6. August, 2014

Tonematrix is small toy written in Shockwave Flash that gives you a simple way to experiment with sound.

Click these links for a couple of examples:




CameraSim: Ego Shooter With a Camera

29. July, 2014

To help people to learn how to make good photos (and what lighting, distance, focal length, aperture, ISO, etc. means), Jon Arnold created a game called “CameraSim” that looks a lot like an ego shooter. But instead of enemies, you have several stages where you can shoot photos.

Gamification for the win!


19. July, 2014

Not yet

Not yet

Not yet

Not yet

Not yet



– Avocados


Oracle’s Java FAQ Displays in Chinese

17. January, 2014

I just looked at an article in the Oracle Java FAQ and I was a bit surprised to get this result:



  • Java 版本: 7.0

從 Java 7 Update 51 版本開始導入了例外網站清單功能。藉由將應用程式 URL 新增至「例外」清單,可讓使用者執行通常會被安全檢查封鎖的「豐富網際網路應用程式 (Rich Internet Applications, RIA)」。[…]

The solution was pretty simple: Append ?locale=en to the end of the URL:

That fixed it for me … sometimes.

Nice Debt Collectors Make More Money

26. October, 2013

It’s a fact that the majority or the “obvious” is often wrong. During World War II, groups of engineers tried to figure out how to best reinforce airplanes to reduce losses of life and material. For this, a study was conducted about the kind of damage planes showed as they returned to base. The general consensus was that the spots with the holes were the places which needed reinforcement.

The mathematician Abraham Wald objected and argued to reinforce all the other places. If you wonder what’s wrong with this guy, consider this: These were the airplanes that had returned. So the holes must be in places where the plane could sustain some damage. Which means the other, the lost planes must have been hit elsewhere.

When Bill Bartmann founded CFS2, ” a debt-collection company based in Tulsa, OK,” he faced a similar issue. Most debt-collectors threaten their … err … victims? Bill found that a pretty stupid strategy. Why not help the indebted to make money? Like as in enabling them to pay the debt?

As the Wikipedia article states:

Counter-intuitively CFS2 offers a unique array of free services to those they are collecting from, including: employment assistance,[16] credit specialists who negotiate reductions of other personal debt, resume writing, medical discounts and help accessing government assistance.

One of the results: This enables “CFS2 to collect at rates twice the industry average.”

See? Being nice does pay off!

Printing Money @Home

2. July, 2013

Ever thought about printing money at home?

It’s illegal, right. But think about this idea:

Your printer driver is connected to, say, PayPal. You draw some cute image (or use your cat if you can’t draw or the Internet, it’s full of cats). You create a QR code worth $15, slap them together with gimp and go to spend it.

Everyone has a mobile phone, so checking those codes would be no big deal. Just an app and you’re done.

And the best part: The NSA would know all the time where you are! You’d never get lost! When they notice you stopped spending money, they could send you an ambulance!

Backups are for Wimps, Real Men use the NSA

25. June, 2013

We spend a  lot of money on various secret services to spy on us. Why not turn the intrusion into a service and ask them for files which we accidentally deleted or lost?

But maybe you’re subversive. Like Markus Kompa. In that case, try to get a German passport. Write some document and send a copy to someone whose wires are probably tapped. Now write a letter to an involved secret service and request them to delete the copy (according to German law, you have full control on where, when and under which circumstances one of your works may be published).

Patently Unpatentable: Remote Presence Systems

16. April, 2013

With the recent advances in 3D printing and robotics, there will be a time when traveling to conferences to meet people in person will work like this:

You send a 3D scan of your head and hands to a 3D printing service plus a set of clothes via normal mail. When the clothes arrive and the face has been printed, both will be dressed on an android frame.

The androids will then meet “in person” while you can safely stay at home.



Samsung Asks For More Money … From Apple

13. November, 2012

A short time ago, a jury decided that Samsung owes Apple roughly[1] one billion dollars for patent infringement.

Now Samsung raised prices for the chips they make for Apple.

Hm …

Makes me wonder …

Is that a clever scheme to make Apple pay for its own license fees?

Samsung: “Can we pay even higher license fees?”

Apple: 😦

Samsung: “Just asking …”

Update: Apparently, the original report isn’t correct (good luck verifying this claim): Samsung never asked for more money but it’s still a funny idea.

[1]: With that kind of money, who cares for decimals?

Google, The Evil Empire

18. October, 2012

Google says “We’re not evil[*]” but some have their doubts. “Why insist, when you’re not?” they might ask.

The photo of an Imperial Stormtrooper in standing guard in one of their server farms might be fuel for the wary:


Source: Take a walk through a Google data center. When you start, take a step left and then turn left.

[*]: Actually, the slogan is “Don’t be evil.” See how a slight change of words changes the meaning of a sentence.

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