25th February, 2011
I'm proud to announce the release of Atlas Master, my latest game for iPhone built in cooperation with Reflx.
Travel the world in 6 regions and 3 difficulty levels. Match capitals to countries to see how well you know geography.
Quiz for 10, 15 or 20 capitals on an new route for every game. With 18 achievements in Game Center, there's plenty of potential to impress your friends.
This first version is localized for English, German, French and Danish. Grab Atlas Master now in the App Store and find out how well you know the world.
22nd February, 2011
Unbelievable high speed footage by Tom Guilmette from a hotel room, shot with a Phantom Flex camera,
Capturing stuff we are not supposed to see.
What the world is truly depends on perspective and perception of time!
20th February, 2011
Remarkable analysis of how 11 viewers watch There Will Be Blood by David Bordwell using eye tracking.
Looking at these patterns, our gaze may appear unusually busy and erratic, but we’re moving our eyes like this every moment of our waking lives. We are not aware of the frenetic pace of our attention because we are effectively blind every time we saccade between locations. This process is known as saccadic suppression. Our visual system automatically stitches together the information encoded during each fixation to effortlessly create the perception of a constant, stable scene.
10th February, 2011
Umair Haque for Harward Business Review on Egypt's Revolution provides excellent economic perspective:
What we're watching is a massive malfunctioning of the global economy. At the root of the problem: dumb growth. Dumb growth is, in many ways, bogus — rather than reflecting enduring wealth creation, it largely reflects the transfer of wealth: from the poor to the rich, the young to the old, tomorrow to today, and human beings to corporate "people." Dumb growth is growth without prosperity. And it's far from an Egyptian problem.
The challenge now is leaping to a higher order of innovation: institutional innovation, because it's institutions that set the incentives that mold and shape human achievement in the first place.
9th February, 2011
British artist and cartoonist Darryl Cunningham takes on the issue of global warming.
9th February, 2011
In CASINO ROYALE, James Bond is the Bond girl. Look at the way they even show him emerging from the ocean like Ursula Andress. Sexual torture, too, if less creepy-glam than being stripped and painted gold. Vesper Lynd is Bond: never not in control, never without a plan, seducing to further her goals. She has to die so Bond can become her.
4th February, 2011
The team behind Forumwarz built an iPhone game, iCapitalism. It's a game consisting of nothing but in-app purchases:
Click on the Play tab. Then click Increase Your Level. You will be presented with a list of level upgrades you can purchase with real money.
There is no skill involved at all. The person paying the most, will be at the top of the leaderboard. After nine (!) weeks, it was rejected. The idea is humorous but I understand why it pass the approval process.
There is but a small step from iCapitalism to games like Farmville or Smurf's Village. They all create incentive to spend real money playing the game. Either because the game does nothing at all or because the game consists of pointless delays and slow downs.
iCapitalism was rejected. Why is Farmville and similar allowed?
2nd February, 2011
The danish newspaper Information and several others report how the new Danish law on residence permits has affected at least one foreign citizen who has been to war for Denmark. Only in Denmark has a translated version of the article appearing in the Danish paper Politiken.
A war veteran from the war in Afghanistan (and soon on his second tour), Baralai Hassenzai has been denied permanent residence because he lacked 15 of 100 required points in so called "active citizenship". Volunteering in a football club for kids for a full year, for instance, would count toward the needed points. Serving as a soldier to the Danish nation apparently does not! The Danish Immigration Service even told him that he could be denied even temporary permit because he traveled back to his home country.
When risking your life for the country, having lived in there since childhood, is not "active citizenship", it is not criteria for judging a wish to participate and contribute but instead a hostile system hell-bent on alienating certain groups.
Hassenzai has appealed the decision.
25th January, 2011
Basil Safwat investigates exactly what happens when you're in the iPhone mail app and a new message arrives. It's a fantastic example of the incredible attention to detail that makes Apple products so insanely great.
24th January, 2011
Santa Fe Institute reports on findings by Luis Bettencourt and colleagues of new relations between the relative size of a city and various statistical properties of its inhabitants:
The researchers have shown, in fact, that with each doubling of city population, each inhabitant is, on average, 15 percent wealthier, 15 percent more productive, 15 percent more innovative, and 15 percent more likely to be victimized by violent crime regardless of the city’s geography or the decade in which you pull the data.
Remarkably, this 15 percent rule holds for a number of other statistics as well – so much so that if you tell Bettencourt and West the population of an anonymous city, they can tell you the average speed at which its inhabitants walk.
Fascinating insight that just might allow us to better plan for the continuing urbanization.
“Almost anything that you can measure about a city scales nonlinearly, either showing economies in infrastructure or per capita gains in socioeconomic quantities,” Bettencourt says. “This is the reason we have cities in the first place. But if you don’t correct for these effects, you are not capturing the essence of particular places.”
24th January, 2011
Horace Dediu quotes Tim Cook on Apple's mission:
We believe in the simple, not the complex.
And frankly, we don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change.
That's a goal everyone should adhere to
24th January, 2011
Errol Morris made this 30-minute film for IBM, celebrating their centennial. It's a fantastic tribute to the brilliant people of IBM and what we can accomplish under the right circumstances. (via John Gruber)
14th January, 2011
Last year, I linked to an article about Watson, the fantastic machine IBM has spent the last 3 years building. Now ZDNet has video of one the the testing rounds. It really is remarkable what the clever among us can accomplish.
13th January, 2011
An infinite number of mathematicians walks into a bar. The first goes up to the bartender and says, “I’ll have a pint of lager, please.” Each next one says, “and I’ll have half of what he’s having.” The bartender says, “You’re all idiots,” and pulls two pints.
12th January, 2011
I've written about computer controlled trading before and the legality of it still baffles me. Ars Technica explains the dangers:
"Our financial markets have become a largely automated adaptive dynamical system, with feedback," says Michael Kearns, a computer science professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has built algorithms for various Wall Street firms. "There's no science I'm aware of that's up to the task of understanding its potential implications."