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June 28, 2015

Van Gogh Museum 3D prints fakes indistinguishable from the original

Filed under: Art,Technology by Branko Collin @ 5:42 pm

van-gogh-harvest-detail

Would you like to own a ‘real’ Van Gogh without either risking bankruptcy or an entry in Interpol’s ‘most wanted’ list?

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam comes to the rescue. In 2013 the museum started a collaboration with Fujifilm to 3D print copies of famous Vincent van Gogh paintings that are said to be indistinguishable from the originals when viewed with the naked eye.

Every brush stroke is copied in these replicas (called Relievos) which go for about 25,000 euro each. Art historian Ko van Dun saw one last week and reports:

The copy is so good that it is indistinguishable from the original. Not nearly distinguishable, not even a little, just not at all. Yesterday I stood in front of one, an experience which left me flabbergasted. You are for all intents and purposes looking at a true Van Gogh – in my case The Harvest from 1888, one of the painter’s most famous works – with the exact same colours as the original, the exact same highlights, relief, everything.

So far [the museum has failed to] find customers, but that would seem to be a matter of time.

The possibilities of this technology boggle the mind. Van Gogh Museum hints at some of them when it alludes to its “mission to inspire and enrich as large an audience as possible”. In other words, next time you stand in front of a Van Gogh, it might not even be the original.

You can see some of the technology behind the 3D scans in this YouTube video.

(Link: Trendbeheer; illustration: extreme close-up of The Harvest via Van Gogh Museum)

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June 26, 2015

Photographers illegally disturb birds with song app

Filed under: Animals,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:45 pm

Barnacle-Goose

Bird photographers are apparently causing problems for birds by using a phone app with bird song to lure the feathered creatures. Sounds harmless, but according to a Dutch nature website, the app used by the photographers stresses birds, making them want to defend their territory against an invisible enemy instead of using their energy for the breeding season, building nests and the likes.

The app can be played loudly on mobile devices, but should in fact be used to recognise bird song, not lure birds. By law, animals in nature that are protected species cannot be upset on purpose, but some photographers are probably going to continue to do so, as the chances of being caught are probably next to nothing.

(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of barnacle goose by Andreas Trepte, some rights reserved)

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June 15, 2015

Amsterdam to get 3D printed steel bridge

Filed under: Architecture,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:02 pm

3D-printing-robot-by-Joris-Laarman-draws-freeform-metal-lines-_dezeen_8

Startup company MX3D that does 3D printing of metals and resin in mid-air has plans to print a steel bridge in Amsterdam without any additional support structures. Using ‘multi-axis’ industrial robots and an advanced welding machine, MX3D can print with steel, stainless steel, aluminium, bronze and copper in mid-air. In September the city of Amsterdam will announce where the bridge will be built.

“The robots will begin printing the bridge on one side of the canal and will create rail supports as they go. They will be able to gradually slide forward on supports, literally creating the bridge upon which they are crossing the canal.” MX3D’s bridge will be made of a new steel composite designed by the University of Delft.

MX3D will be collaborating with many parties on this project, including Amsterdam’s Joris Laarman Lab with their supportless, magical 3D printing of metal.

(Link: phys.org, Photo of freeform metal lines from dezeen.com)

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June 8, 2015

Google, KLM and government favourites with Dutch students

Filed under: Aviation,Food & Drink,General,IT,Technology by Branko Collin @ 10:09 pm

klm-plane-steven-straitonSwedish marketing agency Universum has been polling Dutch students on who they want to work for after graduation.

A whopping 12,000 students from 32 universities and polytechnics were asked about their career preferences. Major Dutch companies such as Philips, Shell, KLM, Heineken and Endemol were named, but large American companies such as Google and Apple also made their appearance.

Both law and arts & humanities students named the national government as their preferred employer, followed by Google for the former and KLM for the latter. Business students like KLM and Google the best, engineering and physics students prefer Google, followed by Philips.

Compared to last year, TNO, Coca-Cola, IKEA and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek failed to make the top 5 in any of the categories.

(Link: ANS, photo by Steven Straiton, some rights reserved)

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May 27, 2015

Swiping the Tinder app with meat fits the bill

Filed under: Art,Technology by Orangemaster @ 9:40 am

Tinder

A Dutch art installation entitled ‘Tender’ created by four students at Leiden University features a piece of meat (pork?) that swipes profiles approvingly in a fake version of the popular dating app Tinder. The artwork is set to debut at the Habitat art exhibition in Amsterdam this weekend.

In casual Dutch, ‘checking people out’ is called ‘vleeskeuren’, which literally means ‘to check out the meat’. The creators have an actual piece of meat doing that for them in the video: by swiping right, the ‘user’ is approving all the profiles it swipes, going for a match, but maybe all ‘porky’ will get is a flash in the pan. The four students are probably guys because their app is searching for women, so they’ll get bikinis and sunglasses but miss out on guys petting tigers and holding fish — take my word for it.

Just last month Tinder reunited a brother and sister both searching for a ‘sex date’.

(Link: www.tech365, Photo of Tinder app by Wayan Vota, some rights reserved)

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May 22, 2015

Bosch your photos, there’s an app for that

Filed under: Art,Photography,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:01 pm

Bosch-app

Making the rounds since last fall and distributed by Dutch company No Strings, the Bosch camera app lets you add some Hieronymus Bosch characters to your pictures. I gave it a quick spin with my paper bin (see pic) and it is fun and easy to use.

“Bosch camera reanimates 500 year-old creatures and people taken from the paintings of Bosch. A stroll in the woods or a visit to the local supermarket could turn in an awesome adventure.”

It’s Bosch’s famous characters that keep so many people intrigued, even to the point of deciphering buttock music from the famous painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’, which is currently the object of feuding Spanish museums.

(Link: Hieronymus Bosch The Movie on Facebook)

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May 16, 2015

Windmills that generate twice the power of traditional windmills

Filed under: History,Technology by Branko Collin @ 9:27 pm

windmill-leiden-branko-collinAlthough windmills are an iconic representation of the Netherlands, they haven’t actually been used much for the past two centuries.

The ‘invention’ of the practical steam engine by James Watt in the 18th century made short work of the Dutch reliance on windmills. The use of wind power for pumping water out of polders saw a sharp decline in the 19th century.

Ironically, the abandonment of windmills did not stop the development of these devices in the Netherlands. According to Low Tech Magazine:

In the 1920s and 1930s, however, when windmills had stopped working almost everywhere in Europe, the Dutch started a research program that led to the final development of the classical windmill. In 1923, the “Dutch Windmill Society” was founded, with the mission to improve the performance of windmills generating mechanical energy. Among the members were famous millwright builders like the Dekker Brothers. The results were spectacular.

[...]

[While] a traditional windmill could be worked for around 2,671 hours per year in the Netherlands, the new streamlined design could be operated for 4,442 hours per year – more or less doubling the annual energy output.

(Link: Making Light; photo: regular windmill De Put in Leiden by me)

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May 1, 2015

Rules for flying drones still bad for businesses, for now

Filed under: Technology by Orangemaster @ 2:53 pm

While private citizens have been allowed to fly drones of less than 4 kg as they please, business people like journalists need to wait six weeks to get a permit, take expensive lessons for months and ask permission from various government agencies. Not following these rules could mean thousands of euro in fines for business use. However, as of June 1st, the rules will be relaxed for the police, fire brigade and emergency services. In the mean time, the press and surely other business people continue to use light drones hoping not to get caught.

As of 1 October the rules for flying drones in the Netherlands will change for both private and business use. Business use of drones less than 4 kg will be the same as for private use, while hobbyists who want to fly drones heavier than 4 kg will basically be subjected to the same rules as what businesses have to follow now for all drones.

Drones in the Netherlands do come crashing down, sometimes they even crash and burn, but they also capture really cool stuff.

(Link: www.bright.nl, Photo of Drone by Karen Axelrad, some rights reserved)

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April 7, 2015

App tells you to hurry to catch a train

Filed under: Gadgets,Technology by Branko Collin @ 2:26 pm

moet-ik-rennen-app-google-playCan I still catch the bus or train if I start running now? That is the simple question a new app poses. Its name, Moet Ik Rennen?, is Dutch for should I run?

The app, which saw its beta test launch today, uses the location services of your mobile device to find your current position. It then locates the nearest bus stops and metro and train stations, provides you with departure times and if you select a specific line it tells you if you should hurry.

Moet Ik Rennen? appears to be free and is available for iOS and Android. It was developed by four students (initially as a school project) with support from Dutch Rail. Go About is listed as the data provider.

If you still have to wait a bit for your bus (or train or subway), the app suggests a place to get snacks at a discount. Once you have stuffed your face with excess calories you no longer need the app. Yes, you should run.

(Illustration: Google Play / Moet Ik Rennen?)

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March 30, 2015

Drone to deliver asparagus, ringing in the season

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:55 pm

One-Michelin-star restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant likes to make a splash in spring once white asparagus season kicks off and what better way to do that than having a drone deliver the white gold to your door.

On 1st April (no joke), a drone with a 15-minute battery that needs to fly 12 minutes avoiding all kinds of buildings and bridges according to many rules will drop off a crate of asparagus at the kitchen door of the restaurant. There’s a backup battery and a Plan B to land nearby if the wind is too much.

It’s not the first time De Zwaan and its owner Roland Peijnenburg have marked the start of asparagus season by creating a buzz. They’ve also used a hot air balloon carrying the town mayor and once had an asparagus relay race.

When you mention asparagus in the Netherlands, people think white asparagus and not green asparagus first. Here’s a white asparagus cocktail appetizer recipe for you as well.

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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