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...

Poster at ICCV workshop

My good friends Nicolas Thome and Matthieu Cord presented a joint work on kernel learning for computer vision at the 1st IEEE Workshop on Kernels and Distances for Computer Vision.

We worked on nice algorithms for combining different visual descriptors in the kernel framework and this poster is a kind of preview for some not yet published works.

link to the pdf

Do more backups

Last week my laptop's hdd crashed, probably because of the high temperature we do have now in France (!!!). Fortunately enough, I was able to recover all my emails, last codes and writings. Unfortunately though, I lost quiet a lot of experimental data. That's life.

I'll definitely do more backups. Right now, I'm using rsync in the old fashion:

rsync -av --delete Archives login@backuphost:

P-H. Gosselin gave me a nice trick to deal we this. You put all things important in only one folder 'Archives', like your '.thunderbird' folder for instance. Then you symlink them back to where they're usefull (e.g. ln -s ~/Archives/.thunderbid ~/.thunderbird). This way, you only need to save the Archive folder, which simplifies the backup script.

To automate things, I added some fancy gui using zenity:

if zenity --question --text="Do the backup?"
then rsync -av --delete ~/Archives login@backuphost: | zenity --progress --pulsate

I schedule the script every day around lunch using gnome-schedule. Thus, I have a nice popup which asks me to allow the backup to proceed. One thing that would be nicer, would have to know the output of rsync, which at the time is eaten by zenity.

Paper Accepted in ICIP'2011

We (Me and P-H Gosselin) have an oral presentation at ICIP'2011 in Brussels. It's about a new framework combining kernels on bags and vector representations for improving image similarities. The results a very promising both in near-duplicate search and in image classification. As soon as the camera ready paper is done, I'll upload it here.