Overcoming the Uncanny Valley

First page of article as it appeared in print

A feature article about the perceptual gap between images of real human faces near-human representations.

Abstract: “What makes some near-human characters scary while others are merely laughable? More important, why do some human and humanlike characters fail to arouse our sympathy? Visual artists and roboticists face these questions as they seek to alternately frighten and endear. Recent attempts to create accurate human replicas have brought these questions to the fore with increased urgency.”

Review: OmniFocus

Article as it appeared on the web

Review of the productivity and personal-tracking application, OmniFocus (known at the time as “The Omni Group Omnifocus”).

Going global with QuarkXPress 7

Article as it appeared in email

Written for the the premiere issue of a newsletter by software publisher Quark, this article discusses their flagship product’s globalization-friendly features.

Review: Lineform

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

Review: Intaglio

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

Review: EazyDraw

Article as it appeared on the web

A short review of an illustration program. Part of a package of three: EazyDraw, Intaglio, and Lineform.

Building WingNuts in Xcode with OpenGL: Freeverse Creates a Great Mac-only Game

Article as it appeared on the web

An article for the Apple Developer Connection that shows how Apple technologies facilitated the creation and production of a game. Copy available on request.

Intro: “The 11-person team at Freeverse, Inc. might be small, but the company has scored big with the action arcade game Wingnuts 2: Raina’s Revenge , which won the 2006 Eddy Award for Best Game and was named runner-up for the 2006 Apple Design Awards for Best Mac Game. Freeverse created a fun and addictive game, and according to the development team, the road to outstanding creative development was paved with Apple technologies such as Xcode, QuickTime, Core Image, the platform’s OpenGL implementation, and Mac OS X as a whole.”

From Student Project to Retail Distribution: Lineform Uses Xcode and Core Image

Article as it appeared on the web

An article for the Apple Developer Connection that shows how Apple technologies facilitated the creation and production of a graphic-design tool. Copy available on request.

Intro: “Will Thimbleby didn’t set out to write an illustration program. He needed to create drawings for a project, but he found he couldn’t afford the market-leading application and was unable to find a lower-cost option that suited him. So the 25-year-old doctoral student opened Apple’s Xcode tools and built his own.The result is Lineform, a vector drawing program that challenges the features of pricey competitors while sporting a far more accessible interface. His homegrown “scratch-an-itch” project won the 2006 Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Student Product, and soon after was picked up by software publisher Freeverse, Inc.”

Imaging the World: The State of Online Mapping

First page of article as it appeared in print

A feature article for Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE.

Abstract: “Consumer sites such as MapQuest, Yahoo! Maps, and Google Maps compete to improve their interfaces and data relevance to better appeal to the browsing public. But innovation in online mapping isn’t limited to these household names. Sites for the public good, such as those the US government manages, provide graphical access to data buried in such sources as the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the decennial census. Meanwhile, community mapping sites let the public provide local details, find nearby colleagues, and organize information in ways unknown 10 years ago.”

Interactive Tabletop Exhibits in Museums and Galleries

First page of article as it appeared in print

My first feature article for the “Applications” section of Computer Graphics and Applications, a publication of IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

Abstract: “Just as online shopping is a bellwether of advanced online technologies, so are museum and gallery showcases for the best in computer display and interface technology. In the first case, commerce demands that speed and reliability get priority, in the latter, technological invisibility is foremost. The museum experience is an unusually tactile, sensual one, and the standard keyboard-mouse-and-screen setup might seem out of place. This trend toward sensual involvement is particularly noticeable in tabletop displays, as they appeal to two aspects of familiar daily life: the horizontal surface as a workspace, and hand gestures (or common objects) as tools for manipulating information.”

Stanford University Tech Briefing: lynda.com and Drupal

Screenshot of my slides from the talk

A “Stanford University Tech Briefing” about Drupal, given mostly to people who were already using it for departmental websites. Sponsored by lynda.com. Published description: “lynda.com and Drupal — Tom Geller, lynda.com. Do you have lingering questions about your Drupal web site? In this session, lynda.com trainer Tom Geller answers some of the most often-asked questions about entering and managing content in Drupal. He’ll show you the fastest ways to get images on the page, how to attach files, and how to enable hidden features of Stanford’s Drupal installation that let you extend content beyond Pages and Stories. He’ll also take your questions; give you a peek at what’s coming in Drupal 7, due for release in the next few months. Finally, Tom Geller and lynda.com representatives will help you get the most out of training videos on lynda.com, with a particular focus on Drupal and Drupal-related courses.”

Christine Savadel

I’ve been working through your Drupal videos on Lynda, and just wanted to take a second to say they’re great! Most learning/tutorial videos I watch get annoying pretty quickly, but yours have made learning Drupal a lot easier and exciting. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Regulators ask: What is Bitcoin?

Image of the article as it appeared online

An article about legal challenges to the decentralized virtual currency Bitcoin, specifically on how the question of its definition affects its place in law.

Dennis Triplett

Just a shout out to say I enjoyed your tutorials on Drupal 7 on Lynda.com. You were very informative and you helped me get a grasp on a very steep learning curve for Drupal.

Sam Cathcart

Your Drupal courses have changed how I work and build sites. Thanks for making the content easy to understand and fun. Keep up the good work.

Rachel Boehm

I’m relieved the site was launched within my 1-month self-imposed deadline. Meeting that deadline is a testament to your [Drupal] teaching skills.

Leo Singh

I love your videos. They are so clear and easy to follow, making the most difficult of concepts understandable. Please keep up the great work!

Control without Controllers

Screenshot of CACM article about the Touché sensor project

A feature article about Disney’s Touché sensor project, which explores new ways of controlling electronics with touch.

The Future of Free Speech Online

Image of the article as it appeared in print

A very brief article about whether survey respondents believe that technology companies in the democratic West will increasingly help repressive governments.

DARPA Shredder Challenge Solved

Screenshot of CACM article about the DARPA Shredder Challenge

A feature article about a $50,000 challenge issued by DARPA and its solutions, including quotes from the First and Second Place winners.

Talking to Machines

Screenshot of CACM article about speech recognition

A feature article about modern applications of speech recognition, in particular how they’ve combined with complementary technologies to produce such consumer products as Siri.

Cloud-based HPC

Image of the article as it appeared in print

A very brief article about a U.S. Government report on whether high-performance computing is cost-effective using cloud-computing techniques.

Supercomputing’s Exaflop Target

First page of "Supercomputing's Exaflop Target" article

A review of Asia’s recent ascendency in the Top500 list of the world’s leading supercomputers, and the supercomputing field generally.

The Promise of Flexible Displays

First page of "The Promise of Flexible Displays" article

Article about advances in electronic displays that can bend, be made in irregular shapes, and be produced through a print-like process.

David Gleason, Content Manager, Apple

Tom combines the ability to describe technical matters clearly with a gift for finding just the right phrase to highlight a product’s advantage or intriguing quality. I’m looking forward to seeing more from Tom in the coming months!

Jon Whitbeck, Jon Whitbeck Digital Design

I love your videos! You’ve got ‘good voice’ which makes listening to them more enjoyable, and you do a fantastic job taking folks through the process of setting up a Drupal site. I’m confident I’ll be a major Drupal fan after the training.