Blog

Oculus Rift Development Kit 2: Review and initial impressions

Posted by in Gadgets, Hardware, Technology, Virtual Reality | July 31, 2014
Oculus Rift Development Kit 2: Review and initial impressions

I received my Oculus Rift DK2 yesterday morning. I ordered it on March 19th, within hours from the announcement. Here are my first impressions.

oculus_rift_dk2_1

Click to read the whole review.

Read more ›

Yes, I can sense the presence of ghosts

Posted by in Personal, Rants, Religion, Science | July 22, 2014
Yes, I can sense the presence of ghosts

Let me tell you a little secret about myself: I can sense the ghosts of dead people, and I’m not using a metaphor here. I really mean ghosts, or souls, or spirits of other dead people. Call them whatever you want. I can feel them, and they used to scare the shit out of me.

This started when I was a kid. The apartment where my parents raised me had a badly-lit corridor with the living room on one end, my parents’ bedroom on the other, and my own bedroom and a bathroom in between. Often, on my way back from the bathroom, I would have a slight feeling that someone was behind me, just standing there looking at my back. I would turn, and each and every time I was unable to see anyone or anything. However, I felt, I knew there was somebody there, some presence staring at me. I would hurry up, run back to my room, and close the door behind me.

Read more ›

Ben & Jerry’s awesome event in Tokyo Midtown, now with Oculus Rift!

Posted by in Fun, Hardware, Technology, Virtual Reality, Work | March 15, 2014

If you live in Tokyo get your ass off the couch and head for Tokyo Midtown now and get some delicious free ice-cream.

Ben & Jerry’s is celebrating an event in the basement of the Tokyo Midtown Galleria. Here you can enjoy free ice-cream, have your photo printed in a tub of the delicious thing, sit and relax while you eat under a (fake) tree…

Ben & Jerry at Midtown

…and also become a happy cow in a virtual reality experience using the Oculus Rift:

Ben & Jerry's Oculus Rift

So where and when is this happening? Here you go:

Tokyo Midtown Galleria B1F
Saturday, March 15th 11am-8pm
Sunday, March 16th 11am-7pm

The even was put together by our company, Wieden+Kennedy Tokyo. Keep reading for the fun details.

Read more ›

Copenhagen zoo kills baby giraffe for fun, murderer still free

Posted by in Animal rights, Crime, Pets, Society | February 11, 2014

Yesterday (February 9th 2014), the Copenhagen Zoo murdered Marius, a 18-month giraffe baby by shooting him in the head. They then proceeded to dismember his corpse in front of the zoo visitors and feed the corpse to the lions.

Marius the giraffe

Social networks and news sites are all echoing this crime. Just a few examples:

There was nothing wrong with Marius. He was a completely healthy animal. However, Bengt Holst, Director of Research and Conservation at Copenhagen Zoo, decided that Marius wasn’t genetically valuable enough. Other zoos offered to adopt Marius, but Holst declined the offers and decided that it would be a better show to kill the baby giraffe and carve the corpse in front of the public.

This is a photo of this fucking son of a bitch (it’s the dude on the left, the elephant is innocent):

bengt_holst_murderer

In my opinion, this bastard, together with all the staff involved in the killing, should be immediately fired, forbidden to ever work with animals again, and put on trial for cruelty against animals. Under his direction, the Copenhagen Zoo sacrifices 20-30 animals per year.

There are several petitions online to get Holst fired or force him to resign. Here are two of them:

You should sign these, but you know how these things work: online petitions will most likely be ignored. Please share this in all your social networks. It may also be effective to write a letter directly to the Copenhagen Zoo and express your feelings about this killing. Here’s the address:

Copenhagen Zoo Administration
Roskildevej 32
2000 Frederiksberg
Denmark

WARNING: what follows are the photos of the killing and dismembering process. There are lots of blood, so don’t read the rest of the post if you’re sensitive to this stuff.

 

Read more ›

Kudos to Scott Adams

Posted by in Fun, Politics, Society | February 08, 2014

I’ve been following Scott Adams’ Dilbert comic stripg for many, many years now. I have most of the Dilbert comic strip books, several of Scott’s books (including his just-released How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big) and I’m an early member of the DNRC. Translation: I’m a huge Scott Adams fan.

Usually Scott’s comics are apolitical, but in his February 7th comic strip he takes a very clear stance against homophobia:

dilbert-feb-7-asok-gay

Scott, my respect for you has now officially gone through the roof.

Answers to creationists’ dumb questions

Posted by in Culture, Fun, Rants, Religion, Stupidity | February 08, 2014

On February 4th 2014 there was a debate between Bill Nye (American scientist known for his The Science Guy educational program) and Ken Ham (the creationist behind the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis). The topic was:

Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern, scientific era?

bill-nye-ken-ham-debate

The whole debate is available online here (warning: it’s over two hours long), but this is not what I want to write about this time. During the debate, Matt Stopera from BuzzFeed asked 22 creationists to write a message or question to the other side. Most questions were quite dumb. This one is my favourite:

dumb_creationist_5

I thought it would be fun (for me) to reply these questions, so here are my answers (keep reading).

Read more ›

Fix for applications asking for the Keychain password in OS X Mavericks

Posted by in Apple, How-to, Technology | February 04, 2014

Now that I don’t work for Apple anymore I can post again about fixing issues in OS X and iOS devices. Some other day I’ll write about how much OS X Server sucks (now the Server application), but for now let me tell you about an issue that kept me busy this morning.

One of our work computers in the office has been prompting for the login keychain password every five minutes or so, annoying the user with popups like these:

CalendarAgent_Keychain This started happening after removing the user’s account from the computer without deleting the home folder, and logging in again using his Active Directory account. The old keychain was deleted and a new one created manually.

After checking for a while I realized that the problem is that by default any new keychain created via Keychain Access will lock itself every five minutes or when the computer goes to sleep.

Here’s how to fix this:

  • Open Keychain Access (inside Applications -> Utilities)
  • Right-click the login keychain
  • Click Change Settings for Keychain “login”…

keychain_access_change_settings_login

  • Uncheck the Lock after X minutes of inactivity and Lock when sleeping checkboxes.
  • Click Save

login_keychain_settings

Restart the computer (or at least log out from the current account) and these popups shouldn’t annoy you again.

Photo gallery: Aoyama Graveyard (January 2nd, 2014)

Posted by in Japan, Photo galleries, Photography | January 09, 2014
Photo gallery: Aoyama Graveyard (January 2nd, 2014)

The Aoyama Cemetery (青山霊園, Aoyama Reien) is located in central Tokyo, very close to Roppongi. It’s huge (263,000 squared meters according to Wikipedia), and it is completely open to the public at all times. It was founded in 1872 and it is Japan’s first public cemetery.

It has a foreign plot (外人墓地, gaijin bochi) near the center where many foreigners and their descendants are buried,  but the most popular grave is Hidesaburo Ueno’s, owner of Hachiko. I’m sure you’ve heard his story already, but in case you haven’t, here’s a short summary:

Hidesaburo Ueno was a professor in the Tokyo Imperial University in the early 1900s. In 1924 he adopted Hachiko, an Akita dog, as his pet. Every morning on the way to work they walked together to the Shibuya station, and every evening Hachiko went to the station to wait for Professor Ueno’s return from work.

They continued this routine daily until May 1925, when the Professor didn’t return. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died. For the next nine years, Hachiko kept coming to the same spot every day to wait for Ueno’s return, until he too died on March 8th, 1935, aged 11.

There’s a bronze statue of Hachiko in the spot where he waited every evening. This is without doubt the most popular meeting spot in Tokyo.

Hachiko is not actually buried in the Aoyama Graveyard (his stuffed remains are exhibited in the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno), but there’s a small shrine dedicated to Hachiko inside the plot of Professor Ueno’s grave, and also a commemoratory pylon just outside the plot.

In late December 2013 I moved to a new apartment just a few minutes walking from the graveyard. Having nothing to do during New Year, I took my camera and went for a walk in the afternoon.

Download full resolution photos (144 MB)

Remember that all my photos are released as public domain. You’re welcome to use them for any purpose, whether commercial or not. Attribution is always welcome, but it’s not required.

Keep reading to see the photo gallery.

Read more ›

Photo gallery: Kanamara Matsuri (April 2013)

Posted by in Culture, Fun, Japan, Photo galleries | May 13, 2013
Photo gallery: Kanamara Matsuri (April 2013)

The Kanamara Matsuri (かなまら祭り, steel phallus festival) is a shinto event organized by the Kanayama shrine (金山神社, Kanayama Jinja) in the Kawasaki province. It takes place the first Sunday of April every year.

This festival has its origins in the Edo period (1603 – 1868), when the town’s prostitutes visited the shrine to pray for protection against syphilis. Currently the festival is dedicated to fertility and it collects funds for HIV research.

The events start at eleven in the morning. There are performances of traditional Japanese music and dance, and also a very fun penis-shaped daikon (Japanese radish) carving contest. Around the shrine grounds there are stalls selling candy and key rings also shaped like penises or vaginas. This year there were also one or two stalls selling adult sex toys.

Around one in the afternoon the visitors go on a procession around the town carrying two mikoshi (神輿, portable shinto shrines) and a wooden cart carrying a huge ping penis.

After the procession many of the visitors head to the Kawasaki Daishi (川崎大師), a very beautiful buddhist shrine around ten minutes walking from there. The avenue to the entrance of the temple grounds has many shops selling souvenirs and food, that reminds me very much of the Nakamise street before the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa.

Enjoy the photos. Feel free to let me know if you’re interested in going next year, because I’ll go again too.

Keep reading to see the photo gallery.

Read more ›

I’m a LAPAO speaker now

Posted by in Culture, Politics, Rants | May 11, 2013

In case you hadn’t heard about this already, pay attention to the last piece of nonsense courtesy of the authoritarian party controlling the Spanish government, the Partido Popular (Popular Party, also know as PP.)

As you may know, in Spain we speak several different languages. The official one is Spanish, spoken in the whole territory, but in some areas Spanish coexists with one or more local languages: Galician, Basque, Catalan, Valencian, Aragonese… However, the fascists in control of the government don’t like this a bit. They want a pure castillian race speaking only Spanish, and they’re proceeding in the same way as Hitler when he tried to destroy everything that wasn’t his aryan race (there, it took me just ten seconds to do a Godwin.)

So what great idea did the retards from PP have this time? They decided to rename Catalan and Aragonese! My guess is that they are trying to erase every mention of these languages from official government documents, hoping that we will forget our mother languages. So far this law has only passed in the administrative region of Aragón, just west from Catalonia, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did the same in other regions.

Who do we have to thank for this great, great idea? Her name is Luisita Fernanda Rudi, who is currently the president of the Aragón county council, and also president of the NazPopular Party of Aragon. As an unrelated note, her daddy was a member of the military on the side that helped Hitler’s buddy Francisco Franco take power. I’m suuuure this is of no relevance.

Retrato_Luisa_Fernanda_Rudi_realizado_sor_Isabel_GuerraThe bitch (right) and and owl. Photo courtesy of Los Genoveses.

Keep reading, there’s more.

Read more ›