Monthly Archives: April 2008

Enhancing the YouTube Experience.

:en:YouTube :en:headquarters at 1000 Cherry Avenue in :en:San Bruno, California. YouTube moved into this building in October 2006, after outgrowing their previous headquarters in a loft above a pizzeria.Image via WikipediaLifehacker recently gave two tips on the use of YouTube. The first one targets at watching videos from outside the region where they are allowed (mainly US 😀 ). You just need to change the URL and everything works fine.

The other one features a bookmarklet for downloading the mp4 files of the videos. You just need to add it to your bookmarks and on click it will add a download link for the mp4 file.

Furthermore there is a “Better YouTube” Firefox plugin, which already does a lot of the things the articles describe.

Deadline Extension: I-Media Special Session on Multimedia Metadata

The paper submission deadline has been extended to April 28, 2008.

Original CfP: 

Studies show that sales of digital capture devices like video camera, digital photo cameras, or mobile phones with digital cameras are still rising. Therefore it can be expected that the number of created digital multimedia content will rise dramatically in future. Multimedia metadata is currently the only way to cope with problems like semantics based retrieval or organization of content and provides means to specify adaptation and delivery constraints and rules. Within this special session the importance of metadata for media technologies is discussed. We encourage the submission of high quality scientific work as well as application papers. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Multimedia technologies and metadata in the social web
  • Multimedia semantics
  • Annotation of multimedia content
  • Metadata in pervasive multimedia computing
  • Metadata for new media
  • Studies and surveys in context of multimedia metadata and new media

We encourage the submission of high quality scientific work as well as application papers.

More Information …

CfP: International Workshop on Knowledge Acquisition from the Social Web KASW’08

… a reminder 🙂

This workshop aims to develop and bring together a community of researchers interested in discussing the manifold challenges and potentials of knowledge acquisition from the social web.

With the advent of the Social Web, a new breed of web applications has enriched the social dimension of the web. On the social web, actors can be understood as social agents – technological or human entities – that collaborate, pursue goals, are autonomous, and are capable of exhibiting flexible problem solving and social behavior. By participating in the social web, both technological and human agents leave complex traces of social interactions and their motivations behind, which can be studied, analyzed and utilized for a range of different purposes. The broad availability and open accessibility of these traces in social web corpora, such as in, Wikipedia, weblogs and others, provides researchers with opportunities for, for example, novel knowledge acquisition techniques and strategies, as well as large scale, empirically coupled in the field studies of social processes and structures.

This workshop aims to develop and bring together a diverse community of researchers interested in the social web by seeking submissions that are focusing on understanding and evaluating the role of agents, goals, structures, concepts, context, knowledge and social interactions in a broad range of social web applications. Examples for such applications include, but are not limited to social authoring (e.g. wikis, weblogs), social sharing (e.g., flickr), social networking (Facebook, LinkedIn) and social searching (e.g. wikia, eurekster, mahalo) applications.

Important Dates:

  • Submission deadline: April 28, 2008
  • Notification of acceptance: May 31, 2008
  • Camera-ready version: June 30, 2008
  • Workshop: One day format, between September 3-5, 2008

Related Links:

Image Mosaics with Ajax

Did you ever think image mosaics in a web application are something that can only be rendered on server side? Well a very interesting post gives an example for the generation of image mosaics with JavaScript and Ajax. The authors employs a JavaScript binary file reader and uses the raw values from greyscale BMPs to find the mosaic. The approach for mosaic creation is simply yet effective: The overall luminance of an image is taken as “single value descriptor” and single pixels are substituted by very small BMPs.

Related Links:

  • Ajax mosaic builder – The blog entry describing the Ajax way of mosaic creation
  • Lire Demo – The offline way for image mosaic creation (also featuring colored images and formats different from BMP)

Computer Games: Parallax Scrolling & Sprites

Currently I’m preparing for giving my talk next Friday in the computer games lesson on multimedia issues in games. To underline my words and slides with some code I also coded some easy little Java program visualizing sprite animation and some star field background. The coding was great fun – the third scrolling shooter I coded … always a pleasure 🙂

However there is one thing I found out while coding: Ready to use sprite animation image stripes are hard to get. There is a little tool called simple explosion maker” that came handy and the SpriteLib of Flying Yogi is rather cool, but I miss the great deal of online creative commons content. Perhaps one could point me there 🙂

Related links:

Java SE 6 Update 10 Beta – A Desktop Release?

Java has been around a long time now and had a lot of success – at server side at most. Issues that still wait for being solved are discussed with each release, one of them is desktop integration. Swing is nice – at least since NetBeans integrated the Matisse GUI editor – but has looked awful for a long time. With Java SE 6 update 10 Nimbus found its way into the Java SE: Nimbus is a vector based look and feel and can therefore support many resolutions in arbitrary steps. Furthermore it is claimed that it is D3D accelerated and therefore a lot faster than standard L&Fs. That was interesting enough for me to take a look at the beta release 🙂


In the middle of below image you find the Nimbus theme, surrounded by JGoodies Plastic (on the left) and the standard XP one on the right (a click on the image reveals the full resolution version). What I found out is:

  • Nimbus takes a lot more space, there is more empty space in between combobox items, etc.
  • I didn’t manage to remove all borders from buttons, as can be seen in the top button row with white background.
  • Focus and progress is painted nicely, it looks appealing.
  • the menu items in nimbus look strange in combination with the icons, the gap between icon and text is too small.