September 26, 2009
This is a continuation of the post about the World Computer Cowboy Championship day 1. The excitement of the previous day still remained among cowboys, and another excitement, day 2, came.
The keynote for day 2 was given by Shinji Higuchi.
He is a famous animation and SFX director in Japan and let us hear about the “Tokusatsu,” the special effects used for animation and films. Based on his experience as the director of Japan Sinks, Evangelion, Gamera series, and so forth.
He said that the way to create attractive and amazing visual effects is to add spice of something new to current technology. So he expects that better technology and better programming will make his film more attractive.
What he said important is that both artificial and natural elements are necessary to keep his SFX real. Excess of the digital defeats the real and excess of the real also defeats the digital. The balance of two is a key.
180 Rodeos: General
As Day 1, after the keynote, 180 Rodeos were given. That time was for general people. Thanks many challengers for joining the Rodeo! I would like to introduce all, but sorry, it is too many to do it. So, I will introduce the three who won the prizes.
His BlogPolis is the search engine which visualize the popularity of blogs. This engine will possibly be applied to other systems, not only blog. He won the 1st prize in the whole 180 rodeos! congratulations!
Picopon, the abbreviation of “Pico projector and Wii remote controller,” which project an image by the same way as normal Wii controller. This was the first prize in General section.
He won the second prize in General section. His humanoid robot has iPhone 3G on his face.
The speaker, microphone, and camera became a mouth, ears, and eyes respectively. The robot wakes you up by tapping you physically!
Takuma Iwasa(the president of Cerevo and known as “Waren-osyo”)
Cerevo is a maker of home electronics. His topic was about the projects to change the consumer electronics. The topic’s interesting point was the camera connect to network and share the photos on the internet. such as Cerevo Cam or DevCam project.
Kinya Tagawa (design engineer and the founder of takram)
takram is the company whose developing approaches is based on both design and engineering. The company developed many interesting products such as Phasma, i-Widget and Afterglow. In addition to that, he emphasized the importance of demonstration as well as specification. To confirm the relevance of abstract planning, he always does concrete proof.
Naoko Tosa (a professor of Kyoto University and a media artist)
Her rodeo topic is about cultural computing and a software which connect culture, unconsciousness, and imagination. Noticing the importance of own culture, she tries to add it to computers which tried to globalize to excluded the local uniqueness. In Zenetic Computer, which featured Japanese Culture and Sansui-zen, her unique project are fully expressed.
Shiroh Kawai (the developer of Gauche and an actor)
An expert of LISP talked about, of course, LISP. LISP can cheat and change the limitation of program. He also questions the rules of physics that we naturally take for granted and suggested the possibility to change it.
He talked about a new humanoid model. Based on real neuroanatomy, he analyzed the study model and pattern of reword gaining learning process. His goal is to equip the artificial human brain with computer!
Toshiyuki Masui (the developer of POBox and a professor of Keio University)
He suggested the smooth information communication in the future without “redundant” processes, such as registration, password, naming the files, and so forth. The samples systems are such as gyazz and Gyazo. His wide range of user interface research is aimed at realization of ubiquitous computing and smooth information communication.
His rodeo was the end of Day 2. All programs of Cowboy Championship has done. It was so exciting and impressive experience for us. Tokuriki said on his blog that the Cowboy Championship was an event like TED. He also pointed out that people with the same interests tend to gather in the same topic on the internet, but the Cowboy Championship added the elements of entertainment and design to it so that something new would be created as a chemical reaction. (translation mine)
Ito said on his article in Ascii, that if I say in commonplace words, it gave me an energy. In other words, it showed me the bright future certainly waiting for us by smart brain and surprisingly wide knowledge. (translation mine)
We believe that people who came to the event certainly got something in theirselves. Also we are really happy if people enjoy the event and the event showed you something helpful or hopeful.
To win the championship, developers should polish their skills, and their polished skills will develop more useful, helpful or creative things. We hope such merit cycle would be happened by this Championship where from students to specialists involve.
Also, for ubiquitous computing, technology or idea should not always be exclusive. It would be better to be shared with a variety of people and to be understandable for non-experts too.
Hoping that these events could provide some merit cycle, we think about the next WCCC.
WCCC operation team
September 18, 2009
The World Computer Cowboy Championship (WCCC) the 3rd was successfully finished. It was held on August 29th and 30th 2009. Last 2 Championship were both held only for a day, but the 3rd was for 2 days! So that the contents of it were really variety, informative and exciting for all people!!
The theme of the 3rd Championship was “Code is Love.” Falling love with code, cowboys always thinks only one thing, code, code, and code!
The Championship includes keynotes, Cowboy Rodeos and 180 Rodeos. In Cowboy Rodeos, computer cowboys gave presentations on their specialties. 180 Rodeos is the time for general persons and students to show their research or development to the public in 180 seconds.
After the Competition, Alty Party, the party “famous” to cowboys, was held.
For next a few posts, I will write about it. People both couldn’t and did go must check it!
The day 1 started with the opening ceremony by Shi3z and S-Ishimaru.
After that, a keynote was given by Furukawa Susumu (a professor of Keio University). The title was ‘Messages by an old cowboy, for those who continue the soul.’ (translation is mine.) It was truly informative keynote.
He spoke about his career and, based on it, talked about the movement and the prospective of technology recently used popularly or start to be used. On broadcasting devices, smartphones, electronic paper market, problem of IP-TV, leadership, and so forth, his speech topics were various.
After working for Ascii publisher, he became the first president of Microsoft Japan.
Also, he emphasized the importance of clear vision statement to accomplish something. Some aspects of current computer were already mentioned by him thirty years ago in the postscript on Ascii magazine!
180 Rodeos: Students
After such a big water fall information, it was exciting time for young and fresh cowboys,or “those who continue the soul” which Mr Furukawa just told. Takashi Aoki won the 1st prize and 2nd was won by Yasuhiro Takeda. The following is the brief introduction of their names and rodeo topics. You have to check these diamonds before they were caught!?
Kiyohiro Yamaguchi (The University of Tokyo)
An application of hit ranking on Tumblr.
Kimihiro Mizutani (NAIST)
An program for all PCs which construct exclusive network such as only for management staffs.
Yuki Ikuta (Kyushu University)
Question and suggestion for Thunderbird; lack of showing the threads and narrowness of edit space.
Yasuhiro Takeda (Chuo University)
A solution for muscle training. “Muscaras” sends the training date to Twitter and cheering message will automatically twitted on Twitter.
Takashi Aoki (The University of Tokyo)
Virtual Time Machine that transform 2D photos into 3D one.
Makoto Kondo (Keio University)
“iPhone Hack” uses the iPhone’s Voice Over feature and composes voices. The composed voice can “read”and “sing.”
After break time, the Rodeos were given. Those were, of course, all interesting and we were all impressed!
Toru Nishikawa (the president of Preferred Infrastructure)
He talked about searching systems. Because he spoke not with jargon but with plain words, his speech was easy to understand for non-expert. Also, what surprised the audience was the SSD type Sebue with 100,000 yen (1,100 US $) server. It searches the whole information in Wikipedia all over the world in 0.03 second!!
Eiji Kamiya (the president of Ibis) His rodeo was about self-moving robotics. He researches and develops an original self-moving robot, Aibi, as his “hobby!” But well studied and based on the popular ways of robot development, his robotics skill is worth to be called an “expert.”
Tatsushi Yamada (known as Hacker Dude-san, “Kami-sama”)
He is the one who made the Palm popular in Japan. In addition to the reason why the Palm became not so popular, he talked about the project of “free office.” He emphasized that it is important to construct comfortable working environment as well as the abolition of own desks.
Katashi Nagao (a professor of Nagoya University)
His presentation was about the system to raise the productivity and effectively of meetings. The system transforms real meetings into contents. Also certain gestures by audience make it easy to judge the topic is new or succeeded one. The one of interesting points of his speech is that he used the interface which is hacked Wii controller!
Kazuki Ota (the CTO of Preferred Infrastructure) He just finished the internship of development IBM’s super computer, Blue Gene, so his topic about the future of computers was hot not only for us, but also for him! He introduced the trend of super computer and importance of developing anti-brakedown for the future super computer possibly with million cores. He predicts that super computer in 2025 can emulate with human brain.
Eichi Furukawa (the technical director of Ubiquitous Entertainment Inc.)
He was the final rodeo presenter of day 1, and talked with Shi3z and Shin Ishimaru. He has already focused on the Java application before it was supported by Japanese mobile phone systems. In addition to about Java application for mobile phone, he has already written 19 (!!) books about programming for Microsoft Robotics Studio, Adobe Air, Arduino, XNA, Android, and so forth since 2000.
“To prevail the technology.” For such a simple reason, he writes about complicated programming and makes it understandable for us.
The day 1 was closed with talking session by Satoshi Endo (Ascii Media Works) and Shi3z.
As you have seen, the above all are the contents of only day 1! How variety and rich program! But I will write about day 2 (also about Alty Party!!) too not to be overcome by such a big programs.