Last post (for now)

September 6th, 2009

This blog is now officially closed. Or maybe not?

GigaPan

October 8th, 2007

Cool stuff: http://www.gigapan.org/

From the GigaPan website:

GigaPan is the newest development of the Global Connection Project, which aims to help us meet our neighbors across the globe, and learn about our planet itself. GigaPan will help bring distant communities and peoples together through images that have so much detail that they are, themselves, the objects of exploration, discovery and wonder. We believe that enabling people to explore, experience, and share each other’s worlds can be a transforming experience. Our mission is to make all aspects of the GigaPan experience accessible and affordable to the broadest possible community.

GigaPan consists of three technological developments: a robotic camera mount for capturing very high-resolution (gigapixel and up) panoramic images using a standard digital camera; custom software for constructing very high-resolution gigapixel panoramas; and, a new type of website for exploring, sharing and commenting on gigapixel panoramas and the detail our users will discover within them. The GigaPan website allows hosting and sharing all kinds of panoramas, and so the robotic GigaPan mount is recommended but is certainly not required to be part of this community.

Kitespot: Waddell Creek

October 1st, 2007

Holy smoke, yesterday was a great kitesurfing day. I was at Waddell Creek which is located about 20 miles up Highway 1 from Santa Cruz. The weather was perfect, no clouds and perfect wind for my 9m Waroo.








iPod touch features

September 5th, 2007

Cool features you could add to the new iPod touch once it got hacked and allows any code to run on it:

  • Share your music library via Wi-Fi with all other iPod touch and iPhone users
  • Implement a client for Pandora (www.pandora.com) so that you can listen to it whenever you have Internet connectivity
  • Introduce cool ’social networking’ features like alerting you when other iPod users with similar music taste are close-by

Any additional ideas?

Kitespot: 3rd Ave (San Mateo)

September 5th, 2007

After kiting consecutively for 4 days I feel quite a bit exhausted, however, that’s not an excuse for not blogging. Today I’m going to show you my kitesurfing ‘homespot’ which is located about half the way between Palo Alto and San Francisco on the western shore of the bay (3rd Ave, San Mateo).

I like 3rd Ave because it’s only about 20 minutes away and usually has nice steady wind. There are two launch areas: At the upper launch area there is plenty of space for everybody and it’s generally easy-going. The lower launch is a bit tricky, since the beach is smaller and the wind is more gusty. Needless to say that I prefer the upper launch :-)

If you have a look at the Google Maps image you can see the upper launch on the left side of the golf course, the lower launch is on the right.
Here is a panorama picture of the upper launch (click to enlarge):

Another picture:

There is also a webcam which is very useful to see beforehand if it makes sense to go there or not. A wind forecast can be obtained at ikitesurf.com.

Kitespot: Sherman Island

September 4th, 2007

As promised, I’m going to write a few lines about Sherman Island. I was there last weekend for kitesurfing when there was no wind at the bay area. Although it was pretty far away (about 80 miles north-east at the Sacramento River) it was definitely worth it to give it a try.
To get on the island, you have to cross a pretty steep bridge:

On the way to the kitebeach:

Not far from the parking lot there is a grass area where you can rig and launch your kite. To get to the beach, you have to go down this narrow trail (no mistakes allowed with your kite in the air or you will end up in the shrubbery):

The actual beach is pretty small, this is why the majority of kiters rigs and launches on the grass area mentioned before.

Kiters on the water:

The wind tends to be pretty strong, when I was there most people used 7m or 9m kites (I was out with a 9m) - however, it was also very steady.

Conclusion: If there is no wind in the bay, check out Sherman :-)

Coastal kiting

September 3rd, 2007

On Saturday, Georg (a german kiter who lives in the Bay Area since about 5 years) invited me to join him for kiting at the pacific coast. Actually, I wanted to go kiting at 3rd Ave again because of the nice wind forecast, but since the weather was so good I decided to go for it and check out the coast.

We went to a beach called ‘Gazos Creek Beach’ (or something like that) which is located about 25 miles north of Santa Cruz. The good thing is that there are so many beaches/creeks along the pacific coast that there are only a few people around and you have lots of space.

Since the wind was good, I decided to rig my 9m Waroo which turned out to be the perfect size for this day. It was the first time for me to kite on a spot with waves so it was a bit tricky first to surf over the waves out on the water. Eventually, I got used to it and had A LOT of fun out there.

Here are a few pics and a video (sorry for the bad quality, I only had my phone with me):

Stay tuned, next time I will introduce you to Sherman Island and my ‘home-spot’ - 3rd Ave (San Mateo)

Top secret project revealed

September 2nd, 2007

Flux Capacitor

Anonymous sources have confirmed that some company in Silicon Valley is working on something big ;-)

The award for the weirdest Spam mail 2007 goes to …

July 20th, 2007

From: "VINA Garbade"
To: tom@xxxxxxxxx.org
Subject: Re:
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 01:00:39 -0060

Hello my friend!
I am ready to kill myself and eat my dog, if medicine prices here (http://oldbelieve.cn) are bad. Look, the site and call me 1-800 if its wrong.. My dog and I are still alive :)

Trip to Lake Tahoe

July 18th, 2007

Last weekend was awesome. We (a group of 9 people, mostly coworkers from my internship company) went to Lake Tahoe which is located about 220 miles from Palo Alto on the border between CA and NV.

On Saturday afternoon we rented a motorboat and went out to the lake - this was probably the best idea one could have. Watching the sunset was gorgeous.

Here are a few pics:

pano-shore-in-bay.jpg

pano-lake-tahoe-vistapoint.jpg

cimg3649.jpg

cimg3540.jpg

cimg3616.jpg

According to JP we have taken about 1600 pictures this weekend. If I had not forgotten my password I would have uploaded mine to flickr. By the way, any suggestions how to retrieve my password if I do not remember the birth date, ZIP and all the other mumbo jumbo I had to provide on registration?