Profiled

Austrian news magazine Profil is running a flattering 2-page story about me in their Feb 22, 2010 issue. Even if the article is only available in German, I've scanned it for your viewing pleasure, in the sincere hope that this qualifies as "fair use".

You can click the images for a higher-res version, which should be large enough to read conveniently. Sorry for the less-than-stellar scan quality — this must be related to the biblical age of my scanner hardware.

PS: Please note the partly occluded, but clearly visible "LOL" on the blackboard behind me. Thanks.

"Georg Kaindl in Profil", page 1

"Georg Kaindl in Profil", page 2

Arduino Ethernet Libs 1.0b1 released!

For an upcoming project, I've written a couple of libraries for the Arduino board in conjunction with its Ethernet shield. Right now, there's a DHCP, DNS and a Bonjour library — Yes, Bonjour as in Zeroconf, the cool thing that lets your Mac automatically discover services on your network!

The DHCP and DNS libraries do exactly what you would expect. The Bonjour library lets you resolve Bonjour host names, discover and even register services running on your board. You might find this cool if you want to run a little web server displaying some sensor data, all while making it very easy to find the server from your Bonjour-enabled desktop computer.

I plan to add a couple of additional libraries in the future, but for now, the libraries as well as their, gasp, documentation are available under the GPL here. Have fun and make cool things!

Link
Arduino Ethernet Libraries

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Ties

(via my picstream)

Quick ORF jQTouch-ified

Quick ORF was my first iPhone app, written as a web app shortly after the original iPhone (remember, the one with just EDGE networking) came out in Austria in March 2008. It was based on a Javascript framework called iUI, which aimed to mimic the behavior of native apps at a time when the SDK wasn't available yet.

Recently, I heard about about the newer jQTouch framework, which is based on the popular jQuery javascript library and uses state-of-the-art Webkit technologies such as built-in transitions for a much smoother and more refined experience than iUI. As an experiment, I ported Quick ORF over, which was a surprisingly painless progress. It definitely feels more polished and reliable now, too. Also, jQTouch aims to support all mobile Webkit browsers (not limited to the iPhone, but including the Pre and Android as well), which is another boon. If you're looking to develop a mobile web app right now, jQTouch is a great choice.

Since I'm personally still using my old iPhone web apps, I have an interest in keeping them up-to-date and usable. VienNav will be the next one getting a little modernization, but it's just a small side-project, so it will probably take a while.

Link: Quick ORF

A stream of pictures

As an almost recreational task, I implemented a new feature for my homepage. I call it my picstream.

It is meant to be an unordered collection of pictures that I take throughout the day, individually very much meaningless, but as a whole an impressionistic recollection of a small part of mine. It differs from a Flickr stream in that it does not attempt to be a photographer's work or even artistic by any means. It differs from a Twitpic stream in that it is persistent, but separated from explanatory text justifying each picture's value. Finally, it differs from an ordinary photo gallery in that it does not document, but potentially mislead and distort.

I particularly enjoy the mosaics formed by the thumbnails, turning the individually partly boring, partly blurry, partly nice pictures into a whole whose aesthetics I find pleasing.

Technically, it's a trivial PHP script that enables me to upload pictures via S/FTP (which I can do from my iPhone with Air Sharing Pro), but it also scrapes my Twitpic account to preserve those pictures that were originally destined to be part of an ephemeral blurb, thus multiplexing those pictures that I want to showcase intentionally with those that were part of a particular unit of communication, e.g. a tweet. Pictures are always stored on my own server though, since I do not want to leech Twitpic's bandwidth.

There is even an atom feed available, which can be used to integrate the picstream into services that accept such a feed as an input. Naturally, all the pictures are shared under a Creative Commons license (attribution nice, but not necessary).

Link: My picstream

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This was one of those times where I find something on the street and project irrational meaning into it, up to the point where I snap a photo on the iPhone and go crazy in The Best Camera app, until it looks artsy enough to pass the vanity threshold for me to upload it somewhere.

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I possibly broke some record of time passed between actual research and awarding of the title — however, that was due to the many projects that evolved around Touché and my multi-touch research in general, so it's all cool with me.

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(via dropular)

I' m trying to recreate a good Hendrix/Woodstock rhythm type of sound with Garageband's amp and effects models, but it's a bit tricky. I'm slowly getting there, but I still find it much too muddy and a bit cheap sounding. Nevertheless, it's amazing how far you can get with Garageband – considering its price.

Also, the interface design for the amp and effects models is just delicious. Fantastic when you're more used to analog stompboxes than digital recording/effects trickery.

The iPhone 3GS's Oleophobic Goodness

The iPhone 3GS's oleophobic screen is most likely its biggest innovation in the sense of what will still be relevant about this device ten years from now. As crazy as this might sound at a first glance, it might dawn upon you once you have used a 3GS for a while.

The screen getting disgustingly greasy might be one of the most inherent flaws in the designs of the original iPhone and the 3G. Ask any user about this, they will agree that the way their finger grease builds up on the screen is not only repulsive to look at, but also makes it difficult to read the screen if the incident light comes at an unfortunate angle.

Not only that, but the original/3G screen also poses considerable friction against your finger as it slides over the touch panel. In fact, it is not uncommon for your finger to get "stuck" temporarily, especially during quick motions with dry fingers. You know what, even Bill Buxton cited friction as one of the prime problems with touch input devices in a paper published in 1985. Yes, 1985.

The 3GS's oleophobic coating alleviates both issues considerably: By covering the touch panel with a special layer that prevents fat and oils from bonding with it (this is what "oleophobic" means - literally "afraid of oil"). Also, you can clean the device by simply wiping the the screen once with a piece of cloth - since there's no bonding with the surface, the grease comes off immediately, no scrubbing and rubbing necessary.

Similarly, the natural fats on your fingertip form a little "cushion" upon which your finger can glide smoothly across the screen, rather than making it stick. Especially if you try both a 3G and 3GS side by side, you will be amazed by how much the difference is noticeable. In fact, you won't want to use an iPhone without this coating ever again, believe me.

Bonding the oleophobic layer to the screen was apparently not an easy task, which explains why the iPhone hasn't have this feature right off the bat. Nevertheless (or maybe even because, since this gave us better means to compare it) the oleophobic screen is the one iPhone 3GS innovation that might still be remembered in ten years from now: I suppose such coatings (and their future derivatives) will be ubiquitous on touch screens 10 years from now, and the 3GS will be remembered as the device that started it.

App Update & Widget Update 1.6.2

I just pushed another update to App Update and Widget Update, which (among other minor fixes) restores the ability to check MacUpdate.com.

This time, the search method is officially sanctioned by them, so it shouldn't break again so quickly!

App Update
Widget Update

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Now this doesn't look like what a computer vision monochrome camera should output, right?

Well, I'm working on it!

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(via Fex)

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(via Maniacal Rage)

Everyone knows the screeches of audio feedback, but do you know visual feedback?

I took one of our computer vision cameras (with a wide-angle lens), launched Touché, and filmed the tracking preview window showing the video feed of the camera.

What I got is a hypnotic vortex of visual feedback. Enjoy!