Movies and video games have become tightly inter-twinned in recent years. Valve, software developers of the gaming kind, are doing their bit to drive the trend with the release of their in-house movie making software. Released this week to the public, and it’s available for free, is Valve’s Source Filmmaker (SFM). Bringing film making and animation tools to the public’s desktop.
Until the public release of the beta SFM the software had been used in-house by Valve. Used to create the type of short films that marketing departments love and cut scenes for the latest games. SFM has quickly evolved, becoming a one-stop shop for animation and possibly the most efficient animation tool to date.
Over 50 short films have been built using SFM, including the ‘Meet The’ series along with many in-game short films. Included for your viewing pleasure is the latest film in Valve’s ‘Meet the’ series, ‘Meet the Pyro’. Built using Team Fortress 2 game models and 3D objects it’s an atmospheric short film that highlights the power of SFM. Also included at the end of the article is the video introduction of SFM by team fortress, a must watch for the animation inclined.
Continue reading Valve Source Filmmaker, The Ultimate Animation Tool…
CES in Las Vegas is in full swing, the Technorati are filling the digital wireless airwaves with stories of the latest gadgets and must have consumer electronics. HP has generating their fair share of buzz with the announcement of one of the sleekest 14″ laptops on the market, the HP Envy 14 Spectre. Aimed squarely at the MacBook Pro market HP has built a modern classic in glass and aluminium..
While the name may conjure up images of a villainous super organisation of James Bond ilk – SPECTRE SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion – HP’s Spectre is in fact the latest super stylised Ultrabook laptop.
HP have covered this latest Ultrabook in glass, the Emperor has new cloths on and they’re transparent. HP’s Spectre’s coverings are no ordinary glass though, toughened and scratch resistant this is as tough as it is good looking.
At 20mm thick and a tad under 1.8kg’s the Spectre is in the middle of the laptop size and weight game, with the specifications of much larger laptops shoe horned into the sleek chassis. The glass treatment continues with the touch pad surface of the Spectre. The HP Imagepad which HP describes as ‘a HD image sensor enabling highly precise multi-touch gesture control’.
Continue reading HP’s New Super Villain, The Spectre…
Microsoft has over decades built a reputation as the most famous corporate Dinosaurs. With legendary stories of inflexibility and decision by technical committee, it was a well-deserved reputation. Five years ago behind closed doors a single decision was made that would rock their world, like an evolution altering asteroid. A decision that somehow slipped under the media’s radar. A decision that has been slowly changing Microsoft from the inside.
Fast forward to today and the time has come to pay the reaper. Microsoft has a new design team and philosophy, their mobile phone operating system is winning design awards and with its brand new partner Nokia they need 2012 to be the year that the changes take hold.
The background for this particular tale begins way back in 2007 with the release of the iPhone. Apple single-handedly changed the landscape and the rules, all in one foul sweep. The Apple way quickly came to dominate the small touch screen world. Steve Jobs knew that people needed to be able to work naturally with their devices, his premise being that the machines should work with us, we shouldn’t’ have to change the way we work just to use a phone and he was right and even Microsoft realized it.
Continue reading Microsoft Metro, Watching Elephants Learn To Dance…
The end of an Era. Microsoft has drawn the curtain on an industry institution, The Microsoft Keynote at CES. For the past 15 years they have had a grip on the podium that kicks off America’s largest consumer and electronics show. This is the show that every Technoid worth his weight in silicon attends. Like Mecca it is every noids duty to make the journey at least once in their life time.
With Steve Ballmer and Ryan Seacrest taking center stage for Microsoft’s final keynote address to the CES the attending Technorati seemed to have given the final show a collective Meh. Still Ballmer did his best to emulate a living human being with an intact sense of humor.
In honor of this auspicious occasion Australian techno – doff doff – remix masters Pogo have pulled together a salute to the partnership. It’s funny, it’s moving and it will get you tapping your toes. Sourced from the highlights of 15 years of keynote events presented in 120 seconds Pogo have packed in the memorable moments.
With enough source material to give the best reality TV show an entertaining run for its money Pogo selected from 11 Bill Gates speeches – blue screen of death included -, 4 speeches from pre-eminent monkey man Steve Ballmer, 8 celebrity guests – including the Rock – and far too many interview sweaters to count.
Continue reading Microsoft’s Curtain Call Keynote at CES gets the Pogo Treatment…
Engineering Samples, these unreleased CPU’s are intended to allow Intel’s partners to perfect the next generation gadgets, they are a rare and treasured beast that are never intended for public sale. Like a classic Clint Eastwood western the double cross is not something that Intel takes lightly, being caught selling Intel’s next generation technology to it’s competitors for Intel is the ultimate betrayal. So as you can imagine when Intel discovered that it had been double crossed by employees of one of it’s OEM business partners in Taiwan it’s wraith was fast and fierce. Working with Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau – CIB – the four suspects were quickly tracked down and taken into custody in the city of Taoyuan.
The four suspects by all accounts were seemingly intelligent engineers working for one of Intel’s major OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturers who turn Intel’s chips into the gadgets we all love – Criminal masterminds they were not though. Selling the chips on EBay in full public view doesn’t display the normal criminal flare required for such an operation. Especially when you consider they sold the chips for an average of $400 each, when AMD would have written a blank cheque to get their hands on the samples which included Intel’s latest 22nm chips which are due for public release later this year.
Continue reading A Fist Full of Silicon, Intel’s OEM Engineers To Sample Prison Life…
In the world of Science and Technology three little letters on your resume can make all the difference, especially if those three letters are MIT. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT – is one of the worlds leading education institutions that is also a powerhouse for research and development. Not only are MIT’s course subjects leading edge but the way courses are being delivered is going through an online revolutionary.
MIT’s latest education initiative, MITx isn’t just a platform to make their courses available online, they’ve been doing that for 10 years through the OpenCourseWare – OCW – program that has served over 2,100 courses to more than 100 million people world-wide. Instead MITx is a complete open source education platform. Other education institutions – public or private – are free to join and integrate MITx into their own education platform.
MIT has long believed that anyone in the world with the motivation and ability to engage MIT coursework should have the opportunity to attain the best MIT-based educational experience that Internet technology enables. OpenCourseWare’s great success signals high demand for MIT’s course content and propels us to advance beyond making content available. MIT now aspires to develop new approaches to online teaching.” said MIT President Susan Hockfield
Continue reading MIT’s Online Education Revolution MITx…
Marine biologists have for the first time observed a potential new mechanism of evolution. While cataloging sharks it was discovered that Australian Black Tipped sharks are adapting to the changing environment off the Australian East Coast through interbreeding with it’s cousin, the common Black Tipped shark. It is believed that if the changes are successful this will produce a stronger species, unlike all of Hollywood’s versions of man building a super shark nature is in charge here, and unfortunately she hasn’t integrated lasers just yet.
DNA tests have shown the hybridized version to be a mix of the Australian Black Tipped shark and the common Black Tipped shark found in other parts of the world, two distinct species of shark. While the Australian Black Tip is a tropical water shark the hybrid version has adopted its overseas cousins ability to travel into cooler waters. This will allow the new Black Tip to travel further south expanding its hunting territories and increasing the sharks chances of survival. This is evolution in action.
Continue reading Australia’s Evolving Hybrid Shark…
LG, manufacturer of gadgets that we can all afford have embarked on a media campaign with a bang. The build up to CES has that effect on large corporations. With many drool worthy gadgets being prepared for demonstration at the show, anticipation is building. Like a slow running game of Wheel of Fortune LG has been slowly revealing the latest TV technology. IPS monitors were demonstrated in early December, now LG has turned its attention to every one’s favorite window on the world, the TV.
Two new Über TV’s have had the preview treatment along with updates to LG’s Smart technology used in the Cinema TV’s and Smart Remote controls. LG may have caught the rest of the TV market napping at the wheel with their 55 inch OLED TV, a spectacular technology tour de force that will be the first large screen OLED to market.
Continue reading LG’s Über Televisions, The Road To CES…
The battle for video card dominance continues, AMD is the latest player to show their hand. Mere days before Christmas AMD announced the 7000 series video cards demonstrating a fully redesigned architecture. AMD’s new design has been branded GCN – Graphics Core Next – and signifies a change in design philosophy.
The first card to use the brand new silicon pixel pushers will be the Radeon HD 7970, the new king of Über video cards. Quickly establishing itself as the fastest single card solution on the market AMD is pushing hard to build a lead over it’s opposition, NVIDIA and Intel.
Boundaries are being pushed in order to shift the 7000 series from idea to reality. The first graphics processors produced using the 28nm chip process, the first to use PCI Express 3.0, the first to use Direct X 11.1 3D library along with the new ZeroCore power saving technology, Multi-Point Audio and Partially Resident Textures. AMD has gone back to the drawing boards for this one and it looks to have paid off.
Continue reading AMD’s Radeon 7000 Series, When Über Video Cards Go To War…
Intel’s Medfield processor is a brand new flavor for Intel. Designed from the ground up for the extremely low power requirements of the Smartphone world. Intel hopes Medfield will go places they have never been, in our pockets. Intel has undoubtedly dominated the desktop computer for 30 years but they have consistently failed – had their butts kicked – in the low power world, smart phones and tablets included. The current leader of low power processors is the ARM processor. Designed in England and manufactured by many companies these processors can be found in every smartphone and 99% of tablets. Look out ARM Intel is gunning for your market.
For Midfield Intel has pulled out all the stops and is finally working in the right direction when it comes to low power. Starting with a notebook processor and altering it for ultra low power could be considered working top down, this time Intel has worked bottom up. Starting with the design of each type of transistor, optimizing each to stop current leakage, wasted power that is converted to heat. Working their way up the design ladder the chip itself integrates a new design strategy, System On A Chip. SoC is a process of integrating as much of a system onto one chip. Intel didn’t stop there, with their sights set on the Smartphone world they have built in technology to accelerate common android functions.
Continue reading Medfield: Intel’s Smartphone Processor…