April 8, 2008#

Website Update: Formula 1 Sidebar Gadget, Rendering Smoke & Clouds

Just wanted to point out two recent updates to my website.

presentation-page-01 A few days ago I finally uploaded a short description together with the slides and paper of a talk I gave a few weeks ago on the topic of “Rendering Smoke & Clouds” in the context of a game design university course. Have a look at it here.


ranking The second update is a Windows Vista sidebar gadget, my first one actually. It displays the content of a (German) Formula 1 live text ticker (sport.rtl.de) in the Windows sidebar and includes features like a flyout window for detailed view, automatic refresh, quick access to the original website and a Formula 1 live stream. Feel free to give it a try here and please leave your feedback!

January 22, 2008#

Star Trek XI Trailer on the Web

Somehow this trailer has made its way to the web today. The movie itself is due December this year if I remember right. So till then, enjoy the trailer:

January 11, 2007#

Jack is back! 24 to sweeten the waiting for Stargate Atlantis and Formula 1.

24 – Season 6

I had almost forgotten about the short preview of season 6 at the and of 24 season 5. Now while looking the web for the airing dates of the upcoming Stargate Atlantis season I came across the wikipedia page on 24. And hell … the pilot’s airing in 5 days!

So finally there’ll be an end to weird Spanish talk shows or never ending Operación Triunfo! If it’s only half as good as the earlier seasons, it’ll soon be a high priority entry on my weekly schedule! Allthough not all people I know do like 24, for me, it’s one of the best TV series I’ve ever seen.

And there’s even more! Seems that they are planning to make a 24 movie. Allhtough I’ve got no idea of how to make a 24 movie (unless it’s trying to challenge Michael Ende’s Never ending Story by lasting real 24 hours), the fact that it’ll be set in London sounds quite promising!

Stargate Atlantis, Formula 1

Anyway, 24 is not all! Two other fix items on my schedule are the second half of Stargate Atlantis season 3 starting on April 6th and of course the 2007 Formula 1 season opening on March 18th in Melbourne.


Any important TV shows I forgot to mention?

January 9, 2007#

Podcasts – NYT on the front row, Spain still trying to translate the word

Here’s some information about podcasts which I’d like to share. Why? To be honest, mainly because NYT podcasts are so f***in’ good but also because Spain seems to be nearly podcast free.

How It Started

I consider myself a regular podcast listeners since about a year or so, having started listening to German news show podcasts trying to somehow keep myself busy on the sheer endless busride from my appartment to the university campus.

I found this to be a pretty goot alternative to radio, as it gives you a lot more freedom in choosing what you want to listen to, though unfortunately not beeing as easy to use when new to the subject.

Hardware & Applications

I started with an iPod Shuffle which I had got for free, soon noticed that Apple doesn’t want me to listen to Podcast on such a cheap device and thus forced to use some of those nice but not at all intuitive and stable programs like Juice or Doppler. Let’s just say the chain of Juice downloading the podcasts, Windows Media Player keeping track of new shows and uploading them to an Apple iPod plus iPod Shuffle Library Updater didn’t work as very reliably. All this has been quite a mess. So finally facing my stay abroad in Spain and an even longer bus ride to the university campus I bought myself an iPod Nano 2G and know what? It works like a smooth. iTunes and my new iPod make a perfect team and now it really isn’t any more than just plugging your iPod into your computer before breakfast and plugging it off afterwards and you’ll have all new episodes of you favorite show on this shiny little thing.

Where’s the Podcasts?

So now I’m set to listen to hundreds of awesome shows on my iPod every day on this one hour metro ride? No! Unfortunately not! But why? Because there simply are no podcasts, at least not in Spain.

Well, I must admit that’s been a little bit of an exageration, nevertheless Spain stills seems to be quite busy finding a translation of the word into their own language before even thinking about using the word. That is to say, none of the big newspapers seem to be offering podcasts, neither the small ones. TV stations either. You’d be happy to find their program schedule on their websites not to speak about additional features like podcasts, RSS or media stuff. Well, at least there’s ads! ;-) So what remains is low quality recordings of Spanish radio shows, tremendously long in duration, huge in size and tiny in content, as long as you aren’t taking bad jokes and "second hand" music for content (allthough the latter two things might be subject to my personal likes and dislikes). Anyway, not considering the non-functional podcast links on www.elmundo.es, a big spanish newspaper, this is all you’ll get, so check it out yourself at:

Now talking about Germany, I’d be happy to say that they are doing a better job, but they’re not! It’s exactly the same style. Simple recordings of radio and TV news broadcasts which are published on the according websites as so called podcasts. At least there’s more than in Spain, so, you’ll have a bit more of a choice and therefore might find some shows being somewhat above average, others somwhat below. Try it youself at the following site:

There’s even one german site with quite good podcasts:

New York Times Podcasts

So finally where’s the good podcasts? Easy question, easy answer: Go to the New York Times web site at www.nyt.com. That’s what podcasts should be like and the reason for this blog entry. They are really PRODUCING podcasts and obviously spending money on this matter. They’re not just publishing recordings of interviews or read-alouds of some of their columns, allthough one of the best podcasts on their site is just this. David Pogue, a NYT tech clumnist reading aloud his weekly published article. But he’s as good a reader as he is a writer and that he is for sure … again subject to my personal likes! The podcast which is named after it’s author is about the latest gadgets on the tech market whose features are presented and explained but also judged, quite often with a good portion of humour, sometimes quite obvious, sometimes somwhat more hidden. In short, excatly the style I like. ;-) Just give it a try:

And make sure you don’t miss all the other podcasts on the NYT web site, especially:

So finally, feel free to share your favorite podcasts in the comments to this blog entry.

By the way, even in Germany and Spain, there are a few podcasts which are quite okay, but mainly this is small unknown podcasts which are being published on a far less regular schedule (if any) and aren’t really suitable for your daily metro or bus ride. That’s why I didn’t lose any word about those in the text above.