## Archive for the ‘ideas’ Category

### Spill-when-empty cup prototype

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Yesterday I got around to designing a prototype for an idea I’ve had for a long time. It’s a cup that tumps over if it’s empty but stands upright stably when full of liquid. I got a bit lucky with my design by eyeballing the center of mass and density balance between our 3D printer’s material and water. But it works!

### To two tutus too

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Frankie and Johnny walk into a tutu shop.

Frankie: I’d like one tutu.
Johnny: I’d also like one tutu.
Frankie: Actually, I’ll have two tutus.
Johnny: Oh, I’ll change my order to two tutus, too.

### complimented by spam, complemented by spam

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

complimented
by spam
complemented


### List of United States, list of European Union states ordered by descending population

Monday, November 14th, 2011
 California Texas New York Florida Illinois Pennsylvania Ohio Michigan Georgia North Carolina New Jersey Virginia Washington Massachusetts Indiana Arizona Tennessee Missouri Maryland Wisconsin Minnesota Colorado Alabama South Carolina Louisiana Kentucky Oregon Oklahoma Puerto Rico Connecticut Iowa Mississippi Arkansas Kansas Utah Nevada New Mexico West Virginia Nebraska Idaho Hawaii Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Montana Delaware South Dakota Alaska North Dakota Vermont Washington, DC Wyoming Germany France United Kingdom Italy Spain Poland Romania Netherlands Portugal Greece Belgium Czech Republic Hungary Sweden Austria Bulgaria Denmark Slovakia Finland Ireland Lithuania Latvia Slovenia Estonia Cyprus Luxembourg Malta

### 9/11Arts: Decide later

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

### Death Instinct

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

### Super resolution from many small images

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Searching for large, high resolution images of famous artwork I’m often frustrated. There are so many small, low resolution images. Many are different resizes of the same image, but there are still many totally different images of the same thing: photographs various tourists have taken, scans from different galleries or museums. What I always end up wishing for is a way to combine all of these low resolution images into one super-resolution image. In this specific case of famous artwork, the problem should be rather simplified from the general problem of super-resolution. The images are of the exact same object. And the object more or less doesn’t change over time. There are lighting differences, but we can assume that since the work is famous there will be enough “correct” images to uncover the true colors. The images will be different scales, and perhaps taken from slightly different camera orientations or projections. But since artwork is mostly photographed head on with little to no perspective projection, I think these will be easy to cope with.

My working example will be to uncover a super-resolution version of Matisse’s “Nude in a white dress”. If you’d also like to try, here’s a zipped folder of bunch of low-res images of the painting I’ve grabbed from the web. But it’s easy to make your own dataset. Just search for images of your favorite famous painting.

### Ben Hur retargeting challenge

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Recently I got the chance to see a friend’s new image retargeting algorithm at work. It was very impressive and the best I’ve seen so far. I particularly liked that uniform scaling was within the set of possible solutions and actually occurred frequently. I like this because often uniform scaling looks way better than fancy retargeting techniques which sprinkle artifacts all over the image.

See the results reminded me again of Ben Hur. This movie was shot at a whopping 2.76:1 aspect ratio. Retargeting it to say, 4:3, would be a mess. All the times when I remember seeing it shown on TV (before widescreens became popular) it was shown with “letter boxes” rather than “pan and scan” or any other attempt to retarget the footage. Not even considering the fact that the original aspect ratio was intentional and that by retargeting it you’d be trivializing the directors’ choices (would a museum crop or stretch a painting to fit the gallery walls better?). Not even considering this, Ben Hur poses a striking challenge for retargeting techniques. To me it represents a real stress test. Much harder than most of the images in the RetargetMe dataset.

Here are some stills I found flipping through the film that I thought would be particularly difficult to retarget:

I ran some 4 of the easiest methods for retargeting on the last image.

### Seam carving

Personally none of the above options besides Letter boxing are acceptable. Not even close. I would really like to see a retargeting algorithm that not only includes uniform scaling and cropping in the set of possible solutions, but also letter boxing. Do you know of one?

It goes without saying that the problem is much harder when considering not just a single frame but the entire scene or film’s worth of video. Letter boxing may be harder to include as an option when considering temporal coherence, but I still think it must be a possible solution. For films like Ben Hur, which purposefully utilize their entire aspect ratio, squishing a scene or cropping out elements would be far worse than the price of two black bars.

### Re: Suggester shapes

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Ken recently posted about shapes that suggest math problems. At the end of his post he leaves a riddle:

Find a shape whose area is 1/2 the area of a square and whose perimeter is the same as the perimeter of the square.