Summer in Japan

Its been a while since I’ve posted anything here…

Google buzz and reader are to way to share the news but i guess to create news it would not hurt to use a good old blog post.

I’ve been in Japan for about 5 months now. I’ve been studying Japanese in a community center near by. Its quite fun, I can read and write hiragana a little, でもまだじょうずじゃありません.

I’m enjoying been in Japan quite a bit. I’m staying kind of in the country side near Tokyo/Yokohama. There are many old houses and farms.

Its not uncommon to buy vegetables directly from small producers who leave them unattended with the price next to them. The climate here is tropical so its very hot and humid and it rains a lot.

Sometimes its so hot i have to take 3-4 showers a day. Thats one of the reasons I came up with the “idea” to collect rain water and use the sun to purify it (trough distillation) so i came up with a small prototype which i call the water panel 🙂 The cool thing about it is that it can keep the water evenly distributed even when it is tilted at an angle.

Japan is quite up there with  green energy appliances which they usually label ECO. I’ve uploaded couple of pictures of my prototype, a Solar water heater and a roof mounted Sollar PV pannels. I have not seen roof mounted Solar personal water purification system in Japan so far.

#concept, #energy, #energy-solar-green-science, #green-tech, #solar

Apple vs Adobe

I think Steve Jobs should cool down before he gets at odds with developers again… We all love Apple devices but we remember the history too… this is getting out of proportion. No software is perfect but Adobe has been filling the gaps for developers and artists for a long time… HTML5 has its place, but to forbid MDD and generated code from executing on I(x)Device is a bit too much. Developers and users should be the judge of what is a good platform and what is not… My family owns 4 iPhones but after this i’m looking more and more into Adroid (most likely the next smart phone for us).

#apple, #device, #gadgets, #mobile, #software

Google Code Jam

I’m thinking about participating in Google Code Jam competition. A while ago (back in school i guess) many of us use to be crazy about all kinds of regional and national competitions and i know that there are quite few “medalists” here. I wonder if we still have the will, speed ++ 😉

#code, #google, #software

Bloom Energy seems cool. The article at …

Bloom Energy seems cool. The article at Mashable gives some more details.

#energy, #green-tech

New Search Engine

I have a question !

I would like to know the actual possibilitys of making a “smart” search engine that could give you answers of your questions.

For example, let say that i want to know the birth date of Napoleon, i’m going first on google and type Napoleon brithdate, i find few links and by habit, i click on Wikipedia. There, i look in first lines to find what i’m looking for.

Is there a way of finding directly this information by asking a simple question like this? I mean noone care about looking stuff in search engine or encyclopedia but the answers.

Even better, what if i speak directly in mic asking my questions and get replyed by voice. Avoiding typing and mousing gesture for earn time.  Imagine a children playing with such application for years! Or this could in reverse made the learning process almost unusefull for most people.

Until where could we go about question complexity?

John told me few years ago about ontologie and this really blow my mind but what now? Is there something like Wikipedia but ontologie oriented more open than a “simple” dictionary?

#google, #nlp, #rdf, #search, #software

Online VFX

As i’m working in the VFX industry since 12 years, i always thought that the tools that we use are totally unadapted and obsolete. This coming more real than ever with the years.

2 years ago, i decided to rally my ideas from my own experiment around a concept. This concept is large and can’t really be describe in few lines. But there is the main ideas.

But let’s talk first about the software industry. I hate this old school business model of making desktop software, selling it, and justify annual upgrades for making money, even if we don’t know what new functionality to put, we let few new bugs, increase the binary size and make it run slower to obligate clients to buy a new computer.

In 2001, i was using a compositing software called Shake. This software was really perfect. Very fast, binary of 8Mb, impossible to crash it, very new and open philosophy, etc. It was used by the major VFX studios for make movies like Starwars or Lord of the Rings. What’s append, in 2002, Apple acquired Shake’s company and stop the smart development, stop the Windows and Irix version and make a MacOS bugy and slow one, and now this software is no longer sold and updated by Apple. But a huge part of the industry continue to work with, even with the 2001 version on Windows. For me, this example is very good, users don’t need economic upgrades but just smart tools. Another example is about the Adobe softwares, Photoshop is the leading pictures manipulation software on the market now, but what if i’m looking a little around it. Nothing new since 5 years, only attractive words around little improvement, still bugy, binary is about 1Gb now, and you need a fucking Nasa computer to work correctly. So most of the Photoshop’s operators that i know are still using older Photoshop versions. The tools was good 5 years ago, with everything to work properly, we know where are bugs and computers are fast enough now to made it run correctly.

What’s new now? Since few years are coming online apps. Google doc is a very good example of what to do. Simple app, light, easy and handy for free user and more advanced with support for clients. I love this business model.

My idea is very simple, made a complete picture manipulating online apps based on a media repository and a single rendering engine.

1 – Media Repository:

No new ideas here! I was thinking about such thing few years ago. Now such tools are very usual. Except that movie industry users need the medias to be in local network, remote web access for uncompressed pictures or video are not really possible yet. Also, a real user interface, no complexes setup, think artist way, not programmer’s way. Mesh is a very good example. With a versioning system, it could be perfect.

2- Media Manipulating Tools:

What are pictures tools? There is a bunch of software’s kind that use different GUI system for do the same things. Editing, color grading and compositing are very similar softwares. Only GUI allow you to do different things and work on different parts of the media more or less comfortably.  The main idea is to setup all those differents GUI all around the same rendering engine.

Advantages are users can define them own way of working, all clients are always up to date so no compatibility problems exchanging projects, an online plugins and scripts repository will allow users to send rendering remotly all over the world without installing new plugins, new version, etc.

A simple version could be free to let new users work and train with the app, and a professional versions could be rent with extra GUI an functionality depend of clients. More precise tools and dedicated hardware control.

The renting tools idea is really great for industry. Rather than buying very expensive tools, they could only rent software even for a day in some cases. It’s also better for manage production pipeline and operator’s licenses. It can be more precise in prices range over a project.

The Open fX project is also very interesting for making plugins inter compatible. It already exist every possible functionality. The use of GPU in 2D software still rare and not often used in smart way. GPU for make sound processing just even don’t exist yet.

Off course, the greatest probleme making such application is to find a way to make the browser’s GUI and the local media communicate together. It’s not really possible to work remotly on a web server for profesional that use a lot of uncompressed contents.

My google presentaion

3 – Media Project Tools:

No finished online tools exist for managing film, tv, print or any media projects. This could be a very good starting point making money. Free simple and graphical tools to let people get addict, and more complete and professional tools  in rent.


I think that the software industry is really deeply changing. All artists that i know are really tired of existing old school softwares and they are always looking for something lighter and smarter. Of course i can talk about this for weeks. But all what i just described don’t exist yet. It should.

#vfx, #visual-effect

What we should do with our (small) community site?

I think before we start “just-another-place-to-share-everything-we-do” or “the-ultimate-place-for-doing-cool-stuff” we should try to get the maximum out of what we have right now, which is for one reason or another. I’m afraid that we will start wasting time, resources and much effort creating one place after another instead of doing things.

Does anyone have clear idea what exactly we would like to do?
Let’s answer this first.


Let’s just let everyone talk here and may be something will come out of it. The Universe is a perfect place, it’s built of random (although the existence of the randomness is a controversial philosophical question) stuff and events. Let’s see what the chance will bring to us.

#community, #everything, #life, #universe