What do “The edge of tomorrow” and Wargames movies have in common?

The edge of tomorrow is a pretty cool movie: the plot and the script shows some really nice ideas about time warping, looping and so on.
As a movie fan, though, I spotted something very funny.
In the opening scene, Tom Cruise-Cage addresses TV and media with a crowded war-room in the background.

edge of tomorrow 2014

This room and its screens, immediately reminded me of one my all-time favorite movies: John Badham’s Wargames (1983).
It looks like the famed Norad (showing some pretty green-phosphor CRT monitors from the 80s) has been used in a 2014 blockbuster!
Is it a retake of WarGames or an image of the real Norad?

WarGames Norad War Room

Am I right? :)

Posted in Cinema, Media, Movie, Movies, Vintage computer | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pure genius: The Simpsons rendered using *only* CSS!

This is really awesome!
Do you know CSS?
Do you think you can master CSS enough to build whatever web-page layout you want or any special effect?

simpsons in css

Before answering, consider taking a look at Chris Pattle‘s Simpsons in CSS.

Full characters made just of CSS code, best viewed in Chrome (Firefox seems to work fine, though) and full source code, thanks to GitHub.

Awesome: great job Chris!

Posted in Ajax, html, Web design, web programming | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Blast from the Windows-past: how to delete file & folders from NTFS drive with wrong names & nested folders

windows file deletingYou never learn enough… (about Windows, I mean).

During a routine backup operation, I found a Windows NTFS drive contained several files and folders which could not be deleted due to wrong naming.

Yes, it’s 2014 and we’re still having this kind of problems…

Weird character (the drive was shared with Mac users) and italian accents were quite common in the file structure.
I found myself stuck as I tried to delete them from either Windows Explorer and the old, venerable, DOS prompt.
No DEL, RMDIR, COPY or REN worked.

A Microsoft KB Note came in handy.“God is in details”.
Provided you need to delete a file and/or a folder from the command prompt like this:

DEL filename


RMDIR foldername (with optional parameter /S for subfolders)

Path names is a key issue and you should use the TAB key as a help to compose correct path just like this:

DEL “f:\some path with spaces\some other path\some wèéird nàme.txt”

The ultimate touch from the MS KB brings some more magic:

DEL “\\?\f:\some path with spaces\some other path\some wèéird nàme.txt”

The \\?\ character sequence before the complete path forces any DOS command, be if DEL, RMDIR o REN, and allows us to get rid of the dreaded files&folders.

Hope this is useful to you as it’s been to me ;)

Posted in Digital life, Microsoft, Operating system, Software, Windows, Windows 8 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the future of electronic communications looked like in 1982: Compuserve’s “Welcome to someday”

compuserve welcome someday 1982

$5 per hour: that’s how much it cost in 1982 to get on the ‘Net.
Well, actually, not Internet: just Compuserve, with its e-mail services.

As Wikipedia reports:

The original CompuServe Information Service, later rebranded as CompuServe Classic, was shut down July 1, 2009. The newer version of the service, CompuServe 2000, continues to operate.

Nice to see what the future looked like in 1982: a ‘total black’ environment where some sort of wireless keyboard was connected to a desktop computer, much like an Apple Lisa with a color display showing the ubiquitous graph chart.

“Someday, in the comfort of your home, you’ll be able to shop and bank electronically, read instantly updated newswires, analyze the performance of a stock that interests you, send electronic mail across the country, then play Bridge with three strangers in LA, Chicago and Dallas.”

Oddly enough, these are the key points of this vision:
- e-mail is country-wise, not world-,
- you can read newswires, not write them… or watch some sort of video,
- shop and bank is seen as a whole…

Last but not least, it all happens in the comfort of your home.
How funny: mobile users surpassed, somewhere in mid-2013, desktop Internet users, [according to Morgan Stanley]

Posted in Advertising, Compuserve, Digital life, Internet | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zooming into a microchip: that’s where the (computer) magic happens!

This reminds me some Tron Movie sequence.

Take a look at this nice video, you’ll zoom in into a common chip, thanks to a scanning electron microscope, and peek into the micron scale to see what’s really like to be a bit inside your computer.
Hint: things happen at a lower electronic level ;-)

[Source: Sploid]

Posted in Computer, Electronics, Energy, Science, Scientific Video, Tech industry, Technology, Video, Youtube | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Election 2014: results provided in real-time thanks to open-data #EP2014

May 25th marks not only European Paliament Election day but a ‘first time‘ for open data.

The European Parliament is making a range of tools available to make it easier for the media to cover the European elections on 25 May. The results and other relevant information will be available in open data format, enabling the media, bloggers and interested users to automatically retrieve the raw data and publish it directly on their online platforms within seconds.

This announcement means that journalists and bloggers (like me) will be able to automatically retrieve raw data and publish it directly on their online platforms within seconds – helping to transform the ways that the media can report on the elections, through the use of innovative visualations, graphs and illustrations.

Below is the real-time-updated Widget with Results from 2014 European Elections.

Posted in 2014 European elections, Big data, Elections, Europe, Media, News, Open data, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much economic value & wealth do tech companies build in a second?

Tech turning profit Stefano Paganini

The answer to this question come from a dynamic infographics from WorldPayZinc (a mobile payments company) that show in a very appealing and smart way how much does a tech giant (check your favorite) does revenues and profits in a certain amout of time.

I stopped the watch at 1 second: you can see above the results.

Sony, HP and Amazon are among the most profitable ever; on the other side, Tweeting (as we all love to do) does seem to need a lot more time to get to a valuable result.

Check this interesting comparative tools at WorldPayZinc.com

Posted in Amazon, Business, Business Intelligence, Business Model, Infographic, Social Media, Social network, Social news, Social survey, Sony, Startup, Tech industry, Technology, Twitter, Visualization, Wall Street, Web Marketing, Widget, Yahoo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#RaspberryPi Jasper: somehow like #Siri, but open-source voice-control #software.

raspberry pi stefano paganiniThis is why I love Raspberry Pi (at large).

Meet Jasper, an open source project driven by two Princeton students, that’s a lot like Siri (and the Samsung-alike) and enables the tiny Raspberry Pi to operate through an USB-connected microphone with natural language.

Open APIs provide plenty of opportunities and lots of ready-to-use examples – mostly Python-based.
Check a Gmail account, have your Facebook timeline read… and more to come!
Give your RPIs a loud voice too!

Source: Jasper project

Posted in Arduino, Open Source, Programming, Raspberry Pi, Software, Tinkering | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#RaspberryPi announces forthcoming new “Compute Module”!

Raspberry Pi compute module
Raspberry Foundation has just annnounced the forthcoming “Compute Module”: a RPi on a ‘so-dimm-like’ module and plenty of power!

This may the ultimate solution for building RPi-based systems which feature:
- low-cost,
- low-power,
- low-profile,
- the best price/performance ratio for controller-based supercomputers or clusters of controllers.

Source: Raspberrypi.org

Posted in Hardware, Programming, Raspberry Pi | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

April fools’ 2014: Google Maps + Augmented reality!

April Fools’ Day this year is bringing several new ideas for pranksters!
Google has created a video advertising an augmented reality Pokémon game loosely tied into Google Maps.
In Google’s vision, players would hold their smartphones out in front of them and see Nintendo’s cartoon creatures appear on screen before them, often ready to do battle.


Posted in April Fools', Augmented reality, Gaming, Google | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment