Monday, December 19, 2011

The Detailed Universe

Found on youtube title "The Detailed Universe: This will Blow Your Mind.", this astonishing video makes justice to its name.

Love it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why Intel is crazy.. and a small prediction.

Intel will deliver 14nm based processors by late 2014 (link).

Yes, they got craaaazy and just thrown $5 billions into research so that they may move at twice the rate of Moor's Law.

Why did they do this? Intel's strategy had always been simple: be the fastest, others will fall behind.
However this shifted and nowadays this is not enough. 15 months after I got my HTC Desire, battery problems are yet to be solved, unlike many hoped.

The fact is that - depicted below - ARM processors put Atom in a corner once mobility is an issue.
And mobility is an issue, this (2011) is the year when Laptops + Desktop PCs loose to Smart-phones & Tables (link).

Once we know this and that ARM had already paired with IBM and publicly announced at the beginning of this year that they were targeting 14nm technologies (link).

Intel's move becomes only a marketing stunt, they are actually trailing behind and following the market.

These are the wonders of capitalism :) Moore's law becomes the standard and the rate of the exponential grown becomes itself exponential. Singularity gets closer.

Another - perhaps more interesting - consequence, is that 14nm amounts to something like 30 atoms in length per transistor, leaving the traditional Moore's law very little space left.

So yes, the third dimension will have to get into the game really fast.. and when/if this happens.. .. we'll adapt and look for the next piece of technology.

Which brings me to my prediction :-)

Point 1: Avatar was rendered on a cluster of 40.000 cores.
Point 2: Computer games now have budgets in the size dozens of millions of Euros, and I expect this to keep increasing.
Point 3: Immersive reality is a joining point on the two above.

I predict that the cinema industry as we know will be swallowed by near realistic games.

So, Hollywood is to the future games, as Theater was to Cinema.

Let me know what you think.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Learning OpenSCAD...

It's decided, one of my first prints has to be a vase :)

I just started playing with OpenSCAD while I wait for the electronics and hot-end:

Not bad for an hour playing around. Let's see how it evolves :)

Meanwhile for the Hot-end I decided for the J Head Nozzle from, I liked it because it's simple, elegant and compatible with the Wade's extruder I already have.

As for the electronics, I've ordered from the German RepRap Foundation ( , they only had version 1.2, while the latest is 1.3 but should be ok for starting.. and it was on stock.
Eventually I want to move to the R2C2 board, but for now I'll be happy when can print the vase above. :)

RepRap Prusa Frame - Step 1 is done

We, after a couple hours I have the frame, still a while to go though, but at least my RepRap already has a structure.

I'm thinking on giving it a name, any ideas?

To know more about the RepRap, visit

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Evo 0.9 is my implementation of a genetic evolutionary algorithm for mimicking an image using only unnatural selection and random triangles.

It is based on the sort of software below:

Evo is made in Java 6 and the Jar (i.e. executable) can be downloaded here.

Configuration options are:
Resolution (pixels) - Since using the original resolution of a big image normally results in extremely slow behaviour, I've added this option. For example if this is set to 1000000 (i.e. 1 million) it will resize the image to 1 megapixel and evolve based on the resized image.
Number of Triangles - Total number of triangles used in the image.
Number of Threads - Number of threads used (I normally use one per CPU core).
Generation size - As there I am only using mutations, then this variable does not make much sense. However, the script will stop optmizing once the improvement is below 0.001% in one given generation. (So basically the bigger this number, the more demanding the software will be)

If you want to download, get more information or contribute, then consider looking at the forum:

To simply download, use:

Friday, June 3, 2011

TMS: Deactivating brain parts, makes it more powerful?!?

The research of a test in which a research subject was asked to draw a picture of a
dog four times, at different stages of his exposure to transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Found this interesting links while reading The Singularity is Near from Ray Kurzweil:

Savant for a day (
Shows that maybe Savant syndrome can be induced.

TMS: Twilight Zone Science (
A bit more detailed than the above, but still worth the reading.
"The technology at the core of professor Allan Snyder's experiments to boost creative intelligence,transcranial magnetic stimulation, is behind some pretty wacky claims. Subjects in experiments byDr. Michael Persinger, of Laurentian University, believe they felt the presence of God, or some similar mystical experience." - 04.18.02

Added that to some searches and found these below. I find the combined knowledge to be mind blowing :)

Jason Padgett - Brutal Attack results in Savant Syndrome

While reading Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer, I discovered that Daniel Tammet is more of a high-tech fraud than a Savant.  It's hard to explain, but proof comes from his own web-site in 2001.  Where he states: 
"My own interest in memory and conversely Memory sport was sparked by my casual acquaintance with a children’s book on broad memory concepts for better exam performance at the age of 15. The following year I passed my GCSEs with some of the year’s best results and subsequently performed well at A-level, mastering French and German along the way with the help of these tried-and-tested techniques.Following teaching stints in Scandinavia and as a volunteer lecturer of English in Eastern Europe, I competed for the first time at the World Memory Championships in London in 1999, managing 12th place overall."
It's weird and enlighthing that his mental prowesses is more interessing as an accident than as an hard work achievement.
Full link to his web-site on

Daniel Tammet - The Boy With The Incredible Brain

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present. ( Kung-Fu Panda)

Well, today I'm finally taking the time to cleanup my house. With the long weekend, it's actually relaxing, and although it goes very slowly every little thing I organize or try to find the correct place to put them makes me feel better.

Now I have only my kitchen remaining to be cleaned and am procrastinating it by doing other stuff like saving all my albums into folders in the filesystem.

Currently I have most of my pictures either in iPhoto, Picasa, Picasa Web or all. However I'm reluctant to trust any of these (including Google) to last forever, and even if they do, there is no really easy way to export albums between one and the other, adding that to future versions, future incompatibilities, and lack of mobility, I've decided to follow a friends old-fashined method of having everything saved in folders with names starting by date, place and short description.

Not only this does all that I need, it is completely portable across different operating systems, filesystems and can be saved anywhere. Also, although it's in an applications best interest to difficult the export, they've actually made a good job when handling the import. Which means I'm not loosing anything in what regards integration.

Back to the cleanup, I've found a CD saved by my oldest friend Nuno. We've met at age 9, have 4 days of age difference, took different decisions in life, and have met 20 years late, not in the same class, but now in another country and in the same division at the European Space Agency.
He's always been the guy that brings the camera along and earlier in our lives, he was already thinking about the future, that is why at age 16 he did a backup of all the most important things I had in my computer. I had that CD almost forgotten in Portugal, until I found it last year when cleaning up my room.

I've just started having a look into it, and already found some jewels, here are some of the pictures Nuno saved from my PC around that time.
Looking at them is not even nostalgic (well not yet), it make the past, the present and the future merge altogether in my thoughts, thinking on what we've accomplished and what we both still having in front of us.

So, without further delay, here are, screenshots of 13 years old software made by a teenager with a love for computers.
Playing with fire effects

Extending the fire effects

Have no recall of what's this, what so ever

TopDog image editor. TopDog was my first game, this was the image editor I did. It was used by my sister to create sprites (images) for the background, enemies, etc..

Playing with 3D

Taking the learnings from high-school Art's class and putting it onto the computer.
The ability to do Art without the mess of having to redo all from scratch when you mess-up, is what made me turn to computers.

:) Nice one to end this post