Keep an eye out for WebGL
February 22, 2014 5:48 AM   Subscribe

The NSA is getting way too literal.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:00 AM on February 22, 2014 [4 favorites]

I think I"ll stick with xeyes.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:51 AM on February 22, 2014

Oh that's creepy... here's looking at you kid.
posted by sammyo at 9:36 AM on February 22, 2014

Neat. Works on my Mac in Chrome and Firefox, but not Safari. That is odd as Safari is supposed to have about the same level of WebGL support as Firefox.
posted by w0mbat at 11:53 AM on February 22, 2014

wOmbat, it worked for me, but you have to enable WebGL in Safari. Go to the Develop menu (you may have to turn this on in Preferences first) and just select Enable WebGL.

But oh man, that eye is straight out of the uncanny valley. It is totally wrong. The iris just does not stretch and shrink like that. The stroma is contractile tissue, it contains muscle fibers and doesn't stretch over the whole area of the iris, it contracts more towards the center and less at the outer edges. Look for yourself. There is something totally creepy about the way that WebGL stretch/shrink works, which is no doubt due to our human visual processing being adapted to process human faces and the eyes in particular. We have an innate sense of what looks natural in any picture of an eye. This is one of the eternal problems of computer graphics, and for that matter, portraits in any medium. Mess up the eyes to an even tiny degree, and the whole face looks wrong.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:22 PM on February 22, 2014 [3 favorites]

Charlie don't surf : thanks, you were right. I didm't know that the WebGL pref was hidden away in the Debug menu.

The trouble with the current state of WebGL on the Mac is that these demos seem to leave the GPU in a weird state and I pay the price shortly afterwards with a mysterious graphics failure, in this case a black screen the next time I woke the machine up.
posted by w0mbat at 8:45 PM on February 23, 2014

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