Next time you want to quickly and easily throw a heatmap over a Google Map, you might want to check out “heatMAP” from Differential Enterprises. A simple tool that can pull lat/long and value data from any HTTP Post request (and many other sources), it makes the entire process trivial.
The user (or web developer) has control over
- blending level (local vs. large-region smoothing)
- granularity of the color cells
- other useful display parameters.
It’s still in it’s infancy but pretty functional. Works best in FireFox, but they’re working on better IE support.
Barely a day after Google announced they would be opening VP8 to the world via their WebM initiative, lawyers for all the major codec agencies got together to start talking about how it’s not as free as Google would like it to be. The MPEG LA group is already talking about creation of a ‘patent pool’ for the various infringing patents, and several engineers have spoken up regarding their feelings on the matter. While they would love for Google’s claims to be true, the realities are far messier. x264 developer Jason Garret-Glaser mentions a few specifically:
One specific characteristic of the codec that Garrett-Glaser considers particularly prone to patent risks is its handling of a feature called intra prediction. He accuses On2 of cribbing the technology from H.264.
“VP8′s intra prediction is basically ripped off wholesale from H.264,” he wrote. “This is a patent time-bomb waiting to happen. H.264′s spatial intra prediction is covered in patents and I don’t think that On2 will be able to just get away with changing the rounding in the prediction modes.”
Of course, Google probably has deep enough pockets to buy all the patents and then release it anyway, but only time will tell if they decide to go that far.
VP8 is an open source video codec owned by Google, which they received when they acquired On2 Technologies. There is a major push behind VP8 to be used as the codec for HTML5, especially on YouTube. However, there are several questions about the quality of VP8, especially in high motion scenes. Author Jan Ozer takes a look at VP8 and compares it to H.264. The video files were encoded by Sorenson Media using their Squish encoding tool. Click on the link below to see the full article, and more comparison shots.
VP8 is now free, but if the quality is substandard, who cares? Well, it turns out that the quality isn’t substandard, so that’s not an issue, but neither is it twice the quality of H.264 at half the bandwidth. See for yourself.
Wow! This looks interesting! An Nvidia Tegra 2 tablet is being shown at Google I/O 2010.
Pleasant surprise at Google I/O to come across a brand new prototype from NVIDIA a Tegra 2 tablet. I tried to get do a device walk through on camera, but that was a no no, so you’ll have to settle for me telling you about the ports. This 8.9 inch tablet was running Android 2.1 with its 1Ghz Tegra 2 processor. It was also sporting a webcam & microphone and for connectivity on the left hand side of the device we have audio jacks, docking port connector and a microsd card slot. On the bottom we have some status LEDs for Power, Wifi and a lighting blot, not too sure what the lighting bolt LED was for, charging perhaps, hard to say. Moving around the device to the right we have two USB ports and the PSU all covered up with a silicon flap. On the top because it is Android after all we have back, menu and home we also have what appears to be a SIM card slot though it curiously looked a little bit too thin.
The unit measured around 1cm in thickness, but talking to Andrew from NVIDIA he did remind me that it is a protype and there are much thinner & lighter versions behind closed doors.
The game running was BackBreakers by NaturalMotion, it ran very smoothly which is a nice teaser to the beginning of the slew of Tegra 2 tablets we are expecting to see at Computex in two weeks.
It’s been a while since Google bought On2, and today at the I/O event they’ve finally announced what they plan to do with it: Release it back into the wild as Open-Source video codec WebM.
WebM is an open, royalty-free, media file format designed for the web.
WebM defines the file container structure, video and audio formats. WebM files consist of video streams compressed with the VP8 video codec and audio streams compressed with the Vorbis audio codec. The WebM file structure is based on the Matroska container.
Based on the VP8 codec, it offers better results than either h264 or Ogg and is already available in the Chromium & FireFox nightly builds as well as a prototype Opera build. Looks like Google might finally end the Web Video Codec wars.
Update 1:42pm: Microsoft has just issued a response, and (in typical Microsoft Fashion) they aren’t impressed. However, they do begrudginly admit:
In its HTML5 support, IE9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec on Windows.
While that sounds good, there’s an important little nugget in there: when the user has installed a VP8 codec. Essentially, IE9 will support h264 out of the box. If you want VP8, you’ll have to go find it yourself and download it (just like Quicktime today). Where Chromium, Opera, and FireFox will be shipping “batteries included”, IE9 will require the user to go hunt down the codec themselves and maintain it for revisions separately.
Google has just made the official announcement that they are ending the ambitious O3D project. Originally conceived as a cross-platform plugin to bring hardware-accelerated 3D to all browsers, WebGL has made major inroads into that space and has the likes of NVidia, Apple (Safari), Microsoft, and the Khronos group behind it. With that in mind, Google has decided to discontinue the plugin and instead turn O3D into a WebGL abstraction layer.
The Inspired Mag has compiled a great list of Flickr and Google Groups that showcase a wide variety of information graphics and visualization all ready for your perusal.
Today, we bring you a major round-up of the best 35 Flickr Groups to find all kinds of designs, either from major newspapers and magazine, personal portfolios or vintage maps and graphics. Some of those are much more active than others, and it’s pretty obvious you’ll find that many of the submissions are repeated in several Groups – that means that some users are, naturally, more concerned that others in showing off their work.
Even so, we tried to gather Groups that have some level of interest besides those common submissions, so, we hope you enjoy them!
We have talked about some of the resources that you can use to track the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Another tracking tool that you can use if Google Earth. Hopefully the new containment dome will work, which will take care of about 85% of the oil that is spewing out. Then they can work on the second leak and solve that problem.
On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the semi-submersible offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and injuring 17 others. On April 24, it was found that the wellhead was damaged and was leaking oil into the Gulf. This significant spill poses a serious threat to wildlife, affecting as many as 400 species along the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
Via : Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill