This week’s inspiring (and interesting) discoveries

Let's begin with this week's list of interesting internet discoveries!

-Amazon plans to ship your products before you buy them. Seriously. We were trying to cope with the fact that they are working on airborne deliveries, yet they have another innovation.

-This comic book infographic.

-Winamp being sold to Radionomy. This might mean that Winamp users can continue using Winamp, although I don't really see the point where foobar2000 is a great alternative for listening to music on your OS. (I prefer Clementine while using Linux)

-This great, heart-warming guide on "How to be alone" by Andrea Dorfman and Tanya Davis:

-The greatly inspiring TEDx speech by Lizzie Velasquez on "How you define yourself". As she puts it: "Once labeled, "The Worlds Ugliest Woman," Lizzie decided to turn things around and create her own definitions of what she defines as beauty and happiness". This will bring tears to your eyes:

-The MakerSpace in Georgia Tech. This is exactly the place that I have been recently talking about with a friend of mine, without knowing it already exists. Here is a video:

-Neil Gaiman's commencement speech from 2012:

-The mind-blowing proof that 1+2+3+4+5+... = -1/12. Note: It is said that this result relates with String Theory and it has applications in Physics:

-Lastly, Dave Brubeck and a random violinist improvising together:


Cinder Creative Coding Cookbook


This book is one of the most helpful and most comprehensive books available out in the market. It does not only present the basics and the simple conventions of creative coding but it also provides a vast coverage of related topics such as integration of the code with other technologies or other software structures. You can find the basics of an iOS application that can be created with Cinder Framework, create a Kinect based interactive artwork or focus on digital image processing and virtual physic rules to create the top notch collisions for your new indie game.

The thing about books that deal with creative coding is that they either focus on the most simple approaches and conventions in creative coding or the focus only on how coding can be used creatively and instead of talking about the coding itself, they rather focus on different uses of coding and merely ideas. This book has a nice way of tackling with both sides that and I find this to my liking. It provides you with clear examples about the topics it deals with and and explains each example code snippet roughly, so that you can clarify your mind. There aren't dozens of books in the market about Cinder Framework but Cinder - Creative Coding Cookbook is definitely one of the best reference books available and I would suggest it to everyone interested about Cinder Framework.

I believe that it is also very important to have a good reference book about the framework that is dealt with and in our case the references about Cinder can mostly be reached by a Google search and you wouldn't be too surprised to see that the answers (if there are any) to your problem have been typed to an online forum by a top contributor of the forum, who is one of the very few dedicated contributors of that forum. As there are other options for C++ based frameworks such as Open Frameworks, which has more references than Cinder (since it is older than Cinder), this book has also another type of value in that sense.

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Cinder: Begin Creative Coding

Cinder - Begin Creative Coding

This is a good guide/tutorial for beginners in Cinder framework. The detailed information covers almost all basic steps, starting from what Cinder is, what can be done by using Cinder and the installation steps until 3D and sound integration. The topics are not directly helpful for advanced users since the focus is on basics, however a beginner in Cinder would find this book quite useful.

There are not many (online or printed) sources available out there about Cinder, so this book is definetely valuable in that sense, too. My friend and I are using Cinder in our graduation project and the functions and examples were useful for our work. If you plan to work with Cinder, this book will definetely ease your job and help you on your way.

Note that some background knowledge in programming field, especially in C++ would definetely help you as you read the book, however if you are a total beginner don't worry. The book explains everything plain and simple, so I'm guessing that even flipping the pages of a book on C++ programming basics would be enough.

All in all, I am very glad to have had a chance to read this book and I would suggest it to anyone interested in Cinder.

Interested? You should give it a look.


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Seems silly at first glance, eh? Well, at this point I shall tell you that it's one of the most amazing books I've read so far.

It's one of those books you should take your time to read and digest. You will be amazed by this (un)usual journey and how the narrator relates these two seemingly different subjects. I want to tell much more about this book, however no matter what I type, I feel that I'm not presenting the book good enough. Probably because Mr. Pirsig is much better with words and sentences than me.


The Hacker Ethic


I believe we all have books that we decide to buy on the first sight, and somehow fail to read immediately. This was one of these books for me; even if I loved the book's subject and the author's approach towards it, I somehow forgot to read it and it stayed on my bookshelf for couple of months.

Last week I finally decided to read it, and couldn't drop it off of my hand, as if I were reading a detective novel of the most addictive type. It's a joint book; starting with Linus Torvalds' opening article and then continuing with Pekka Himanen's sociological and ethical interpretation of the concept of hacker subculture. Even if it can be considered as a book that is rather a sociological comparison of the hacker working ethics and the protestant working ethics, it includes precious inferences that are highly enlightening and historical information about hacker subculture. Not to mention that it differentiates hackers from crackers.

If you're looking for a rather short but interesting and informative book on this subject, I'd highly recommend it.


Comic Post


Suat Gönülay.  He has been around since maybe before I was born, but I've only recently discovered his works. He is a Turkish graphic novelist - this seems like a proper title for him. I've read some of his works before, but I never knew him. Some days ago I bought a work of him from a comic book store, thanks to the suggestion of a close friend of mine, who studies animation at Emily Carr University.

I loved his works, not only the stories are great but also his technique is fascinating. His works are pieces of art, imho. If you don't know him, you should check him before our time runs out and Mayan calender proves to be right, thus you will have enough time to appreciate good work :)


Readings on Sound Design


I've been recently reading books about sound design and sonic arts, and Exploring Sound Design for Interactive Media by Joseph Cancellaro was the last one I read. I found the book beneficial, mostly because it covers different topics and introduces a general view on different subjects, which provides a great head start. It goes from Music Theory to Sound Design for Web/Films/Games and keeps you awake all the time by giving fascinating examples. Did you know that the sound of Luke Skywalker's landspeeder from Star Wars was designed with recorded sounds from Los Angeles Harbor Freeway through a vacuum cleaner pipe?  Or that the Ewokese language was a combination and layering of Tibetan, Mongolian and Nepali languages? Well I didn't, and I've learned various other stuff from this book.

Another great thing is that, eventhough the book provides general information about investigated topics, the reader can find out where to focus. Personally, I think designing sounds for films is rather exciting.