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posted: 21/08/2013 Dictionary Changes
Traditionally we have always displayed five dictionary entries on the site homepage: The latest entry listed in full, and links to the term names of the next four in the dictionary itself.
A couple of recent discussions with term submitters on the way successful submissions are often uploaded in batches, passing through the homepage too quickly for the submitter to see them, have led to a rethink on our design.
As soon as a term is approved, it is entered into the database and searchable from there. However, this falls apart if the submitter neglected to keep a record of which terms they have already submitted and which they planned to submit, it can be labour-intensive for them to determine using the database interface, which definitions are their own versus someone else's. As the database is public domain, we don't store that information in it.
This usually leads to a request for us to let them know which terms were the last ones added, so to save both parties some hassle, it makes sense to just make the list of recently added terms a little longer.
There's no room for a longer list of recent terms on the homepage itself. Hence moving them onto a secondary page. As we are using a secondary page now, it would be better to display the terms and their definitions out in full, as we have done, with permalinks to their actual database pages.
A second new feature is at the bottom of the new recent submission page. A group heading there lists all 'group searches'. This refers to a specific type of dictionary search that will return multiple terms randomly or thematically linked. For now, the recent submissions group search is the only one there. However much of the background code to run other such group searches is part of this update, and this list of interesting terminology searches for particularly curious minds is going to grow.
Latest Term: Piezo Phototronics
Piezo phototronics are in essence, a way of directly turning movement into an information signal. They are a variation on of piezoelectric power – materials which convert movement within their structure into electrical current – that then run that current through a process that turns it into a specific light pattern relative to electrical pattern produced.
The advantage is of course, that it is a great deal easier to interpret fine movements in a pattern of light than in an electrical pattern – you don't have to compute the pattern of the electricity produced in order to convert it to a light pattern, but photosensitive materials can quickly and relatively easily break that light pattern down into an intensity texturemap.
It is an ideal partnership for many forms of augmented reality interface and even virtual reality interface. Because the bulk of the process is essentially a material sandwich – piezoelectric material, light conversion material, photo-sensitive material and interwoven electronic circuitry – it would be quite possible to wear articles of skin-tight clothing that then function as an almost perfect motion capture system.
No external cameras required, and every tiny movement captured by the piezoelectric material band, then converted into a precise picture of that movement in a quite literal way.
It offers the potential for a motion capture system of such a level of detail as to be practically unprecedented. The potential uses in everything from avatar control to diagnosis of movement disorders quickly become obvious.
See Also: Piezoelectric, Piezoelectricity, Texturemap, Height Map
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