Tue, 17 Apr 2012 19:47:42 GMT+1 Tue, 17 Apr 2012 19:47:42 GMT http://pixel2010.nl Pixel 2010: Studytour about Simulation and Game Technologies. http://pixel2010.nl/ Pixel 2010 http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/img/pixellogo.png 70 181 Pixel 2010 en-us http://pixel2010.nl Pixel 2010 RSS Feed studytour@pixel2010.nl Daily report: Visiting Disney Imagineering http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct19th.html <p>After Casper's BBQ yesterday and yet another night out in Hollywood for some, today - The Last Day - started off pretty early. While having breakfast at around 7:30, we were getting ready to go to our next company visit. Our last company visit. We hopped on an arranged bus that seemed to take us to a business area somewhere between Glendale and Burbank, just north of Los Angeles. As the bus entered the area and eventually came to a stop, we were starting to wonder if this was the right place to get out.</p> <p>Surrounded by discrete buildings and moderate architecture, it was here that we were expecting to meet the folks of Disney Imagineering. Though as opposed to most of the previous visits, the company name, or even any hint of the Walt Disney Company was nowhere to be found. That is, until we saw the obvious Mickey Mouse antenna toppers on passing cars and little signs that mentioned a Mickey Mouse shuttle service. After a little wait outside we entered the Disney Imagineering building, and despite it's discrete look on the outside, inside it became immediately clear that this was the right place after all.</p> <p>We were guided to the demonstration room where we were given a short introduction on Disney Imagineering, notably their purpose and their way of working within the boundaries of the Walt Disney Company. Indeed, these are the people behind the great Disney theme parks all over the world in every way possible. The introduction was followed by a brief demonstration of their latest Pirates of the Caribbean multiplayer kids game with most of us playing against (or with) each other.</p> <p>To our surprise, we were introduced to Lucky, a proud piece of Disney Imagineering's animatronics in the shape of a dinosaur which was cleverly hidden behind a curtain. Lucky could do impressively natural movements and was previously used in some of the Disney theme parks. Of course, we all got a chance to pet and take a picture. After this, we got a short tour through the Imagineering workshop where people were working on new areas of existing theme parks, followed by a demonstration of the software that was used to simulate new rides, and another demonstration of a couple of games that were projected on a floor. Our visit was concluded by an interesting Q&A with the Imagineering team, as well as one of the Disney game teams.</p> <p>After the visit, we approached noon as what became the inevitable last "official" moment of our study trip. In theory, everyone was free to go. Though in practice, a secret rooftop pool party (dubbed "Project X") had been arranged for all participants and was announced on our way back. Plenty of downtown L.A. view, and virtually unlimited champagne, as heard - were it not that the writer accidentally double-planned this day and had to pick up his Ford Mustang rental instead :) After the rooftop party, it was time for a fancy dinner in downtown LA. As the dinner ended, everyone was now on his own..</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 01 Nov 2010 06:34:01 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct19th.html Daily report: Visiting the Third Floor and diner at Casper (CEO of XSens) http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct18th.html <p>By Jordy Molenaar</p> <p>The tour is nearing its end with our one but last company visit. Today we went to The Third Floor (ironically enough situated on the tenth floor) to see how both Xsens and intersense technologies are combined and used in practice. The Third Floor is a company specialized on previsualization techniques for movie and videogame cinematics. They have assisted in the creation of many well-known titles such as Avatar, Star Wars: episode III, Valkyrie and Starcraft II. A presentation, demonstration, some questions and a nice view from the balcony later we were outside again looking for a place to have lunch. </p> <p>The afternoon we had for ourselves. Some decided to go to the walk of fame and others hung around the hotel, picked up the laundry, checked out Venice beach or even took a dive in the swimming pool. Here we found out that the nVidia Frisbees we got earlier worked quite well!</p> <p>At four o’clock we gathered and had a bus trip to Casper’s home. Casper is the CEO of Xsens and back in The Netherlands he had promised us to have us over for a barbeque. Because of the weather however we had Chinese instead. After dinner we had some more beers, played hide and seek with the kids and did some magic tricks. During our visit at Casper’s we also first heard about ‘project X’, a secret activity that the committee has planned for our last day. We’ll find out what this is tomorrow!</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Wed, 20 Oct 2010 07:39:03 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct18th.html Daily report: Basketball match the Lakers vs Utah Jazz http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct17th.html <p><emp>By Ernst Fluttert</emp></p> <p>Starting with the weather forecast in the city of angels: Rain, Rain & clouds. It is unlikely that the sun will shine or a poolparty will be given @ The Hollywood Inn. But even bad news will not hurt any Pixelyte!!, rain means different things to different pixels:</p> <pre style='margin-left: 30px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Courier; color: #888'> /* Active Pixels */ if( Pixel.Color() == "Red"){ Pixel.Visit("Walk of Fame") || Pixel.Visit("Boring Chinese Temple"); } /* <del>Pussy</del> Rain-anxious Pixels */ elseif( Pixel.Color() == "Green"){ Pixel.Play(TransportTycoon.Start()) || Pixel.Blog(); } /* Exhausted, Zombie-state or recovering a few bytes */ else { Pixel.Sleep(); } /* ( Pixel.Color() == "Blue" || Pixel.Active()==FALSE) */ </pre> <p>Aight, the afternoon is reserved for Basketball! Master Jab (block, grab, powerplay, uppercut) explained a few things about basketcases: its a non-contact sport where 10 big dudes are hitting on a ball.. and the ball loves the basket. Whenever the ball is in the basket the team receives 2 or 3 points depending on the distance to the basket; or 1 point on faults. The teams have 24 seconds before the shotclock sais: "And IT is gone".. The total game lasts 120 shotclocks (4 periods of 12 minutes).</p> <p>To practice a bit with the rules the Staples Centre organized a demo-game for us: LA Clippers vs Denver Nuggets. In this simulation the Clippers first took off like rockets and got ahead with 10+ points... but the Nuggets bit back and claimed the victory! Our group had a few subterfuges as some individuals were in favour of the Nuggets. Endscore: Nuggets 108 - 104 Clippers.</p> <P>Then the evening was filled with a real match :: LA Lakers vs Utah Jazz. For our entertainment they stole an organist from the local church for some "religious" attempt to convert/intimidate the Jazz players. Another trick was to have 2 dozen groupies (Laker grrlz) to seduce the Lakers to play better and inspire the audience to XD ^^ :) ;) ^^ (cheer?). Half of the Pixel crew dressed as a banana in a Laker-yellow-shirt (or better known as a sleeping bag). We even saw ourselves pimpin' around on the big screen during the break.. but 2 busy 2 make a <del>screenshot</del> picture!!</p> <p>Jab and Reagan were clearly the most involved into the game.. they had this code running for 3 hours:</p> <pre style='margin-left: 30px; font-size: 11px; font-family: Courier; color: #888'> for(int i = 0; i<(i+1); i++){ Pixel.Shout("Kobe"); /* Could also be Co-bee, Adobe, Combi, or something else ;) */ Pixel.Watch(2000); /* Watching the game in miliseconds (thread sleep) */ } </pre> <p>All the cheering didn't help, as the Lakers lost with 94 - 99 :(</p> <p>We can conclude 1 thing: Pixel is a curse for the home playing team in any sports!</p> <p>This is Nasty reporting for the Daily Pixel, live from Los Angeles, California, United States of America, North America, World, SubWay, Milkyway, Universe, Aliens.</p> <p>Enjoy your day and be safe</p> <p>PS: Trivia question: Why are the LA Lakers called the Lakers when there is no lake near LA ?? Send in your answer via pixel, mentioning #pixel2010trivia. </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Thu, 21 Oct 2010 03:44:56 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct17th.html Daily report: Travelling from San Fransisco to Los Angeles http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct16th.html <p><emp>By Jasper Stoop</emp></p> <p>Today was another travel day so it was quite uneventful.</p> <p>We had to check out at the hostel at 10am sharp after which the bus picked us up to drop us off at the airport. We had to burn some time at the airport, but the flight itself made up for the time we waited. We were flying with Virgin in a brand new Airbus A320 which had a very interesting entertainment system. We were able to play music from a lot of different artists and genres, we could watch television or movies and we could even play some games. Of course we invited random people on the plane to join our special pixel chatroom, but unfortunately nobody accepted our invite.</p> <p>After an hour we landed in Los Angeles at LAX we had to wait a few minutes for the bus which brought us to our motel. Our motel is located on a very nice spot on Western Avenue, very close to the various hotspots downtown LA has to offer. The rooms were pretty good, a lot cleaner and more space than the one we were staying in in Washington DC. And we had WiFi!</p> <p>We had dinner at a pretty good Thai restaurant which served a lot of cheap and decent meals. After we had dinner we went by a liquor store to get some refreshments, which must have made up for quite the experience for the store clerk. Later that night the group split up in a few groups, of which some went to the cinema to see the movie RED and others went to downtown LA to walk around and witness what LA is like on a Saturday night.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 19 Oct 2010 16:36:48 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct16th.html Daily report: University of California at Berkeley and Total Immersion Software Inc http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct15th.html <p>By Ruud Welling</p> <p>Another busy day in San Francisco, we got up early and started our day with a pancake breakfast at the USA hostel. At 9.00, our bus departed to Stanford University (University of California). When we arrived we had 15 minutes to drink some coffee before we were going to the Computer science building. The campus had lots of open space (grass) and was pleasantly busy.</p> <p>At Stanford we got to see the laser backpack, it was a device for 3d indoor modelling. The backpack is equipped with the InterSense InertiaCube 3, several lasers, and several camera’s. The InterSense sensor keeps track of pitch, roll, and yaw. The lasers use time of flight measurements to measure the distance to the floor, wall, and ceiling. This data can be used for localisation and geometry mapping. The camera data is used for localisation and geometry measurements. We got an explanation of how the laser and camera images could be used for localisation and how error correction was implemented. At the end of the visit we got to see the laser backpack (it was really big).</p> <p>After the visit we visited the faculty club on the campus for lunch, we could eat burgers or sandwiches. When we were done eating we had a moment to sit outside and enjoy the sunny weather. On our way to the bus we saw lots of people on one of the squares because there was a promo market. It seemed like lots of things were happening on the campus, which left a pleasant impression on us.</p> <p>We took the bus to Total Immersion and arrived there a little past two. Total Immersion focuses on 3d immersive simulation. They recreate real world areas for military training. They showed us how they recreated these areas by placing buildings on a map overlay. They also showed us a face expression trainer, to train recognition of twitches in facial expressions which could give lies or emotions away. We also got to see some 3d model demos of a military vehicle and character models. We saw a quick demo on shader effects, one on character animation from motion capture and at the end we got to see how everything was combined together. It was an interesting company visit!</p> <p>When our bus got back to our hostel in USA we had the evening for ourselves. All the participants split up in groups and took their time to have something to eat. In the evening we had some time to prepare for the flight to Los Angeles, drink some beers, play some games. Some of us went to bed early and others concluded their day in a nearby club. Which brings our last day in San Francisco to an end!</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 19 Oct 2010 16:33:15 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct15th.html Daily report: NBSO and nVidia http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct14th.html <i>By Oguz Meteer</i><p /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Breakfast and NBSO:</h2> This morning I was a bit late for breakfast so I had to eat a less than perfect pancake, but I was still glad I could eat something. After the breakfast we walked to NBSO (Netherlands Business Support Office) which is located on the 31st floor of a building on Montgomery Street. We met with several people, Beth Suzan being one of them. She gave us an interesting presentation about the business culture and the do's and don'ts in America and I found this especially helpfull because most of us would consider starting a business in the United States. I'm sure that the tips she gave are going to prove very helpful.<p /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Lunch at Escape from New York:</h2> For lunch we had some delicious pizza at a nice location between two high buildings which made for a nice scenery. Interesting to note that we all started to discuss the similarities and differences between the Dutch, Americans and the Germans (thanks to Michael), after the presentation of Beth Suzan. It was a nice change from the usual less scientific chats we have.<p /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>nVidia = awesomeness:</h2> Next stop was nVidia. Now, I have to be honest, I'm a bit of an nVidia fanboy so I was a bit biased. We met with Ken Brown who I thanked because he helped me quite a bit. The campus was big and quite impressive, as was the building we entered. There were lots of big and noisy servers and also a lot of patents on the walls. After everyone got their visitor card we went to a room where the presentations were going to be held. What got my attention was a notice that said that you had to pay attention, that electronic devices like laptops were not needed and that you had to respect everyone and their opinions. Ken introduced us to Ujesh who works at the marketing department and he told us a bit about the goals and product lines of nVidia. Apparently he is also a rock drummer so he is a cool guy in my book (too bad I didn't bring my guitar, we could have jammed!).<p /> After the presentation of Ujesh we were introduced to Chief Scientist and Vice President Bill Dally and I have to admit that I am ashamed that I didn't know him considering he's been a driving force behind parallel computing and having written over 200 papers. After a slow start we bombarded him with questions and because there was so little time we left with more questions than we had at the beginning. He gave us some pretty interesting details about what they are researching at nVidia, so I'm glad that we could talk to someone who knows all about the technical details of their products.<p /> After that we had a tour around the campus which was nice. We also saw the GPU demonstration that the Mythbusters presented. Last but not least we had a demo about nVidia 3D Vision, which we also use at work, so I already was familiar with it. Andrew told us a bit about the technical details of how their stereo vision solution works and gave us hints about what they are researching now. Everyone was impressed with what they saw, literally. All in all a succes if you ask me.<p /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Dinner at Elephant & Castle:</h2> First we had to outside for a while, but luckily I had an interesting talk with some of the other participants who were a bit less knowledgable about graphics. In the discussion we cleared some of the questions that came to mind after the questionnaire with Bill Dally because of all the technical details he provided in his answers.<p /> When we went inside I saw that the pub/restaurant was pretty full so I was worried that it was going to be unconfortable. Instead we went to a closed room in the basement, which was confortable but I would have preferred to mingle with the locals so that I could have a nice chat with them. Luckily the discussions with the other participants about what we like to eat, who had experience with soft drugs (remember, we are Dutch), ray tracing and physics proved to be entertaining and fruitfull. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 18 Oct 2010 09:47:20 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct14th.html Daily report: Visiting Quantum3D http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct13th.html <p>The day started quietly, as we actually had a chance to sleep in today. Considering some people’s activities last night, that was probably for the best. Those of us that did not spend the morning snoring and drooling went out for breakfast, do some shopping or get some supplies for lunch. Especially eating breakfast somewhere else than the hostel was a welcome break to some from the pancakes, even though those where some good pancakes! Since today was a particularly hot day, most people weren’t exactly looking forward to spending the afternoon in a full suit. However, there wasn’t really a choice, as Quantum3D explicitly requested us to suit up. Nice coincidence, since everybody knows that today is International Suit Up Day.</p> <p>Sometime around noon, most participants showed up back at the hostel, fully energized for another trip to our favorite city in the San Francisco Bay: San Jose. A new day also meant a new bus driver, a woman this time. That’s the second time we had a female driver during the tour, Americans really don’t discriminate. </p> <p>Even though everybody had had the chance to catch some extra sleep, the bus trip was spent sleeping by some. Those that were awake had another chance to enjoy the beautiful Californian landscape, which is mostly dried grass with trees. Lovely. </p> <p>Upon arriving at Quantum3D’s headquarters, we noticed a slight difference in temperature after leaving the bus. Slight, as in stepping into a preheated oven. The Fahrenheit temperatures actually really sound like what you would expect in an oven: today was 91F. </p> <p>Luckily, it did not take long before we were allowed inside the building. Before that, we all got a nice sticker with or name on it, which always looks good on a suit. Those of us that really had reached the boiling point found refreshment in the water, soda and fruit we got from Quantum3D, which was nice. There were also cookies, which our host claimed to have baked himself.</p> <p>The presentation itself was interesting, as it gave insight into what the company does and who its customers are. We were also shown some of their products, such as a couple of little but tough computers called Thermite. The name is appropriate, as apparently they get quite hot, just as actual thermite would, probably not quite as hot though. After the central presentation, we split up into three groups. Every group had a short Q & A session with the vice president of Engineering and saw a demo of their Image Generator setup. Our hosts said during the presentation that the IG (patriotically dubbed “Independence”) was about the size of half a fridge, it turned out it was half the size of an American fridge, which is substantially bigger than you would expect. </p> <p>The third thing we got to see at Quantum3D was a virtual soldier trainer, called Expedition DI. The trainer consists of a helmet with HUD, a modified M16 and a vest with some sensors and the Thermite unit. Some of the participants got to try their luck on shooting some virtual people, cars and windows. Those M16s are quite heavy!</p> <p>The wrap up of the visit consisted of a quick quiz, in which we were tested on how well we had paid attention during the visit. Amongst other things, we were asked what the company’s different product groups are and when it was founded. The lucky people who got a question right (Albert, Thomas Visser, Mattijs, Ruud and Sjoerd) were awarded with a nice USB memory stick. After that, it was time to go back to our temporary home in San Francisco, through some quite heavy traffic.</p> <p>The night was like most nights, people got something to eat, something to drink and went to bed. </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Thu, 14 Oct 2010 07:16:51 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct13th.html Message from the chairman of study tour Pixel http://pixel2010.nl/blog_message_from_the_chairman_of_study_tour_pixel.html Today I discovered our study tour is at two-third of its total length. Wow! 13 months ago I, and five other students, started organizing the study tour. 13 months of hard work and the first two weeks have gone by in the blink of an eye. This works both really relieving and amazingly disappointing. Disappointing to think that in 7 days the tour ends. Relieving because everything is going according to plan.<p /> Luckily our first 14 days have gone by without unsolvable problems. One of the small errors that did occur was due to a traffic jam: we arrived a few minutes late at one of the visits. This, being the biggest problem of the tour thus far, makes me proud. My committee members worked hard, and now we can enjoy the company of the friendly American people and their beautiful cities. We’ve seen different kinds of cities: one could never compare Boston to the sky-scraper-city NYC, nor to capital city Washington D.C.. And this blog post was written in another totally different city: San Francisco. <p /> But in those cities we do more than talk to the locals. We see cutting edge technologies, learn about products that are not yet announced (and will not be for sale for the coming months to years) and are visiting the BEST universities of the world. We feel the different cultures within the city, we touch the different corporate cultures and see the different educational styles used by MIT, Stanford University and NYC. <p /><p /> <h2>Finances</h2> In the past months all participants worked 120hrs at one of our Dutch partners. Their efforts, and generous gifts of our other sponsors resulted in an 110.000 euro budget. With the current EUR-USD exchange rate this results in 150.700 dollar, all to be spend in three weeks. Most of that budget is used to pay for our flights, hotels and food. But thanks to the generous Computer Science field we have also been able to take all participants to the cultural hotspots. Don’t worry, we’ve found an interesting place to leave it all….<p /> In New York City we bought front-row (ok, 4th and 5th row) tickets for Broadway musical The Lion King. In San Francisco we visited a American football match from the SF49ers. And in a few days we will visit a basketball match. Not to mention our study-tour-ending-activity, to be held on October 19th.<p /><p /> <h2>Charity</h2> One of our encounters with the friendly Americans, and their hospitality, was yesterday evening. We were invited over for dinner by the ‘Neighbors Abroad Committee’ of Palo Alto. This committee, formed by several inhabitants of the city keep relations with six different cities all over the world. Among those cites: Enschede. In the 1980’s many exchange students visited Palo Alto (home to Stanford), and Enschede (home to the University of Twente).<p /> During dinner (and a lovely homemade desert with cookies, cake and grapes with chocolate) we talked with the members of the sister city organization about our cities, our countries, our habits and our experiences. During the talks we also learned about the work the committee does for the other sisters cities. This included sending used clothes, and help open schools where needed. <p /> Intrigued by the stories and partially as a thank you for the received hospitality, the participants of Study Tour Pixel 2010 decided to raise money for the projects. The participants can donate money to Wytse (our Financial-man) and he will make certain that these gifts end up on the right bank account. <p /><p /> <h2>In local news</h2> Our tour through the U.S. has not gone unnoticed. This morning an <a href="http://www.utnieuws.utwente.nl/new/?artikel_id=77078">article was published in the University of Twente newspaper: UTNieuws</a>. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Thu, 14 Oct 2010 06:56:45 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/blog_message_from_the_chairman_of_study_tour_pixel.html Daily report: Cyberglove Systems and Stanford University http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct11th.html <p>We never had to get up as early as today and after a long day yesterday some participants skip the breakfast specially made by half of the committee together with some volunteers who had to get up around six to make it. </p> <p>After breakfast we had half an hour to pick up our suits, usually this should not be any problem but half of the name tags were gone resulting in a quest to find your own suit.</p> <p>It took about two hours to get to our first company of the day. After dropping Mr. Weber somewhere in the middle of nowhere we arrived at cyberglove systems. Cyberglove was not big enough to be able to show all 30 of us around so half of the group had to wait for an hour. The next-door company called Revware offered a place to wait and even gave a tour of their company. Revware manufactures hardware to convert 3d points in the real world to digital points. During the tour the boss explained how it is being used to digitalize clay characters for movies and games and thereby fits exactly within our tour.</p> <p>Cyberglove itself was again a very interesting company. They showed us how their gloves are able to digitalize finger movements and with additional hardware even the complete hand. It is amazing how laid back those companies let us try a product they sell for over 120,000 dollar.</p> <p>After the pizza-lunch at Cyberglove systems we headed to Stanford University. We were told to be able to walk around campus for an hour because we were too early. The only problem was that the driver could not find the building where we needed to be. Because of this the free time was gone but now we had already had a bus tour instead.</p> <p>The visit to Stanford started with an introduction about CISL, the simulations they make for the medical sector and a view of the hi-res monitor they made. After this we were split in three groups, one group had a tour around the building showing them different mannequins and using the software to control it. Another group went to CASA where they witnessed a scenario where this electronic doll was used. This group had to sign for not telling specific details about the training or whatsoever. The last group went to see the operation simulators where they performed some operation themselves. Luckily this was a simulation and not a real human being otherwise he or she may not have survived.</p> <p>We were invited to have dinner in Palo Alto by the neighbors abroad committee. We arrived twenty minutes late at the committees president house because the bus driver thought we wanted to go back to San Francisco. At first nobody knew what to expect especially when we saw they were not quite the same age as we are but at the end everybody was very surprised about the interesting stories they heard and discussions they had. </p> <p>Some participants had talked with the bus driver during dinner and told him they wanted to go to a club when they were back at the hostel. The driver knew exactly where they had to go and even drove by to show them where all the interesting clubs were.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Thu, 14 Oct 2010 06:55:44 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct11th.html Daily report: Visiting NeuroSky and Alcatraz http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct10th.html <p>This monday brings a fresh start of a new week. After an intense evening at the San Francisco 49ers stadium yesterday evening, most of the group went to bed early. At 8:00 breakfast was served in the basement of the hostel. The committee and some volunteers had been very busy baking pancakes for the whole group. Kudo's to them! After a decent breakfast, the group gathered at the front entrance of the hostel at about 8:20, after which we boarded the bus to be on our way to NeuroSky in San Jose (about a 1,5 hour drive). For the first time the dress code of the company visit was casual. This mainly had to do with the fact that most participants took their suit to the dry cleaners yesterday, which hadn't finished them in time. Some participants took the word 'casual' a little too literally; even though the appropriate clothing was a pair of jeans, a blouse and decent shoes Mattijs took this opportunity to wear shorts, a t-shirt, a vest and his favorite sports shoes. Well, at least he is comfortable.</p> <p>NeuroSky is a privately owned company that produces biosensor technology for the consumer market, with a focus on devices for brain-computer interfacing (BSI). The company has offices in China, Hong Kong and Korea, but its head office is located at the heart of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California. We arrived a little early, so there was some time to grab a cup of coffee at a cafe next to NeuroSky's office building. Thirty minutes later we took the elevator to the ninth floor, where NeuroSky resides. The head of communications welcomed us and we were invited to sit in the conference room to attend a presentation about the company.</p> <p>The main product of NeuroSky is a headset called MindSet that uses dry sensors to detect brain activity signals and convert them to digital signals. Two main algorithms that measure attention and mediation are used to filter the signal. The intention of this headset is to be easy, affordable and fun. Therefore the headset is mainly used in toys and games, but some other existing applications are Iphone applications and sports training. NeuroSky only ships the headset with the algorithms and some basic games, most of the applications are developed by the customers themselves.</p> <p>After the presentation there was some room for demo's. The office next door was filled with some games and applications. There was a basic simulator that graphically showed mediation and attention levels of the user that was wearing the MindSet headset. It was funny to see how these values change just by thinking of different things.</p> <p>The UMI Star Wars Force Trainer is a game for children that uses the MindSet headset. It allows the player to move a ball up and down in a tube by concentrating. Some participants had a go, most of them had difficulty keeping the ball at a certain level. Ronald seemed to be a real mindcontroller, he had absolute control over the ball and was titled Jedi Master.</p> <p>Another game was MindFlex. MindFlex allows the player to move a ball through several obstacles by concentrating. This game was a little easier. The employee of NeuroSky that was responsible for beta testing presented us with the latest MindSet headset that is to be released in november. Some participants were asked their opinion and were invited to test some simple applications. A group photo at the entrance of the NeuroSky offices ended the visit.</p> <p>After the visit, the whole group had lunch at the cafe in the building next door. Some healthy sandwiches and salads filled our stomachs, preparing us for the bus ride to Fishermans Warf, part of the harbor of San Francisco.</p> <p>At the warf, we had 2 hours to spend before we were going to eat at a surf 'n turf restaurant at Pier 39. Fishermans Warf is a beautiful piece of San Francisco with a lot of piers with restaurants, shops and (navy) boats. The weather was good (27 degrees Celcius), so it was really nice to walk around or grab a terrace.</p> <p>At half 16:30 we gathered at the restaurant and had some fish & chips, burgers or salads. After dinner we walked to pier 33, where the boat to Alcatraz Island departed. At the time of departure it was starting to get dark, which provided a spectacular view of the coast of San Francisco from the boat. The boat circled around the island once and then docked.</p> <p>When we arrived at Alcatraz, we were split into big groups. A guide told us some story about an attempted escape from an inmate several years ago as we walked up the hill to the prison blocks. At the entrance of the prison blocks we were given an audio device and headset, which contained the narrative for a 45 minute audio tour around the building. It was amazing to see the cell blocks and hear the stories of officers and inmates, especially at night (it gives you an extra creepy feeling). There was an extended talk about many of the attempted escapes from the Rock. Only three escapees were never found again, but it's not sure whether their escape was actually successful (they might have died trying). After the audio tour we were given an option to join one of 3 talks that were held by the guides. We chose the 'Sound of the Slammer' tour, a talk that ended with all the cells in the whole cellblock opening and closing. What a sound!</p> <p>At 21:25 the boat departed from Alcatraz Island to the mainland, the end of a great tour. We took the cable car (it's like a rollercoaster through town) back to the hostel.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Wed, 13 Oct 2010 07:35:13 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct10th.html Daily report: Football match the 49ers vs the Eagles http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct10th2.html <p>By Mattijs Ugen</p> <p>Imagine a beautiful sunny early morning in a city built on hills on the west coast of the united states. For Pixel, this is a new city, a new oppotunity to see and learn things at the other side of the world.</p> <p>This morning, participants learned the hostel encouraged everybody to bake their own pancakes. Some of us managed to bake some typical American pancakes, some managed to create black frisbees. Those not so big on the American style pancakes found their breakfast on the other side of the street, where a local convenience store sold very convenient bagles.</p> <p>After breakfast, we met a standup comedian and artist named AJ at San Francisco's Union Square. She told us all about the red and blue light districts and the great shake and bake, which apparently sucked in more than one way. AJ incorporated some trivia questions into the tour, which allowed us to earn an actual real life chocolates! She left us with some more bonus jokes at the bottom of one of te remaninng cable cars in "Frisco", close to the bay.</p> <p>At this point, all pixels were free to go where they wanted for a few hours, so most of us went to take a look at the bay closeby. After passing more homeless people than we all imagined would fit around a fountain, we got a view of a beautiful bridge across the bay. As it was about lunch time, the usual argument about where to grab a bite to eat ensued: some wanted a taste of the legendary brick cheesecake, other fancied their 5th meter of subway sandwich.</p> <p>With our lunch firmly secured in our bellies, many of us took a scenic route back to the hostel, as we were told to gather their at 3:00 PM. In this slot of free time, we visited China Town, which must be the world's primary source of kitchy home furniture and general things that have little use, but also home to some of the prettiest street lights in San Francisco. During the walk back, we were all struck by the ridiculousity of the streets of the city. Extremely steep roads are the rule rather than the exception in San Francisco, something Dutch people are far from familiar with. The difference in height—both down and up again—in a simple 1 mile walk is astonishing.</p> <p>Once the 30-pixel screen was reassembled at the hostel, most prepared for a bus ride towards the edge of town, some others stayed behind and went fanboiing for an autograph. After a short bus ride, we saw the Candlestick stadium, the home of the San Fransisico 49ers football team. As we were somewhat early, we all strolled towards the parking area, where a peculiar piece of American culture was in overdrive. At the back end of about one in two cars was a barbecue surrounded with either red 49ers or green eagles shirts. As the story goes, barbecueing on the car park with some beers at hand is a tradition at sports events and is called 'tail gating'. The atmosphere at the car park was very relaxed, and three participants even managed to score a free beer, which it turned out, was about as complicated to achieve as asking to buy some from a friendly sports fan.</p> <p>Still amazed at the community that had formed at the car park, it was time to enter the stadium and find our seats, which were at the exact oposite side of the stadium. Although it was buzzing with people on the walkways around the stadium, people were really relaxed about moving here; not one sip of an overpriced beverage was spilled on the 20 minute slow walk to our side of the stadium. Once inside, we got a first view of the enormous structure housing the 100-yard playfield.</p> <p>When the game finally started—after taking many, many pictures of the show the cheer leaders put up—few of us had any idea of how this peculiar American sport actually worked: one person looks around the field for someone to throw the footlong ball to, everyone else seems to have found a rival player to engage in a freestyle arm wrestling competition with. At some point, one of the men dressed in red managed to move the ball across the zero yard line, transforming the stadium into a dance-shout-revolution session.</p> <p>Watching the game, the rules seemed to become clearer little by little, as we all cracked our brains to decipher the numbers on the score boards. Nevertheless, twitter streams at home became littered with tweets about not getting the game, as some of us WiFi hoppers found out the stadium had free game time Internet.</p> <p>Halfway through the match—which took about an hour and a half for 30 minutes of play time—the committee told us to get some manner of food ourselves, as managing this all at one go would result in hour long waiting time and two very sad committee members; we can't have that. As a result, most of us got a semi-warm hotdog to fight the hunger at that time, hoping for an opportunity to get some real food once we got back.</p> <p>As an American football match apparently takes a long time for just one hour of play time, many lost attention during the third inning and turned to the ever-entertaining Internet. During the fourth inning, however, "our" 49ers managed to get back in the game, nearly leveling the scores. Even the pixels uninterested in sports realized the tension in the stadium, and the game was fun to watch once again. Sadly for the real Friscans, the 49ers eventually lost the game at 24 to 27. Nevertheless, it was a nice experience to have been a part of.</p> <p>Looking back at the game, it was nice to see red and green shirts sitting next to each other. Although they were constantly shouting at each other and making fun of faults of the corresponding rival teams, all of this was done with smiling faces and friendly rivalry. This friendly interaction might be the greatest difference from the way Dutch soccer fans interact; a welcome change.</p> <p>At the end of the game, the stadium smoothly emptied and we were off to retrieve our bags. The staff at the bag retrieval tent was less of a positive influence, sadly. Everyone who left their bag at the bag tent had a number on a little piece of cardboard. In stead of introducing a system and thus knowing where every bag is located in the tent, they decided to play bingo with numbers between 1 and 643. Many annoying near bingo moments later, we finally all had our bags and went to stand in line for the bus.</p> <p>Back at the hostel, the group scattered between the kitchen downstairs, the bunks and some late night restaurants to finish the day. Even though we didn't visit a single interesting company this day, we can all agree it was a great part of the tour. </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 12 Oct 2010 08:31:43 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct10th2.html Daily report: From Seattle to San Francisco http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct9th.html By Jordy Molenaar<p /> Today we will say goodbye to Seattle and travel to our next destination: San Francisco! We were leaving the Moore Hotel at 11:15 so before that we had enough time to have our breakfast at Lowell's, pick up our laundry and pack our bags (in any order). <p /> Once we arrived at the airport there was the usual hassle of printing boarding passes, weighing suitcases (that 50 pound limit is lower than some would like to see) and checking in all sorts of liquids. Yes, even Niels Visser's numerous failed demonstrations did not prevent a couple of participants from trying to smuggle in some canisters of - potentially high explosive - bottles of water, shower gel, conditioner and other toiletries. Slight panick arose when Albert lost his boarding pass followed up by relief 20 seconds later when he found it within his own passport. <p /> After check-in we had some time to kill because boarding didn't start for at least another two hours. This time was mostly filled with playing a card game, having lunch and surfing the net via the freely available wifi. <p /> The flight did not take as long as the previous inter city travels. I took only about one hour and forty minutes, excluding the short delay caused by a defect runway light. Before we knew it we were enjoying the beautiful view of the bay area from up high and shortly after we're with our both feet on the ground waiting for the bus to come pick us up. The bus trip to the hostel took a bit longer than expected because we got caught in busy traffic. The bus driver told us this was due to the fleet week where the U.S. navy and marines show off their ships and planes to the public. <p /> After having arrived at usa hostels we dropped of our suits at the dry cleaning service and dispersed in small groups through the city looking for a place to eat. After that some of us went to a black and white party at the hostel. Some others simply hung around in the lobby, went blogging or write daily reports. <p /> This week will be a busy one (8 company visits) but we'll have more than enough time to explore and enjoy the city of San Francisco! Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Wed, 13 Oct 2010 07:28:51 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct9th.html Daily report: Visiting UDUB and Microsoft http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct8th.html By Thomas Visser<p /> It was early in the morning when the Pixel group gathered in the lobby of the hotel. While the committee was arranging a breakfast to-go, it was slowly becoming clear that the sky would gather clouds today. Participants were running up and down the stairs fetching their umbrellas or, because of a debate over dress code, losing or fetching their jacket. The breakfast consisted of Subway rolls, not like the usual subs you would think of, mostly filled with fried eggs and something else. There were two for each participant. Enough breakfast, more than enough fried eggs.<p /> At a quarter past eight, the bus driver picked up us and drove us to the University of Washington campus. Cecill briefed us on the way on what we could expect: a contact lense with integrated display and sensing. That was indeed what we would see at our visit. <p /> We were welcomed warmly and had an interesting morning at the university. They showed to be well prepared and well capable of explaining their work to us despite of it being mostly a electrical engineering achievement, differing from our backgrounds. For most of us, this was a nice introduction in nanotechnology and nano fabrication. They showed how a display could be built inside a contact lense and how the lense could contain sensors, e.g. to measure the glucose level in the tear film. It was good to have Wim Rutten with us, this being his second company visit, to ask interesting questions from his background in biomedical technology. After the presentation we got a tour around their labs and walked over their beautiful campus. Despite the drizzle, we had a great morning.<p /> After the tour, our bus driver picked us up and drove us, while Marije briefed us, to Redmond, where the Microsoft headquarters reside. Microsoft has a campus on its own, consisting of around 60 buildings. First, we were directed to the food court. It consisted of many small places to get any kind of food. We wonderingly wandered around for a few minutes and then bought lunch.<p /> They had prepared four presentations for us this after-noon. First, we learned about XNA, Windows Phone 7 and how we, students, could create games for their platform and with their tools. Then, someone from the FuseLabs showed us Kodu, a visual programming environment for kids made for creating games. He showed us a lot of cool features and we exposed some bugs, which he was us thankful for and offered some of us a job at Microsoft in return. He did not follow up on the latter, unfortunately. Third, someone from Microsoft Game Studio's came to talk about working at MGS. This turned out to be one big PR-talk, which was certainly not our goal of the visit. With the last presentation, they really made it up to us by giving an impressive demonstration of Kinect, the new full-body controller for the Xbox 360. Some of us dared to compete with the person giving the presentation, a member of the Kinect team, and got a nice workout by jumping up and down, waving with their hands and kicking imaginary balls. Besides the presentations, Microsoft gave us a company store purchase pass, allowing us to purchase up to $ 120 of hard- and software at a highly reduced price. Some of us left Microsoft carrying mouses, keyboards, Xbox controllers and other gadgets. <p /> We watched the sunset from the Space Needle, a 182 meter high tower which was built in 1962 for the World's Fair, and had a spectacular view of Down Town Seattle, the harbor and residential areas while sky became darker and thousands of lights illuminated the skyscrapers, houses and cars. <p /> The committee arranged a thai restaurant to have dinner together. It has been a while since we ate with the whole group; it was in NYC. The food was great and it was nice to have the time to talk to each other. It also served as a good starting point for the rest of the evening, for finding people that also wanted to have a few drinks. Others decided to go back to the hotel and have a good night of sleep. Sleep well, travel better. Tomorrow we'll fly to San Francisco. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 23:03:14 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct8th.html Daily report: Seattle http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct7th.html By Yme Joustra<p /> Today it is Thursday 7 October 2010 and we are in the second week of our studytour. After the landing in Seattle we had the next day at 9 pm breakfast at Lowell's. The weather was nice, there was a nice view over the lake and breakfast was very good.<p /> Seattle at daylight is another new kind of city. You cannot compare it with Boston, New York or Washington DC. This city is at the west coast of the United States and is the economic hart of the north-west of the United States. The first thing I noticed about the city is that some parts smell like fish and onions and the city is built on hills and is not flat like the other cities.<p /> After breakfast we had some free time until 12:45 am. A large group was running out of underwear and had to was some clothes so they went to the dry cleaner. I did not have to wash so I went with Gijs and Albert to the Central Library of Seattle. This library was a nice piece of architecture and looked like a old spaceship. Then we walked along the coast to the aquarium. There was not much time left and to see the aquarium we had to pay $17 which we found too expensive for such a short time. So we went back to the hotel to 'suit up' for the company Valve we would go to visit.<p /> At 12:45 we left with the bus to the company. In the bus Mattijs held a speech about the company. When we arrived at the company we were three quarters early! There was a small miscommunication between the bus driver and the committee about the amount of time to drive to the company. So we had to wait for 45 minutes. That time was filled up by drinking some drinks at a café next to the company.<p /> At twelve fifty-five we went back inside the company. First we did get a tour through the company. We did get to see for example the server room, a test room, massage spaces and a technical space. After the tour we did get some drinks and we headed to a room were three presentations were given. The first one was about the company itself, the second one about the psychology of the games and the third one about the business. It was a very interesting company. After the presentations they gave us a present, which we did not expect! This was the first company that gave a present so we were surprised of course. The bag we did get contained a 't shirt with prints of some games Valve did develop or had developed. They also gave some counterstrike keys as present! Which was a bigger surprise. Two present at one time!<p /> After the company we did go back to the hotel. Some of us put the 't shirt on they get from Valve. Everybody had to take care for their own dinner. I went with a group to a sort of a restaurant and another group had not much time to eat because they went to the Australian Pink Floyd at the Moore Theater next the Moore hotel which sounded to be really cool. Now at 10 o'clock pm I am writing this day report. The day was intensive and we have seen a lot new things. Let's see what the next day will bring us. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 11:04:48 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct7th.html Daily report: Travel from New York to Seattle http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct6th.html <p>After approximately one and a half week of the studytour our visit to Washington DC was already ending again today, which meant that today was full of traveling. Destination? Seattle, the largest American city in the north-west, where we’ll visit Microsoft, Valve Software and the Washington University.</p> <p>Before we’d arrive in Seattle however the day had to be spend packing, lunching and traveling. Our flight would not leave until half past five, which meant we had a quiet morning and afternoon. Checkout time of the motel was at eleven o’ clock and even though breakfast was only served until nine many people decided to stay in bed for a little longer, making this a morning everybody experienced in a different way. The majority of our group decided, after they had stored their luggage in an empty room, to get some breakfast/lunch in the area around the motel. A smaller group walked to the center of DC to get a last glimpse of the National Mall area and visit some missed highlights such as the National Archives, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History of the Congress.</p> <p>At one pm the time had come to gather at the motel, where the bus that had taken us across the city over the last couple of days arrived to pick us up and bring us to the Reagan Airport. Even though the official check-in time wasn’t until three we managed to check-in an hour early, so the next few hours could be spend by hanging in the airport. Since the airport wasn’t that big the majority of the Pixelators searched for a nice place to sit and relax, play Lunchmoney and search for a McDonalds that turned out to be beyond the security game we hadn’t passed yet.</p> <p>By four, the time we where to gather near the security so we could pass it, many people where starting to get rather hungry, a problem which as temporarily solved by getting a big box of doughnuts. After the tasty snack we passed the security, obviously a strict one in the capital of the United States. Left with another half an hour near the gate most of us quickly visited the McDonalds for a dinner and some searched for the power outlets in the waiting area to recharge their laptops.</p> <p>And with that we had arrived at the ending of our three day stay in Washington DC. Our flight from Alaska Airways was a pleasant one, with even the flight attendants greeting “the group from Holland” over the intercom. During the five hour flight spend most of our time by watching tv-series on our laptops, reading some books and a few extra hours of sleep. The relatively strong turbulence was no issue, as the flight was fast and comfortable.</p> <p>Once we had arrived in Seattle our luggage was collected within a fifteen minute time span, but since the bus taking us to the hotel had not arrived to the airport yet, we were forced to spend some extra time waiting on the airport. After a walk in which we went in the wrong direction a couple of times we eventually got to the bus. At first the road leading to downtown Seattle was surrounded by a dark forest, but after turning a corner a couple of miles later we suddenly had an overview of a beautiful orange glowing city by night. Some minutes later, during which we had a first view of the famous Space Needle, we arrived at the Moore Hotel, where we’ll stay for the next couple of days.</p> <p>The Moore Hotel is probably the nicest hotel until now. The rooms are big, clean and everything looks decent, though the leopard print on the carpet looks rather strange to some of us. The only problem is that each room only had a single key, meaning we cannot afford to lose it. The hotel has a Wifi-network, but most rooms cannot properly access is. Luckily the lobby area of the hotel has a great connection so we’re able to stay in contact with the Netherlands without much trouble. After a short debriefing those who’d gotten hungry during the flight went into the city to search for a place to eat or even a bar to get some drinks. By this time Wim Rutten had also joined the tour, though most of us wouldn’t see him until the next day. The location of the hotel is great, as it is located near the local bar district. Next to the hotel is the Moore Theater, where some of us will visit the Australian Pink Floyd Show tomorrow. The first impressions of Seattle are a good one, the following days will show whether the city can hold that impression.</p> <p>PS: Happy Birthday to Oguz today. </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 11 Oct 2010 08:22:32 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct6th.html Daily report: Naval Research Lab http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct5th.html By Ties de Kock<p /> This day in Washington DC started off a bit different then most other days here, or in New York. The difference? We got up very early (6.45 AM).<p /> As usual there was a queue for our shower. Showering, shaving and then putting on your suit taks quite some time. The result? We almost missed breakfast, but with five minutes left I entered and got myself a orange juice, coffee, and a doggee bag of awfully sweet pieces of bread. I’m still not used to the sweet breakfast.k<p /> When I got into the bus my first idea was “second breakfast”. I needed something real to eat, cakes and bagels don’t do it for me in the morning.k<p /> After arriving at the national mall (towards the National Monument) we decided to take a walk before eating breakfast. Our group was pretty big and consisted of my nareis group, Michael, Jap en Gom and some others.k<p /> When we were at the national monument we saw the nice view of the capitol in the morning sun, but at the other side there was the Lincoln memorial, WWII memorial and the reflecting pool. We decided to visit the Lincoln memorial.k<p /> The walk towards the WWII memorial was quite long, and during this walk I realized the scale of the national mall, it gave me a solemn feeling. The WWII memorial was impressive, much more so then the “Monument at the dam” in the Netherlands. All the symmetry in the buildings and surroundings suddenly got my attention. When I clean up my photos, I guess I’ll need to delete the 50 or so that have perfect symmetry (but the subject in the middle, with the same subject being much prettier on postcards).k<p /> After walking to the Lincoln memorial (besides the reflecting pool), we went upstairs. The monument was pretty big, and the same goes for the texts on the wall. However, after Gom and me talked to a lady from the park service (must have been the suits), we discovered a much nicer view behind the memorial towards Arlington commentary. The map she gave us also helped during the rest of our tour, and she was right when she said that it was much better than the other maps. It was certainly better then Mark’s $8 map (in my opinion).k<p /> We walked towards the White House, past the Vietnam war memorial. At the memorial there was a group of Asians (Vietnamese?) taking pictures of themselves. The wall with names was big, but it was a clean memorial. The museum and walls at Omaha beach (France) left a much bigger impression.k<p /> After walking past the whitehouse (which has a north front and a south front, according the the police officer standing in front of it) we went to a food court and had some subway. By now I realized that the subway sandwhich might be the only vegetables I get on a day (…) and I order them without sauces.k<p /> When we gathered at the bus we went towards the Naval Research Laboratory. This is a research facility of the navy, which has about 2000 employees and a $1 billion budget. After the security check (we had all been cleared beforehand), we got a sticker that said visitor. Two members of the lab we visited took us towards their buildings.k<p /> The first lab demonstrated two prototypes. The first was a virtual infantry simulator with in place walking (Gator), using a heads up display with blinds, a inert M16 and a Vicon motion capturing system. The simulator seemed to be very responsive, however, the walk in place system looked strange.k<p /> According to the designers, the simulation of assuming the ready position was slightly flawed, which caused negative training. Other problems with the simulator were the space it needs (a 10x10 feet room) and the cost (it includes a $100000 Vicon system).k<p /> Their second system was called Pointman. In the virtual infantry simulator they use (virtual battlefield 2), the real looking tactics during squad work are hard to train. This stems from the controls. A mouse and keyboard are very well suited to strafing tactics, but in practice, a soldier needs to look in a other direction then he moves.k<p /> They explained the input method Pointman used. It uses a PS3 controller and a 6DOF head tracker based on a standard tracker with infrared leds and a headset, combined with “walking pedals” on the floor. The controller uses it’s two sticks to control heading and view direction. Adjustments of the aim are done by looking towards the target, and peeking around a corner is done by moving your upper body.k<p /> The abstraction for walking was leaky (pushing pedals) but all In all, I can agree with them when they say it was a better input mechanism for VBS2 while being deployable at scale because of it’s $400 pricepoint. Another advantage was the field of view – which was bigger then the current headmounted displays when using a big monitor.k<p /> The second lab showed products which were more into their prototype phase. The first was another virtual infantry simulator, which used a joystick to control movement instead of actual walking. The problems encountered were the changes in the simulator world (it was not based on VBS 2), untraining of marksmanship because of the delay in the handling of the gun, and the amount of wires. A nice comment was that the backpack worn in the simulator needed to be pretty big. A small backpack was commented on by the marines.k<p /> The second project used a wireless ECG headset to adjust the difficulty of a training mission based on some parameters extracted from the ECG data. They developed a tool that used multiple streams and a rule engine to decide what action to take. They controlled VBS2 using macro’s. k<p /> They did not trust the data from the ECG headset very much, however, it being wireless was a big advantage. They also noted that the typical crewcut was nice when working with ECG, the impedance of the hair is much lower that way.k<p /> Afterwards we had a discussion about research funding, where we discovered that projects at the NRL run for three years, one of which is the time it takes to get a grant. Follow up research does not happen all the time. Some of the researchers seemed to be disappointed about this, however, they could keep on trying state of the art ideas because of this. Afterwards, we went back to the mall. I stayed in the bus until the motel, where we split up. One group took care of the drinks, another ordered pizza. We had a beer+pizza meal. It was a fun evening in the “common room” (ie: the one which was promised for group usage, but where Gijs and Fritsie slept). Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 20:29:18 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct5th.html Daily report: The first day in Washington D.C. http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct4th.html By Mark Oude Veldhuis<p /> Monday the 4th of October 2010. The first day in Washington, D.C.. Unfortunately the day started of rainy and the planned White House tour unfortunately was canceled, since they didn't take groups that were larger than five people apparently. So in the morning, after some of us got breakfast at the next-door Quality Inn hotel, we got in the bus and got to Washington Mall. There we were dropped of at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. We walked around in the museum for a while where a lot of nice exhibitions were placed. Some were aimed at kids, of course, and almost everything was impressive to see. After that it was time to either grab breakfast or lunch, and get your picture with the Capital Building.<p /> In the afternoon we went to the National Crash Analysis Center, or NCAC, a division of the George Washington University. The director of the center welcomed us and gave a presentation about what they do. The NCAC performs research regarding crash simulations for vehicles. At the center they reverse engineer the car, which means scanning the entire car and taking a part piece by piece, scanning every part. With all the scan data they create a three dimensional image of the car and crash simulations can be performed. Scanning the car takes about nine to ten months. Running a simulation used to take almost a week, but using new ways of computing such as supercomputers, it only takes about ten hours. The analysis center is also researching poles that are designed to stop terrorist vehicles trying to drive into important buildings such as the White House.<p /> The company visit ended earlier than expected. That's why after wards we went to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, another air and space museum that belongs to the Smithsonian we went to in the morning. In the center were a lot of old planes to see, including a concorde, space shuttle and early models from the Wright brothers.<p /> Afterwards the bus drove us back to the Union Station in Washington D.C., where some people got out and explored Washington a little more by foot and to eat at a nice restaurant somewhere. Others chose to get back to the hotel and found a place to buy some beer and ordered some pizza. Everyone had a great first night in Washington D.C. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 19:21:36 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct4th.html Daily report: Traveling to Washington http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct3rd.html By Johan Noltes.<p /> The morning consisted of free time, so after an interesting night most participants have chosen to stay in bed late. However, for room 920 the morning started early. At 6:45AM, an annoying sound started to fill the room, waking up some of the participants. The source of the sound was found in near the shower, where the Niels’ phone was dropped in a shoe. Luckily, Mattijs managed to turn off the alarm. However, 15 minutes later, the phone started again, waking up all of the roommates. Only Niels was able to sleep through.<p /> For other participants, the morning started in a typical New York way; by running some miles in Central Park. The majority had breakfast and lunch at McDonald’s, Subway or Starbucks, which also gave the ability to use the internet. Others bought their last presents, like postcards, cd’s or shirts. It was time to pack our bags, which we could store in room 917, and gather in the lobby of hotel Carter. It was time to leave New York; our stay was way too short, but we had a great time!<p /> At 12:30h, we were ready to depart and started walking a few blocks towards Penn Station. It seems that we start to get used to walk large distances with our suitcases, because despite ‘Pixel’s law’ we arrived early. That gave us about three quarters of free time, to grab some lunch or play cards.<p /> Ronald arranged priority boarding for our group, so at 13:40h we were picked up by a employee of Amtrack to get boarded. This happened smoothly, so we could relax in the sold-out train, while others were desperately searching for empty seats. During the trip, we played some games (both digital and analog), updated our blogs; read a book, chatted with each other and had fun. We could especially enjoy the emotions of the people who were playing Warcraft 3 on their LAN.<p /> Right on time, at 17:30h we arrived at Washington Union Station. While walking to the bus, it struck us that all flags were at half-mast. Our bus driver told us that a famous former politician died this day. He also told us that the neighborhood of our hotel is located in a less safe area of the city, but he was so polite to show us the safe routes in town on our way to the hotel. Within a few moments, we noticed some WiFi-stickers in the bus. The always-returning question “Is WiFi available here?” could be answered positively!<p /> Upon arrival at our hotel, Motel 6, it started raining. The check-in procedure took about half an hour, but we were rewarded with a nice room. There was even a Bible available, which resulted in a recite of the book in nearly every room. The hotel also had WiFi available, and after some problems we got it all up and working. Finally there was some time to upload our blogs en photos.<p /> At 20h, we started walking to the nearby Wendy’s for our diner. In the meantime, Michael Weber joined our group. At Wendy’s, the commission let us choose from all available menus. After this long day of travel, we were all hungry, so the Triple Baconator Deluxe was very popular. I will not mention the number of kcalories involved here. At least, the manager was very grateful with our order, we made his day. During the de-briefing, Niels announced that there was an extra room available in the motel, so two participants were chosen to have their own bed. Ruud and Albert were the lucky ones.<p /> When arriving back at the hotel around 21:30h it was time to update our blogs, buy some drinks (however, apparently it was not allowed to sell alcohol on Sunday evenings in stores), and watch a movie or series. The day ended by Mark knocking at our door around midnight; telling us that the bus would departure an hour later than announced earlier, so we could sleep for an extra hour.<p /> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 07:47:39 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct3rd.html Blogpage broken, participant blogs here. http://pixel2010.nl/news_oct3rd_blogs_are_broken.html Dear reader, You might have noticed that our Participant Blog-page (and left side menu) is broken. This is due to something called an xml UTF8-characterset parse error (For non-computer experts: Whoops, I dunt understand the file).<p /> However you can find all the blogs on the following url's:<p /> <ul> <li><a href="http://ymejoustra.wordpress.com" target="_blank">Yme Joustra</a></li> <li><a href="http://usa.nilsvk.nl/" target="_blank">Nils van Kleef</a></li> <li><a href="http://pixel2010.johannoltes.nl" target="_blank">Johan Noltes</a></li> <li><a href="http://usa.gomp.nl" target="_blank">Thomas Stols en Jasper Stoop</a></li> <li><a href="http://thomvis.nl" target="_blank">Thomas Visser</a></li> <li><a href="http://guztech.nl/pixel" target="_blank">Oguz Meteer</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.ernstdoesamerica.com/" target="_blank">Ernst Fluttert</a></li> <li><a href="http://pixel.moudev.nl" target="_blank">Mark Oude Veldhuis</a></li> </ul> &nbsp;<p /> You can read all about us via these pages. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 04 Oct 2010 05:07:41 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_oct3rd_blogs_are_broken.html Daily report: New York City - Day 2! http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct2nd.html By Nils van Kleef<p /> Yesterday's party was awesome. In fact it was so awesome that some of us (I am not calling names) had to be woken at around eight in the morning by someone else who knew we had to gather in the lobby at eight.. Today is the day of a New York City tour, that means that we get to see all the important touristic sights in New York City and have an enthusiastic guide to go along with it. The advantage of the way the tipping system in America works is that everybody works hard to get a decent tip. I would not directly say implement it in Europe or the Netherlands, but it does help in getting good service everywhere.<p /> We got picked up by the tour bus. Because it was thát early, we were served breakfast right there and were allowed to eat it on the bus. While we were enjoying breakfast (the same type of sandwiches we had yesterday, at least from the same toko), an enthusiastic guide told us all about the sights around where we were being driven. He used to be a hippy back in the 70s. He did not at all mind to say that all he did was smoke weed for about 10 years until he decided to quit. Now he is a republican. When we asked him, he told us you do get more conservative as you get older. Seems to me he is right, as you get older you have a lot more to lose and are living a slower life already, making it harder to cope with changes. Maybe it is some kind of evolutionary mechanism? The youngers push for more adventurous undertakings, while the older keep the younger wary?<p /> Our first stop was Central Park. We did not see much of this gigantic park, but enough to get some information to take in. This park was once rocky area. It was flattened and turned into a park following European model of the time, also making it the largest man-made park in the U.S. It was created to give New Yorkers (Manhattaners of the time) a natural area to spend their pasttime.<p /> We went to the Rockefeller Center next. Mr. Guide told us that this nowadays is no longer owned by the Rockefeller family, but by some Chinese investment firm. It is the second tallest building in NYC after the Empire State Building, now that the World Trade Center towers are gone. The tour guide also knew of every tall building the build date, and whether it was the tallest building built at the time and when it was again surpassed. This reminds me that to Americans, dates and facts are very important. It seems that because Europeans have been around for thousands of years, time does not matter that much to them anymore, whereas the U.S. exists less than 250 years, thus if something happened 10 years later or sooner, it is a huge difference in relative time to them.<p /> The Madison Square was a place we had already been to. This is where we first set foot in New York after getting off the train at Penn(sylvania) station. This is still a pretty much impressive place, with tall buildings all around you.<p /> At the Grand Central Station we saw another example of American architecture showing Greco and Roman style influences, but doing it in such a wrong way that it is ugly. It is like taking Jugendstil and removing all the swirls that turn it into the way it makes it the way it is. After we got out we saw an accident just having taken place. A woman was lying at the roadside. Apparently she tried crossing the street when she was hit by a car or something. She was moaning and twisting a bit, suggesting she was hurt but still alive. Police were by her side standing around, probably waiting for an ambulance to arrive. When our guide tried to lead us past them, a policeman said, Southpark style, "move along people" and I conveniently forgot if he added "nothing to see here" or not.<p /> We got to the boat tour but the boat was already full. We had to take one about one and a half hour later. This meant that we could take the tour to Wall Street first. Luckily for Rom, our accompanying lecturer, he could still be on the boat tour before he had to be on the taxi to the plane that would take him back to the Netherlands. Thus, we got to Wall Street. There we had a quick peek around, and our guide of course had some annecdotes on the buildings and people here.<p /> We took the boat trip, where we once again were in the priority line (we are in priority lines almost everywhere, from trains to tours to restaurants, not plane flight though. A couple of us went up the stairs to the upper deck, others remained on the lower deck either on the outside or inside. A lot of Chinese tourists crawled up all around us upstairs to make pictures of every sight from every possible angle. The boat tour guide clearly did not want this. He was an enthusiastic immigrant from Cyprus (got here when he was 6), who clearly had dealt with this before. He started using arm gestures and a loud voice to get the Chinese tourists to move away from the left side on top of the boat, because he wanted the people who sat to have at least some kind of view and his tour would be on that side. When the Chinese did not seem to hear he almost forcefully removed them back to the lower part of the boat.<p /> The boat trip started in the south-eastern part of the city, and gradually moved down and around the island, so we could see down town Manhattan in its tallest glory. With the loss of the World Trade Center, New York certainly lost a great landmark, as they were by far the tallest buildings in the city. After a short while up the Hudson River, the boat turned and we got to see New Jersey. This place also has a couple of skyscrapers, and is a large city in and by itself. But no tourist hardly ever notices it.<p /> We already saw our next mini-goal far away: the Statue of Liberty. The guide told us all about Staten Island, where the poorer people tried to enter America. After we got past that, the boat entered patriotic mode, as did the guide. He went on with "God bless America", but noted that people who do not believe in his God should not feel offended, after which he added a quick and more silent "God bless America" again. Then again he was very enthusiastic all along the way, but a bit too much and too much pro-America at times. The American National Anthem started playing and we went past the Statue of Liberty, where the boat turned around a couple of times.<p /> We sailed up the river east of Manhattan, past the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge. He told us that New York (Manhattan - named after the Indian name for the area, called island of the many hills, which were all sequently flattened), Brooklyn (from Breukelen) and Queens (named after the British queen) were once separate cities. The government (or state for that matter) then decided to add these cities together under the name of New York. Bronx (some Swedish name) was added later. (and Staten Island is also part of it)<p /> After we docked, we gave Rom a fond farewell. He had to go back to the Netherlands, since he filled in because we could not get another teacher to come with us. We were sorry to see him go, because he had promoted the group feeling very well and he participated in all company visits and activities with a lot of energy. He was also a lot of fun the night before!<p /> Ground Zero was our final stop of the day. Back on the bus, we were dropped off at the pit where all we saw were construction sites. We got a good view from an adjacent building and he told us he had been a cop (now retired) back when the events of 9-11 happened in 2001. He became very emotional and showed us with pictures how the site looked like just hours and days after the events. He did not talk at all about the mosque that will be built close by the site.<p /> We had a free afternoon after this. Some people made a round through the financial district, china town, or other parts of the city. Others took a bit of sleepy time back at the hotel (which they really needed).<p /> Almost evening, a few tourgangers went to the Rockefeller Center, for 'Top of the Rock' tour. We had heard the sunset was pretty nice to watch, and thus we ventured there. A couple of other Pixelators also had the same idea, and thus at the top we saw others as well. It was quite a busy time of day at the top of the building, which was because of bad weather the past 7 days. The view was quite marvelous and after waiting some time the sun finally went under. As we saw the lights turn on in all of Manhattan and further, we found the 21 dollars we had to pay for the view to be worth it.<p /> The evening, some groups went back to the hotel after grabbing a bite, while others went out for a drink. I personally went with a couple of other fellas to the Duvel, a bar where they obviously had Belgian beers. They however also had a Dutch flavour. Once one of us went to the restroom, we heard.. Dutch music! Yes! Among the toppers we heard were 'Goede Doel' - 'België', 'Guus Meeuwis' met 'Ik wil je' en 'Clouseau' met 'Anne'. And most of us went to bed on time, taking a well-needed rest from yesterday and getting freshed up for the journey to Washington DC.<p /> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 07:54:30 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct2nd.html Daily report: Visiting NYU and G4LI http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct1st.html <i>By Albert de Graaf</i><p /> The wake-up alarm went off at 7:00AM, and after some chaos (who goes to the shower first etc) , some of us ended up being somewhat late for breakfast. So we had to hurry down to Europan, which is a small sandwich shop, for our breakfast. After that, we headed to a subway entrance, in order to get to the Games for Learning Institute (G4LI). The subway ride actually went very smooth, there was some confusion about the tickets. There was one ticket for every four persons, but not everyone got that so the committee ended up buying an extra ticket. After some descent instructions from the committee we had to get on the metro ourselves and get out at the right station. This actually went well, and we arrived at the G4LI right on time.<p /> We met Ronald there again, who had gone an hour early to make sure we were going to the right building. Ronald could not get a confirmation of that though, because even the security guard did not know the G4LI was in that building. Luckily, just a minute after we arrived, someone from the G4LI came to pick us up and go to the 12th (the highest) floor. In about two hours, we got a very interesting presentation about G4LI’s work and the learning concepts behind it. Jan, the co-director, left much room for questions, this made it more of a conversation than a presentation. Overall, it was very interesting and everyone was very positive (the bagels and coffee were good to).<p /> Immediately after the presentation we went downstairs were a (student) guide (Grace) waited to give us a tour around the New York University (NYU) campus. First, we went to a college room in one of the main buildings where Grace explained something about US universities in general. There was also plenty of time for questions, including something like: do you have a social life if you’re so busy? After this we got a tour around the campus which ended in a building with a nice view over Washington Square. Talking there, we ended up with some conversation and comparison of university clubs. The discussion ended when Niels Boom told about the cheep beer we can get at Inter-Actief, of which Grace was somewhat jaleous.<p /> After this tour we were all very hungry. Unfortunately, because of the bad weather, we could not get hot dogs (which was the initial plan), but we went to the McDonalds instead. The next point in the program was free time. I went with a small group on a mission to find a starbucks where it is possible to sit inside and use a free wifi hotspot. Unfortunately, after an hour of walking through NY, we still didn’t find anything, so we went back to the hotel. At the hotel, I spent $5 for 45 minutes internet use.<p /> After this, the free time was over and we were going to Maria Pia, a nice Italian restaurant. The service there was great and fast. Maybe even a bit too fast, because I just put the last bit of food in my mouth and still had the cutlery in my hands when they already took my plate. On the upside, we got our food very fast. There were also some other nice things, like a guy with a huge pepper mill, going by the tables asking if we wanted pepper on our food. We had a three-course menu, which left us pretty stuffed in the end.<p /> The last thing on the schedule for today was a surprise visit to the broadway musical The Lion King. We were informed yesterday we would go there, which was quite unexpected. On top of that, we were seated in row three to nine, so almost completely up front. From the start it was very awesome, actors appeared not only on the stage, but also from somewhere behind us, where they walked to the stage using the pathways. Another fun fact is that we went in a suit, and there were quite some people talking about us. In the end, we started the standing ovation, and everyone followed after us. It was a really immersive experience and although everyone knows the story, it was wonderful to see it as a musical.<p /> I never saw a musical like that, it was the best I’ve seen. After a group photo in front of a poster we split up, some people (like me) went back to the hotel and others went to find a club or pub. In the end, I went to the club as well, together with some other people who went to the hotel and we ended up with like fifteen of us, including Rom, in suit. Alcohol flowed like water, the suits worked as chick magnets and the music was good, so it was very fun and a nice way to end a day in NYC. I went back at 2 o’clock, because we actually have to be ready at 8AM tomorrow. Despite this, some other people were not back until 6 in the morning. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 07:50:42 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_oct1st.html Daily report: Travel from Boston to New York http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept30th.html <p>By Steven van der Vegt</p> <p>Today is a travel day from Boston to New York City.</p> <p>The day started perfect with some extra hours of sleep. The only thing schedules for today is the train journey from Boston to NYC. We packed our bags, checked out en put our luggage in the storage depot of the hostel. Due to the fact our hostel only served breakfast between 7 and 8 we had to visit a Subway restaurant to get rid of the rumbling sound of our tummies. We still were a bit tired, and choosing from the countless combinations of bread, veggies, meat and drinks was a hard task. After this nutritious meal we brought a visit to a T-mobile shop to get some information about the various American prepaid cards. We went home with a brand new phone and extra simcard so we can ring each other for example in case one of us found a great pub.</p> <p>After this purchase we all went back to the hostel to get our luggage and went off to the train station.</p> <p>Just after boarding the train from everywhere laptops appeared. We proved our reputation as IT-specialists when little screams of joy came from all over the train as people found there was wifi on board! But shortly after that it came clear that this wifi was from another train which just went off.</p> <p>Not everyone was amused with the emotions that came free with all this digital entertainment. The train conductor warned people not to sit in our region: “I advise you to move further up the train. Here you'll be sitting in the middle of the Dutch soccer team.”.</p> <p>After a journey of around 4 hours we arrived at Pennsylvania station in the core of the Big Apple! After everyone was ready to go we immersed ourselves in the heavy traffic of New York since it was rush-hour. Clumsy with our trollies we maneuvered trough the traffic. After a few blocks we arrived at the famous Cartel Hotel. The lobby of the Carter has an atmosphere of the 60st glory days. The once luxurious red carpet, has a brownisch color, the bronze elevator buttons are as worn out as the man behind the counter. All this we were prepared for, the review on the internet of this hotel were not that good. The one thing we were not prepared for was that the wifi costs $10 a day!</p> <p>After we all found our rooms, and unpacked our bags the whole group went out for some food. Having countless meals with meat I ordered one which vegetables. Unfortunately, in America, a plate of “broccoli noodles” has apparently only five pieces of broccoli. On the other hand, olive oil is not something they are careful with. Except from the vegetables the meal was tasty and the beers were huge!</p> <p>After dinner we went to a pub to drink some beer. We discussed our day and the idea came up to make a few blog posts from time-square since there is supposed to be free wifi. We went to the Carter to get our netbooks and went to time-square which was only one block away from the hotel. There we made some pictures. Wifi was pretty buggy, but eventually some of us managed to get a connection and we uploaded our pictures to the interwebs.</p> <p>As we stood there, surrounded by neon lights, I realized this was a good ending of our first day in NYC!</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 11 Oct 2010 08:25:08 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept30th.html Daily report: Visiting InterSense and Hyposurface http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept29th.html <p>By Marije de Heus</p> <p>Today was our third day in Boston, and yet again quite a busy one: we visited two different companies. In the morning we visited InterSense, and in the afternoon we went to Hyposurface.</p> <p>After a healthy breakfast with rainbow colored cornflakes, freshly toasted bagels and suspiciously shining apples, the bus driver took us to InterSense, located in a nearby town. Most Dutch people think the Netherlands has big problems with our traffic jams, but we found out today that this isn't any better in the States. Thanks to all of the traffic we arrived a little late at InterSense, but fortunately they didn't seem to mind.</p> <p>At InterSense we first got an interesting presentation from the vice president sales, who told us about the organization of the company and its products. When people started asking about their relation to XSens they seemed less willing to answer, but overall it was a nice introduction to the company. Then we had lunch, this time it consisted of Italian food: there was pasta, lasagna and salad. After the lunch we got to see demos of two of their products, namely a tracker which can track where the person who's wearing it is, and a kind of camera with which you can look into a virtual world.</p> <p>Then we went, after taking the unavoidable group pictures, to MIT again, this time to see an architect. He worked at MIT but also had his own company called Hyposurface, for which he designed a wall which could change as a reaction to the people walking by. It was clear to everyone that he was very passionate about his work. It was also nice to listen to something that differs a lot from the other company visits, however, he was speaking quite soft and in a monotone way, and therefore some people found it difficult to follow.</p> <p>At about 4pm we were done, and the rest of the day was free time. Most people either went to the MIT store to get a t-shirt or some other souvenir, or to the Harvard campus, which we don't get to visit during the tour, but had really beautiful buildings. The area around Harvard was also very lively, and there were many good places to eat.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 11 Oct 2010 08:25:43 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept29th.html Daily report: 2nd day in Boston http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept28th.html Our second day in Boston started a bit later than the first one. On the way to the MIT we discovered that the weather was significantly different from the day before. Where the day before it was relatively cold and misty, this day was very warm and moist with a little bit of rain here and there.<p /> The program consisted of the MIT Media lab where we were welcomed by Christon. She was very enthusiastic about the new building they only recently moved into. It was designed by a very famous architect Fumihiko Maki. They felt the building was so special because it was designed to be very open. Every wall was essentially glass to signify the openness and to promote the exchange of ideas. The building is five floors high and had quite a lot of stairs. These stairs were located near wide halls. The idea behind this was to exchange good idea’s by having people meet each other when they go up and down the stairs. When we were properly seated in a nice meeting room Michael Bove came to introduce us to the various projects the MIT Media Lab. He stated that they make no real distinction between people that create things in the virtual world or physical world. All students at the Media lab are doing a wide variety of things in a wide range of subjects. From operating 3d printers to creating models in a virtual world. The way they teach there is much less like a traditional approach to science, where most of the time is spend in lecture halls. At the media lab they let students experiment and build things, throw their idea’s into the group, get a lot of feedback and actively test if the student actually incorporated that feedback into his design.<p /> Next we where introduced to Seth Hunter and Roy Shikirot. They told and showed us some movies about a variety of MIT projects. They were working with the fluid user interfaces group. They design and create all kinds of new input methods.<p /> <h2>Sixth Sense</h2> Sixth Sense is a system that uses detectors on ones fingers and a micro projector to access a large amount of information from any place. Currently there must be a laptop computer to do the necessary computations. But the dream is that in the future this can be done on a small mobile device such as a phone.<p /> <h2>Reachmedia</h2> Reachmedia is a similar device which uses RFID tags to project information about objects it is near. It was essentially designed with the idea that in a future world every object is imbedded with some RFID chip.<p /> <h2>Siftabels<h2> This project is about small blocks that known their relative position. These can be used for a wide variety of things. The examples shown to us include using the blocks to do simple math with or to create your own interactive story with.<p /> <h2>Interplay</h2> Interplay is a system where they track your whole body and project shiny balls around you on the ground. They try to give each person a different color. Then the essentially watched how people used the system.<p /> <h2>Soundforms</h2> Soundforms uses a touch screen table where some forms can be put on top. These forms can be used to create sound. The essence of this project was to emerge multiple people into collaborating to experiment with different ways to create sound.<p /> After some discussions about the fluid interfaces we were given a tour around the MIT Media lab. Other than the curious architecture there were some very interesting things there. They have for example many touch screens that display information about the rooms they are near to. They can also be used to get information about certain persons there. As said before students at MIT learn how to use a 3d printer. A very peculiar device there is a working analog clock printed as a whole with a 3d printer. There is also a ping pong table with virtual fish swimming on top of it that reacted to the ball. There really are too many interesting things to name around there.<p /> When we were back from the tour we got a presentation about graspables. A system that identifies the way someone grips an object to. People grasp a phone very different from a remote control. At first they thought it would cost a lot of computation power to identify this, but after some testing they found that the chip used for I/O was powerful enough to compute it, eliminating the need of an external computer.<p /> Kevin Chiu came to introduce us to a system to replace traditional barcodes with. Using a LED instead of traditional printed systems. With the system he showed the camera would be able to identify the distance and angle the camera had in relation to the code.<p /> Last on the morning program was a demo of surround vision that used a iPad to be able freely move the point of view outside of the picture shown on the television. Essentially giving consumers control over which of the many camera’s they want to look at. For example during a football match where there are many more camera streams available than shown on regular television.<p /> We had lunch at the media lab. It was a bag with some bread, chips and a desert. It seems that the vegetarian lunches weren’t as good as the non-vegetarian ones, but they were quite royal nonetheless.<p /> After noon program consisted of a lecture about MIT Scheller. Here we talked about the Teachers education program the MIT offered its students and some of games they use the educate children. An interesting program was starlogo. A program that allowed virtually anyone to program a game in a very simple and graphical way.<p /> They let us play a game called Beetle breeders, which is a game which teaches kids about genetics. They let us solve some puzzles and tried to show that games can be a very effective way to show kids that science is not boring but actually fun. They are also busy with a alternate reality mystery game that they hope will let a lot of kids collaborate to solve some difficult problems about a fictional future where a large part of the population is destroyed by some disaster.<p /> After some discussion the group split up and the evening program began. This was essentially free time. This is also the time we found out that Boston’s moist weather had turned a lot wetter and made many regret that they left their umbrella’s at the hostel.<p /> The group split and went off to do different things ranging from blogging in the hostel to finding a bar to drink or walking through Boston looking for a good restaurant.<p /> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sun, 03 Oct 2010 18:15:02 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept28th.html Daily report: Get ready for our first day in Boston http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept27th.html Get ready for our first day in Boston! We started off in our hostel after a well deserved night of sleep and a good shower. We met in front of the hostel and quickly headed on our way over to the MIT Gambit game laboratory. Now, when this is your first time in Boston, there are a few things you have to learn. First of all, the pedestrian traffic lights are merely suggestions.. so unless you want to look like a clueless tourist, just try and cross the street whenever you can. Don't forget to look though, unless you want to end up underneath a Humvee or a Dodge. Seriously though, cars here usually wait for pedestrians to cross (of course, there are signs everywhere that tell them to), and this is something folks over in Amsterdam could learn from. Also watch out for bicycles (of which there are _a lot_, interestingly enough) and runners (everyone seems to do that here, at any time during the day).<p /> As soon as we reached MIT, we met up with Philip from MIT Gambit. He guided us around several of the MIT main campus buildings and told us some interesting history behind some of the places inside. In the MIT Gambit Lab, we were shown a few games that had been developed as part of the collaboration efforts between MIT and Singapore. These were independently published games that were very innovative in one way or the other and pretty fun to play. Nice folks, lots of games and just an overall very cool and inspiring place to be. Outside of the lab, MIT's campus is also great if you're into architecture. Many of the buildings are very classic and modern at the same time.<p /> After a great lunch at MIT, we headed over to downtown Boston and started our very first "duck tour". The Boston duck tour is a tour around Boston, but with a twist. The fun began as soon as we boarded the DUCK, an amphibious WW II era landing vehicle, with our guide Jigsaw (whose actual name apparently was Steven, I think he must've been a comedian in real life) who was wearing very colorful socks by the way. We were shown around Boston, both on land and in water, though in return we had to do some collective quacks and crescendo's once in a while. Fun stuff.<p /> In the evening we had a meal at a place called the Church, which was nice. After that, the group split up with some people staying at the Church and others who headed over to Fenway Park (America's Most Beloved Ballpark, home to the Boston Red Sox) and ended up in an Irish pub called the Landsdowne. We had some beer, bourbon, free post cards(!), stories about silicon breasts, chatter with the bartender and headed back to the hostel for some sleep. Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sun, 03 Oct 2010 18:10:58 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept27th.html The journey from Amsterdam to Boston http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept26th.html <p>The schedule for today was a long one – starting with the bus from the university to the airport at 5 A.M. CEST. At 8 o’clock, the planned time for arrival at the airport, we had a Kodak moment with friends and family before starting the whole boarding procedure half an hour later. There were no incidents except Niels Visser getting caught smuggling a suspiciously oversized shower gel container which was promptly disposed of, and we left for Philadelphia around eleven o’clock. </p> <p>The whole journey was rather uneventful and we arrived on time in the USA. Transferring to the domestic flight to Boston was no small feat however. Passing through the customs took well over an hour, after which we had to pick up the bags and redeposit them for the next flight. We then had to pass through several more scans and had to hurry to our plane. It didn’t help people got split up from waiting in several distinct lines and we had to wait for the slowest group.</p> <p>Arriving at the plane we were greeted by some nice smiles and a one and a half hour delay. Since we missed the previously arranged bus, Ronald quickly rearranged for the bus to pick us up and we left for Hostelling International after we picked up our luggage. Hostelling international is a hostel pur sang. The rooms are small – about 12 square meters and the sanitary facilities are shared between whole floors. We dropped off our bags and went out to the nearby pizza restaurant for a meal.</p> <p>At the pizza restaurant we had a drink and ordered the pizza’s. Some people left their metric conversion table at home however and learned the hard way never to order anything large in the U.S. The pizza’s fit even worse in their stomachs than on the tables. Orders were cancelled and slices shared. When everyone had had their fill, we left for the hostel for some well deserved sleep. Tomorrow we will visit the MIT Gambit lab and have a ‘duck tour’ through Boston.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 09 Oct 2010 07:56:42 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/daily_sept26th.html Fifteenth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_sept24_participant_update_15.html <p>Another day, another update. Only hours until our goodbye drinks. As usual the committee will pay for your drinks (everybody will receive an Inter-Actief pre-paid card. You can spend it however you like. We will also arrange some pure U.S. stereotype snacks. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Breakfast on Sunday</h2> <p>It is going to be very early Sunday morning. We’ll gather around 5am, and thus every minute you can stay in bed, is a minute of complete euphoria. Therefore the committee will arrange for some bread, toppings and dairy products to eat in the bus. </p> <p>Therefore you could skip breakfast, and eat something in the bus. </p> <p>We’ll see everybody (except Wim and Michael) at 5am at the Spiegel. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Emergency scenario’s</h2> <p>As you might have heard, we’ve sent a large document with our emergency scenario’s, contact information and more to your emergency contact. This has been done via e-mail, and an analog post message is on its way.</p> <p>For supervising professors: We have not yet sent this information to your emergency contact, but will do so via e-mail only.</p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>110V<h2> <p>As you know the U.S. power grid uses another voltage (and frequency) then the Dutch system. Fortunately most modern hardware works on both types, and thus only requires a small adapter so you can plug in your device. We ordered 30 of these adapters (not current transformers), and they will be handed out in the bus to Schiphol. </p> <p>So keep some room in your luggage.</p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Pixel gifts for the companies (ballpoint pen)</h2> <p>We ordered about 100 gifts for all the people who will show us around in the U.S.. Each participant will receive 3 sets and a booklet about the University of Twente to bring along to the U.S.. We will hand these out in the bus to Schiphol.</p> <p>So keep a small spot free to store these items. (Not applicable for supervising professors)</p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Website tweaks</h2> <p>Have you noticed we tweaked the website frontpage? Your parents and friends can now visit one page and know everything related to your day at Study Tour Pixel. http://pixel2010.nl</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 24 Sep 2010 00:16:00 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_sept24_participant_update_15.html Fourteenth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_sep21_participant_update_14.html <h2>Bye bye drinks</h2> <p>Coming Friday between 16.00 and 18.00 at EduCafé Zilverling.</p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Supervising professors added to the mail alias</h2> <p>As you know Dr. ir. R. (Rom) Langerak, Dr. M. (Michael) Weber and Prof. dr. W. L. C. (Wim) Rutten will join study tour Pixel for one or two weeks. They have been added to the participants@pixel2010.nl mail alias. Welcome!</p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Store your suitcase and carry-on luggage overnight @ Citadel H106</h2> <P>You might not want to take them with you Sunday morning at 4.30am. Therefore we agreed you can store them at the Inter-Actief meeting room (Citadel H106). You can bring them bye on Saturday between 16.00 and 18.00 hours.</p> <p>You can pick them up again on Sunday morning between 4.50 and 5.00am. After which you can load them up at the bus stationed at building Spiegel.</p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Bus tour from Spiegel to Schiphol</h2> <p>4.50 Retrieve your suitcase from Citadel (if needed) </p> <p>5.00 Start calling those who are not at Spiegel</p> <p>5.00 Loading in the suitcases</p> <p>5.00 Moment to say goodbye to loved ones. </p> <p>5.30 Departure to Schiphol</p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Planning to buy a US cell phone?</h2> <p>Inform your loved ones they can call you free of charge via Google voice. (You might be charged via your SIM card though). You can buy a SIM card on day three (September 28th).</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 21 Sep 2010 22:26:00 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_sep21_participant_update_14.html Thirteenth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_sep18_participation_update_13.html <p>Only seven days before our plane will depart from Schiphol Airport! Yesterday Ronald sent you an update with lots of information about what our tour program. It’s really coming together now. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Results first talks with participants</h2> <p>The following remarks might be interesting for all participants: </p> <ul> <li>WA insurance is limited. You might want to up your coverage;</li> <li>Every participant should carry (copies of) insurance policies. Some hospitals will not treat minor injuries without proof you can pay the bill; </li> <li>Are we in the United States for ‘Business’ or for ‘Pleasure’?<br /> We are not doing business and we are also not enrolled in a US University. Therefore we are on a trip for pleasure. </li> <li>Do you have enough shirts (overhemden) and clothes in general? </li> </ul> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>How much luggage can I bring? </h2> <p>All our flights are with US Airways or Alaska Airlines. </p> &nbsp; <h3>You are allowed to bring 1 big suitcase: </h3> <p><b>Maximum weight:</b> 50lbs = 22 kilograms</p> <P><b>Maximum size: </b> Maximum dimension of 62 linear inches (length + height + width)</p> &nbsp; <h3>You are allowed to bring 1 piece of carry-on luggage plus one personal item, such as a purse, briefcase or laptop computer: </h3> <p><b>Maximum weight:</b> Up to 40 lbs/18 kg</p> <p><b>Maximum size: </b> Up to 45 in/115 cm (14 x 9 x 22 in or 36 x 23 x 56 cm)</p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>More about luggage policies</h2> <p>You can find the US Airways policies on: http://www2.usairways.com/en-US/traveltools/baggage/baggagepolicies.html</p> <p>You can find the Alaska Airlines policies on: http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/help/faqs/CheckedBaggage.asp </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>In short:</h3> <p>Extra bags cost up to 55$ per flight. </p> <p>$50 per flight extra for bags that weigh between 51-70 lbs (23-32 kg) </p> <p>And we fly a lot!</p> <p>A lot of items are <b>prohibited</b> in your carry-on luggage. Some are also prohibited in your checked bags. </p> <p>US Airways luggage prohibited item policies can be found on: http://flights.usairways.com/en-CH/travel_information/baggage_policies/special_items.html </p> <p>Alaska Airline luggage prohibited item policies can be found on: http://www.alaskaair.com/as/www2/help/faqs/CarryOnBaggage.asp </p> <p>If this changes you will be informed asap. Our exact flight numbers will be sent to you in the beginning of next week. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>TV slides</h2> <p>Yesterday we added the first Pixel 2010 slides to the Inter-Actief screen at the coffee corner. Among other things we’ll show everybody what we are going to do each day: http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/tv/cache/tvslide_tourschedule.jpg</p> <p>You can also find two smaller ones on the webpage frontpage: http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/</p> <p>These slides will be rendered by a cronjob every 30 minutes. We expect this to start working somewhere next week. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Commit your study tour photos to Picasa</h2> <p>Study tour Pixel opened a new Picasa webalbums account. Photo’s posted in there will become visible on the pixel 2010 website photopage: http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/participants_photo.html</p> <p><b>Picasa username:</b> **** check your email ******</p> <p><b>Password:</b> ********</p> <p>You are allowed to upload your own photos. Please keep in mind that your photo’s appear on the pixel2010 webpage so please do not post strange photo’s. </p> <p>If you also want your photo’s to appear on the Inter-Actief tv you have to add the “pixel2010” keyword to your photo’s. </p> <p>Example: http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/tv/cache/tvslide.jpg . </p> <p>Adding another keyword “!” will create slides with your image highlighted: http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/tv/cache/tvslide_withBig.jpg. Only add this keyword to your best / coolest / funniest photos. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Store your less educational photos on your own Picasa account</h2> <p>You can also store images on your own Picasa account. If you add the “pixel2010” tag your photos will appear in the ‘latest photos’-section on the website. </p> <p>If you want your photo’s to appear on the Inter-Actief screen, please send us your username. We have to add you to the allowed_users list. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Are you going to blog? </h2> <p>If you send us your rss-feed url your blog will automatically be added to the pixel2010 webpage. We will place your title and first paragraph and link to your personal blog. </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>How to pack your bags</h2> <p>Ties found a nice video on how to pack your back with without getting everything wrinkled. The video can be found on: http://lifehacker.com/5639001/video-demo-the-bundled-packing-method-fits-more-clothes-with-fewer-wrinkles?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+lifehacker/full+(Lifehacker) </p> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <p>Good weekend everybody. We’ll see you again on Monday for the last Pixel 2010 theme course presentations (5) and lectures (2). If you have any questions, just let us know! </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 18 Sep 2010 20:41:02 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_sep18_participation_update_13.html Twelfth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_sept13_participation_update_12.html <p>As the Futurama professor often says: 'Good news everyone'. In this update you will find the names of our supervising professors, some reminders for dates and a lot of general information. If you have any questions: feel free to ask! </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Bye-bye drinks: September 24th</h2> <p>In about two weeks we will depart. To give everybody a chance to say goodbye to the other members of study association Inter-Actief we arranged a bye-bye drink on Friday the 24th of September at EduCafé Zilverling. We will start around 16.00hrs. </p> <p>You and all your friends are welcome here! </p> <p>You also invited all members from the Board of Recommendation, and the Enschede Committee of Enschede's sister city Palo Alto (near Sillicon Valley) </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Supervising professors</h2> <p>For the last few months there was a problem with professors that wanted to accompany us on our tour. The last days a lot has happened and we are proud to introduce you to our professors: </p> <ul> <li> Dr. ir. R. (Rom) Langerak <br />Participating week 1</li> <li> Dr. M. (Michael) Weber <br />Participating weeks 2 and 3</li> <li> Prof. dr. W. L. C. (Wim) Rutten <br />Participating weeks 2 and 3</li> </ul> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Discuss the latest study tour issues</h2> <p>We would like to talk to all of the participants prior to departure. This way we can discuss possible irritations, answer questions about the tour and just see you guys before departure. These talks should not have to take up more than 15 minutes, but to be sure we'll reserve slots of about 30 minutes. </p> <p>We found three possible days from which you can choose. You can also choose for a slot in the afternoon or the evening. The days are: Wednesday the 15th, Tuesday the 21st and Thursday the 23rd. </p> <p>Please register for one of the slots on Blackboard. http://blackboard.utwente.nl > Sign up for ... </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>What about your luggage? </h2> <p>Details about the number of kg's you are allowed to bring on each of the aircrafts will be sent to you another time, but here are some general remarks: </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>What does everybody have to bring? </h3> <p>Mailing the research books to the U.S. costs about 70Euro's per book. We think that money could be spent better, and are looking for alternative methods. But we might ask all participants to bring one preliminary report. </p> <p>We also have some small gifts for the companies we are visiting. Each participant (and committee member) has to bring about 3 boxes with a pen and pencil inside. </p> <p>Per person it's not a lot of weight, but put together it will cost a lot of money to ship. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Store your suit during your extended stay</h3> <p>On the last day it will be possible to store your suit in a box at the airport. We will bundle the suits depending on how long you will extend your stay. </p> <p>One box for 1 week<br /> One box for 2 weeks<br /> One box for 3 weeks<br /> One of the participants in that group will be authorized to retrieve the box at the airport luggage desk. He will make clear arrangements with the others about at what exact time you are expected to retrieve your suit, put them in your own suitcase and fly them back to the Netherlands. </p> <p>We will pay for the related expenses. </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Theme course</h2> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Thursday (16th) and Friday (17th) roster</h3> <p>Due to the length of the presentations we have to move some of the presentation to coming Thursday and Friday. This means: </p> <p>- Engines and Hardware (2 presentations) will be moved to Thursday or Friday</p> <p>- New Media Input Devices presentations will be moved to Thursday or Friday</p> <p>- All Serious Games presentations will be moved to Thursday or Friday</p> <p>The exact times depend on the availability of the professors. </p> <p>&nbsp; </p> <p>For next week: </p> <p>- Do-overs (Augmented Reality and New Media Input Devices) will remain on Monday morning next week</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Is your in-depth presentation ready? </h3> <p>Does it comply with the requested time of 10 minutes of presentation, 5 minutes for discussion? You probably noticed some prior participants went over the time limit, and this strains the schedule quite hard. Therefore we hope your presentation is no longer than 10 minutes. The discussion is allowed to be a bit longer. It's all about gathering knowledge! </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>In-depth presentation grades</h3> <p>Your in-depth presentation should explain what you have studied, how this was studied (methods) and what your overall conclusions are. </p> <p>You are graded by the professors that are present at the presentation. </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>MICRO research</h2> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Place your documents in the "final" folder</h3> <p>We noticed some participants are working in the preliminary folder on svn. Since the micro research will be published in the final report, you should be working in the "final" folder. This folder contains a different template. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Sept 15th: MICRO draft deadline</h3> <p>The report will be reviewed by a member of the study tour organization and another participant selected by the committee, after which final adjustments can be made. This review can be done based on the review guideline that will be provided. The final report will be graded by the teacher. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p> - table can be found in your e-mail - </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p>Note: Reviewer A and B review the work done by participant A and B. </p> <p>Your feedback should be available (on svn) on Monday the 20th at 10am. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Sept 20th: Deadline W7 questions to ask the companies</h3> <p>This document should contain several questions (related to the Quick scan and/or technology view) in written form. Or as stated in the Pixel micro notes-document: "Write an abstract of about a page concerning our visitation goals, a so-called ‘wie-wat-waar-wat-willen-we-weten’ (W7), for which a template will be made available. This will be sent to the visited companies and will be used for the travel guide." </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Coming back to: MESO results</h3> <p>We had to wait for quite some time (update 8) for the MESO results. We talked about this problem with the NIKOS-chair chairman Prof. De Bruijn. Several aspects, including the implications for our tour have been discussed. Prof. De Bruijn agrees that the time-limit has been exceeded by way too much time, that this has led to complications with the tours research quality and that this should not happen again. </p> <p>Next to that he ensured us that this is the first time this teacher has missed his review deadline to such an extreme extent. Together with the coherent story of the teacher and the quickness he reviewed the research after he was back from holiday resulted in: Us not filing an official complaint. Prof. De Bruijn was very thankful for our notification and will order the teacher to define safeguards so this cannot happen again. </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <h2>Did you check... </h2> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Your Insurance: Do you have all the necessary insurances? </h3> <p>Healthcare in the US is often more expensive than here in the Netherlands. Did you check if your healthcare insurance covers expenses abroad? Often your health insurance only covers the Dutch-price for treatment in other countries. Travel insurance often -but not always- covers the remainder of the treatment. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Sublease your room: </h3> <p>You can find standard sublease contracts on the website of the Student Union: http://www.studentunion.utwente.nl/kamers/nl/aanbieden/onderhuur.php . </p> <p>Often, when subleasing your room, your 'fire and theft insurance' will not cover accidental damages to your property. You could ask the other party to sign a contract in which he declares to pay for all damages during the sublease. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Did you check the Emergency scenario’s</h3> <p>We only received a few questions and comments about the Emergency scenario's. Did you read the document? If you have any questions you ask us via e-mail or in person. After coming Friday the protocols will be definitive, the managers will receive their copies etcetera. We won't change details after this date. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>International drivers license </h3> <p>Our friends from the ANWB said that although the police will accept your Dutch drivers license, you might require an international drivers license to rent a car. Noteworthy to check prior to the tour. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>How to lock your suitcase</h3> <p>During one of the lectures a participant hinted to use a TSA lock (or not to use a lock at all). TSA locks can be opened by the customs office without forcing locks or suitcases. You can buy these locks at the ANWB. You will get a discount if you are an ANWB member. In some cases it is also sufficient if your parents are a member (knowing their zipcode and street number should be sufficient). </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h3>Other dates</h3> <p>Sept 15th: First MICRO draft deadlines</p> <p>Sept 20th: Hand in the W7 questions</p> <p>Sept 22nd: Symposium Predict on Business Intelligence</p> <p>Sept 23rd: Hand in your MICRO research</p> <p>Sept 24th: Byebye drinks with Inter-Actief, friends and hopefully the major of Enschede</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 14 Sep 2010 19:58:51 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_sept13_participation_update_12.html Study tour Pixel visits re-lion http://pixel2010.nl/news_sept2_pixel_visits_relion.html <p>Tomorrow (Friday the 3rd) we will visit Re-lion. This e-mail contains some information about the company visit, the roster for Friday (no surprises there) and about re-lion.</p> <p><b>Roster for Friday the 3rd</b><br /> Tomorrow morning does not contain any lectures, but can be used to start working on your MICRO research assignment. You can also contact the committee if you have questions about the assignment. (Preferably before 10am, or after 12am.)</p> <p>Tomorrow afternoon we will visit re-lion. We will gather around 13:30 at Inter-Actief, and will leave at 13:45 sharp. Re-lion expects us to arrive at 14 o'clock. There we will be introduced to the work field of re-lion (website: http://www.re-lion.com/). Around 16:00 the presentations should be done and some beverages will be served. From this moment on you are free to leave, but you might want to talk with Re-lion and learn about their software and technology.</p> <p><b>Dress code: Business normal</b><br /> For our visit to re-lion we will dress Business normal. The tour guide ("reisgids") describes this as "Business casual, with jacket.". So you don't have to wear a tie.</p> <p><b>About Re-lion</b><br /> Re-lion focuses on the development, implementation and maintenance of virtual training & simulation applications for military users with a natural human machine interface. Spin-offs of their work often find their way into civilian applications. Some of their products use XSENS motion capture solutions.</p> <p>The company was founded in 1999 and their customers are leading organizations and operating in high-tech, innovative areas. They require high quality solutions. Some examples: Royal Dutch Army, Thales Naval, TNO Defense, Security and Safety, HITT NV, The Boeing Company, Roessingh Research and Development, VU Medical Centre, etc.</p> <p>One of their products: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJpOj13IqvM</p> <p>Source: re-lion.com website.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Thu, 02 Sep 2010 14:04:00 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_sept2_pixel_visits_relion.html Eleventh participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_aug27_participation_update_11.html <p>The Kick-In ended yesterday with some rain, but the party wasn’t any less fun than expected. We hope the same goes for the study tour. We’re still in some rough waters but we are confident we’ll make it and the experience won’t be anything less than superb. </p> <p>After the weekend we start with the Pixel theme course, but it is also time to get together and listen to some holiday stories and extending plans. Time for a barbecue. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Reminder: BBQ coming Monday</h2> <p><b>What:</b> Barbecue<br /> <b>When:</b> Monday August 30th, from 18:00 till 22:00 or later<br /> <b>Where:</b> DHC Drienerlo (student hockey club), “De Toren”</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Attending professors</h2> <p>Yesterday and today a lot changed. New people are interested in participating; others had to cancel last minute.</p> <p>First: Dr. C.(Chintan) Amrit (School of Management and Governance, Information Systems & Change Management) will be joining us on study tour Pixel till October 9th. Unfortunately another professor had to cancel due to personal reasons, leaving us with a large gap. </p> <p>Therefore:<br /> - We hope Dr. Amrit is willing to participate the entire tour, but we have not received his answer to this question<br /> - A PhD student (Human Media Interaction) is thinking about joining us from October 11th and on (skipping the weekend).</p> <p>For extra leads we sent a mailing to all EWI-employees, which has already led to a PhD (Telecommunication Engineering) and an Assistant Professor (Formal Methods and Tools) who are interested. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>MESO grades</h2> <p>Martin assured us that the grades are in our mailbox later today. Once received, they will be forwarded to you.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>In-depth grades</h2> <p>We received the first grades, but not all are known. Participants are contacted personally when grades are received. </p> <p>Unfortunately some participants have received a low (5 or lower) grade. The committee will talk with the appropriate supervisor and will form an extra assignment to obtain a better grade. You are free to decline this offer, but without a sufficient mark for the course (60% from your paper, 40% of your presentation) you will not be allowed to participate in the study tour.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Theme course</h2> <p>You can find the first lectures in the Pixel 2010 calendar. However, please keep the reserved timeslots (“Pixel theme course (conceptual)”) free. There are a few leads that still have to be planned, and college times may change in the coming days. </p> <p>Not all timeslots will be used for the theme course. In free moments you can work on the MICRO research assignment, or read the papers for the next meeting. We expect everybody to read all papers, resulting in good discussions.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Theme course: Monday August 30th / ESTA forms</h2> <p>No lectures will be held.</p> <p>But we do want all participants to fill in an ESTA form. The ESTA-form is one of the U.S. anti-terror rules and is valid for two years. We want to apply for all forms before September 8th (saves us $420.00). The committee will make sure the ESTA forms are available, and a copy of your passport will be made.</p> <p><b>What:</b> Filling in an ESTA form<br /> <b>When:</b> Monday August 30th, from 13:30 till 15:30hrs<br /> <b>Where:</b> IA Board room<br /> <b>What to bring:</b> Your passport<p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Extending your stay</h2> <p>We hope everybody made nice plans for during your extension! We thought it would be nice to hear about your plans. Just like with the in-depth research the answers will be included in the next participation update. (We will not publish them on the website.)</p> <p>What are your plans during your extension?</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 27 Aug 2010 18:31:54 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_aug27_participation_update_11.html Tenth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_aug20_participation_update_10.html <p>In this participant update you will find overall information about study tour Pixel: All participants have a Contract Research assignment, there are 17 US based company names available, some reminders. And naturally something about the preliminary report. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Holiday e-mail protocol</h2></p> <p>There are no more holidays for the committee members, so you can contact them via all methods. But it would be great if you used the @pixel2010 aliases! </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Attending professors</h2><br /> Currently there are two professors interested. One will attend the study tour from the start till half way (about Oct 9th). The other will fly to the United States around this date and will fulfill all tasks till the end of the study tour. We would estimate that this is 99% certain. However since this tour is a study tour we want to have two teachers around at all times. <p> <p>We will keep looking for another professor for the tour but we have created a backup plan. This backup plan will be executed when all plane tickets must be finalized and only if we have not found a third professor to participate in the tour. In a prior stage we found several viable phd-students who wanted to participate in the tour as a guiding professor. However due to funding rules the research chair could not cover their expenses and wages during the tour. This resulted in a high cost toll on the phd-students and they had to say ‘no’. </p> <p>However, if study tour Pixel covers most of their expenses (and arrange that they sleep in the same rooms as the participants and not in a single) these financial problems are solved. The money that would be needed is available under the ledger “Onvoorzien”. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Everybody has a Contract Research assignment</h2><br /> A few hours ago we received word that all participants now have a Contract Research assignment. Our last participant hired this morning. Some participants have already finished their CR assignment. </p> <p>Contract Research is one of the ledgers where the end result is higher than budgeted. Subsidies and sponsoring are lower than budgeted. </p> <p>Budgeted: 58.080 EUR.<br /> Achieved: 64.300 EUR. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Could you return your copies of the Bonsai and Kryptos Preliminary report?</h2><br /> At the moment there are no copies of the Bonsai and Kryptos preliminary report available at Inter-Actief. We hope that participants who used these books as a reference can return them to Inter-Actief. The books will come in handy when promoting future study tours. </p> &nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>U.S. Visits (company list)</h2><br /> Ronald and Wytse gathered seventeen US based companies which we are allowed to visit. We hope the last companies will be found shortly. </p> <ol> <li>MIT: Game bit game lab</li> <li>MIT: Media lab</li> <li>MIT: Scheller Teacher Educational Program</li> <li>InterSense </li> <li>Hyposurface </li> <li>Games4Learning Institute</li> <li>National Crash Analysis Center</li> <li>Naval Research Laboratory</li> <li>Microsoft</li> <li>Valve Software</li> <li>Washington University</li> <li>Netherlands Business Support Office</li> <li>nVidia</li> <li>CyberGloveSystems</li> <li>NeuroSky</li> <li>Quantum3D</li> <li>Total Immersion</li> </ol> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Grades from MESO</h2><br /> Martin promised us to send us the grades coming Tuesday.</p> <p>In the 8th participation update we spoke about this problem and possible consequences. Since the story is not coherent we are figuring out what and where this went wrong. Formal complaints are still an option. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Proof sheet preliminary report</h2><br /> Editing took quite some work (we had to change the paper format and that gave problems with image alignment). There were also some problems with the PDF. One of the figures (text within the figure) could not be printed correctly. Today we received the proof sheet and checked it page by page. There are some minor errors. E.g.: landscape pages are printed wrong</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Pixel evaluation form</h2><br /> 14 people have filled in our questionnaire online. Thank you! We hope the other participants can send us feedback as well. </p> <p>You can find the questionnaire on: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dE1Fb2Z1QVN5UHJZcnhJc00zZ0VVQXc6MQ</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Reminders</h2></p> <p><b>BBQ:</b><i> August 30th, Drienerlose hockey club</i></p> <p><b>Credit card:</b><i> See update 7: http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/news_jul17_participation_update_7.html</i></p> <p><b>Passport:</b><i> Do you have one?</i></p> <p><b>Emergency scenario’s:</b><i> Have you read them? Do you agree?</i></p> <p><b>Theme course dates: </b></p> <p>Week 35<br /> Mon. 30-8: CR 2186 (Carré) <br /> Wed. 1-9: CR 1172<br /> Fri. 3-9: CR 2182<br /><br /> Week 36<br /> Mon. 6-9: CR 3194<br /> Wed. 8-9: CR 2175<br /><br /> Week 37<br /> Thu. 16-9: CR 3194<br /> Fri. 17-9: CR 2186<br /><br /> Week 38<br /> Mon. 20-9: CR 3194<br /></p> <p><b>Symposium Predict:</b><i> Study tour Pixel will keep this day free of Pixel related work so everybody can visit the Predict symposium about Business Intelligence. See http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/symposium/predict/symposium for more information.</i></p> <p><b>Departure:</b><i> 26th of September</i></p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 20 Aug 2010 16:47:49 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_aug20_participation_update_10.html Ninth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_aug6_participation_update_9.html <p>With an enormous update last week, a much smaller one this week.</p> <h2>Company visits</h2> <p> This week we found some new companies prepared to receive us:</p> <ul> <li> InterSense</li> <li> Quantum3D</li> <li> The National Crash Analysis Center</li> <li> The Naval Research Lab</li> </ul> <h2>Holiday e-mail protocol</h2> <p>Some of the committee members are on holiday and they will not be able to respond to every e-mail you sent them personally. However, all internal pixel2010 e-mail addresses have been forwarded to other committee members. So if you send your mail to …@pixel2010.nl you will receive an answer. This might take some more time.</p> <p>Because of this holiday break, we probably will not send a participant update next week.</p> <h2>Emergency scenarios</h2> <p>We received some comments on the Emergency scenarios we send last week. Most comments are textual but every comment will be properly reviewed and we will change things when nescessary.</p> <h2>Cultural visits</h2> <p>Next week, we will start planning some cultural visits. Unfortunately, only 1 participant has filled in the suggestion-form so far. Please let us know what you would like to do by filling in this form: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEJmT0dkclhvdGdfRWZhemR3VFVnd1E6MQ or email it to travel@pixel2010.nl</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 20 Aug 2010 14:46:10 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_aug6_participation_update_9.html Eighth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_jul23_participation_update_8.html <p>This week there is a large update with lots of information, a quick overview:</p> <ul> <li> Some committee members are on holiday, please use the @pixel2010.nl e-mail addresses</li> <li> The days of the theme course are known</li> <li> First theme course materials are online</li> <li> Some participants have not submitted their in-depth research</li> <li> MESO research information (editing and grading solution)</li> <li> Emergency protocols have been made and are up for review</li> <li> Mobile phones</li> <li> “What was your in-depth about?“</li> </ul> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Holiday e-mail protocol</h2> Some of the committee members are on holiday and they will not be able to respond to every e-mail you sent them. However, all internal pixel2010 e-mail addresses have been forwarded to other committee members. So if you send your mail to …@pixel2010.nl you will receive an answer.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Theme course schedule (conceptual)</h2> This course has 8 contact days:</p> <ul> <li> 6 Track days</li> <li> 1 Introduction to Business, business models etc.</li> <li> 1 Introduction lecture for the MICRO research</li> </ul> <p>We have had contact with the Reservation office to reserve the rooms and have been assigned the following rooms from 8.45 till 15.45hrs:</p> <b>Week 35</b><br /> Mon. 30-8: CR 2186 (Carré)<br /> Wed. 1-9: CR 1172<br /> Fri. 3-9: CR 2182<br /><br /> <b>Week 36</b><br /> Mon. 6-9: CR 3194<br /> Wed. 8-9: CR 2175<br /><br /> <b>Week 37</b><br /> Thu. 16-9: CR 3194<br /> Fri. 17-9: CR 2186<br /><br /> <b>Week 38</b><br /> Mon. 20-9: CR 3194<br /><br /> <p>For the meetings we have the following policy: Each participant is allowed to miss one (part of a) session if given prior notice (at least 3 entire days). If you are not present at more than one session you will have make an extra assignment about each of the missed tracks.</p> <p>This should ensure you are free to join Symposium Predict and have several days without courses before the start of the study tour:</p> <p><b>September 22nd:</b> Symposium Predict (Pixel will not hold lectures on this day)</p> <p><b>September 26th:</b> The study tour starts! Departure from Enschede</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Theme course materials (papers)</h2> <p>The theme course consists of several parts:</p> <p>a. Presentations of all in-depth papers, grouped per track</p> <p>b. A lecture from a professor about each track</p> <p>c. If possible: a guest lecture about each track</p> <p>For the last two professors can submit papers for you to read prior to the track-lecture day. Since the in-depth presentations will be very short we expect all participants to read the written papers prior to the track day. This way you hope to get interesting questions and discussions. It also guarantees everybody knows each other's research and has all knowledge gathered by study tour Pixel.</p> <p>Participants papers can be downloaded from: http://pixel2010.nl/files/in-depth.zip (4 papers are still missing).</p> <p>Pre-lecture papers (from speakers) are not yet available, but we hope several professors send them to us shortly. These will be added to Blackboard. We will also send you an e-mail when they are added.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Missing papers / papers submitted after the deadline</h2> <p>On the deadline four papers were not submitted. Three of those are still not in. Those who have submitted their paper late or not submitted their version at all will be contacted by the committee.</p> <p>We have decided that papers that were submitted after the deadline, but are in before coming Sunday 25th will get a grade deduction of 1. Meaning a 7 would result in a 6, or a 6 in an insufficient mark (Deelnemerscontract, art. 13). All papers delivered after this date will receive an insufficient mark. An insufficient mark for the in-depth research results in:</p> <p>1. The paper will not be published;</p> <p>2. You will have to edit your paper, improving it before August 31st;</p> <p>3. The paper will be graded again (by a professor);</p> <p>If the improved version is not in before August 31st, or is still insufficient at that time:</p> <p>4. You have to get a very good grade in the presentation of the theme course (paper = 60%, presentation is 40% of the theme course grade);</p> <p>5. Without a sufficient mark (5.5) for the theme course you will not be allowed to participate in the study tour.</p> <p>Participants who have been contacted that there is a problem with their in-depth research are requested to schedule a meeting with the committee.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Editing MESO research, going good</h2> <p>We are fixing spelling mistakes, broken references, style issues etc. We are also writing the overall chapter introduction texts and are moving sections between papers to create a coherent story. We do not add extra information, but since some sections do miss content (style: “Here we will discuss A”, but A is not discussed) they will be rewritten or deleted.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Grades MESO research still unknown</h2> <p>As most participants have noticed the results of the MESO research are still not published. Primary reason is professor Stienstra who has not supplied us with his grades and feedback. Currently he is on holiday. This results in the following situation:</p> <p>a. The grades are not in after 6 weeks (OER states a maximum of 3)</p> <p>b. When the grades come in (somewhere after August 8th) there is not sufficient time to improve them (in the case of insufficient marks)</p> <p>Therefore we tried to contact the NIKOS chair. Unfortunately he also is on holiday until August 2nd. Hence we contacted another professor related to the study tour minor (De Boer). He has tried to find the documents in Martins room in the hope that they would already be graded and feedback was available. The search was extended to check with the NIKOS secretary, but no papers or grades were found.</p> <p>This does not fix the problem if grades are insufficient, hence participants would not be allowed to go on tour. Therefore we are considering –but are still working out the details and implications- of allowing participants with an insufficient MESO mark to participate in the tour. If the MESO grade would be insufficient it would have to be improved before receiving the ECTS, but you would still be able to participate in the study tour. This option seemed viable when talking to De Boer.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Grades in-depth research</h2> <p>Will be announced when collected and checked.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Emergency scenarios</h2> <p>Some time ago the committee created emergency scenarios for the tour. In the attachment you can find a copy of these scenarios’s which explain the protocols that are in place when serious misfortune hits us on or prior to the study tour.</p> <p>The scenarios also mention a possible cancellation of the study tour if one of the participants where to die in the weeks prior to, or during the study tour. In the case of a cancellation some of the money is already spent and thus cannot be returned to the participants. Over all cash flows above the 1000EUR participation fee (thus Contract Research income) taxes would have to be paid.</p> <p>We would like to ask you to read the scenarios and ask questions where you have doubts. Please also send an e-mail when you agree with the scenarios, so we know you have read them.</p> <p>Attachment: Emergency Scenarios (Calamiteitenplan PIXEL v23jul2010.pdf, Dutch)</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Professors on tour</h2> <p>Finding professors who are willing to participate, whose calendars allow it and are allowed to participate by their supervisor remain hard to find. We had hoped to make the names official this week, but unfortunately our efforts are not successful.</p> <p>Currently we are switching to our backup plan: teachers who have indicated to participate, but only for half the tour will be approached again to have some degree of certainty. Next to that there are four new names (three teachers and one postdoc) on our list. They have been contacted and will be continually monitored to ensure there is a 2nd supervisor.</p> <p>We know this is a difficult situation with high priority and are following up on all leads we have.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Re: Mobile phones</h2> <p>After the previous participant update we received the following tip: <p><i>Dutch tip, see your e-mail for further information</i></P> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Everybody's in-depth research:</h2> <p>We asked all participants to provide us with a small description of their in-depth research. We have not received this from everybody, but here are the first results:</p> <p>See the <a href="74.html">Research > Publications</a> page.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 06 Aug 2010 13:46:52 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_jul23_participation_update_8.html Seventh partipation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_jul17_participation_update_7.html <p>As promised the time between participant updates is shortened, and we try to incorporate as much as relevant information as we can. Currently we are editing the MACRO and MESO researches, and starting Monday we are also editing the in-depth research. This will form a large, but beautiful preliminary report. We are also working hard to obtain more and more company visits: Microsoft, nVidia, several MIT labs, CyberGloveSystems, Neurosky and more!</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Sunday: July 18th: Deadline in-depth research paper</h2> Reminder.We won't start editing before 9a.m., so you are free to use all time up to that point. Of course we hope you will not need it and can finish this assignment at a decent hour. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Credit cards</h2> In the USA, and especially during your extension, it will come in handy to have your own credit card. If you do not have your own credit card you can consider applying for one. If you have your own card, or will apply for one you should consider if the withdraw limit is sufficient. If not, many credit card companies / banks allow you to temporarily raise your limit. For example, the study tour Pixel credit card has a 10.000 EUR withdraw limit and we are thinking of raising it.</p> <p>A summary of the general information can be found below, but for detailed information you should contact your own bank. </p> <p>With ABN AMRO, if you have the studentpackage-bank account a credit card costs 20 Euros per year. The standard limit is 1000,- euro’s per month. If you want to raise this limit you have to call with 0900-8016.</p> <p>At Rabobank you can extend your 'studentenpakket'-bank account with a credit card. This will cost you 3,45 per quarter (total of 13,80 per year). At Rabobank your credit card limit will be 1500,- per month, but you can also create a positive balance (deposit extra money on your credit card account), thus allowing a higher withdraw. You can create a positive balance by calling with 088 722 6777.</p> <p>Rabobank has told us that every student registered at the University of Twente is applicable for a credit card if his "StuFi" is also deposited at Rabobank.</p> <p>ING offers a credit card together with a student bank account for 12,50 per year. Your withdraw limit is 1.000,- euro per month and this can be raised (temporarily) to 2.000,- per month. It is also possible to create a positive balance (just like with Rabobank) by transferring money to ING Bank, bank account 5095 197. You should add a comment mentioning your credit card number, followed by the text ‘extra aflossing creditcard’.</p> <p>To apply for a credit card you should visit your local bank office. You can also apply via Internet, but takes longer.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Phone home</h2> From the US there are several ways to call home using a normal telephone.</p> <p><h3>1. Collect call</H3> You can place a collect call by dialing 1-800-COLLECT. The person who you are calling has to accept your call and will be charged with the expenses.</p> <p><H3>2. Prepaid card</H3> You can also bring or buy a prepaid telephone card. You can buy these at the ANWB or in the United States. This is usually the cheapest way to call to The Netherlands. Check, before purchase, if the card can be used to call to the Netherlands. You can use the prepaid cards at phone booths, and sometimes at the hotel. Often using the card at the hotel is more expensive.</p> <p><H3>3. Credit card</H3> You can use your credit card to pay for phone booth services. Usually this is slightly more expensive than using a prepaid card.</p> <p><h3>4. Direct call</h3> In most hotels you can call from the hotel. However this costs a lot of money and it is not recommended.</p> <p><h3>5. Phone over IP (via Internet)</h3> Often you can find an Internet café or WiFi to reach the home front. Internet Cafés charge about $5,- per hour.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Mobile phones in the US</h2> You can also use a mobile phone to call from the US. There is a chance that your own mobile phone does not support the US network that operates on a different frequency (1900mHz) than the Netherlands (900/1800mHz). 3G (umts) bands can be found on several frequencies: 850/1700/1900/2100 MHz. Check if your mobile phone supports the frequency by checking with the vendors specifications. If your phone supports triband or quadband you should be fine.</p> <p><h3>Costs</h3> In the US they do not differentiate between fixed and mobile phone numbers. The costs for sending a text message are usually equal to one minute of speech time.</p> <p>Costs regarding mobile phone calls differ per operator. It is advised to check the rates before using the operators network. Usually you can find them on their website.</p> <p>If you use your own Dutch operator in the US you can find the rates on your own vendors website.</p> <p><h3>Buying your local SIM-card and/or mobile phone</h3> A relatively cheap alternative to stay within reach in the USA is buying a mobile phone. You buy prepaid packages at electra shops and warehouses, just like in The Netherlands.</p> <p>Ask the salesman for the cheapest rates. Probably you will not use it very often so you want a cheap phone with a lot of calling minutes. Also inform in what regions you will be charged the local rate because we travel a lot. Usually this is only the area were you bought the phone. If you want to call Dutch phone numbers with your local SIM-card, ask the salesman if this is possible!</p> <p>When we arrive in the US we will make time to purchase a phone or SIMcard, but if you want to visit several stores to find the cheapest solution you will probably not have enough time. You could do this during one of the free days.</p> <p><h3>Coverage</h3> In the cities mobile phone coverage is good. But when you leave the cities, assume you do not have coverage. If you want to be reachable at all times you can consider renting a satellite phone. This will cost you at least $8 a day, and thus $250 per month.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <p><h2>Team building activity</h2> Monday evening, the 30th of August / the first day of the new year, we will organize the first team building activity of the new year. This will be a diner with some drinks afterwards. Currently we are thinking about organizing a barbecue, but if it looks like bad weather is on the way we'll organize something indoors.</p> <p>With kind regards and we hope everybody has cool vacation plans for after the in-depth research,</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 06 Aug 2010 13:46:31 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_jul17_participation_update_7.html Sixth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_may11_participation_update_6.html <p><b>MESO Research: Found interesting companies?</b><br /> If you come across interesting companies whilst browsing the web, please send them to Ronald via travel@pixel2010.nl. He might add your company to the "must visit" list. This saves Ronald lots of time browsing the web looking for the right companies in the USA.<p> <p><b>Tue. May 18th: Trip to the shooting range (Haaksbergen) - action required</b><br /> What is so special about shooting with real ammo? Why would one want to have a gun? And even: is it hard to hit a target from a few meters? How much recoil is there? All questions one might be able to answer when introduced to the power of fire arms. On Tuesday the 18th of May a few 'trigger-happy' experts from our local shooting rage will introduce us to the gun frenzy.<p> <p>19:00 Start clinic in Haaksbergen<br /> 21:00 End of clinic, time for drinks<br /> 22:00+ Time to go home</p> <p>There are three ways of transportation. Please let us know which you will attend!</p> <p><b>Option A)</b> Own transportation<br /> Location of the range: Joop's Jacht & Schietsport, Industriestraat 74, Haaksbergen.</p> <p><b>Option B)</b> 15km bicycle ride from Campus<br /> 17:45 Assemble at Charlie<br /> 18:00 Departure<br /> 19:45 Expected arrival</p> <p><b>Option C)</b> Public transport (5 strippen)<br /> 18:15 Assemble at Enschede bus station<br /> 18:20 Bus 20 to Borculo<br /> 18:44 Bus stop "Scholtenhage"<br /> Busses back to Enschede: 22:14, 22:44, 23:14 (last option)</p> <p><b>Thu. May 20th: Information meeting about Cultural activities and Extending your stay</b><br /> Thursday, may 20th, we’ll have a drink (16:00) with all participants and the tour operator to hear more about the possibilities. The tour operator worked out a two-week trip to Mexico. Eelco, travel coordinator from KRYPTOS, posted an example of a ‘best of the west’-tour. You can find them both proposals on www.pixel2010.nl. Additionally, we will discuss our task regarding cultural visits during the regular tour. </p> <p>More information was e-mailed to you a few days ago.</p> <p>Your presence is not obligatory, but if you choose not to come, please let me know. Also, make sure you let us know how you think about our culture proposal if you can’t join the discussion.</p> <p>Start: 16.00hrs<br /> Location: Café Abscint (EduCafé, if changed you will be notified via e-mail)</p> <p><b>Fri. May 21st: Visiting XSENS</b><br /> Xsens is a worldwide leading supplier of 3D motion tracking products. Study tour Pixel will visit the company and will be introduced to the technologies used for 3D motion tracking, the possibilities it offers and more.</p> <p>We expect all participants at 13.30hrs at Café Abscint (former EWI borrelruimte, at EduCafé Zilverling). Here we will provide you with some background knowledge of XSens, their projects etc. Around 14.10 we will depart to Xsens, so please bring your bike.</p> <p>Around 14.30 we will arrive at XSens. The committee will give a short presentation about the study tour, the research you are carrying out, and why we are going to de US. Xsens will follow with a presentation about their company and give a live demonstration of the MVN system. We will end the afternoon with a few drinks.</p> <p>This gives you an idea of how the company visits in the US will be shaped. Please be on time, act professional and wear a suit. If you do not yet own your own suit please contact the committee.</p> <p>Start: 13:30hrs<br /> Location: Starting at EduCafé Zilverling</p> <p><b>Thu. till Sun.: EWI Trip to Genevè (just a note)</b><br /> Since some of you (and me) are also participating in the EWI Trip I am sending this e-mail in advance. Please note that I will not answer my e-mail between Thursday May 13th and Sunday May 16th. I will try to answer all my e-mail on Monday the 17th. </p> <p>Of course e-mails sent to the questions@pixel2010.nl and studytour@pixel2010.nl addresses will be answered by other committee members.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 11 May 2010 22:41:00 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_may11_participation_update_6.html Fith participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_may9_participation_update_5.html <p>We hope everybody is well on his way with the MESO research, and has taken a first glimpse at his or her in-depth track. In this week’s update you won’t find much new information. We start out with a few reminders about coming deadlines. And finish it off with extra information about the teambuilding activities.</p> <p><b>Study Tour Pixel is a GO!</b><br /> The board of study association Inter-Actief has decided that study tour Pixel has sufficient funds and sufficient international connections to proceed and organize the study tour. This means we are now allowed to book plane tickets and more! Congratulations y’all!</p> <p><b>Sun May 1st: How long do you want to extend your stay? (reminder)</b><br /> The tour operator needs to know how long you wish to stay in the US. The deadline for this information is set on May 1st. You do not have to know what you will be doing during your extended stay, just when you wish to return to the Netherlands. We recommend you extend your stay by three weeks, returning at the start of the 2nd term.<br /> Ronald has sent you an e-mail with some extra information. Please reply to that e-mail as soon as possible. (Not everybody has done that!) </p> <p><b>Important research dates (reminder)</b><br /> Sun. May 9th: Research proposal draft<br /> Sun. May 16th: Receive peer-review feedback on your proposal<br /> Sun. May 23rd: Finish your research proposal<p> <p>Tue. May 11th: First draft MESO research<br /> Sun. May 23rd: Seccond draft MESO research (will be reviewed by Martin Stienstra and committee)<br /> Tue. May 25th: Presentations MESO research<br /> Sun. May 30th: Finish MESO research</p> <p><b>Mon. May 3rd: Pixel photo shoot (reminder)</b><br /> On May 3rd we would like to take a group photo. We will also take a picture of each participant to include on the webpage (Who is participating). </p> <p>• The group photo will be taken at 13:00hrs. Please meet the committee at the Spiegel canteen.<br /> • After the group photo the participants will be photographed individually. </p> <p>Please wear a suit with a tie for uniformity. If you do not yet own a suit please contact the committee. We all have multiple suits so we can probably arrange something to fit you. Please contact the committee if you are unable to participate in the group photo: your individual photo will be taken on another day, but you will not appear in the group photo. </p> <p><b>May 18th: Teambuilding trip to the shooting range (Haaksbergen)</b><br /> Student association Lichtgeraakt has agreed to arrange a shooting clinic and the date and time are now known. On May 18th at 19hrs the clinic will start. The shooting range is located in Haaksbergen. More information about departure times etc. will be announced shortly. At 21hrs it’s time to get some drinks in a local Café. </p> <p><b>May 21st: Visiting Xsens (reminder)</b><br /> Xsens is a worldwide leading supplier of 3D motion tracking products. Study tour Pixel will visit the company and will be introduced to the technologies used for 3D motion tracking, the possibilities it offers and more. </p> <p>We expect all participants at 13.30hrs at Café Abscint (former EWI borrelruimte, at EduCafé Zilverling). Here we will provide you with some background knowledge of XSens, their projects etc. Around 14.10 we will depart to Xsens, so please bring your bike. </p> <p>Around 14.30 we will arrive at XSens. The committee will give a short presentation about the study tour, the research you are carrying out, and why we are going to de US. Xsens will follow with a presentation about their company and give a live demonstration of the MVN system. We will end the afternoon with a few drinks. </p> <p>This gives you an idea of how the company visits in the US will be shaped. Please be on time, act professional and wear a suit. If you do not yet own your own suit please contact the committee. </p> What: Visiting Xsens: 3D motion tracking Where: Start: EduCafé Zilverling, End: XSens Enschede When: 2010, May 21st at 13:30 </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sun, 09 May 2010 19:25:03 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_may9_participation_update_5.html Fourth participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_apr14_participation_update_4.html <p>We’re in the second week of the exam period. Last week the committee reviewed your macro research. This week we took a look at the meso research documents and are currently checking the last details. Extra information about the meso groups, the research question and more will find its way to blackboard the coming days. Mark will send you an e-mail when the information is published. </p> <p>Please note the MACRO deadline on April 21st. </p> <p>Please note the MESO introduction lecture on April 20th at LA A235 (11:30 till 12:30) </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Improve your English (action required, before Sun. April 18th)</b><br /> <p>The past term we took a look at the possibilities and costs to arrange an English improvement course. We found that a good course that improves the overall quality of the research deliverables (and thus the grades) costs a 1000EUR. Since this investment was not included with our initial decision to provide this course we wish to discuss the situation with you. <p>The course will start in term 4 and will consist of a weekly two hour lecture, with several hours of homemade assignments. In term 1 (just before the tour) there will be a session to rerun all information learned in term 4. </p> <p>The course will improve the quality of the research deliverables, and possibly your overall English which results in a better study tour. However, it also costs quite a lot of money and time (next to the meso and in-depth research). Since the time and money are yours we wish you ask your input in the decision. </p> <p>If 3/4 of the 22 participants (17 participants or more) wish to participate in the course it will be organized. Those who vote “yes” must participate in the course; otherwise we are just throwing away the money. Those who voted “no” can decide to participate anyways, but once you start you have to see it through. </p> <p> Vote subject: Should the study tour organize and pay the English course? Option A: Yes, I want to participate in the course Option B: No (because…) </p> <p>Please reply before Sunday April 18th</p> &nbsp; <p><b>April 20th: Inter-Actief “Algemene Leden Vergadering”: General Member Assembly </b><br /> On April 20th several things will happen: </p> <p> • The study tour committee will receive their GO or NO-GO decision from the Inter-Actief board<br /> • The General Member Assembly will vote for a loan the tour needs (ALV101.12)<br /> • The General Member Assembly will vote for a modification of the rule HR art 21, mentioned in your contracts) (ALV101.13).<br /> <p> <p>You can find the GMA (ALV) documents on http://inter-actief.net/alv. As all participants can vote we invite all to participate in the GMA. More information, printed documents and the all-knowing Inter-Actief board members can be found in the Inter-Actief board room. </p> &nbsp; <p><b>May 1st: Extend your stay</b><br /> <p>The tour operator needs to know how long you wish to stay in the US. The deadline for this information is set on May 1st. You do not have to know what you will be doing during your extended stay, just when you wish to return to the Netherlands. We recommend you extend your stay by three weeks, returning at the start of the 2nd term.</p> <p>Ronald will send you an e-mail inviting you for an information session with drinks. Here we will tell you something about possible cities to visit, what to do in those cities etc. We will also discuss some other aspects of the tour. These will be explained in Ronald’s invite.</p> &nbsp; <p><b>May 3rd: Photo shoot</b><br /> On May 3rd we would like to take a group photo. We will also take a picture of each participant to include on the webpage (Who is participating). </p> <p> • The group photo will be taken at 13:00hrs. Please meet the committee at the Spiegel canteen.<br /> • After the group photo the participants will be photographed individually. </p> <p>Please wear a suit with a tie for uniformity. If you do not yet own a suit please contact the committee. We all have multiple suits so we can probably arrange something to fit you. Please contact the committee if you are unable to participate in the group photo: your individual photo will be taken on another day, but you will not appear in the group photo. </p> &nbsp; <p><b>May 21st: Visiting Xsens</b><br /> Xsens is a worldwide leading supplier of 3D motion tracking products. Study tour Pixel will visit the company and will be introduced to the technologies used for 3D motion tracking, the possibilities it offers and more. </p> <p>We expect all participants at 13.30hrs at Café Abscint (former EWI borrelruimte, at EduCafé Zilverling). Here we will provide you with some background knowledge of XSens, their projects etc. Around 14.10 we will depart to Xsens, so please bring your bike. </p> <p>Around 14.30 we will arrive at XSens. The committee will give a short presentation about the study tour, the research you are carrying out, and why we are going to de US. Xsens will follow with a presentation about their company and give a live demonstration of the MVN system. We will end the afternoon with a few drinks. </p> <p>This gives you an idea of how the company visits in the US will be shaped. Please be on time, act professional and wear a suit. If you do not yet own your own suit please contact the committee. </p> <p> <b>What:</b> Visiting Xsens: 3D motion tracking<br /> <b>Where:</b> Start: EduCafé Zilverling, End: XSens Enschede<br /> <b>When:</b> 2010, May 21st at 13:30 </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Work (time needed) in term 4</b><br /> In term four the MESO research is executed. More information about the groups, deadlines etc. will be e-mailed by Mark. </p> <p> • Please note the MACRO deadline on April 21st.<br /> • Please note the MESO introduction lecture on April 20th at LA A235 (11:30 till 12:30) </p> <p>The MESO research is slightly larger than the MACRO research, but there is also more time available. Also the groups will be re-assigned, resulting in more students per group. </p> <p>More information about the in-depth research, track-groups and deadlines will also be e-mailed by Mark. </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Work (time needed) in term 1</b><br /> Term 1 (College year 2010/2011) consists of the theme course, the study tour and your possible extension vacation. </p> <p> <b>• Theme course:</b> First four weeks. Will take about two days per week (including home assignments)<br /> <b>• Study tour:</b> Weeks 5, 6 and 7 of term 1. (No time for other courses)<br /> <b>• Vacation:</b> Length depends on your own plans. (Time left for courses depends on your own plans)<br /> </p> <p>We do not recommend following any other courses in term 1, but we do think it is possible, depending on your own motivation, extending vacation and the load of the course. </p> &nbsp; <p>If you have any questions please send us an e-mail. </p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Wed, 14 Apr 2010 14:18:07 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_apr14_participation_update_4.html Third participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_apr06_participation_update_3.html <p>Two weeks ago the macro research started and tomorrow the presentations will start. In this mailing we give you extra information about the coming term and research related topics. </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Bowling on April 1st</b><br /> Thursday April 1st had a bowling match (Bowling Enschede). There we had a small introduction round, introducing the committee and all participants. Who are you, why did you want to participate, etc.? We hope everybody had a good time! You can find the photo’s on http://picasaweb.google.com/niels.boom/Pixel2010Bowlen. </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Weekly walk-in moment</b><br /> Every Monday from 11am till 1pm Mark Kazemier is present in the Inter-Actief board room. Questions, dilemmas and problems can be discussed face to face during these meetings. Of course you are still free to e-mail (questions@pixel2010.nl) or call (0615618091, if urgent). </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Go/No-Go decision</b><br /> Every study tour has a few nerve breaking dates. The one coming upon us now is the “Go/No-Go” deadline: Tuesday 20th of April the study tour. 50% of the tours finances have to be available. In practice this means we need to have obtained 11 contract research assignments. Currently there are 5 signed contracts, 5 are in negotiation and 4 serious leads. Further, Niels and Martin are talking to 94 other companies for contract research and sponsorships. We hope the Inter-Actief board decides to give us a GO! </p> &nbsp; <p><b>Now: MACRO research</b><br /> <b>• Today April 6th:</b> Second draft should be done<br /> <b>• April 7th: </b> Presentations from 11.00 till 15.00 at CU B103 <br /> <b>• April 9th: </b> Receive feedback from Pixel committee<br /> <b>• April 18th: </b> Deadline final version MACRO research<br /> <b>• April 18th: </b> Congratulations, you finished your MACRO research<br /> Please contact the committee in advance if you feel you will not make the deadline. </p> <p>The presentations will be held tomorrow April 7th at 11am till 3pm. You can find details on Blackboard > Documents > Macro.pdf. The temporary program is as follows: </p> <ul> <li>History</li> <li> Political</li> <li> Geography</li> <li> 30 minute break</li> <li> Technological</li> <li> Economic</li> <li> Socio Cultural</li> </ul> <p>Please let us know if you have exams tomorrow. We can reschedule your presentation to the morning or afternoon session. </p> &nbsp; <p><b>In term 4: MESO research</b><br /> We are currently checking all the documents regarding the MESO research. These will be published around April 14th. </p> <p> <b>• April 14th:</b> MESO documents available<br /> <b>• April 20th:</b> Introduction lecture LA A235, 11:30 till 12:30<br /> <b>• May 30th:</b> Finish MESO research</p> &nbsp; <p><b>In term 4: In-depth research</b><br /> We received your track preferences and are currently creating the groups for the in-depth and meso research. These will be published around April 14th. There are however a few dates known: </p> <p> <b>• April 4th:</b> Choose your research track (Most participants have responded) <br /> <b>• May 9th:</b> Research proposal draft<br /> <b>• May 21st:</b> Visiting XSENS Motion Tracking (afternoon) <br /> <b>• May 23rd:</b> Research proposal (final version) <br /> <b>• Jun 16th:</b> Research paper draft<br /> <b>• Jul 4th:</b> Finish your research paper</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Wed, 14 Apr 2010 14:17:35 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_apr06_participation_update_3.html Seccond participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_mrt02_participant-update-2.html <p>The third term has started and we hope you are studying hard! In this update you will find detailed information about the coming courses, the planning, your track research and more. </p> <p>Besides this e-mail you will also receive several e-mails with questions. More information about their meaning can be found in this e-mail. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Courses</b><br /> <p>The research is divided in three parts. </p> <ul> <li>MACRO, that researches cultural and corporate differences between the Netherlands and the United States. For the MACRO an introduction lecture will be organized on <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/calendar_details.html?details=20100317-MACRO+introduction+lecture.html">Wed. March 17th</a> (hours 3/4). Attendance is obligatory. In the four weeks following this lecture (weeks 6 to 10) you and your group will research one or several aspects of the American culture.</li> <li> MESO, that is takes a closer look to the influence of the theme in several sectors within U.S. . For the MESO study a introduction lecture will be organized on <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/calendar_details.html?details=20100420-MESO+introduction+lecture.html">Tue. April 20th</a> (hours 6-9). Attendance is obligatory. The first six weeks of term 4 will be used to perform your study. It is done in the same groups as the MACRO research.</li> <li> Your in-depth track research. Weeks 2 to 11 of term 4 will be used to write a research proposal, and perform the proposed research of your track.</li> </ul> <p>You can find more dates in the calendar: <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/schedule_and_deadlines.html">pixel2010.nl > Participants > Schedule</a>. (<a href="http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/mdv2osm6q4hpvq7lp3usm5lg3g%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics">ical</a>)</p> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Choose your track</b><br /> <p>Part three is an in-depth look at a one of the <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/research_tracks.html">six tracks</a>. Therefore we wish to receive an e-mail stating your first, second and third preference. There are 22 participants. Each Track will consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of five participants. This means it is possible one track will be removed from the study tour scope. </p> <p>Please reply before <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/calendar_details.html?details=20100404-Choose+your+research+track+deadline.html">April 4th</a>. After that the committee will assign you to a group. (Please use the separate e-mail that is also in your inbox) </p> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Contract Research</b><br /> <p>Martin and Niels are looking for suitable Contract Research assignments for all Pixel participants. They even try to look for companies near Enschede, to minimize travel expenses. However: They also want to know where your parents live. There might be an interesting company in that neighborhood. </p> <p>We have also found partners that are willing to house one or several students for their CR-assignment. However, they don't want to wait until the summer holiday. Are you available to work two days a week during the end of term 3 / term 4? </p> <p>Please reply as soon as possible. (Please use the separate e-mail that is also in your inbox) </p> <ul> <li>Where do your parents live? </li> <li>Are you available for CR during terms 3 and 4? 2 days a week.</li> <li>Are you looking for a job? We've got some interesting partners! <br /> Yes / No</li> </ul> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Travel information</b><br /> <p>During the study tour many things can go wrong. We hope nothing will happen, but it could. So we are developing emergency protocols. You will receive a copy when they are done. For our administration we which to know the following details: (Please use the separate e-mail that is also in your inbox) </p> <ul> <li>Emergency contact</li> <li>Do you have any allergies / medical issues that can be an issue during the tour?</li> <li>Do you have a personal physician?</li> </ul> <p>On a more positive note: </p> <ul> <li>We've found the first US companies that are willing to receive us. </li> <li>We've found a suitable traveling agent</li> <li>Although the travel scheme will change, you can find the current plans at <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/tour_program.html">pixel2010.nl > Tour > Tour Program</a></li> <li>At <a href="http://www.inter-actief.utwente.nl/studiereis/pixel/tour_cultureshock.html">pixel2010.nl > Tour > Culture shock</a> you can find the first idea's for extending your stay in the United States. Later this month two more mature examples will be added. You can read more about them in the next update.</li> </ul> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Next teambuilding activity</b><br /> <p>To be announced. We are currently talking to S.V. Lichtgeraakt to see if they can arrange a clinic. </p> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Coming deadlines (more information will follow)</b><br /> <p>No action is needed from your side, but keep in mind that these deadlines do exist. We'll notify you in time and with more information when you do need to undertake action.</p> • March: Teambuilding activity<br /> • April: Teambuilding activity<br /> • May 1st: Do you want to extend your stay? - How long do you want to stay: 1, 2, 3 weeks or even longer? <br /> • May 21st: Visiting XSENS - Motion tracking (teambuilding activity) <br /> • August: Do you have a passport? <br /><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <b>Any more questions?</b><br /> <p>Feel free to e-mail, call or come on by.</p> <p>With kind regards and don't forget to reply on the three separate e-mails,</p> <p>Niels Boom<br /> <i>Study tour Pixel</i></p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Wed, 14 Apr 2010 14:16:41 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_mrt02_participant-update-2.html First participation update http://pixel2010.nl/news_jan19_participant-update-1.html <p>The examination period started yesterday and that means the third term is closing in. In the past few weeks we received many new applications, resulting in a total of 26. In some cases the letter of motivation was regarded insufficient and the committee invited those students for a personal meeting. In the end we accepted 23 participants, one less than possible, but we wanted to be absolutely certain all participants were well motivated.</p> <p> Previously we stated that the research courses would be spread out over terms 3 and 4. Due to the many master student enrollments there has been a small shift in plans: we need extra time to find motivated teachers to support you during the MESO research project. Therefore we would like to know if: <ol type=a> <li>you wish the use the study tour as your minor</li> <li>you wish to place 15EC in your bachelor</li> <li>you wish to place 10EC in your master (and 5EC in bachelor)</li> </ol> </p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Courses</h2> <p>During the MACRO research students will find themselves exploring businesses, cultures etc. The coordinator of the minor and research courses said it is advised that INF students attend the course International Business. Participation is advised, not forced.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.mb.utwente.nl/onderwijs/bachelor/bk/studprogenroosters/B2/BK%20B2%202e%20semesterrooster%20%28pdf%29">View the International Business roster</a> (Save as, rename to .pdf).</p> <p>During term 3 we will organize a meeting to pick tracks, form groups and socialize.<br /> In term 4 the MESO and MACRO research will be executed.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Contract Research</h2> <p>Martin Haitsma and Niels Visser are responsible for your Contract Research assignments. Once they find a suitable assignment they will contact you directly for a personal interview. After that you can start your assignments. We’ll check in on a regular basis to see if everything is going according to plan.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>First teambuilding activity</h2> <p>Study association Inter-Actief challenged us to defend our honor at the PubQuiz: Masters Edition. A special round filled with U.S.A. related questions will test if we –study tour participants- know more, or less, than the other IA members.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; IA PubQuiz Masters Edition: Feb. 3rd 16:00 to 19:00<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Drinks are on us.</p> <p>We intend to organize a monthly teambuilding activity. We expect you to be present at all of them. If you cannot attend one or more meetings please let us know why ahead of time. We wish to go on our study tour as one group of 29 students, not as a group of 28 and you.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Payments</h2> <p>There are two possible ways to pay for the tour: <ol> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>pay all at once</b><br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; If you want to pay all the money at once then you can pay the €1100,00 <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; (fare + 100E security deposit) before the 28th of February 2010.</lI> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <b>pay in terms</b><br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; You can also pay in four terms. The first term will be €350,00 because of the warrant <br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; and the other three will be €250,00 each. The final payment dates are: <ol> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; February 28th, 2010</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; March 31st, 2010</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; May 31st, 2010</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; June 30th, 2010</li> </ol> </li> </p> <p>The money can be transferred to the Rabobank account 1260.39.224 under the name of I.C.T.S.V Inter-Actief te Enschede. Please mention your student number and the term period.</p> <p>If your payment is overdue a penalty of €25,00 will be charged for every transaction. This must be paid within one month after the term where the extra costs were calculated.</p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>Signing participant contract</h2> <p>We’ll send you a review copy via e-mail after the examination period. Come on by on Mon. Feb. 8th, Tue. Feb. 9th, Wed. Feb. 10th or Fri. Feb. 12th between 11:00am and 1pm to sign the official version.<p> &nbsp;<br /> <h2>List of participants</h2><br /> - Albert de Graaf<br /> - Cecill Etheredge<br /> - Ernst Fluttert<br /> - Gijs van Veen<br /> - Jasper Stoop<br /> - Joeri van der Lei<br /> - Johan Noltes<br /> - Jordy Molenaar<br /> - Marije de Heus<br /> - Mark Oude Veldhuis<br /> - Mattijs Ugen<br /> - Nils van Kleef<br /> - Oguz Meteer<br /> - Peter Keeris<br /> - Ruud Welling<br /> - Sjoerd van der Spoel<br /> - Stefan Weijers<br /> - Steven Sybenga<br /> - Steven van der Vegt<br /> - Thomas Stols<br /> - Thomas Visser<br /> - Ties de Kock<br /> - Yme Joustra<br /> <br /> <p>If you have any questions, just send us an <a href="mailto:studytour@pixel2010.nl">e-mail</a>.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 19 Jan 2010 20:01:19 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_jan19_participant-update-1.html Enrollment deadline moved to Jan. 10th http://pixel2010.nl/news_jan02-Enrollment-deadline-moved-to-jan-10th.html <P>You might have heard that the study tour Pixel enrollment deadline has been moved to Jan. 10th. Allthough we did have enough enrollments we decided to extend the deadline by a month to enable other candidates to enroll. The enrollments received before Dec. 13th have received an e-mail telling them if they were accepted or declined. Declined participants are welcome to re-enroll before the Jan 10th deadline. </P> <P>The remaining 7 places will be divided between the capable candidates that enroll before Jan. 10th. You can be one of those! Check out our website for more information about the European Credits you can receive, the courses we offer and the unique experience you can be part of.</P> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 05 Jan 2010 11:02:52 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_jan02-Enrollment-deadline-moved-to-jan-10th.html Dec 7th: Information gathering (slides etc.) http://pixel2010.nl/news_dec7-Information-gathering.html <p>On December 7th an information gathering was held in EduCafé Zilverling (café Abscint). A nice number of interested student listened to the presentation about what study tours are about, why they are so interesting and what we expect from participants. At the end of the gathering multiple students said that they were interested in participating in the educational international study tour.</p> <p>The PowerPoint slides can be <a href="http://arbre.nl/20091207 - Slides informatie borrel concept1.ppt">downloaded</a>. If you have any question, you can contact the committee via e-mail, twitter or phone. The committee members will also often be present in the Inter-<i>Actief</i> board room.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Tue, 08 Dec 2009 14:33:00 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_dec7-Information-gathering.html Invite to all members of study association Inter-Actief http://pixel2010.nl/news_dec3rd-mailing-to-inter-actief-members.html <h2>Three week international educational tour: something for you?</h2> <p>In September 2010 study tour Pixel will leave for the USA. There participants will visit many companies and cities over a period of three weeks. Pixel’s research theme is: Simulations and Games. It is without doubt one of the best international experiences available! </p> <p>Before the tour departs, participants must finish two introductory research studies. The first research study is about the cultural differences between the United States and The Netherlands. The second is about a topic related to one of the following six <a href="research_tracks.html">tracks</a>: </p> <ul> <li>Augmented reality</li> <li>Virtual Reality</li> <li>Serious Games</li> <li>Engines and Hardware</li> <li>New Media Input Devices</li> <li>Artificial Intelligence</li> </ul> <p>The results of your research (5ECTS) will be verified during one of the 24 (approx.) visits to companies, universities or other organisations (4 per track). Of course there is also room for discussion. The tour, and a small paper about it, is worth another 5ECTS. </p> <p>Three weeks including hotels, food and transportation is very expensive. Participants must pay a thousand euros participation fee. We will also arrange a secondment (work assignment) at one of our partners. All revenues will be directly invested in the international tour. </p> <p>After our three week program it is possible to extend your stay. You can choose how long you want to stay, but extend by three weeks and you can start at term 2 fresh without missing anything. </p> <h3>Why participate?</h3> <ul> <li>It's fun</li> <li>It's interesting</li> <li>It's a unique experience</li> <li>Meet new people</li> <li>Extend your stay</li> <li>Get to know another continent</li> <li>Looks good at your resume</li> </ul> <p><a href="participant_why_go.html">More about the arguments to participate and the costs can be found here</a>. </p> <h3>More information?</h3> <p>Monday December 7th the study tour committee Pixel will organise a free information drink at the EduCafé (café Abscint). All members of study association Inter-Actief are welcome to participate. The drink will begin with a small presentation about study tour Pixel. Topics that will be discussed are: What is pixel, what is a study tour, why should you go and costs versus benefits. The discussion is followed by the story of a student who participated in the previous study tour (Bonsai). Afterwards there is time to ask any questions you might have.</p> <p>What: Informational drink<br /> When: December 7th at 17:00 hours<br /> Where: EduCafé Zilverling, café Abscint</p> <p>If you are interested in participating, or have any question about the tour please come to this meeting or take a look at pixel2010.nl. </p> <p>You can also take a peek in our <a href="participant_faq.html">FAQ</a> or just send us an e-mail: studytour@pixel2010.nl. </p> <p>Note: The deadline for registering for the study tour is on Sunday December 13th. Please enroll before that date. Look at pixel2010.nl for <a href="participant_how-to-enroll.html">information about the requirements</a>. </p> <p>With kind regards, <p>Niels Boom<br /> Chairman Pixel study tour committee<br /> studytour@pixel2010.nl</p> <hr> <p>================ Dutch Version ===================</p> <h2>Drieweekse internationale reis, iets voor jou?</h2> <p>In september 2010 zal studiereis Pixel vertrekken naar de Verenigde Staten. De deelnemers zullen zich daar drie weken lang verdiepen in het thema Simulatie en Games. Het is een bijzondere internationale ervaring die voor zowel Informatica- als Bedrijfsinformatietechnologiestudenten interessant is. </p> <p>Voorafgaand aan de reis doen alle deelnemers een onderzoek naar Amerika en een onderzoek dat aansluit bij een van de volgende zes <a href="research_tracks.html">tracks</a>: </p> <ul> <li>Augmented reality</li> <li>Virtual Reality</li> <li>Serious Games</li> <li>Engines and Hardware</li> <li>New Media Input Devices</li> <li>Artificial Intelligence</li> </ul> <p>Naar aanleiding van dat onderzoek (5EC) heb je een aantal conclusies maar wellicht ook nog onduidelijkheden. Tijdens de reis bezoeken we circa 24 bedrijven, universiteiten en instellingen (vier per track). Tijdens deze bedrijfsbezoeken kun je de conclusies controleren en je onduidelijkheden ophelderen. De reis samen met een klein naverslag is tevens 5EC waard. </p> <p>Drie weken inclusief overnachtingen, eten en vervoer kost natuurlijk een hoop geld. Van deelnemers verwachten we duizend euro eigen inleg. Daarnaast regelen wij detacheringen (Contract Research) van 120 uur. De inkomsten van deze detacheringen worden direct in de reis geïnvesteerd. </p> <p>Aangezien je toch in de Verenigde Staten bent, kun je na de reis nog een aantal weken blijven. Hoe lang precies is aan jou, maar je kunt zonder probleem drie weken verlengen en daarna fris beginnen aan het tweede kwartiel.</p> <h3>Waarom gaan?</h3> <ul> <li>Het is leuk</li> <li>Het is interessant</li> <li>Het is een unieke ervaring</li> <li>Je leert nieuwe mensen kennen</li> <li>Je kan na de studiereis nog in Amerika blijven</li> <li>Je leert een ander continent kennen</li> <li>Staat goed op je CV</li> </ul> <p><a href="participant_why_go.html">Meer over de argumenten om mee te gaan en de kosten</a>. </p> <h3>Meer informatie?</h3> <p>Maandag 7 december zal er een vrijblijvende informatieborrel plaatsvinden in het EduCafé (café Abscint). Alle leden van Inter-Actief zijn hartelijk welkom. De borrel zal beginnen met een kleine presentatie waarin uitgelegd wordt wat Pixel is, wat een studiereis is, waarom je mee zou moeten gaan en wat de kosten en opbrengsten zijn. Hierna zal een oud-deelnemer (van studiereis Bonsai) een verhaal vertellen over zijn ervaringen. Uiteraard is er voldoende tijd om al je vragen te stellen. </p> <p> Wat: Informatieborrel Wanneer: 7 december vanaf 17:00 uur Waar: EduCafé Zilverling, café Abscint</p> <p>Ben je geïnteresseerd of heb je een vraag over een internationale reis zoals Pixel? Kom dan naar deze borrel of kijk op pixel2010.nl. </p> <p>Kijk in onze <a href="participant_faq.html">FAQ</a>. Uiteraard kun je ons ook altijd mailen op studytour@pixel2010.nl. </p> <p>De inschrijving voor studiereis Pixel sluit zondag 13 december, kijk op pixel2010.nl voor <a href="participant_how-to-enroll.html">informatie over de eisen</a>. </p> <p>Met vriendelijke groet, </p> <p>Niels Boom<br /> Voorzitter Pixel studiereiscommissie<br /> studytour@pixel2010.nl</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Thu, 03 Dec 2009 22:00:08 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_dec3rd-mailing-to-inter-actief-members.html Nov 19th: First information lunch http://pixel2010.nl/news_nov19-first-information-lunch-and-slides.html <p>On Thursday November 19th an information lunch held place at Langezijds A118. About 15 people attended this lunch. Take a look at the <a href="http://www.pixel2010.nl/calendar_details.html?details=6d5e60160584870c05a00ca173f0d042">calendar item</a> for more information. In week 49 (Nov 30th till Dec 6th.) another information lunch will be organized. </p> <p>The slides of the first information lunch are placed online at <a href="http://pixel2010.nl/files/blogs/20091119 - Slides informatielunch.ppt">pixel2010.nl</a>.</p> <p>If you have any questions feel free to attend one of the information lunches, <a href="mailto:studytour@pixel2010.nl">e-mail us at studytour@pixel2010.nl</a> or <a href="http://twitter.com/pixel2010">direct message us on twitter</a>. You can also leave your name and phone number on the A4-form placed at the entrance of the Inter-<i>Actief</i> studyassociation room in EduCafé-Zilverling.</a> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Fri, 20 Nov 2009 15:35:00 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_nov19-first-information-lunch-and-slides.html Houston, we're ready for lift-off http://pixel2010.nl/news_houston-we-are-ready-for-takeoff.html <p>Since we started in July we've come a long way. We started with expectations, dreams and hopes, but a few months later a sound and coherent construction plan is created. Six people who are working hard to create the ultimate combination of hands-on research and culture shock. </p> <p>As you've probably noticed, a study tour is much more than just a school trip. First of all there are two large literature research studies in which all 24 students must participate. Then there is a three week tour of the USA in which we will visit about 24 companies. The company visits come first, culture and rest come second. These visits are designed to verify the conclusions drawn from the literature study. And of course it's an ideal moment to get in depth knowledge of different companies, the work they do and the possibilities they have for Dutch students.</p> <p>I encourage you to read further in one of the subsections of this website. Our aim is to give you all the information necessary but do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.</p> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Sat, 31 Oct 2009 22:48:29 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/news_houston-we-are-ready-for-takeoff.html Follow us on twitter http://pixel2010.nl/twitterfeed_pixel2010.html <a href="http://www.twitter.com/pixel2010">www.twitter.com/pixel2010</a> <h2>Twitter feed from pixel2010</h2> <div id="twitter_div"> <ul id="twitter_update_list"></ul> </div> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://twitter.com/javascripts/blogger.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/pixel2010.json?callback=twitterCallback2&amp;count=20"></script> Pixel2010 Events and Deadlines Mon, 02 Nov 2009 22:56:53 GMT http://pixel2010.nl/twitterfeed_pixel2010.html