they keep rolling out now.

Comment Re:Social Media? (Score 1) 572

Great post, and you raise an interesting theme for an alternate history: imagine nuclear weapons had never been invented, but that Japan had (after vast suffering) been defeated anyway; what would have happened between the US and the USSR? Given that there would be no threat of nuclear obliteration of their own home territories, would they have gone to full-scale war over West Berlin? etc. All hypothetical of course, but interesting, thanks.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Art project: Making a toaster from raw materials (we-make-money-not-art.com)

ofcourseyouare writes: "Left to his own devices he couldn't build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it." Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams, 1992

Inspired by this, an art student in London is trying to build a toaster, from scratch — beginning by mining the raw materials and ending with a product that sells for only £3.99. "How hard can it be? Well, (he admits) quite hard."


He initially attempted to melt iron ore and turn it into iron using hair dryers. He then tried with a leaf blower. Finally he used his mother's microwave and china to actually obtain iron. He says "I'm trying to negotiate a helicopter ride to an oil rig in the North Sea to collect some oil from which I would try (and certainly fail) to make plastic."

Yes *of course* he could just make a fire and toast some bread on a stick, but that's not the point — as one poster to boingboing said "this is in the best British eccentric tinkerer tradition. Wallace and Gromit would be proud."

Comment Re:Moon seems to have rotated in the past 400 year (Score 1) 82

When you look at the moon from New Zealand, it appears to be "upside down" compared with how it looks in the UK. I assume therefore that the moon is "a different way up" depending on where on earth you look at it from, which would make sense. The moon map you link to is presumably as seen from Russia (it's a .ru site), Harriot was I assume in the UK. This might account for the difference you mention?

However, no doubt some astronomically-aware /.er can enlighten us?

Submission + - More climate scientists now support geoengineering (independent.co.uk)

ofcourseyouare writes: The Independent is a UK newspaper which "is generally regarded as leaning to the left politically" (Wikipedia). It has been pushing hard for cuts in CO2 emissions for years. All the more surprising, then, that it recently did a "poll of 80...of the world's leading climate scientists... (which) reveals growing support for geoengineering" — in addition to cutting CO2, however, not as a substitute.

For example, Jim Lovelock, "author of the Gaia theory", comments: "I disagree that geoengineering the climate is a dangerous distraction and I disagree that on no account should it ever be considered. I strongly agree that we now need a "plan B" where a geoengineering strategy is drawn up in parallel with other measures to curb CO2 emissions."

Whether the /. debate of this subject can be equally balanced remains to be seen...

Comments from the 80 experts are here: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/what-can-we-do-to-save-our-planet-1221097.html

Introductory article here: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/climate-scientists-its-time-for-plan-b-1221092.html

Comment Evolution of video content to suit a new medium (Score 1) 34

This is not just "politics" story. It's also a "media/tech" story - a story about how the opportunities offered by tech will inevitably change media, in this case video.

You'll be amazed to hear that the internet is an interactive medium and TV/cinema usually are not. Yes, I know you know that -- but nevertheless, the vast majority of videos posted online act as if there was no difference between the internet and TV or cinema. Youtube is fun, and has plenty of interaction before or after the video - but once you press play, it's no more interactive than "Casablanca".

The situation today mirrors the early days of film, when many filmmakers thought that cinema was simply a new method of distribution for filmed theatre and music hall content. But eventually the medium asserted itself and true cinema was born. How will this happen with online video?

Well, things like this NYT site are part of the start. And Youtube has just started allowing "annotations" which can include hyperlinks to other videos.

But the real change will only happen once the people *shooting* the video start concieving, scripting, shooting and editing specifically for interactive, online use. Wikipedia has some interesting examples under "interactive video". One note: most of the successful examples are non-fiction, because of the well-known problems with combining traditional linear storytelling and interaction in any medium.

So yes, it's an interesitng site. And it's the start of a big change, as online filmmakers slowly start to follow the most basic creative rule of all: use the medium.

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