When prankers don’t prank

Youtube is an amazing (relatively) new tool in Internet. Besides kittens and music videos, the website will throw countless viral videos every day.

Pranking is one of the most famous concepts for a channel in Youtube, and there are already famous people doing it for some time. Their channels have hundreds of thousands or even millions of subscribers, which shows how succcessful they are.

But recently these famous channels have done something different. They know that their videos are seen by millions around the planet, so they decided to offer something different than just pranks: Philantropy. Just a simple act that can inspire.

I think is a great idea. These guys are known worldwide because of their pranks and millions watch every step they do. Well, now some will be inspired by a single 5 minute video.

Simply by coming with these ideas once in a while, it reminds us that we can also go out of our routine and inspire, if not millions, at least to the ones around us. This really restores faith in humanity, because shows that anyone can help at any time. Continue reading

And now… Bitcoins!

The concept of the Bitcoin is still a bit mysterious for me. The idea seems fair in a general view; however, the use of it is what worries me.

bitcoin-logo

Of course, when you’re using electronic means to do your transactions, you can always have a bug or something that suddenly fucks it up. I don’t want to rely my entire income in some virtual payment. Continue reading

Song of the day: In the summertime – Mungo Jerry

Summer is escaping from Germany and the cold breezes are felt in the evenings. And to celebrate that I leave you with this hit of the cheerful Mungo Jerry: In the summertime.

First time I heard it I think I was 12 or so. It was one of the song that inspired me to make an Incursion into music. You can easily notice why. All right! Summertime, see you soon!

The best Octave tutorial

Yes, as the title says, the best Octave tutorial out there is the one made by Professor Andrew Ng from Stanford. He started his world-famous Coursera almost two years ago. Now is one of the most successful companies in the world, why? Because it really gives what it promises and more: makes you understand Science.

Well, well go deep on it by yourself. These videos down are one of the first videos that Profr. Ng made for the course “Machine Learning”. I took it a year ago in its original website ml-class.org and it amazed me. I understood everything and didn’t have to smash my head to do so.

One of the chapters of his class was about handling Octave, the best free substitute for Matlab. Are you eager to master these computing tools? Dive into Octave next to Professor Ng. I promise you will be also amazed by the clear and concise way he teaches. This, my dear people, is the best Octave tutorial ever:

Part 1:
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Visual Navigation for Flying Robots

Free lectures! Free courses on-line! Free! Free!

Got your attention? I’m like spam.

So far, so good. It has been a year since I decided to get fully involved in this field of Computer Vision, and hasn’t been easy, but I gotta say it is full of surprises. My University has been strongly doing some research about it, and a proof of that is that the 3D Computer Vision course given in Coursera is actually done by a Professor in my university (tho in German). So, I think we’re moving quite strong.

quadrocopter

My curiosity took me to the Computer Vision chair of the Informatics Department at the TUM and I think this semester they completely got me, as I’m planning to get the 3 lectures given there: Visual Navigation for Flying Robots, Multiple View Geometry and Machine Learning for Robotics and Computer Vision. Robotics, Machine Learning and Computer Vision! Makes my mouth water. Huh! Beautiful. Continue reading

VHS mode in Youtube

Not sure if a late Easter egg, a passing joke or a permanent feature (would be fun), but Google gives us again the opportunity to play around with the common things on the internet.

This time comes all through Youtube. A new feature was added to the player of Youtube: the “Tape Mode”. You click it and your image will seem like an old VHS-cassette-like video. Quite nostalgic, I would say. I just discovered it watching some Ellen videos (I admit it, goddamit, that woman’s jokes are funny for me), and discovered this one with Steve Carell (better if you watch it in Youtube‘s website):

The legend says that they do it because of the 57th Anniversary of the commercial realease of the first VHS cassette. Well, quite a random number for me, but anyways. Not all videos have this feature. Apparently you just have to randomly find them too. Buuuu!!

Oh yeah, click “Pause” and it will keep the old effect of the cassette. These hipsters are everywhere with the electronic vintage effects. First their instagram, now this. I don’t think is gonna last, but I’d activate it for fun only.

Find a nice video and give it a try!

Festo and its biological inspiration

Many companies around the world are fascinated with natural selection, because there is no wider range of inspiration for technology than the nature itself. Machines, robots and software are being designed with a strong background in biological elements. It is not coincidence that terms like mouse, virus or bug are common in the thecnological field.

Festo is a german company whose main goal is to design and build actuators for the automation industry. They are one of the biggest in this field. However, the german engineering is challenging through Festo again, and the innovation lovers in the company created the Festo Bionic Lab, where they have a complete freedom to experiment with their creativity. What have they done? A field entirely made of biological immitation. Their creations may  deceive your eyes at first sight, but oh boy! They have nailed it. Let’s check their main robots (my favorites), just for you to have an idea what I’m talking about…

The Airacuda was the first project, released in 2006, and the big challenge was to create a system that could really be an underwater robot, behaving and moving as a real fish. It still seems quite “robotic” with no emphasis in its out-looks, but the engineering behind such an underwater systems has been a true innovation copying the fish.

Continue reading