Distracted Clackamas driver launched into orbit

Distracted Clackamas driver launched into orbit

Absolutely amazing this was caught on dash cam, even more amazing they lived. Emergency responders had to deploy a rope system to carry the driver 200 feet up the hill.

Getting closer to synthetic people

Getting closer to synthetic people

Microsoft has released a fascinating new framework for generating lifelike talking faces called VASA-1.

Given a single static image and a speech audio clip, VASA-1 is capable of producing lip movements that are synchronized with the audio and capture a large spectrum of facial nuances and natural head motions.

See more here, read the paper here and here.

Getting worried you’ll be replaced by AI yet? If this gets perfected (it’s not perfect yet, but the results get better and better each year), then you can pretty much get rid of any ‘talking head’ jobs.

This could also be used to fool people on conference calls where video quality would totally render any minor glitches as unnoticeable or easily ignored as just streaming artifacts.

Just slap the CEO’s face into this, set up a conference call with finance via some very easy phishing, and approve that $1m transfer to your Swiss bank account.

Reconstructing a binary GameBoy game just from the sound of it dying

Reconstructing a binary GameBoy game just from the sound of it dying

ZZAZZGlitch has successfully reverse-engineered a Game Boy Advance game’s data solely from the sound made when a GBA game experiences a hard crash. The per-game crash ‘songs’ that happen when a GBA game crashes actually contains the entire cartridge’s ROM data and every sound in the game played back in raw audio in sequential order. In theory, with the correct tools and know-how, any GBA game should be recoverable from recording that audio.

ZZAZZGlitch shows us how in his video. Wow. He even made the source code is available on his personal site, labeled “gbacrashsound_dumper.zip”. It still took a LOT of hacking and manual fix-ups; but he got a bootable game in the end.

Reminds me of the guy that tried to reconstruct the Yars Revenge source from the explosions shown onscreen.

Surviving a cult-like tech company, startup, or non-profit

Surviving a cult-like tech company, startup, or non-profit

Culty tech companies thrive on the metaphorical Kool-Aid. They depend on members buying the hype, or at the least pretending like they are. That’s why public communications—Slack, let’s say, or all-hands meetings—are always uniformly positive. Everyone is SO EXCITED about how well things are going; everyone is reacting with way too many happy emojis. It’s enough to make someone who is unhappy, or even just questioning the status quo, feel like they’re absolutely insane. Everyone else is happy, after all—why aren’t you?

Justin Pot writes about his experience getting pushed out of a writing job at a software company – and within a few weeks realized he could fire his therapist. It turned out it was his job that was causing all the mental health issues.

He gives others some great tips on how to recognize, cope, and ultimately realize there is life outside of work – and maybe we should be enjoying it more.

There’s a lot of growing evidence that wrapping your self worth up in your work is toxic and psychologically dangerous.

It seems like this is yet another example of having to painfully re-learn things we figured out 50+ years ago:

  1. Open office spaces are bad on just about every single work metric
  2. Your job is not your life
  3. It’s best to avoid religion and politics at work, group functions, or family events.

Teaching your robot to do chores

Teaching your robot to do chores

A household robot can learn how to do almost any chore in about 20 minutes when taught by a human using an iPhone camera and a grabber.

Mahi Shafiullah at New York University and his colleagues created a way to teach robots that involves using the grabber equipped with an iPhone to train the operation.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2408273-housework-robot-can-learn-to-do-almost-any-chore-in-20-minutes

Demo scenes are not dead

Demo scenes are not dead

Massive in the 90’s, Demoscenes are not dead. Revision 2024 demo party just took place March 29th to April 1st in Saarbrücken Germany.

There was music, seminars, videos, livestreams, a 5k run, and of course – amazing code demos. This included some competing 256-byte demos here. One of the best was a post-apocalyptic black-and-white city created with just 256 bytes of Gopher code running on DOS.

Fractal VR experience

Fractal VR experience

While most of VR is focused on creating 3D worlds like we currently know them – some artists are experimenting with mathematically generated audio-visual journeys.

Recombination is an VR album by Dutch artist Julius Horsthuis. When it launched a year ago, the VR app offered eight experiences that take you on a journey through beautiful mathematical spaces

Algebra of Awe is another of his works that focuses more on fractal geometry.

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