Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rosedale - High Fidelity

@ about 42 min into the video Philip Rosedale - and the High Fidelity team demonstrate the latest progress on their distributed virtual world, built from the ground up for for low-latency avatar interactions and user-contributed servers.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

In addition to VR there is AR

Hands-Free Display for Smartphones Just as smartphones forever changed the telephone, the Vuzix smart glasses M100 redefines our interface to the ever-expanding digital world. Integrated head tracker 3-degree of freedom head tracking 3 axis Gyro 3 axis Accelerometer 3 axis Mag/Integrated compass Vuzix smart glasses M100 is the world's first enhanced "Hands Free" smartphone display and communications system for on-the-go data access from your Smartphone and the Internet. Running applications under the Android operating system; text, video, email, mapping, audio and all we have come to expect from smartphones is available through this wireless personal information display system. Vuzix smart glasses offer a wearable visual connection to the Cloud, through your smartphone or other compatible smart device, wherever you go.

Oculus Rift

Kickstarter 9,522 Backers $2,437,429 pledged of $250,000 goal Funding period Aug 1, 2012 - Sep 1, 2012

I fully support the Firestorm Viewer Team and OpenSim developers integrating Oculas Rift with The Second Life and OpenSim Environments.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ramon Zancanaro / "... Bed and Art"

I am continually amazed by the quality of Architectural 3d Modeling Visualizations. Here is the story:
When I finished this scene, I was looking for a way to show it in a different way, so this scene was done in magazine format (English version is coming soon). All objeos and textures were done by me. I worked for one month to complete. Here is the link: G-Spot of the Bed and Art Website : Software : 3dsmax & VRay.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trimble Aquires Sketchup from Google

SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 26, 2012—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SketchUp®, one of the most popular 3D modeling tools in the world, from Google (NASDAQ: GOOG). The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions and expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. While financial terms are not being d the transaction is not expected to be material to 2012 earnings per share.
Via: Trimble Press release

ESRI & City Engine

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interview with Oz Linden

Jessica Lyon, from the Phoenix - Firestorm developers, sits down with Oz Linden for a wide-ranging interview about Linden Lab policies for all Third-Party-Viewer developers. Thanks to Jessica and Oz for taking the time and making a big effort to get the right information out to residents about policy changes.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Model Cities

Scale model of the city of Saint-Omer.

PARIS—When defending his realm, Louis XIV not only thought big, but he also worked in visionary 3D. In 1668, his war minister, the Marquis de Louvois, commissioned a large relief map of the port city of Dunkirk to be used in planning the city's fortifications. Others followed—huge exact-scale models of frontier cities and their surroundings—hills, gullies, rivers, forests, villages, roads, farms—that might sustain an enemy siege. The royal collection of scale-model cities grew under Louis XV, Louis XVI and both Napoleons, until modern warfare, post-1870, made them obsolete. Of the original 260, some 100 have survived, most housed in their own museum in the Hôtel des Invalides—28 on display, the rest stored in pieces.

Sixteen models from the reserves, some never before shown in public, have been re-assembled under the immense glass-roofed nave of the Grand Palais for "La France en Reliefs"—a spectacular, beautifully mounted, must-see show.

Encased in glass, many with ramps for viewing from above, the miniature cities (mostly scaled 1:600) include Briançon, Grenoble, Strasbourg and a few formerly French bastions now in bordering countries. The largest is Cherbourg, at 160 square meters.

All were constructed in tabletop sections, like pieces of an enormous puzzle, from detailed surveyor drawings. The topography is formed on wooden slats, with details modeled in papier-mâché. Water is oil paint; surface soil is sand sifted onto glue; tinted silk was shredded for vegetation, and wound around tiny wire stems for trees in permanent springtime. Precisely rendered buildings, from houses to cathedrals, are linden wood covered with painted or engraved paper depicting windows, doors and roofs. They were tools of war, but beyond any doubt they remain works of art.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paul Rudolph

“Urban Retreat” in New York city by Paul Rudolph (Video) via:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The High Line

Some pieces of architecture change a city and some change architecture. I believe the High Line is on of these rare projects. I first featured this on ~woot~ last week Here is a video that explains why I am taken with this work.

High Line Phase Two from arbuckle industries on Vimeo.

If it does not display See it here:

Sunday, December 25, 2011

$25 Computer


on another note a Press release


USB Companion Adapter Enables Screens to Access the Cloud and Mobile Content

New York, NY and Trondheim, Norway – November 17, 2012 - FXI Technologies, a hardware and software startup based in Trondheim Norway, demonstrated today the world's first any screen, connected computing USB device. Codenamed "Cotton Candy", this sweet little device serves as a technology bridge between any display, the Cloud, and any input peripheral.

The vision for Cotton Candy is to allow users a single, secure point of access to all personal Cloud services and apps through their favorite operating system, while delivering a consistent experience on any screen. The device will serve as a companion to smartphones, tablets, notebook PC and Macs, as well add smart capabilities to existing displays, TVs, set top boxes and game consoles.

"Today's device functionality is often limited by the size of the screen it inhabits," said Borgar Ljosland, founder and CEO of FXI Technologies. "We've turned things upside down, eliminating the screen and delivering the power of a PC and the web to any screen."

Cotton Candy is a prototype USB stick equipped with an ARM® Cortex™-A9 (1.2GHz) CPU, an ARM Mali™-400 MP (Quad-core) GPU, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, HDMI output and the Android operating system. It decodes MPEG-4, H.264 and other video formats and display HD graphics on any HDMI equipped screen. Content is then accessed through a secure FXI web portal and can be controlled via smartphones, keyboards, mice and other USB peripherals.
"By leveraging the strengths of ARM CPU and GPU cores, FXI has packed an amazing amount of computing horsepower into a completely new form factor," said Pete Hutton, general manager of multimedia processor division, ARM. "Weighing only 21 grams and so energy-efficient that it can be powered from a USB port, the Cotton Candy offers a unique consumer experience, which will bring Cloud computing to almost any screen."

FXI's Cotton Candy plans to:
Provide consumer-friendly access to the Cloud.
Accelerate the adoption of "smart screens".
Extend the life of consumer hardware like laptops, monitors, TVs, set top boxes, tablets and more by accessing the latest OS, software and apps.
Create a single point of content storage.
Consolidation and organization of personal digital content.
Share media from mobile devices on large screens and projectors - videos, movies, photos, games and more.
Drive down the cost of computing, allowing more people to have a personal, secure computer.

"With the broad acceptance of Cloud computing and the advancement in processor technologies, the concept of a "screen-less PC" is a natural evolution in the form factor of computing devices," said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie and Associates. "The connectivity, flexibility and multi-screen compatibility of FXI's Cotton Candy makes it like a computer built specifically for the Cloud."

About the Demonstration
FXI demonstrated Cotton Candy for the first time by connecting it via HDMI to a 42" HDTV running Android and displaying YouTube videos and 3D games. Then, they switched to a word processing and spread sheet application. Next, they unplugged Cotton Candy from the TV and connected it via USB to a Windows and then a Mac laptop to play Angry Birds on the Android OS.

"The laptop use case shows how with FXI's patent protected Any Screen Virtualization Protocol, Cotton Candy can take over a host device's screen to display Internet connected content," said Ljosland. "We believe these usage scenarios will be easily adopted by consumers and FXI's USB connected computing devices will make an ideal companion for the multitude of digital devices and screens people touch daily."

The implications of a connected companion device are broad and have yet to fully be discovered. "Imagine any screen being a window to your digital world," added Ljosland. The possibilities are endless."

Currently FXI Tech is sampling prototypes to key OEM partners from the set top box, memory, PC, mobile phone, appliance, in-car entertainment and other industries. Consumer pricing has not yet been established, but product is expected to be available in volumes the second half of 2012. OEMs interested in sampling the device may contact

About FXI
FXI Technologies ( is a Norway-based hardware and software startup dedicated to making the world of digital screens smart and personal.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Technology & Money

This story starts in the 1850s with the founding of Western Union Telegraph and the beginning of the Second Industrial Revolution.

When Morse was approaching his eightieth birthday it was felt among the telegraph fraternity at Western Union that a formal testimonial in the U.S. should be given to honor him - Saturday, June 10th, 1871 Morses final message was:

" Greeting and thanks to the Telegraph fraternity throughout the world.
Glory to God in the Highest, on Earth Peace, Goodwill to men."

S ... F .-. B -... M -- O . . R . .. S ... E .

Ezra Cornell’s story is the story of the telegraph in America. Always confident of its great commercial future, he enthusiastically demonstrated it, enlisted capital, and built lines. Although doing so frequently left his family destitute, he always took a large part of his pay in stocks, and invested in the first telegraph company, which connected New York and Washington. He built lines from the Hudson to Philadelphia and from New York to Albany, as well as lines in New York, Vermont and Quebec, and west to Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee. He was involved in the rapid construction of subsidiary lines, especially in the midwest, where the telegraph preceded rather than followed the railroad.

The early days of the telegraph industry were tumultuous. Many companies were formed, operated briefly and died. Stronger companies managed to survive despite conflicts, deception, and numerous lawsuits. Service on the hastily built lines was frequently unreliable. In 1851, the New York & Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company was organized in Rochester by Hiram Sibley and others, with the goal of creating one great system with unified and efficient operations. Meanwhile, Cornell had bought back one of his bankrupt companies and renamed it the New York & Western Union Telegraph Company. Originally fierce competitors, by 1855 both groups were finally convinced that consolidation was their only alternative for progress. The merged company was named The Western Union Telegraph Company at Cornell’s insistence. Western Union rapidly expanded operations to most parts of the United States and Canada. While Cornell now took a less active role, he continued to have great faith in the telegraph. He held on to his Western Union stock, and for more than fifteen years was the company’s largest stockholder.

Western Union bought out smaller companies rapidly, and by 1860 its lines reached from the East Coast to the Mississippi River, and from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. In 1861 it opened the first transcontinental telegraph. In 1865 it formed the Russian American Telegraph in an attempt to link America to Europe, via Alaska, into Siberia, to Moscow. (This project was abandoned in 1867.) The company enjoyed phenomenal growth during the next few years. Its capitalization rose from $385,700 in 1858 to $41 million in 1876. However it was top-heavy with stock issues, and faced growing competition from several firms, especially the Atlantic and Pacific Telegraph Company—itself taken over by financier Jay Gould in 1875. In 1881 Gould took control of Western Union.

It introduced the first stock ticker in 1866, and a standardized time service in 1870. The next year, 1871, the company introduced its money transfer service, based on its extensive telegraph network. In 1879, Western Union left the telephone business, having lost a patent lawsuit with Bell Telephone Company. As the telephone replaced the telegraph, money transfer would become its primary business.

When the Dow Jones Transportation Average stock market index for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was created in 1884, Western Union was one of the original eleven all-American companies tracked.

By 1900 Western Union operated a million miles of telegraph lines and two international cables.

Image: Cornell 1910 via:,_Richard_Cornell_University.jpg

In 1862 the Morrill Land Grant Act had been passed, appropriating public lands to aid state agricultural and mechanical colleges. By 1864, Cornell’s family, his personal philanthropies, and the Public Library required only a small part of his considerable fortune. He had been elected to the New York State Senate, where he made the acquaintance of Andrew Dickson White of Syracuse. Through discussions with White, the idea of a university grew in Cornell’s mind. When the Legislature met in 1865, White introduced a bill in the Senate “to establish the Cornell University and to appropriate to it the income of the sale of public lands granted to this State.” After much political maneuvering, the bill was passed in the Assembly on April 21, in the Senate on April 22, and was signed by Governor Reuben E. Fenton on April 27. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on April 28. Cornell endowed the university through an outright gift of $500,000, to which would be added the sum realized by Cornell’s purchase of the Morrill land scrip from the state.

Cornell was closely involved in all aspects of the new university. He superintended construction and purchased equipment, books, and collections. On October 7, 1868, Inauguration Day, 412 students, the largest entering class admitted to any American college up to that time, came to Ithaca. Cornell gave a brief address, concluding with the University’s newly adopted motto: “Finally, I trust we have laid the foundation of an University—an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”

  • via:

The second story of wealth & philanthropy

LVMH to Buy Duty-Free Empire for $2.47 Billion

NYT Published: October 30, 1996

LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton, the French luxury goods conglomerate, has signed an agreement to buy a controlling interest in DFS Group Ltd., the lucrative empire of duty free shops, for $2.47 billion, DFS announced yesterday.

But Robert W. Miller, the high-flying billionaire who holds a 38.75 percent stake in DFS, is seeking to block the sale of the stake by his longtime partner and co-founder of the company, Charles F. Feeney, and Alan M. Parker, the company’s tax lawyer. Together they own 58 percent.

Rumpled by habit, limping on old knees, smiling faintly after a night of celebration, Chuck Feeney stepped out of a building on Park Avenue Monday night and vanished, carried away on a river of passing strangers who knew nothing about him. Perfectly disguised as an ordinary man, Mr. Feeney, one of the most generous and secretive philanthropists of modern times, had dropped from sight once again. It is a skill he mastered over decades.

Last year, the foundation Mr. Feeney created, the Atlantic Philanthropies, gave $458 million in grants around the world, more than any United States charity except two, the Ford and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations. Atlantic, and small predecessors also started by Mr. Feeney, have given $4 billion since 1982; the plan is to give away the remaining assets — now $4 billion, but growing every day — by 2017.

Despite this record, Mr. Feeney is little known, a result of the web of intrigues that he fashioned to disguise his identity, his wealth and his giving. Atlantic does not appear in the annual rankings of the biggest American philanthropies because it was set up in Bermuda, to avoid the disclosures required in the United States. A rare glimpse of Mr. Feeney’s story emerged a decade ago during a business dispute, but he quickly disappeared from the news.

Now, however, Mr. Feeney, who is 76 years old and grew up in Elizabeth, N.J., is stepping out from behind his veil. He cooperated with a biographer, the journalist Conor O’Clery, whose book, “The Billionaire Who Wasn’t,” is being published by PublicAffairs. In it, he describes how Mr. Feeney and his partners went into business nearly 50 years ago selling five-pack boxes of liquor to American sailors in ports around Europe, and expanded into a worldwide empire of duty-free airport shops — often one quick step ahead of police or immigration authorities.

It is also reported: Then, by the use of off-shore cutout corporations, he gained anonymity to pursue his philanthropic goals. To further protect his identity, he did not even take a tax deduction for his charitable contributions.

For a great read of the History of DFS Group Ltd read more here:

Jump to December 2011:

On Monday afternoon, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will announce that Cornell University and its partner Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have been approved to build a two million square foot Roosevelt Island campus focusing on technology and engineering.

The announcement will be made at Cornell’s Weill Medical Campus in New York at 2:30 p.m., and also broadcast live on the web at Cornell’s web site. (The Wall Street Journal first reported Cornell’s selection on Sunday.)

Bloomberg’s office first solicited bids for a new applied sciences and technology research campus in July. The city offered public land and funding with the goal of boosting economic growth and consolidating the city’s reputation as an emerging hub for tech companies and startups.

In retrospect, Cornell seems like an inevitable choice, not least because of its longstanding ties to New York. Cornell’s medical school literally overlooks the site of the new campus across the East River. The Ivy League university upstate also has deep pockets, a strong engineering pedigree and NYC satellite campuses in Wall Street and Midtown specializing in financial mathematics, design and architecture, and co-operative learning.

Still, Cornell first had to contend with Stanford University and its long track record of creating a technology and business ecosystem in California’s Silicon Valley. All told, fifteen universities expressed interest and seven submitted bids, including Stanford, Carnegie-Mellon, and New York’s own Columbia University and New York University.

Just this week, Stanford surprisingly withdrew its proposal and Cornell announced a $350 million anonymous gift supporting its own. That appears to have decisively swung the deal.

The donor whose $350 million gift will be critical in building Cornell University’s new high-tech graduate school on Roosevelt Island is Atlantic Philanthropies, whose founder, Charles F. Feeney, is a Cornell alumnus who made billions of dollars through the Duty Free Shoppers Group.

This post was cut from ~woot~, my tumblr blog. I find Tumblr to be simple fast and a great place to store cut and pastes like this. It is of the type of post I have been doing while researching for a book I am writing which links history to technology & current events.

Comments are welcome.