Platform Agnostic Video

While it is possible to play video on the iPhone and other comparable mobile devices that video always takes over in full screen mode. I intend to make a video player (without sound for now) that will work on any platform without going fullscreen, needing users to click play, or depending on the use of animated gifs.

This will be accomplished with a combination of server side processing technology and client side ajax. A video will be placed on a unix based webserver and then split into individual images using a script for MEncoder (part of the MPlayer system). These images will be delivered to the page via ajax calls to allow them to then be quickly displayed in sequence to simulate video play.

So the steps are:

  1. place video on webserver
  2. split video into individual images
  3. load images dynamically to page
  4. quickly display the images on timed intervals

This results is video play that can happen in a standard div element and then be further manipulated. The later goal is playing this video on a 3d surface or in a stretched or skewed manner.

The images need to conform to a timecode to look like continuous video rather than having fluctuating speed. To accomplish this the client side code needs to keep up with time passed versus images loaded and when a redraw interval comes display the most appropriate image, then abandon any loading of an image that playback has passed.

2011 Budget Plan

I explained the budget on twitter but thought it was worth collecting in one place:

Some people are confused on the presidents budget plan. He explained it well in the past but it takes a while to make sense of. With his plan we will continue to go further in debt for years to come. We would have done that anyway though.

We have an established rate of spending that increases the deficit by at least one trillion a year. Fixing that means first lowering the rate at which we are going into debt before you manage to start getting out of debt. There is no way in hell to do it all at once and so the only plan that is doable is one that extends past his potential presidency hence the 10 years.

There are no new ideas – yea right!

People often claim that every idea out there has been done. TV and movies, books and stories it all seems repetitive. When you’re brainstorming new ideas you always think it’s been done before, it’s too much like ____. Well I’m here to prove you wrong.

Lets take movies. I will tremendously oversimplify the example case to make it possible to comprehend. Film now is usually digital and shot at 1080p24 that is 24 images a second each of which is 1080 pixels tall by 1920 pixels wide but you don’t need that much to convey meaning. In fact a 10 x 10 grid can show an image and while color is the norm lets further simplify by brining it down to black and white.

_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  *  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  *  *  _  _  *  *  _  _
_  *  _  _  _  _  _  *  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  *  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  *  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  *  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _

There you go, 10×10 grid, either underscores or asterisks. Lets give it 5 frames per second too. Thats plenty to convey movement. Did I mention that we are ignoring sound completely? So since all the good ideas are taken lets see how many things our 10 by 10 black and white movie can display in 10 minutes.

Thats 10 pixels times 10 pixels = 100

at 5 frames per second thats 500 pixels per second

60 seconds times 500 pixels is 30,000 per minute

10 minutes times 30,000 a minute is 300,000 pixels shown in our 10 minute film

We aren’t done yet. I’m sure there have been 300,000 stories told in the time of humans but to know how many things total our tiny movie can display we have to account for the ability of each of the 300k pixels to be independently different from each other. That is done by raising the number of possible states (2 for black and white) to the number of pixels.

2^300,000 = 9.97.. x 10^90308

If you aren’t familiar with scientific notation this means a number that starts with 9 and has over 90 thousand digits. So a silent film that has a 10 by 10 resolution and lasts 10 minutes has millions of times more possibilities to it than there have been human beings since the start of time.

Don’t be afraid to be original and don’t ever ever think that there are no new ideas left.

There’s no such thing as the Government

The Krs One song Whad Kinda World starts with the verse:

There’s no such thing as a government
There’s only people rulin over people
People jerkin around people
People lendin a hand to people..
What part of the system do you play?
Who do you oppress? .. Uhh!

For some it’s difficult to release the assumptions you’ve held for so long about what government means and what business means. It’s hard to go against the indoctrinated assumption that the free market is always good when you are taught that at an assumptive level from childhood.

I want to ride my bicicle

It’s kind of a dreary day and I wanted to ride my bike to work today but the forecast calls for rain all afternoon. Hopefully I can bring it to work tomorrow but until then I want to share a video that has continued to inspire me since I first saw it a few years ago.


This is Danny MacAskill doing what’s called trials riding. More often its done in natural environments and on rocky areas but obviously it works in the city. What I didn’t expect after seeing such amazing talent is that even though he is sponsored Danny isn’t pro. Despite the incredible amount of talent and dedication he has he still works a day job as a bicycle mechanic at a shop.

Anyway I just wanted to share this little gem with everyone. Short of a good Kung Fu movie nothing gets me more amped to start moving than this video.


Want to know why I have been using a screen name no one can pronounce for the last year? It’s because my Instructor, Rasta (pronounced hasta), gave me that name for the way I move. In Capoeira you are often given a nickname. The old capoeiristas were often outlaws and wouldn’t use their real name often but it also served to tie the groups more closely together as it does now.

On wednesday of last week I went to class again for the first time in a long while and my back muscles are just now returning to a useable state. I hope to continue my training and a part of that will be trying to build the group. If you want to check it out then currently (as of March 15, 2010) we are training on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm at Open Heart Spiritual which is at 2489 broad.

Connect to us on facebook here:

And just to be clear I don’t teach. I am not qualified to teach. I can show you the basic movements and tell you about the art but Rasta is the instructor and has over 10 years of experience. Also Rasta is not named after the flower. His name is Portuguese for Lion. Mine means little spider.

What would I do with the Natal?

Microsoft has created and plans to release a video game interface that is as far beyond mutants as they are beyond mankind. Microsoft Natal is a tool that allows real time motion capture of the users entire body. It can also work with multiple users and it has a set of microphones that are supposed to be able to identify the voice of people separately by location.


This doesn’t need a special type of room, a motion capture suit or a green-screen to work and while I could explain how it works in detail I don’t expect that many people to be interested so instead I’ll tell you what I see as the coolest game to make with it.

What is Marketing?

I worked for four years at an advertising agency but I don’t understand the way businesses interact with each other or with consumers. I’m a no BS kind of person but you can’t spell business without it. Where do you draw the line when it come to promotion? I know there is a need for people more aggressive than me to get the word out on things and win over customers but at some point you find entire companies centered around the sale of lies and lying ability.

I want to make quality products and a real quality product doesn’t need to be sold up, spun or tied to a gimmick. All it needs in fact is to be described. If I wanted to advertise my blog for example I would say simply:

I am a programmer with a highly analytical mind and I like to use this space to share topics of interest to me and hopefully bring my readers a source of contemplation. I welcome feedback of any nature.

That’s it, short post but some recent conversations made me want to say it.