Timelapse

Written on 13 March 2013, 11:27pm

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My first timelapse try. I wanted to catch the March snow melting throughout the day, but apparently the temperatures were not high enough 🙂

Actors:

The command:

ffmpeg.exe -f image2 -r 1 -i IMG_%02d.JPG movie.avi

I know, I have to clean my windows for the next photo session 🙂

Web meets brain

Written on 4 March 2013, 03:29pm

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In the recent period I read some materials regarding the human brain: how it works, what is it good at, its limitations and its bugs. I am listing here the links to the articles/books, along with a short description.

1. Brain Bugs

Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives, By Dean Buonomano (I also recommend the iTunes audiobook).

The human brain is more beautiful and complex than anything we could ever build but it’s far from perfect. Our memory is unreliable; we can’t multiply large sums in our heads; advertising manipulates our judgment; we tend to distrust people who are different from us; supernatural beliefs are hard to shake and we prefer instant gratification to long-term gain. Dean Buonomano illuminates the causes and consequences of these “bugs” in terms of the brain’s innermost workings and their evolutionary purposes.

2. Hacking the brain

Hacking the brain, Richard Shepherd, .Net magazine

“If you make chairs, you’ll want to understand how people sit. If you make user interfaces, then you should understand how people perceive and think.”
With a little borrowing from disciplines such as cognitive psychology and behavioural economics we become able to ‘hack the brain’.
The field of UX is both broad and deep; here are five techniques to get you started.

3. How does the brain keep track of time

How does the brain keep track of time – by Joshua Bixby in Web Performance Today

Luke Jones of the University of Manchester talks about the fact that we’re uncannily good at telling the difference between durations of sound, down to one-tenths of a second, yet we’re terrible at predicting how long it’s going to take us to do something, especially if it’s something you’ve done before. (Apparently, we always underestimate.)

4. Designing for emotion

Designing for emotion by Aaron Walter, A book apart
I read this book more than a year ago, here are my notes about it. The conclusion was:

When you start your next design project, keep this principle in mind: people will forgive shortcomings, follow your lead, and sing your praises if you reward them with positive emotion.

designing for emotion NET234.f_hacking brain bugs

Did you know the formula of love? It’s
x^2+(y-sqrt(x^2))^2=1
Plotting this will result in a nicely hearth-shaped figure. The ultimate geek gift for his geek girlfriend!
I reproduced this plot using two methods: ColdFusion cfchart/cfchartseries/cfchartdata tags and a jQuery plotting library, called flot.

1. ColdFusion code

cflove.cfm (tested both on ColdFusion 8 and ColdFusion 9)

<cfchart format="flash" xaxistitle="X" yaxistitle="Y">
	<cfchartseries type="scatter">
		<cfloop index="x" from="-1" to="1" step="0.02">
			<cfset y1 = sqr(x^2)-sqr(1-x^2)>
			<cfchartdata item="#x#" value="#y1#">
		</cfloop>
	</cfchartseries>
	<cfchartseries type="scatter">
		<cfloop index="x" from="-1" to="1" step="0.02">
			<cfset y2 = sqr(x^2)+sqr(1-x^2)>
			<cfchartdata item="#x#" value="#y2#">
		</cfloop>
	</cfchartseries>
</cfchart>

You will notice that the formula of love is composed by two curves:
-the upper part of the hearth: y = sqrt(x^2) – sqrt(1-x^2)
-the lower part of the hearth: y = sqrt(x^2) + sqrt(1-x^2)
The values of x are between -1 and 1.

Go ahead and load this file on your ColdFusion server. It will nicely draw the following image: (more…)