Tag Archives | Technology

Olympia: Opening Ceremony images faked?!

Wow, this is pretty interesting.

Jetzt fand die Zeitung “Beijing Shibao” doch noch das Haar in der Suppe: Das Feuerwerk, diese Kunstform mit so großer Tradition in China, war gefälscht. Zumindest ein Teil davon. Ein Angestellter der Video-Produktionsfirma “Shui Jing Shi” gab gegenüber dem Blatt zu, dass man einen Teil der spektakulären Feuerwerke zuvor aufgezeichnet und in die weltweiten Live-Übertragungen eingespielt habe. Es handelt sich dabei um die Bilder von den “Fußabdrücken” im Himmel über der Stadt, die sich vom Stadtteil Yongdingmen südlich des Stadtzentrums auf das Stadion im Norden “zubewegten”. Mehr als ein Jahr lang seien diese Sequenzen mit Computeranimation vorbereitet worden. Nur die Übertragung des letzten der 29 Fußstapfen sei live gewesen, wie der Video-Mitarbeiter Gao Xiaolong der Zeitung berichtete. Die Zahl 29 stand dabei für die Tatsache, dass die Olympischen Spiele der Neuzeit zum 29. Mal stattfinden.

That’s a quote from the magazine “Spiegel” in Germany.

Translation:

The chinese newspaper “Beijing Shibao” found out, that part of the TV images from the opening ceremony were fake: The part, where footsteps in form of fireworks walk towards the stadium have been animated at least a year in advance, the magazine was told by an employee named Gao Xiaolong from the video production company “Shui Jing Shi”. Only the last footsteps were real. As to why they did this, Gao stated, that it would have been too difficult to shoot this live. He said, if you look closely, you can see that the video beginning was brighter then the live ending.

Whatever. I liked the show, anyway.

The magazine also points out that Xinhua released an statement that 40 billion people watched the opening ceremony on TV, which is quite a number, given the fact that there are currently 6.7 billion people on earth totally.

And NBC has to deal with anger from the american citizens: They edited the entrance of the american sport stars towards the end so that the people would watch their station longer. Haha.

We got some tickets for a soccer game in Shanghai on Wednesday. That’ll be my little Olympia experience.

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Grand Theft Auto IV sucks.

Yesterday night, I finally managed to finish the last mission. I’m now 70-something percent through the game, only having side missions and other stuff left. But I’m not gonna play that anymore. I am so damn bored from the game!

I’ve played GTA. GTA II. GTA III. Vice City. San Andreas. I enjoyed them all, except San Andreas, and after reading some reviews of GTA 4 it became clear that I would love it. And I did, for the first three days or so. I really enjoyed driving around Liberty City in 1080P Full HD listening to cool radio stations in Dolby Digital with awesome music and all.

Don’t get me wrong, visually the game is absolutely gorgeous, the best there is at the moment probably, the radio stations are great as always… There’s only one problem, and that’s a big one: The missions are so boring. So unbelievable boring.

They keep repeating themselves too much. GTA 3 and Vice City had missions that rocked so hard, they were always different and tough but yet manageable. GTA 4 has some cool missions, the bank robbery for example, or the last one. But 95% of the missions are in the end like this: You drive 5 minutes to the contact mission point. Then you drive 5 minutes to point A to pick something up. Then you drive 5 more minutes to bring it to point B. Then you drive 5 minutes back to the contact mission point for the next mission. And so on.

C’mon! One helicopter mission with shooting? And I don’t even shoot myself? Where are the tanks, the military? Why is there no mission to blow up a landing or starting airplane? Why do I only fly that idiot Brucie around all the time? Why are there 50 car pick-up missions that take hours to complete and that are not different at all?

Do young people nowadays enjoy simply driving through huge digital cities all the time?

And the police is a goddamn joke in this part. One star is like no star. Two stars are easy to get rid off, too. Three stars? Just drive fast on a long street. Four or five stars? Get to a paint shop. Boring! Too easy!

And then there’s some five missions that are so unbelievable difficult that you wonder who the hell made them and why he didn’t invent all of them. The best mission anyway, in any GTA game, was the golf club mission in GTA 3. That mission was difficult, funny, challenging, rememberable, it could be solved in different ways… Now that was a mission that you’ll never forget. I’ll remember GTA 4 as the game where I had to drive around 95% of the playing time. And that’s just sad, isn’t it?

You failed to impress me, Rockstar. Sorry. It’s great to see that you’re using all the technology to create these wonderful, colorful, vivd worlds for players – but next time, increase the budget for those who develop missions. Then it’ll be truly great.

Digg this review.

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8GB iPhone in China much cheaper!

Quite a surprise, the price of the 8 gigabyte model of Apple’s iPhone dropped a whopping 125 dollars since the last time we asked! Back in December we were running around in that big electronics store at the Hong Kong plaza and back then the price was almost 650 dollars. Now the 16 GB version is available for 690 dollar and thus the 8 GB version dropped down to 530 dollars.

That’s quite a jump for just three months. The iPhones I’m talking about are unlocked and running the newest version, 1.1.4 if I’m not mistaken. One of the sellers said though, that ‘within 6 months you will be able to buy legal iPhones from China Mobile’. I wonder if he is just kidding around or if he really has inside information. As far is I know, Apple is in negotiations with China Mobile but wants too much?

Well, let’s see how things are in September 2008, when the 32 GB iPhone or even 64 GB iPhone is available…

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iPhone Wallpaper: My Contribution.

I took personal favorites out of my 200 most popular flickr pictures and converted them into the iPhone accepted wallpaper size of 320 to 480 pixels.

Feel free to modify them or whatever, they are all with a creative commons license.

Enjoy these free iPhone wallpapers:

Rain And Advertising iPhone Wallpaper

Oriental Pearl TV Tower Shanghai China iPhone Wallpaper

Puxi iPhone Wallpaper

Night Time Is The Right Time iPhone Wallpaper

Blurred Shanghai Traffic iPhone Wallpaper

Rome Christmas Colosseum iPhone Wallpaper

Shopping Street Nanjing Lu HDR iPhone Wallpaper

HDR Tower iPhone Wallpaper

Pudong Bund iPhone Wallpaper

Hangzhou HDR Pagoda iPhone Wallpaper

Beautiful HDR Skyscrapers iPhone Wallpaper

Old Shanghai Skyscraper iPhone Wallpaper

Two Asian Brothers iPhone Wallpaper

Unfinished Business iPhone Wallpaper HDR Shanghai Pudong

Beautiful HDR Garden iPhone Wallpaper

HDR Zen iPhone Wallpaper

HDR Tea Mountain Pagoda iPhone Wallpaper

Ray Of Light On Lake iPhone Wallpaper

Forbidden City Beijing Hengdian HDR iPhone Wallpaper

Mountain Path HDR iPhone Wallpaper

Sanya Hainan Beach iPhone Wallpaper

That’s it for now. If I can ever afford an iPhone myself, I’ll probably make more.

I can’t even test them… *cry*

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CSS Text Shadow added.

I tweaked around the blog some more and decided to add a nice text-shadow to the headlines. If you’re using a 3rd-world browser, you probably wont see it though, it’s a Safari only supported CSS thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been using FireFox myself for quite some years, hell, we even organized a release party for it back in, uhm, 2003? for the very first release in Heidelberg, Germany.

But when digital friend Ben introduced me the Safari plugin Saft, I tried it out and sticked with it, never looking back. Safari & Saft together kick the Fox really in the nuts. It has so many features, check it out here. It costs near to nothing for all the brilliant features offered and is a must-have for serious bloggers and surfers.

The thing is that Safari makes websites look so much better by using some kind of anti-aliasing on the text. If you surf a lot and read a lot it’s so much more comfortable.

Anyway, back to the CSS. So how do you use the CSS declaration in your style sheet?

Here are some examples.

You can only read this with Safari.

Above paragraph uses the following text-shadow settings: text-shadow: #000 0px 0px 3px; color:#fff;.

How about a red shadow?

Above paragraph uses the following text-shadow settings: text-shadow: #f00 2px 2px 2px;.

Elegant headline shadow needed?

Above paragraph uses the following text-shadow settings: text-shadow: #aaa 1px 1px 1px;.

Here’s some shadow above the text…

Above paragraph uses the following text-shadow settings: text-shadow: #666 0px -5px 1px;.

Blue shadow far off? No problem!

Above paragraph uses the following text-shadow settings: text-shadow: #00f 15px 15px 3px;.

Last example: Extreme blurred shadow!

Above paragraph uses the following text-shadow settings: text-shadow: #6f0 3px 3px 5px;.

Nice, right?

It’s quite easy to apply, generally you have four values to set up your shadow:

1. First you set the color of the shadow. #f00 for red, #0f0 for green and so on. Any hex color is possible.

2. Now you set the horizontal space to the text (the x-axis), 5 pixels for example (5px). Can be any number, I suggest using px here.

3. Then the vertical space relative to the text (the y-axis), 3 pixels for example (3px).

4. The last setting is the amount of blur that the shadow should have. A value of 0px gives the shadow no blur at all while any setting over 5px makes the shadow completely unreadable. I suggest a setting between 1px and 3px.

Oh, and Safari is also available for Windows now, if you want to give it a try… Download the beta here!

As you can see (if you use Safari), this is quite a cool declaration and quite useful for styling headlines and such without having to use images. If only other browsers would support it, too…

Let’s see what the future brings!

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Now on my desktop.

Super Mario

Si, Super Mario! Thanks to Time Machine, reinstalling a oversized OS X is as easy as never before. Just restore everything from Time Machine except the applications, and you’ll get rid of all the caches and stuff that gets summed up in your hidden libraries. Awesome! And I got a neat new external 500 gigabyte big FireWire 400 hard disk for future video projects. It costed me almost 145 Euro, but compared to the 250 Euro I paid in 2005 for a 250 gigabyte big Maxtor drive it’s almost nothing…

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