Removing the polarization filter from an iPhone so only you can see the screen

This is a video of somebody removing the second polarization filter from their iPhone and attaching it to a pair of glasses so that the screen can only be seen with the polarized glasses. The result is like something out of James Bond, though it wouldn’t be practical in the wild because you’d lose the ability to look at your phone in landscape mode (not to mention if you lost your glasses). Privacy is cool and all, but so is the ability to watch Netflix.

(via Thund3rbolt)

Source: Geekologie – Removing the polarization filter from an iPhone so only you can see the screen

Using internet photos to create 3D reconstructions

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Researchers have developed a system for taking photo collections from the internet and turning them into 3D reconstructions. They call it NeRF-W, which stands for Neural Radiance Fields which they’re applying to “in-the-wild” photos found on the internet. According to the researchers:

NeRF-W captures lighting and photometric post-processing in a low-dimensional latent embedding space. Interpolating between two embeddings smoothly captures variation in appearance without affecting 3D geometry.

With enough time and computing power they could effectively crowdsource creating a 3D model of the entire world. Which would be great for me, since I haven’t been outside in over eight years. Is that burning ball of fire still in the sky?

Keep going for a video explaining the process and demonstrating the mind-boggling results.

Source: Geekologie – Using internet photos to create 3D reconstructions

This guy walked around Shibuya like he's in a video game

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This is a video of a Japanese YouTuber walking around Shibuya like he’s in Grand Theft Auto. He absolutely nails the motion, and my favorite moment from the whole thing might be at 2:10 when he collides with the subway car. It’s probably the least exciting thing that happens in the video but it looks and feels perfect. The whole video is like watching 11 minutes of somebody playing Grand Theft Auto in Japan, but without running anybody over or beating any hookers with bats. So really, it’s nothing like Grand Theft Auto.

Keep going for the full video, though you can skip the intro and go to the actual “gameplay” at 1:30.

Source: Geekologie – This guy walked around Shibuya like he’s in a video game

Three men rescued from tiny island after writing 'SOS' in the sand

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Proving once and for all the things you learn in cartoons are actually useful in real life, three men were rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above. The AP reports:

The men had been missing in the Micronesia archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted Sunday on uninhabited Pikelot Island by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft, the Australian defense department said Monday.

The men had apparently set out from Pulawat atoll in a 7-meter (23-foot) boat on July 30 and had intended to travel about 43 kilometers (27 miles) to Pulap atoll when they sailed off course and ran out of fuel, the department said.

I wonder if they decided to write the SOS sign before or after they built a bunch of coconut radios. Also, I can’t help but be reminded about this Far Side strip:

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Keep going for a few more pictures and a really poor quality video of the rescue.

Source: Geekologie – Three men rescued from tiny island after writing ‘SOS’ in the sand

Upscaling the oldest recorded video using neural networks

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Using an ensemble of neural networks, YouTuber Denis Shiryaev upscaled the oldest recorded video: Louis Le Prince’s Roundhay Garden Scene which was shot in October of 1888. His source wasn’t even a video, but this glass copy negative he pulled from the Science Museum Group website:

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There are a lot of weird artifacts, but the results are pretty damn impressive considering the source was just a single image of 20 frames. At this rate eventually you’ll be able to pull three images off somebody’s Facebook page and let computers spit out a feature length film. And in my case the film would be about a man’s love affair with store-bought frozen pizzas. Where do I collect my Academy Award?

Keep going for the full video which includes an explanation of Denis’ process.

Source: Geekologie – Upscaling the oldest recorded video using neural networks

'Harry Potter' but every wand is replaced with a gun

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Quarantine does weird things to people, and in this case a digital artist decided to replace every wand in Harry Potter with a gun. From the creator:

Why? WHY?! Why would you do this?! you may yell at the screen. Rest assured, I understand your excitement. But just take a deep breath and accept this is a post modern world. Nothing is sacred; not books, not images, not news, not stories. Mix and match is the new medium. Work with video like clay. Change it after the fact; after you’ve baked it. Erase, paint over, restructure. Re-present in a new light. I am not alone in editing guns into Harry Potter footage (though this project was conceived prior to knowledge of the existence such similar videos). It was surprising how easy it was to interchange magic with guns. Obviously it isn’t always realistic; it’s a farcical parody joke movie.

A feature-length parody joke Hollywood movie that took roughly 5 years to finish.

Though this project started as a tasteless joke, in the wake of mass shootings and other daily horrors, we have to ask ourselves if Hollywood pushes guns too hard. If gun owners in our society really value guns for their use, or just for their sexiness. There is no doubt a fascination with the firearm, just as there is an interest with war or death or serial killers. It reminds us of our mortality. It should make us respect every moment we have on this Earth and make it a better place for everyone. But I guess we love killing a bunch? And so we’ve glorified it in our media. We’ve made it cool to pull out a gun and empty a clip real quick, or reload in slow-motion. But at the end of the day, sexy or not, a gun is a machine designed to kill. It has one purpose: murder.

Okay, fine, so this wasn’t the product of quarantine, but the deliberate work of somebody making a statement about America’s gun culture. It was funnier when I thought the creator had simply lost their mind while isolated, but the results are still equally great. I mean, skip to 1:45 and tell me this isn’t some of the greatest cinema you’ve ever seen.

Keep going for the trailer or you can download the entire movie here.

Source: Geekologie – ‘Harry Potter’ but every wand is replaced with a gun

SpaceX successfully hops their Starship SN5

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In another incredible achievement for Elon Musk, SpaceX successfully “hopped” their Starship SN5 150 m (490 ft) yesterday. This comes after the successful hop of their Starhopper back in September, which was retired after that launch to pave the way for this guy.

The SN5 is part of SpaceX’s reusable Starship concept and would serve as the upper stage for the launch vehicle. They’ve already managed to land the first stage (the Falcon 9) and the fruition for the Starship would be the ability to land both the first and second stages. Before this, NASA was just letting their rockets fall back to Earth and blow up, which seems like an awful waste of $500 million.

It’s hard to fully grasp the scale of this thing, but the hull is 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and 50 m (160 ft) high. They basically launched a 15-story building 150 meters and then landed it. Which is only slightly more impressive than the time I flipped a water bottle and it landed upright. My friends were super impressed and I got some high fives out of it.

Keep going for the full video which is so well executed it almost looks fake, as well as the Starhopper launch from last year.

Source: Geekologie – SpaceX successfully hops their Starship SN5

This German guy made a piano out of sausage

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No, the title isn’t a typo. This is a video of a sausage piano made by a German guy because of course a German would make a piano out of sausage. Actually, I’m not even sure they’re speaking German. I just assumed they were because it’s a damn sausage piano. According to the uploader:

This is just a quick test of my brand new Bockwurst piano.

Would I assume a sushi piano was made by a Japanese person and a taco piano made by a Mexican? Of course. I’m racist like that, and you should be too. If you see somebody making a piano out of maple syrup it’s perfectly reasonable to assume they’re Canadian.

Keep going for the video of the piano in action. I don’t speak German, but I’m assuming it’s using the conductivity of his fingers to activate each key.

Source: Geekologie – This German guy made a piano out of sausage

A massive (most likely unintentional) explosion just went off in Beirut

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The cause is unknown, but a massive explosion just occurred in Lebanon’s capital Beirut.

The Associated Press is reporting that a fire started at a fireworks factory and then moved over to a neighboring building that caused the massive followup explosion. Apparently at least 25 are dead and over 2,500 injured. It’s incredibly horrible, and I’m only posting this because everybody everywhere will be posting it and they probably need as much as attention and help as possible right now.

I’ve included a few more videos after the jump that show the aftermath to help reconcile the astounding magnitude of the explosion with the absolute human devastation.

Source: Geekologie – A massive (most likely unintentional) explosion just went off in Beirut

This guy built a ride that takes 10^20k years to complete in 'Roller Coaster Tycoon 2'

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YouTuber Marcel Vos built this “impossible maze” in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 that takes 6.6*10^19,758 years to complete. If you don’t understand how big that number is, it’s a 6 followed by about twenty thousand zeroes. And if you don’t understand how big that number is, it’s okay because nobody does. It’s incomprehensibly large.

The maze itself is not very impressive, but exploits the pathfinding algorithm for guests in the game. Marcel starts out with an explanation of the exploit using a smaller version of his maze and then slowly scales it up. You can skip to 7:30 to see the progression and then at about 7:40 he reveals the completed maze. Just looking at it gives me PTSD of the time I got lost in a corn maze. And by corn maze I mean the time I got lost in the canned corn section of the supermarket when I accidentally held on to the wrong woman’s hand. “Wasn’t that, like, last week?” Yes. Yes it was.

NOTE: Less than 48 hours after Marcel published his video, OpenRC2 (an open source re-implementation of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2) patched the pathfinding algorithm to not prefer a direction and the commit literally says: “This is just to mess up MarcelVos”

Keep going for the full video and the math-heavy explanation of how the maze works.

Source: Geekologie – This guy built a ride that takes 10^20k years to complete in ‘Roller Coaster Tycoon 2’

Luxury leather bag to carry around a single watermelon

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Japanese luxury bag maker Tsuchiya Kaban has an initiative where they work with artisans and give them complete creative rein over their own side projects. Crafter Yusuke Kadoi took the initiative to make The Watermelon Bag, a leather luxury bag to hold a single watermelon. It’s as beautiful and pointless as that sounds, and probably caused Tsuchiya Kaban to question what exactly it is they’re doing at their company.

There’s no price listed, but I’m assuming it’s going to cost way more than it needs to, adding to the complete magic of it. What kind of person transports a watermelon and only a watermelon? And it’s not like this thing can even transport any watermelon, only watermelons of a specific size. I’d love to meet the lunatic that buys this and shake their hand, which I’ll be able to do even if they’re transporting a watermelon because they have this handy watermelon bag.

Keep going for some more pictures and a video of the crafting process.

Source: Geekologie – Luxury leather bag to carry around a single watermelon

Guy with one hand builds mechanical prosthetic hand for himself

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Mechanical engineer Ian Davis built this extraordinary mechanical prosthetic hand for himself after losing four fingers in a shop accident two years ago. He started working on the build when he was denied a prosthetic hand by his healthcare provider because they said his fingers weren’t “medically necessary”. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also has cancer. No, that’s not a joke.

This man perfectly exemplifies America. The ingenuity and do-it-yourself attitude along with the absolute failure of our institutions and healthcare system. And I don’t mean to sound ableist, but I couldn’t even imagine building this thing with two hands, let alone one. Hell, give me three hands and I’d struggle with even putting it on.

Keep going for video of him putting the hand on and of it in action. You can check out his build progress on his Instagram page.

Source: Geekologie – Guy with one hand builds mechanical prosthetic hand for himself

Guy builds wooden computer monitor

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YouTuber The Q converted his monitor into a wooden one because things made out of wood are better than things not made out of wood. My favorite part is that he included the Phillips branding because it serves absolutely no functional purpose. I think I relate, because that’s exactly what my mom says about me. Well can this stupid monitor win a soccer participation trophy?! I don’t think so, mom!

Keep going for the full video, including one where he converts his keyboard to wood.

Source: Geekologie – Guy builds wooden computer monitor

Beautifully creepy Facehugger mask

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Reddit user skystonemeteorites posted this Facehugger face mask because it was only a matter of time and I’m surprised it took this long. It looks as incredible as it does non-breathable. I mean, is that leather? Viruses aren’t getting through there, but neither is oxygen or anything else. Except maybe Facehugger testicles. I definitely see some Facehugger testicles and they’re disturbingly close to the mouth.

Source: Geekologie – Beautifully creepy Facehugger mask

TheirTube simulates what other people's YouTube feed looks like

their-tube.jpgTheirTube is a YouTube filter bubble simulator that provides a look into how videos are recommended on other people’s YouTube home page. Each persona simulates a real YouTube user by recreating their viewing history and then displays their recommendation bubble. From their site:

Each of these TheirTube personas is informed by interviews with real YouTube users who experienced similar recommendation bubbles. Six YouTube accounts were created in order to simulate the interviewees’ experiences. These accounts subscribe to the channels that the interviewees followed, and watches videos from these channels to reproduce a similar viewing history and a recommendation bubble. Everyday, TheirTube retrieves the recommendations that shows up on their Youtube home page. You can go back and forth the dates to see different results by clicking on the arrow button and also see the viewing history of each persona by clicking “Watch History” button.

It’s not exactly news that recommendation engines are crafting people’s views, but it is shocking to see just how different and aggressive those differences are. Although I clicked on all six personas and not a single one matched my feed at all. Where are all the videos of microwave pizza reviews? And not a single one that explains how to make a best puppet friend from a used sock? C’mon!

Source: Geekologie – TheirTube simulates what other people’s YouTube feed looks like

Alexagate is a device to prevent an Amazon Echo from eavesdropping

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Internet hooligans MSCHF have released a device they’re calling Alexagate that sits on top of an Amazon Echo device to prevent it from eavesdropping by using pulsed ultrasound to jam the Echo’s microphone. You clap three times to turn it off when you want to use the device and then clap three times to turn it back on. It costs $99, though I don’t think anybody has actually verified whether or not it works. I mean, I tried calling Jeff Bezos to ask if he heard the sounds of my furious masturbating, but his secretary kept telling me I had the wrong number and that they were a Domino’s pizza. Nice try, Bezos. Also, your pizza tastes terrible, though it was delivered in a timely manner.

Source: Geekologie – Alexagate is a device to prevent an Amazon Echo from eavesdropping

Minecraft running inside a game of Minecraft

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Last week Reddit user uDrunkMate used a VM Computers mod that let’s you boot Windows 95 inside of Minecraft to run a game of Doom. Twitter user @miskeeping then took the idea to its natural progression and managed to get a game of Minecraft running inside their Minecraft game. From The Verge:

The mod uses VirtualBox, free and open-source virtual machine software, to run operating systems like Windows 95. Within Minecraft you simply place a PC case block and then use it to create virtual hard drives to install operating systems from ISO files.

There’s an obvious next step here, but before somebody gets Minecraft running inside Minecraft running inside Minecraft, somebody has to get Doom on there first. Doom is always the first step when you’re modding or hacking something. I mean, somebody managed to get their printer to run Doom, so it’s basically the modding community’s version of “Hello, World!”

Keep going for the video.

Source: Geekologie – Minecraft running inside a game of Minecraft

Modified dollar coin that mechanically grips and ungrips sword

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Russian crafter Roman Booteen modified a United States dollar coin to mechanically grip and ungrip a sword with the press of a button. His pieces usually sell upwards of $10,000, though he doesn’t list prices and only sells when somebody makes him an offer he likes. He also only sells to people in the Russian Federation, so unless you’re also reading this from Russia there’s probably no way to get your hands on one. Which is the only reason I haven’t made an offer yet. Not because I’m broke and the idea of spending $10,000 to buy a $1 coin makes me physically vomit. Also, I’ve been trying to sell people my dollar coins for years and I just get the cops called on me. I guess things really are backwards in Russia.

Keep going for more shots and a video of the gripping mechanism in action, which is totally worth seeing. You can also check out Roman’s Instagram for more of his work.

Source: Geekologie – Modified dollar coin that mechanically grips and ungrips sword

Man turns jet engine into a camper trailer

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Steve Jones, a former technician for the Royal Air Force, converted an engine from a decommissioned VC10 jet plane into a camper trailer. He estimates he spent about $5,000 and 1,000 hours over the course of three months on the build. From the project’s Facebook:

I had the unique opportunity to turn #4 engine nacelle off VC10 XV104 into my new 4 berth caravan pod. Enjoy my journey from aircraft to pod.

This is one of the coolest campers I’ve ever seen, rivaling the full scale LEGO VW Camper Van. I thought I nailed it when I drilled some air holes into my refrigerator and tied it to the back of my car, but this thing is way more impressive. I bet it’s also way less cramped and people probably don’t laugh at you as much. Look, not all of us have “time” or “money” or “skills”. Some of just have a fridge, some rope, and a drill.

Keep going for some more shots and a video touring the inside. You can follow the entire build on his Facebook page.

Source: Geekologie – Man turns jet engine into a camper trailer

The moons of our solar system as if they were on Earth

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YouTube channel MetaBallStudios (previously comparing asteroids and spaceships) made this animation showing what the moons of our solar system would look like if they were on Earth. They start from Saturn’s smallest moon compared to New York City and work their way up to Jupiter’s largest: Ganymede. Although they left out the real largest moon of all: your mom’s butt. Get it? Because she’s fat. Your mom is fat.

Keep going for the full video.

Source: Geekologie – The moons of our solar system as if they were on Earth