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Blog Posts (17)
- Resurrecting the Past: How Dead Celebrities Would Look in 2023
The stunning advancement in artificial intelligence has been truly remarkable, and one of the areas where it has been most transformative is in the field of image generation. One of the leading AI image generators in its current version 5 is MidJourney, which uses deep learning algorithms to create highly realistic images from scratch. With the help of MidJourney or similar technologies, it is ultimately only up to the imagination of the prompt engineer, and nothing is impossible anymore. One fascinating usecase is giving me goosebumps: Photographs of deceased celebrities how they might look today if they were still alive. Many celebrities have died far too young, leaving fans to wonder what they might look like if they had lived to old age. This is what I came up with by feeding MidJourney with the following prompt: "Artistic portrait of at the age of . Photorealistic, photographed on a Fuji vintage camera with open aperture. Black background. looking into the camera." Hover the images below to show the celebrity's name and age if they would live today.
- Musk allegedly working on the Truth
Ironically, Elon Musk, a pathological liar, claims in a recent Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson, also a pathological liar, to be working on an AI called "TruthGPT", which he describes as "maximum truth-seeking". The irony of the story: Just three weeks ago, Musk joined an initiative that had publicly called for the development of OpenAI on "ChatGPT 5" to be paused for at least half a year. Maybe it is more likely that Musk realized that the AI train was already moving at full speed while he was still standing at the station looking at his watch? After all, years ago he himself invested in OpenAI, the company behind the mega bot “ChatGPT”. Must be a pain to see them skyrocket through the roof while his own rocket launch was scrubbed yesterday. In the interview, Musk describes other forms of AI as the greatest threat to humanity that could potentially wipe out our civilization while selling "TruthGPT" as god's gift. "An AI that cares about understanding the universe is unlikely to annihilate humans because we are an interesting part of the universe." - Elon Musk Musk compared AI's hypocritical denial to destroy all of humanity to the way humans deal with chimpanzees: "We recognize humanity could decide to hunt down all the chimpanzees and kill them," Musk said. "We're actually glad that they exist, and we aspire to protect their habitats." - quite ironic, by the way, considering how Musk's company Neuralink treats its animals during tests. The naming is also pretty remarkable: "TruthGPT" is very reminiscent of "Truth Social", Trump's mendacious social network, which Musk himself called the "Rightwing Echo Chamber" just a few weeks ago - but probably only out of offended pride, because Trump has preferred his own platform over a return to Twitter. There is uncertainty regarding the current status of Musk's "TruthGPT" and whether it exists at all. Musk has a track record of making unsupported claims, so launching "TruthGPT" with a falsehood would be ironic but not surprising.
- The Love Affair with Vintage Computers
I am writing this on a 33-years old Macintosh and I love it. But where are these deep feelings for yesterday's tech coming from? The Macintosh SE/30 was a personal computer that was manufactured by Apple Inc. and released in January 1989. It was a compact and powerful computer that was designed to be a follow-up to the Macintosh SE, and it quickly became a popular choice among professionals and enthusiasts alike. One of the most notable features of the Macintosh SE/30 was its compact design. The computer was housed in a compact case that was similar in size to the Macintosh SE, but much more powerful. It featured a 16 MHz Motorola 68030 processor, which was a significant improvement over the 8 MHz processor found in the Macintosh SE. This allowed the SE/30 to perform much faster and smoother than its predecessor, making it a great choice for professionals who needed a powerful computer for tasks such as video editing and graphic design. This Macintosh also featured a PDS (Processor Direct Slot) which allowed users to add additional hardware such as a math coprocessor, a SCSI card, or a network card (I have added a SCSI2SD card-reader to this slot, operating a 64GB SD card as an internal hard drive). "The Macintosh SE/30 embodies the same "user-friendly" philosophy as the original Macintosh, while providing more memory, faster performance, and greater expandibility. The Macintosh is still easy to learn, and now it's more powerful than ever." (Macintosh Owner's Guide, 1989) Now - pretty much 33 years after being released on January 19th in 1989 - I'm sitting in front of this beautiful chunk of plastic (while other vintage Macs tend to turn yellow mine remains almost pristine gray-white'ish). The SE and SE/30 were designed by Frog Design, a design agency used by Apple from 1984 to 1990. Hartmut Esslinger created the Snow White design language, used across Apple's product range during this period. Apple spent the latter part of the 90s attempting to move on from the Snow White design language. Flipping the power switch responds with a mechanical "clunk" - a sound people born in the 90s or later can hardly imagine. You can feel the power running through the Macintosh before its display comes to life flickering. Everything about the Macintosh feels clunky and loud. It is a dinosaur, a behemoth from "back then". And everything about it has a charm no modern tech will ever have. People tend to think that our modern tech will receive the same aura 30+ years from now - believe me, it won't. I am actually typing these lines on the original Macintosh keyboard - each key-stroke takes some effort and it feels really exhausting in the beginning - like writing on a typewriter. But the sound and mechanical feedback is so rewarding - I am instantly falling in love with the Macintosh (again). The Macintosh SE/30 is not only a 30+ years old home computer it is a remnant of a whole era I am thankful to have lived in. Everything took long back then. Booting up the operating system (especially from a disk) took minutes! People would think twice before shutting it down because booting it up again would cost time. But why are so many people nowadays seeking refuge in memories from the very first days of home-computing? Why are people like me investing money and time on a plastic cube which lacks all technical standards modern-time computers have? The SE/30 I am typing this on is not even connected to the internet means I am using an external floppy USB-drive to exchange files. And because the drive would not be supported on my M1-Mac I am using an old 2002 iBook to relay files between my very first and latest Mac. One of the reasons why people may be drawn to vintage computers is the nostalgia they evoke. These machines can remind us of our own childhood and the early days of home computing. For example, using a Macintosh SE/30 as an 11-year-old and experiencing the novelty of using a mouse for the first time. It is a reminder of a time when technology was less commonplace and new experiences were exciting. The simplicity of using a mouse to move a cursor on a screen, which is now second nature, was once an amazing discovery which required introduction by my dad. Perhaps these computers are also a reminder of how ephemeral we are. After all, it's not uncommon for people to cling more and more to things that surrounded them during their childhood and adolescence. I would have run out of the room screaming at the thought of watching old commercials from decades past. Today these old videos elicit a pleasant sigh from me. I believe that the attraction to vintage computers and software is rooted in their simplicity and accessibility. It was relatively easy to learn how to program on a Sinclair Spectrum, as the knowledge required was manageable. This simplicity also extended to the industrial and commercial sectors, where software and peripheral devices may have been more complex but still functioned within a well-documented and stable environment. In the pre-internet era, comprehensive manuals were provided with mini-computers, and if additional information was needed, one could contact the designers directly. The resurgence of interest in nostalgic technology, such as vinyl records and instant cameras, has demonstrated a strong desire for vintage technology. Personal computers are no exception. As personal computing reaches its middle age, some people are drawn to revisiting the early days of the technology by restoring and using machines like the iconic Commodore PET from the 1970s. A fascination with early computing equipment and software however is hardly a new thing, but retro-computing seems to be undergoing a real renaissance these days. There are various resources available, such as publications, online marketplaces, and physical stores catering to the demand. Many enthusiasts are restoring and repurposing old devices, as well as emulating or integrating them with newer technology. Examples include using a Raspberry Pi to enhance a Commodore Vic 20. Additionally, there are communities dedicated to playing vintage video games and using "wayback" word processing software. And? Also infected with Nostalgia? A good point to deep-dive into this would be Retro Battlestations on Reddit and Tinker Different a vintage community focusing on Apple computers.
Other Pages (2)
- danvanmoll.com | about
1978 Being an executive producer, writer and showrunner, Dan has always been a design-savvy beau of visual arts and storytelling. In 1998 he jumped head over heels into the show business and never really left. He has about 25 years experience in producing and directing television shows, documentaries and long form productions. He also is a confessed Mac head, cigar aficionado and curator of all things pop-culture. He has been an award-winning television host, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice, worked with NGOs in 16 African countries and once quit his job at a production company to become a photojournalist and spent three years covering conflicts and war zones worldwide with publications in all major outlets and exhibitions in Berlin, Zurich, Iraq and at the Biennale in Venice. He eventually grew up, got married and just recently became a loving dad. In 2008 Dan celebrated his 30th birthday on Mount Kilimanjaro, the world's highest free-standing mountain. 1999 - 2006 TV Host In 1999 Dan joined the On-Air team at GIGA, a daily 5-hour live show on NBC Europe covering all things entertainment. In 2001 his show was awarded with the Grimme Online Award. He was soon promoted to editor in chief and led - although he was only 26 years old - the studio production in Berlin. Projects (selection) Anonymous (Season | Show | Director) Follow Your Love (Season | Reality | Director) I Know Who's Good For You (Season | Show | Director) Kitchen Nightmares (Season | Reality | Producer) Real Life, San Francisco (Season | Reality | Producer) I'm A Celebrity Get Me Outta Here! (Season | Show | Producer) Let's Dance (Season | Show | Director) The Real Cool Runnings (Season | Reality | Producer) Cocaine (Season | Documentary | Director & Producer ) Farmer Wants a Wife (Season | Reality | Producer) Director / Producer Dan left NBC GIGA in 2006 and switched sides, starting to work as a director and producer with assignments in Africa, Asia and the US. Responsibilities have included script writing, talent casting, budgeting and the supervision of production and post-production personnel. 2006-2013 Executive Producer / Showrunner Back at television Dan worked as a Showrunner and Executive Producer for south&browse/all3media and ITV Studios. Projects (selection) Chap vs. Bloke (Season | Show) 15 Things (Season | Show) Comedy Court (Pilot | Show) Home of Records (Season | Show) Mix Up Arts (Season | Show) Miss Wildcard (Season | Show) Beat Bus (Season | Show) Love Island (Season | Show) 2016-2020 2013-2016 War Photographer 2013 marked the beginning of one of his most important stages in life. Dan quit his job as a show producer and started to cover conflicts, humanitarian crises and war as a photojournalist. He covered the street riots in Turkey (June 2013), the turmoil in Egypt (August 2013), the unrest in Ukraine and Crimea (2014), the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo / DRC (March 2014), the war on Cocaine in Colombia (June 2014) and the war in Gaza (July 2014), the outbreak of Ebola in West-Africa (2014), illegal child labor in India (2015) and kidnapping gangs in Venezuela (2016). He has been published in international magazines, newspapers, news sites and books including TIME Magazine (US), Newsweek (US), stern (Germany), The Guardian (UK), The Irish Times (Ireland), NBC (US), Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany), Focus (Germany), ZEIT (Germany), Geo (Germany), Science (US), BILD (Germany), New York Times (US) and others. His work has been showcased in Rome, Berlin and Iraq and also at the 2014 Biennale . Dan has been awarded with the Focus Project People’s Choice Award and has been shortlisted multiple times for the annual LifeFramer award. 2016 Dan quit his career in favor for his family. 2017 Dan's last assignment in Venezuela was filmed and aired on DMAX/Discovery Channel. Managing Editor at BILD In 2020 Dan was hired to guide the go-live of BILD.TV , the television news network of BILD, Europes biggest newspaper and news website and part of the Axel Springer group.. 2020-2022 News Producer at seven.one entertainment group In late 2022 Dan had spent countless hours on trains commuting between Berlin and Munich and it was time for a change. He changed jobs and joined seven.one , a a national cable network as a news producer in charge of the daily news program on SAT.1 , ProSieben and Kabel1. 2022-today God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die. BILL WATTERSON
- danvanmoll.com | travel photography
FIGHTING EBOLA The Ebola outbreak of 2014-2015 exacted a terrible toll on major countries of West Africa. Latest estimates from the World Health Organization indicate that over 11,000 lives were lost to the deadly virus since the first documented case was officially recorded. These images cover the first months of the outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone. View More NINJA MINERS Many people lost their jobs after the fall of the People's Republic of Mongolia and became traditional herders. In 2001 and 2002 Mongolia faced two harsh winters (known as dzuds), and a third of the country's livestock was lost. Thousands of families took up so called ninja mining, searching for quartz or gold on properties large mining companies deemed unmineable. The self-dug mines go up to 20 meters deep and are often very unstable and in danger of collapse. View More CRIME IN CARACAS Crime in Venezuela is widespread, with violent crimes such as murder and kidnapping increasing annually. The country has the second highest murder rate in the world. This collection covers kidnapping gangs, street violence and overcrowded prisons. View More AFRICA DIARIES This collections contains images taken on various NGO assignments in countries across Africa since 2004. The assignments covered child trafficking, drug abuse, sexual assault and poverty in general. View More TRASH KIDS Ghazipur is one of the largest landfills in India. It was opened in 1984 and reached its capacity in 2002 when it should have been closed. But the city’s detritus has kept on arriving each day in hundreds of trucks. Hundreds of people live right on this landfill searching through faeces and garbage for something worth selling to junkyards . View More