Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 


Open-source cyborg pirate ghost

Over in the forums, mutant Brainspore made a template for an articulated Halloween decoration: "break out the markers."

How Prince of Persia's famous jump animation was made

1989's Prince of Persia, by Jordan Mechner, featured superbly realistic animation when such things were a rarity in computer gaming. Now, two decades later, he's published the original footage of his little brother leaping to and fro, from which each frame was traced and digitized. princeofpersiajumping

Jordan began his pioneering work while still an undergraduate at Yale University. Dissatisfied with the stilted movement of characters in computer games, Jordan borrowed the technique of rotoscoping that he had learned about in his history of cinema class. In 1983 he began experimenting by filming his karate instructor, Dennis, doing a variety of martial arts moves. Then he traced images from the film and used a Versawriter graphics digitizer tablet to copy the images onto the computer. On March 19, 1983, Jordan finished a test of this to see if it would work in a game he was developing, and in his diary he recorded his excitement: “When I saw that sketch little figure walk across the screen, looking just like Dennis, all I could say was “ALL RIGHT!”” Jordan’s game Karateka (1985), a Japanese-themed karate game, became the best-selling title in the country and Jordan had established himself as a video game designer even before he had graduated

Here is Ben Kingsley, villain of the movie version of Prince of Persia, being wrong about experimental rotoscoping footage. giphy

Mysterious stone circles of the Middle East

bigcircles

Long known of but little-understood, Jordan's "Big Circles" are around 400 meters in diameter and remain a compelling mystery.

Their purpose is unknown, and archaeologists are unsure when these structures were built. Analysis of the photographs, as well as artifacts found on the ground, suggest the circles date back at least 2,000 years, but they may be much older. They could even have been constructed in prehistoric times, before writing was invented, scientists say.

New satellite imagery revealed at least two more circles, bringing the total to 13; one, in Syria, was recently destroyed. Though the circles were not hard to create, comprising of only a single low stone wall, they would have been ineffective animal corrals and their sheer enormity would have required extensive planning.

Court orders man to stop pretending to fall over

English magistrates have told a 51-year old man that he will be in trouble if he lies on the ground anywhere in the country in order to attract attention.

YouTube now supports 60 frames per second

More versatility for videographers in search of smooth performance, not least among them those recording video games and sports, where 60fps is the standard.

Microsoft announces Health platform

In anticipation of "wearable devices with smart sensors that are telling us more about our lives," should anyone fancy making such a thing.
At launch, our Intelligence Engine will share insights such as:


• Which exercises burned the most calories during a workout
• The recommended recovery time based on the intensity of a workout
• The amount of restful vs. restless sleep

Over time, you will have the choice to combine your fitness data with calendar and email information from Office as well as location-based information and more. As you make more data available, the Intelligence Engine will get smarter and provide more powerful insights, such as:


• Fitness performance relative to work schedule
• Whether eating breakfast helps you run faster
• If the number of meetings during the day impacts sleep quality.

Colbert tackles Gamergate

Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian was Stephen Colbert's guest last night. Can you guess what they discussed? "One man, one joystick—it's right there in Sega Genesis"

Tim Cook proud to be gay

tim

In an editorial published at Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook explains that he is gay.

Read the rest

Hello Kitty booked on DUI charge

"Gipson, 37 ... was wearing a red and white Hello Kitty costume, minus the doll’s mammoth head"

Verizon attaches privacy-obviating unique ID to customers' internet requests

Wired: "A trump card to obviate established privacy tools such as private browsing sessions or “do not track” features."

Rise of the creep-buster

Bye Felipe is a "crowdsourced menagerie of mankind's worst specimens," men who post creepy, rude and hostile messages to women on dating app Tinder.

Halloween in Japan

pnhead A fantastic selection of photos from Japan Times.

Amazon Fire Stick

amThe Fire TV stick is $39 and competes with Google's Chromecast and the forthcoming Matchstick.tv: plug it into your TV, stream video.

Though it's $5 more than Google's, Amazon boasts twice the storage space, a month of free Prime video, and "a voice system that actually work," assuming you download the app too or buy the voice remote, a $30 upgrade. Previously.

Fire TV Stick [Amazon]

Jogger arrested after bumping into Prime Minister

_78560539_de28-1 The man was subsequently "de-arrested and allowed on his way." Lots of UK media are saying he's a protestor or "assailant", but, yeah, whatever.

Review the Energizer AA battery

Warfare in the comments over at Battereview, was wondering if we can do a more civilized job. [via @Lowtax]