Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Craft of War: BLIND



One of the best done Internet videos I have seen in a long time. If you're a Warcraft fan you will want to watch this.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Funniest Online Video

These are the funniest online videos I have ever seen (IMHO). You might have to watch a minute or two before you really start to laugh.

Dad at Comedy Barn


Internet Help Desk


Triumph the Insulting Dog vs. Star Wars Geeks


If you have any suggestions for ones that you think are better, please include a link to it in the comments area. If I agree with your opinion I will post them in my blog.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Google: What is an Operating System Anyway?

eWeek's Google Watch reports: "Google charged the notion this week by releasing Native Client, an open source runtime engine, browser plugin, and compilation tool set geared to boost Web application performance on computing devices. Some observers think Native Client could be combined with its Chrome browser, Gears and to form some of Microsoft Windows-killing Web operating system."

Rumors are flying about a possible Google OS. As always, time will tell if they're true.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stay Out Of The Dog House



This is a well done JCPenney jewelry ad.

Watch the International Space Station Assembled

Watch how the different parts of the International Space Station were added to each other. What I found fascinating was how some parts were moved around the station to different locations. You will have to watch the video to understand what I am talking about.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Brain Power (60 Minutes)



People who are completely paralyzed due to illness or trauma are getting help communicating with a new technology that connects their brains to a computer. Scott Pelley reports.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quote of the day

"If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside." -- Robert X. Cringely

Saturday, November 29, 2008

NASA Urine Recycler (PG-13 for language) [aka: That's Not Tang]



The NASA Urine Recycler took 10 years to develop.
Note: I try to be very careful what I post here, I like to keep the content PG as much as possible. This video is a little borderline for me, but it really made me laugh.

Star Wars Vs. Star Trek

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Astronaut demos drinking coffee in space



When Dr. Don Pettit lived aboard the International Space Station in 2002, he became known for his "Saturday Morning Science" sessions, during which he would demonstrate really cool, simple microgravity experiments.

Earlier this month, Pettit returned to space, this time as member of space shuttle Endeavour's crew on a mission to upgrade the outpost. After 10 days of hard work, the STS-126 crew got some time off Sunday morning and Pettit took the opportunity to film a special episode of Saturday, err, Sunday Morning Science.

In his video, which he later narrated for Mission Control, Dr. Pettit demonstrated his take on a zero-gravity coffee cup...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

How To Behave On A Forum (8-Bit Version)



Here are a great set of rules for posting on most forums, including this site.

The Black Hole



A sleep-deprived office worker accidentally discovers a black hole - and then greed gets the better of him.

Is the IRS holding a check for you?

MSN Money reports: "If you're still waiting for your economic stimulus payment, it might be in one of the more than 383,000 pieces of mail returned to the Internal Revenue Service."

If you never received your economic stimulus, you might want to check out this article. The November 28th deadline is approaching.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shift Happens [aka: Did You Know?] (Updated Version)

How to Deal With Zombie Debt

wikiHow reports: "Collecting old debts - even debts for which you are not legally responsible - is becoming a very profitable venture. Companies can buy those debts (sometimes referred to as 'junk debt') for pennies to the dollar, then go after the people who they think are most likely to pay up. A phone call can turn into badgering, harassment, threats to sue, and other inappropriate (and sometimes illegal) actions. If you ever get a collector asking you to pay up on a debt that's 'come back to life', here's how to make sure your rights aren't violated."

I have some friends going through this right now, and here is a great article with how to deal with this type of harassment.

Barclaycard Waterslide Ad



One of the best ads I have seen in a little while. Here is a short synopsis: An office worker gets into a waterslide, which he rides on his commute home. During his journey, the commuter, uses his Barclaycard to swipe his way through subway system gates and buy groceries.

Automated Assets



Two automatons share a busy workday

Monday, October 20, 2008

History of the Wilhelm Scream



A Brief History of the Wilhelm Scream, as told by HollywoodLostAndFound.net creator Steve Lee - along with Directors Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper. From Showtime On Demand, and "Masters of Horror."

Sarah Palin Disney Trailer



An Alaskan hockey mom becomes Vice President in the wackiest family comedy of the year! Sound familiar?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Compare credit cards' rental car insurance policies

CreditCards.com reports: "If you're a veteran car renter, it's likely you routinely decline the rental company's offer of additional insurance coverage, smug in the knowledge that you're not wasting money. After all, if you get in an accident, your credit card will cover your deductible, right?"

Every now and then I have to rent a car. I always decline the damage protection options that they try to up-sell you, but I sometimes wonder if I am making a mistake. The credit card I use is suppose to have coverage for renting cars, but I never thought about the limitations of the it until I read this article.

Suggestion:
  • Check the limitations of the coverage offered by your primary insurance and credit card on rental cars. Make sure that you are properly covered incase of an accident.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Popping Corn with Cell Phones?

I saw the following video (see below) a few days ago for the first time. It's people apparently popping popcorn with their cell phones, and it looks pretty real when you watch it.



TruthOrFiction.com reports: "A series of videos showing young people apparently popping popcorn with their cell phones. Four cell phones are arranged facing each other on the top of a table. In the center of the cell phones are several kernels of unpopped popcorn. The cell phones are called at the same time and as they begin to ring, the kernels pop."

Read the article for more information.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Poll Reveals 430 New Demographics That Will Decide Election



From the Onion: A recent election poll indicates vegan independents and skydiving widowers are among the groups that will have a major impact in November. (note: a small part of the video is a little PG-13)

First Flying Lesson (Commercial)



A very funny commercial created by the Centraal Beheer Achmea in the Netherlands. For the most part it should be fairly self explanatory. Although I may need to provide a little background, the guy is waiting for his flight instructor (who is late) to take his first lesson in flying a glider.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Digital Conversion PSA



With the impending switch from analog to digital video, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has released this informative PSA on just how easy the conversion will be.

Jules Verne re-entry video

Her is a video showing the destructive re-entry of Jules Verne ATV at the end of a successful mission to the International Space Station. The re-entry took place over an uninhabited area of the Pacific Ocean after two deorbit burns.

Watch the Video

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Do we really need another browser?

Google recently released a new browser called Chrome, and now I am asking myself do we really need another browser? For years Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer fought a feature war, and Netscape lost. Then several years later, Firefox rose from the ashes of Navigator with all new code. Then took the Web by storm.

Although before Firefox there is another browser called Opera that seems to always be setting trends in the background. Although, it never really made huge waves as far as market share.

Much later, Apple wanting more of the browser market so they released a Windows version of Safari. I have to admit I have personally never tried it, and never have really heard too much good or bad news about it in the press.

With all these choices, I wonder if people are just getting tired of this all. I only use I.E. and Firefox, and as much as I like Google products, there would have to be real compelling reason for me to change. Although, I might try Chrome out of curiosity to see if I like it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Plastic Logic's eBook Reader



Here is a light, flexible, and strong e-book reader designed for business workers to avoid having to carry papers and books everywhere with them. The product also features some inking capability (a limited ability to mark up documents).

One of the problems with the technology will be the time and effort required to scan the documents electronically to carry them with you. Although, this can be avoided if the documents are printed to PDF instead paper to begin with.

Monday, September 15, 2008

EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment



From the creators of the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment, EeepyBird show us how to have fun with sticky notes. eepybird.com

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A deaf girl learns to play violin



A beautiful, feel good commercial created for P&G's Pantene Chrysalis brand, created by Grey Thailand.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photographs

If you like photography, then you may like the following web page, it contains 25 stunningly beautiful photographs. All of these photographs were modified using a technique called High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR can create stunningly beautiful pictures which can blur the difference between reality and illusion.

Due To Budget Cuts, This Is Your New Cubicle

I won't need to explain this web page, just check it out if you want to laugh. Just make sure to read the “New Company Policies” at the bottom.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Large Hadron Collider (How it Works)

The Large Hadron Collider is the largest and most complex scientific instrument ever built and the highest energy particle accelerator in the world. The accelerator is located 100 m underground and runs through both French and Swiss territory. (27km circumference)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Airline Rates



I recently took a trip to Europe, and I wanted to crack jokes like this especially about the cost of bring extra luggage onboard the airplane.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mars: 2020: Springtime



Animation created for a contest using Carrara Studio software. Contest theme was Mars in the year 2020 in the springtime. At the time I created it there was much talk in the news about previous Mars probes that had failed.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

"NORA: Practice Makes Purr-fect" - Check the sequel too.



Sequel is also up. Don't miss it! This is not a trick that was taught to Nora. She began sitting at the piano at about one-year-old. She's three now. She plays only when the mood strikes her, which is usually several time a times a day for short periods.

Droste Effect - a set on Flickr

Josh Sommers: "Images created using the Escher Droste effect formula. Created using Mathmap and the GIMP."

Very, very weird photography...

Web site design flaws make banking riskier - Security- msnbc.com

msnbc.com reports: "Many U.S. banks are unwittingly training their online customers to take risks with their passwords and other sensitive account information, leaving them more vulnerable to fraud, new research shows."

Something to aware when you use online banks. You have to be careful when you input your account information.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

$12 Indian 'TV computer' a knockoff of '80s Nintendo system, not Apple II

ComputerWorld reports: "Can a 20-year-old gaming console be the way to offer truly low-cost computing to Third World students?

An international group of designers and graduate students believe it is, saying that they believe they can modernize a 'TV computer,' available for $12 on the street in India, by adding Internet access and other features while keeping the price affordable."

Computing in third world countries is going old school. I have to admit that this is a good idea, but they really need to make sure that they standardize the hardware and software platform.

Otherwise you just end up with a lot of competing standards, and everyone will be frustrated because people might not have the right hardware or OS to run the software they want.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Cool Zooming Art

Check out this cool web page. Its a flash application that you can use your mouse to zoom in and out of the picture.
Note: It might take a few moments to load

FASTRA - Low-Cost Supercomputer

This is a shorter version of a video where Dr. K. Joost Batenburg at the University of Antwerp in Belgium takes you to the ASTRA-lab where he demonstrates tomographical reconstructions on a FASTRA workstation.

FASTRA is a low-cost supercomputer with standard gaming hardware. The system consists of four dual-GPU NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards, it costs less than $6,000 (or 4000 Euro) to build. Using NVIDIA's CUDA technology this machine delivers roughly the same performance as a supercomputer cluster consisting of hundreds of PCs!



More information.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Incredible Machine



Time shrinked from 16 to 10 min. with a remix of Chicanes Offshore. Machine was made 1987 in Switzerland by Fischli and Weiss.

Pilot pulls record-setting 9.6Gs in Red Bull Air Race



Mike Mangold's winning run at the 2007 Red Bull Air Race in Istanbul.

IMHO: This guy does some amazing flying...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

How To Carry Groceries With A Square Of Cloth



Are you looking for an environmental friendly way to carry home your groceries? Check out this video on furoshiki. The techniques shown are very interesting, its pretty amazing what you can do square with piece of cloth.

According to a poster on the site: "This is actually being promoted by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, as Japan is one of the biggest users of plastic bags, and are encouraging their citizens to adopt the "old ways" again. Here's a link to a nice PDF that shows many more types of techniques: http://www.env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.html"

For more information on furoshiki, check out the following site (http://furoshiki.com) for more techniques.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Font Conference

The Tauren's Kilt (WoW Machinima)



When Tauren are bored with fighting monsters and Alliance, they like to frequent pubs for some light drinking. Of course, when that drinking gets a little too heavy and a fellow gets drunk, who knows what will happen to him while he is passed out cold? It's best not to wear a kilt when drinking.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Backyard Theater for Less Than $260

Electronic House reports: "That headline is not a typo. Ed Sweeting built a full-fledged theater in his backyard for under $260. While it may not boast a huge stack of expensive, state-of-the-art equipment, it definitely makes us want to bond with Mother Nature a little more."

Watching the Growth of Walmart Across America

This is a pretty interesting flash video to watch. You can see how many stores Walmart has opened across America over the last four decades.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Super Efficient Cars



Here are some new super efficient cars all competing for the $10 million dollar automotive X-Price. The three cars are the 'Air Car', the 'Fuel Vapor Car', the 'VentureOne (aka Carver three wheeled vehicle)' and the 'Hybrid Attack'.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

GasBuddy.com - Find Low Gas Prices in the USA and Canada

GasBuddy.com can help you find cheap gas prices in your city. It is a network of more than 181 gas price information websites that help you find low gasoline prices.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sales Guy vs. Web Dude:The Website Is Down

From the web site: "A mashup of true and mostly-true stories from IT hell. If you've ever called tech support and wondered what the hell they are doing down there... well, this should answer some questions for you." Watch the video.

Kinetic sculpture at the BMW Museum



Watch this amazing display of 714 metal balls on strings. It really gets creative after 1 minute. So be patient.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Welcome Back, Clinton

Michio Kaku: Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Reality

Fascinating interview with Michio Kaku. He is speaking about his new book "Physics of the Impossible," Dr. Kaku explains with how Physics one day may allow us to go back in time.

Top Gear - Supercar Fuel Challenge

Top Gears Jeremy Clarkson tests out 5 modern Supercars to see how far they well go on a gallon of fuel. Check out the video here.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Stalled Server Room - The Daily WTF

Here is an except from an article that I came across today: "A few months back, Jen Frickell's company was given some bad news. When their lease ended, they'd have to move out of their second-floor suite. ...
It was a fairly reasonable request, so the company's executives signed a new lease and prepared to move. There was, however, just one, small hitch. The nice little server room they built in the back of their office - equipped with air conditioning units, ventilation, dedicated power, backup power, and so on - could not be relocated."

Read the article to find out what happens, its definitely worth it (the picture is priceless).

ICANN adopts new Web site naming rules

CNET News.com reports: "The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers voted Thursday to relax rules for naming Web sites.

At its meeting in Paris, ICANN, a not-for-profit organization that oversees the naming scheme for Web sites, voted to accept a proposal that will allow companies to purchase new top-level domain names ending in whatever they like."

Get ready for a new set of Top Level Domain (TLD) names (i.e.: .com, .org, .net, etc.) This could turn out to be a gold rush for new TLD domain names or a major devaluation of all the existing prized ones in the existing TLD space.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Finavera Renewables' AquaBuOY

There are several different type of clean renewable energy systems, most are solar, wind, or wave power. I have seen several different wave power systems, but I like the design of this system. Its also has what looks like the lowest surface profile of most of the systems that I have seen so far.



The AquaBuOY is a floating buoy structure that converts the kinetic energy of the vertical motion of oncoming waves into clean electricity.

Creme That Egg!



A Rube Goldberg machine that is used to squish a Creme Egg. It goes around the walls of our lounge. This is an entry in Cadbury's "Unleash The Goo" competition, in which entrants must find the most creative way to break a creme egg.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How To Diagnose Problems With Your Car



Learn what every shake, rattle, and roll means so that a car mechanic can't tell you that a cracked hose is a major transmission meltdown.

How the Brain Works: Illusions



Jerry Andress shows and explains a few different optical illusion.
Note: This video can and will mess with your mind... :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

First Drive: 2009 Honda FCX Clarity



Clarity. It's the name Honda has given its production fuel cell car, and it's a name you'll want to remember. After years of having fuel cell prototypes in the hands of fleets and even paying customers, Honda makes good on its commitment to a hydrogen future. The 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show was the venue for the introduction of the FCX Clarity, an Accord-sized sedan with styling based on the FCX Concept from a few years ago that promises to "enable levels of performance room, comfort and dynamic styling previous unattainable in a fuel cell car.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

FAQ: Meet the new iPhone 3G

Computerworld reports: "The days and weeks and months of speculation are over. Apple Inc. did, as expected at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, retire its original iPhone and replace it with a faster, cheaper model.

You could have knocked us over with a feather. Of course, it would have to be a darn big feather."

I have been covering the new iPhone 3G in my Windows Mobile Tips blog, but I wanted to make sure that I had a reference in this blog as well.

The new iPhone 3G is more evolutionary then revolutionary, but its definitely worth checking out. Its the first version of the iPhone that I would consider using, but I doubt if I would buy one (you would have to know me to understand my logic otherwise you would be reading a 25 page dissertation about my views).

Worst Male-Bashing Ads

AskMen.com reports: "You’ve seen him plenty of times on sitcoms; he’s the dumb, bumbling, idiot dad, husband and boyfriend who appears useless at everything but bringing home a paycheck. The message: Guys are dumb and women have to lead them around. This, of course, cues the laugh track. Yet a survey from an organization called Children Now found that two-thirds of kid respondents described men on TV as angry, while respondents from another group’s survey said men were portrayed as corrupt on TV by a 17 to 1 margin. Clearly, this is no laughing matter."

Its interesting, if this was done about any particular race, gender or group it would be considered politically incorrect. So why does it seem to be politically correct to bash men in general?



Watch the videos in the article to see what I am talking about.

Boeing 737 Landing with Jammed Landing Gear



Here is a Boeing 737 trying to land with some of its landing gear jammed. In the first landing attempt the pilot tries to dislodge it by bouncing the plane, when that doesn't fix the problem he has to land it any way he can...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

BMW GINA Concept Car



BMW's latest concept car called GINA is the most revolutionary car body I have ever seen. It has a fabric material over a moveable wire mesh frame that allows the shape of the car body to change. Underneath the fabric material which covers the body there is a light aluminum subframe with moveable electric hydraulic controls.

High Speed Camera Video



Here is some high speed camera footage of a bullet passing through several different items. These camera are capable of recording up to 250,000 frames per second.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Pentagon Looks for 'Killer Switch' | Danger Room from Wired.com

Wired.com reports: "Imagine if the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could be effectively shut down by a foreign adversary with the flip of a switch? That's, in part, the the concern behind the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Trust in Integrated Circuits program, reports IEEE Spectrum, in a fascinating article that explores the underbelly of national security and globalization"

There were rumors of this technology being used in the first Gulf War. I read a small article in Time magazine that talked about a network virus that was inserted into a printer's firmware that shutdown the network.

Although, I later read that this might be a hoax. If it's true or not that doesn't matter because the concept is realistic. Here is a post that I found that talks about it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ford Nucleon, A Nuclear Powered Car Researched In The 1950’s

Absolute Random reports: "In the 1950’s people were still quivering with anticipation to see what new possibilities will nuclear power open for them. Nuclear powered houses, trains, airplanes and cars, all dreams of a petrol free future, without much thought on the dangers of nuclear power.

ford-nucleon-atomic-carFord Nucleon was one of those dreams, a nuclear powered car that was supposed to travel for 5,000 miles without a recharge. The nuclear car project was announced in 1957 by Ford, and it was a futuristic looking vehicle with an incredibly efficient fuel mileage, thanks to the small atomic fission reactor fitted in the trunk."

I remember reading an article or seeing a show that briefly talked about this car. I had a conversation with a friend tonight and we were talking about it. So before I forgot, I thought I would post a link to it just in case anyone might be curious.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Buyer’s Guide to Sugar Substitutes

MSN Health & Fitness reports: "According to a recent survey, seven out of 10 adults say they want to reduce or avoid added sugars. To do so, they’re turning to sweeteners that deliver zero or minimal calories. Data from Mintel, a market research group in Chicago, shows that while sales of caloric sweeteners like sugar have been declining in recent years, sales of 'diet'-friendly substitutes have skyrocketed, increasing by about 50 percent from 2000 to 2006. And since 66 percent of Americans are overweight and 20.8 million have diabetes, even many health experts are advocating the use of these sugar substitutes."

I have read too many scary things about sugar substitutes, so I stopped using them. Although, Stevia looks promising to me.

What if gas cost $10 a gallon?

MSN Money reports: "In four years, U.S. gas prices have doubled to more than $3.70 a gallon, and crude oil has tripled to around $125 a barrel. Allowing for inflation, that's higher than prices were during the 1978–83 oil shock that triggered a recession and sky-high interest rates. But..."

If the future of gas is going to be $10 a gallon then we need a public transportation system. Read what the future have have in store for us.

Jammed transit systems running on fumes

msnbc.com reports: "Transportation experts who have pushed mass transit since the 1970s are getting their wish as soaring gas prices persuade Americans to abandon their cars for buses and trains in record numbers. But as the adage says, be careful what you wish for."

We need to start investing in upgrading our public transit systems now rather then later. Although, if the price of oil falls we will return to our old ways...

The Grid (A Brief Introduction to Grid Computing)



A video by CERN regarding the future of the Internet.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Spy Cam Software Blurs Faces of the Innocent

Wired.com reports: "Cities and corporations are stringing up thousands and thousands of surveillance cameras, armed with advanced video intelligence algorithms, to watch out for terrorists and crooks. Too bad the rest of us get caught on tape, while the electronic eyes make their spy sweeps. And no one knows what the spycams are recording."

Read the article for more information about this software, or view the video sample below to see it in action.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

30 Upcoming Movie Sequels You Didn't Know About

Den of Geek reports: "We've spent days of our lives scouring the world for news of sequels that you may not have heard of. And here are 30 films in various states of production..."

Want a glimpse of what new movies to expect over the next couple of years, then check out this article.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

TransUnion offers free credit monitoring to 150 million

Computerworld reports: "In a class-action settlement that may be unprecedented in its size, Chicago-based credit-reporting bureau TransUnion LLC is offering up to nine months' worth of free credit-monitoring service to anyone in the U.S. who has ever held a credit card or a line of credit over the last 20 years."

Looking for a free credit report monitoring service. Well at least it will be free for six months. Check out the article to learn more.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Video BMW 330i with AutoPilot (Racer Version)

The following is an excerpt from a British car show called Top Gear. In this excerpt the BMW 330i races around a car test track with no one driving it.

Personally I found the video pretty amazing. Although, they do have to train the car before it can do this automatically

Honda Accord "Jump" Commercial



Proving "Difficult Is Worth Doing." This is the new Honda Accord "Jump" commercial. A group of skydivers make shapes in the sky of the new technologies included in the new Honda Accord.

Edible.com - Very strage edible stuff...

This site contains very strage edible stuff that you might never generally think about eating.

Below is a brief list of some of the items available.
  • ANTLIX LOLLIPOP
  • CHOCOLATE COVERED GIANT ANTS
  • CHOCOLATE COVERED SCORPION
  • GIANT HORNET'S HONEY
  • GIANT TOASTED LEAFCUTTER ANTS
  • and more...

Photographing a Wedding and then an Earthquake

Xanga reports: "Can you imagine what it was like to have been photographing a wedding in Sichuan, China when 7.9
earthquake hit and shakes for three minutes with the entire church crashing down?"

There are some really interesting shots on this page. I am pretty sure the bride and groom appreciated these candid shots of them. ;-)

Low-Cost Multi-touch Whiteboard using the Wiimote



Using infrared (IR) light pens and the Wii Remote, it is possible to create very low-cost multi-point interactive whiteboards and multi-point tablet displays. Johnny Chung Lee, Carnegie Mellon University. The software can be downloaded at http://johnnylee.net.

How to Make a Cheap Multitouch Pad



Multitouch Mini (MTmini) a Cheap Multitouch Pad

Website:
http://ssandler.wordpress.com/MTmini
MTmini discussion thread: http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread...

Materials
  • Cardboard Box
  • Piece of Clear Flat Sturdy Material (ie. Glass, acrylic, plexiglas)
  • Paper (ie. printer paper, tracing paper, almost any paper)
  • Webcam or Video Camera (I use a Philips SPC900NC)
  • Computer (dual core recommended, but not needed)
  • Optional Picture Frame
Total Cost: $5 - $50

Finger Tracking Software
  • Touchlib: http://nuigroup.com/touchlib
  • Set touchlib to use front illumination xml file.
THERE WILL BE A MAC VERSION OF THE TRACKING SOFTWARE SOON. ALSO A PACKAGED VERSION WITH TRACKING SOFTWARE AND EXAMPLES/DEMOS COMBINED.

Other Software/Demos
  • -Windows Mousedriver: http://nuigroup.com/touchlib
  • -Smoke Demo: http://nuigroup.com/touchlib
  • -MultiKey Application: http://ssandler.wordpress.com/my-soft...
Coming soon:
  • Photo Application
  • Ripples
  • Wall Pong Game
  • Physics Demo
How's it Work and What Conditions are Necessary?
For this to work, all you need is a room with (at least) some light. The results will be best when the room lighting is even (no bright lights shinning from one direction onto the multitouch pad).

When you place you fingers on the surface, shadows are created where your fingers are. The webcam sees these shadows and sends the image to the tracking software which tracks the shadows as they move around. It's really that simple!

For more information, visit:
  • http://ssandler.wordpress.com/MTmini
  • http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/1 731/
  • http://www.nuigroup.com/forum
  • http://www.nuigroup.com

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Torch Flashlight

Wicked Lasers sells the Torch which advertises itself as the The World's Brightest Flashlight. Here is an excerpt from their web site: "Currently being reviewed by The Guinness Book of World Records, The Torch is the world's brightest and most powerful flashlight. This flashlight is easily capable of melting plastic, lighting paper on fire within seconds, and if you want, frying an egg or a marshmallow on a stick! At 4100 lumens, The Torch is 100 lumens more powerful than The Polarion Helios, the former most powerful flashlight. Looking to buy a bright flashlight? This flashlight torch will not disappoint you."

Here is a video of the flashlight cooking an egg.

15 great gadgets you can't get in the U.S.

ComputerWorld reports: "As Americans, we think it's our birthright to always have the latest computers, phones and electronic gadgets, but the simple fact of life is that there's a whole world of digital devices out there that are off limits to us.

It's ironic in this age of globalization, but it's true: Some of the world's best digital devices stay at home. Regardless of whether the maker is too small for exporting or vendors don't think it will sell overseas, the result is the same: You can't buy it here."

We have some great gadgets here in the U.S., but there are several that will never reach our shore. Check out this article to see some of the gadgets that you can't buy here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Q&A: William Shatner Mugs in His New Memoir

Newsweek.com reprots: "William Shatner would like you to know that he is so much more than 'Star Trek''s Capt. James Tiberius Kirk. He is also, in no particular order: Shakespearean actor, B-movie star, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner for his role as Denny Crane on 'Boston Legal,' musician, celebrity pitchman. And serial memoirist. His latest tome, the first to extend beyond his experiences with 'Star Trek,' is called 'Up Till Now' and chronicles his life from a modest Canadian childhood up to his latest gig, a self-spoofing Priceline.com spokesman. NEWSWEEK's Brian Braiker recently caught up with the unrepentant cheeseball and tireless huckster."

It has been amazing to see William Shatner trying to reinvent himself. Although he never seems to escape that he plays Capitan James T. Kirk of the Star Ship Enterprise. I wish him well, but I know I will have a hard time seeing him as anything else.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

El Caminito del Rey (Amazing Footage)



Originally built in 1901, this walkway now serves as an approach to Makinodromo, the famous climbing sector of El Chorro.

IMHO: I would not personally be able to make this video, so to me that is what makes it so amazing...

As gas prices soar, thieves grow brazen - Oil & energy- msnbc.com

msnbc.com reports: "Bobby Lee Julien, who’s driven a fuel tanker for 27 years, was near the end of his route. It was 3 a.m. when he pulled up at a stop sign off State Highway 225 in Houston."

I was literally thinking about this subject the other day while paying $4+ per gallon for regular gasoline when filling up my vehicle. I was wondering if a locking gas cap would really stop someone from stealing my fuel or would they just pry it off.

This article shows the beginning of how far criminals are really willing to go to steal gas.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pork and Beans (Weezer)



Watch the official video for "Pork and Beans" from Weezer starring some familiar YouTube faces. New Self-Titled "Red Album" out June 3rd, 2008!
IMHO: I have never been a big fan of posting music videos, but since Weezer is paying homage to some Internet video icon I thought it was okay.

Powers of 10

Friday, May 23, 2008

10 Days of World of Warcraft (Day 4)

I am finally getting a little more comfortable with WOW, and not losing every battle. To advance up through the different levels you have to kill a lot of things, and then loot the corpses.

I just made it to the forth level with my Paladin character, it only took an hour and half or so. I was told that you make it through the first ten levels very quickly, then it starts getting harder.
Note: There are "!" (exclamation marks) at the bottom of the screen to tell you what to do, or why something is happening. Until you're comfortable with the dynamics of the WOW world, I would heed the information.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

10 Days of World of Warcraft (Day 3)

I discovered the first skill that you master in WOW is the art of dying. The problem is that this goes against the objective of the game, which is to make the other poor dumb bastard dye for his country (to paraphrase Patton).

If you're an experienced first person game player the controls should be easy, what is hard to master is the dynamics of the games (understand all the weapons, armor, what to attack, etc...).

Like anything if want to become good at it, you have to practice, practice, and practice some more. If you want to get good at WOW you need to get ready to make the time commitment, otherwise you're wasting your time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

10 Days of World of Warcraft (Day 2)

Well today has kinda of been a flop for playing, other obligations hindered my quest. Although it was not a complete lost. I was given some good reference sites to check out and read up on.
For anyone taking up the quest to really learn how to play WOW, I highly recommend you have a friend show you the ropes. I am lucky to have someone explain the controls, and intricacies of the game.

It will be overwhelming at first, but like anything you have to learn to crawl to walk then run. In WOW you will be doing a lot of walking, running and fighting...

"What doesn't kill us [you] makes us [you] stronger." - Friedrich Nietzsche. This quote should be the mantra of WOW.

There is only one way to fail in WOW like life. You need to remind yourself to "Never give up. Never surrender." (a lot of people attribute that quote to the movie Galaxy Quest, but I not sure if that is where it originally came from).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

10 Days of World of Warcraft (Day 1)

I have avoided online gaming for a long time, mostly because of the time commitment. Although, I am going to break that tradition, and try a free 10-day trial of World of Warcraft (commonly known as WOW).

Millions of people have been playing online games for years and maybe decades before me. I have personally played many different types of off-line games (like Zork) to some online early text-based MUDs (Multi-User Dungeon, Domain or Dimension).

The following entries will be my online journal of my advantures. You might ask why try to keep an online journal, well this will be a 1st person perspective of a total noob to WOW.

Day 1 - The installation

I was shocked that the installation required 4 CDs just to start the game. Then after I logged in for the first time after creating my account I had to download a 490MB+ update. Then after I logged in for the second time I had to download another 490MB+ update. I am on my third download, this time 900MB+. Oh joy, more patches, this time 5MB, 15MB. At last I can begin playing.

For those of you left who have never played WOW before (like myself), make sure that you set aside about 3 hours for this installation. I would also ask a friend to introduce you to the basics of this new world.

Below are some basic concepts that you will need to understand when starting to play WOW:
  • First you select your Realm, which is a server on which you play. Each realm is the same as the others in terms of geography. Although some focus on player-vs-player (PVP) combat, while others focus on player-vs-environment (PVE), and role playing.
  • Second, you select your character attributes, which includes factions (Horde [montsters] or Alliance [humanoid]), race, gender and class.
Once you start playing you wonder around aimlessly getting killed for other peoples pleasure. I was killed within about 10 minutes of wondering. Hopefully I will find my body soon so I can continue to wonder around aimlessly until I figure out what is happening...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Finding High Yield Saving Accounts

Is your bank paying .5% interest (or less) on money that you have in savings? Looking for places you earn more interest on your money?

Then check out the following sites for recommendations.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Trailer Has Arrived!

FirstShowing.net reports: "The very first trailer for The X-Files: I Want to Believe has finally arrived! The buzz for this movie is definitely going to pick up with this trailer. It really doesn't reveal much, but still the perfect amount to start up discussion surrounding what the heck actually happens."

If you're an X-Files fan, check out the video on this site.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Iron Sky (teaser)



In 1945 the Nazis fled to the moon. In 2018 they are coming back.
Note: The film is in pre-production and thus the teaser does not contain any actual footage from the film. It is meant as a demonstration of the style and feeling of the film.

STRUCK



On his way to work one day, Joel (Bodhi Elfman) is impaled through the chest by a three-foot arrow. But it doesn't harm him. And it won't come out. So Joel has to learn to deal -- both with his newfound protrusion and his own painful loneliness. He tries to go to work, to date women, but no one seems ready to accept his strange flaw. Little does he know, his life is about to change forever...

An Engineer's Guide to Cats



Two professional engineers illustrate the proper care and practical benefits of cats. None of the cats, humans, or engineers were mistreated in the making of this film. They were however, slightly annoyed.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Moving 2.0: More than 30 services to help you relocate

Webware reports: "Sometimes I feel like people might think we talk the talk, but don't walk the walk when it comes to using some Web services. Believe me when I tell you we use this stuff every day, and over the last month, nothing has been more useful to me than Craigslist. Why? I was moving, and I did 95 percent of it using a single service to find movers, boxes, people to buy and take away old furniture, and most importantly--a place to live."

New ways to move using the web...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

CCTV boom has not cut crime, says police chief

Times Online (UK) reports: "Billions of pounds spent on Britain’s 4.2 million closed-circuit television cameras has not had a significant impact on crime, according to the senior police officer piloting a new database.

Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville said it was a “fiasco” that only 3 per cent of street robberies in London were solved using CCTV."

I guess technology is not the answer to all the world's problems... ;-)

Magenn Power Floats Balloon Wind Turbine

DailyTech reports: "While interest in solar power is picking up, another technology is also gaining a lot of attention. The chief problems with wind power are consistency and strength of the winds. Some areas simply do not get strong winds regularly and even areas that do can go days without experiencing strong winds. One solution is to build turbines at higher altitudes land areas."

This seems like a cool new technology, but I still like wind turbines more. I think the greatest problem with this technology is the density in which you can place the devices next to each other without crashing into one another.

Star Wars vs. Sports



Greg proves that Star Wars fans and Sports fans are alike.

The Empire Strikes Barack



The second installment in The Obamacles: a unique chronicling of the 2008 presidential election.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Japanese Pay Less for More Health Care

NPR reports: "Everyone in Japan is required to get a health insurance policy, either at work or through a community-based insurer. The government picks up the tab for those who are too poor.

It's a model of social insurance that is used in many wealthy countries. But it's definitely not 'socialized medicine.' Eighty percent of Japan's hospitals are privately owned — more than in the United States — and almost every doctor's office is a private business."

There are several socialized heathcare plans out there, and some are better then others. I don't pretend to know which one is the best, but I do know that heathcare should be a human right and not a benefit for those who can pay for it.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Secret Seats on Airplanes



Everyone knows that getting an exit row seat will result in more leg room and comfort. But NBC Travel Editor Peter Greenberg knows that there are plenty of other secret seats that can be just as good.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Algae as Biofuel (Could this a Ultimate Biofuel?)



Algae to be Refined Into Cost-Effective, Non-Polluting Biodiesel

Can algae -- the green slime that forms on the top of stagnant pools -- reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be the source of a new renewable bio-fuel? The Holy Grail in the renewable energy sector has been to create a clean, green process which uses only light, water and air to create fuel.

Vertigro Energy is a joint venture between Global Green Solutions and Valcent Products. Vertigro's algae-to-biofuel technology mass produces algae and extracts algae oil. This oil can be refined into a cost-effective, non-polluting diesel biofuel. The algae derived fuel will be an energy efficient replacement for fossil fuels and can be used in any diesel powered vehicle or machinery. In addition, 90% by weight of the algae is captured carbon dioxide, which is "sequestered" by this process, contributing significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

The Vertigro technology was developed in response to a huge unsatisfied demand for vegetable oil feedstock by biodiesel refiners and marketers. Biodiesel, in 2000, was the only alternative fuel in the United States to have successfully completed the Environmental Protection Agency required Tier I and Tier II health effects testing under the Clean Air Act. A U.S. Department of Energy study has shown that the production and use of biodiesel, compared to petroleum diesel, resulted in a 78.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

For more information, please visit: www.valcent.net

Tips to improve your Gas Mileage

fueleconomy.gov reports: "Here are some tips to help you reduce the amount of gas you use. If you are already following these tips, you are probably getting the best gas mileage your car can deliver."

Here are some great general tips for saving gas and saving money...

Still Alive Rubens Tube



A Rubens Tube is a classic physics demonstration. The device is simply a tube with a source of propane on one side, a speaker on the other, and a bunch of holes along the length. When the speaker outputs certain tones, the sound waves bouncing around the inside of the tube set up standing waves with areas of high and low pressure. The higher pressure areas force propane out faster and makes a larger flame.

"Still Alive" is a song with lots of sustained, computer generated tones that happen to be of the right frequency to react with our tube.

Gremlins take on a Dragon



Watch Peter Jones in the BT Business advertisement as he battles to keep his IT systems under control.

R2D2 Projector

Check out this Star Wars R2-D2 DVD projector.

Make sure to watch the video on the web page.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Uno electric unicycle gets spiffy new body, still terrifying

Engadget reports: "Last we saw the Uno electric unicycle it was looking very much like the prototype it was, but as you can see above, it seems that the teenage engineers behind it have been doing anything but slacking in the ensuing months. As Motorcycle Mojo reports, the third incarnation of the vehicle recently made its debut at the 2008 National Motorcycle Show in Toronto, with it sporting some custom-made wheels, a stylin' new body, and a few changes under the hood as well."

This is the coolest unicycle ever...

Monday, April 28, 2008

The 5 Best Mass Transit Systems in the World : Environmental News Blog | Environmental Graffiti

Environmental Graffiti: "As we all put our thinking caps on for this “save the environment” thing, and Americans begin to scream under the weight of rising fuel costs, one of the best ways around leaving a giant carbon footprint, or paying an arm and a leg, is to take the bus. Or the train. Or a subway.

After all, why take a car? CNN filmed people paying for gas yesterday like it was news!

So, without further ado here are the five best places for you to be shacked up on this planet if you want to have somebody else take you from place to place."

It was good to see that U.S. has two of the best mass transit systems according to the article. The U.S. has fallen behind in a lot of areas these days, especially mass transportation.

America’s dirty little oil secret: Plastic Bottles and Bags

businessshrink.biz reports: "With oil prices surging to almost $120 a barrel on Friday April 25th, 2008 the sky is certainly looking like the limit. There are analysts and speculators that are now saying they don’t feel that $200 a barrel oil is unrealistic at this point. It’s definitely easy to question who is making money here, who is laughing all the way to the bank as the price rises and who might be responsible for the meteoric price rise in the barrel of oil. An unfortunate truth to who is helping the price levels stay high could be looking back at you in the mirror."

I need to finally give up my use plastic bags and water bottles. I think I will finally breakdown and buy my own reusable shopping bags. Read the article if you want to feel guilty...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Model of Efficiency

Nova reports: "Two decades ago, physicist and energy expert Amory Lovins came up with a notion he called "Hypercar," a general class of vehicles so fuel-efficient it might, Lovins hoped, radically reduce oil consumption in the U.S. and worldwide. A tailpipe dream?"

This video gives a good introduction to how inefficient modern cars are and suggest how they can be made more efficient.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The death of the coupon

MSN Money reports: "Grocery chains, food and drug manufacturers, and even coupon marketers themselves are going electronic. The concept is almost as simple as scissors and the Sunday paper: Visit a Web site, type in your loyalty codes, and find all the coupons waiting for you, electronically, at a store's cash register or on your cell phone."

With the high cost of gas, the weak dollar, and the economy going into recession we need to learn how to save more money. This article shows you how to clip coupons electronically.

Official Guide to the Summer of 2008 � FirstShowing.net

FirstShowing.net reports: "As of this moment, this upcoming summer (kicking off on May 2nd with Iron Man) looks quite promising. There aren't as many sequels as 2007, which is good (and also bad), but there are quite a few movies that look absolutely incredible - The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones 4, and Wall-E, to name a few. To kick off the new year and start some early buzz for the summer, we're publishing the Official Guide to the Summer of 2008 - in trailers. Below you will find a chronological listing of the best upcoming summer of 2008 movies and links to their respective trailers. It's a list you need to check out and save for reference when we start nearing the end of April, to help you decide what to see this summer."

I have been pretty disappointed with the movies I have seen so far this year, but summer looks very exciting.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Harmless Computer Practical Jokes (Updated)

I wrote the original article a few years back, and its turned out to be one of the most popular articles on my site. I don't like to rehash old content, and I should have released this on April fool's day, but no use crying over spilt milk. A lot of the text below is from the original article, but I have added new content and updated some of the older content.

I have to admit I love to play a good practical joke on my friends as long as its harmless. The problem is, how do you make sure that you don't hurt the victim, computer, or its data.

Below are a few suggestions for some computer practical jokes. If you have any other suggestions, please post them in the comments:

Notes: Perform these practical jokes at your own risk, I am not responsible for the results. I would never recommend using any of these tricks then leaving the victim to their own devices. You should stay close, hopefully laugh with them, then help them to undo what you did.

Keyboards and Mice:

  • Remove the ball from the computer's mouse on the older mechanical mouse. If its the newer optical mouse, stick a small piece of tape over the optical sensor.
  • Unplug the mouse and/or keyboard from the back of the computer. If its a wireless keyboard or mouse remove the batteries from the device.
  • If several people in your office use wireless keyboards and mice and they are in close proximity to each other, you can reprogram the wireless receivers, to pickup the other user's keyboard and/or mouse.
  • This trick is just mean, and can be a little tricky to reverse. Remap the computer keyboard to Dovark layout.
    • From the Start menu open the Control Panel folder
    • Open the 'Regional and Language Options' applet
    • Click the 'Keyboards and Languages' tab, then press the 'Change Keyboards...' button
    • Press the 'Add' button
    • Check 'United States-Dvorak' then press the OK button.
    • Under 'Default input language' section at the top of the 'Text Services and Input Languages' dialog, select the 'United States-Dvorak' option
    • Press the OK button
Cables
  • Almost every computer is a rat's nest of cables, removing or unpluging the right cable (power, network, keyboard, etc.) can cause frustration for the computer user.
  • Any good computer user will have a surge suppressor power strip where their computer is plugged into. Some of these power strips have a breaker, sometimes they manually allow you to blow the breaker. This will basically make the power strip a useless piece of junk until the breaker is reset. (Warning: make sure that all the equipment is off before you blow the breaker)
Desktop
  • This is a cool little trick, its called the 'Broken LCD Screen'. All you have to do is replace the background of your victims desktop, and it looks like they have a broken LCD screen.
  • This trick will drive the end-user mad, they will try to click on the desktop and believe the computer is frozen when nothing works. I have seen people reboot their computer several times before they figured out what is wrong. Use with caution, save all the user's work before using this trick.
    • Take a screen shot of the computer's desktop (press PrtSc screen button). You might want to try taking the screen shot with open application windows, it might add to the realism.
    • Then open a graphics program like MS Paint (under Start menu | All Programs | Accessories) and Paste the image into the application. Save the file into the C:\WINDOWS\ directory as a bitmap file (.BMP) and set it as the desktop background. (Note: if you're using MS Paint there is a command under the File menu to do this.)
    • Then remove the icons from the users desktop, put them in a another folder under the user's 'My Document' folder. Or, you can right-click an empty space on the user's desktop, and uncheck 'Arrange Icons By > Show Desktop Icons' (Note: you may have to cycle through [press Alt-Tab] an application that fills the screen to force the desktop to refresh it self)
    • For extra realism, you can hide the taskbar at bottom of the screen. (Hover the mouse over the top edge of the bar until you see the up/down arrow, then click and drag the taskbar to the bottom of the screen)
Miscellaneous:
  • Turn the speaker volume up real loud on their computer and walk away.
  • Try playing with the computer settings, such as the monitor, cursor, mouse and keyboard configuration in the Control Panels.
  • Change the startup or other event sounds (such as changing the new mail sound, to something like the sound of someone passing gas [you know what I mean])
  • Embed the following link into an email, and send it to your friends (http://img89.imageshack.us/img89/891/3dtetris8yi.swf). I promise they will hate you after you send it.
Items for Sale:
  • Phantom Keystroker: Attach this evil prank device to your victim's computer and it makes random mouse movements and types out odd garbage text and phrases.
  • Annoy-a-tron: A little device designed to annoy people with a nearly undetectable intermittent beep. This device has a magnet attached, so it can be placed on any metal surface.

10 Most Disruptive Technologies

eWeek reports: "Gartner analysts at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas discussed what they believe will be the most disruptive technologies through 2012. Disruptive technologies are those that force changes in industry models, business processes, vendor types, products and services, as well as the all-important user model. Take a look at this list and tell us whether you think something has been omitted—or just plain doesn't belong. This list is ranked in order from least disruptive to most disruptive."

Several of these technologies listed in this presentation given by Gartner may sound new and cool, but many of them are older then you think. For example, augmented reality is probably the grand father of these concepts (roughly about 20+ years). Then you have concepts like Ubiquitous Computing, and virtualization (both roughly about 10+ years).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Yochai Benkler: Open-source economics (TED Talk)



Law professor Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization. By disrupting traditional economic production, copyright law and established competition, they're paving the way for a new set of economic laws, where empowered individuals are put on a level playing field with industry giants.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lab Improves Li-Ion Batteries by 30 Percent

PC Magazine reports: "A couple of problems faced by the widely-used lithium-ion batteries are the risk of overcharging and the subsequent degradation of charging capability. Research for the improvement of lithium-ion has reached a milestone in Argonne National Laboratory where longer battery life and a 30 percent increase in storage capacity have been achieved. To be able to prevent overheating and combustion, researchers replace cobalt oxide electrodes (which easily overheat) with manganese oxide--a more stable material."

The problem with battery technologies is that advances in this area are painfully slow.

Monday, April 14, 2008