The Matrix Bullet Scene In Lego Stop Motion

Filed Under Art, Movies and Music, Video | 2009-11-25, 13:46

I love stop motion and I love Legos. LegoMatrix put them together to recreate the classic roof-top bullet-time scene from The Matrix. The accuracy with which they’ve recreated this defining scene is amazing. They took each frame of the 44 seconds of this scene and recreated it with as much accuracy as Legos would allow, and then some. While the video itself is amazing, even more impressive is the “behind the scenes” of how they actually put it all together. Building camera rigs, figuring out all the tricks they’d have to do to make it accurate, let alone what Lego pieces to choose!


By the way, you can check their accuracy below:

Well done guys!!

via Great White Snark via Geekologie


Degraded Network Performance Mystery

Filed Under Geek | 2009-11-24, 13:46

I bought a gigabit switch awhile back when I needed to replace an existing switch with something with more ports. I bought the DLink DGS-2208 8-port 10/100/1000mbps switch as it had great reviews for its price point.

Here’s my current network topology:
Internet comes in from Comcast to a Linksys WRT54g v4 (10/100) wireless router running the Tomato Firmware v1.25.
Connected to that Linksys router is an ethernet cable that runs the length of my apartment to a DLink DGS-2208 gigabit switch.
Connected to the DLink:
– Macbook Pro (10/100/1000)
– Xbox 360 (10/100)
– Media Server box running Windows XP (10/100/1000)
Previously the Media Server box was connected to the Linksys router and was doing just fine on all file transfers. When I moved the Media Server to the gigabit switch I started having problems.

The first problem was streaming video to the Xbox 360 through Windows Media Player 11 Media Sharing. Previously I was able to stream 1080p video across the network without any problems whatsoever. After moving to the gigabit switch I was having trouble streaming anything. It would lag, freeze up, and even sometimes the Xbox would tell me that it had lost the network connection to that machine. I found this article which addresses an issue with Windows Media Extender and Windows Vista and resulting poor video quality. Not exactly my issue, but the suggestion of clocking the Media Server NIC down to 100mbps instantly cleared up the video streaming problem. (I tried enabling flow control, but that didn’t work.)

So great, streaming to the Xbox problems solved. Then I tried to move files from my Macbook Pro to my Media Server. Horrendous speeds. Significantly slower than previously when the Media Server was on the 100mbps router. We’re talking 30kB/s. It’s painful. I tried enabling Flow Control (both Rx and Tx) on the Media Server box, no luck. Something’s not right.

I’m at a loss. Anyone have any ideas?


Flickr Blog This to a WordPress Draft Post

Filed Under Geek, Hacks and Mods, Wordpress | 2009-11-19, 00:10

This is a boring geeky entry, but if you’re looking for this info it might be helpful. I’ve started a new blog (yes, another one) called My Cat Is Broken. It’s a collection of pics and videos of cats being, well broken. Usually it’s our cats. Everyone knows that Flickr is a great place to find cat pics, and I’ve started keeping my eye out for pictures of cats being dumb. When I find one, a quick click of the Blog This button, some title and text and it’s instantly on my site.

But I don’t necessarily want these pics to be published instantly, I’d rather they be saved as drafts for manual publishing later. I found links to an old plugin that’s not even available in the WordPress plugin database called Flickr Blog This To Draft, but the site was down, the plugin unavailable, and I was impatient. I took matters into my own hands.

A quick hack of the xmlrpc.php (in the root directory of my WordPress install) and I was in business. The line to change (as of WordPress 2.8.6) is line 2097 which has the following code:

$post_status = $publish ? ‘publish’ : ‘draft’;

There are multiple ways to change this, but I just commented out that line and hardcoded $post_status to draft.

// $post_status = $publish ? ‘publish’ : ‘draft’;
$post_status = ‘draft’;

The thing to remember here though is that when you upgrade WordPress to the next version for yet another security issue, you’ll have to redo this modification. If you make a copy of your xmlrpc.php file then you can just run a command line diff against the upgraded version after every upgrade. If that’s the only line that changed, copy it back, otherwise jump in manually and re-find that line and fix it. Note though that this means all of your posts will be automatically set to draft. In my case that’s perfectly alright, but you may want to toss some code in there to determine this based on your title or something (i.e. titles that start with “DRAFT” go to drafts, but anything else gets published).

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Help Support NIMBY!

Filed Under Fire Art, SF Bay Area | 2009-11-05, 14:26

NIMBY has been fighting a battle with the city of Oakland for quite some time now. It’s not an easy battle, and as you can guess it’s not a free one. While NIMBY makes some money via tenants paying rent, a large part of their fundraising comes from throwing events that the city is not currently allowing. In order to stay open and to continue to fight for the right to throw fundraisers, NIMBY needs your help.

Your support of NIMBY directly affects hundreds of us that use the space to build our art. On a personal level NIMBY is the home of Ardent Heavy Industries, aka Interpretive Arson. The existence of NIMBY means that our art has a place to live and grow! If you aren’t familiar with NIMBY (or even if you are), check out the video they put together too! Please help pledge whatever you can to keep things going!

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Journey to the End of the Night Halloween 2009

Filed Under Events, SF Bay Area, Video | 2009-11-03, 17:39

The Halloween edition of sf0’s “Journey to the End of the Night” had a massive turn out. Well over 600 people showed up to play. There isn’t a final count as we ran out of waivers and maps for everyone and only 600 of those were printed. But regardless of the limitations, the getting kicked out of venues, and other hiccups, everyone had a great time. And I have to point out the best description of the event (via ombwah): At one point whilst ombwah was pouncing on a fleeing rabbit. A police officer asked me.. ” whats this, a Jump into the street and Die game?

Rather than playing in this dangerous game of dodge traffic and chasers, I spent the evening being one of those chasers to dodge and helping out at Checkpoint 3 (yes the one where we got kicked out of the garage). What follows is my proof submitted to sf0 (photos are also up on flickr as usual):

My evening started late as I scrambled to turn a briefcase into a backpack using only climbing rope and a carabiner. Success finally and I jumped on my bike to race down to Justin Herman Plaza, where a small group of eager players was already forming 30 minutes prior to the actual meeting time. I rolled around the corner to meet up with my fellow chasers. We were briefed, tied on pink ribbons, made plans and then disappeared into the night to stake out good places to ambush players.

Dressed in my white slacks, white jacket, and baby blue t-shirt I looked like an old vice squad officer on vacation from Miami. The nondescript black briefcase that looked like it could be either holding drugs, large sums of money, or divorce papers was a nice addition. Inside the briefcase was 2kg of candy, a pink ribbon, and a video camera. The plan was to pop open the briefcase in front of players and watch them scatter. That was the plan at least.

I locked up my bike and started wandering the streets, briefcase in tow. The first few players I encountered didn’t quite get it. I popped the briefcase, asked if they wanted any candy, they said “no thanks” and just continued walking to Checkpoint 1. One player did go for the offer of candy. After asking about any illegal additives, he reached into the briefcase, brushing the pink ribbon aside, grabbed some candy, said “thanks” and continued on to Checkpoint 1. Absolute failure.

I gave up on the briefcase ploy, tied the ribbon around my arm and just started yelling at people. The bus stop on the corner of the block was packed with people, every single one of them keeping an eye on me once my identity was known. There were many looks of confusions, often followed by a quick sprint away from me from other players. It seems that many of them either weren’t listening when the game was explained or didn’t see my chaser ribbon as I stood in the middle of a crosswalk, players streaming by each side of me as I yelled “I could tag every single one of you right now”. Fortunately for them I didn’t have the heart to tag someone only a few blocks from the start of their journey.

After feeling like Moses in a crosswalk, I decided visibility was what I needed. That meant more ribbons that would make it obvious that I was a chaser. After a 15 minute hunt for my misplaced bike, I headed back to the plaza to grab a handful of chaser ribbons from Sam. I affixed them to every part of my body and headed back out into the night.

I spent some time biking north of Market, and west of Checkpoint 5, hoping I’d run into those players that thought they were being sneaky taking a long way around to different checkpoints. Nope, either I was too far ahead of the pack, or they were taking more direct routes. I headed over to Checkpoint 3 to give them a hand.

While dismounting from my bike in the safe zone of Checkpoint 3, I saw a player approaching. I feinted as if I were going to give chase and he scrambled. Carrying my bike, I half-chased him down the block. He screamed “I’m in a safe zone!” to which I yelled back “Then why are you running?!” Light bulb went off, he stopped and I directed him to Checkpoint 3.

Up on the roof of the parking garage I found two agents pulling players aside, whispering questions to them and then zip-tying bells to their ankles and shows. As I attempted to figure out what in the world was going on, the parking garage security guy came up and told us we couldn’t use the 9th floor of the parking garage. Long story made short, security kicked us out and we setup shop on the sidewalk in front of the entrance to the garage. They were cool with this. The one security guy even stood at the doors and helped direct confused players to the line we had going.

Boy was there a line. At on point there were so many players in like that we had to give up asking questions and just started zip-tying ankles, one after another. I have no idea what 30-40 of the players that came through Checkpoint 3 looked like, but I could probably identify them by their footwear. I spent the next couple of hours at Checkpoint 3, watching as friends, familiar faces, and complete strangers came to get their manifests “signed” with a zip tied bell or the occasional sparkly pipe cleaner.

Then it was off to Noisebridge for the after-party where some players had already arrived after traversing the entire course in about 2 hours.

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We Are Douchebags

Filed Under Funny, Video | 2009-11-02, 15:25