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30 May 2011 21:00

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Tech: Algorithm smooths out pixel art, make SNES games look better

  • Obligatory Mario-related post of the day: Some genius at Microsoft teamed up with another genius at The Hebrew University, and together they developed an algorithm that “depixelizes” pixel art, so that it looks smoother yet retains its essence and overall shape. Obviously, the most pressing application of this technology was to update Super NES games to look cooler, so that’s exactly what these guys did. A clip of the technology (applied to Super Mario World) is above. To give you an idea of how far they’ve come, here’s a clip showing a comparison with the original game on the left and another less-effective algorithm (which you might remember, if you’re a total nerd, from ZSNES) on the right. There are plenty of more demonstrations on their website, which we highly encourage checking out. This rocks. source

13 Aug 2009 23:36

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Music: The Verve is good at two things: Playing music and breaking up

  • 3 breakups for them; it’s a “Bittersweet Symphony,” this band source

09 May 2009 09:14

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Music: ShortFormBlog’s Saturday Mixtape digs into the ’90s buzz bin

  • 1. Mark Lanegan had a much more nuanced career after the heyday of Screaming Trees. Even so, it wasn’t because the band sucked – see “Nearly Lost You” for an example.

    2. Los Angeles is a popular topic in indie rock, but trailblazer Frank Black of the Pixies got there early. This scatterbrained tune also drew a line in the sand for Black’s solo output.

    3. Nobody broods like Greg Dulli. The former Afghan Whigs lead singer (currently of The Twilight Singers) came off as sophisticated on “Debonair,” off of Gentleman.

    4. Sunny Day Real Estate suffered from overhype at first. Their self-titled debut (which also has killer cover art) shows why – songs like “In Circles” grab right for your collar.

    5. Why does Shoegazer music begin and end with My Bloody Valentine? There’s other great bands from the era like Catherine Wheel, whose “Black Metallic” sparkles. source

07 Mar 2009 21:59

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Culture: Who’s got the crack? Coolio does. (That’s why he’s in trouble.)

  • Note: Never go through an airport with that stuff. Apparently the “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper, real name Artis Levon Ivey Jr., was going through the airport security checkpoint at LAX on Friday when he was caught with some crack. Uh, dude. It’s an airport security checkpoint. You can’t wear a hat walking though one. source