While Google has sold off the bulk of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, they’ve kept some interesting projects for themselves. This looks like one of them (I’m not sure if this was ever part of MM, but I assume it, like Project Ara, was). This project provides 3D sensing abilities to a phone. It’s pretty neat:

You can find out more from their website, and here’s a break down on the hardware. It seems that the technology that they’re using is similar to what you would find on the kinect: an infra-red pattern emitter along with a camera.

This kind of work (“easily” accessible 3D sensing) excites me a lot, especially when combined about 3d printing: it’s a major part of the loop from physical objects, to digital, back to physical. 3D printers are slowly becoming “easy” to own, but I haven’t yet seen many easy ways to acquire 3D models / measurements of physical objects.

I haven’t used C++ for a while, and haven’t looked closely at the new standard. I’ve remained curious about it though, and this article comparing programming style between C++ (especially templated programming) and Common Lisp is great.

The article also has a brief discussion of optimising Common Lisp code, and gives a great example of how to use the disassembler to figure out what the compiler is doing.


It’s been a long time since I last posted to this blog! My last post was from January, 2012, the week I decided to go from my PhD to full time employment.

So much has happened in the last few years. Friends have married, others have died. I’ve been in art. I’ve built software that I’m proud of, grown to be a better software engineer, dipped my feet in to cosplay, and forgotten a lot of things besides. I’ve stopped eating meat. I’ve begun driving.

And now I’ve decided to return to the blog after watching a video that a friend pointed me to:

The idea from the video that stuck with me was that the space on the web that was closest to being my “presence” on the web (I wanted to say “my space” :P ), was this blog. And I need to tidy it up a bit.

So, I’ll be slowly cleaning up the cobwebs that have gathered around this site, and hopefully begin moving it over to a hosted solution somewhere. And be posting a bit more here than elsewhere.

You can read more about the IndieWeb here.

The first week of work is over and I enjoyed it. Most of it was spent introducing myself to the various libraries and frameworks that I’ll be using, and to the different projects that the company works on. I also did some pair programming, which was a good way to get a gentle introduction to things. It’s still going to take a while to get comfortable with it all and get up to speed, but I think I’m going to enjoy working here.

Here are some more songs that I’ve been listening to (oddly enough, like with the previous post, it’s a paired set of songs again). First is an amazing, sometimes sung, sometimes spoken, version of Lou Reed’s Caroline Says II:

And this is a riff on Caroline Says II by Amanda Palmer — or maybe it’s a homage, or both? It’s called Blake Says, and it might play on a few other Lou Reed / Velvet Underground songs as well (All Tomorrow’s Parties perhaps?), but I’m not sure.

Both of these songs break my heart in little ways.

It’s been a while since I last posted here — not since May, which is one long run of quietness. So, what’s been happening in my life?

After a year of posting fortnightly flash fiction, the Micro Fiction project that some friends and I have been working on has come to an end. It was sad to see the project finish up, but some of the authors have gone on to work on another site, Fictitious, where the projects are not necessarily limited to the flash fiction format. Also, if you want to try your hand at writing something, they’re open to people helping out on their different projects.

A bigger change is that I’m starting a job at Brandseye on Tuesday. I’ve been thinking of finding full-time work for a large portion of the year, and a few months ago began looking around. They’ve offered me a four-day work week, so hopefully the PhD will still be coming along, although at a much reduced pace.

Some music videos I’ve been watching and that have stuck in my brain: this seems to be a fan made video for Placebo’s cover of Running up that hill; I think the montage of people’s video messages works very well.

I’ve also finally listened to some of Radiohead’s newer music. In a vaguely similar theme to the Placebo track, Radiohead’s Videotape is quite explicitly about sending video messages (it’s a gentle, lovely song, but comes with a suicide trigger warning).

It’s been weeks since we’ve speditioned properly, but it seems to be starting up again. Last week we visited Signal Hill during a particularly foggy day and snapped some shots:

Cape Town Stadium fogged in

Some of the other speditioner’s shots are available, too:

On further news, most of this fortnight’s micro fiction submissions are in. Mine is called Vitae.

Got a phone call earlier today from someone who sounded as though they were in the middle of a shopping mall. My cell number, I was told, had been “possibly” selected to win R10 000 of award money. I was amazed, but not because of the prize money: I was wondering how long it would be before I’d get calls to sell me Viagra, or to embiggen my penis. I didn’t ask the R10 000 person if they were offering easy access to drugs or penis enlargement, though — I semi-politely hung up instead.

I had my 20GB iPod for nearly five years, it’s been with me in six countries and given me hours of entertainment — now it’s finally given up the ghost. A few weeks ago it displayed a little sad iPod picture when I tried starting it up, and Apple tells me that this means it’s suffered from some “unspecified” hardware failure. The iPod has reached its end. It is an ex-iPod.

Gonna miss it.

I’m not going to replace it just yet, and I’m sure there are much better mp3 players to get whose manufacturers aren’t actively trying to make impossible to use with Ubuntu, so when I do I’m unlikely to get an iPod again.

From our last spedition, somewhere in Cecilia Forest.


It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything. I’ve got two half-finished posts sitting as drafts, but it’s unlikely that I’ll finish them. One is the beginnings of a review of Robin Hobb’s Rain Wild Chronicles, which was fun but continues her streak of publishing novels filled with bad typos and poor editing (including spelling “giving” as “giv/ing” in Dragon Keeper‘s opening sentence). The Chronicles also read as a moral about how we should fit into society’s imposed roles for us, otherwise Bad Shit Happens. That’s a frighteningly simplistic view of the world, and maybe if I ever reread the novels I’ll get down to finishing off the review.

The other post is about the play Waiting for Godot, which I saw with James and Luciano at the O.R Tambo Sports Centre in Khayelitsha. Was great, and Ian McKellen still seems fit and active at 71.


Spedition photo from Kirstenbosch. The whole scene looks like a diorama in a museum. Very lovely.

Yesterday I began a Warhammer 40K roleplaying game with my D&D group. We’ve barely roleplayed this whole year, I think mostly because everyone’s been too busy to organise themselves around DMing. So I offered to DM this, although James seems happy with the idea of him running some of the sessions, which I will look forward to. I’m going to enjoy playing around in the Warhammer 40K world — it’s science fiction meets horror meets Cthulhu, and promises to be fun.

Oh, and my latest micfic went up this weekend.

My kitchen scales are awful. I suppose that’s what happens when you buy cheap from Clicks. I discovered that if I have a lump of dough weighing 200g (according to the aforementioned kitchen scales), and I split this into two halves, both halves weigh less than 100g (again, according to the aforementioned, dodgy kitchen scales). But together they still, miraculously, weigh 200g. Humph.

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