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Mythbusters and the Mona Lisa Overdrive
August 28, 2008 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Mythbusters and the Mona Lisa in Overdrive. In a demonstration at Nvidia's NVISION show, Jamie and Adam provide a graphic demonstration of the power of multicore processors vs. a single CPU.
posted by Dave Faris (44 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That should read "'Metafilter's Own' Adam", should it not? I was labouring under the impression that he belongs to us.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 7:50 PM on August 28, 2008


Just his soul, Monkeys, just his soul.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:53 PM on August 28, 2008


I don't know. I think Adam has forsaken us. The "Mefi" in masking tape on the overview set seems to have disappeared now that they've begun the new season. I think we may have taken him for granted a little.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:57 PM on August 28, 2008


There's paint in my computer?
posted by mazola at 8:03 PM on August 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


That was pretty awesome. Pity to only use such a machine once...
posted by GuyZero at 8:06 PM on August 28, 2008


oh, im sure they will find creative ways to use that a few more times.

possibly a way to retry the "running in the rain" myth....
posted by mrzarquon at 8:13 PM on August 28, 2008


That was pretty awesome. Pity to only use such a machine once...

Once? I want to drive down the street with two of them firing at buildings, cars and bikers on both sides of me.

Mona Lisa!
BAM!
Mona Lisa!
BAM!
Oh hai!
BAM!
I'm in ur street painting joo!
BAM!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:13 PM on August 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


Meh. I won't be impressed until I see it reproduce a Jackson Pollack painting.
posted by NoMich at 8:17 PM on August 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


This post has deceptively little to do with William Gibson. I'm disappointed.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:17 PM on August 28, 2008 [7 favorites]


Painting takes balls.
posted by ericbop at 8:25 PM on August 28, 2008


This is marketing fluff. It's not about 'multicore processors versus CPU', since most modern CPUs are multicore. Rather, it's about the massively parallel processing in modern GPUs. And it's not even vaguely a useful comparison. It's just a metaphor. All this video actually does is show you how much faster a thousand paint nozzles is than one.

Yay. I'm enlightened. Thank you, NVidia marketing department!
posted by Malor at 8:28 PM on August 28, 2008 [2 favorites]



Do the barrels have autoreload? You could sequence the paintballs for each picture element and paint frames of animation, or totally different paintings every few seconds.

Imagine this, oh I don't know..., at a toll booth.
Or a rail yard.
Or a TSA airpost security line...

BAM!
Tie-dye for you!
BAM!
Black for you, emo boy!
BAM!
Pink! It's the new black!
BAM!
Black! It's back in style already!
BAM!
Stormtrooper uniform for you!
BAM!
Instant National Socialist flag and SS uniform, Mr Businessman.
BAM!
SS uniform and Hitler 'stache! Hah, Godwinned performance art!
BAM!
It's not easy being green!
BAM!
London underground map!
...
posted by lothar at 8:29 PM on August 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


80 nanoseconds? Really?

And yeah, what's with the William Gibson head fake?
posted by meta_eli at 8:41 PM on August 28, 2008


He's posting over on AskMe tonight, so he forsaketh not.
posted by netbros at 8:47 PM on August 28, 2008


Little known fact: after only two such demonstrations, the machine grew so despondent over its inability to create anything original, it cut off its own gearbox.
posted by subgear at 9:25 PM on August 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, it's a grid. They can make it paint anything. ANYTHING!
posted by knowles at 9:36 PM on August 28, 2008


Such waste! Our descendants will curse us for our obsession with waste. But I couldn't help laughing.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:22 PM on August 28, 2008


Hmmm...I thought this post was going to be about the Mona Lisa, processing speeds and nanoseconds.

Still...it was pretty funny, in a "we is in ur science fare" kind of way.
posted by salishsea at 10:43 PM on August 28, 2008


"Homer, you've got it set on 'whore!'"
posted by maschnitz at 10:59 PM on August 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think they just repurposed the million round per minute gun.
posted by Rumple at 11:05 PM on August 28, 2008


It's milliseconds. 80 Milliseconds. I wish the barrels had autoreload. As it is it takes 1 guy 3 hours to load the thing.
posted by asavage at 11:24 PM on August 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


This one is kind of the opposite..
posted by Chuckles at 11:27 PM on August 28, 2008


I was labouring under the impression that he belongs to us.

We should brand him, just to be safe. We wouldn't want any buster rustlers to steal him.
posted by homunculus at 11:32 PM on August 28, 2008


> It's milliseconds. 80 Milliseconds. I wish the barrels had autoreload. As it is it takes 1 guy 3 hours to load the thing.

Well obviously if you had a GPU, could use 1,100 GPUguys to reload much faster.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:34 PM on August 28, 2008


It reminds me of a show I watched on some channel (honestly, if it doesn't have Anthony Bourdain, Adam Savage, or Alton Brown, I wont remember the name or time slot also why do I like smart people named A*) {why am I using the small tag so much?}

Anyway, guy designed a communion wine dispenser for his very large church, that would fill an entire tray of little plastic cups with the perfect amount of sanctified wine. It took him twice as long to design a mechanism to put all those little plastic cups onto the trays fast enough to make the wine dispenser worth using. Before the cups were filled and placed onto the tray by hand. Until they were placed automatically, the wine filling part took 5% of the time, and the arranging of the cups took 94% of the time (1% reserved for error and 'tasting').
posted by mrzarquon at 11:43 PM on August 28, 2008


Seems like the communion guy could have just duct-taped a few of these together.

Also, asavage, I will happily come down and load that sucker for you. using a goatse template, of course
posted by Rumple at 11:49 PM on August 28, 2008


So... you're saying this is not a good thread to read to learn about multi-core and single core CPUs and how they differ in function and performance? That's actually the thread I was hoping to find here. (Which is not to say that the Mona Lisa thing wasn't neat.)
posted by Clay201 at 11:49 PM on August 28, 2008


It's a cool little marketing stunt, no question about that, but I guess I'm a little disappointed to find out that the Mythbusters are for hire. It's like finding out a childhood hero sold out, except they're adulthood heroes, and dammit, I didn't have many of those.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:28 AM on August 29, 2008


I'm a little disappointed to find out that the Mythbusters are for hire

I assume (or maybe "hope" would be a better word) they at least built the machine themselves.
posted by DU at 4:17 AM on August 29, 2008


I'm a little disappointed to find out that the Mythbusters are for hire.

Do you think those full-sized fiberglass sharks and crashtest dummies just grow on trees?
posted by Dave Faris at 5:09 AM on August 29, 2008


Sold out? I thought it was pretty clear that they were special effects artists and Jamie's business was specifically set up to be "for hire".

And very little of their testing results are peer reviewed . . .
posted by cptnrandy at 5:50 AM on August 29, 2008


Mythbusters is massively peer-reviewed, if you count millions of armchair "hackers" as peers.

(But seriously, they've gone back and redone many myths based on procedural objections and so forth. For a TV show, it's pretty good actual real science.)
posted by DU at 6:26 AM on August 29, 2008


I assume (or maybe "hope" would be a better word) they at least built the machine themselves.

In one of the videos of it, Adam comments that they designed it and it was put together by the guys at what used to be the ILM model shop, by the guys he used to work with. And frankly, I don't mind that they didn't put the time into building something that big - that wasn't to be used on Mythbusters - themselves.
posted by opsin at 6:30 AM on August 29, 2008


Having attended the conference myself... the whole thing was a combination of awesome technology, crazy stuff, pointlessness, and whoring for NVidia.

So this was the highlight, and pretty representative of the show as a whole.
posted by Foosnark at 6:45 AM on August 29, 2008


Found this on Youtube thanks to the OPP... Some totally awesome and hilarious stuff comes up in the Q&A section as well.
posted by opsin at 8:26 AM on August 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


for what it's worth, it's a decent visual metaphor for the current discussion among hardware kids about the potential for using our gpus as cpus, since our gpus are so much faster.
posted by shmegegge at 9:43 AM on August 29, 2008


I thought it was a very cool stunt. Particularly the slow motion shot at the end.

And, while I haven't played paint-ball in a few years, I would totally start again if I could use one of these to defend my base. It would be the fucking Metal Storm of the paint-ball world.
posted by quin at 9:55 AM on August 29, 2008


I'm a little disappointed to find out that the Mythbusters are for hire.

They were handing out drinks at JavaOne two years ago. I'm guessing they do the whole SF tech conference circuit.
posted by meta_eli at 10:15 AM on August 29, 2008


Found this on Youtube thanks to the OPP... Some totally awesome and hilarious stuff comes up in the Q&A section as well.

That talk was awesome, thanks for the link. The two slo-mo videos he shows are hilarious.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:52 AM on August 29, 2008


That was awesome.

And, I want this for my vehicle. A huge painting on the side of my minivan would rock :D
posted by SuzySmith at 7:24 PM on August 29, 2008


Wow opsin, that talk has got to be posted!

In fact, I've got the post ready, but is two Mythbusters posts in the same day too much?!?!?!
posted by Chuckles at 9:06 PM on August 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


As if.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:25 PM on August 29, 2008


Credit-card companies killed Mythbusters segment on RFID vulnerabilities
posted by homunculus at 11:01 AM on August 30, 2008


From the BoingBoing page:
heck out the first two minutes of this clip of Mythbusters' Adam Savage telling the folks at the HOPE hackercon about how the Discovery Channel was bullied by big credit-card companies out of airing a program about how crappy the security in RFID tags is.
That's a misquote. He never makes any conclusion about whether the security is crappy or not. The credit card companies quashed it (or contributed to its quashing, at least) because of the prospect of public scrutiny alone, irrespective of the conclusion.

It sucks that BoingBoing misquotes so badly, but it is worse because the truth is a more damning indictment.
posted by Chuckles at 11:55 AM on August 30, 2008


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