Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Taking Sudoku to the next level

Last week I released a puzzle on squobble.com, conveniently dubbed the "Squobble Puzzle". It's quite similar to Sudoku, so the hardcore Sudoku players might find this brain-teaser an entertaining alternative.

Basic Sudoku is played with 9 symbols, which are generally the numbers 1 till 9. Other than numbers, these can be anything from 9 letters to 9 colours (for the rules, check out Wikipedia). I combined a "number Sudoku" with a "colour Sudoku" to obtain the Squobble Puzzle. This has some interesting consequences. For instance, only certain combinations of numbers and colours are possible. Also, the classic Sudoku tricks can be applied on numbers, colours or both, and even new solution methods can be found.

I included a beginner and expert level (if you're good they should take you about 5 and 15 minutes respectively), and the standard options: reset, choosing a puzzle by number or randomly. Moreover, every puzzle has a unique solution. Finally, to guarantee your satisfaction, dear reader, all of this was molded neatly into a Flash puzzle with drag-and-drop support.

Anyway, the list of features-to-add includes a charts system for best times and other records, a classic Sudoku page, etc. Whether I implement these will depend mostly on visitor feedback and the local weather forecast (a lot of rain means more features).


Saturday, July 02, 2005

Plaza 63

I made a "tourist guy" appearance in this short movie (and part of the soundtrack as well). The acting was a bit too improvised to post a link to the online version, however - I have to preserve at least some cool.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Movistar Art #1

Movistar EspaƱa, the leading mobile phone operator in Spain, has launched a 75 million euro campaign to promote its new logo, a stylized letter "m". Since its start one month ago, the initiative has drawn huge attention from the public, mainly because of the air of mystery it was initially surrounded by.

Nevertheless, what was once new quickly got boring, and since the new image didn't really seem to boost sales, a new approach was taken this week in an attempt to make a lasting impression on the potential customer.

As reported by the Spanish national police, street violence has dramatically risen since the new posters started appearing everywhere. Soon more on this subject.

[edit] Apparently some well known Spanish actress also participated in the campaign.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Matlab Art #2

Origin of the image: 1 frame of the evolution the output of a multi layer perceptron is going through while it tries to adjust the different curves to straight lines. In this case the adjustment was obviously heading towards an explosion so I stopped it at the time of the image.


Anyone who has been using the music tagging service by Shazam might have wondered how on earth their computers are able to recognize audio that fast and under such extremely noisy conditions. The solution, as I found out after a quite short internet search, is a pretty smart algorithm developed by Dr. Avery Wang. Thanks to the hints he gave in a presentation at the ISMIR2003 conference, I was able to program the whole thing in Matlab in one evening.

First I did a test with a few songs on my pc. After the program trains itself with the songs, it takes a 5-second fragment of one of the songs, highly degrades it with noise and then tries to recognize it. It turned out to work just fine, and above all, very fast. Then I went for the heavier version, and fed 1000 different audio tracks into the training part of the program. To my surprise, it continued to recognize the music perfectly, in much cases up to noise degradation levels at which the human ear isn't capable anymore of recognizing it, which was nice.

That being written, if you want to get the Matlab code to play around a bit at home with, just contact me [updated 2016-03-21] check the GitHub repo.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Matlab Art #1

"Oh no! This simulation's gone terribly wrong! Just look at the graph, it's useless!" In that case, let's consider it art :-) So this is one of those images that look like, but weren't supposed to be art.

Origin of the image: real parts of the poles of the filters representing two fragments of mixed voices.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Let's eat some squobbles!

With the transition from Squobble v1.x to Squobble v2.0 in mind, I started the automatic deletion of the links in Squobble today.

Previously, there were always 150 links available on the board, and the least popular ones were replaced with new suggestions. Since I want them all out of the board before switching to the new version, I changed a parameter so that from today on it will "degenerate" automatically. Every day a few of these 150 will be eaten by the archive, until there are none left. Let's hope v2.0 will be ready at that moment.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Getting into ActionScript

I learned Flash ActionScript last month, to do the special effects of some design pages. We applied them to one page and basically recycled them for the other two (here and here - Spanish warning!). They're all done now, and I think they're quite esthetically pleasing;-) If you're into ActionScript, check the the dynamic menu, the text effects and the flashy image transitions. Pretty basic I suppose, but not a bad start either.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Here we we go then!

Okay, it was about time I started this blog, common sense just forces me to. I mainly plan to post info and comments on a few things I'm doing, and obviously, feedback is welcome (since it is the first step towards improvement).

First of all there's my wicked internet experiment, Squobble. I won't explain on it too much now, since it's a pretty simple thing to understand. Moreover, its behaviour is still changing, so I will just comment the parts as they stabilize. In short, it's pure fun, leaning over to the crazy side. Then, there's the audio related investigation stuff I do, ranging from voice recognition to music processing algorithms. Pure fun too, but at least this matter is scientifically justified. And last and least there's a tiny bit on graphic design (mostly web design) just for the love of it. Anyway, a nice "Welcome to you, dear reader!" seems to be appropriate to finish this first post.

PS1: On the to do list: change the crappy template design of this page in something a little more neat.
PS2: Welcome to you, dear reader!