Rock superstars Radiohead are more than musicians. They’re also geeks.
The band and their assorted helpers have long had a keen interest in all things digital and electronic, and their latest adventure in cyberspace is further proof that they like to play around with the technology available.
Rather than make an ordinary video to accompany their new single House Of Cards, the band decided to create images entirely with data.
No cameras, studios or lighting rigs were used and no images were animated using traditional or computer-generated techniques.
Everything you see in the video was generated using lasers and computer software. The laser bounced off singer Thom Yorke’s face, and off landscapes and other people, and the returned signals were turned into images.
Typically, Radiohead didn’t stop there. They’ve put everything – the video, a “Making of...” film (here on youtube) and all the data they collected – up on Google’s home for software projects, Google Code (code.google.com).
You can download the raw data, along with some instructions for using it, and then make your own video. Then you can upload your efforts to a specially created YouTube group (www.youtube.com/group/houseofcards).
At the time of writing the data had been downloaded over 3,000 times, although no re-interpreted videos had been uploaded.
If you’re a Radiohead fan but not quite geeky enough to manipulate data into videos, you could just add the official Radiohead theme to your iGoogle home page (www.google.com/ig/).
Do you like videogames? Check out giantbomb.com, a new site put together by a team who love games and the web.
The site’s focus is on games, not platforms. So while Grand Theft Auto is available on a zillion different games machines, there’s just one page on the site where fans can get together and discuss it.
Plus, there’s a massive database of info on pretty much every game ever. Well, it will be once games fans have entered the info, Wikipedia-style.
Is the credit crunch beginning to put the squeeze on your shopping trolley? Capital dwellers or visitors can now visit London Forager (www.londonforager.com) for inspiration on finding free wild snacks. It tells you where the good foraging spots are in Hampstead Heath, Blackheath, Walthamstow and more. There’s also a seasonal guide to good foods worth finding. Bon appetit!
Google Maps (maps.google.co.uk) has long had a “Directions” feature that shows you the quickest way to drive from one place to another. Now the American version is testing a new “Walking Directions” feature, which pretty much does what you’d expect.
If it follows the usual path, the same feature should appear on the UK site in the coming months.
* Giles Turnbull has a web site at gilest.org