by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

September 29, 2006

40,000 daily sheep users

The Electric Sheep has surpassed 40,000 daily users. Yay! So far on average the number doubles about once every 9 months.
Posted by spot at 02:04 AM | Comments (1)

September 27, 2006

FLAM3 2.7 final

FLAM3 2.7 final available for download. Changelog entry from the last beta:
print out palette as floating point with up to 6 digits rather than integers (for very slow smooth transitions). Added optimization to only recalculate the xform distrib array when necessary (Thanks Joel Faber). Added settable kernel for downrez. Added XML reading code for new format for gradients. Functionalized hex gradient read. Removed color shift experimental feature. New 'motion_exponent' attribute controls fade of temporal steps. added gaussian_blur and radial_blur vars from apo. added pie and ngon variations from joel faber. add rotation_center attribute. added but disabled image variation from joel. release as 2.7.
Many thanks to Erik Reckase who is primarily responsible for development since v2.6, and to the Apophysis team and Joel Faber who contributed variations. Now to incorporate it into the sheep.....
Posted by spot at 02:50 PM | Comments (4)

September 25, 2006

Sheep Talk at Google

Last week I drove down the peninsula to Google HQ for the first time. Well, sort of..... rewind a short 15 years to 1991 when I worked as a summer intern at SGI (apparently still not dead yet) and lived on Rengstorff. Every day I bicycled to work on Amphitheatre Parkway past the garbage dump and empty fields which would be developed by SGI and years later bought by Google. This was well before the bubble when I was just starting to think about the future and the big picture. This was my first introduction to California culture (thank you Nick, Don, and Steve). Ok.... as I consider them the years stretch, and time recedes.

Fastforward to the present. John Hawkins, a Google engineer and Electric Sheep user invites me to speak at Google. Of course I accept. I feel a profound affinity for Google. Of course I am an enthusiastic user from day one.... as are many. Beyond that I draw a parallel between the sheep and google: their spiders read the babble of the net and run all pages through an algorithm to derive Truth. The Sheep similarly listen to the voting of the audience and use a genetic algorithm to derive Beauty. Hello Web 2.0. Hello Noosphere.

Watch the presentation here. Thanks John.

Posted by spot at 02:39 AM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2006

Lumalive LED Fabric

A big step to realizing a dream, Lumalive LED Fabric. The video is amazing.

Lumalive fabrics feature flexible arrays of colored light-emitting diodes (LEDs) fully integrated into the fabric - without compromising the softness or flexibility of the cloth. These light emitting textiles make it possible to create materials that can carry dynamic messages, graphics or multicolored surfaces. Fabrics like drapes, cushions or sofa coverings become active when they illuminate in order to enhance the observerís mood and positively influence his/her behavior.
Posted by spot at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

September 05, 2006


The Dahlia Garden at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Photographed on the day of the Burn, September 2nd 2006.

Dahlias are octoploids (they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes, whereas most plants have two), so they can be bred to exhibit an incredible range of traits. There are over 35,000 officially registered varieties that all can be traced back to three simple original varieties from Mexico which had only eight petals around.

Posted by spot at 03:02 PM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2006


I can't help myself... found this in my referer logs today, from a user in Denmark. A web forum post with a severe case of emoticonitis, the overuse of smiley faces and other emoticons. Most of these were animated to boot. But maybe I'll forgive them :) :) :)

thank you

Posted by spot at 03:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2006

sheep client render times revisited

Below is a histogram of render time in seconds on the horizontal axis vs number of frames delivered within a 10 second interval on the vertical. The peak is at 780 seconds = 13 minutes. The last time I did this the peak was at 20 minutes. I expect the difference partially results from HD frames being only 1280x720 instead of 1280x960 -- this would cut the time down to 15 minutes. The brood frames run at quality 200 instead of 500, but there are so few i don't think they would show up on this graph (which was made from 3 days of operation and contained 574,000 frames).

The remaining 15% difference is less than the 50% predicted by Moore's law. Maybe this results from the demographics of the user population as it grows.

Posted by spot at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)