Spinach, iron & Popeye

I just finished reading this very interesting paper, published in the Internet Journal of Criminology, by Dr Mike Sutton, who shows that even the most zealous urban myth busters may themselves end up committing the very crimes they are fighting against…
Bon appétit! A copy is available here if the original link is down.

Disclaimer: I have not verified Sutton’s sources…

Hayek vs. Keynes – The Rap

Une production econstories.tv.

Hayek contre Keynes – VOSTfr by Liberte_Cherie

Joyeuses fêtes

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Ce conte d’Andersen magnifiquement illustré par Disney saura rappeler au monde que des petites filles aux allumettes continuent de s’éteindre chaque jour en ces périodes hivernales.


Un premier modèle de picoprojecteur enfin sur le marché ?

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Assurément une technologie qui gagnera à être implémentée dans les téléphones portables et PDA. Allez, je fais un pronostic : d’ici 2020, elle équipera la moitié des appareils sur le marché.

Optoma: un pico projecteur dans une poche
Le groupe spécialisé dans les projecteurs Optoma vient d’officialiser la présentation de son pico projecteur, utilisant la technologie DLP de Texas Instruments.Présenté initialement et en avant première à l’occasion du salon InfoComm2008 à Las Vegas, l’appareil incorpore une batterie et exploite une nouvelle puce DLP Pico, bien évidemment, DLP oblige, développée par Texas Instruments.

Le projecteur portable permet de projeter des images d’une taille comprise entre 50 et 70 centimètres de diagonale, équivalente à celle d’un téléviseur standard. L’appareil peut être transporté librement, même dans une poche de pantalon, puisqu’il pèse seulement 115g.

Exploitant la technologie LED pour la lampe, le pico projecteur affiche un niveau de contraste de 800:1. Selon Optoma, il sera disponible dès la rentrée prochaine sur le marché français.

Source: HD-Numérique
Illustration: Optoma

Don’t joke too much

This is particularly inspiring if you are, like me, often tempted to make that kind of joke. Thank you Mikaël for the link.

Play as you dream

My dear friend and business associate Youcef wrote a very interesting post regarding lucid dreaming. I can’t help trying to go further with my own experience and to suggest what could be the next possible steps.

I have been pretty successful in controling lucid dreams, when they occur. What does that mean? Well, I am completely aware that I am dreaming, that I am in a parallel world. And I manage to keep on with the experience. I usually use two ways to achieve this and to remain in such an unusual state of consciousness:

The first one is to try thinking as if you were in a video game with objectives. From there, you can benefit from two useful consequences:
1. If I stopped dreaming, I couldn’t finish the game so that would become a serious pain. Lucid dreaming, as a game, is turned into a continuous necessity.
2. I can switch from “It’s not worth doing that if it’s only a dream” to “It’s worth because it’s a lot of fun and I am able to experience things that I could not in real life”. This is exactly why so many people love playing video games, so why not love playing dreaming games as well?
I am not saying we are talking about the same thing. If you have already experienced that kind of dreams, you may have noticed that GTA IV is to controlled trash dreams what Pong is to RL Tennis (RL Tennis is not a video game, it stands for “real life tennis”). Yes, dreaming is a huge technological breakthrough, its only drawback being that until now it has only been discovered and enjoyed by unconscious people.

The way you feel the world while dreaming is in fact in the holy grail of the whole video game industry. Input signals do not suffer from the hassle of steering wheels, keyboards, joysticks or even the latest wireless controller for gamers, let alone the Wiimote. No, this time you feed the game directly with your mind. You do not only control what you are doing, you also have a total control on your environnment. No need for cheat mode.
But we have not mentionned your perception of the game output. Far from your beloved narrow-angle television or 15,4″ computer screen, you feel immerged in the richest colorful and three-dimensional environment ever.
Yes, you are at the same time the gamemaster and the main player.

The second method is quite similar, but works especially well if your lucid dream is closer to a lucid nightmare, a very intellectual story (like giving an articulate talk in front of an assembly or having a very deep conversation with someone), or affective events (a love adventure, tragic drama with members of your family being killed…). The idea is to consider you are writing the scenario of a movie (or a book for those who are more conservative) and playing the main role. Unlike playing a game, you don’t necessarily need to achieve your objectives. You only have to make sure everything is consistent and the story is interesting.

Otherwise, and this leads us to what can still break a lucid dream, you are likely to say yourself “this is a sheet of bull” and wake up. Dreaming games are likely to virtually crash (like a blue screen of the death) for the same reasons: too many inconsistencies make you feel this is a total nonsense, or on the opposite, a too-good-to-be-true event. Usually I cannot sustain it, that’s a pity but it might be because it is to far from reality to be acceptable. You suddenly wonder: “Hey, I’m happy but when I wake up I will have to face a slightly ruder reality!”, which cause your fun level to go down the required threshold and you open your eyes.

Now, what remains to be discovered to go further with lucid dreaming? All what I have described are only handcrafted and not that easily controlled experiences. Especially, it is still very difficult to enable the lucid dreaming functionality of your brain. When it happens, you are happy, but that is not satisfying, IMHO.
So, the first step would be to understand better how we can activate lucid dreaming on the fly, on demand, without having to be sleeping before for long hours for example.
So next one could be to learn how we can physically influence the content of a lucid dream, so that we could schedule it on our computer before going to bed (or using the machine developed on step 1).
More ambitious would be to retrieve in RL the content of a lucid dream, or otherwise to interconnect people’s lucid dreaming, so that it may help step 4 happen someday.
This latest step is the matrix. I won’t explain it, just watch the movie.

This time we are the ones. Let’s not miss the opportunity to be the pioneers.

Back Button : que feriez-vous pour 10 millions de dollars ?

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Voici un court métrage sympathique que m’a montré mon vénérable frère. Enjoy!

Les technologies sans-fil selon Darty

Souhaitant renouveler mon installation home cinéma, j’ai décidé de me tourner vers un magasin assez spécialisé, du moins avant d’acheter éventuellement sur Internet. Je me suis donc dit que Darty pourrait m’apporter une expertise dans ce domaine. En découvrant un système 5.1 avec enceintes arrières sans-fil, je demande avec une once d’espoir s’il n’y aurait pas besoin de fils électriques. Cela fait tellement de temps que je suis de près les technologies allant de ce sens que j’essaie d’y croire. Mais étant seulement écrit sur le descriptif “Transmission infrarouge”, je me demande bien comment il serait donc soudain possible de faire transiter 250 Watts dans les airs dans un rayon de 10m. Tout fier, le vendeur m’indique alors que ce système est bien entièrement sans-fil, il vérifie sommairement l’enceinte et déclare “vous voyez, il n’y a pas de câblage électrique prévu, c’est vraiment du sans-fil”. Et d’ajouter “ce n’est pas vraiment de l’infrarouge, c’est une technologie proche de celle utilisée dans les claviers et souris sans-fil d’ordinateur”. 

La technologie est décidemment formidable. Je m’en vais de ce pas ôter les piles de ma souris Microsoft.

Composition du prix d’un billet de cinéma

Voilà un article très intéressant sur la répartition des recettes cinématographiques. Ainsi, on remarque que pour qu’un film soit rentable aux producteurs, ils doivent faire rentrer au moins deux fois leur budget.