Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gotta LOVE raytracing!

Evan Wallace is a WebGL wizard.
Playing with the latest in interactive CGI tech, he gives you a refreshing look at the current state of CG technology, married to Web tech and faster graphics processing.

His work can bee seen on his website, and some great "toys" are available for you to play with directly on your browser - like the interactive path-tracing Cornell box.

Gone are the days when people would look funny at you when you said "let's raytrace EVERYTHING!"  ;D

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brave New World

We hear news of FXI preparing to launch the Cotton Candy, a tiny computer that looks like a USB thumb drive. The device, which can run either Ubuntu or Android 4.0, has a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a Mali 400MP GPU that allows it to decode high-definition video.

And as our classical computer architectures shrink to sizes that were unimaginable 30 years ago, IBM reveals more details of its quest for the "next generation of computing".
According to their news releases, IBM revealed that physicists at its Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York have made significant advances in the creation of “superconducting qubits.” Using a number of techniques, IBM explained that it has set three new records in its bid to reduce errors in elementary computations, while retaining the integrity of quantum mechanical properties in quantum bits.

In quantum computing, conventional binary bits are replaced by qubits, which can be 1, 0 or both. However, until now, qubits have been unstable: the pesky things tend to lose their quantum mechanical properties and go incoherent in a fraction of a second.

"The special properties of qubits will allow quantum computers to work on millions of computations at once, while desktop PCs can typically handle minimal simultaneous computations," the IBM researchers said. "For example, a single 250-qubit state contains more bits of information than there are atoms in the universe.

“In the past, people have said, maybe it’s 50 years away, it’s a dream, maybe it’ll happen sometime,” said Mark B. Ketchen, manager of the physics of information group at IBM.’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York. “I used to think it was 50. Now I’m thinking like it’s 15 or a little more. It’s within reach. It’s within our lifetime. It’s going to happen.”

Let's keep watching. If things follow through as they are predicting, and no major catastrophe hits humanity in the next decades, we could witness a leap in computational power within our lifetimes that will be unbelievably revolutionary - to say the least.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Raiding the Lost Ark

Jamie Benning has made 3 ‘filmumentaries,’ as he calls them, about the original Star Wars trilogy. His efforts collate interviews and rare behind the scenes footage and photos in what are essentially the most detailed commentary tracks a fan could hope for.
Benning followed his Star Wars docs with Raiding the Lost Ark, which tracks the creation of the first Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
It’s a must-see for any Raiders or Steven Spielberg fan. No matter how much a viewer knows about the making of Raiders, I’d be very surprised if there was nothing here that is new, as Benning has incorporated everything from classic interviews to the minutia of little-seen production reports.