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  • Indie Filmmaker Turns Snow Day Into Homage to Classic Cinema [VIDEO]

    At least one person was being productive during the Great Blizzard of 2010 — filmmaker Jamie Stuart spent hours in the driving snow with his Canon 7D to create Idiot With A Tripod, an homage to Dziga Vertov’s 1929 Man With a Movie Camera.

    Stuart’s short piece appeared in “Roger Ebert’s Journal,” after the Queens, New York, resident e-mailed the video to the famed critic. Ebert’s take on the piece? “This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject,” he writes.

    If you’ve ever taken a college film class, it’s likely that you’ve seen Vertov’s cinematic depiction of urban life. Well, Idiot With A Tripod is a very similar (albeit less complicated) exploration of a modern New York — a city symphony depicting a community encased in snow and its efforts to free itself.

    Ebert conducted an e-mail interview with Stuart, who explained how the film was made:

    “Technically, for Idiot with a Tripod, I shot with my Canon 7D and edited it with Final Cut Pro. Early on, I was able to vary things a little more — I used macro diopters for the close-ups during the day shots, my portable slider for the dolly shots and also, a 75-300 zoom for the rooftop shots. I was more limited at night because of the weather conditions, so I stuck with my 24mm, 50mm and 85mm — all of which are manual Nikon lenses. Which meant that in the middle of that maelstrom I was changing lenses, wiping off the lenses and manually focusing/adjusting each shot.”

    The piece also features music from The Social Network, composed by Trent Reznor, which somehow manages to perfectly recall The Cinematic Orchestra’s score for the ’20s classic.

    What do you think of this short film? Oscar-worthy? Two thumbs up? Let us know.

    More About: Film, roger ebert, video, web video, youtube

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  • What Twitter’s Trending Topics Told Us About the World in 2010 [CHARTS]

    Twitter recently released its own list of the top trends of 2010, but we thought we’d take a closer look to see how usage habits have evolved on everybody’s favorite real-time information network. With the help of our friends over at What The Trend, the fine folks who provide us with the weekly dish on what’s hot in the Twitterverse, we offer some insight into a year’s worth of 140 character conversations.

    The first thing that may strike you about the data below is that tweeters loved their hashtags in 2010. Usage of popular trending tags like #NowPlaying and #FollowFriday surged. Whereas they made up just 9% of the trending topics in 2009, they gobbled up a whopping 40% of the pie in 2010, stealing a good bit of ground from entertainment topics.

    But entertainment hung on this year, as Twitter has always been the place to share what you’re watching, playing or listening to. Interestingly, music beats out TV in the entertainment vertical, thanks no doubt to the awesome power of Twitter’s boy king himself, Justin Bieber. His only Twitter trend rival, the unstoppable Korean pop group Super Junior, raked in 10% of the music-related trends, falling short of Bieber’s 27%.

    TV appears to be a more fractured space. While the topic nabbed 30% of all entertainment-related trends, top tweet earner Glee only came out with 5% of that pie. It’s interesting to see music so dominated by a handful of performers while tastes in television appear to be much more diverse.

    Sports have always been big on Twitter, and none bigger in 2010 than the worldwide obsession with soccer (futbol). Propelled by a deluge of tweets around the 2010 World Cup this past summer, the topic has rarely been out of the top trends, even after the tournament’s conclusion. As you can see from the breakdown below, soccer took home the lion’s share of the conversation with 45% of all trending sports chatter.

    The data below was compiled by Liz Pullen of What The Trend, who sifted through nearly 20,000 of the year’s Twitter trends from around the world. The top 5,000 of those were aggregated into about 1,400 “topics” so they could be illustrated with clarity in these charts. For more info on a year’s worth of trending topics, head over to What The Trend’s comprehensive Year in Review section.


    2009 vs. 2010



    Hashtags



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    Entertainment


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    Sports


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    Reviews: Twitter, sports

    More About: charts, entertainment, graphs, hashtags, social media, sports, trends, twitter, twitter trends

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  • Peer network using graphing calculators

    These calculators are networked together, able to pass information and play games on a multi-screen playing field. All of this is thanks to [Christopher Mitchell's] work on a package called CalcNet. This networking software takes advantage of [Christopher's] shell and GUI for TI calculators called Doors CS. To demonstrate the high reliability and throughput of his network he wrote NetPong, a multi-calculator version of the popular game that you can watch in a clip after the break.

    This is definitely an instance where asking ‘why?’ is the wrong question. We’re more interested in the how, a question you can answer for yourself by reading the whitepapers he provided in both of the links above. [Christopher] knows what he’s doing, he proved that with his face-recognizing augmented reality.

    Filed under: pcs hacks

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  • Voyager 1 will exit solar system soon, is so close to the void it can taste it
    Endurance: it's important in every race, including the space race, even though many pundits would argue that it kind of fizzled a long time ago. Thirty-three years prior to now, NASA's Voyager 1 began its journey to check in on the outer planets. It accomplished that goal in 1989, and has since moved on to bigger and better things -- you know, like leaving the solar system. Ten billion miles away, Voyager 1's Low-Energy Charged Particle Instrument is spitting out "solid zeroes," which means it's not detecting any more outward movement from solar winds. The heliopause (read: the official edge of the solar system) is just a few short years away for the radioactive-powered spacecraft, which is frightening to think about regardless of your experience in Space Camp. What will happen once it enters interstellar space? We're not sure, but we're trying to set up radio comms with its earth-bound synthesizer progeny for some kind of freaky space jam. We'll keep you posted.

    [Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech]

    Voyager 1 will exit solar system soon, is so close to the void it can taste it originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 14 Dec 2010 15:52:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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