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Archive for February, 2008

Arts and Media – 27.02.08

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

1. Siggraph 2008

Join Siggraph in Los Angeles in August for the highest quality, most timely educational experiences the community has to offer, presented by the most powerful and most engaging leaders in computer graphics and interactive techniques.

SIGGRAPH 2008 is evolving along with the computer graphics and interactive techniques community. They are dissolving the borders between traditional SIGGRAPH programs to create a more fluid, interdisciplinary conference. They are offering presenters more flexible options for sharing their work.

Check out the Preview Video.

2. NextFest
WIRED’s vision of a new World’s Fair, WIRED NextFest is a four-day festival of innovative products and technologies that are transforming our world. NextFest features more than 160 interactive exhibits from leading scientists and researchers around the world. Experience the future of communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, play, robots, transportation, security, and green living. Visitors of all ages are welcome.

3. Negroponte on the soon to be $50 Laptop


Electronics are getting obese! Read the full article!

Michel Gondry at MIT – Advanced Screening of Be Kind Rewind

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

On the 4th of February I got to see a preview screening of BE KIND REWIND, at MIT. It is Michel Gondry’s newest creation and will come into a cinema near you, tomorrow on the 22nd of February. Michel Gondry was also at the preview screening for a Question & Answer session.

Be Kind Rewind Ticket

The movie was a blast! (you can read a previous article about the movie on my blog here)

Be Kind Rewind
Be Kind Rewind Footage

Continuously thinking about my project CINEATRIX, while already standing in line for the preview screening of Be Kind Rewind, then obviously during the movie and then looking forward to the Question & Answers session, I was quite nervous when it got to the point when the following happened:

“Well, that sounds like a great idea!”

~ Michel Gondry on CINEATRIX

I had a minute to explain over the microphone that was put up near my seat after the showing to explain to Michel Gondry what CINEATRIX was all about. In the end I asked him if he could give me some advice, his answer was:

“Now, just stay motivated and let things happen in front of the camera, without taking to much control from behind the camera.”

~ Michel Gondry on CINEATRIX

To see Michel Gondry’s new movie Be Kind Rewind and to then hear him talk about his works and life was quite amazing. The lecture hall was packed and there were some good questions being asked during the Q&A session. Michel Gondry also said that he loves coming back to MIT. Through my research for this article I found that he was actually a so called “artist-in-residence” at MIT! Here is a little excerpt of a recently published WIRED article about Michel Gondry:

Gondry spent 2005 as an artist-in-residence at Nerdland. That’s the name his 16-year-old son bestowed on MIT, which invited Gondry there to pursue his interest in neuroscience. “They understand the connection between science and the arts,” Gondry says of the school. “It’s very blurry. It was brainstorming all the time.” At MIT, Gondry tried out some unusual notions about special effects. His idea was to combine digital technology and chemistry. “People are always thinking to make everything digital,” Gondry says. “The key would be to do an interface between the digital, for the control, and the chemical, for the reaction. If you can get the two worlds together, you can make the best effects ever.” In one experiment, for instance, Gondry mixed up a paste of cornstarch and water. He placed the paste on a plate and wired it to a speaker, then added a strobe light. By changing the speaker’s frequency, he created reverb on the plate, and the concoction bubbled and spewed into strange and beautiful shapes.

Sounds like an eighth-grade science project. But keep in mind that this same mad scientist pioneered the technique known as bullet-time four years before The Matrix. That bit of inspiration happened after Gondry saw computerized morphing (think of the T-1000 robot in Terminator 2). Instead of merging one person into another, though, Gondry wanted to morph shots of a scene from different perspectives into one take. He placed cameras around the studio to “freeze” the action, then had the shots digitally composited so that the environment appeared to revolve around the center. It took three weeks to complete six minutes of effects, incorporating more than 1,000 digital morphings and several freeze sequences. The result was an award-winning 1995 Rolling Stones music video, “Like a Rolling Stone.” “Michel has this technical side,” says his brother and collaborator, Olivier Gondry, who helped him develop the effect. “He is not especially good with a computer, but he is very good at imagining what a computer can do and then finding the person who can do it.”

Gondry Self Portrait

I wish I could have talked more with Michel Gondry about CINEATRIX and his work and future projects, but of course that was not possible. As a sidenote, the room was also packed with bodyguards that filmed he audience with infrared cameras during the viewing, for any recording devices that might have been smuggled in (if they had made it by the security check at the entrance of the classroom).

Anyways, I was very glad and honored, which I told Michel Gondry at the beginning of my question, to have been able to speak with this amazing artist for at least about a minute!

European Career Fair at MIT 2008 – A Review by Daniel Pressl

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Recent: Artikel vom 12.Feber.2008 ueber die ECF 2008

Two weeks ago I spent an entire weekend (02. Feb. – 03. Feb.) visiting the European Career Fair (ECF) at MIT. In early December, last year, I contacted many Austrian companies to possibly find a spot at the fair. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough to be able to get in touch before the deadline for the companies to apply at the ECF, which was the 14th of December, 2007. However, I promoted the future concept of an MIT-Austria cooperation and introduced the idea of the ECF:

An optimal opportunity for any company to present itself in a professional environment such as the MIT campus. In 2007 more than 4000 students submitted their resumes to be selected by one of the many (more than 100) companies that presented themselves in 2007 at the European Career Fair.

Furthermore, companies will receive the opportunity to speak to the MISTI staff on how to present their company throughout the year at MIT. For example, the program MIT-Germany has already been established and many companies, such as Lufthansa are holding workshops at MIT all year long to recruit the best students for their company needs and future.

Germany at ECF
Germany was huge at this year’s ECF.

More infos at and

General Electrics booth at the ECF 2008. After I showed them my CV and had a conversation about their company and company’s projects and goals. They are still smiling!

Meanwhile, the MIT-Austria idea has found frutation in the region Carinthia, in Austria, where currently an office is being established. This office will be one of the primary positions in Austria to be in contact with MISTI, an organization at MIT, which “offers tailored, hands-on internships abroad for MIT students, study abroad opportunities, short-term workshops and language courses abroad, and funding for collaborative research between MIT faculty and international colleagues”.

The first steps of the MIT-Austria office will be the creation of an MIT-Austria forum inside the already existing MIT-Germany program. Future milestones of the forum will be to establish a idea of the country Austria and its companies in the eyes students at MIT, so they will have an idea of the many possibilities that are available in Austria.
At the same time, the MIT-Austria office will start contacting companies (profit and non-profit), as well as research facilities (universities,…) to become a partner of the MIT-Austria forum and offer spaces for MIT students to come to Austria for their research.
Other concepts of such a program are the exchange of use of research facilities and therefore the publication of papers. Furthermore, it can be possible for students and researchers in Austria to go to MIT for some time, as visiting students.

I, myself, already had two visiting students in my lab and, I believe, both sides shared a great experience (link to Austrian newspaper article on a website that I have created on the social networking site, where I constantly post new stories about my works between MIT and Austria).

Netherlands Institute of Metals Research
Booth of the Netherlands Institute of Metals Research at the ECF 2008. I also listened to their talk, which was a very interesting excerpt of life of a successful and growing research facility in Europe.

Back to the ECF, it was a pleasure to find an Austrian booth at this years ECF, the first Austrian booth ever! The booth was lead by the team brainpower-austria. Brainpower-austria was presenting a folder and information of 22 companies with open R & D positions, as well as a talk, which was mainly visited by Austrians, but it is a start and a great one! I sat in the talk and met Stefan Eichenberger, who is the is program manager of brainpower-austria:


I told him what a great pleasure it was for me to see an Austrian booth at the ECF, after having fought for one, back in 2007. I immediately, while walking back to his booth, introduced him to the idea of MIT-Austria and MISTI and he was very interested. At the ECF, I also met Philipp Marxgut, who is the Director and Attache for Science & Technology at the Embassy of Austria, in Washington, DC.

I managed to organize a short meeting between Stefan Eichenberger, Philip Marxgut, Sigrid Berka (Coordinator of MIT-Germany) and myself. Certainly, the outcome was very motivating and I will meet Stefan and the entire team of brainpower-austria at the end of March, when I am back in Austria, to speak about further plans of MIT-Austria and a possible collaboration with brainpower-austria.

A few more images of this year’s ECF at MIT:

Siemens booth at the ECF 2008. I was amazed to find out that one of the coordinators of the booth (and leader of the Materials Department) knew one of my former Professors from the Montanuniversitaet in Leoben, Austria.

The very busy Lufthansa booth at the ECF 2008. Lufthansa is huge at MIT, every month I at least get one email from Lufthansa, asking if I am a scientist interested in aviation, speak german and want to work for them.

Impressions of this year’s ECF 2008 at MIT. The booth show took place in the Athletics Center.

CINEATRIX- kimeki – Video and Media – Relevante News 12.Feber.2008

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008


I. Spracherwerb: Zukunftsvisionen am MIT

Deb Roy, Professor am MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, setzt auf geballte Technik. Und auf die Video-Beobachtung seines zweijährigen Sohnes: Ganz gleich, ob Roy Junior Bauklötze stapelt, mit seiner Mama ein Buch anschaut oder trotzig herumspringt – in den Zimmerdecken installierte Kameras halten alles fest, rund um die Uhr. Mikrofone zeichnen jeden Ton auf, den der Knirps von sich gibt. Dies alles ist Teil eines wissenschaftlichen Projektes zum Thema Spracherwerb. Aus den Aufnahmen – rund 400000 Stunden in drei Jahren – soll eine riesige Datenbank entstehen. Ziel: Entwicklung von Robotern, die die Sprachentwicklung von Kindern nachvollziehen lassen. (quellegeo40/D/EU) ek

II. Search Engine for Children

Eine Suchmaschine fuer Kinder! Take a quick tour.

III. Cyberschool (Austria)

Cyberschool ist der größte, österreichweite SchülerInnen-Wettbewerb im Bereich Internet, Mobile und Multimedia, in dessen Rahmen man Know-how in Form von praktischen Projekten umsetzen und präsentieren kann. Mehr dazu…!

IV. Digital Natives – Twitter Blog

Digital Natives

V. Vancouver Film School – Tolle Werke

Schaut’ mal auf deren Webseite!

VI. Planet Science Under 11s

A lot of the content on the site is aimed at the 11 – 19 age group. Some really cool software for kids!

VII. Scratch


Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.

Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design.

Scratch is available free of charge, go to Download.
Currently available for Mac OSX and Windows

To find more about the ideas underlying Scratch, visit this page for Educators.

VIII. Khronos Projector

Khronos Projector [a video time-warping machine with a tangible deformable screen] by Alvaro Cassinelli

The Khronos Projector is an interactive-art installation allowing people to explore pre-recorded movie content in an entirely new way. A classic video-tape allows a simple control of the reproducing process (stop, backward, forward, and elementary control on the reproduction speed). Modern digital players add little more than the possibility to perform random temporal jumps between image frames.


The goal of the Khronos Projector is to go beyond these forms of exclusive temporal control, by giving the user an entirely new dimension to play with: by touching the projection screen, the user is able to send parts of the image forward or backwards in time. By actually touching a deformable projection screen, shaking it or curling it, separate “islands of time” as well as “temporal waves” are created within the visible frame. This is done by interactively reshaping a two-dimensional spatio-temporal surface that “cuts” the spatio-temporal volume of data generated by a movie.

IX. Diesel Show: Underwater Magic

Fashion show of SS’08 Preview Collection at Pitti Uomo. Journey through time and liquid space to a futuristic world of bioluminescence, giant mechanic cephalopods, futuristic aquanauts and mysterious galactic polips. Witness the first catwalk show with real models showing with holographic models.

X. Projekt ueber erste Eindruecke

Menschen sehen sich ueber eine Kamera, aber zu versetzen Zeiten und muessen die Person beschreiben, die sie gerade sehen: How people perceive each other based on appearance

XI. Fully Illustrated

Check out cool drawings and creatures at Fully Illustrated:

Fully Illustrated


Monday, February 11th, 2008

Snow Pictures made by Microscope

Snow Flake under Microscope

See Saw Project

Monday, February 11th, 2008

See Saw Project

One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Project – Stadtgemeinde Wolfsberg/iPressl (german)

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Die Stadtgemeinde Wolfsberg hat über Vermittlung von iPressl (DI Daniel Pressl, MIT) 15 Latops (OLPC, one laptop per child) im Rahmen des Gib Einen Bekomm Einen Programms der Firma Einen Laptop Für Jedes Kind gekauft:


Der OLPC Laptop hat eine unglaubliche, bislang noch nicht dagewesene Austattung, die für Kinder und die extremen Bedingungen in der 3. Welt geschaffen wurde. Das Gib Einen Bekomm Einen Projekt lief am 31.12.2007 aus und bis zu diesem Zeitpunkt war es moeglich, Laptops in den USA zu kaufen, wobei beim Kauf eines Laptops ein zweiter Laptop gekauft werden musste, der dann in die 3. Welt verschickt wird.

Die Stadtgemeinde Wolfsberg hat die Chance wahrgenommen und 15 dieser Laptops gekauft (und damit auch 15 weitere Laptops in die 3. Welt geschickt). Bisher befinden sich nur fünf OLPC Laptops in Österreich (Stand Ende 2007).

Wolfsberg hat damit die Anzahl der OLPC Laptops in Österreich vervierfacht und plant mit Experten an der Open Source Software sowie an der Hardware zu feilen und die Laptops auch im Schulgebrauch einzubringen. Die Laptops bieten neben der beachtlichen und zukunftsorientierten Hardwareausstattung (ein Display, welches in der Sonne heller wird; Flash-Festplatten die schüttelfest sind; ein shared wireless system mit dem man sich ein eigenes Wireless Netzwerk meilenweit aufspannen kann…. mehr Infos unter auch eine neue und intelligente Software die auf eigenständiges und neues Lernen für Kinder ausgelegt ist.


Im Bild oben ist das Wireless Interface des OLPC Laptops gezeigt, welches es möglich macht, dass sich die einzelnen Laptops untereinander erkennen, die Benützer können sich zu Gruppen zusammenschliessen, sowie miteinander chatten, als auch Dateien austauschen.


Obiges Bild zeigt eine weitere Spezialitaet des Interfaces, über welches sich die Kinder durch das Netzwerk, zum Beispiel gemeinsam über eine Webseite unterhalten können.


Das Software Paket des OLPC Laptops wird sich von Musik Programmen über neuartigste Zeichenprogramme (für Kinder) bis hin zu Programmier Software erstrecken.

Das gesammte Projekt ist ein Open Source Projekt und jeder kann an der Software- und der Hardware-Entwicklung mitarbeiten (

Interessante Zusatz-Hardware, die bereits entwickelt wurde sind zum Beispiel die berühmte Kurbel, mit der die Laptopbatterie wieder aufgeladen werden kann, oder Solardecken, die ebenso die Batterie wieder aufladen und über eine USB-Schnittstelle an den Laptop angeschlossen werden können. Weiters gibt es viele kleine Geräte, die das Lernen und Forschen für die Kinder vereinfachen werden, wie zum Beispiel kleine USB-Mikroskope oder Temperatur-Messgeräte….

Children in the 3rd World

Die Möglichkeiten sind grenzenlos und DI Daniel Pressl (ipressl) hat bereits Kontakt hergestellt zum Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT,, der Geburtsstätte des OLPC Laptops.


DI Daniel Pressl visits the HTL Wolfsberg

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Finally I find time to report: It was good to visit the HTL Wolfsberg again, in January, during my last stay in Austria. I gave a presentation about my current work with my company iPressl and about my PhD research at MIT:

I spoke about my Social Networking Site for Austria:

the project MIT-Austria,

2fast4u, which I collaborated on with the HTL and am now co-advising two thesis papers of four HTL students:

Thesis Students

Left to Right: Daniel Pressl, Bernhard Heine (Piddler), Markus Dohr (Piddler), Andreas Maier and Leopold Stefan

My kids project in collaboration with KIMEKI: CINEATRIX.

The NASA Spaceelevator Project:

my US Army project called Super Insulation,

and my PhD thesis work on Electromagnetic Welding.

Furthermore, my two colleagues Andreas Maier and Bernhard Heine, who visited me at MIT, last year in the fall, gave a talk about their trip and findings working with me on some new high speed photography images:

Andreas und Bernhard

One of our beautiful COKE! drop pictures:

Coke Drop

Our talks were very successful and I always enjoy the technical and friendly atmosphere at the HTL Wolfsberg.


Left to Right: Helmut Hebenstreit (advisor of the thesis papers), Daniel Pressl, Johann Persoglia (Head of the HTl Wolfsberg), Bernhard Heine and Andreas Maier