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What minimum system requirements?

November 1, 2011

A few weeks ago, I complained that Google Maps' new WebGL version was being artificially -- and unnecessarily -- restricted to high-end machines, creating a sort of "minimum system requirements" for the web. Therefore, I was very interested to see that Nokia's competing maps product, Maps 3D, has just released its own WebGL product. Unlike […]

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Minimum system requirements... for the web

October 14, 2011

I remember when the concept of "minimum system requirements" became important. It was during the late 90's, as 3dfx and Nvidia battled to own the nascent market for hardware-accelerated graphics. For the first time, you had software which simply wouldn't run on a computer unless it met certain criteria, namely the ability to perform certain […]

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Debating 3D TV

January 19, 2010

Here's an interesting case study in internet behavior dynamics: when Engadget publishes a story -- any story -- about 3D TVs, the comments are filled with fans and excited (potential) consumers. When the NYT publishes a story called "Do Consumers Really Want 3-D TV's?" the comments overflow with doubters and pessimists. Thanks to the magic […]

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Bloomingdales' hi-tech showcase?

October 26, 2009

Confession: I got lost in Bloomingdales. This turned out to be a Very Good Thing, because it's how, way in the back of the women's cosmetics department, I discovered that Bloomingdales has a glasses-free 3D television set. The screen itself is unassuming, and positioned as the backdrop to a small un-manned display table, just like […]

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Things that fascinate me: relief mapping

June 21, 2009

I've spent a couple days reading all about relief mapping (or a very similar algorithm called steep parallax mapping). Essentially these techniques implement ray tracing inside a texture map, resulting in dramatic representations of geometry without the need to render additional polygons. Key benefits include parallax tracking, occlusion, and self-shadowing again all without rendering extra […]

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Misreading misleading charts: entrepreneur edition

June 18, 2009

Paul Kedrosky writes about a study on the rate of entrepreneurship among various age groups, which includes the following piece of junk (ch)art: Why is this chart 3D? It contains information in only two spatial dimensions (time and rate), with a third dimension coded by color. To make the chart itself is a purely superfluous […]

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Hamsters... in 3D

June 12, 2009

You may know that I like to watch movie trailers (massive understatement). Today, I'd like to discuss the trailer for Jerry Bruckheimer's new movie G-Force. As one might expect from a Bruckheimer flick, G-Force is about an elite squad of spies who are forcibly retired and subsequently called back to action. As one might not […]

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How to animate 10,000 balloons

May 29, 2009

and an old man's suit.

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