Thursday, September 29, 2011

Improvements at Blogger

For quite a while, Blogger (owned by Google) had not introduced any improvements to its blogging system. But a few months ago, a new interface was offered, and I switched to it. Very positive experience, I can confirm. The interface looks very nice and clean, all relevant items are well accessible - it is real fun to work with this. There are many improvements in details regarding the editing and publishing blog posts, compared to the previous interface.

Here is how the main interface portal looks for my blogs:

With this interface it is quite a pleasure to manage my blog universe.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autonomous Self-Driving Vehicles - Talk at AGI 2011 by E.D.Dickmanns

From 1990 - 1996 I worked with Prof. E.D.Dickmanns in Munich at the UniBW on developing a computer vision system for autonomous road vehicles. This was a great experience, and I also got my PhD degree from that work. It was therefore a delight to see a recent presentation given by my "doctor father" (that is how we call our PhD supervisors in Germany) about his work in computer vision based autonomous vehicles. I remember taking part in these technical demonstrations, for example the PROMETHEUS presentation in 1994 near Paris, and the road trip from Munich to Odense (Denmark) with my colleague Markus Maurer (now Professor at Uni Braunschweig). When the autonomous vehicle (a nice Mercedes 500 SEL) went with 180 km/h (110 mph) on the Autobahn near Lueneburg, we were quite a bit tense, hoping that the car would not suddenly decide to swerve to the side...

Here is Prof Dickmanns' talk, given at the recent

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Powerpoint 2010 - Bad Narration Quality

For a few weeks I have been using the "record narration" feature in Powerpoint. Never needed this before, because I was always speaking live when giving a presentation. But now with the advent of true online distance teaching, this feature becomes handy. But unfortunately, in Powerpoint 2010, this feature is not really usable. I can record the narration ok, but the sound quality is appalling. It sounds as if recorded with 8 bit, at 11 kHz, and results in absolutely unprofessional recording. In addition, the audio appears not to be compressed, but raw wave, judging from the file size increase which is caused by this. And there is no way of setting the quality, the coded, the bitrate, the compression or any relevant parameter. After searching the web for a solution, this problem is know. Apparently, Powerpoint 2007 did provide means for changing the sound quality through a panel with options. This was taken out in the 2010 version. Is this progress?