Sony’s PlayStation@Store Great films fill rooms videos

Memo, Barney, Robin and Ian from Studio Output have recently been funded by Sony’s PlayStation@Store to make a series of movie related videos using ‘Immersive Imaging’ which takes 3D projection mapping as its starting point, but gives the viewer a supercharged experience with the help of the PlayStation Move controller.

In the past, projection mapping worked only from a single, static view point, and thus was very limited. By attaching the PlayStation Move to the camera, they  tracked projections to screens in real time, enhancing the effect of spatial deformation and false perspective on the projections and allowing viewers to look round (virtual) corners, bend walls, create a hole in the wall, or remove the walls altogether to reveal vast expanses of virtual worlds.

 A few facts about Video Store of PlayStation Store. It’s basically a movie service where you can rent or buy all the latest blockbusters, most of them in 1080p HD movies. They also have a good back catalogue with more and more titles in 1080p HD too. Great value with titles available to rent from £1.99.

Below are some production notes about these videos and of course further down the actual videos!

Production Notes:

We are bringing a living room set to life through the use of combining projection mapping and traditional special effects.

We have covered a living room with projectors, so we can project on all surfaces. We have also rigged various props in the set with pyrotechnics, triggers, booby traps etc, so synchronised to the projected effects we can also trigger physical effects. E.g. a projected deformation in the table can knock over a real glass of water which in turn spills projected water, blurring the boundaries of virtual vs physical.

The whole thing is filmed with a moving camera – (a steadicam). We use this to really enhance the effect of spatial deformation and false perspective on the projections, e.g. looking round (virtual) corners, bending the walls, or creating a hole / tunnel in the wall, or removing the walls altogether to reveal a vast expanse. Technically to be able to alter the false perspective like this we create all of the content so that it runs and renders in realtime (as opposed to pre-rendered content).

We do this by developing our own software using a combination of proprietary in-house software, open-source software, and the Unity game engine. Also we we need to track the camera, so just as an added bonus we decided to do that using Playstation Move technology.

We use multiple Playstation Move Controllers strapped onto our steadicam and multiple Playstation EyeToy cameras scattered around the set tracking our cameraman and our custom software adjusting the projections in realtime accordingly. We also need to track our hero so we can adjust our projections accordingly, again this is done using custom software developed in the open-source toolkit open Frameworks and opencv.

And as an extra “The Most Immersive Movie Experience EVER — Making Of Version”

Facebook Timeline: Now available worldwide as pre release

Facebook Timeline is going publically live worldwide on the 25th of Dember 2011. But are you ready for it?

Facebook Timeline is set to give you an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect your most important moments. It also lets you share new experiences, like the music you listen to or the miles you run.

Starting today, timeline is now available everywhere as a pre release. Here are some tips from Paul McDonald to help you get started.

7-day review period

  • When you upgrade to timeline, you’ll have seven days to review everything that appears on your timeline before anyone else can see it. You can also choose to publish your timeline at any time during the review period. If you decide to wait, your timeline will go live automatically after seven days. Your new timeline will replace your profile, but all your stories and photos will still be there.
  • If you want to see how your timeline appears to other people, click the gear menu at the top of your timeline, and select “View As.” You can choose to see how your timeline appears to a specific friend or the public.

Feature or hide stories

  • As you explore your timeline, you may see stories that you want to feature, like your graduation or the day you bought your first car. There might also be stuff that you want to remove or hide from your timeline.
  • To feature something on your timeline, roll over the story and click the star to expand it to two columns. Or you can click the pencil to hide, delete or edit a post.
  • Use the privacy dropdown to adjust who can see any of your posts. You can even select “Only Me” for posts you want to keep but don’t want others to see.

See all your activity

  • With timeline, now you have access to a new tool called Activity Log. Your activity log is a place where you can review all your posts and activity, from today back to when you first started using Facebook. Only you can see your activity log.
  • You’ll see two dropdown menus next to each story in your activity log. The first lets you see and adjust the privacy of a post. The second lets you decide if you want the post to appear on your timeline. You can feature, hide or delete any of your posts.
  • To quickly find a certain type of story, click the “All” dropdown at the top of your activity log and select what you’re looking for. For example, you can choose to see only photos or posts from apps.

Get timeline today

To get timeline, simply go to the Introducing Timeline page and click “Get Timeline.” Or you can wait until you see an announcement at the top of your profile.

Starting today, timeline will also be available on Android and m.facebook.com.

China is likely to have military divisions devoted to sifting through social media

Anyone watching James Bond or 1950’s war documentaries may be led to believe that in order to receive useful intelligence, a foreign agency or home-grown threat needs a network of all-charming, ever-discreet spies. Well, you’d be wrong. The chances are – you’re already feeding them all of the information they need via your social media profiles.

Foreign Governments and terrorist cells no longer have a need to hack into secure systems for information, as they – and you for that matter – can get everything they need completely legally. This alarming wake-up call comes courtesy of Data Defender Ltd, a London-based data protection agency who are battling the war against cyber attacks.

Graeme Batsman, the company’s Security Director, explains how we’re all at fault:

“Let me give you an example – say a foreign Government want details on the numbers, skills and location of a certain aspect of the British Military. All they need to do is get onto Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter”, says Graeme. He expands “For example, on LinkedIn there’s a group dedicated to Royal Marine Personnel – from that you can get a list of names as well as their rank, where they studied, their unit and photo. The next stop is over to Facebook to find out their location, religious beliefs, political party memberships and spouse’s name, often without being a friend. When you’re armed with this, a quick search for them on Twitter is likely to reveal exactly what their up to – as members of the Armed Forces are known to regularly post their location, even while on a foreign tour of duty”.

It’s highly likely that foreign authorities have teams that are dedicated to sifting through and researching such information on social media websites to enhance their foreign military statistics. It’s all laid out in front of them, has no cost and is one hundred percent legal; so why not? One example is China, with over 2 million military members – and huge teams dedicated to cyber intelligence and rumoured to engage in cyber warfare.

However, the other worry is terrorists, both in the UK and abroad. Many have already been shut down for using social media to find and target soldiers for kidnapping. As soon as they have their name through LinkedIn they can head to the free online BT Phone Directory to get their home address. That’s all that they need, and they got it free, legally and in less than 30 minutes.

The point that Graeme Batsman and his team are trying to get across is that anyone should think twice before posting even the most minor of details online, particularly if they hold a Government or Defence-based job.

“It takes just the smallest clues to help contribute to their wider plan. Even a name or a company address is fodder for these guys to advance and find out more. We urgently advise everyone to practise vigilance and integrity when using social media”, says Graeme.

Epic Games and Train2Game to Host Make Something Unreal Live

Epic Games, Inc., creators of the billion-dollar “Gears of War” franchise and the award-winning Unreal Engine 3, announce Make Something Unreal Live, an independent game development competition co-sponsored by Train2Game, the UK’s premier game development distance learning resource. This unprecedented event will take place over the course of six months and culminate in a spectacular real-time conclusion at Gadget Show Live 2012, the premier consumer show taking place from April 11-15, 2012 in Birmingham, UK. The winner of Make Something Unreal Live will receive a commercial Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS.

Winners of the Train2Game and Epic Game Jam, happening November 4-6 at the University of Bedfordshire, will compete in the event next April. In both competitions, all games will be developed for iOS devices using Epic’s Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 which has been installed on more than 1 million unique machines.

Following this week’s game jam, development teams will benefit from a six-month incubation period in which a range of senior industry veterans will nurture projects by reviewing key milestones, providing guidance and shaping scope. During this time, talent will prepare for the final showdown at the Gadget Show Live, where more than 100,000 attendees will watch them bring to life Unreal Engine 3-powered creations in real time.

“We are looking forward to working with Epic Games and Train2Game to bring a completely new element into the Games Zone at GSL 2012,” said Gadget Show Live Event Director Matt Hodgins. “A huge number of our visitors are into gaming, and will undoubtedly be excited to see how new games are developed and brought to life at the event.”

“Once they’re out there in the real world, our students will flourish based on their ability to create fantastic experiences under pressure,” said Train2Game Course Director, Tony Bickley, “this is one of the best opportunities they’ve had so far to prove themselves and create something they can be proud of that will springboard their burgeoning careers in gaming.”

“In a mere five days, these developers will kickstart their careers in an intense competition that will ultimately result in one team walking away a professional studio, with a full source Unreal Engine 3 license for iOS in hand,” said Mike Gamble, European territory manager, Epic Games.

Epic Games is known for its legendary Make Something Unreal Contest game development competitions, which utilize the Unreal Engine 3 toolset and reward grand prize winners with a commercial license granting full access to Epic’s high-end game engine technology. The $1 Million Intel Make Something Unreal Contest concluded in 2010, with multiple teams going on to release commercial games based on projects made for the competition.  Developed by grand prize-winning team KTX Software and published by THQ, “The Haunted: Hells Reach” was released for PC on October 24.

Tickets for The Gadget Show Live are now on sale at www.gadgetshowlive.net.

Secunia Launches Independent Vulnerability Reward Programme

Vulnerability researchers are being invited by Secunia, the leading provider of vulnerability intelligence and vulnerability management tools, to participate in a new programme launched today under which Secunia, independently of any software vendor, will confirm vulnerability discoveries and handle coordination with the vendor on the researchers’ behalf.

The programme, entitled The Secunia Vulnerability Coordination Reward Programme (SVCRP) is open to any researcher who has discovered vulnerability in any software and would like a third party to confirm their findings and handle the co-ordination process with the software vendor for them.  As part of the programme, Secunia will offer rewards to researchers who contact them with vulnerabilities they have found and who wish Secunia to coordinate them with the vendor.   This comprehensive programme is designed to be complementary to those run by other organisations and will cover all vulnerabilities as long as they meet Secunia’s criteria.

Carsten Eiram, Chief Security Specialist at Secunia, explains, “The fun part of vulnerability research is the actual process of discovering and understanding the vulnerabilities as well as creating proof of concepts or exploits; and not the sometimes extensive coordination and liaison process that follows with the vendor in order to fix the problem.  Under the new programme we will both confirm vulnerability discoveries and handle the coordination process, allowing researchers to focus on the more exciting aspects of vulnerability research.”

Information on the SCVRP is available at http://secunia.com/community/research/svcrp

 

He continued, “Other major vulnerability coordination offerings exist but most have a business model wrapped around them.  SVCRP is designed to be a complementary service to these.  Most other schemes pay researchers for their discoveries, and, while these offerings are excellent for researchers, the companies are, naturally, very selective in which vulnerabilities they wish to purchase and coordinate.  This leaves a huge gap for researchers, who either do not want to sell their vulnerabilities or discover vulnerabilities not fulfilling the requirements of the existing initiatives, but who would still like an independent third party to confirm their discoveries and handle coordination.

 

Some of these researchers have in the past turned to Secunia for help on an informal basis and we now want to encourage even more researchers to allow us to help coordinate their vulnerability discoveries by providing this reward incentive.”

 

The main benefit to independent researchers is that Secunia offers the expertise to assess and validate the vulnerability, and saves them time and effort in coordinating directly with the vendor to fix the vulnerability, thus allowing them to deal with other priorities as well as giving added weight to their findings.

Benefits to vendors include the fact that vulnerability discoveries from the researchers will be confirmed in great detail by Secunia to determine the core problem in the code.  As a result, vendors will receive very precise information about the vulnerability, and Secunia will also work with them to find a complete fix, providing feedback and helping them confirm that their new patches are properly addressing the vulnerabilities prior to release.  This should mean quicker investigation and thorough fix of the software problem.   In addition, both researchers and vendors will benefit from having a trusted and independent third party such as Secunia to act as an intermediary.

Users will benefit since, as Secunia is able to undertake comprehensive and extensive coordination of vulnerabilities discovered by the researcher, there is likely to be an increase in the number being coordinated with the vendor. This should in turn lead to a greater number of complete solutions to software problems, ultimately leading to more reliable software and therefore more efficient working.

All classes of vulnerability across most products are eligible for the SVCRP programme as long as the following criteria are met:-

  • The vulnerability affects a stable product
  • The vulnerability affects the latest version of the product
  • The product is actively supported by the vendor
  • The vulnerability is not already publicly known
  • Secunia Research is able to confirm the reported vulnerability.

 No Secunia customers will receive any advance notification about the vulnerabilities coordinated by Secunia, whether they are internal discoveries or vulnerabilities coordinated via this reward incentive.  All customers, as well as the community at large, will receive the information simultaneously when the Secunia advisory is published.   Researchers will continue to receive any payments to which they are entitled from vendors for coordinating vulnerabilities.  Secunia will confirm the vulnerabilities through testing in their extensive and independent laboratory testing facilities, but will not receive any money or other reward from vendors either for confirming or for coordinating the vulnerability on behalf of the researcher. 

The rewards on offer will range from top-of-the range merchandise to two major annual rewards such as free hotel accommodation and entry to an IT security conference chosen from a list of the most popular global security conferences.  The latter rewards will be given for the first time in January 2012.  One reward will be given to the researcher who coordinates the most interesting vulnerability as judged by Secunia in the form of a prize under the Most Interesting Coordination Report category.  Criteria will include complexity, impact, level and level of detail.  The other will be given to the researcher who has been consistently coordinating correct, clearly detailed vulnerability reports that are quick and easy to confirm as judged by Secunia.  The researcher will be given the title, ‘Most Valued Contributor’ by Secunia.  Other rewards will be continuously given to researchers coordinating their discoveries through Secunia based on their individual performance.

There is no charge or enrolment process for researchers to participate in the programme, which forms part of several initiatives from Secunia to benefit the community.

Yet Another Minecraft Clone Crafted

Believe it or not, at this moment in time there’s a Minecraft Clone called Crafted on the Apple App Store, the game is a cross between Minecraft and Terraria, in the sense that it’s basically Minecraft but in 2D and it can be yours 69p / 99c.

I’ve added some screenshots below that I’ve taken. I wonder if anything will be filled (Lawsuit) against this as infringement of copyright or if Mojang will embrace this. This is what the creator of Crafted has to say, quoted from the Minecraft forums and he main website/blog located at http://craftedpixels.wordpress.com/

Additional Information for Mojang AB: If you want this game to get removed, drop me a line and I will remove it immediately. Thanks. Every texture is redrawn by me (although they seem ripped off), and the sounds are from freesound.org.

Updated 21:40: Latest news from Domp, the creator/developer of Crafted.

Everyone is complaining about the textures of Crafted. Although they are all remade by me, it still looks like they are stolen from minecraft. I’m honest, I don’t like this.

I’m going to change all ripped-off textures from Crafted so it won’t look like a complete ripoff. After that, Crafted will be a complete new looking game. Please understand that this will take 1 or 2 days.

Thank you.

Minecraft Clone - Crafted
Minecraft Clone - Crafted
Minecraft Clone - Crafted
Minecraft Clone - Crafted
Minecraft Clone - Crafted

Ancestry Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe, Platinum and World

Avanquest Software Publishing has announced the release of Ancestry.co.uk Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe, Platinum and World editions to help unlock rich family history as never before. Perfect for the amateur through to the more experienced genealogist, Family Tree Maker 2012 has exciting new features including a mobile app and syncing capabilities to help users bring their family history to life and celebrate ancestral achievements.

With easy-to-use tools and integrated access to Ancestry.co.uk, the home of more than 895 million records, Family Tree Maker allows the user to create a detailed family tree quickly and easily. This includes the ability to seamlessly add record information from the world’s largest family history website directly into their family tree; to integrate existing Member Trees from Ancestry.co.uk; and to import files from other genealogy programs.

The Family Tree Maker range contains a wide variety of innovative and advanced features, so the user can create the most detailed family tree possible. The new TreeSync feature allows the user to link between their desktop Family Tree Maker tree and its corresponding tree on Ancestry.co.uk; with both trees synchronised, only one need be updated but both will reflect the changes. This allows easy online sharing with invited guests and enables the user to update their tree and continue their research from wherever they are.

The interactive training tutorials make it easy for even the novice genealogist to quickly and easily learn how to build an extensive, detailed family tree. Step-by-step hints and tips are provided to guide users through the range of different functions and features included in Family Tree Maker 2012.

New features in Ancestry.co.uk Family Tree Maker 2012 include:

  • Share your tree online – Friends and family can view and update your tree online, even if they do not own Ancestry.co.uk software or have a subscription. Collaboration with others researching their family tree online is possible too, allowing trees to grow faster.
  • Improved Smart Stories– Previously, Family Tree Maker generated Smart Stories only included information about the individual family member – now it also includes information about spouses and children.
  • Update family trees from anywhere – Using an iPad or iPhone, family trees can be updated easily and quickly through Ancestry.co.uk.
  • New Blended Family View – The family group view now has a new ‘blended families’ option which allows the user to see an individual’s children in one view. It is simple to tell which parent the child belongs to; one, the other, or both.
  • Improved reports – The improved notes report allows the user to display extra facts on individuals in the tree such as more detailed research or relationship information.
  • New index of Individuals Report – This report lists every individual in the tree and enables the user to easily view birth, marriage and death rates.

Family Tree Maker 2012 Deluxe Edition (SRP £40.84) includes three months Essentials membership to Ancestry.co.uk *worth over £32 and an electronic version of the companion guide. This version is suited to the novice genealogist, just starting to explore their family roots.

Family Tree Maker 2012 Platinum Edition (SRP £61.27) includes six months Premium membership to Ancestry.co.uk *worth over £77 plus a printed companion guide with over 380 pages of detailed information. This is ideal for the more experienced genealogist who wants to explore their family tree in greater detail.

Family Tree Maker 2012 World Edition (SRP £102.12) includes six months Worldwide membership to Ancestry.co.uk *worth over £113 plus a printed companion guide containing over 380 pages of invaluable information. This version has been created for those who may have their family history spread across the world.

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs dies aged 56

In the early hours of this morning Steve Jobs has died at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer. His death was announced by Apple in a statement saying:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.

Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.