The world as a miniature: Tilt-shift & time-lapse

This. Will. Fascinate. You.

Sam O’Hare shot a quadjillion pictures of the Coachella Festival, then put them all into one video in sequence, added a fake depth of field and sped it up. Now it looks like a miniature, like a dream of match size little people whirling around enjoying their life. It’s like watching ants. It’s fascinating. Check out the video below.


Coachelletta

As I found out, this is Sam O’Hares second video. Head over to his site on vimeo to see the other one.

Many thanks to Kurt Sigrist, who recommended the C36 news site to me, through whoms RSS feed I stumbled upon this cute little thing, which they in turn found on fokussiert.com.

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LAN-Party: CAD 19

This weekend, there will be no This Week in Awesome post, because I am at the CTRL-ALT-DELETE LAN-Party until Sunday afternoon.

I have not been to a LAN-Party in ages. It feels so good to revive the good old non-stop gaming weekends, where you can forget about all your worries and just have fun for 48 hours straight (minus the sleep of course). I got here 4 hours ago and yes, I intend to sleep about 6 hours every night/morning, because I have a to drive back home again on Sunday, and an accident caused by falling asleep behind the wheel is the last thing I need.

If you like to read some of my old posts about my LAN-Party travels in German, feel free to scroll back many pages. I’m not going to link to them, because I just realized that all the posted photos are missing.

This photo was taken not at the current CAD, nor at any previous CAD, but I think is good representation of my peak when I visited many LAN-Parties and took about every electronic gaming thing I had with me.

That’s all for now. Have a nice weekend! More info on the last installement of the CAD, this LAN-Party series which has given us such incredible fun and community over the years, can be found at www.ctrl-alt-delete.info

Last Week in Awesome: Left 4 Dead: The Sacrifice

I hinted at it in last weeks post already, and now I will actually bore tell you about it: The new campaign “The Sacrifice” available for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. And because it’s something that happened the week before, I present to you the first ever Last Week in Awesome post.

For those of you who don’t know what L4D is: this post will not interest you! Or maybe it will. Get the game on Steam for Mac or PC and start playing already.

Yes, you read correctly, L4D2 is now available on the Mac. All you need is a decent Mac, Steam installed and a few dollars (or €uros). Free if you already own the PC version. And that’s probably the most awesome thing about it. Because I have already been playing L4D2 on my bootcamp partition, at no extra cost (minus the wait time until the download was complete) I was able to start kicking zombie ass right away. Thank you, Valve! You’re awesome.

The Sacrifice joins the official campaigns in L4D and L4D2 at no extra cost as well (except if you’re playing it on XBOX 360, but hey, seriously, first person shooters are built for mouse and keyboard. Joypad? No thank you. The only first person shooter I accept and appreciate on a console is Halo, and that’s because it’s epic. The scenery, the music, the story, simply epic! Written for the big screen! Though it was first announced for the Mac… I’m getting off topic. Back to the main story.)

All I’m saying is that L4D and it’s latest add-on The Sacrifice are simply awesome (and addicting). I suggest you grab it if you haven’t already done so. I’m not gonna go into detail here, because if you read this far, you either love by my blind glorification or have already played The Sacrifice so many times, that you’ve already unlocked all 5 new achievements.

Oh, I almost forgot! You must read the four-part comic leading up the The Sacrifice, it’s a piece of art. Check it out at l4d.com/comic or get it on your iPhone (explained here how to get it). Ah yes and follow their blog. And watch the trailer shown below (I hope you wake up from nightmares in the middle of the night!)


L4D The Sacrifice Trailer

This Week in Awesome: Sonic 4

Actually, there are two awesome things that came into being this week: Besides Sonic 4, the new Left 4 Dead 2 campaign “The Sacrifice” came out, and not only that, L4D2 is now available for the Mac! Read more about it in next weeks “This Week in Awesome” post.

As you may have noticed when looking at the App Store, Sonic 4 is out. That’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I” to be correct. I guess this means that there will be more episodes coming, although it is not mentioned anywhere. I’ld welcome more Sonic games in this classic style, because lately, the Sonic games haven’t been so good.

Sonic games used to be all about speed, running and dashing, being accelerated by springs and slides along the way. Sonic 1, 2, 3 and Sonic & Knuckles are the titles in question. And now, after a very very very long time, nostalgia returns! Sonic has returned in his classic style of 2D, running through zones and acts, as they are called. It’s out for iPhone and iPod touch already, the XBOX Live Arcade, WiiWare and PlayStaion Network editions will follow in a few days.

As for the iPhone version, I have already played through at least the first two acts of every of the four zones, and I must say it is awesomely entertaining! Here are a few things I like:

  • It’s fast.
  • It’s simple, because it has no story line (besides having to beat Dr. Robotnik).
  • Classic sound effects.

And here are a few things I don’t like:

  • Touchscreen controls (well, duh).
  • You can only play when holding it in the way so that the home button is on the right side. The problem with that is: the headphone port on the iPhone is exactly where I want to place my left hand, and the plugged in headphones cable gets in the way!

Hopefully the latter will be resolved in the future in form of an update, like for example having the game recognize the way the iPhone is tilted (use the accelometer). The former point can of course never be changed, because the touchscreen is given by the hardware. That’s why I’m looking forward to the console version! Hooray for real classic controllers!

Side note: One thing that also threw me off in the beginning was that the screen turns with you when you go through a looping. It makes your head spin (literally). But you get used to it.

Over all, SEGA did a splendid job. Of course it’s nowhere near as fun as the really old classics mentioned in the beginning, but I guess that’s just how it is with us video game conservatives! The best thing about Sonic 4 is when you open the app, the classic “SEEEGAAA!” jingle sounds!


SEGA Jingle

For more info, including videos etc., head over to www.sonicthehedgehog4.com.

Photos of the ECTO-1

Have you ever witnessed the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader combination car (ambulance conversion) [thank you Wikipedia article!] that is the Ecto-1, better known as the Ectomobile?

No?

Me neither.

But I read a blog that has people going to E3 (last year) who have seen it, and have taken some photos of it. Seems to be the real deal. Read the full short article here and see the photos here.

Oh, how I love the Ghostbusters and their method of transportation!

Bebot: wheeeeee!

Thanks to TUAW, this app by Normalware grabbed my attention and turned my iPhone into the most amazing synthesizer, Theremin, toy and cutest thing ever.

Bebot is what all the fuss is about. Bebot is an App for iPhone and iPad (and iPod touch, duh) which plays different sounds depending on where and with how many fingers you touch the screen. And based on different settings, you can alter its behaviour completely. My favourite setting is the Syntharp. Enough talk now, see for yourself:


Bebot Robot Synth for iPhone and iPod Touch

It’s so much fun! For just playing around as well as making really good music, as the following video shows:


Rudess Meets Bebot

I grabbed both videos from Normalware’s homepage. Kudos! Bebot is available at the App Store for CHF 2.20, $1.99, € 1.59, ¥230, or in whatever country you may be. It’s absolutely worth it! Yes it is!

The fat undersea internet cables

Ever wonder how information travels through the world? How a website you call from the other side of the earth gets to your screen? How the internet works?

Well, the answer to the latter question would involve a little bit more explanation, but taking a look at the following website gives you a broader understanding of the first two questions:

www.cablemap.info

This incredible javascript (not Flash!) by Greg maps out all the cables that are running under the sea to connect continents with each other to bring them the joy of world wide information. He states that “…[this is] an attempt to consolidate all the available information about the undersea communications infrastructure. The initial data was harvested from Wikipedia, and further information was gathered by simply googling and transcribing as much data as possible into a useful format, namely a rich geocoded format.

The biggest, fattest, fastest cable I found so far is Unity with a capacity of  7.68Tbps (that’s 7’680’000’000’000 bits per second, or 894 GB/s, in other words ~190 DVDs you have to carry and swim across the Pacific Ocean every second), though it seems according to this source it is not running at full capacity. Thank you Greg, thank you corporations, thank you to all the people who made it possible to send spam and pr0n at high speed across the entire world and let us view lolcats and stupid youtube videos wherever and whenever we please.

Another map of this kind, which also shows some oversea cables and satellites, is available at tatacommunications.com (this one uses Flash, but is less flashy).