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Good Friday Five: Daredevil stunts and filters set to max

As you read this, the JAX team are taking a well-deserved Easter vacation, and we’ll be back at the end of the Easter weekend next Tuesday. For those celebrating Easter, and even those who aren’t, we hope you have a have a great weekend and enjoy our Good Friday Five.

 

1. Taking retro filters to the max

Instagram’s ‘retro’ filters may have their detractors, but they’ve inspired a host of copycats, including Facebook and Twitter’s own apps. Maxstagram, an open-source Python program, takes a novel approach by applying ImageMagick effects at random in the hope of producing a novel effect.

“Most of the generated filters will look awful and could cause severe trauma both physically and mentally to some individuals,” admits creator Mayank Lahiri, “but usually at least a few in any run are eye-popping.” A demo site is available, along with a gallery of some of the best results.

 

2. Fukushima two years on

Google have published some striking images of Fukushima town Namie, two years on from the triple nuclear meltdown which devastated the town, through Google Street View.

Google sent their camera-equipped vehicles around the town earlier this month, after an invitation from Namie’s mayor Tamotsu Baba, who wants the world to remember what happened in March 2011.

"Ever since the disaster, the rest of the world has been moving forward and many places in Japan have started recovering. But, in Namie, time stands still.”

"We want this Street View imagery to become a permanent record of what happened to Namie in the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster."

It’s tough viewing but the Memories of the Future site does an excellent job of documenting the region before and after the disaster.

 

3. Mustang Wanted

Those of you with a fear of heights may want to sit this one out. Ukrainian daredevil Mustang Wanted was the talk of Twitter this week, for his vertigo-inducing poses on top of some very lofty buildings.

If the pictures don’t give you an inkling of the mysterious Mr. Wanted’s insanity, he’s also posted this video, balancing on top of another Kiev building. Warning, it may make you feel quite queasy.

 

4. Raspberry Pi as a Service

Platform as a Service, MongoDB as a Service, Security as a Service, Mobile Backend as a Service, Java as a Service... whatever technology you’re needing for your product, it seems that there’s a startup somewhere offering a ready-to-use solution for a monthly fee. The latest to join the crowd is a Raspberry Pi as a Service company, Pinode.

“Everyone's excited about the Raspberry Pi. But not all of us have time to get the machine and set it up,” reads the homepage. “Well, we've bought one for you and we've put it in the cloud!”

For just $5/month, you too can have access to a Raspberry Pi in the cloud with 4GB SD Storage, or for $99/month upgrade to a “Beowulf cluster” of Pis. And yes, it’s all just a joke (try clicking on “buy now”).

 

5. Never too old

And finally... In the wake of the frankly depressing news that 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio has sold his startup Summly to Yahoo for £18m, here’s a reminder that it’s not too late for the rest of us. Buzzfeed have put together a compilation of some of the world’s greatest albums, along with the age of the musicians involved at the time of release.

Along the way there’s a few surprises: MIA put her first album out when she was 30, half of Pink Floyd had his thirty when they released Dark Side of the Moon; and even the sprightly Vampire Weekend were in their mid-20s when they released their debut.

Photo by WillowGardeners; effect added with Maxstagram.

Elliot Bentley and Chris Mayer

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