Category Archives: Technology

3D Gems

If the above image looks like a diamond encrusted road leading up to a modern day Emerald City, you’d be half right.  It’s actually one of master goldsmith William A. Weidinger’s latest jewelry creations.

With technology once reserved for the movie industry, 3D Matrix software has moved from the silver screen into all facets of design. And the technology that made snow scenes in The Polar Express sparkle like diamonds, the Cheshire Cat’s emerald eyes glow in Alice in Wonderland and brought children’s toys to life in Toy Story is anything but child’s play.

By designing virtual 3D jewelry on-screen, Andy Weidinger is helping his father craft a new niche in high end jewelry.  The design’s computer file is output to a CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) device like the Revo CNC Mill shown below. The 5 axis mill cuts horizontally and vertically, creating a dimensionally accurate model from a block of wax.

There is something to be said for precision in fabrication. “Achieving perfect symmetry is the goal,” says Weidinger.

3D technology may have cast a new light on an age old industry, but if you visit Bill at his store in Grandview, you’ll still find the master goldsmith seated at his bench examining recently acquired uncut gems, while dreaming of a stunning setting yet to come. Just don’t tell him he’s not in Kansas anymore.

To view more jewelry designs by William and Andy Weidinger please visit williamweidinger.com.

Winged Migration

Having recently attended EAA AirVenture  in Oshkosh, WI, I thought I’d share some images. Originally known as the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Fly-In Convention, aircraft enthusiasts have been gathering in Oshkosh since 1953.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, as it is now known, is one of the world’s premier aviation events, attracting government officials, corporate leaders and hundreds of thousands of aviation aficionados. It spans the spectrum of aviation and according to their website, attracts 10,000 airplanes annually. You might see anything from the Spirit of St. Louis to a Stealth fighter.

Over  500 forums were conducted by aviation leaders, NASA researchers, FAA personnel and aircraft designers. The exhibit buildings housed something for everyone, ranging from flight instruments and aircraft parts to insurance carriers.

And it’s not just the pilots that get a lift. With more than 500,000 attendees, the local and state economies land a 110 million dollar boost during the week-long event.

More about AirVenture Oshkosh

Information Security Magazine Receives Tabbie Award

Carnegie Mellon's CyLab © Larry Hamill

Carnegie Mellon's CyLab © Larry Hamill

Kudos to Information Security Magazine for an honorable mention at this year’s Tabbie Awards. The Tabbies, awarded by Trade Association Business Publications International, recognize excellence in trade, association and business publications.

Maureen Joyce, creative director at IS Magazine, notified us of the honorable mention in the category of Front Cover – Digital Imagery. We produced the cover image of Marios Savvides, last fall at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab.

Through the use of algorithms, Savvides is developing facial and iris recognition software at CMU’s biometrics lab. In the article entitled, Think Tank, Michael Mimoso writes that “it’s no surprise that most of this work is earmarked for use by certain three-letter government agencies…since criminals and terrorists are experts at evading detection.”

The 2009 Tabbie Awards received 500 entries, with nominations coming from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, France, China, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Germany and India. According to TABPI’s website, “judges were once again impressed by the quality of the submissions”.

Read more of Mimoso’s article on line.

Let us know what you think of this image and/or the growth of technology in monitoring society. Will Big Brother watching out for us come to be viewed as a positive influence on our quality of life?

Digital Technology Changes in a Flash

New Camera

© Larry Hamill

Jonathan Putnam, an actor with CATCO Theatre, in awe over the technological transition from flash bulb photography to digital graphics.

The Death of Peripheral Vision

P-VisionIt seems our visual focus continues to shrink on a daily basis. While video footage of accidents that take place while drivers are text messaging are startling, they may also well be the harbinger of a form of reverse evolution.

Daily survival, as since the beginning of time, depends on our awareness of what is happening around us on a 360 degree basis. Are we now shedding our survival instincts as our concentration shifts to ever increasingly available flat panels of hyper information?