Tag Archives: youtube

What is an Hash Algorithm and What are Hash Collisions? Tech News 29 JUL 2015

Tom Scott, who I think is particularly adept at explaining complex computing concepts in very understandable and relatable ways, joins up with Computerphile to explain what exactly the idea behind hash algorithms are, how they can be used to confirm a file’s transmission for the most part, and what things called hash collisions are.

Great, so just in case you were still using MD5 for something meaningful then, best you move over to something a little more modern, no?

computerphile

Related Link: Youtube

Things to See in Germany: Tropical Islands Resort Travel Attractions 23 JUL 2015

The biggest uninterrupted indoor space on the planet, Tropical Islands Resort is a tropical theme park located in the former Brand-Briesen Airfield in Krausnick, in the district of Dahme-Spreewald in Brandenburg, Germany, 50 kilometres from the southern boundary of Berlin. It is housed in the former CargoLifter airship hangar (known as the Aerium), the biggest free-standing hall in the world. (The hall belonged to the company CargoLifter until its insolvency in 2002.)

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Tropical Islands was built by the Malaysian corporation Tanjong in the former airship hangar known as the Aerium. The hangar was originally designed to protect large airships from the elements. It was purchased by Tanjong on 11 June 2003 for €17.5 million, of which €10 million was a subsidy from the federal state of Brandenburg. The building permit for constructing the theme park inside the hall was granted on 2 February 2004 and Tropical Islands officially opened its doors on 19 December 2004.

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Inside the hall, the air temperature is 26 °C and air humidity is around 64%. Tropical Islands is home to the biggest indoor rainforest in the world, a beach, many tropical plants and a number of swimming pools, bars and restaurants. It is open around the clock, every day of the year.

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On entering the hall, visitors choose between different basic admission options with different prices. Inside the hall, payments are made using an electronic chip wristband. Tropical Islands is divided into two main areas, each with its own admission price: the Tropical Sauna & Spa complex, and the Tropical World. Visitors can move from one area to the other by paying an additional daily charge. Additional charges also apply for areas such as the water slide tower, crazy golf course, African Jungle Lift, evening show and internal accommodation area. The entertainment programme comprises a gala evening show, smaller shows during the day (variety acts, kids’ entertainment) and various events.

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Tropical Islands has a number of different themed areas:

  • The Tropical Village, featuring accurate copies of traditional buildings from Thailand, Borneo, Samoa and Bali.
  • The Rainforest, with around 50,000 plants and 600 different species, including some rare plants.
  • The Tropical Sea, a 140 metres pool with an area of 4,400 square metres and a depth of 1.35 metres designed to look like the waters of a coral island, a 200 metres sandy beach and 850 wooden sun-loungers; water temperature 28 °C.
  • The Bali Lagoon, with an area of 1,200 square metres and a depth of less than 1 metre in places, fountains, a current canal, whirlpools and two water slides; water temperature 32 °C.

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Tom Scott also recently featured Tropical Islands on his popular Youtube channel, giving you a bit more of how exactly this giant waterpark managed to come and be:

I guess you’ll have to travel quite far to find something else quite this out of place! :)

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Related Link: Tropical Islands | Wikipedia | Youtube

USA Sport Stadium Funding Sport & Health 21 JUL 2015

Naturally, sports stadiums in the United States are big. Very big. And very expensive too, partly because they keep seeming to try and one-up each other when it comes to newness and features.

miami marlins baseball stadium united states of america usa

Of course, everyone knows that there is very big money in American sports, one just has to look at the salaries earned by top NFL football players, NBA basketball players and MBA baseball players to see that. But what is surprising however is a lot of their mega stadiums aren’t actually self-funded – instead, the trend is very much to get the hosting cities to pay for everything!

John Oliver’s research team over at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took a look and came up with some very surprising (and infuriating) information on the topic:

Obviously here in South Africa we have our own stadium problems thanks to the 2010 FIFA World Cup (which was, admittedly, AWESOME!), but that said, it is rather nice having such a beautiful stadium like Cape Town Stadium around.

I just wish it hadn’t cost quite as much, and somehow become a little more self-sufficient and a little less reliant on my tax money!

Related Link: Youtube

How NOT to Store Passwords Tech News 20 JUL 2015

British presenter and tech personality Tom Scott (whom I’m quite fond of featuring here on my little blog thanks to his likable personality and way of clearly and concisely explaining things) joins up with Computerphile to bring this great 10 minute video on how software developers should not be storing passwords.

The fact is, most of us in the trade would probably have implemented pretty much all of these erroneous methods at some point in our careers! (I know that I certainly have)

Definitely worth watching if you are in charge of writing some or other access-controlled system.

Take away points: Passwords should never be encrypted using a two way algorithm. Passwords should be uniquely salted in order to get differing hash values.

Worth remembering!

username password login screen

Related Link: Youtube

Kids saving the World? #brightFuture
[Partner Content] 14 JUL 2015

Kids have ideas. Kids have ideas on how to make the world a better place. A place where perhaps everyone has food to eat, water to drink, and a safe place to call home.

unilever brightfuture youtube screen capture

Unilever brightFuture is a platform that helps unite and amplify the efforts of a growing community of people who believe it is possible to build a world where everyone lives well and lives sustainably.

Kids are the future, kids have ideas, kids would like to make the world a better place. Perhaps we should join in with them and their ideas and see just how we can perhaps change our future for the better?

unilever brightfuture campaign clean beach

unilever brightfuture campaign joshua boy

(Please note that this is a Sponsored Post, placed via the Webfluential advertising network.)

Related Links: brightFuture Video | Facebook | Twitter

Thailand and its Nazi Chic Imagery General Nonsense 03 JUN 2015

It has been well documented over the years, this weird acceptance of Hitler and Nazi imagery in Thailand. In fact, it is quite often seen as cool, a fashion trend that I guess could only be labelled as Nazi chic.

nazi chic - thailand nazi imagery - schoolgirl dressed like a nazi soldier

I don’t quite get it, but in the same breath it kind of makes sense – if you’re not exposed to a story then you tend to borrow just the bits and pieces that you see of it that seems cool: you know, like adoring beautiful WW2 bomber planes without giving a thought to the fact that they actually indiscriminately rained down death wherever they were tasked to fly over.

Needless to say, World War II, Hitler and his Nazis are pretty much glossed over when it comes to Thai history books – which makes sense because they’ve got more than enough history of their own to get through without having to worry about all the other countries’ problems!

Anyway, the issue recently resurfaced on the Internet again thanks to John Oliver’s research team over at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:

Yeah, not so sure about Rip Taylor though.

Related Link: YouTube | Vice | The Daily Beast

Why Google Translate wasn’t particularly useful in Japan Tech News 24 MAY 2015

Ryan and I managed to navigate our way around Japan pretty well over the course of our whirlwind holiday last year.

However, this wasn’t because some useful translating tool like Google Translate was making everything understandable to us, nor more importantly allowing other people to understand us.

No, it was entirely due to the helpful course that big cities have undertaken in an effort to open up Japan to more foreigners – by putting up the romaji (literally Romanization of Japanese characters) versions of names everywhere!

In fact, Google Translate was pretty much completely useless to us over there. (A point made painfully apparent when we tried to converse with Terrance’s new parent-in-laws and after a half hour of trying the tools, resorted to hand gestures, nodding and waving)

Anyway, British presenter and tech personality Tom Scott and Gretchen McCulloch put together this great little video explaining just why it is that computers seem to suck so badly at translation. (Hint, it is not their fault)

Makes sense to me.

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Related Link: Youtube | Tom Scott

Music: Woodstock Mafia – Trigger and Gun (2013) Music 14 MAY 2015

Grunge rockers from Cape Town, Woodstock Mafia consists of Joe Theron on vocals, Nick van Rensburg on guitar, Ryan Matthews on bass, and Owen Ingarfield on drums. They formed as a band in 2011 and rocked out Cape Town for four solid years before deciding to call it a day and leave it all behind, playing their last live gig on the 2nd April 2015 at The Manila Bar in Long Street, Cape Town.

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If you never encountered them before, then you most certainly missed out, because this was as polished a band as what you could find, the proper complete package in terms of sound and lyrics. Their live shows always got great reviews, noted in particular for their great energy on stage.

They also managed to release a fantastic album entitled Defiance in 2013, definitely worth a listen to on rdio.com if you get a chance.

Anyway, the second of their two full production music videos that they ever released is this one, Trigger and Gun, which sees the boys battle one another on a stage of black and white!

Oh, and as a parting gift, the guys released a special EP entitled 86, free for download and listening to, mixed particularly to try and capture the feel from their live show performances. Enjoy!

Related Link: Woodstock Mafia | Youtube | SoundCloud

Music: Springbok Nude Girls – Illuminate (2007) Music 12 MAY 2015

If you were a South African rock-leaning teenager growing up in the nineties, then undoubtedly you were madly enthralled with the Springbok Nude Girls – there was literally no way you didn’t lose your shit when the opening cords of Bubblegum On My Boots started playing!

springbok nude girls band

Everything about the band worked, and powered by Arno Carsten’s amazing voice and the clever trumpet from Adriaan Brand, the band was unstoppable, piling on alternative rock hit after hit.

Needless to say, I was a massive fan, and in a way, still am. Saddened by the rock kings from Stellenbosch’s breakup in 2001, their sudden 2006 reunion was a godsend – particularly because the more mature souding 2007 album Peace Breaker was such a refreshing hit!

Illuminate was without a doubt one of the power hits on this particular outing, and so if you haven’t heard it before then you are most certainly in for a treat!

Related Link: Wikipedia | Springbok Nude Girls | YouTube

How Fiber Optic Cables Work Science, Technology & Curiosity 11 MAY 2015

Have you ever wondered just how fiber optic cables actually work? Well sure it probably has something to do with light seeing as the word optic appears in the name, but exactly what role does it play?

Optic fiber cable

Well, if you are curious about this technology then you happen to be in luck – engineering professor Bill Hammack, a well known science and technology documentarian and face of his engineerguy.com project, has put together a very informative video that highlights the principles in play, and brings everything down to a level at which most of us can understand.

So let us allow Bill to get on with it then…

Undoubtedly a remarkable feat of engineering and definitely something that has made it possible to properly make the world an even smaller place!

Related Link: Wikipedia | Youtube

Green Screens of Old and Green Screens on the Cheap Science, Technology & Curiosity 08 MAY 2015

If you aren’t aware as to what Green Screen or Chroma key compositing is (which is great if you don’t, because of course, this technique is meant to be seamless), our old friend Wikipedia gives quite a good rundown:

“Chroma key compositing, or chroma keying, is a special effects / post-production technique for compositing (layering) two images or video streams together based on color hues (chroma range). The technique has been used heavily in many fields to remove a background from the subject of a photo or video – particularly the newscasting, motion picture and videogame industries. A color range in the top layer is made transparent, revealing another image behind. The chroma keying technique is commonly used in video production and post-production. This technique is also referred to as color keying, colour-separation overlay, or by various terms for specific color-related variants such as green screen, and blue screen.

Chroma keying can be done with backgrounds of any color that are uniform and distinct, but green and blue backgrounds are more commonly used because they differ most distinctly in hue from most human skin colors. No part of the subject being filmed or photographed may duplicate a color used in the background.”

These days computers and algorithms are the kings of this trick, but of course, this is something that has been done in film long before computers ever became mainstream. British presenter and tech personality Tom Scott produced this well oiled little video explaining some of the technique that those video pioneers relied on in the past to get the Green Screen job done:

Given the advanced state of the technology and multitude of commercially available computer software such as Autodesk Smoke, Final Cut Pro, Pinnacle Studio, Adobe After Effects, these days it is quite possible and in fact relatively easy for the average home computer user to create green screen videos – simply by using the “chromakey” function in conjunction with affordable green screen or blue screen kits.

In fact, as Australian comedian Sam Tucker (of Samtime News) goes on to show, you can do your own green screen pretty easily on the cheap:

Cheap but effective! (In other words, if you are a Youtuber, what are you waiting for!)

woman in high heels and a bikini armed with machine guns in front of a green screen with a fan

Related Link: Tom Scott || Samtime News || Wikipedia

Cheap Clothing – Just a Reminder that Sweatshops are still a Problem General Nonsense 27 APR 2015

I first encountered comedian John Oliver on Community (which I only picked up on criminally late). What I didn’t know at the time was that very soon I would become an avid fan of his entry into the world of American late-night talk and news satire: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Although sometimes they take it a step too far with some of their antics, overall, the writers of this show put forward a lot of big, pertinent topics that are well researched and will often cause your jaw to drop with disbelief once delivered, making it a firm favourite of mine to pick up via Youtube on a weekly basis.

A particularly hard hitting segment from this week’s show deals with the problem of sweatshops still being well and truly alive in this day and age – something that cheap clothing is probably the best indicator of:

South Africa deals with exactly the same problem mind you. So much of our homegrown textiles industry has been completely decimated by the impossibly cheap imports that no one can fairly compete against – unless they themselves ran a sweatshop environment of course.

As always, cheaper is always great for the buyer, but almost always never a great thing for the producer.

youtube last week tonight with john oliver

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdLf4fihP78

Music: Papa Roach – Gravity (2015) Music 23 APR 2015

I’ve mentioned the fact that I rather enjoy Papa Roach’s music more than once on this blog, and thus it can come as no big surprise that I’m highlighting the new music video that the band just dropped for a track off this year’s new album release, F.E.A.R.

papa roach in black and white at the sea

While 2012’s The Connection album didn’t really come out as a winner for me, this year’s F.E.A.R. effort is definitely a different kettle of fish. Great songwriting and epic riffs means that the boys are definitely back, and this latest single off the album is certainly no exception.

“Gravity” was written by Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix for his wife, and in an interview Shaddix had this to say about the song:

That’s a raw nerve, man. I always want to put myself out there in the music and this song does that just more so than really ever. It doesn’t necessarily paint me in the best picture as far as the cliché rock guy gives himself to the rock and roll excesses story. But we went through that in our relationship. I failed as a husband, as a father, as a lover, as a friend to her and I just wanted to write a song about that brokenness and how somehow she sees something in me that I didn’t see in myself at times.

In other words, pure rock and roll stuff. Enjoy.

(Oh, and in case you were curious, In This Moment’s Maria Brink is playing the role of Shaddix’s wife in the video)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_Roach

Accelerometers: How Cell Phones Know Up from Down Science, Technology & Curiosity 19 APR 2015

Engineering professor Bill Hammack is a well known science and technology documentarian who has been the face of his engineerguy.com project for quite a number of years now.

In this video he explains how it is that a smartphone knows whether it is orientated in landscape or potrait mode – essentially whether it lying on its side or not.

(I’ll give you a hint: it’s because of the accelerometer).

Besides taking us through the concept of the accelerometer, Bill also gives us an idea of just how exactly one of such tiny size is actually created by engineers in the first place!

I think it is absolutely amazing (and mind boggling!) when one starts thinking at the tiny scale engineers need to think and reproduce these inventions at.

girl holding a cell phone on its side - LG GD900 transparent phone

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZVgKu6v808

Not Quite an Ode to the Bum: Milk Milk Lemonade… and the Fudge Machine Music 17 APR 2015

I’m not really familiar with comedian Amy Schumer, nor her seemingly popular Inside Amy Schumer sketch show that runs on Comedy Central, and just in case you aren’t either, here’s the show blurb grabbed straight off of the Comedy Central listing:

“Straight from Amy Schumer’s provocative and hilariously wicked mind, Inside Amy Schumer explores sex, relationships and the general clusterf**k that is life with sketches, stand-up comedy and woman-on-the-street interviews.”

inside amy schumer a series of embarrassing episodes comedy central advert billboard

IMDb says a fairly similar thing:

“Assuming the title didn’t give it away, comic Amy Schumer is the creator and star of this series, which features her biting wit delivered in scripted vignettes, stand-up clips, and man-on-the-street interviews. Schumer’s wholesome good looks are in stark contrast with her material — a mix of self-deprecating jabs, uncomfortable sex talk, and charmingly inappropriate insights — which has garnered her acclaim since her attention-grabbing appearance on Comedy Central’s 2011 roast of Charlie Sheen.”

So by now you might have picked up that Amy’s shtick appears to be putting forward her wholesome All-American girl look, and then letting it rip with a lot of uncomfortable potty-mouth sex talk.

Case in point, her rather funny musical response to the way music videos currently glorify women’s bums… when they probably shouldn’t be. (Featuring Method Man, Amber Rose and a couple other special guests for good measure!)

Milk, milk, lemonade, and fudge indeed.

Related Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeiSx5MNDvg