Vienna

I'll be in Vienna this week. This is part of the annual trip to a German speaking country with the second year students. This year, we'll have the excellent opportunity to visit the University of Technology.

Most important of all, it's also the occasion to go to the opera and see die Zauberflöte!

Virtual Emotions

Yesterday at the Vader show, I had the opportunity to do a unwanted particle physics experiment with my mobile phone (read: I smashed it at high velocity against the ground and saw an explosion of many tiny particles). Vader was absolutely great by the way. This is top notch death metal, highly recommended if they are coming near you.

The fact is I had to buy a new phone, so I went shopping for it this morning. While there, I tried the Kinect from Microsoft on a golfing game.

This is certainly the ultimate game. I mean, the Kinect is a great piece of technology with top algorithms, but there is certainly no way it can detect your arms movement so as to precisely estimate how you would hit the ball and aim at the hole.

On easy mode, this is just flagrant. You do a random swing of your arm and the computer displays a random animation of the ball flying in the air and then falling at a random location nearby the hole. You don't even have to concentrate and aim, every thing is randomly generated to make you feel you achieve a pretty good result. Everything is faked.

That's really a new kind of game, because the results don't rely on your performance. You have minimal input, but still it is entertaining. It is a kind technological version of flipping a coin. The difference being that flipping a coin for 2 hours is not entertaining. You do some random gestures, and the game creates a totally virtual response, giving you a virtual sensation of you achieving something. Totally disturbing.

What you feel, is not real. Virtual Emotions...