Ryan Greene's Radio Weblog : On Semi Hiatus Until Further Notice.
Updated: 2/14/2003; 6:23:24 PM.


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Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Boston Globe.  MIT breakthrough in digital video editing.

>>>In one demonstration, the researchers taped a woman speaking into a camera, and then reprocessed the footage into a new video that showed her speaking entirely new sentences, and even mouthing words to a song in Japanese, a language she does not speak. The results were enough to fool viewers consistently, the researchers report.<<<

>>>''This is really groundbreaking work,'' said Demetri Terzopoulos, a leading specialist in facial animation who is a professor of computer science and mathematics at New York University. But ''we are on a collision course with ethics. If you can make people say things they didn't say, then potentially all hell breaks loose.''<<<

>>>MIT's Ezzat said that he would like to develop a more complex model that would teach the computer to simulate basic emotions.<<<

There is also a quicktime video of the technique in action. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

There was a show on back in the early 80's hosted by James Coburn, which was called "The Darkroom" One of the episodes ahd a newscaster who was replaced with a CG version of himself. They had to keep the newscaster locked up so taht no one would ever know that he had either died, or otherwise changed. Happy story.

The point is, some twenty years later we are at the point where this is almost an option.

comments   12:42:27 PM    

This is laugh out loud funny: When confronted with customs officials who are worried you might be a terrorist, do this. Given the author's theory of life, I expect him to have many more entertaining stories in future.

comments   12:22:36 PM    

Virtual Reference Bots.

"This doesn't have any direct applicability to handheld computers, but
it piqued my curiousity so much, I wanted to post it here. Have any
of you considered using a bot for live reference or for any other types of library
services? Steve Coffman, a true technology pioneer is at it again. Go here
http://www.virtualreference.net/virtual/bots.html to get a fascinating description
of bots doing reference and about an exciting program being presented
on the web on Monday! It would be interesting to see what everyone here thinks
of this idea. Try Deborah too, the experimental bot they have set up at NCSU." [The Handheld Librarian]

I wish I could say yes to this question, but I'm still trying to make headway with IM in my own organization, let alone with the public at my member libraries. I think bots as a library version of the "Wal-Mart greeter" can have their place, so I'll be interested to see if anyone pipes up on this one.

I'm going to try to join the online meeting noted at Steve's site. It's on Monday, May 20, at 10:00 a.m.

[The Shifted Librarian]

Yet another ideal part of the home assistant. The quiries that let it look up information neednot be limited to a specific area, as a search algorithm is a search algorithm. The key is having access to information.

User: "Higgins, what was that song that was just playing on the radio?"
Higgins: (Checks to see which station the user was tuned into, then hits the playlist searching for a track that just finished) "Sir, K-ROCK just played the Cover of "Papa Don't Preach" as done by Kelley Osbourne, backed by Incubus. Would you like to purchase the album?"
User: "Not at this time, but do me a favor and record it the next time it's broadcast."
Higgins: "Would you like the video of that as well?"
User: "No, thank you.
Higgins: "Very well. Will that be all?"
User: "No, I need all available data on bamboo, concentration on uses in architecture, and companies that are harvesting/selling it in the US."
Higgins: (Keywords: bamboo, farming, building materials, architects...)"When do you need this by?"
User: "Noon Tomorrow. Linked html format, lead with an abstract, and a fully annotated endnotes."
Higgins: (starts searching, inputting relevant info into an XML page that will be rendered with CSS, making sure to have the final page be nothing but hyperlinks to the various tags in the body of the diocument)"I have started the process. This will take some time. Question: Do you want contact information for US based companies, phone numbers, addresses etc?"
User: "Yes, please, have that as a page of contacts, sorted by industry, state, then alpha."
Higgins: (notes sort order)"Very well. Will that be all?"
User: "Yes Higgins, Thank you."
Higgins: (Higgins sets this as a high priority process, with allowances for other scheduled jobs) "You are welcome, sir."

Now, if Higgins cannot access say, LexisNexis (which is YOW! $250.00 a week!) or some other existing system, that may well hamper the search. Imagine the money to be made by a company that provides this functionality. While yes, I have seen Desk Set, and I do not believe that a computer can replace a team of dedicated researchers, I think that it can leverage the work so that the researcher is more efficient.

comments   9:56:04 AM    

Libertarians Seek "Spoiler" Role. The Libertarian Party is taking "the unprecedented step of engineering a nationwide 'spoiler' strategy in this year’s midterm elections," The Hill reports. "Libertarians plan to field candidates and pour resources into a select few races not in order to win office but rather to siphon away enough votes to defeat [Taegan Goddard's Political Wire]

While it is an interesting strategy, I think that Libertarians would be better served trying to actually win elections, rather than spoiling them.

comments   9:19:53 AM    

Apple offering UNIX-based servers - Nando Times 05-14-2002. Apple introduces line of servers (05-15-02)  - Hollywood Reporter
Apple expands into server computer market  - San Francisco Chronicle [Google Technology News]

If Apple can deliver these, they stand to gain a huge part of the market in servers. These boxes are super sweet, and would make for a great "home server" that lived in the basement. It integrates nicely with Windows as well as Unix (and of course Mac OS) boxes, and has built in gigabit ethernet (which means we'll all have to upgrade our equipment) and allows for unlimited clients.

I look forward to reading reviews of this system once it is released.

comments   8:10:04 AM    

Microsoft trims Xbox price. The software giant fires the second shot in the video game industry's growing price war, following rival Sony's decision to make an identical cut in the price of its PlayStation 2. [CNET News.com]

WOW. MS was already losing money on every unit sold, I cannot imagine that this bodes well for their system. I know that one of the things that I didn't/don't like about it is that DVD playback is extra, but that is neither here nor there. This system is in trouble, unless MS can get a huge breakthrough hit out for it. Sadly, I do not see any such game on the horizon. 

categories: Business, Entertainment

comments   8:04:46 AM    

I forgot my Archos Jukebox at work today, so while running errands tonight, I was listening to the radio. Sometimes I think fate points me in a specific direction, and this was one of those times. Why? Because I heard Papa Don't Preach by Kelly Osbourne (a duet with Incubus, no less). It's available on Kazaa as a recording from a KROQ radio session.

Remaking an old Madonna song with an ironic title aimed at your ex-drug addict rock star Dad after the finale of your family's reality show on MTV: priceless.

[The Shifted Librarian]

AH! So that's the song. I was doing dishes after lunch yesterday, turned on K-ROCK, and heard this familiar yet twisted song, and now I know who the singer/band was. Thanks Jenny!

categories: Entertainment

comments   7:59:42 AM    

World: Researchers to study how children interact with their Aibos. 05:44 ET - Ananova [NewsBlip.com]

They are studying how the elderly interact with the robots as well. While this will likely have no impact on what Sony is planning to do with the robots, it is good to see that someone is looking into this.

comments   7:52:40 AM    

World's First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Island [Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters] [Actual article here from The Hearald]

The Island seems to be gung ho on getting this going, so it will be a story to watch for the next 10-20 years as they roll it out across the island.

comments   7:42:33 AM    

esurient: Dictionary.com Word of the Day. esurient [Dictionary.com Word of the Day]

categories: Words

comments   7:37:11 AM    

Benjamin Franklin. "Drive thy business or it will drive thee."
Edmund Burke. "Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair."
Karen Sunde. "To love is to receive a glimpse of heaven."

comments   7:35:54 AM    

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