Weekly Roundup – hololens, worst albums by actors, 100s free games, Bluemix

HoloLens augmented reality headset … this really is incredible!! … demonstration of how you could pin videos and calendars wherever you want in your house or play with a 3D-animated puppy

The <em>Millionaire</em> machine of Steiger/Egli
The Millionaire machine of Steiger/Egli (Courtesy of Mr. John Wolf)

The Millionaire Calculating Machine by Otto Steiger … in 1892 the swiss engineer Otto Steiger (1858-1923) received his patent for the ‘Millionaire’ calculating machine (German patent DE 72870). This was really the first commercially-successful direct multiplication calculating machine, and was so successful it remained in production until 1935. Continue reading


Weekly Roundup – led printing, airborne vandalism, ANzac stories, geospatial e-books

A new technological break-though could see light emitted on flat, razor-thin surfaces like paper, instead of through round, circular bulbs. This is the promise of the Rohinni team who are developing a new technology which will allow the printing of tiny light emitting LEDS onto flat surfaces … more

Airborne Vandalism – An interesting article on a graffiti artist using a drone carrying a spray-can to deface advertising hoardings.http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2015/04/30/much-less-ken-dull/

Nature Magazine posts a news article explaing how “… from open access to giant web-based data repositories, Continue reading

Jazz Musicians Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn,

Weekly Roundup – drones, Putin’s motorcycle gang, museum discussions …

This New Collection of 12,000 Photographs Chronicles the American Jazz Scene

Filmmakers hack drone to carry 1,000 fps 4K camera

19 Glorious Albums And EPs To Get Excited About In April from NME

New Post on The Indian Mountain Battery and Mule Corps who fought with the ANZACs at Gallipoli, 1915

New Video – Peter Mahony – Museum Australia Conference 2015 – are we too obsessed with audience needs? Continue reading

Chronometers – timekeeping, longitude & latitude

John Harrison’s Marine Chronometers , http://vimeo.com/67741035

The invention of a marine clock (chronometer) which could be used to accurately measure longitude was arguably the most significant development in maritime navigation in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Before their invention ships had great difficulty finding their way from one port to another. Fog, bad weather, and inaccurate charts made navigation, when no land was in sight, both dangerous and time consuming.

Latitude and longitude can be thought of in the same way as the index of a city street map with the latitude being north/south and the longitude being east/west co-ordinates. Once both are known a position can be accurately pinpointed.

While latitude could be found by observing the position of stars longitude proved far more difficult to find. In fact an accurate means of finding an east/west position baffled navigators until 1759 when the clocks made by the Englishman John Harrison were finally acknowledged as being accurate enough to keep time at sea. Continue reading

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and how it was finally proved on the 1922 solar eclipse expedition

Albert Einstein 1921 by F Schmutzer Public DomainFerdinand Schmutzer ,  http://web.archive.org/web/20071026151415/http://www.anzenbergergallery.com/en/article/134.html

In late August 1922 a group of astronomers, naval men, and Aboriginal stockmen began the arduous task of unloading their complicated scientific equipment and stores from boats onto a deserted beach on the coast of Western Australia. The shallow nature of the approach meant the boats were anchored three or four miles from the high-water line and the stores, after being brought to shore, were then transported by donkey wagons to the observation site at Wollal. This was no ordinary expedition and its members knew the eyes of the world were on them waiting to see if they would be the ones to finally prove Einstein’s controversial ‘Theory of General Relativity‘.

To do this they would have to photograph the light from stars bending around the sun and then measure their placement extremely accurately. At stake was the whole concept of universe as envisaged by Sir Isaac Newton over 250 years before. Everyone involved in the project was well aware of how difficult this task was and that they were only one of eight other astronomical expeditions who were also setting up their equipment at sites across Australia. The largest group of observers, based near the Wollal post and telegraph station consisted of three international parties, the Lick Observatory party, under the direction of W. W. Campbell, a group from the University of Toronto, under C. A. Chant and the Indian expedition supervised by J. Evershed. In addition Australia provided a fourth group from the Perth Observatory. They were directed Mr. Nossiter and included Mr. Nunn, Mr. Matthews, Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Yates. On top of this were four others set up on the east coast under the direction of the Sydney Observatory and W. E.Cooke.

Continue reading

Wireless and Handheld Devices at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA}

Museum of Old and New Art & River Derwent, Hobart, Geoff Barker, 2011

The alarm was set for 5:00 am but the rain outside, and five hours sleep, did little to renew the enthusiasm so confidently expressed when Nick’s initially suggested we fly to Tasmania for the day to visit the Museum of Old and New Art ‘MONA’ in Hobart. Four others from the Powerhouse Museum’s Digital and Emerging Tech team were going and that combined with the non-refundable flight and my partner’s ‘you will be going’ looks ensured that somehow by 6.30 I was in line to get on the plane to visit David Walsh’s privately owned museum.

One of the main reasons for the visit was to look at how this museum has integrated handheld technologies into as its core function for interpreting the space, instead of using labels. Another was to look at how Walsh’s personal vision and complete control of the space influenced the kinds of objects selected and the way they were displayed. Continue reading