April 23rd, 2007 by bigjim
I found a very interesting project over at Microsoft Labs. Called Photosynth, the makers put it forward as the answer to the question “What if your photo collection was an entry point into the world, like a wormhole that you could jump through and explore…“
It is intriguing technology…to say the least!
Basically, from what I can tell, it uses graphic analysis to create context out of multiple images. In other words, if you have a bunch of photos of a location, it will analyse them for common points of reference, and build a point map which can then be used to compose all the related images onto a similar skeleton.
It’s kind of hard to explain, but if you go and download the ActiveX Technical Preview, you’ll be able to have a look at the St.Peter’s Basilica collection – very, very cool! You’ll need some decent graphics to view it, but you can basically zoom in on any part of the Piazza of St.Peter’s.
Check it out.
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April 21st, 2007 by bigjim
The Economist is reporting that, according to Hitwise, traffic to “sex-related sites” (a.k.a porn) on the internet is diminishing.
I kid you not!
Apparently, people are using the internet for less porn, and more MySpace and Facebook.
I honestly wondered if this day would ever come. Are we finally starting to realise that this global community actually has a lot more going for it that the spreading of smut?
Before we get too excited, no one is saying that the internet is going to be porn-free anytime soon. Obviously, there is still a lot of easy access to a lot of porn, and that’s a situation that still needs a lot of work. We need to remind people (men especially) that porn is not normal, not natural, and not something that we should be taking lightly.
Moreover, as the article points out, “pornographic content is often the first to take advantage of new media, from photography to videocassettes to satellite television.” So, maybe the internet is getting old. I mean, it isn’t really “new” anymore, is it? And, as the article also points out, there are plenty of other new technologies that are stepping up to fill the gap – P2P networks, torrents and the newer “virtual worlds” like Second Life are just some examples.
But to me, this article and the stats therein, are an encouraging sign. You can either read it very optimistically – as a sign that demand for porn is decreasing – or a bit more conservatively, but there are other signs to. Searching Google for “porn addiction” returns (at the time of this post) around 1.3 million hits. Maybe, just maybe, society is starting to wake up to the fact that porn has gone too far?
We can only hope and pray that this is a good sign, and that in a few years time, the only hits for porn addiction will be links to history pages talking about that problem we used to have.
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April 14th, 2007 by bigjim
Sacred Destinations has a link that provides a Google Earth overlay that shows various sacred locations around the world. If you already have Google Earth installed (it’s free, so why don’t you?!? ), then simply click on this link to open the layer and start exploring places from a variety of world religions including Christianity.
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April 12th, 2007 by bigjim
There's an interesting article
that's appearing around the internet talking of a new initiative from Google to highligh the atrocities in Darfur.
Basically, for those who aren't already aware of it, Google offers a program called Google Earth
which allows any user to tap in to the vast storage of sattelite images and zoom in on pretty much any part of the world. The application is free, and I highly recommend it.
Anyway, what they have done is update the imagery around the contentious region of Sudan
with new, high-resolution imagery of the devastation that is there, in an effort to wake up the international internet community and make them (that includes us) more aware on what is going on over there.
Destroyed villages, displaced people, refugee camps – all there for you to see. I recommend you go and check it out, and then get down on your knees and pray. Thank God that you're not there, pray for those who are, and pray for that monkey President who continues to deny that anything is going on!
Posted in General musings | 1 Comment »
April 11th, 2007 by bigjim
First of all, an apology for the lack of posting over the last few weeks – things have got pretty hectic at my end, but the Easter break was a good one and normal weekly posting should resume now.
A couple of updates on the site and projects that are underway for those who are interested. We've recently upgraded the backend software for the blog, so the site should now respond better and be more secure. We're also in the process of introducing some new members to the Catholic.geek team in an effort to keep the information flowing and fresh.
From a project perspective, the Catholic Feastdays project has an update. If you check out the Being Frank blog, you'll note (under the functions listed for their new site) that they will be changing their banner with the liturgical seasons…thanks to our feastday code. The code was ported from the original SQL stored procedure to PHP code for the Being Frank site, and is now in the process of being ported to C# to be offered as an XML Web Service to other sites, like those on the Spoke framework.
Which is all good!
There will also be some new projects starting up soon, so if you're keen in taking part in any way to shape or contribute to these projects, register for free on the blog, and then contact us to let us know you're keen to help. Also, if you have any good Catholic.geek content, drop us a line and let us know.
So that's what's happening around here. Stay tuned for more updates soon.
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