Augmented Reality Smart Glasses

Has anyone tried out Google Glass? They’re smart glasses that beam images into one eye. And the people that use them are – apparently – called Glassholes.

earth-5mar2015I got interested in smart glasses today. I’m currently in process of upgrading my orbital simulation model (right) to 3D. When it’s working, I’ll be able to coast in orbit around the Earth, looking down onto it, like watching it from the International Space Station. And I’ll be able to stand on the surface of the Earth, and see the stars turning overhead, and maybe the International Space Station going by. There are any number of possibilities. I’m hoping to post up a few nice videos once it’s working.

But what I’m developing isn’t actually true 3D. It’s really just 3D for one eye, like you see on TV. If I wanted a true 3D view, I’d have to generate two images, one for each eye, from slightly different positions in space, and present them to the respective eyes. I was wondering whether there was some way of doing this. Which was when I remembered Google Glass.

Google Glass doesn’t beam images into both eyes, but the Epson Moverio BT200 does. And it has a built-in mirror functionality:

MOVERIO MIRROR: Wirelessly connect the BT-200 to computers, smartphones, tablets and televisions that support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™. You can then enjoy the content from your other devices on the Moverio…

Although I’m not sure whether it would allow me to enjoy one piece of content in one eye, and another in the other eye.

But at £569, it’s quite a lot of money to splash out to just occasionally watch 3D images generated by my orbital simulation model. Was there any other use for it? Maybe there was? I don’t have a TV set, but I regularly watch YouTube stuff sitting at a desk in front of my computer. If I could watch using smart glasses, lying in bed or sitting in a comfortable chair, it might just begin to be worth forking out that sort of money.

But there may be a snag:

Where Epson’s latest Moverio becomes actually useful is with entertainment. As long as you don’t wear glasses, you can put these on and comfortably wear them for several hours. There’s an attachment included that allows you to embed lenses, but that can get expensive. If you want to use the glasses to stream a movie, for example, you can kick back and enjoy an HD film in either 2D or 3D.

What sort of glasses? I wear glasses for most of my reading (I’m wearing a pair right now), but I can read without them in bright sunshine. And I have no problem with distance viewing.

Which is why I’m wondering whether anyone has tried these things. But since the Moverio is an augmented reality device, which allows you to see out of the glasses as well as watch movies, I’m guessing that eyes will need to be gazing into the distance, which would mean no glasses necessary in my case. But I may be wrong about that.

Other data:

Screen Size (Projected Distance) 40 inches at 2.5 m – 320 inches at 20 m.
LCD Pixel Number 518,400 dots (960×540) x 3.
Camera: VGA
GPS: Yes, in Controller
Compass: Yes, in both Headset and Controller
Gyroscope: Yes, in both Headset and Controller
Accelerometer: Yes, in both Headset and Controller
Microphone: Yes

Perhaps I should just find somewhere where I can walk in and try them out… But they’re such new and unusual devices that most retailers don’t seem to stock them.

P.S. One augmented reality app for something like this might be one that would put star names onto stars in the night sky as you looked up at them. A similar app would be one to walk round a museum or art gallery with, and be given details of whatever you happen to be looking at. I’m sure these devices have a future.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Education

One of the things that bothers me about Tobacco Control, apart from their holier-than-thou self-image, is their complete indifference to what happens to smokers. They’re just not interested.

If I worked in Tobacco Control, I’m sure that I’d be very interested in smokers, given that my work would be directed at them, and (supposedly) intended to help them. I’d want to know what they thought about what was being done on their behalf.

Not Tobacco Control. They’re only interested in their own opinions. Any dissenting opinion is disregarded, or seen as a threat.

How strange!

But today I came across a story that seemed relevant to the puzzle. There was an horrific gang rape in India a year or two back, which resulted in the death of the victim. The rapists were all caught, and sentenced to death. But one of them was interviewed in prison by a woman film maker:

In 16 hours of interviews, Singh showed no remorse and kept expressing bewilderment that such a fuss was being made about this rape, when everyone was at it.

“A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy,” he said.

“Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good.”

People “had a right to teach them a lesson” he suggested – and he said the woman should have put up with it.

“When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her’, and only hit the boy,” he said.

Chillingly, he went on: “The death penalty will make things even more dangerous for girls. Now when they rape, they won’t leave the girl like we did. They will kill her. Before, they would rape and say, ‘Leave her, she won’t tell anyone.’ Now when they rape, especially the criminal types, they will just kill the girl. Death.”

I had the long and shocking list of injuries the young woman had sustained, read out to him. I tried, really hard, to search for a glimmer of regret. There was none.

It struck me immediately that the attitude of this rapist to his victim was very like the attitude of Tobacco Control to smokers.

Firstly, the rapist has the same holier-than-thou moral superiority. The victims are condemned for not being “good girls” who stay home doing housework. The rapist is the judge of this, not them. They were “doing wrong things” and “wearing wrong clothes”. And so people “had a right to teach them a lesson”. And, while being taught a lesson, they should just “put up with it”, and not fight back. The rapist is both the teacher and enforcer of morality. He gives aberrant girls the education they deserve, and he has nothing to regret.

Tobacco Control takes the same holier-than-thou attitude to smokers. Smokers aren’t “good” people who deserve respect. They’re “doing wrong things” by smoking cigarettes. And people have “a right to teach them a lesson”. And the Tobacco Controllers have no regrets about what they do to them.

Of course, smokers aren’t being raped by Tobacco Control. But if rape is humiliating and degrading, smokers are also being humiliated and degraded, and treated with complete contempt. They are “exiled to the outdoors”, and expelled from society. They are reviled and humiliated, and they may lose their communities and their friends, or be fired from their jobs, or evicted from their homes, or even refused medical treatment.

And if most smokers don’t complain about their treatment, it’s because they respond the same way as many rape victims. They keep quiet, and tell no-one. They get on with their lives as if nothing had happened. They pretend everything’s all right. And they may even say that they deserved the treatment meted out to them, and that they knew they shouldn’t smoke. Because many of them share the values of their tormentors. And, above all of course, they don’t fight back.

The rapist had a primitive set of values and rules. There were “right things” and “wrong things”, and he handed out punitive “lessons” to transgressors of the rules. The rules were the rules that had been handed down since time immemorial, and they were written in stone. Women were to dress modestly, and stay at home doing housework. There was no deeper rationale underpinning these values and rules. They were the rules, and that was all that mattered. The rapist was incapable of any sort of moral reasoning. He could not, for example, see that the punishment he’d handed out – to be raped and beaten and murdered – was worse than the crime – of wearing a short skirt. And he could not see it because he had no rules for evaluating rules, or for making rules. He’d never been taught any. He’d just remembered the rules by rote. He didn’t know how the rules had come to be made.

The Tobacco Controllers have an equally primitive set of values and rules. There are “right behaviours” and “wrong behaviours”, and they hand out punitive “lessons” to transgressors of the rules. People shouldn’t smoke. It’s a rule that’s been handed down since time immemorial (since James I of England, no less). There’s no deeper rationale underpinning the No Smoking rule. It’s simply the rule: it is just so. The Tobacco Controllers are incapable of any sort of moral reasoning. They can’t see that the punishment they hand out – to be reviled, exiled, fired, or evicted – is worse than the crime – of smoking cigarettes. And they can’t see it because they have no rules for evaluating rules, or for reasoning why some rules are more important than other rules, and why some rules might even be bad rules. They’ve never been taught how to do it either.

And if nobody – including most people in government – go along with the simplistic (and monstrously destructive) moral certainties of Tobacco Control, it’s because politicians and ministers are equally incapable of moral reasoning.

At least in the case of rape, it is recognised as a crime. But what is being done to smokers all over the world by Tobacco Control is not seen as a crime. It’s instead seen as “education”. An education just like the rapist’s “education”.

Nisakiman made this fascinating video in Hanoi earlier this year:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 37 Comments

Slouching Towards Bethlehem – 2

From Dick Puddlecote:

Australia’s decision to introduce plain packaging has aroused international attention and stimulated interest in complementary initiatives. To date, research attention has focused on external packaging and few studies have examined the physical objects of consumption – cigarette sticks.

Practical implications – As policymakers internationally consider introducing plain packaging, they should examine whether dissuasive sticks could enhance measures regulating the external appearance of tobacco packages.

This is a euphemism for suggesting government mandate that – at the same time as turning the outside of packets into a B list gore film – the cigarettes inside should look like bile, sick and shit.

Where does it stop? Once they’ve got their hands on the cigarettes themselves, they could add rat poison to them, and say that the smokers were “poisoning themselves” anyway.

And what’s to stop this being done to other products? Like alcohol, or chocolate, or coffee, or absolutely anything at all? Make them ugly. Make them poisonous. Just because they don’t approve. Just because they hate consumerism and consumer society.

Are we going to end up with everything uglified, and carrying warning messages?

Here we are, slipping ever deeper into a global economic depression, caused by a lack of demand, and these people are working hard to slow demand even further – for tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt, fast food, and more or less everything else as well – and with the full support of governments.

Deepening economic depression will bring rising social resentment, marches, riots – particularly in countries stuck with the euro and ever-deepening debts.

What’s the endgame? Perhaps the endgame is war. The world is becoming more and more dangerous and unstable. Tensions are rising everywhere. And what’s being done seems set to make it even more dangerous and unstable:

“Before this week is up, we’ll be deploying a battalion… to the Ukraine to train Ukrainian forces for the fight that’s taking place,”stated US 173rd Airborne Brigade Commander Colonel Michael Foster said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC on Monday. Despite earlier warnings from Russia (and claims that NATO had not agreed to any such foreign ‘boots on the ground’ action’), Sputnik News reports, Foster added, “what we’ve got laid out is six United States companies that will be training six Ukrainian companies throughout the summer.”

This comes a week after PM David Cameron confirmed Britain will be sending 75 military personnel to help combat Russian military aggression.

There was a time, not very long ago, when the world seemed to be largely at peace, and there were just one or two wars bubbling away in places like Vietnam. Now there seem to be wars almost everywhere. More or less the entire Middle East is in a state of war. There are wars raging in Africa. And now Ukraine. And refugees pouring into Europe across the Mediterranean. It all seems to be slowly coming to a boil.

These times seem more and more like the 1930s to me. We have our own new Prohibition movements. And rampant anti-semitism. And a deepening global slump. And the growing threat of war

Wars are, of course, ways of diverting attention away from troubles at home. They are also ways of discovering social unity in the face of shared peril. And they stimulate demand, in the form of weapons production. And they give the unemployed something to do, as they’re conscripted into armies.

What would be better for the EU than a war which diverts attention away from its deepening internal divisions, and provides an enemy (Russia? ISIL?) against whom all Europe might be united, and boosts the economy with arms and matériel production, and gives the restive unemployed something to do?

And if we are re-living the 1930s, that’s exactly where we’re heading.

If so, we can at least expect the eclipse of the Prohibitionists. When we all face shortages and rationing, the killjoys will be out of a job. But we’ll have other things to worry about, anyway.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

How Many More BBC Attacks on UKIP?

I wonder how many more attacks on UKIP the BBC will air before the General Election? There seems to be one every few weeks at the moment.

Nigel Farage has attacked the BBC ahead of a mockumentary screened on Sunday night that imagined an apocalyptic future in which the EU has collapsed.

In ‘The Great European Disaster Movie’ the Ukip leader is prime minister and has overseen the deportation of all immigrants to have arrived to the UK in the last ten years.

Adding to the chaos, Islamic State is marching on Vienna and Spain has caused a diplomatic crisis with Britain by cutting off routes to Gibraltar.

I watched a bit of it on iplayer, and found it fairly hard going. Which reminds me that there are rumours that we’ll have to pay for the BBC even if we don’t have TV sets.

Do you want to pay for a service you do not want or require? In the latest move by Tory government and state broadcaster the BBC have colluded to bring in a new “TV Poll Tax” that every single person in the country will end up having to pay regardless of whether you have a TV or watch the BBC or not.

The government and the BBC know that people no longer trust the BBC and see it as a government propaganda broadcaster, and are now dumping the TV Licence fee in their millions. People are sick to the back teeth with spoon fed propaganda passed off as “News” and they know the BBC harks back to time that no longer exists, as the modern generation dump the Telly for iPhones and tablet computers.

That way everybody will pay for anti-UKIP and pro-EU and global warming scaremongering, and of course antismoking propaganda. More here:

Opponents of the licence fee have likened it to a poll tax because every household with a television set has to pay it, even if they rarely or never use BBC services.

Soon it probably be anyone who has any device which can access any BBC content at all. That’ll be anyone with a mobile phone or a computer with an internet connection.

More:

The introduction of a universal flat-rate fee to replace the licence fee is expected to be backed by BBC Director General Lord Halllater today.

It means that everyone in the UK would be forced to pay a levy – regardless of whether they own a television. This is how it will affect you:

The current state of play:

A household watching or recording live television – as it is being broadcast- is required to have a permit to do so. The funds go towards paying for BBC radio, TV and online services. Fee income of £4 billion was recorded for 2013/14.

I wouldn’t mind if the BBC at least made some attempt to be even-handed. But it doesn’t even do that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 14 Comments

Lost in Wonderland

I read this yesterday:

THEORETICAL Quantum Physicist Dr. Amit Goswami admitted today that he, and his peers, have absolutely ‘no fucking idea’ what they’re doing, and claims they were no nearer than prehistoric man to figuring out the Universe.

“We have been just winging it to tell you the truth,” explained the 78-year-old in an exclusive interview with WWN. “Seriously, I haven’t a clue what’s going on. Either does anyone else in my field. We keep proving stuff that never actually happened”.

“Our cover is blown, what can I say? He added.

Dr. Goswami’s comments came after yet another alleged breakthrough in quantum mechanics which claims the universe has existed forever, as opposed to being created by a ‘big bang’.

“Over the years there have been just a handful of us pretending to know something about the universe that no one else does,” he went on. “But this is all lies to feed the charade. I’ve had some great times during the years; travelling the world, and giving talks on our pretend finds”.

When asked how he got away with it for so long, he replied: “I found out a long time ago that everything can be proven with a mathematical equation. Now, I mean everything; from unicorns, fire-breathing dragons, God and even the G-spot. None of it is true. Me and the handful that know the truth have been riding the Quantum Physicist celebrity wave for quite some time now, but it must end – before someone gets hurt”…

It’s a spoof, of course. Although I only realised that about half way through.

But today I realised that, actually, I wouldn’t be too surprised if something like this turned out to be the truth of the matter. Which was why I almost believed it until I was half way through.

Quantum physics (which I don’t pretend to understand) just seems to produce more and more particles. Muons and quarks and leptons and stuff. And to my way of thinking, that means it’s getting more and more complicated, rather than simpler and simpler. And one of the last times when things got more and more complicated was when the Earth-centred Ptolemaic model of the solar system started to need more and more wheels within wheels to make it work. Things only got simpler again when the Earth-centred Ptolemaic model of the solar system was abandoned in favour of the Sun-centred Copernican model, with the planets moving in Keplerian ellipses around the Sun, and all the wheels within wheels vanished.

And then, a week or two back, some of these boffins said that maybe the Big Bang never happened. Since that’s been the reigning dogma for about the past 50 years, you have to wonder whether, if they were wrong about that, what else they might be wrong about.

We live in an era of bad science already. There’s all the junk healthist questionnaire-driven “science”. And there’s the equally suspect computer models and massaged data of  climate “science”. What if it turns out that quantum physics had also got lost in some sort of wonderland, much like the Ptolemaic astronomers? If it happened once, it could happen again.

There are certainly quite a few people who believe that it did. In the book Quantum, by Manjit Kumar, a very readable account of the rise of quantum physics, it’s suggested that some of the early contributors to the field, like Albert Einstein and Erwin Schroedinger, ended up walking away from the new physics, and even wishing they’d done something else. And modern writers like the mathematician Claes Johnson argue that physics took a wrong turn when, 100 years ago, Max Planck resorted in desperation to using quantum units of energy to explain the phenomena.

I don’t know, of course. But that little spoof article somehow crystallised the thought that the quantum physicists had all got completely lost, and were getting more lost every year.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 25 Comments

RIP Internet?

RIP Internet? Ron Paul:

Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a non-elected federal government agency, voted three-to-two to reclassify broadband Internet as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act. This means that – without the vote of Congress, the peoples’ branch of government – a federal agency now claims the power to regulate the Internet. I am surprised that even among civil liberties groups some claim the federal government increasing regulation of the Internet somehow increases our freedom and liberty.

The truth is very different. The adoption of these FCC rules on the Internet represents the largest regulatory power grab in recent history. The FCC’s newly adopted rule takes the most dynamic means of communication and imposes the regulatory structure designed for public utilities. Federal regulation could also open the door to de facto censorship of ideas perceived as threatening to the political class – ideas like the troops should be brought home, the PATRIOT Act should be repealed, military spending and corporate welfare should be cut, and the Federal Reserve should be audited and ended.

The one bright spot in this otherwise disastrous move is that federal regulations making it more difficult to use the Internet will cause more Americans to join our movement for liberty, peace, and prosperity. The federal government should keep its hands off of the Internet!

Dave Hitt also.

And RIP Spock:

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Framework Convention on Cake Control

H/T Dick Puddlecote, latest WHO madness:

The health arm of the United Nations does not want companies advertising cake, ice cream, or ice pops to children.

It’s voluntary, for now. It goes on:

Banned without exception are pastries, croissants, cookies, sponge cakes, wafers, fruit pies, sweet buns, chocolate covered biscuits, cake mixes, and batters.

The list goes on: “Chocolate and other products containing cocoa; white chocolate; jelly, sweets and boiled sweets; chewing gum and bubble gum; caramels; liquorice sweets; spreadable chocolate and other sweet sandwich toppings; nut spreads, including peanut butter; cereal, granola and muesli bars; marzipan.”

Advertising for ice cream, frozen yogurt, ice pops, sorbets, and energy drinks would also be banned.

The relevant WHO document reports:

In July 2013 the ministers of health of the WHO European Member States adopted the Vienna Declaration on Nutrition and Non-communicable Diseases in the Context of Health 2020. This Declaration acknowledged the high burden of disease caused by unhealthy diets in many countries of the Region and expressed particular concern about the rise of overweight and obesity among children.

You have to wonder what’s left that manufacturers will be allowed to advertise. And since tobacco advertising bans preceded smoking bans, you have to expect cake and ice cream bans to follow, all for the sake of the chiiiildren, of course.

But there may be some light at the end of the tunnel:

Pressure mounts on WHO chief over Ebola

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Margaret Chan must resign over the group’s inefficient response to the recent Ebola crisis, the largest global AIDS organization said.

In a scathing statement released this week, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) called for sweeping reforms to the WHO to better prevent and manage dangerous epidemics.

“In light of WHO’s lack of leadership, decisive action and resolve to embrace responsibility for the protection of global public health in the Ebola crisis, the current Head of WHO should step down so that a proactive, reform-minded individual might take the lead and transform WHO into an efficient global instrument for rapidly addressing global health threats,” AHF said.

What really needs to happen is for the whole lifestyle medicine paradigm that was introduced into the WHO in the 1990s by, among others, Gro Harlem Brundtland, to be dispensed with, and the WHO returned to its core purpose of dealing with real infectious diseases (like Ebola) rather than imaginary diseases like smoking and obesity. It needs root and branch reform.

Meanwhile, in Africa:

Efforts to beat Ebola in Sierra Leone have been dealt a setback after 31 new cases were recorded in one village.

The community of 500 just outside the town of Makeni has now been put in lockdown by the army amid fears that more could be infected.

The World Health Organisation said cases had been linked to one man who escaped quarantine in Freetown to go to his village for treatment from a traditional faith healer.

The quarantine area is a fishing community, yards from the hotel where many workers from humanitarian agencies have stayed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 15 Comments