Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let's start creating content again!


Just like the good old days when I'd post more than bi-annually! Also, this tests how good my phone is for such activities... Attached is me outside IBM's Hursley House, where I had a sweet internship this summer!

PS. Editing too. How very 2010. I am squinty in the photo it seems, but at least I'm not moving in this one!

PPS. Ok, editing in this app messes up all sense of proportion on the image - now removed. This has been fun, let's do it again sometime.

[Posted from my Android]

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Visualisation Assignment Idea

So on the Computer Science Degree at Durham, we do a submodule on visualisation - it covers techniques, best practises, etc for presenting data as accurately and informatively as possible. Each year there is a summative (ie: it counts towards the degree) assignment for students to undertake, for example: ours was to present several dimensions of obesity data from the NHS. I've had my own idea about a potential assignment that I would have loved to do (and may still give it a shot for giggles this summer).

Goal: Design and implement a visualisation to display the English names of colours based on their respective RGB or HSB values - Look here for inspiration.

You should:
- Produce at least two visualisations based on different dimensions of data.
- Make the visualisation dynamic or otherwise have some sort of user interactions.
- Write a report highlighting the visual principles used (and other standard assignment stuff).

Consider:
- How can Voronoi decomposition be applied to the colour naming problem? (Lyle's Hint: the colour names are the data points, and we want to find the point closest to any given colour value).

The beauty in this assignment is the range of interpretations possible - one person might do a simple 1D spectrum from violet to red with name roll overs, while another might create a 3D colour cube with the axis representing red, green and blue components with an interactive 'slice'. Someone else might go for a hybrid HSB colour wheel with central square thing like in the example link. Furthermore implementing a Voronoi Diagram would be interesting, and easy to spot bugs due to how obvious colour mismatch can be.

It also covers much of the taught content: multi-dimensional data, use of colour, Tufte principles of Visual Excellence as well as visualisation evaluation.

So yeah, that's the idea. This is something I would have wanted to do, and may still have a crack. =)

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Friday, December 18, 2009

I've been quiet recently, but aware and watching

Wait in a couple of airports for a couple of hours each, and things get done. For me, these things may have included:

- Played some Minesweeper on 'Advanced' mode
- Selected which episode of Firefly to watch (a lengthy process obviously)
- Watched said episode ("The Message")
- Booted up a Backtrack VM to check out what kind of wireless was about - just to see... Nothing hackery
- Listened to enough of my ipod to discover I have two version of Owls floating about on there
- Read first 6 Chapter of The Mythical Man-Month, a text that keeps coming up in our Software Engineering module.
- Actually PAID to use the internet (£1 for 10 minutes seemed reasonable at the time - and it was for legitimate reasons, to find out the arrival/departure time of my recently rescheduled connecting flight - blame the snow)
- Spend 3 minutes looking up important info, and the remaining 7 reading about a wedding night bed that tweets when it's being 'used'

All of this between chasing getting my next flight sorted out around developing delays and waiting for take-off... At least in January, it's one flight only, but with lots of trains - but I'll be with an experienced train goer then at least who can act as advisor and sherpa.

In other news, good to be back in Jersey, and even better to be having Christmas again!! Gotta love early housemate-Secret-Santa-gift-giving and epic Christmas meal times. How very rather exciting.

// VERY LATEST THING || All the doors in my house are different now, it's all a little unnerving \\

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Bah ba baahhh baaaahhh

Simply had to share this video, featuring Bobby "Here's a little song I wrote" McFerrin at the World Science Festival last month:



Additionally, I've been playing a lot of Jam Legend recently - think Guitar Hero online and on your keyboard, with a majorly upgraded social/competitive aspect. This website can easily consume a night away (and a winning technique is playing at crazy hours in the morning for epic points).

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rememe'd!

(Using exhibits A, B and C)

Phases of Forgotten Being (or This is Right?)
You look like an angel
Noli manare, manare in memoria.
Come inside me and take a deep breath:
Can't touch this.

Big man, pig man,
I'm sticking with you.
You look so defeated lying there
Life inside the music box.

Mondays is for drinking.
I cut off my hair and went to sleep,
I write this alone on my bed,
I don't care that flowers grow for you and me.

I remember when the days were long
I don't have plans and schemes.
I got so much love,
I want you so hard.


// VERY LATEST THING || Exam time means free time means bloggery \\

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

My Work for This Morning:

Screw AVL trees, I was much happier making one of these:


Which isn't as useless as it looks - While the outside looks like someone ripped my printer cable off, the inside is ACTUALLY what used to be a shiny flash drive (I would actually recommend the drive in it's original form, it was very small and very shiny). I'm hoping it's new look will confuse a few people :) If I was clever I would've taken pictures as I went, but you'll just have to settle for a few shots of my work area instead.




Yeah, I could've bought one, but that wouldn't be any fun! Also, by DIYing it I saved at least a tenner £15 and quadrupled the capacity to 8GB :D AND, because I used a USB extension cable, I get a matching lid :P



Another successful day where procrastination prevails.

// VERY LATEST THING || RFCs are 40 today! I wish I didn't know this. \\

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Look Out For: Alice in Wonderland in 2010

This is an exciting find: Tim Burton does Alice in Wonderland. Wiki says:

As reported in the March 2009 edition of D23 magazine, the movie will incorporate many characters and narrative elements from Carroll's books but is essentially a new story, Alice's return to Wonderland. Tim Burton states that "given what this story is, if Alice had this adventure as a little girl and now she’s going back all these years later, it’s a bit overgrown...[and there’s] a slightly haunted quality to Wonderland, even though it’s got strong elements of color." She is now 17 years old and someone "who doesn't quite fit into Victorian society and structure." This journey "becomes a rite of passage as she discovers her voice and herself."
Sounds like classic Burton. And of course, you've got good old Elfman doing the music. But the most exciting thing for me would be the cast. Playing Alice is Mia Wasikowska a bit of a newbie on the scene, but check out who she'll be working with:


Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter and his grubby Sweeney Todd co-star Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen,


Anne Hathaway plays the "cute but psycho" White Queen,


Matt Lucas - of course - will be Tweedledum and Tweedledee,


Mr. Fry as the Cheshire Cat(!!),


and Alan Rickman as the Caterpillar.

Oh and also Christopher 'Saruman' Lee:

as.... something. Wiki doesn't know. Something awesome though I'm guessing.

Very much looking forward to seeing how this one develops.

// VERY LATEST THING || Workity work work. Then fall asleep for a bit. Then give up and blog. \\

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Current Trends

I was just looking at the pictures of a Rather Inebriated Nightpicnic some of my future housemates have had recently, and even though I wasn't in attendance I felt proud and happy to know them and be apart of such a group. This sort of feeling has only happened with such an intensity one other time in my life, and that was in the 'Glory Days of the Grind' I like to call it.

Back then we were a group of 7 and regularly met in a coffee shop, The Daily Grind after school for coffee, pancakes and banter. Some weeks we went everyday, and it was awesome. It was just amazing to know such a small group of people so well, and these days I can't pass by the Grind without a bad case of nostalgia flaring up. It's a pretty difficult emotion to explain, the best I can do is probably a kind of brotherly and sisterly love. These times lasted for about 4 months before various 'complications' split things up a bit, such is the way things at that age went, but I still love all 6 of them.

But the times that were had were epic, and if I'm correct, by indication of my time with The Housemates thus far, the times ahead will be even more epic.

I'm genuinely excited.

// VERY LATEST THING || Today has been amazing. Sun, smiles, Coke. One day like this a year'd see me right. \\

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Palindromic Hello World?

/**
This is possible cheating.
(Also, it assumes brackets swap when flipped for the sake of prettyness,
otherwise you get something like "String[] arg" --> "gra ][gnirtS"
**/

public class HelloWorldPalindrome //
{
public static void main(String[] args) //
{
System.out.println("Hello World"); // ;("dlroW olleH")nltnirp.tuo.metsyS
}
// (sgra []gnirtS)niam diov citats cilbup
}
// emordnilaPdlroWolleH ssalc cilbup


// VERY LATEST THING || Oh yes, I haz holidays. Can't you tell by the fact that I'm using the blog again? :P \\

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Album cover



Pick an artist name from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random, use the last few words of the last quotation on http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3 for an album title, and the third image on http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days for an album cover.

// VERY LATEST THING || MMmmm, tastes memey \\

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Reason to be excited about University #057


Not only does our college Librarian have a copy of the graphical novel 'Watchmen' (soon to be epic film), but he also: a) has Facebook and b) has the iconic blood stained smiley face as his profile picture.

// VERY LATEST THING || Who's an empty little blog? Who is?? Yes you are you, empty bloggy you! \\

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

To clarify: This post was a bit of an experiment, to see how you reacted to mind numbing stupidity. This text was lifted from a girl who has been adding all my friends on facebook; none of us know who she is, can't work it out and she doesn't respond to messages. What pains me most about this text is that she's clearly either written it all out exactly like this (wasn't that one of the signs of the impeding apocalypse?) or she's deliberately ran it though some sort of annoying chav-speak converter which adds random crappy phrases. Oh dear.

AS W3 GROW UP W3 L3ARN THT 3V3N DA 1 P3RSON THT WASNT SUPPOS3D 2 3VA L3T U DWN PROBABLY WILL U WILL AV3 UR H3ART BROK3N PROBABLY MOR3 THN ONC3 & ITS HARD3R 3V3RY TYM U WILL BR3AK H3ARTS 2 SO R3M3MB3R OW IT F3LT W3N URS WAZ BROK3N U WILL FIGHT WIF UR B3ST FRI3ND U WILL BLAM3 A N3W LOV3R 4 DA FINGS AN OLD 1 DID U WILL CRY CZ TYM IS PASSIN 2 FAST & U WILL 3V3NTUALLY LOOS3 SUM 1 U LV SO TAK3 2 MANY PICS LAFF 2 MUCH & LV LK U AV3 N3VA BN HURT CZ 3V3RY SIXTY S3CONDS U SP3ND UPS3T IS A MINUT3 U WILL N3VA G3T BK LV IS GIVIN HIM OR H3R DA POW3R 2 D3STROY U BUT TRUSTIN HIM OR H3R him or her NT 2 R3AL LV STORI3S N3VA AV3 HAPPY 3NDINGS CZ R3AL LV STORI3S N3VA 3ND U WILL NO UR IN LV W3N DA HARD3ST FING 2 SAY IS GD BY3 N3VA MAK3 SUM 1 UR 3V3RY FING CZ W3N TH3R3 GON3 U WILL AV3 NOTHIN AVIN DA LV OV UR LYF BR3AK UP WIF U & SAY W3 CAN STILL B FRI3NDS IS LK UR DOG DYIN & UR MUM SAYIN U CAN STILL K33P IT IF U CNT G3T SUM 1 OWT OV UR 3D MAY B TH3Y R SUPPOS3D 2 B TH3R3 W3N U RLY LV SUM 1 U R WILLIN 2 L3T THM GO & W3N TH3Y CUM BK THN THTS TUR3 LV CZ TUR3 LV IS WORTH DA WAIT N3VA GIV3 UP ON FINGS THT MAK3 U SMIL3 IT HURTS W3N U AV3 SUM 1 IN UR H3ART BUT U CNT AV3 THM IN UR ARMS DA GR83ST CHALL3NG3 IN LYF IS FINDIN SUM 1 WHO NOS ALL FLAWS DIFF3R3NC3S & MISTAK3S & STILL LVS U WIF 3V3RY FING TH3Y AV3 LV IS LK WAR 3ASY START HARD 2 3ND & IMPOSSIBL3 2 4 G3T DA B3ST & MOST B3AUTIFUL FINGS IN DA WORLD CNT B S33N OR 3V3N TOUCH3D & MOST B F3LT WIF UR H3ART N3VA BR3AK DA H3ART THT TRULY LVS U SO R3M3MB3R U AR3NT GOIN 2 B TH3R3 1ST OR LAST OR ONLY TH3Y AV3 LV3D B4 & WILL AG3N BUT IF TH3Y LV U NW WAT 3LS3 MATT3RS TH3Y AR3NT P3RF3CT U AR3NT 3ITH3R & DA 2 OV U N3VA WILL B BUT IF TH3Y CAN MAK3 U LAFF @ L3AST ONC3 CZ U 2 FINK TWIC3 & ADMITS 2 B3IN HUMAN & MAKIN MISTAK3S HOLD ON 2 THM & GIV3 DA MOST U CAN THEY WILL N3VA QUOT3 PO3TRY OR FINK OV U 3V3RY MOM3NT BUT TH3Y WILL GIV3 U A PART OV THM THT TH3Y NO U CAN BR3AK DNT HURT THM DNT CHANG3 THM DNT 3XP3CT MOR3 THN TH3Y CAN GIV3 SMIL3 W3N TH3Y MAK3 U HAPPY Y3LL W3N TH3Y MAK3 U MAD & MISS THM W3N TH3R3 NT TH3R3 N3VA HOLD TH3R3 HAND IF UR GOIN 2 BR3AK TH3R3 H3ART LV IS ONLY A CHAPT3R IN A GUYS LYF BUT 2 A GIRL ITS DA WHOL3 BOOK

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Tw-insight

Is it healthy to use twitter as an outlet for passive aggression or complaining? I would say the majority of my friend's tweets fall into these categories these days :S I guess it's better than bottling it up, and it has the advantage that not too many people have it, just other CompScis really. But of course then there's the disadvantage that it's sort of like shouting into a hole!

I like the PostSecret model far better - currently there is a board on our cobbles similar to the blog which students can submit to. I'll take anonymous, widely publicised comments over credited, unadvertised ones anyday. Having said that, it is nice to know what's going on with them on the inside occasionally, even if it's unpleasant.

// VERY LATEST THING || My notes pile is building up. Some time, I'll need to sit down and folder 'em up. \\

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Throwing disc shaped objects

Replyage.

I KNOW, how much of The Suck am I. Spare time up here in the hexagonal bubble frequently gets absorbed by sitting with people on the landing, discussing and planning houses, watching iplayer (and LOST!), so then I need to check the feeds when I'm on my own. and so any bloggery gets pushed just into the relegation zone of time management :)

Claire does frisbee too!!! Awesomeness :D It truly is the game of champions. I play for Trevs, cos it's fun and not as much of a commitment as uni level (ie: I don't need to walk miles to get to training) but god, it's still such a proper work out. To be good you've got to literally run away from whoever is marking you, and as some points can go on for 15 minutes sometimes, you need lots of energy. Yesterday I jogged back from training too, which is bonus exerciseness.

Oh, and I totally have a kit for frisbee :D There seems to be a tend with having ridiculous numbers on the back; selections include 0, pi, e, i, c, $, VI and other such geekery. Mine is: !? cos I'm awesome like that :P

Of course, frisbee helps with exercising in this [wrist raising gesture] way too, frisbee socials are epic. I've probably mentioned it before, but 3 pints CAN fit into an upturned frisbee, and there ARE team races to see who can finish one on frisbee nights. So overall a good balanced work out :P

We have a gym in college, but I never use it really..... I should! I did the opposite to Freddie in that I put on weight in term-time (a stone!?) and promptly lost some of it over Christmas. My body works in strange ways. I blame the numerous tasty puddings.

// VERY LATEST THING || Today, I have achieved absolutely nout \\

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

if(work && !play)
{
Boy Lyle = null;
}

//All work and no play makes Lyle a null boy.

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