Friday, August 31, 2007

Googlephone on the Way?

Google Watch reports: "A few weeks ago, rumors of a Google browser captured the public's imagination, but that's a rumor that's been going around for a few years. The latest rekindled rumor, propagated yesterday in a blog post by Engadget's Ryan Block, is that Google is inching ever so closely to announcing the alleged Googlephone."

This product will be interesting to see (if it's real)...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Front Fell Off

IMHO: I don't know the background story, but I think this was real. Its still very funny...

Job Interview Brainteasers

CNN Money reports: "Dream of landing a coding job at an A-list tech company? It might be a good idea to prep for your interviews by pondering how many golf balls can fit inside a school bus. Or how much you would charge for washing all the windows in Seattle. Or why, exactly, manhole covers are round and not, say, square."

The first rule to solving these brain teasers is don't be afraid to ask lots of questions (in fact most of the time the interviewers want you to ask questions). Second rule is sometimes the answers is just obvious, and other times they can be very vague.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Clark, the Canadian Hockey Goalie

A 3-time MVP of the Saskatchewan Moose Lodge Hockey League (SMLHL), Clark wanted to try something new for the off-season.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Speed Racer the Movie (2008)

For all those who grew up watching the cartoon Speed Racer, I just found out today that they're creating a live action movie that will be release in 2008. I can hardly wait to watch the trailer when it becomes available. The movie is also being shot using a new type of 'revolutionary camera' that is suppose to keep the foreground and background in focus at the same and make it look more like a cartoon.

Below is excerpt from the plot summary on IMDB: "Hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized-the legendary Rex Racer-whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer (John Goodman), the designer of Speed's thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner (Roger Allam) but uncovers a terrible secret-some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. ..." You can read the rest at the IMDB site.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Photos: Scanning brain waves

TechRepublic reports: "Hans Lee, chief technology officer of EmSense, wearing the company's wireless headband, which includes a dry EEG (electroencephalogram) sensor to measure the electrical activity of the brain without the use of gels; an accelerometer, which detects motions and facial twitches; and a heart-rate monitor that can gauge stress rates. ... With data from these sensors, EmSense can detect whether or when the wearer blinks, blushes or sweats. Advertisers and video game companies are using the technology to find out how people feel about their products and sales pitches."

Code Monkey Video

A music video about the life of the common lowlands code monkey.

What Works: 3-D printing for the rest of us

Business 2.0 Magazine reports: "After midnight, it's dark and nearly silent in the Klock Werks Kustom Cycles shop in Mitchell, S.D. The only sound is the low hum emanating from a box that looks like a cross between a dormitory fridge and a Xerox machine. ... Behind a compartment of clear glass, the device - a Stratasys Prodigy 3-D printer - is constructing a complex shape, all curves and spaces, out of plastic."

I hope these devices get cheaper and cheaper. These devices can allow the small inventor to create things that they have never been able to create before.

Toshiba Unveils First 32GB High-Density Flash Card

eWeek reports: "Toshiba revealed Aug. 22 that it will soon add three new high-density flash memory cards to its product lineup—including one it touts as the world's first 32GB flash card. ... The Tokyo-based company, which partners with SanDisk to produce SanDisk High Capacity cards, also announced a 16GB SDHC card and an 8GB microSDHC card."

Is this the beginning of the end of mechanical hard drives? These devices could also evolve into special niche markets, where a lot of cheap storage is needed.

Updated iRobot Roombas Suck More, Fortunately

PC Magazine reports: "Three new Roombas were unveiled: the 500, the 530, and the 560, priced at $249, $299, and $349. All three robovacs are available immediately within the U.S., iRobot said, from three locations: iRobot's Web site,, and the Home Shopping Network. Retail partners including Best Buy and Linens 'N' Things will start carrying the vacuums this fall."

I am finding more and more of a reason to buy one of these device. And, as the title says these new Roombas "Suck More, Fortunately".

Gamers' world reveals secrets of the next epidemic

CNET reports: "A plague carried around the world by travelers, pets and curious teenagers may show that experts have not taken everything into account when planning for an outbreak of disease, researchers said Monday. ... Luckily, the world involved is an Internet game."

Time Travel Machine Outlined

LiveScience reports: "Unlike past ideas for time machines, this new concept does not require exotic, theoretical forms of matter. Still, this new idea requires technology far more advanced than anything existing today, and major questions remain as to whether any time machine would ever prove stable enough to enable actual travel back in time."

25 Most Active Open Source Projects at Microsoft's CodePlex

eWeek reports on the 25 most active open source projects at Microsoft's CodePlex.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Life Expentacy Calculator

Enter your vital statistics (i.e.: age, race, body type, etc.) and your lifestyle information (i.e.: how you eat, do you smoke, etc.) and find out how long to you might live until.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Asteroid Deflection Strategies

From WikiPedia: "(Asteroid) 1950 DA is the near Earth object with the highest known possible probability of impacting Earth, according to the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. For a few days in December 2004 it was temporarily surpassed by 99942 Apophis (which at the time was named only by its provisional designation 2004 MN4)."

It is projected that asteroid 1950DA will approach the Earth on March 16, 2880. They predict two possible outcomes. One, the asteroid completely misses the earth by millions of miles. Two, it will have a 1 in 300 chance of hitting the earth and devastating the human race. If you want to know how we plan to protect ourselves, check out the following Wikipedia page.

For more information, watch this video.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Japan seeks to replace the Internet

TechRepublic reports: "On August 17, 2007, Japanese communications minister Yoshihide Suga said that Japan will start research and development on technology to replace the Internet using a new generation of network by 2020."

The Internet was originally composed of several smaller network that were combined together to create a bigger network. The next generation Internet could consist a few or several high speed networks combined together again. Although a lot can happen in 12+ years.

New Ransomware Scam

Security Watch reports: "Ransomware is malware—or sometimes just e-mail—that attempts to extort money out of the recipient, generally with the threat of some damage to the system. Sunbelt Software has uncovered an interesting example in an installation of the the adware system IFRAMEDOLLARS."

You need to be careful what you download, and make sure that you have good backups of all your data. You also need to make sure that you have all your programs up-to-date.

PC Magazine: Top 100 Classic Websites

This is PC Magazine's list of the best web sites that the Internet has to offer in 2007.

Monday, August 20, 2007

How phishers defeat online banking controls - CNET reviews

CNET reports: "A new financial services requirement calling for two-factor authentication should make online banking secure, but one researcher says it's actually making things worse. At this year's DefCon gathering in Las Vegas, security researcher Brendan O'Connor outlined several scenarios in which online banking has gotten worse, rather than better. Under Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidelines that went into effect at the end of last year, banks are required to provide some form of multifactor authentication of their customers."

The article talks about the pro and cons of each type of multi-factor technology. Although the article really seems to focuses on the cons of the technologies.

Jeff Russell's Starship Dimensions

Have you ever wanted to compares ships from different science fiction series (such as: Star Trek, Babylon 5, Star Wars, etc.) to similar objects in the real world? Jeff Russell's Starship Dimensions is by far the best site for answering these questions.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Next Generation Paint Software (Comedy)

Pac Man: The Movie

The trailer for the long-awaited film about the greatest hero who ever lived.

Photos: Unmanned vehicles take to air, land and sea

TechRepublic has a photo gallery of some of the robots and unmanned aerial vehicle that are currently being used in the armed forces, and law enforcement agencies for everything from spying, to disarming bombs, to catching illegal immigrants, and more.

Google Browser - Gbrowser in the Works?

Google Watch reports: "I love it when old stories resurface like so many TV spin-offs and movie sequels. Rumors that Google is creating a Web browser are again afoot thanks to some healthy speculation from Netconcepts Search Strategist Chris Silver Smith. Smith theorized that the search engine may be cooking up the ole Gbrowser after reading Ryan Naraine's post saying Google had hired browser security expert Michal Zalewski to help make its products more secure."

I wonder if they're going to use the Firefox's Gecko engine to render HTML or if they're going to create they're own rendering engine. It should be interesting to see what they do, if they do it.

Chocolate Rain by Chad Vader

Chad Vader, Darth Vader's less-talented, less-charismatic younger brother.

If you have not yet already watched "Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager" episodes 1-7, you may want to watch them to get the background story. I have included links to these videos below:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dyson: Climate models are rubbish

The Register reports: "British-born physicist Freeman Dyson has revealed three 'heresies', two of which challenge the current scientific orthodoxy that anthropogenic carbon causes climate change. 'The fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated,' writes Dyson in his new book Many Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe, published on Wednesday."

Believe it or not...

Google Charging for Extra Shared Storage

AppScout reports: "Fresh on the heels of Microsoft's Windows Live SkyDrive online shared storage announcement, Google has come out with an online storage announcement of its own: You can now pay for more space for your Picasa Web Albums and Gmail accounts."

I wonder if this is a sign of thing to come (charging for services). Generally if Google gives services away, then others that provide similar services follow. For example, when Google offered 1GB free email, services like Yahoo tried to follow.

This is a revenue opportunity for these companies, so they might follow soon or try to beet Google and give more away. We will have to wait and see.

Indians predated Newton 'discovery' by 250 years reports: "A little known school of scholars in southwest India discovered one of the founding principles of modern mathematics hundreds of years before Newton according to new research. Dr George Gheverghese Joseph from The University of Manchester says the 'Kerala School' identified the 'infinite series'- one of the basic components of calculus - in about 1350."

Very interesting article.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Flash mob in Estonia - The First True Cyberwar

CNET reports: "Flash mobs may have been responsible for those denial-of-service (DoS) attacks in Estonia last May. So says Gadi Evron, security evangelist for Beyond Security, who gave a thorough presentation last week at Black Hat and then again at Defcon, recounting in detail the events surrounding the attack, some of which he experienced first-hand, surrounding the attack. Although he originally joked that the KGB was to blame--and quickly explained that the KGB no longer existed--Evron said could not prove conclusively that the Russians were behind the events. Yet he did call it the first true cyberwar, if only that the commerce and day-to-day functions of one country were interrupted significantly."

This article really makes you think how any country these days could be effected by cyber-warfare.

Minesweeper The Movie

Now that it's a movie, you can use it to procrastinate for a full 90 minutes.

Dueling Banjos Guitar Hero 2

The Dueling Banjos from Deliverance (here is the scene if you have never seen the movie) played using Guitar Hero 2. When you watch this video it's like you know you should look away, but you just can't stop watching.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tom Snyder's TOMORROW Show - w/3 Original Star Trek Cast Members

The late Tom Snyder, conducted a series of television interviews with several of the original Star Trek cast members: James Doohan (Scotty) [deceased], DeForrest Kelley (McCoy) [deceased], and Walter Koenig (Chekov).
This show was taped on July 30, 1976, and is an original Beta X-1 recording off the air.

Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD: By the numbers...

TechRepublic has compiled a great chart that shows how well Blu-ray is doing against HD-DVD format. From the numbers on the this chart it looks like Blu-ray format is winning.

Here is an excerpt from the article that goes along with this chart: "The expected next-generation DVD format war isn't quite the deadlock many expected. ... Target's announcement Thursday that it would sell a Sony Blu-ray player in its stores alongside Blu-ray discs in a special feature promotion is important because the second-largest retailer in the U.S. doesn't sell HD DVD players in its stores, outside of the external HD DVD drive made for Microsoft's Xbox 360. It does sell a Toshiba HD DVD player on its Web site, however. "

Underground at the Titan Missile Museum

TechRepublic reports: "The Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, Ariz., about 20 miles south of Tucson, is a former Titan missile launching site. There, crews of four worked 24-hour shifts during which two people always had to be together to ensure safety and security. In this image, the tip of the missile--with warhead removed--is viewed from above through a glass window that allows museum visitors to peer down into the silo."

Future of mobile communications

Coming to Your Laptop: 1.2TB Hard Drives

PC World reports: "Fujitsu is expected to announce a breakthrough this week that could lead the company to produce hard drives with storage capacities of up to 1.2TB. ... The patterned alumina nanohole media was created via a Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) processes using nano-imprint lithography (enabling discrete distance from bit to bit or track to track), anodic oxidation and cobalt electrodeposition at a density of 100-nanometer-pitch nanoholes suitable to existing head technology."

The wonders of Perpendicular Magnetic Recording, I can hardly wait for these drives. Hopeful it will reduce per terabyte cost of a SAN. Which I figure is $4-5,000 per terabyte of raw storage.

Metal Storm: Next Generation Weapon - Watch more free videos

Metal Storm is what I would classify as a next generation weapon. It is a fully computerized gun, with no moving parts (except for the bullets), that can fire up to 1 million rounds per minute.

Perpetual Motion Machine?

Invented by Mr. Reidar Finsrud, the whole machine is placed inside a glass mount, to prevent visitors who view the machine in the gallery from touching it.

A steel ball (about 2.7 inch diameter, 20 pound) is rolling on an aluminum track, about 25 inches in diameter, placed horizontally. Three pendulums, about 45 inches long with tunable weights at the lower end, controls three horse-shoe magnets that the steel ball has to pass by on the track. Embedded in the track is a (mechanical) controlling/timing mechanism. It looks like a steel wire bent into a triangular track, 5 inches long. The ball rolls over it and pushes the wire down through a slot in the track. This affects one of the pendulums and regulates its swinging motion. The steel ball has not stopped revolving for months.

The magnets and pendulums overcome the intermittent effect of the friction. Basically, the pull of the magnetism resets the velocity of the ball on each pass.

Outside of being an interesting device to watch, I can't think of a practical application for it.

The Impotence of Proofreading By Taylor Mali

It makes a real good point about spell checkers and proof-reading your work...

Omni-Directional Treadmill

This device could be a step forward in Virtual Reality applications (for example, games and other types of simuations).

World's Worst Dating Videos

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Chad Vader Episode 8

This is the latest installment of the continuing story of Chad Vader, Darth Vader's less-talented, less-charismatic younger brother. This episode includes long awaited battle between Clint and Chad.

Episode 8

If you have not yet already watched "Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager" episodes 1-7, you may want to watch them to get the background story. I have included links to these videos below:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

FAQ: How far does the new wiretap law go?

CNET reports: "Just before leaving town for a month's vacation, a divided U.S. Congress acceded to President George Bush's requests for expanded Internet and telephone surveillance powers."

CNET created an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) that helps explain what the 'Protect America Act of 2007' means.

Redesigned Apple iMacs Include Massive Displays

PC Magazine: "Apple has updated its iMac line, as expected, complete with massive new flat-screen displays. ... The three iMac models will be priced at $1,199, $1,499, and $1,799, and each will be characterized by the size of its monitor: two 20-inch displays for the two lower-priced models, and a whopping 24-inch flat-screen display for the premium version."

Apple makes some great hardware, but these changes are evolutionary and not revolutionary...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Top Gear Polar Special

Can you travel to the North Pole in a car, or actually a Toyota Hilux pickup truck? Watch this latest Top Gear episode Jeremy Clarkson and James May and find out if they succeed...

Its a pretty amazing video to watch.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Software: BBC iPlayer

The BBC has released their new iPlayer (Beta) which lets you download their television programs for free from the last seven days. The programs that you download are stored in the iPlayer Library on your local computer for up to 30 days.

The iPlayer does have restrictions/limitations:
  • You have to be based in the UK.
  • You have to be age 16 or older.
  • Currently only available for Windows XP.
Check out the web site for more information.

Study: Some Laser Printers Produce Office Smog

PC Magazine: "Scientists at the Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia are scheduled to release the report to the Environmental Science & Technology journal. The report's contents have been viewed by a few publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, which reproduced the report online."

This is kind of scary if you work around laser printers on a regular basis. I am sure ink jet manufactures are going to play this up...