Microsoft Surface!

Tuesday 26 June, 2007

Microsoft Surface (Codename: Milan), is a forthcoming product from Microsoft which is developed as a software and hardware combination technology that allows a user, or multiple users, to manipulate digital content by the use of natural motions, hand gestures, or physical objects. It was announced on May 30, 2007 at D5, and is expected to be released by commercial partners in November 2007.

Surface is essentially a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a black table base, topped with a 30-inch touchscreen in a clear acrylic frame. Five cameras that can sense nearby objects are mounted beneath the screen. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by setting real-world items tagged with special barcode labels on top of it.

Surface has been optimized to respond to 52 touches at a time. During a demonstration with a reporter, Mark Bolger, the Surface Computing group’s marketing director, “dipped” his finger in an on-screen paint palette, then dragged it across the screen to draw a smiley face. Then he used all 10 fingers at once to give the face a full head of hair.

In addition to recognizing finger movements, Microsoft Surface can also identify physical objects. Microsoft says that when a diner sets down a wine glass, for example, the table can automatically offer additional wine choices tailored to the dinner being eaten.

Prices will reportedly be $5,000 to $10,000 per unit.

Here’s a nice video demoing the forthcoming product.

Truthfully I think it looks pretty cool and if I could afford it I'd get one some!


I’ve got Labrynthitis. :(

Friday 22 June, 2007

I’ve been signed off work for a week. I was feeling dizzy at work on Monday so came home early. Went to the doctors on Tuesday morning and he diagnosed labrynthitis.

It sucks.

You can be a Ninja too!

Monday 11 June, 2007

At work today I got chatting about Ninjas (we all do it don’t we?) and someone sent me a link to the image below.

With this information it has now become possible for any of us to join the Ninja elite. No training is needed. All you require is a t-shirt (preferable black and old) and the will to transform yourself into a killing machine.

Be aware: Ninjas tend to send us code of what they’re planning to do, unfortunately that most humans simply cannot comprehend these messages with their feeble brains. Here are a few that I have taken the liberty to translate for you.

  • You “see” a Ninja somewhere = Prepare to die
  • A Ninja makes eye contact with you = Prepare to die
  • You are performing your daily routine like a good cyborg does = Prepare to die.
  • You utter the phrase, “hey check this out guys” = prepare to die
  • “Where’s my dog?” = your dog is preparing to die
  • A ninja shakes your hand = Have a nice day… then you’re going to die.
  • You come home to find a Ninja reading the paper and using your toilet = You can’t knock on the freakin door? Prepare to die.
  • You see an innocent-looking old man walking toward you, desperately asking you for help = Run if you want, but he’ll catch you up anyway. (Ninjas usually disguise themselves as old men, which increases their cool factor)
  • You do NOT see a Ninja = Prepare to die
  • If you are a Ninja = Prepare to kill someone.
  • If you are a Pirate = Prepare to die

So That’s about all you’ll need to know to become a Ninja. Good luck.

PS. You can’t really be a Ninja .

 No more, no less. Just 100 NES games playable in your favorite browser.

Wander over to and take a look…


Isis and Blonde Redhead

Sunday 3 June, 2007

I ventured out to another couple of gigs last week. They were Isis and Blonde Redhead at the Bierkeller and the Thekla respectively. The bands couldn’t really be more different as one is a, well just check out these descriptions:


“Isis is a monolithic, breathing, dense, incredibly spiritual musical experience that, while rooted in heavy metal and the punk/hardcore aesthetic, relies just as heavily on ambience, atmosphere, and tone as it does complexity, aggressiveness, and raw emotion. Not so much a band per se as a collective, the artisans who comprise the Boston quintet paint vivid and surreal conceptual compositions layering feedback, power chords, intense quiet/loud dynamics, and vocals that are often shouted, more often screamed, and occasionally sung.”

Blonde Redhead

“Blonde Redhead is a / band. It was formed by Kazu Makino, Maki Takahashi and Milan born Italian twin brothers Simone Pace and Amedeo Pace. They take their name from a song by DNA, a 70s and 80s no-wave band from New York.

“three-piece band that creates their own brand of unique bliss”

Their early music has been described as emulative of Sonic Youth, but their more recent releases have begun to stray from this generalization. Kazu Makino is noted for her high, eerie voice, which hovers over melodic guitar riffs and rhythmic drum beats.”

I’ve previously been to see Isis before so knew what to expect and I’d listened to Blonde Redhead’s latest album so was also prepared for them too.  The Isis gig was pretty chilled as we just sat on a table and watched them rather than trying to get close to the stage.  It was a good gig but not my favorite of the year by quite a long way, so far I think my best gig has been !!!.

The Blonde Redhead was a much more chilled event. We got their a bit early and were a bit surprised by then number of people there as we didn’t think they were quite this popular (later in the evening I noticed that there were loads of college kids there and it dawned on me that it was half term, hence the number of people)!

The support band were quite good, I forget their name now.. They gave out free CDs so I grabbed one but ended up losing that too. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Blonde Redhead appeared to be pretty tired. Dave and I agree that they were probably right at the end of the tour so had many late nights gigging under their belts..  The still played a good set and came back for a 2 song encore. I took a few photos but as usual I had the blur setting turned up to full. (Note to self: turn the blur setting down on camera.)

That’s all for now….