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BcnDevCon 2012

December 9, 2012 at 13:09

This year I’ve attended to the Barcelona Developers Conference. It was fun and I really enjoyed a few talks, specially “From pull to push, the road to real-time web” by Aitor Guevara (@aitorciki), Cocos2D workshop and Arduino workshop, where I played for the first time with an Arduino One board.

Comparing this conference to the Madrid Codemotion I also attended, in my opinion BcnDevCon was richer in workshops, but lacking big state-of-the-art topics. But definitely, it was really well organized (kudos to the organizers!) and I’m planning to attend next year’s edition.

Now I feel inspired to start playing with new API’s and technologies and, why not, start a few new pet projects. More posts coming soon!

All images are copyright of BcnDevCon.

Heroes of Science Action Figures

November 19, 2012 at 13:58

I’ll definitely buy all of them if they were real.

Japan 2012 – Photos

November 13, 2012 at 18:57

Click to see Flickr Japan 2012 set

Japan, there I go!

October 24, 2012 at 18:32

Next Friday I’m flying to Japan. I’m going to spend a couple of weeks visiting the Kansai region (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe and Nara), Tokyo and Hiroshima. I’m really excited about this trip because this time I can articulate a few phrases and even read in hiragana (wow!) and I’ll give a talk at Mizuguchi Laboratory. If I get the grant I’ve applied for, next year I’ll spend three months at Kenji’s lab, living in Osaka 🙂

Some pictures I took during my first trip to Japan in 2010: Japan-Flickr set.

Glowwom Swarm Optimization C++ implementation

October 24, 2012 at 17:58

As a part of my PhD thesis, I developed together with my friend trikitrok a C++ implementation of the GSO (Glowworm Swarm Optimization) algorithm. This algorithm is based on the ability of a given glowworm to attract its neighbors depending on its emitting light. At the same time, emitting light is dynamic and depends on the number of neighbors of the given glowworm. This metaphor has been demonstrated to capture really well local optima in multi-modal functions. You can find more information at the Wikipedia article.

Here I show how the agents (glowworms) have found the different local maximum points after 500 iterations of the algorithm (this plot reproduces one of the test functions used in the original paper by K.N. Krishnanand and D. Ghose, 2005). Left image is the original function bounded to -6, 6 and right image represent agents positions (crosses) after 500 iterations.

Agents position after 500 iterations

The repository is public and is currently hosted by Bitbucket at glowworm++.

My guitars

October 21, 2012 at 16:58

Understanding exposure, aperture and shutter speed

October 16, 2012 at 12:14

I’ve found two great resources to help me understand how exposure parameters (ISO, aperture and shutter speed) affect the final picture.

The first one is an icon representation of the effects of the three parameters. Take a look to the original article here.

And the second resource is an online SLR camera simulator.

With this simulator it’s possible to play with the different controls you could find in any SLR digital camera and view in real time your result…amazing! It’s time to practice!

 

Panda3D and rapid prototyping

October 14, 2012 at 12:59

A new project I’m involved in requires a walking skeleton in a few weeks and it consists of a 3D interface where some proteins are displayed. My first idea was to reuse some C++ libraries I coded a couple months ago to read and parse PDB files (proteins) and use what I know from Qt and OpenGL to display them. But wait, what about time constraints? My friend trikitrok recommended me to have a look at the state-of-the-art python 3D engines and I ended in the Python wiki checking the Python Games section. After comparing them, I chose Panda3D. The main reasons why I chose it are:

  1. Panda3D is free and open source. It also includes proprietary parts, but there is always free code to avoid them already encoded in the engine.
  2. It’s being developed by Disney and Carnegie Mellon and it has been tested in real (and commercial) projects.
  3. The core is written in C++, but Python bindings are available. It’s possible to code some parts in C++ and the rest in Python.
  4. Documentation is simply exquisite.
  5. Really good samples included in the engine.

And which is the result? In three days I’ve encoded most of the functionalities required and the application looks sexy!

I even had time to play with pixel shading and cartoon filters 🙂

Despite I didn’t optimize any line of code, the application runs fluid and if the project goes on I could code the critical parts in C++ to gain performance. I’m absolutely in love with Panda3D engine 🙂

Anatidaephobia

October 2, 2012 at 22:26

Anatidaephobia – the fictional fear that somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you.

Theine and caffeine

September 30, 2012 at 21:23

Many times I’ve been involved in this discussion: are theine and caffeine the same? The answer is yes. And that’s also true for guaranine and mateine. The difference in names is due to the different source (tea bush, coffee bean, etc.).

Caffeine is safe for humans, but what I didn’t know and I discovered reading the Wikipedia entry for caffeine is that is toxic to many animal species and can be used as a natural pesticide.

NASA have used spider-web patters to determine toxicity, below is one picture published in 1975.

I’m not a heavy tea drinker, but if caffeine affects spiders in that way I’m afraid of the source code I write 🙂