Friday, February 26, 2010

2010 IET/BCS Turing Lecture

"Exponential growth in data is driving the new machine intelligence."

Microsoft's Professor Christopher Bishop presented the Prestige IET/BCS 2010 Turing lecture at Savoy Place last night.

The talk can now be viewed here:

IET/BCS Turing Lecture 2010 - Embracing Uncertainty: The new machine intelligence

Professor Christopher Bishop, Chief Research Scientist, Microsoft Research Cambridge Computers

From: The IET/BCS Turing Lecture

2010-02-25 00:00:00.0 IT Channel

>> go to webcast>> recommend to friend

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The 7 Stages of James Cameron's Avatar-viewing Heaven!

Having tonight seen AVATAR for the third time, exactly two months since first being overwhelmed by it at the BFI IMAX, surprised to learn there remain people in the Northern Hemisphere of Planet Earth who have not yet seen James Cameron's cine-spectacular, thus, not enjoyed his Pandora epic. Perhaps they're waiting for Cameron's Avatar novel:

Cameron confirmed reports that he’s turning his Oscar-nominated movie “Avatar” into a novel. “There are things you can do in books that you can’t do with films,” said Cameron... the book version of “Avatar” will follow the film version “quite closely” in terms of the plot. But the novel will also include “interior monologues” and provide details about the characters and Pandora...Cameron said he first considered writing the book when he was filming the movie. “I told myself, if it made money, I’d write a book”. (From here).

Below I've listed the seven stages of AVATAR movie-viewing heaven:

1. 3D BFI IMAX London - massive screen, awesome AVATAR/Pandora experience
2. 3D any other IMAX cinema
3. 3D cinema - not the same engagement as the IMAX experience, still enjoyable
4. 2D cinema - pleased it looks good in this format too

and come November 2010, the date for release of AVATAR on DVD (see below*), the next best ways to enjoy AVATAR for ever are:

5. 3D TVs can't wait!
6. Massive home Plasma screen TV with blu-ray player
7. PC or any other TV/screen

Avatar's Michell Rodriguez speaks of her pride:

Speaking at Hollywood's ACE Awards, the actress said she was impressed by how many people the movie seemed to have touched.

"Yeah, I am proud," she explained. "I'm proud that love could strike people like that - that's all it is."

"It's like unconditional love translated into special effects, 3-D and a great storyline," the actress said of the Oscar-nominated movie.

"I just love how receptive people around the world have been to that message, because it makes me think that there is still hope out there." (From here)

Let's hope James Cameron is appreciated this weekend with an armful of BAFTAS.

*Feb 17 2010 6:09 PM EST:
'Avatar' Director James Cameron Says 3-D DVD In Stores This November: 'We'll follow up with some kind of special edition later down the line,' Cameron says. By Eric Ditzian, with reporting by Josh Horowitz

"Avatar" arrived in December, and it looks like the DVD will start shipping 11 months later. That's what James Cameron told MTV News when the writer/director stopped by the newsroom to chat on Wednesday (February 17).

"We're going to put 'Avatar' out probably in November on 3-D — bare bones, just the movie — and then we'll follow up with some kind of special edition later down the line," he said.

By the time the DVD arrives, major electronics manufacturers like Samsung, Panasonic and Sony should have home 3-D television systems available for purchase, albeit at a premium price. Pair one of those sets with a 3-D-enabled Blu-ray player, and while you won't exactly be re-creating an IMAX viewing environment, you will get three dimensions of Pandoran glory and still be close enough to your fridge to hit pause and grab a cold soda.

Cameron ... expanded and clarified ... the DVD ... is likely to contain five or six minutes of fully finished, theatrical-release-quality deleted scenes and 15 minutes of footage that was excised early on and thus contains rough CG effects.

"The unfinished scenes look like a cheesy video game," Cameron said. "They're the performances — you can really see what the scenes would have been — but it doesn't have that magical realism of the finished film."

Among the deleted scenes will be footage focusing on the main group of Na'vi humanoids of Pandora, the introduction of other Na'vi clans, and the ritual hunt for a colorful creature called a Sturmbeest in which Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) takes part.

"It's all wonderful stuff, but it was sort of bogging down the middle section of the movie," Cameron told us back in December. "So there's plenty for a value-added DVD experience on this film. Of course, we'll have to go punch it all up and get it all mixed and stuff like that."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Bellamy's People: 'What Exactly is Britishness?' Spoof!

3rd episode of hilarious new comedy Bellamy's People aired last night on BBC2.

The show is predicated on the idea of an award winning radio phone-in host, who has decided to leave his studio to find out what Britishness actually means. As intrepid as the other Bellamy (biologist, David), Gary goes forth meeting with people of today's Great Britain. Sometimes bemused by them, at other times playfully attacked, Bellamy connects with every caricature of multi-cultural Britons. Read the Gary Bellamy blog here.

Favourite character, is played by the brilliant Felix Dexter. As an African student, Julius Olufemwe, in London for the past twenty years reading Hotel Management Studies, he is just too funny!

We learn Julius adores British history, culture and traditions. He admires British buildings, shows Bellamy wonderful examples such as Big Ben, Houses of Parliament. Yes, Dexter's African student loves all that is British, but especially its fabric, that which makes Britain lovely, its nobility! - Julius would love to say to his mother and father that he has become the Marquis of Shropshire, the Earl of Broadstairs, the Viscount of Guildford or the Duke of Reading :)

Bellamy talks to the outspoken radio talk-show host (think Jon Gaunt!), the Yorkshire poet, the un-racist English builder, the Aussie who thinks Great Britain is down the pan, the Pakistani who acquaints Bellamy of the benefit of his home nation: it's hotter :) And there's a Professor, Michael Dadd, who has all the important dates in British History at his fingertips, including the year of the Battle of Agincourt, which, much to the Historian's chagrin, Bellamy does not, and neither do I, without looking it up!

Many more characters to enjoy while spoofing up Britishness - watch on BBC iPlayer.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

OSCARS 2010: AVATAR & HURT LOCKER Nominated 9 Times Each

My favourite movie 2009-end and New Decade-Tweens, Avatar received 9 Oscar nominations:

Best picture
Best film editing
Art direction
Music (original score)
Sound editing
Sound mixing
Visual effects

Good luck to Kathryn Bigelow, her Strange Days (story written by James Cameron), is one of my favourite movies of the 90s:

Back to AVATAR, I love James Cameron's Pandora: