Digital

  • March 10, 2021

    Super Game-y Bro!

    Mario Mario is an international Progressive Pioneering Superstar. This simple plumber from New York City has become quite literally the most popular video game character ever! Along with his fraternal twin brother Luigi (who is in the midst of his own breakout career with a new game for the Nintendo Switch titled Luigi’s Mansion 3). Mario Mario (or simply Mario as he is known to his fans) had his debut in the 1981 Nintendo video game Donkey Kong. Back then, he went by the alias of Jumpman. His career was just starting out, and he wasn’t sure how to brand himself at the time. “It was a crazy era of video games back then,” Mario remarks, “The graphics were a scant eight by eight pixels. I wasn’t even given much to do, just run around trying to save my girlfriend, Pauline, from that mischievous ape. I had to beg just to be able to be allowed to actually jump, which was ironic since my character’s name was Jumpman!” However, in no time, Mario became an overnight sensation throughout the golden age of video games back in the eighties, racking up such titles as Donkey Kong Junior; Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3; and Super Mario Land 1 & 2. Sadly, he and Pauline broke up citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the dissolution of their romantic relationship. However, when one door closes and another opens: and so it was that Mario met and wooed Princess Peach on the set of Super Mario Bros—which some theorize may have been the reason for Mario and Pauline’s breakup. Mario’s work however has transcended virtually all forms of media from video games, television, film, to theme parks. From 1981 to the present, Mario has appeared in over 250 video games ranging from...
  • February 15, 2021

    Men of the Line———

    In honor of Super Bowl LV and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs (and former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 7th Super Bowl ring as the QB for the Bucs), I thought it would make for an interesting post about how that magic 1st and 10 yellow line is created on our TV screens every February at “The Big Game!” And, during every game in the NFL among other sports broadcasts. The names of: James R. Gloudemans, Richard H. Cavallaro, Jerry N. Gepner, Stanley K. Honey, Walter Hsiao, Terance J. O’Brien, and Marvin S. White are the Men Behind the Yellow Line. That is, the yellow First Down Line you see on NFL broadcasts! What started out as project for Fox Sports to aid viewers watching NHL games over the airwaves blossomed into a new company called Sportvision, Inc. And in 1998 they debuted the First and 10 Line on ESPN. Using a combination of field cameras, 3D models of the field, powerful computers and algorithms, and the field itself as a kind of green screen, they are able to draw the line in virtual real‐time as the players move up and down the field; as well as, simultaneously remove parts of the line to make it appear that it is literally underneath the players. It’s truly digital magic! It was a such a huge success that Sportvision won an Emmy for its technology. “Winning our 10th Emmy Award is a great honor, and truly validates the impact our technology has had in the growth and popularity of a wide spectrum of sports. We are thrilled to share this Emmy with the America’s Cup Event Authority, who has been a wonderful and inspired partner throughout this effort.” Mike Jakob, President, Sportvision, Inc., 2012 They then...
  • This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
  • June 14, 2020

    Going Pro!

    I’m sure that you’ve all seen those crazy videos on YouTube of dogs being left alone in their homes with a GoPro camera attached to them. They invariably end up getting into all kinds of mischief while their owners are away. And of course, the dog gives a, “I didn’t do it…” look that always melts their humans’ hearts. GoPro, Inc. themselves is one of those hugely successful companies that were borne out of a simple idea from a completely unrelated event. A guy by the name of Nick Woodman (hmm, Digital Batman’s alter ego’s name is Nick) back in 2002 was out surfing one day in Australia. He was hoping to capture some awesome action photos while riding the waves but was unable to because no amateur photographer had neither the affordable equipment nor the experience to get close enough for the really good shots. So was borne the idea of a high resolution, incredibly compact, and easy‐to‐use camera that could go anywhere and take any kind of action shot—and eventually action video. Not only have GoPro’s have been put on mischievous dogs but they’ve been everywhere from attached to flying drones getting impossible aerial shots (now used in motion picture productions), to spelunking and sky diving, and even into space—as one little girl did a few years ago onboard a Hello Kitty‐crewed rocket (see the Best of them All vid to the right)! This company has grown incredibly fast since 2002 and sports a huge line of products that have literally transformed the digital photography and videography landscapes! We’re building solutions that enable people to capture and share life experiences…and as a result GoPro is growing virally via content creation and sharing. ~ Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro, inc. GoPro, Inc. received the Technology Emmy for 2013 from...
  • In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I thought it would be a great idea to profile two Japanese Progressive Pioneers who literally changed the world: the founders of SONY Corporation. SONY Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo Japan. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. And two men, Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, started it all in 1946 in the devastating wake of World War II. They started out building Japan’s first tape recorder but soon expanded to transistor radios an other electronics. The name SONY was adopted in 1958 (a mashup of the Latin word Sonus for sound, and Sonny for the American slang term “sonny boy”). SONY rapidly grew into the digital mega-giant it is today. Ibuka served as president of Sony from 1950 to 1971, and then served as chairman of Sony from 1971 until he retired in 1976. He died in 1997 at the age of 89. Morita stepped down as Chairman of SONY in 1994, passing away five years later at the age of 78. Between these two men are dozens of awards, publications, and accolades that span decades. They were also involved in many charities and economic ventures helping to rebuild Japan after the war, and paving the way to making it a world economic leader. Ibuka & Morita leave behind a legacy of world‐changing Digital Revolution that reaches far into our global digital society...
  • March 5, 2020

    Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

    A pseudo-PSA from Digital Batman. For most of us in America, we recently celebrated Valentine’s Day on Friday February 14th. In fact, every February 14 is the venerated holiday celebrating love and friendship. Though some may view the celebration as a trite “Hallmark Greeting Card” holiday, lot’s of people take it quite seriously. Here are a few crazy Valentine’s Day stats for you to consider: Over $17 Billion dollars (with a B) is spent on this day Men spend twice as much money on average than women on this day (~$133 to ~$56) More than 145 Million cards are sold on this day (or just before it) Over 1/3 of all the fresh flowers in America are sold on this one day! Well over 257 Million roses are produced for Valentine’s Day Shoppers spent over $707 Million dollars on candy. Also, over 6 million people choose to get engaged to be married on this holiday. And more than 8 Billion conversation hearts are produced each year (with most purchased for this day)! It seems to me that we should have Valentine’s Day off from work because too much romance and chocolates might make us very unproductive! LOL! Anyway, Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you in Digital Gotham! Now if I can only get Digital Catwoman to stop sending me those creepy conversation hearts…
  • February 24, 2020

    Movie Trivia — Engineering Theme

    In honor of the Oscars recently, I’ve decided to offer an engineering cinematic trivia contest. Why an engineering theme? Well, currently my day job is creating content for a great software company whose customers are engineers for manufacturing industries. So why not? See if you can guess the movie titles from the descriptions below (provide the years as well): Astronomer gets world to build a giant cosmic faster-than-light ship based on a message from space. Abandoned astronaut uses science to survive on desolate world while his crew mates figure out how to rescue him. American businessman builds largest airplane in the world and kicks off the airline industry while he descends into mental illness. Paranoid monarch takes a woman in lieu of tribute to fund building his massive robber-proof tomb. Two western men aid the Chinese army in defending their country from an invasion of a horde of supernatural creatures. The last one is not really about building anything as it simply glorifies a great ancient structure. In the meantime, Digital Batman’s got you covered with hints for you below!
  • January 24, 2020

    Long Live the Browser Wars!

    Google recently announced that it was going to strip cookies from its Chrome web-browser. This is a big deal for a lot of people, namely advertisers. In case you weren’t aware of what a cookie is (not the yummy kind you eat), let Digital Batman tell you. A cookie is a bit of third-party data that gets stored on your system when you access a website. This data is used to track your online activities such as product browsing history, location, etc. Advertisers can then use this data to target ads specifically to what they think you’re interested in. And furthermore, advertisers can “retarget” ads after you as you browse around the Internet from site to site. Ever wonder how a random website you visit seems to know that you were looking at plushy chairs on Amazon? Well, that’s retargeting and that’s powered by cookies. Which leads to a lot of privacy issues that have been debated for as long as the Internet has been around. Therefore, Google is trying to assuage users’ concerns about privacy by eliminating cookies. What will advertisers do? Well, they’ll probably have to come up with more transparent ways to gather your information, with your permission. Now I mention this because it reminds me about how things have both changed and remained the same over the last 25+ years of browsing the Internet. Back in the heyday of the World Wide Web (mid-to-late 1990s), we had a whole battlefield of web browsers all vying for dominance in The Browser Wars! It all started with Netscape Navigator (technically Mosaic in its initial form), invented by Marc Andreessen founder of Netscape. [Digital Batman had done a previous Progressive Pioneers profile on Andreessen back in July.] Navigator was initially released in December of 1994. It sported a simple interface with a few oversized navigation buttons (like Back, Home, and...
  • January 21, 2020

    Digital Batman’s Coffee Break

    So I was talking with my good friend, SaaS VP Keith Berling at PTC, about coffee recently. I told him how I prepare the perfect cup of Digital Batman coffee before and after my killer morning Bat-workouts! Brew Dunkin’ Dark Roast coffee (because Digital Batman is a Dark Digital Knight) Add Stevia (a healthier sweetener alternative) Add pure dark chocolate cocoa powder (for the anti-oxidants, and keeping with the dark theme) Add pure Ceylon ground cinnamon (for its anti-inflammatory properties) Add almond milk-based creamer like Califia Farms (for zero cholesterol) And finally add a splash of non-alcoholic Bailey’s Irish Coffee Creamer. A healthy way to start the day!