Monday, October 26, 2009

PhotoSynth (Microsoft's Got Groove!)

For the last few years, it had seemed that Microsoft's has lost what's left of its zeal with the fiasco of Vista and numerous plans to at once salvage what they can from that terribly broken system(SPs anyone?) and to, against all rationality, "improve" the Vista system by completely failing at integrating various features(lol "Are you sure you want to_____?" message boxes) and softwares(Live everything, except for even the slightest chance for success) into its cruddy Vista OS.

For the last time, I am DAMNED SURE that I want the goddamned file to be moved the recycle bin!

However, despite Microsoft's shortcomings during the Vista era, it seems that somewhere along the way Microsoft has finally discovered its inner zeal. This ofcourse would be puntuacted by the tremendous success of Windows 7, but this article, like its title suggest is not about Microsoft's newest money grabbing flagship, but rather a software that appeared during the same year of Blackcomb was renamed Windows 7. This is software, the Photosynth, is Microsoft's new and much groovier approach to personal computing.

Photosynth is a software that allow you to create 3D environment simply by providing the program with a sufficient amount of overlapping pictures taken from a single point of view. In other words, all the user have to do is stand in one place, take pictures of the surrounding environment and the rest of the work is done by the program, which will analyze the pictures for edges and recreate a 360 view of the entire area. This innovative way of viewing pictures not only allow the artist to show more than just one part of a whole, but also it may also technically allow truly 3D films to be constructed and shown in real time. As of now, it already has the ability to zoom into a certain object within a whole panorama and rotate around it independently to allow for a truly 3D view of, well technically, any given object within the scene, really.

Enough talk, since if one picture is worth a thousand words, I'm sure that the 205 pictures that make up the world in the link below will do a much better job at explaining potentials of the Photosynth.

Friday, October 23, 2009

¥500/kg(or $160/lb) Beef Sold in China

Recently in China, various super markets started to appeal to the high-end luxury consumers by importing various food products from other countries and sell them as luxury food items in China. As the market becomes more saturated with numerous small super markets intended to appeal to the general public with the main strategy of lowering prices, competition between stores rose and big companies soon began to realize the much higher potential for profit at the other end of the spectrum. Thus, the luxury super markets are born.

Various stores such as the "International", the "BHG" and "Olé" import their products from countries over the world and redistribute them for a much higher price. According to reports various items like import fruits from Thailand sold for 100s of yuan per kg, imported European bread sold for 10s of yuan per loaf and even imported beef from Australia being sold for nearly five hundred yuan are now becoming a common sight in these luxury stores.

To put that into perspective, one US dollar is equal to 6.82 yuan. Which means that import fruits with price tags of up to $44/kg or $97/lb or higher(from a 300 yuan price), bread sold for $7.3 per loaf and beef sold for up to $73.22/kg or $161/lb are being sold as luxury items in China, where the average wage is approximately ¥1500 or $220 a month.

This may seem like a shocking development in the Chinese economical structure, but in reality, it was only a matter of time before the businesses recognized the business opportunities the growing upper middle class provided. With newfound wealth the demands for high quality products imported from foreign provided business with nearly limitless opportunities for profits. As of now, China is the world's second largest consumer of luxury products, having just surpassed in the most recent survey. Additionally, a research survey published by Abrams Research recognizes China as the largest potential market for future luxury products. At this rate it's no wonder why there's market for those beef.

But still, $161/lb beef?

Holy. Shit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

While in Sunrise Restaurant on Jane Street

Monday about 4pm.

Was looking for a washroom, so I went to Sunrise Restaurant on Jane Street and Falstaff. There was about three people there, the customers of course, as there weere about four more employees, I'd reckon. There was music playing in the background and some birds flying over the telephone poles, with numerous cars passing by on Jane, it feels frankly quite nice. The chicken itself was not delicacy, but the friendly server and the simple taste of the food makes the afternoon snack experience a very simple and comfortable one. Everything felt right.