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Paul van Dinther
Works at Dinther Product Design Ltd
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Paul van Dinther

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Years ago I dismissed Apple's IPod as an MP3 player because I got totally confused with the weird syncing stuff in ITunes.

Now with Android I am starting to lose the plot too. "Contacts" is already highly convoluted and confusing as I have no idea where what information lives or comes from. I avoid linking Google+, Facebook etc because that confuses me even more! Here I was thinking that all my contacts live in my GMail Contacts list but I am not sure about that anymore.

Enter "Photos" The same thing is happening. Before it was relativly simple. I have my phone and I keep photos on the SD card. Then it was possible to automatically back them up to Google+ but I already used Picassa to manually back them up. I even face tagged every one of the thousands of photos I have in Picassa. Of course in Google+ none of those tags are there and somehow Picassa becomes an album in it's own right.

Are you still with me? I am not even sure I am.

Enter the New Google Photos. Yet another app claiming to make my life easier but doing the exact opposite. Now it can find some of my photos but only a fraction. Now more then ever, I have no idea where the photos are kept and I am starting to worry because I'd hate to lose them.

Recently my Galaxy S5 finally upgraded itself to lollypop and with that a new Gallery app. Looks ok and it features a people tag feature similar to what I used in Picassa. Of course it forgot about all my hard work in Picassa as well. But although Picassa exists in the gallery as a web album, it doesn't get scanned for faces even though that is turned on. To add insult to injury, the stupid thing keeps forgetting the faces I tag and comes back with "?" icons on the faces I have tagged several times over.

Then there are all the hundreds of duplicates. somehow new photos end up in Picassa album as well as elsewhere in the gallery driving me crazy.

I might start now about calendar but I think you get my drift. I feel I am losing control over my data and with every clever app that feeling gets worse!
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The increase of screen resolution on mobile devices does nothing to improve user interaction with the touchscreen. controls still need to be physically big in order be interacted with.

So I set out to design and program new ways to interact with touch screen UI controls.

I need these smaller controls in order to make Ships run on mobile devices that use touch screens.

This demo is a screen recording on a Samsung Galaxy S5 running my code in a Chrome browser. The software is a UI library I am writing that uses Pixi.js on top of WebGL.

The top if the video is cropped off in order to hide the URL of the demo.
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So...clever Android smartphone... Maybe you missed the concept of Phone because phone functionality seems to be forgotten and isolated from the rest of my smart phone.

When I call a business and they don't answer, why don't you offer information about opening times and alternate contact methods. You know... useful stuff, rather than you trying to tell me yet again where my house is while I am only 3km up the road.
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That's why I think "smart phone" is a really, really bad and stupid name. It should be "swiss army phone" or something. They're as useful as a swiss army knife, and as smart as one...

Another thing my "smart" phone can't figure out is to hide the country code prefix when I'm actually in that country.

The country code is needed when I'm in a different country, but if I'm not it just makes the number harder to read at a glance.
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Seriously Google, after telling you many times before, I can remember how to get to my work! I go there every day and I don't need navigation help. 
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Chromecast turns off my TV (Kinda)

Absolutely love Chromecast. Today I discovered Chromecast will turn on my TV and correct HDMI input port when I start casting. Very nice!

But why didn't Google build in some form of "OFF" function? That idle backdrop slideshow feature is annoying as the TV makes me look every time the picture changes. At least let me turn off the slideshow feature.

However I found a workaround. I solved this by creating a Google+ album with two un-captioned black pictures in it.

By customizing the backdrop to only show personalized photos in this new album I get rid of the annoying picture changing and show a near black screen with only some faint gray text at the bottom. Only the cock (that can't be turned off) changes on this dim screen. Almost perfect.

Not sure what feature in this TV causes itself to switch off but after a certain amount of time, the TV knows the picture has not changed enough and the TV switches itself off. Probably some burn-in protection.

It is a cludge workaround for a feature that should be painfully simple.

Chromecast should allow backdrop to be turned off and after a timeout it should simply send a switch TV off signal via HDMI and then turn off the HDMI output until a request to cast is received again.

Maybe it is an American thing to leave the TV on 24x7.
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Chromecast keeps amazing me. Just found out I can install a chromecast extension for the chrome browser and cast browser content or even your entire windows desktop to your chromecast device.

However, what I am looking for is an application that runs on Windows and acts as a cast receiver similar to the hardware device I purchased from Google.

What I want to be able to do is to chromecast from my phone and display the content on a windows computer. After all, I am not always at my TV and I have plenty other big screens in the house hooked up to computers.

Does anyone know if this is possible? and how?
Send content to your Chromecast and other devices that support Google Cast.
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New youtube app. Whose stupid idea is that! All that wasted space in red! Really! Fire the bastard that approved that. Crazy shit. God awful. Yuk. 
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3 years ago I wrote Tourmaker. A browser based precision camera animation tool that is fully based on cubic splines. It is capable to produce mathematically exact camera positions following a spline that is editable in real-time. The output is a long list of camera positions for each movie frame. It can even do camera offset for super high-res surround videos with resolutions as high as computers are capable to handle.

I also wrote GEMovie a few years back but refined it a bit as I currently have a museum visualization project that requires stupid high quality video footage. Movie maker in Google Earth Pro is hopelessly inadequate.

GEMovie Talks to Google Earth pro by sending UDP data packets that setup drive the Google Earth camera. Then it waits for a one second after which it sends a key press to Google Earth CTRL ALT C  which causes Google Earth to copy the current screen to the clipboard.

GEMovie then detects the fact the windows clipboard changed and saves the image to a file with a sequential file name.

Finally I use FFMpeg to compile the image sequence into a video. The result is stunning and unfortunately. I can't show it to you. :-(

OK, one single frame then ;-)

It is so cool that software I wrote ages ago, suddenly becomes relevant. But it is such a pitty that come December all this stuff will become useless when Google Earth plugin will no longer work.
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Where can I find Tourmaker now ?I need this great work to build a tour of flying!
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Transition from KineticJS to Pixijs looks like a good idea. Here is the dialKnob control for you to try. It should work on any browser including Touch screens.

http://planetinaction.com/instrumentdemos/dialknob.htm

Tap/click and hold to drag the knob around. You can drag outside the control area which makes adjustment easier. Double tap/click to center the knob.

Please let me know how it works for you in the comments.
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Works great with mouse (Windows/Chrome). It is functional on touch (android/chrome), but challenging to switch between knobs. 
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Sigh, despite hundreds of dialer apps for android I can not achieve this simple task on android:

When I am driving a noisy vehicle I want to dial one single specific phone number when I press my bluetooth headset button. This needs to work while the phone screen is off and locked.

Very simple. Once number to dial. NO screen interaction at all. Ideally I don't even want the screen to turn on.

Forget Tasker, Home2 shortcut and many other apps, they are all half baked and full of limitation.

I don't want voice dialers as voice isn't picked up properly, especially with my accent. Besides most voice dialers require the screen to be unlocked.
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What a genius device Chromecast proves to be. Picked one up in a local store and it exceeds all my expectations.

It does everything I always wanted to do with media. Music, Google plus, photos, Pandora and even Netflix!

One missed opportunity is the fact that the chromecast device always sends a signal to the hdmi port. If it would not do that, my TV would automatically switch input. 
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Apparently the app Plex allows you to cast your photos, music and videos that are on your device. There is an app that supports chromecast for just about every use you can think of.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.plexapp.android&hl=en
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Oh yeah. Rallynavigator. Just watched the video again. I am pretty proud of this piece of work. Best UI I have ever done.
 
This is the first in a series of posts we will be doing to showcase various uses of the Google Earth plugin. We are doing this as a farewell to the Google Earth plugin, which was deprecated in December.

http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2015/01/google-earth-plugin-showcase-rally-navigator.html
This is the first in a series of posts we will be doing to showcase various uses of the Google Earth plugin. We are doing this as a farewell to the Google Earth plugin, which was deprecated in December. First up is Rally Navigator. This is a website that helps you create printable rally navigation …
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Introduction
Hi, I am Paul, madly motivated by ideas and they don't even need to be mine.

Some people make the earth move, others go along for the ride. I like to be in the first group.

Thanks to my previous career as an airline pilot I got to love simulation technology. Not just flight simulators but any kind of simulation. As such I have build a range of innovative simulation products that range from Aircraft pushback simulators to Bronchoscope simulators and more recently digital museum exhibits.

Over the last few years I have also spend a lot of my time generating ideas to use Google Earth in new and innovative ways. This resulted in close relationships with the Google Earth Engineers and even the honour of a few weeks working along side them in their Mountain view head office.

You can check out some of the results of my Google Earth work on 

Bragging rights
Sailing, music such as harmonica and keyboards. I used to fly Boeing 737 aircraft in Indonesia, wrote youtube brand channel games in less then 2 weeks for a big name movie studio . On top of my list of bragging rights is the fact I worked on Google code at the Google headquarters and from my office in New Zealand.
Work
Occupation
Software development / Proof of concept inventions
Skills
Javascript, HTML5, Google Earth and maps API, JSON, XML, PHP, Ruby on Rails. Delphi on Win32 API. Electronics and hardware design. I/O solutions. Extreme Highres display systems and content. Applied math for simulation solutions.
Employment
  • Dinther Product Design Ltd
    Software development / Proof Of Concept Inventions, present
    My own business since 2006. Over this period I designed countless software solutions for a wide range of clients. Work involves solutions design, research, coding, implementation and support.
Paul van Dinther's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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