Microsoft demonstrated its newly-unveiled Unwrap Mosaic video editing research project this week at SIGGRAPH. Unwrap Mosaic enables users to add shapes ("artifacts") to home video. As Gizmodo describes it, you can use it to put "a handlebar mustache on Grandma."
If that makes Unwrap Mosaic sound no more sophisticated than a spray-paint can in the hands of a tagger, consider Geek.com's summary:
[Unwrap Mosaic] is best described as the Photoshop of video editing tools. With UM you can literally take a video and change the appearance of the objects it contains. The demonstration video shows this in action with the male star having a moustache, bushy eyebrows and rosy cheeks added. The result looks natural, moving realistically with the face, and the first-time viewer would think he’d had a moustache all along.
Don't go banging down the doors at your local "Software-R-US" store or start surfing for your own copy of Unwrap Mosaic just yet, though. It's still a research project, but you can learn more at the Microsoft Research website. Unwrap Mosaic is just one of 13 different presentations that Microsoft is offering at SIGGRAPH 2008.
Are you looking forward to the chance to use photo-editing tools on your videos? Worried about a further blurring of the line between reality and "virtual reality"? Sound off after the jump!
When I was a youngster, in between seven hour sessions of the latest 60 hour role-playing behemoth, I always told myself that I wouldn't be like those other adults when I grew up -- those adults who whiled away their days in front of a cramped desk, wishing they still had room in their busy schedules to work through their ever-expanding pile of shame. But here I sit, leg sandwiched between a desk and my chest, foot resting on my chair. Yeah, the prognosis isn't looking so hot.
These days, I'm happy to fit in some game time every couple of days, so it's only natural that my tastes have changed. While many vocal gamers whipped up sternly-worded message board posts after beating Portal in a single afternoon, I only grinned. I'd taken the tour, seen the sights, and gotten the ubiquitous tune stuck in my head -- in and out, no filler. If the credits roll within a mere couple of hours, so be it. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time; I see no reason to be dissatisfied. In the end, short games fit snuggly into the hustle and bustle of my life, while encouraging their creators to craft tightly-paced experiences. Win-win.
But what's your take? Do you prefer long journeys whose plot threads tangle you up and never let go? Do you gripe when a game doesn't include any sort of multiplayer? Or do you currently have Braid penciled in for this weekend, with all times subject to change?
Well, for those of you who fall into the former camp, today's your lucky day. This particular Roundup is all about lengthier titles -- from a day-long boss battle to BioWare (Need I say more?), and maybe a quick smoke in between. Jump past the break for the whole shebang.
Go on a weekend getaway with a Playboy model, or take the 60-inch plasma TV and go home alone? A new reality TV show will put contestants in a position to answer this and other similar questions to find out what guys find more important - high tech gadgets or hot women.
It's part of a new series to air on Playboy TV called Gadget or the Girl in which one lucky bachelor will be introduced to three women, one of which he'll eliminate right off the bat. After going on a date with the other two, the guy will choose just one to spend the evening with, and then decide whether to continue the one-on-one time during a weekend getaway, or opt for a high tech prize instead. Gadgets will range from high-definition big-screen TVs to arcade machines and everything in between, but the bachelor won't know what he stands to get (or lose) until after he makes a decision. If he does choose the girl, she'll score a mystery prize instead.
The new show will premier on Playboy TV on September 1 at 7:30 PM, which might not be a problem if you're single. But for those of you that are married, you might be better off opting for HBO rather than trying to convince your missis that you need a subscription to Playboy TV.
According to a previous report by The Wall Street Journal, Google's open-source Android platform likely won't see the light of day until 2009, but that may not be the case. A new rumor hitting the web claims that T-Mobile will debut the first Android phone for pre-sale as early as September 17th.
Blog site TmoNews, who claims to be privy to this information based on a "trusted source," also says the new phone (codenamed G1) will cost consumers $399 - ouch! But that's when it goes fully public. TmoNews says the G1 pre-sale will last for one week and be available only to T-Mobile customers, who will be able to pick up the phone for $250 below retail. Everyone else will have to wait until mid-October.
The site also claims the G1 will come in black, white, or brown and include a 3-inch wide touch screen, 3G support, and a slide-out Qwerty keypad. Anyone that plans on picking one up will need a Gmail account, or so the rumor goes.
AMD Cinema 2.0 is a technology every gaming aficionado, game developer, movie buff and filmmaker would die for. Photo-realistic 3D rendering is the Holy Grail that researchers and developers have been chasing for a long time. Now that AMD is unwrapping its Cinema 2.0 tech layer after another, it seems as though the wall of technological disability that has stood between virtual reality and the real world is about to be razed to the ground.
But for more details of the groundbreaking technology you will have to make the "jump" to the rest of this entry.
Solid state drives (SSDs) have been all the buzz lately, with companies like OCZ and Super Talent pushing faster solutions at lower price points. But despite the strides being made, industry experts predict it could take up to 10 years for the SSD business to write realistic enterprise-level standards for flash memory.
Motivating vendors to get there, the enterprise flash memory market is projected to be in the $60 billion range by 2012. While cost still remains a roadblock, the real stickling point is that flash memory can only last for a limited amount of write cycles, at which point the cells become read-only.
"Personally, I think SSDs are a terrible replacement for hybrid hard drives (HHDs) at this time, for a lot of reasons, the biggest of which is that they haven't been around long enough to know how they really will perform in heavy-duty production situations," said Robin Harris, a panel member for Data Mobility Group.
Many analysts agree that the SSD industry needs a standard, and according to Michael Cornwell, Sun Microsystems' new head of NAND flash business development, "there are about 60 flash vendors and about 17 organizations doing some kind of standards work." Hard drives went through a similar competitive transition period back in the '80s, but it didn't happen over night.
Are we really a decade off from SSDs becoming a viable option in the enterprise market?
Overclock.net forum member nitteoclaims to have built a Folding@Home farm with no less than 51 GPUs, and he has the pics to prove it. In them are a mixture of 8800GT and 8800GS videocards spread out across a variety of MSI and Gigabyte motherboards. Final numbers are still be tallied, but nitteoestimates he'll pull in over 250,000 points per day on his new setup, and things only look to get better with the CUDA-based folding client.
That's all well and good for Overclock.net (and the Folding community in general), but that also means Team Maximum PC has to keep it kicked up into high gear. Maximum PC currently holds the 4th spot in team rankings and could use your help. If you want to Fold for your favorite magazine, add team 11108 to your client's profile, and drop by the forum for tips on how to optimize your production.
What good is winning the war if there's no one to celebrate with afterward? That's the dilemma the Blu-ray camp has found itself in after having whipped HD-DVD out of contention in the high definition DVD market. According to a new consumer survey from ABI Research, there exists a widespread reluctance among consumers to jump on the Blu-ray bandwagon, with over half of the 1,000 respondents saying they have no plans to purchase one citing "other priorities."
Kingston announced that it is shipping a 32GB Elite Pro SDHC Flash memory card. The new 32GB card is the largest capacity in Kingston’s line of SDHC cards, which currently includes 4-, 8- and 16GB capacities.
“With the growing popularity of digital video and the HD format, consumers continue to look for ways to extend recording times and maintain fast data transfer rates (DTR) to maximize the performance of their recording device,” said Wendy Lecot, Flash business manager, at Kingston. “Our new 32GB Elite Pro SDHC memory card is optimized to meet the demands of high capacity and fast write speeds to help consumers share their lives through the use of video, photography and other creative devices. With the addition of the 32GB capacity card, Kingston is at the forefront of offering a versatile line of SDHC solutions to solve a variety of needs in today’s digital imaging world.”
32GB is a crap load of MP3s, photos or video to go on these little cards, with about 6,000 still images (with a 10MP camera) and over eight hours of video (for 6Mbps HD extended recording)
Kingston puts the MSRP at $308.00, and it is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Features and Specifications:
Compliant: with the SD Card Association specification version 2.00
Secure: built-in write-protect switch prevents accidental data loss
Compatible: with SDHC host devices; not compatible with standard SD-enabled devices/readers
File Format: FAT 32
Dimensions: 0.94″ x 1.25″ x 0.08″ (24mm x 32 mm x 2.1mm)
Speed Class 4: 4MB/sec. guaranteed minimum data transfer rate
Just last February, we thought we saw the last of the famed Polaroid instant film, and the iconic instant camera. Those things introduced a generation to anonymous photo processing so you could take candid photos of family in embarrassing predicaments or those steamy photos of friends-with-benefits that were to soon become exfriends-with-drawbacks. Perverts everywhere looked back on Polaroid’s instant cameras with a sense of nostalgia.
Those old cameras just couldn’t complete with digital cameras and photo printers. The picture quality was terrible, it printed the picture no matter what (photos of the ground, foot, or fingers where common), and they were bulky. It was like having around a shoebox around your neck.
Still it seems there must be some section of the population that Polaroid thinks misses the ability for their camera to spit out actual photos. Wired reports that Polaroid is teaming up with UK magazine Amateur Photographer and will work out the details of a new Camera that will have a built in PoGo. MPC took a first look at the PoGo last month and was not very impressed. The only confirmed details are the size of the prints, the PoGo prints 2x3 photos where this new camera will print 4x3, the same size as the old analog cameras. No shaking required (not that the old ones really needed it either).
Do you need a camera that can spit out instant photos? Bad idea or good? Sound off below!