Vintage CGI

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r/vintageCGI is my new favorite subreddit. Embedded above is a collection of the rendered scenes from 1983 laserdisc game Star Rider, reputed to have cost Williams $50m in development, production and marketing costs. Below, Ronald Peterson’s 1988 image demonstrating a ray-tracing package.

Here’s the Compleat Angler:

And here is DISK.GIF:

Finally, I made DISK.GIF.JPG for you. With luck WordPress’s CDN will make it even worse. You’re welcome.

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Magic Lantern: a feature-rich replacement operating system for Canon EOS cameras

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Magic Lantern is a replacement OS for your Canon EOS camera that you load via a SD card; in addition to a suite of video-recording tools, Magic Lantern allows fine-grained gain adjustments, selection of input sources, wind filters, audio monitoring, and better tools for everything from white-balance to exposure presets to overlays to help with exposure and other settings. The source is available for inspection and modification, of course. (via Four Short Links)

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A malicious USB cable with its own wifi rig

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MG has built a proof-of-concept malicious USB cable with a tiny wifi radio hidden inside of it, able to wirelessly exfilatrate stolen; he calls it the O. MG, and while the prototype cost him $4k and took 300 hours, he’s working with a team on a small production run for other security researchers to play with. (via Four Short Links)

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Billy Wilder’s 10 tips for screenwriting

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Billy Wilder was the director of many excellent movies, including Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot,
and Double Indemnity. Here are 10 tips about moviemaking that he shared in the late 1990s with Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire)

From Open Culture:

Wilder was 90 years old when the young director Cameron Crowe approached him in 1996 about playing a small role in Jerry Maguire. Wilder said no, but the two men formed a friendship. Over the next several years they talked extensively about filmmaking, and in 1999 Crowe published Conversations with Wilder. One of the book’s highlights is a list of ten screenwriting tips by Wilder. “I know a lot of people that have already Xeroxed that list and put it by their typewriter,” Crowe said in a 1999 NPR interview. “And, you know, there’s no better film school really than listening to what Billy Wilder says.”

Here are Wilder’s ten rules of good filmmaking:

1: The audience is fickle.
2: Grab ’em by the throat and never let ’em go.
3: Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
4: Know where you’re going.
5: The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
6: If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
7: A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.

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Great set of budget Bluetooth bookshelf speakers

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These Edifier R1700BT speakers are perfect for my home office and bedroom.

I had been using Amazon Echo Dot’s to play music and podcasts. The sound quality was less than exciting. A friend pointed me to these Edifier R1700BT speakers and I couldn’t be happier.

Built solidly and super sharp looking, these little Edifier boxes put out pretty good sound. Warm, rich, bright and chipper would be my attempt at description. The bass is a bit on the thuddy and undefined side, but for $150 there really isn’t much to complain about.

Easy to set up, the Edifier’s competently handled mp3’s of varying quality over the Bluetooth stream. You can plug in RCA analog devices if you want, there are two sets of ports. For another $50 there is a model that does optical-in and subwoofer-out. I didn’t need this for my use.

The grills are also removable if you want to show off the drivers.

Budget Bluetooth sound that is plenty good.

Edifier R1700BT Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers – Active Near-Field Studio Monitors via Amazon Read the rest

Learn the square root of i, Bob Ross style

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Take a walk with me down a little garden path in a secluded place; you’ll delight in the discovery of a beautiful mathematical equation. –– Tibeess

Tibees is a blissed out mathematician who likens her style to Bob Ross. And I definitely see it. She’s soft spoken, easy to follow, and has described math as beautiful and fun.

When introducing this video, she says we’ll be “exploring the square root of i. It’s a curious question with a delightful answer.”

So get out your “pen, some paper, and a vision in your mind,” and let’s get started! Read the rest

POGs: the Passionfruit-Orange-Guava juice origin of current-era “Poggers”

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This 90s video on the milkcap fad is totally awesome. I was baffled that kids wanted to collect POGs but my younger brother was all about his cool slammers.

Head right back to the decade that kicked off the Netscape thing with a host mimicking Nickelodeon! This “dude” manages to make a backward hat and sweatshirt speak for an entire generation.

VHS quality everything and weak as hell video overlays will help you remember a game that never should have been. Read the rest

Death metal attracts sharks as it mimics “struggling fish”

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TIL: Sharks are attracted to the sound of death metal. Apparently, the “dense tones” of it mimics the “low frequencies of struggling fish.” (Damn.)

In 2015, a Discovery Channel crew — hoping to attract a large great white named “Joan of Shark” — dropped a speaker underwater and played some.

Independent:

Desperate to feature the 16-foot, 1.6 tonne shark in their documentary, they submerged a speaker to see if the shark would react. Unfortunately they didn’t manage to attract Joan, but did catch the attention of two others, one of which was 12 feet long.

Sharks ‘hear’ by picking up vibrations from receptors on their bodies, meaning they can be attracted to the low-frequency vibrations of heavy music, which apparently sounds like struggling fish.

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Stay Puft Marshmallow Man tiki mugs

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Well, here’s something you don’t see every day, tiki mugs of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Choose the form of the Destructor, and hopefully this jolly giant marshmallow man pops in your head, and hand. Holding approx. 36oz of your favorite ectoplasmic beverage, this tiki-ized manifestation of something that could never ever possibly destroy us is ready for you to trap in your collection.

Currently available from Mondo in limited-to-650 Bone Variant ($55, shown in second to left) and Standard Edition ($50, shown in blue and red). The Crossing the Streams Variant (“orange-wiped” glaze) was created for Designer Con and appears to not be for sale. The Brown Glaze one will be heading to select Alamo Drafthouse theater locations soon.

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A neo-Baroque fugue based on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”

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Italian composer and arranger Giovanni Dettori based his “Lady Gaga Fugue” on her 2009 hit “Bad Romance.” In this video, his friend Vincenzo Culotta plays his neo-Baroque piece on the piano. Dettori writes, “To give a “modern feeling” I used a special treatment of fourths, fifths, suspensions and rythm [sic].”

Ok, full disclosure: this video was posted on YouTube way back in April 2011 and was a big hit back then apparently. It was the first time I had seen it though. I enjoyed it and figured many of you would too.

Sheet music is available.

Incidentally, just this year, the original video for “Bad Romance” surpassed 1 billion views.

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Learn MySQL painlessly with this online master class

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What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google all have in common? Somewhere in their framework, they all use MySQL, that most versatile (and free!) of database management systems. And they’re not alone. If your company or the one you’d like to work for wrangles data (and who doesn’t?), they’re going to need someone with a working knowledge of how to do that effectively. That’s where the Complete MySQL Bootcamp comes in.

As taught by motivational coach Joe Parys, this course is perfect for beginners but a valuable resource for anyone who works with MySQL. You’ll start with the basic syntax and other foundational concepts, then move quickly to the practical applications of this open-source tool. Before the end of the eight-hour run-through, you’ll be building tables and schemes, then move on to design actual PHP web apps and the core structure of a social media website. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to do with MySQL.

The Complete MySQL Bootcamp is currently on sale for $10.99. Read the rest

Death Generator: classic video game scenes with custom text

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Foone Turing’s Death Generator lets you create customizable “death” scenes from dozens of computer games. Foone painstakingly rips the media and fonts from old ROMs to create authentic recreations. Put in the text you want and the widget updates automatically. Some games have other options, and there’s a button to upload your creation to imgur.

If you want more stuff like this, Foone has a patreon page.

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Two brothers deface worthless baseball cards for fun and profit

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Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, being juvenile can pay off. Two brothers have proven this. They’ve been humorously scribbling on baseball cards since they were kids and now it’s landed them a book deal. As children of the 80s, Beau and Bryan Abbott spent their allowance on their baseball card only to discover the collection wasn’t worth the cardstock it was printed on. Instead of dumping the long boxes full of cards, the then-elementary-aged boys started “enhancing” them with Sharpies in “endlessly shameless and shameful attempts at making one another laugh.” This continued until high school when they stopped for a while.

Mashable (link mine):

Then, while Beau was at the San Francisco Art Institute, Bryan sent Beau a care package with a bunch of newly vandalized baseball cards. Beau showed his fellow students and professors and the cards became a big hit.

Their popular Tumblr has been around since 2012, their Instagram is gaining some traction, and now their first book is coming out in early March. Baseball Card Vandals: Over 200 Decent Jokes on Worthless Cards! can be pre-ordered now for $12.76. You can also purchase individual cards directly from the Abbott brothers ($35 and up).

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