I'm Jon Olick. I make shiny things. I simplify.

I presented Sparse Voxel Octrees at Siggraph 2008.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Incremental Google Search


Wow... Google should adopt this!

The future of the Database?

Meet FluidDB

This kind of open database is very interesting for use with HTML 5 apps.

I get the feeling that HTML5 apps really are going to be very real applications which are public in an important sense. The traditional architecture of having a web server with a back-end database, where there are dynamic scripts which generate web-content seems very old and stale when you look at what HTML5 is capable of.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Re-thinking the Stop Sign

There was a funny you-tube video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wac3aGn5twc

With a good complementary article: http://www.slate.com/id/2254863/?from=rss

Does the stop sign need re-designing? Its certainly interesting how many people ignore them, I certainly do most of the time as well. I slow down, but rarely come to a complete stop.

The article mentions many great ideas such as a Yield-Stop, or the Take-Turns sign, etc

However, the article largely assumes that the future evolution of the Stop Sign will be unchanging lifeless signs. I think that looking at Stop Lights is a show of what is to come, and it is dynamic intelligent signs. Signs that change based on the traffic around it. These signs could be placed automatically via augmented reality projected on the windshield. They are yield signs when nobody is around, and switch to stop signs when the situation calls for it.

Certainly the augmented reality solution sounds like a good one as it doesn't require continuous power consumption when nobody is near, especially in rural areas. It can save on a lot of energy that would normally be wasted or used somewhere else anyway.

Perhaps this is a good practical use of augmented reality.

Another interesting implication of intelligent traffic signs with augmented reality. Is that the rules of traffic can change much more rapidly than they do right now. The traffic shaping can be tweaked on an hour by hour basis. Adding stop signs, stop lights, controlling the flow of traffic to reduce congestion in ways that are just completely new and different than today. For example, the signs can change based on algorithms which include the behavior of individual drivers as a whole.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Legend of the Seeker Canceled!


I could do a star wars reference here, but that would just be tacky.

First Firefly, and now Legend of the Seeker.... Why oh why Mr TV do you tease me with good shows then rudely take them away.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

Interesting Idea for the next iPhone or Android

Imagine a device where every side of it is a seamless touch screen. The front, the back, and the sides. There literally is no wrong way to use the device. You can hold it any way you want. In fact, the way you hold it defines its function. Hold it like a camera, and its a camera. Hold it like a phone, and its a phone. Hold it like a game pad, and its a game pad. Hold it like a ... You get the picture. Its the ultimate universal device. Its everything you want it to be. Talk about endless possibilities. Its just an incredibly powerful idea.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Stephen Hawking on Time Travel

Stephen Hawking on Time Travel

Stephen Hawking describes that it is impossible to travel into the past using a very persuasive feedback-effect phenomenon.

In the end, I think a wormhole like this one can't exist. And the reason for that is feedback. If you've ever been to a rock gig, you'll probably recognise this screeching noise. It's feedback. What causes it is simple. Sound enters the microphone. It's transmitted along the wires, made louder by the amplifier, and comes out at the speakers. But if too much of the sound from the speakers goes back into the mic it goes around and around in a loop getting louder each time. If no one stops it, feedback can destroy the sound system.

The same thing will happen with a wormhole, only with radiation instead of sound. As soon as the wormhole expands, natural radiation will enter it, and end up in a loop. The feedback will become so strong it destroys the wormhole. So although tiny wormholes do exist, and it may be possible to inflate one some day, it won't last long enough to be of use as a time machine. That's the real reason no one could come back in time to my party.

I have no idea what I'm talking about but, it should be possible to travel back in time, somewhere else. Somewhere very far away, as long as the wormhole only existed for a short amount of time. This is because the radiation, which travels at the speed of light, would never reach the beginning of the wormhole in time before it closed, therefore eliminating the feedback phenomenon possibility.

So.... If this is true (which I'm sure its not for some reason which is painfully obvious to a physicist). That means that you could go back in time somewhere else, and then go back in time again, but this time back here at Earth. Of course you'd be way far in the past. Then all you'd need to do is go forward in time from that point on to get to the present, or any point in the past.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Internet Nostalgia

I still am unsure how this became as popular as it was at the time.

For the interested readers who have no idea what this is, but are too curious for there own good: