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Displays Technology

Turning SF's Bay Bridge Into a Giant LED Display 99

waderoush writes "It may be the biggest art hack ever: a project to install 25,000 individually addressable LED lights on the western span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. New York-based 'light sculptor' Leo Villareal was in San Francisco last week to test the vast 'Bay Lights' art installation, which will officially debut on March 5 and last for two years; Xconomy has photos and video of Villareal running the light show from his laptop. To optimize his algorithms and figure out which patterns would be most interesting or arresting, Villareal needed to experiment on the bridge itself, says Bay Lights director Ben Davis, who has raised $5.8 million for the project so far. 'This has never been done before in history — literally debugging software 500 feet in the air, in front of a million people,' says Davis."
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Turning SF's Bay Bridge Into a Giant LED Display

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  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @01:27AM (#42734969)

    Lets stop the overuse and abuse of legitimate technical terms already. It's like calling him a "hacker" - oh wait, TFA and TFEditor already did. I guess it makes sense the the "director" is the one using the term - since he's the farthest from the actual work, you'd expect him to be the most out of touch.

    Woz and Linus are hackers, and debuggers... and some would argue artists. This guy is perhaps an artist, but no hacker.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @03:25AM (#42735347)

    Not exactly...the term "bug" has its origins that far back, but "debug" wasn't used until the mid 1940s (only shortly before the famous literal de-bugging of the Mark II).

  • by water-and-sewer ( 612923 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @07:43AM (#42736243) Homepage

    I dunno.

    a) This isn't really 'hacking.' I find some of the stuff they do o HackaDay way more interesting than this. There, they're combining existing tools and systems in ways never before envisioned. There's real creativity there. This guy is basically doing something that's been done a lot already (every Xmas, in some towns) but on a much larger scale. Boring!

    b) As an engineer, if you're debugging in front of millions of people, you F'ed up! You design your system, prototype it, test it, scale it, then build it. If you're debugging on "go day," you are a colossal failure.

    c) How the hell did people decide to chip in millions of dollars for this stunt? Sure, it will look cool. But aren't there more interesting/clever uses for that kind of funding? Oh well, that's America.

    Finally, I'm thinking this would be WAY more interesting if someone truly cracks into the guy's software, and on "go day," instead of the image of flags waving in the breeze, the image projected is something unspeakably horrifying.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982