Video Enhancement

Video Enhancement

I’ve got say it. At first I thought this was pretty cool.

Then I thought that theres almost no real use for it.

In the end I can see some limited use, but not to justify the amount of effort taken to do it. Sorry, hang on, you need to watch this first.

or watch it on vimeo.

Ok, so the gist of it is that you can use a few well placed high quality photographs to increase the resolution and dynamic range of low quality videos. Sounds great right?

Well, yes, but only when you think about the cases it uses. Basically tracking shots of static things, taken in low quality video, like the kind of video an average digital camera takes. So you then take a few still shots of the scene to boost the resolution.

Great, but just why would I do that? Almost the whole reason for taking quick videos like that is not to show a simple scene, but some action that you can’t get with a still shot.

So in review, I would give it about a B-, good effort, but honestly come on guys, not really that useful, though I don’t doubt some of the maths would be very interesting.

More on it here.

friendly numbers

friendly numbers

This is in reponse to this comic.

So what are friendly numbers? Lets do this quick.

We need first to get define a divisor function over the integers, written σ(n) if you’re so inclined. To get it first we get all the integers that divide into n. So for 3, it’s 1 and 3. For 4, it’s 1, 2, and 4, and for 5 it’s only 1 and 5.

Now sum them to get σ(n). So σ(3) = 1 + 3 = 4, or σ(4) = 1 + 2 + 4 = 6, and so on.

For each of these n, there is something called a characteristic ratio. Now that’s just the divors function over the integer itself ( σ(n)/n . So the characteristic ratio where n = 6 is σ(6)/6 = 12/6 =2.

Once you have the characteristic ratio for any integer n, any other integers that share the same chacteristic are called friendly with each other. So to put it simply a friendly number is any integer that shares its characteristic ratio with at least one other integer. The converse of that is called a solitary number, where it doesn’t share it’s characteristic with anyone else.

1,2,3,4 and 5 are solitary. 6 is friendly with 28. ( σ(6)/6 = (1+2+3+6)/6 = 12/6 = 2 = 56/28 = (1+2+4+7+14+28)/28 = σ(28)/28.

You may be now be thinking the following:

  1. That’s all well and good, but what are they good for?
  2. Who cares?

So what are they good for?

I dunno. But it’s interesting no? Actually while on the face of it, it all seems quite straight forward it quickly becomes far more complex than you would think.

Some numbers are easily proved to be solitary. Other’s we know to be friendly. But my-o-my there are alot more we don’t know. I mean look. Here is the complete list of friendly numbers we know about. And I mean COMPLETE.

6, 12, 24, 28, 30, 40, 42, 56, 60, 66, 78, 80, 84, 96, 102, 108, 114, 120, 132, 135, 138, 140, 150, 168, 174, 186, 200, 204, 210, 222, 224, 228, 234, 240, 246, 252, 258, 264, 270, 273, 276, 280, 282, 294, 300, 308, 312, 318, 330, 348, 354, 360, 364, 366, 372

That’s it. What about 10, 14, 15, or 20? Don’t know. Infact it’s on the list of unsolved Mathematical problems at wolfram. Doubt there’s a cash prize involved but why not give it a go. It’s harder that it looks.

Well done. You read all the way to the end. To give you a treat I present this lovely video. It’s a visualization of Lovely Head by Goldfrapp. Yes it’s got lot’s of maths in. No it doesn’t have anything to do with friendly numbers.

Or even better, watch it in hd.

If you were wondering. No. I didn’t just get this all off the top of my head. You can read more about friendly numbers at wolfram, or wikipedia, and here is where the full list of friendly numbers came from. Personally I find amicable pairs more interesting but then, who really cares about that?


Archive for phil

hello the internets!

Hmm. I’m looking for some code. I could use Krugle but that would mean navigating away from this page and thats a real hassle. If only i could use the firefox search bar to search Krugle for me. Oh well. It doesn’t look like thats possible. Theres no extensions to do that.

But wait.

Fret no more. Phil Roche, programmer extrodinare, Irish guy, and proud owner of a very heavy duty laptop stand (and co-worker) has written a plugin for firefox. That busy little man. He even got a post on the Krugle blog for his troubles. (And rather suspiciously also just completed and external audit for them and got a $50 amazon voucher – bribing maybe?)

So if you want to read his original post, you can get it here. But don’t let him bask in it too much. Hes enjoying the extra traffic a little too much as it is.


animation station redux!

animation station redux!

a long while ago i posted on an animation that i found on youtube.

Seriously somebody must of been reading and thought it hilarious, because no less than half an hour later the video was taken off youtube, and i’ve been unable to find the same thing elsewhere.

Until now.

While working hard i stumbled upon this. The exact same video but on google video. Huzzah!

web games

Archive for web games

friday game day!

Hurrah, its friday!

And so to celebrate, heres an assortment of web games that I use to pass the time BETWEEN work. Not during, BETWEEN. I never play games at work. You can’t prove it. Shut up.

Oh, sorry. Heres the games (but don’t blame me if they end up eating all your day).

Dice Wars


Its like Risk, only easier to pick up and the individual games are no where near as time consuming. Then again the overall time spent playing it is probably going to end some what the same.

Heres what the people around me think of it:

I love it. It really puts the axis of evil on its back foot.

—- Jay

Damn you greens!

—- Matt

Its Hitler beating fun.

—- Aled

What!? Who are you. Go away

—- Some guy in the corridor

Suggested Listening: Dad’s Army

All in all a brilliant game. Basically it all comes down the map you choose, the first few rolls of the dice, and luck.

In the end the key to winning, exactly as it is in real war, is not to overexpand. It’ll just turn around and bite you in the ass.


Archive for videos

man these anti-piracy ads are getting really mean

quite possibly the best advert ever

Mmmm, now thats a DELICIOUS SANDWICH

I have often wondered where to get the best sandwiches in or around New York city. As I’m sure you have.

In fact, only yesterday I thought to myself, if only I had a way to gauge how good overall a Prosciutto and Mozzarella Panini from Bite on 14th Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave., was. Alas, I feared the only way would be to tempt fate and try it myself.

Would it be good? Would it be bad? Might I infact fall over and die, it being that bad/good. Perhaps a giant hawk would swoop down from the very skies, swiping the aforementioned snack from my outstretched hand, leaving me in the great bind of being without lunch.

Thankfully, we can get around these issues with the site DELICIOUS SANDWICH DOT COM. What a handy site.

Now if only I didn’t live 4,209 miles away.

Microsoft Surface – Its a big ass table

Remember all those things you used to do with a small compact device. Well now you can do them with something the size of a car – and it costs $10,000. You’ll love it.

How to really get even with telemarketers

Just genius.

Best DUI ever?

Could this be the best DUI ever?

Why yes. Yes it could. (Watch it to the end)

would you employ these geeks

To prove that jay’s constant intake of cigarettes and alcohol don’t affect his running ability we had a little race at work.

Final Results –

Ok – yes Jay won. But he cheated. His legs are like three times longer than anyone elses, and Al will argue that his shoe came off, but we all know that he just threw it off his foot so he wouldn’t have to face that he’d come last.

(Great camera work by Paul)

Fruit Flinging

You may of seen the original Sony Bravia advert where they hurled thousands of balls down a steep street in San Francisco. Initially a lot of people thought it was cgi, but it turns out they really did do it.

For those that havn’t seen it, you can watch the advert here.

bravia commercial image large

The advert was hugely successful and spawned a slew of imitators. One of these was one relativly short lived take off by Tango (Clear).

Now, its more likely you havn’t seen this advert. Same music, same concept though replacing the hilly streets of San Francisco for a street in Swansea.

Also, the balls are now fruit. You can watch this one here.

But thats not the interesting part. The interesting part is this website:

Swansea North Residents Association

Examining the site you can find various interviews about how terrible the advert was – how it ruined their lovely street, even how Aled Edward’s was late to work that evening because he had to wash the pulpy mess off his car. You just can’t make this stuff up.

My personal favourite is the video interviews with the shocked and angered residents. With this quote from this woman, being my favorite.:

Eileen survived both wars with the utmost composure, but couldn’t contain her anger when her home was bombarded by kiwis and citrus fruit.

I think I may just sign the petition, I mean, its their street today, what about tommorrow? These terrible TV types, will be flinging fruit down everybody’s streets. Oh No!

I guess its one way to get kids to eat fruit.

(I’ve got a slightly nasty feeling this may be part of a failed viral campain – I mean it just seems too lame to make up doesn’t it?)


Archive for Uncategorized

my about page has changed

check it out:

I’m currently 22, living in Llandudno in North Wales.Somehow, against all my better efforts to avoid graduating, I have come into the possession of a 2:1 degree in Mathematics from the University of Wales, Bangor and am currently working as a software developer at karova making e-commerce thingys. I am also married to the astonding, incredible Gemma.

More on that later, but right now, we’re off on our honeymoon.

Whats that song again?

You know the one.. It goes da da da dum da da da dumm dum da…

No I don’t know the lyrics, no I don’t know who its by. Oh well I guess we can’t find out what the song is.

Well not anymore! Previously if you had a song stuck in your head going over and over and over again, the only real way to find out what it is, even who its by would be to hum it to someone around you (assuming you don’t know any of the lyrics that is). But what if you have no friends, or worse, you have lots of friends but their all deaf and thus unable to help you on your musical quest.


A new site (still currently in beta) called midomi. It lets you hum, sing or whistle your tune to it and it will run off and try and match the melody. Hell, you can even just concentrate hard and it will pick up your thoughts and find it for you. Ok, it can’t really do that but it’d be cool if it did huh? Lets hope thats in a future release.

More than just a site to help you find that single song stuck in your head, it lets you listen, rate and even download the song once its found it. And if it can’t find a match for your hummings in it’s database – it will save it and when (and if) it eventually finds it in the future it can let you know. Great stuff.

The site uses something called MARS – short for the catchy titled Multimodal Adaptive Recognition System, developed by the company Melodis to figure out what on earth it is your singing to them. Its only the first trial run of the system but if it goes well, I’m sure that we’ll end up finding it all manner of places before too long.

string theory

python fun

So you’re writing a system that runs through xml files huh?

And does it dynamically each time you load the page.

Sounds like you should do some load testing.

Well heres a lovely baby small python script that helps you do just that. It makes 10,000 files for you. Oh so pretty.

s= """
---the test data---
for i in range(0,10000):
f = open ("%d-%d.xml"%(i,i),'w')

(and if your interested the system passed – 2 seconds to run through 10000 files isn’t bad)

best pals

vista boxes

Do you remember the horrid old boxes you used to get software in. Ive got many of them floating around – from the original XP box to the office box. They haven’t bore the test of time great. They invariably end up either in the bin within the week or stuffed to the brim with manuals and cds from all the other computer realted things.

Anyway – whats making me talk about this now i hear you cry. Well, with the announcement of the release dates for Windows Vista (30th November for businesses and 30 January for everybody else) they’ve also shown us what the retail boxes will look like.

Vista Ultimate box

I know I’d be more inclined to keep it around than some scraggy little cardboard thing. Which is apparently one of the main motivations for making out of a more durable plastic this time around. Apparently losing product keys and the actual discs is the cause of 25% of the calls to Microsoft help desks these days.

Something else that was news to me was the fact that the installation discs will have every flavor of the operating system including 32/64 bit versions. So in the future if you don’t initially go for the ultimate edition, all you need to do is purchase an upgrade online and use the disc you have to move your system up a notch or two.

I know its dirty, but I’m looking forward to it.

For now, heres the line up of boxes that are coming out (in order of ascending price).


Archive for search

sometimes its the small things

While opening an old c# project today it came up with the following error:

Refreshing the project failed. Unable to retrieve folder information from the server.

Now this is rather annoying, but after a quick google session I found the answer.

Rather simply the strange solution is this:

Delete the folder VSWebCache which is in your Documents and Settings folder.

That solved it for me – Go Internet!


Ms. Dewey

So theres search and theres search.

You may favor Google, if you’ve never used this internet thing, you may not. Regardless, you can’t say Microsoft isn’t trying. Hey, they’re version of maps is alot better for North Wales than google maps is, so no complaining.

But this post is about search. More preciesly, Ms. Dewey. What can you do with search – beyond making it more relevant, easier to use and quicker?

Well you could make it funny. And that’s exactly what Ms Dewey does. It’s powered by Microsoft Live Search so it must have had their blessing at some point.

Ms Dewey

There are definitely some funny responses to find. For instances “shooting” brings up a raft of different senarios with guns as props and theres even some google bashing to be had.

If your interested, and I’m certain I have no idea why you possible could be, but the actresses name is Janina Gavankar. If you search for that on Ms Dewey you get a lovely little speech about how great she is. Funny stuff.

Janina Gavankar

hello the internet!

Hmm. I’m looking for some code. I could use Krugle but that would mean navigating away from this page and thats a real hassle. If only i could use the firefox search bar to search Krugle for me. Oh well. It doesn’t look like thats possible. Theres no extensions to do that.

But wait.

Fret no more. Phil Roche, programmer extrodinare, Irish guy, and proud owner of a very heavy duty laptop stand (and co-worker) has written a plugin for firefox. That busy little man. He even got a post on the Krugle blog for his troubles. (And rather suspiciously also just completed and external audit for them and got a $50 amazon voucher – bribing maybe?)

So if you want to read his original post, you can get it here. But don’t let him bask in it too much. Hes enjoying the extra traffic a little too much as it is.



Archive for random

blue mug

Isn’t tea just great?


Oh go on then, if you’re making one.
So, what have you been up to?


Really? 6ft and blue you say? Wow. That’s just amazing. And unexpected.
I’ve been busy too. New work, new laptop, new kitchen, new favorite mug. This mug’s a slightly darker shade of blue, fits about 24% more brew, and the handle is slightly larger for a firmer and more satisfying grip.

Oh and I’ve been drawing. Just doodles really, but some of them are ok.

There’s more but hey, I’m not a walking internet gallery. Get your own badly scanned drawings and keep you’re cursor off mine.

But where’s that tea you were talking about? Mine’s the dark blue mug.

hourly comics

Hey, comics are great right?

Well how about a comic every hour. I know. What a great idea.

Heres today’s hourly comics.





Seriously a comic every hour you’re awake for the whole month of january. How good is that?

Check them all out at


From the look of these shots, the new Watchmen movie is going to be brilliant. And I mean that in the most fully sense of the word. Yes, the movie won’t have the depth of the book, but my word, it looks like its just been pulled off the page.

If you havn’t read Watchmen yet I can’t recommend it enough. If you really ask nice I’ll even lend you my copy.

watch-1317 select

Its got everything, right down to the posters on the news stand behind the comic book fan.

WMD-21550 select


WMD-22648 select


WMD-22669 select

I love the way each shot seems full of detail, just like the novel, enough so that you can spend ages just noticing tiny details. Anyway, long story short, buy the book now before the movie comes out.

this was a triumph


See here for the rather talented creator. (Thanks Matt for the link)