Geek News Links Jan 4 2013

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imageHouston, We Have Another Problem: Astronaut Alzheimer’s [Science Blogs]
As if space travel was not already filled with enough dangers, a new study out today in the journal PLOS ONE shows that cosmic radiation – which would bombard astronauts on deep space missions to places like Mars – could accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

imageDad Hires In-Game ‘Assassins’ To Discourage Son’s Gaming Habit [Huffington Post]
Frustrated by his adult son’s incessant gaming habit, a man in China reportedly hired a number of in-game master “hitmen” to annihilate his son’s avatar over and over again in an attempt to deter him from playing.  http://www.partybingo.com/

 

 

imageHigh Quality Photos From Star Trek Into Darkness [Superhero Hype]

Star Trek Into Darkness is coming out May 17 2013 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX 3D).

 

 

imagePentagon Looks to Fix ‘Pervasive Vulnerability’ in Drones [Wired]
Drones may be at the center of the U.S. campaign to take out extremists around the globe. But there’s a “pervasive vulnerability” in the robotic aircraft, according to the Pentagon’s premier science and technology division — a weakness the drones share with just about every car, medical device and power plant on the planet.

 

imageField Testing a Four-Legged Robot [Defense Tech]
DARPA recently completed field testing of its LS3 four-legged robot system at Fort Pickett in central Virginia. Check out the great video with the robot playing follow the leader through open fields and tough terrain.

 

 

bookcoverDesigners Pick their Favorite Book Covers of 2012 [NY Times]
The NY Times asked people in and around the world of graphic design to name one of their favorite book covers from 2012 and briefly describe its appeal. [via kottke]

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News Links

Video Mapping, New Concept of Entertainment

Projector

image mappingVideo mapping is becoming popular as an exciting way to spice up events or conferences. Video mapping usually manipulates common entertainment technology (such as projectors) in creative and innovative ways. It is a technique that consists of projecting video images on buildings, streets, people or just about any kind of complex surface or 3D form to alter the viewer’s senses and perspective. The projectors used for video mapping are capable of bending and highlighting just about any form or space. These projectors are able to create unbelievable optical illusions that baffle the minds of viewers. The clever use of suggestive play of light “turns” a physical object into something very different just by altering its perception of form. Video mapping can be applied in virtually limitless ways. It depends on your requirements and preferences. If you are interested in the projectors used for this performance you can check out for more information about projectors at projectorshop24.co.uk.

Video mapping is a relatively new concept and it is becoming more and more popular these days. This new use of common technology has taken many by surprise, leaving them with an unexpected experience. The main reason of its rapid success is that the public gets heavily emotionally invested in the show. Each viewer gets a sense of “exploration” with every video mapping show. The spectacle is not just “another nice video projection”, but it is quite surprising and exciting because it involves not only physical space, but virtual space too.

There two common ways of understanding how to make a video mapping projection.
1. Prepare images to project on a designated surface of your choice. The images can be projected as if the streets or buildings were some kind of blank screen. Remember that there are almost no limits here. You may choose just about anything depending on your requirements and creativity. The surface itself creates some kind of mask which saves you from doing all the time consuming calibration that video mapping usually requires.
2. The Masking. This is exactly what it means: masking is about creating masks (some kind of opacity templates) with the exact form and position of the different elements of the building, space architecture, 3D object etc. On those masks, or in the space between them, is where the images and video are going to be projected, using a relatively simple technique called alpha channel.

With enough creativity, video mapping may be just what you need to dramatically spice up just about any event. The viewer’s will probably never forget the experience.

This Youtube video shows a good example of what’s possible here, this is impressive.

Gadgets / Devices

Skulls of the Shogun Across Platforms

Skulls of the Shogun

Skulls of the Shogun is the first title to offer cross-platform play between Xbox 360, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Windows Surface.

Watch this trailer to see how it’s done…

Here’s more if you’re interested in the game:

- Screenshots

- Videos from the developer site

Games

How to Build A Nuclear Submarine

I served on submarines for 8 of my 10 years in the US Navy. Even I found this to be an interesting documentary from BBC showing behind the scenese one of the most sophisticated machines ever being built, and the people that built here.

Here is the HMS Astute…

Military

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver

There’s a new graphic novel out called "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Helldiver". The book is part of a 3-part series, all to be released throughout November and December 2012.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a dark, gritty, action – horror story inspired by the biblical tale of Armageddon.The story follows Adam Cahill, a warrior bound by bloodline to guard the Seven Holy Seals that contain the End of Days. But sinister forces strike against him and send him into Hell itself. There, he must find three corrupt souls, chosen by Divinity, to join him in battle against the Four Horsemen to not only save their own souls, but to decide the very fate of Humanity.

The graphic novel can be found at Graphicly, Comixology for digital sales. Heavymetal.com also offers a hard and digital copy of the book as well.

Entertainment