Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women

Hanna Rosin reviews startling new data that shows women actually surpassing men in several important measures, such as college graduation rates. Do these trends, both US-centric and global, signal the "end of men"? Probably not -- but they point toward an important societal shift worth deep discussion.

Rachel Botsman: The case for collaborative consumption

At TEDxSydney, Rachel Botsman says we're "wired to share" -- and shows how websites like Zipcar and Swaptree are changing the rules of human behavior.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Lego Antikythera Mechanism

The Antikythera Mechanism: is the oldest known scientific computer, built in Greece at around 100 BCE. Lost for 2000 years, it was recovered from a shipwreck in 1901. But not until a century later was its purpose understood: an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies with extraordinary precision. 

In 2010, we built a fully-functional replica out of Lego.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Geek's Guide to Last-Minute Holiday Gift Giving in 2010 reports: "As the holiday season draws closer, there's always a scramble to get that perfect last-minute gift for the special nerd on your list. With an ever-growing mountain of electronics and portable devices such as Apple's iPad and other tablets crowding the marketplace, it can be difficult to find something unique that is also affordable. Thankfully, the explosion of geeky gifts at a reasonable price offers consumers an alternative to pricey PCs and still-nascent big ticket items such as 3D televisions. This list includes a wide variety of gifts, ranging from the more expensive and cutting-edge options to clever plug-and-play baubles for home and office fun. Who says a USB device has to look like a boring black brick, or a wall clock can't require some mathematical equations on the part of the recipient? If your geeks are anything like the nerds we know, a little braininess goes a long way in producing the perfect holiday present. Whether you're swinging for the fences with a brand new MacBook Air (be on the lookout, Mom!) or are simply looking for a snazzy stocking-stuffer, our geek's guide should give you a hand in making that perfect purchase."

Monday, December 20, 2010

Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Barebones Netbook to Test Market

eWeek reports: "Google Dec. 8 began rolling out the Cr-48, an unbranded notebook equipped with its Chrome Operating System, the Web operating system that enables Web applications run on Google's Chrome Web browser. The Cr-48 lies at the heart of the Chrome OS Pilot Program, Google's effort to seed the market with the notebooks, get feedback and polish the product prior to launch on branded machines from Acer and Samsung in mid-2011. Google is issuing the gadgets—which run on WiFi networks and also sport 3G radios with 100MB a month of data free for two years—to partner companies, friends, some lucky consumers and the media. In December, eWEEK got its hands on one of these plain, black no-frills notebooks. It sports a 12.1-inch screen, delivers 8 hours of use time and allows no internal data storage. The notebook is a true cloud machine, which has its limits. There is as yet no capability to port photos from cameras and smartphones to the Chrome OS netbook. But this is compensated by a raft of possibilities. For example, Google has created its Google Cloud Print solution to give the Cr-48 access to Web-based printing. Take a look at this run-through, and see a review here."

Friday, December 17, 2010

Star Size Comparison

Manslator: Female Language Lranslator (Humor)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Windows 7: USB Installation (Video)

This video walks you through the process of installing Windows 7 from a USB flash drive.

In this video, you'll learn how to :
  • Set boot priorities in the BIOS
  • Configure USB hard-drive emulation
  • Troubleshoot possible issues and implement solutions for images > 2GB
  • Perform the installation
  • Windows 7 Installation DVD (with Product Key)
  • 4GB USB flash drive

Google Chrome OS for Netbooks: 15 Essential Features - Cloud Computing

eWeek reports: "Google Dec. 7 didn't shock anyone with the announcement that Chrome Operating System netbooks wouldn't arrive until 2011. But that doesn't mean that the Chrome OS update event in San Francisco didn't come with some surprises. There was the unveiling of Crankshaft, a new compilation infrastructure for V8, the Chrome JavaScript engine responsible for making the browser so speedy. There was the formal launch of the Chrome Webstore, which has more than 500 Web applications, including two programs from Amazon and one each from The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. Think of the Chrome Web Store as Apple's App Store, but for Chrome OS netbooks (and, eventually, Chrome OS tablets) instead of iPhones and iPads. Finally, in the biggest surprise of all, Google launched a pilot program using black, unbranded Chrome OS netbooks. Google is passing out thousands of these machines to media, friends of Google and business partners, including the U.S. Department of Defense and American Airlines. Here is a run-through of the news using slides from Google's Dec. 7 demonstration."

10 Glaring Flaws of the Latest Tablet PCs

eWeek reports: "When it comes time to evaluate the important computer product news of 2010, the vast majority of annual roundups will point to tablets as some of the hottest products of the year. After all, when Apple released its iPad earlier this year, the tablet craze officially began. And an increasing number of computer makers decided that the time was ripe to expand their own product lines with new tablet designs. That's precisely why, as of this writing, Apple is joined by Samsung, Dell and several others in the tablet space, all vying to grab a hefty share of this rapidly growing market. But due to the sheer number of tablets that are both available and on the way, it's much easier now for consumers and enterprise customers to see what's missing in that space. As popular as tablets are and as successful as Apple's iPad might be, the devices still fall short in some important ways. The manufacturers must consider fixing those problems in 2011. Not only will it make customers happier, but it will also improve those companies' chances of selling more products."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Race Is On to 'Fingerprint' Phones, PCs reports: "Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads. They want to buy access to specific people. So, Mr. Norris is building a "credit bureau for devices" in which every computer or cellphone will have a "reputation" based on its user's online behavior, shopping habits and demographics. He plans to sell this information to advertisers willing to pay top dollar for granular data about people's interests and activities."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dan Nocera: Personalized Energy

MIT Professor Dan Nocera believes he can solve the worlds energy problems with an Olympic-sized pool of water. Nocera and his research team have identified a simple technique for powering the Earth inexpensively by using the sun to split water and store energy - making the large-scale deployment of personalized solar energy possible.

Willie Smits: Saving Rainforests

Biologist Willie Smits has spent the last thirty years searching for ways to restore fragile ecosystems. From his home in Indonesia a leading producer of greenhouse gases Smits has discovered a method of sustainable energy production: using the forest to generate biofuels with a carbon-positive impact.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

A skyscraper like no other: Taiwan to build 390-meter tower with floating observatory blimps

gizmag reports: "It might look like something out of Isaac Asimov's imagination, it might look like it could never stand up, but this bizarre concept building is about to go into construction. 'Floating Observatories' is Stefan Dorin's winning entry in the recent Taiwan Tower Conceptual International Competition – and in return for his US$130,000 first prize, now he has to actually build the thing. The new tower, standing more than 300 meters tall with its helium-filled observatory 'leaves', will be the crown jewel of Taechung, the third largest city in Taiwan."

Wiley Vs. Rhodes

A live action short film with a real life Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.

Mystery Surrounds Cyber Missile That Crippled Iran's Nuclear Weapons Ambitions

Fox News reports: "The mission: Infiltrate the highly advanced, securely guarded enemy headquarters where scientists in the clutches of an evil master are secretly building a weapon that can destroy the world. Then render that weapon harmless and escape undetected.

But in the 21st century, Bond doesn't get the call. Instead, the job is handled by a suave and very sophisticated secret computer worm, a jumble of code called Stuxnet, which in the last year has not only crippled Iran's nuclear program but has caused a major rethinking of computer security around the globe."

Very detailed article on the Stuxnet worm. This worm is really a game changer as the article states. It was highly targeted, and very sophisticated.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Botnet Boon: How Scammers Cash In

eWeek reports: "There are several well-known botnets, including Kneber, Rustock and Koobface, pushing out spam and malware each day, clogging up inboxes and compromising Websites. For cyber-criminals, botnets are just business tools that help them make money. Malware is a lucrative business, as Melih Abdulhayoglu, founder and CEO of Comodo, likes to point out—the money is no longer only in drugs, but in creating malware, and the goal is to spread it as far and fast as possible to catch unsuspecting victims. According to Symantec Hosted Services, a botnet's rental fees can range from $9 an hour to more than $65 an hour. How do the criminals renting the botnets to spread their malware make their money? Here is a rundown of some of the more common botnet-based attacks, as described by Martin Lee from Symantec Hosted Services. Just remember: The scammers don't need everyone to fall for their attacks. Considering the hundreds of thousands of messages pushed by the botnet, if even 1 percent falls for the scam, they've made back the cost of renting out the zombies and gotten a tidy little profit as well."

Marcel Dicke: Why not eat insects?

Marcel Dicke makes an appetizing case for adding insects to everyone's diet. His message to squeamish chefs and foodies: delicacies like locusts and caterpillars compete with meat in flavor, nutrition and eco-friendliness.

Bart Weetjens: How I taught rats to sniff out land mines

Bart Weetjens talks about his extraordinary project: training rats to sniff out land mines. He shows clips of his "hero rats" in action, and previews his work's next phase: teaching them to turn up tuberculosis in the lab.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy for 2010-11

Biofuels Digest reports: "In Florida, renewable fuels and chemicals developer Amyris took the #1 spot in the 2010-11 “50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy” rankings, published today in Biofuels Digest, the online daily bioenergy news service."

If you're into Bioenergy here are some companies to watch.

Weaving a Dangerous Web

Channel Insider reports: "Another year passes and even more security issues crop up on the Web. In an unsurprising report from Websense Security Labs recently, it seems that the number of malicious websites has multiplied more than two-fold from 2009 and data stealing attacks on the Web are on the rise as well. The most significant findings? The fact that many of the Web's 'nice neighborhoods' are going rogue as well. Many seemingly legitimate sites are hosting malicious content due to undetected attacks that plant malware to infect unsuspecting visitors. “What should organizations be most afraid of?' Patrik Runald, Websense security researcher, said in a statement. 'You no longer have to go to dark corners of the Internet to find bad stuff.”"

Scary stuff...

Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff

In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own creative drive.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Luis von Ahn Harnesses Brainpower

Computer scientist Luis von Ahns programs harness the human brainpower to solve complex problems. von Ahn invented ReCaptcha, a program that uses squiggly characters that humans easily decipher but blocks spambots and helps digitize millions of old texts. The CMU professor also makes games that use human knowledge to improve computers. Find them at

Nick Bilton: Smart Content

Nick Bilton, Lead Technology Reporter for The New York Times Bits blog, says that digital media has resulted in a "new form of storytelling." Bilton, who is also a designer and user interface specialist, is co-founder of NYC Resistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn, and is currently writing a book called, I Live in the Future: & Heres How It Works.

H. Sebastian Seung: Connectomics

Computational neuroscientist H. Sebastian Seung conducts pioneering research on the wiring of the brain, and what it reveals about genetics, personality, and memory. Seung suggests that complex maps of neural connective structures, or connectomes, will reveal that our experiences literally shape our brains.

Jay Rogers: Open Source Your Car

Jay Rogers is revolutionizing the automobile industry. The former U.S. Marine and co-founder of Local Motors has created the world's first crowdsourced car. Rogers believes that making car production local - and personal - holds the key to fostering a sustainable car culture that also tackles our dependence on oil.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Web Site: InnoCentive

As web sites go, I really like this idea. InnoCentive works on a Crowd-sourcing concept. Companies are looking for solutions to tough problems and are offering great cash prizes for a solution, and people with great ideas can make some pretty good money.

Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive, discusses the power of crowdsourcing innovation at the BRITE '10 conference. He shows how InnoCentive's global network of independent experts has solved critical innovation challenges for organizations like SAP and SunNight solar.

Dean Ornish: Healthy Connections

For more than thirty years, Dr. Dean Ornish has demonstrated the power of a healthy lifestyle as the best kind of preventive care. These choices, Ornish reveals, can "turn on disease-preventing genes and turn off genes that promote illness. Dr. Ornish has published a number of best-selling books on the subject; the most recent is The Spectrum.

Reihan Salam: New Conservatism

Reihan Salam, a fellow at the New America Foundation, writes on politics, culture, and technology. At PopTech 2009, Salam argues that America has been growing steadily more diverse, and divided by massive inequalities, a trend that will lead the country down a path of increasing social conservatism. Salam is also co-author of Grand New Party: How Conservatives Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Assaf Biderman: Sentient Cities

Assaf Biderman is the Associate Director of the SENSEable City Laboratory, an MIT university research group that explores the real-time city by studying how distributed technologies can be used to improve our understanding of cities and create a more sustainable ways of interacting in urban environments.

Dan Ariely: Irrational Economics

MIT professor Dan Ariely believes that the starting point for making better decisions, particularly with financial matters, requires understanding the impulse to act irrationally. At PopTech 2009, Ariely discussed an excerpt from his new book, The Upside of Irrationality, about the role of emotions in the workplace.

Massoud Amin: A Smart Grid

Massoud Amin wants to make our energy infrastructure more sustainable and secure. The complex systems researcher from the University of Minnesota believes this requires networking energy into a "smart" grid that incorporates alternative energy. This will provide national as well as environmental and financial security.

Mike Wesch: Lessons From YouTube

Cultural anthropologist Mike Wesch studies YouTube and how social media is transforming how we communicate. The Kansas State University professor says social media has made us far more connected. His research on YouTube also reveals a media landscape that is fostering new forms of community and collective action.

(note: contains strong language)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Danny MacAskill - "Way Back Home" - NEW street trials riding short film

Way Back Home is the incredible new riding clip from Danny MacAskill, it follows him on a journey from Edinburgh back to his hometown Dunvegan, in the Isle of Skye.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sony demos 360º display at Siggraph 2010

Sony demonstrates the prototype of a new 360º Autostereoscopic display. The display allows you to view full color volumetric objects from all angles, as if objects really exist. The display uses special LED light forces and can show 360 unique images to all directions in 1º separations. And no special 3D glasses are required to see the image!

Contortionist Ends Up In Box - Ruby Rubberlegs (Rani Huszar)

Contortionist Rani Huszar (Ruby Rubberlegs) ends up in a small box at a showcase performance of The League of Sideshow Superstars at the TREV/AACA Conference 2007 in Sunbury, Victoria.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bridges Not Bombs: Finding $300 Billion for Infrastructure

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell advocates for increased spending on infrastructure development. Rendell argues that while the cost to repair America's aging infrastructure may seem daunting, the hundreds of billions used to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would easily fund the project.

A Brief History of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels have powered human growth and ingenuity for centuries. Now that we're reaching the end of cheap and abundant oil and coal supplies, we're in for an exciting ride. While there's a real risk that we'll fall off a cliff, there's still time to control our transition to a post-carbon future.

Mark Roth: Suspended animation is within our grasp

Mark Roth studies suspended animation: the art of shutting down life processes and then starting them up again. It's wild stuff, but it's not science fiction. Induced by careful use of an otherwise toxic gas, suspended animation can potentially help trauma and heart attack victims survive long enough to be treated.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Microsoft Products Still Lead the Pack: 10 Reasons Why - Enterprise Applications

eWeek reports: "Microsoft gets raked over the coals by critics quite a bit in the IT industry. Those folks say that the company is too big, it has lost its way and it’s failing to deliver the products that today’s consumers and even enterprise customers are really searching for. When it’s all said and done, those critics contend that Microsoft will lose its place as one of the dominant companies in the industry and become yet another big firm that has failed to evolve with changing times. In some cases, those critics might be right. The tablet space has been one market that has consistently hurt Microsoft. And as it attempts to transition its operation from a software-focused company to one that sees more value in the Web and advertising, it’s going through some growing pains. But aside from those issues, Microsoft is still a huge success. Recently, the company announced its first-quarter earnings and revealed that its revenue grew 51 percent during that period. Microsoft Office itself saw a 15 percent gain year-over-year, while the company’s Xbox 360 also enjoyed strong revenue growth. The company netted a profit of $5.41 billion on the quarter. Such success might throw some holes in the argument that Microsoft is on the way out. In fact, that success might more effectively show that the company is still very much the company to beat in the tech space. For as successful as Google, Apple and others have been, they have yet to take down Microsoft."

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Dell Inspiron duo coming soon

A sneak peek at the new Inspiron duo, Dell's first convertible tablet, from touch to type in seconds. It should be available on before the end of the year.

Star Wars Augmented Reality: TIE Fighters Attack NYC!

Test footage from an early version of Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner, the first augmented reality Star Wars game. Coming out in mid-November for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 4th Gen. Developed by Vertigore Games and published by THQ Wireless.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Urbee hybrid: the world’s first 3D printed car

gizmag reports: "In the early 20th century Henry Ford revolutionized automobile production with the introduction of the assembly line for the iconic Ford Model T. Now, almost a century later, a car has been produced using a process that could prove just as revolutionary – 3D printing. Code-named, Urbee, the streamlined vehicle is the first ever to have its entire body, including its glass panel prototypes, 3D printed with an additive manufacturing process."

Wow, 3D printing is getting sophisticated.

High-Tech Holograms: 3-D With No Glasses Required

NPR reports: "This week, scientists in Arizona announced they've taken another step toward bringing a sci-fi mainstay to life: the hologram movie. ... Unlike the Oscar-winning movie Avatar or animations from Pixar, a hologram movie would be truly three-dimensional. Viewers could actually walk around the image, as if it were a solid object."

I am waiting to this technology, just like I am waiting for fully autonomous robots.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Vaccine-autism claims, "Frankenfood" bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public's growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Commuter

Directed by the McHenry Brothers, was shot in just four days with the Nokia N8 using no back up cameras, with the streets of London and St Albans providing the backdrop to Nokia's story about one commuter's eventful journey to work.


Operative 4511 is a space marine on his own and outnumbered. Sometimes the voice you reach at the other end of the comm can mean the difference between life and death!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Joseph Nye on global power shifts

Historian and diplomat Joseph Nye gives us the 30,000-foot view of the shifts in power between China and the US, and the global implications as economic, political and "soft" power shifts and moves around the globe.

R.A. Mashelkar: Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products

Engineer RA Mashelkar shares three stories of ultra-low-cost design from India that use bottom-up rethinking, and some clever engineering, to bring expensive products (cars, prosthetics) into the realm of the possible for everyone.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ripley`s Does Technology

Baseline Magazine: "When you think of Ripley’s Believe It or Not, you think of old-school oddities like abnormally large or small people, or a two-legged lamb, or even, to choose a fresher example, a bust of Kevin Bacon made out of real bacon. Such is the legacy of weirdness associated with the iconic creation of Robert Ripley, “the explorer, reporter, adventurer, illustrator, collector and seeker of the odd and unusual.” The modern-day incarnation of Ripley’s—though still interested in enormous bugs, shrunken heads, and monster sinkholes--also scours the world of technology for the oddball discovery. In its new book, Enter If You Dare!, Ripley’s features a number of tales of wild technology. A certain amount of wonderment makes sense, given Arthur C. Clarke’s famous line about sufficiently advanced technology seeming like magic, but some of it seems weird for the sake of weird, and the useful stuff will seem mundane in about five minutes. Nothing in there about big software projects done on time, though – that would simply be too much to believe."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The world's coolest data centers

InfoWorld reports: "Data centers need to be secure, temperature controlled, spacious, redundant, reliable -- nothing sexy. But that doesn't mean they can't be. Here are a few that rise above the crowd and take advantage of the possibilities."

Star Trek Technologies: Modern Day Equivalents

Geeks for generations have been inspired by the science-fiction technology from the Star Trek TV series and movies. So over the last forty plus years, they have been converting these technologies into real life practical devices and theories. Some of these technologies are used every day, others are in their infancy and others are in a theoretical stage.

Here is a brief update on where we stand today.
  • Communicators [Status: Practical]
    • Description: A personal communication device that worked over great distances
    • Closest modern technology: Cellphone
  • Tablet Computers [Status: Practical]
    • Description: A PADD (Personal Access Display Device) was a handheld tablet computer.
    • Closest modern technology: Tablet Computers
  • Warp Drives [Status: Theoretical]
    • Description: An engine with the ability to travel faster than the speed of light.
    • Closest modern technology:  Faster-Than-Light Travel
  • Transporters [Status: Infancy/Theoretical]
    • Description: Converting matter into energy, moving it to a new location, and reassembling it.
    • Closest modern technology: Quantum Teleportation
  • Shields (aka force fields) [Status: Infancy/Theoretical]
    • Description: An energy barrier for protecting equipment and personnel.
    • Closest modern technology: Plasma window
  • Cloaking device [Status: Infancy]
    • Description: The ability to render an object invisible to optical and electromagnetic spectrum.
    • Closest modern technology: Metamaterial or Active camouflage
  • Holodeck [Status: Infancy]
    • Description: An enclosed room that used a mix of 3D holographic images and force fields to create an immersive virtual-reality experience, which included sounds and smells.
    • Closest modern technology: Virtual Reality
  • Phasers [Status: Infancy/Practical]
  • Replicator [Status: Infancy/Theoretical]
    • Description: A machine capable of creating (and recycling) objects.
    • Closest modern technology: 3D Printing
  • Tractor Beam [Status: Theoretical]
    • Description: An energy beam with the ability to attract one object to another from a distance.
    • Closest modern technology: n/a
  • Tricorder [Status: Infancy/Theoretical]
    • Description: A portable scientific device with a detachable hand-held scanner.
    • Closest modern technology:See the following real-life examples.
  • Dilithium Crystals [Status: Doesn't Exist]
    • Description: A fictional crystalline mineral that is used to regulate the anti-matter-powered warp drives that allow star-ships to travel faster than light.
    • Closest modern technology: n/a
  • Universal Translator [Status: Practical]
    • Description: Converts one spoken language to another.
    • Closest modern technology: Phraselator
  • Scalpel-Free Surgery [Status: Infancy/Theoretical]
    • Description: Noninvasive medical surgical techniques and protocols
    • Closest modern technology: Bloodless Surgery
  • Prosthetic Vision Attachment [Status: Infancy]
    • Description:  a device used by the blind to artificially provide them with a sense of sight
    • Closest modern technology:  VISOR (Visual Instrument and Sensory Organ Replacement)
  • Communications Earpiece [Status: Practical]
    • Description: A wireless earpiece used the ship's communications officer.
    • Closest modern technology: Bluetooth Earpiece

Diminished Reality: Real Time Object Removal From Video

For an object to be remove from video, an enclosed loop is drawn around it. The software, works by first reducing the resolution of the object, removes the image (using a technique that's similar to the smudge tool in Photoshop), improves the result, then increases the resolution incrementally until this image is restored.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Multiple Apple iPad Killer Tablet Computers Loom

Channel Insider: "Apple has enjoyed nine months or so of a relatively uncrowded marketplace for tablet computers. The company’s iPad tablet computer has dominated for much of 2010 as consumers and business users have snapped up the iPad for both personal and business use. But Apple’s iPad has its limitations as well. What about cameras? And USB ports? Can this ARM-based machine really be considered seriously for business? Or do companies from SMBs to enterprises need something more – something that has actually been designed for business users and IT organizations. Indeed, some of these new tablets planned by computer vendors will be sold through the channel under the tighter control of IT. There’s no shortage of options for business that is looking to make its users more mobile and productive while they are on the go. IT organizations are recognizing that mobility is a growing trend. Now is the time to standardize on a tablet. Take a look. Here’s what’s coming on the business side for tablet computers."

Are you looking for a tablet computer? There are now several choices available for you to choose from.

So If you're looking for 'tablet tech' for the holidays, this article is a good place to start to see what is available.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Inside DHS' Classified Cyber Coordination Headquarters

InformationWeek reports: "The Department of Homeland Security recently brought its classified National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center down to an unclassified level for one day only, and InformationWeek Government was there to take photos. The facility looks and functions like a state-of-the-art network operations center and much more. The NCCIC, as it's called, is the locus of DHS-led inter-agency cybersecurity work in the federal government. That includes providing an integrated response to cyber threats against government networks, monitoring network sensors across the government and coordinating any requested government aid and response to cyber attacks against private industry networks like power plants or communications networks."

MovieReshape: Tracking and Reshaping of Humans in Videos

Here is how they can now 'Photoshop' movies. Below is the excerpt from video: "We present a system for quick and easy manipulation of the body shape and proportions of a human actor in arbitrary video footage. The approach is based on a morphable model of 3D human shape and pose that was learned from laser scans of real people. The algorithm commences by spatio-temporally fitting the pose and shape of this model to the actor in either single-view or multi-view video footage. Once the model has been fitted, semantically meaningful attributes of body shape, such as height, weight or waist girth, can be interactively modified by the user. The changed proportions of the virtual human model are then applied to the actor in all video frames by performing an image-based warping. By this means, we can now conveniently perform spatio-temporal reshaping of human actors in video footage which we show on a variety of video sequences."

Friday, October 15, 2010

Comcast to Protect Customer's Computers From Malware reports: "Comcast is expanding a test of a service that will monitor for signs of botnets, a particularly threatening form of malware that can invade its customer’s computers. It appears to be the first provider in the United States to do this.

The service, called Constant Guard, monitors traffic over its system anonymously, looking for activity that indicates the presence of a bot, without looking into individual hard drives."

It's good see that ISPs are now starting to take a more proactive approach to the botnet problem.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Google Experimental Self-driving Cars Logged 140K Miles

eWeek reports: "Google is using Toyota Priuses that drive themselves in an ambitious experiment to save peoples' lives, time and pare strain on the environment.

Google Oct. 9 said it has built technology to make cars drive themselves, an exercise to help reduce traffic accidents, free up motorists' time and ultimately curb carbon emissions."

Self-driving cars are nothing new. The DARPA Grand Challenge in 2005 was one of the earliest successful fully autonomous car type 'races' I have seen. Although there were more primitive fully autonomous cars that existed before that. Although, I consider the DARPA Grand Challenge a critical milestone in this field because of the complexity of the course.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Seven Years of Cool YouTube Video (2003-2010).

A compilation of some of the best YouTube videos from 2003 to 2010.

In order of appearance

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Atomic Cannon, Largest Nuclear Artillery

The Atomic Cannon, at 280 mm, was the largest nuclear capable mobile artillery piece manufactured by the United States. On May 25, 1953, a 280 mm cannon fired an atomic projectile a distance of 7 miles at the Nevada Test Site. Twenty 280 mm cannons were manufactured. None were used in battle.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Dynamics Card 2.0 : The Future Of Credit Cards

Dynamics Credit Card 2.0 is the next logical step in personal banking. Half credit card, half futuristic gadget, the cards are as versatile as they are secure. You can tie multiple accounts to the same card or completely hide certain digits of your card number at the push of a button — buttons which are embedded in the card and are as thin as the card itself.

Macs Don`t Matter So Much to Apple Anymore: 10 Reasons Why

eWeek reports: "When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak first started their company, they called it Apple Computer. It was a name that lived on through decades. But a few years ago, Apple officially dropped “Computer” from its name. And now, the company is known as, simply, Apple. Although some called the name change symbolic, today, it seems to be quite fitting. Apple is no longer a computer company that focuses its efforts on delivering the best machines users can buy. The company is now an electronics maker. And it wants to be the world’s top hardware maker going forward. But in order to achieve that goal, Apple has forgotten about Macs. And although those computers are still somewhat important to the company, they aren’t nearly as important to Steve Jobs and Company as they were years ago. Read on to find out why Macs don’t matter to Apple as much as they once did."

I wonder if this is true? Time will tell.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Google, Facebook Tout Serendipity Engines, Personalized Media

eWeek reports: "Google CEO Eric Schmidt touted autonomous search while Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the future of media will be personalized. The circle of machines is drawing closer.

One day after Google CEO Eric Schmidt touted autonomous search as a serendipity engine where information comes to users instead of tracking them down, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the future of media will be personalized."

Mozilla Seabird Experiment Provides 3D Projection for Smartphone Interface

eWeek reports: "Mozilla Sept. 23 took the covers off Seabird, an experimental 'Open Web' mobile phone concept created by product designer and Mozilla Labs community developer Billy May. Here's Mozilla's teaser: 'Drawing on insights culled from the Mozilla community through the project's blog, a focus quickly developed around frustrating physical interactions. While mobile CPUs, connectivity and development platforms begin approaching that of desktops, the lagging ability to efficiently input information has grown ever more pronounced.' In other words, get ready to stop text input and leverage innovation around motion capture and projector software used by mobile phone makers such as HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Maybe text input won't completely go away yet, but these new technologies will help users more efficiently access small mobile devices by projecting keyboards and applications on a range of surfaces. In this slide show, eWEEK runs through Mozilla Seabird."

Why CIOs Are Right to Worry About Security

CIO Insight reports: "Security continues to be one of the biggest issues facing CIOs today. Attacks come in via smartphones, E-mail, or the desktop, and there is a constant concern in the workplace that malicious hackers will compromise sensitive information. It would be nice to tell you that you shouldn’t worry. It would be nice to say that the threats enterprises face today aren’t as troublesome as those of years past. Providing such reassurance would mask the truth: enterprises face an inordinate number of threats that put entire operations at risk. Symantec’s MessageLabs Intelligence report for September 2010 illustrates that point. With spam, viruses, phishing scams, and malicious Web sites wreaking havoc on companies around the world, the latest report from the security solutions vendor shows that CIOs must do everything they can to try and stay ahead of malicious hackers. Read on to see some of the highlights from Symantec’s most recent security report, and learn about the issues you will face going forward."

Friday, October 01, 2010

Biggest insider threat? Sys admin gone rogue

NetworkWorld reports: "What's one of the biggest insider threats to the corporate network? The high-tech folks that put it together, make changes to it, and know more about what's on it and how it works than anybody else.

When the database, network or systems administrator goes rogue -- stealing data, setting up secret access for themselves, even in anger planting logic bombs to destroy data , or just peeking at sensitive information they know is off limits -- they become the very insider threat that the IT department is supposed to be guarding against."

Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

This is one of the best talks I have heard about the future of gaming and how it will effect our lives. Even if you don't like games or play them, you might be surprised how they can potentially be integrated in to future products. Jesse Schell is very entertaining to watch, but the video is long (almost two hours).

Games perpetually revolutionize computer use toward denser interaction with the human mind. To do that, they perpetually revolutionize themselves. Understanding the next frontiers of the genre is one way to understand where society is going.

In this talk Jesse Schell explores the social, cognitive, and technological trends in computer game design and use.

Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, the author of the authoritative text, The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses, and a Professor of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon, specializing in Game Design. At Walt Disney, he was Creative Director of the Imagineering VR Studio.

Google Searches for Staffing Answers reports: "The Internet search giant recently began crunching data from employee reviews and promotion and pay histories in a mathematical formula Google says can identify which of its 20,000 employees are most likely to quit."

Its interesting and scary that anyone can make these assumptions based on data that was mined. Although, I am sure it has to include other internal company data sources (such as: emails, IMs, etc.). And I am pretty sure the software scans for keywords like "quit" or "hate", then arrogates them, and performs some statistical analysis.

Building a Flying RC Towel

Want to build you're own RC airplane from extra "stuff" you might have lying around (plus some other parts sold separately). Check out the "towel", here is an excerpt from the site: "The best way to build a Towel is to do it with Brooklyn Aerodrome. The process is for you to get the radio gear/plane parts and we provide a parts kit for $20. The Towel takes around 3 hours to build if you have help from someone who has all the tools/parts and knows how to make the parts. The plane flies well and easy to repair. It's major parts are the deck, the towel airframe and optional lighting for night flying."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Flying with the fastest birds on the planet: Peregrine Falcon & Gos Hawk...

Tiny spy cameras allow you to see some of the world's most magnificent birds in flight. Watch this video to learn how the fastest bird on the planet, the peregrine falcon, keeps control at mind-numbing speeds, and take a flight with the master of manoeuvrability, the Gos Hawk, as it flies through dense woodland.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Internet Scams and Phishing: A Look Inside the Business

eWeek reports: "From the fake IRS e-mails that hit in-boxes during tax season to the phony banking sites that look to trick users into entering sensitive information, phishers are still up to their old tricks. Just how much was underscored recently by a three-month investigation by Panda Security that found scammers are creating 57,000 fake Websites a week to exploit 375 popular brand names, such as eBay and Western Union."

Gymkhana: Ultimate Playground; l'Autodrome, France

Shot just south of Paris, France in Linas at l'Autodrome de Linas --Montlhéry, this 1.58 mile oval track, built in 1924, features banks as steep as 51 degrees, which is more than double the standard incline of most NASCAR ovals. Chosen by Ken for this specific reason, the ramp-like banking proved to be a unique and exciting challenge. The driving physics for the stunts performed were totally unknown until Ken attempted the maneuvers during filming.

Edison 2: Race for the $10 Million X Prize

Edison 2 uses the latest technology to make a fast, lightweight vehicle. Here's a look at the car on the track at the X Prize competition. Learn more about the X Prize and alternative-fuel vehicles on Consumer Reports's website

Monday, September 27, 2010

Superbus First Ride - 17 Sep 2010

Wubbo Ockels , inventor, made the first ride of the Superbus Vehicle designed by Antonia Terzi. Superbus drives 250 km/h on a special track and drives also on hignways and secondary roads. The propulsion is electric. Superbus is and innovative new pubic transport and a project of the Delft University of Technology.

Criminals 'go cloud' with attacks-as-a-service

InfoWorld reports: "Just like legitimate businesses, criminals are turning to the cloud as a way to generate new services and simplify their infrastructure. While some sites offer botnets for lease or sale, and other sites offer aid with cheating on games, the latest crop of criminal enterprises is serving up attacks as a service."

It is interesting to see how "cloud" based technologies are now being used. Everyone seem to be getting into the game, including criminals.

I heard a new acronym today, its called AaaS (Attacks as a Service) in reference to the article above.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Object-Oriented Storage: 14 Things You May Not Know

eWeek reports: "Reducing storage costs is becoming a high agenda item for IT organizations, yet data and efficient access to it is an organization's most valuable asset. Struggling with the performance, scalability and management complexity required to maintain conventional file-based storage systems is a losing battle if data needs to be stored more than 90 days. One way to approach this is to use an object-oriented storage system, which simplifies the process. Object-oriented storage differs from unstructured file storage in that the objects filed are not housed in volumes or attached to a directory. Objects are simply assigned an ID number or name with detailed metadata and can be retrieved at any time."

I wonder if this might be the next generation of mass storage. It sounds like it has several advantages according to the slide-show, but what I would like to know are the disadvantages to this technology. That is what I am trying to research now.

If you want more information on this technology, check out the following resources:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TerraPower’s Travelling Wave Reactor – why not use an IFR?

BraveNewClimate reports: "There has been a lot of hype recently about the “Travelling Wave Reactor” (TWR), thanks largely to a very popular TED talk given recently by none other than Microsoft founder and multi-billionaire Bill Gates. In the 20 min talk, he describes the urgent need for cheap, abundant, low-CO2 energy, if we are to successfully mitigate climate change (a problem he takes very seriously). One key focus of Gates’ talk is nuclear power… new nukes."

A very interesting article comparing TWR and IFR (Integral Fast Reactor) technologies.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bank robber hires decoys on Craigslist, fools cops

CNET News reports: "In an elaborate robbery scheme that's one part The Thomas Crowne Affair and one part Pineapple Express, a crook robbed an armored truck outside a Bank of America branch in Monroe, Wash., by hiring decoys through Craigslist to deter authorities."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Rockfish

A futurist SCI-FI story about a man and his little buddy fishing for a rockfish on an alien planet.

Oktapodi (Animated Short Film)

Oktapodi from oscardodo on Vimeo.

Epic failures: 11 infamous software bugs

Computerworld reports: "It all began with a log entry from 1947 by Harvard University's Mark II technical team. The now-classic entry features a moth taped to the page, time-stamped 15:45, with the caption 'Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay' and the proud boast, 'First actual case of bug being found.'"

It's a really good article, and provides more information then I have seen anyone write on the subject. It's technical, but worth reading.

Next Generation User Interfaces (From Switches to Augmented Reality)

Its interesting how the computer user interface has evolved over the decades. Here is a very brief history: First there was nothing more then switches and light and you had to enter and read information in binary, this evolved to punch cards and tape, later keyboards and printers, and eventually terminals with keyboard and monitors. For decades, the text user interface was the status-quo.

In the 1960s, Doug Engelbart introduced the concept of the mouse and graphical user interface (GUI). In the 1970s - 1980s, Xerox took the concept and made it a reality. In the 1980s Apple popularize the GUI with the Lisa and Macintosh lines of computers. Then again for decades, the graphical user interface was the status-quo.

In the 1980's Jaron Lanier, introduced the 'virtual reality' (VR) concept. The first generation of this technology was crude by today's standards, but advanced drastically since.  I remember seeing some early VR prototypes of future GUI in the 1990s, and being blown away about the concepts.

In 1993, Apple released an early natural speech recognition feature as part of their OS for the Quadra.  Microsoft first included this feature with their release of the Windows Vista OS.

Touch screens are passe, but when this technology is enhanced by advancements like a 'multi-touch gestures' interface.  Then combined with other technology advancements, you get a GUI that begins to become on-par with some of the user interface concepts introduced in the movie 2002 movie Minority report (excerpt of the scenes I am referring to).  Microsoft now includes a 'multi-touch gestures' interface feature as part of the Windows 7 OS.

In 2006, Nintendo introduced the 3D wireless controllers.  In 2007 Apple introduced the iPhone, and popularize the multi-touch gestures interface for this device.  In 2009, Yelp help popularize the augmented reality concept (computer generated information laid over real world video), by introducing an Easter egg on the iPhone called Monocle. 

In 2009 Microsoft introduced Project Natal, now called 'Kinect' (proof of concept video).  In 2009 at TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demoed technology concepts from a company called SixthSense, that shows how they are overlaying computer data on the physical world and making it interactive.  In 2010,  Intel is also working on hard on advancing the user interface, see the following article.

From here you begin to see other emerging technologies, like camspace which is a computer vision platform.  Basically it allows you use a web cam, and just about any real world object as a game controller (or input device).

All the technologies I mentioned above might seem little disjointed in how I presented them, although the all share a few things in common.  All of them are popularized concepts based around advancements in user interface technologies.

As mobile devices become more powerful, and get more features (such as the motion sensor and gyroscope already built into the iPhone 4).  I personally believe that software developers will build on these features and concepts, to bring about next generation user interface enhancements that I believe will include location aware social networking concepts (such as Gowalla and foursquare, and now Facebook Places), augmented reality, object and speech recognition.

From a technological standpoint, I don't see developers limited by hardware anymore. I see greatest the limitation, is the imagination needed to integrate all these technologies together into a killer application that gains mass adaption.  Although, with all these advancements comes greater concern about privacy and security.  I hope these issues will be addressed before they become a problem.

FCC White Space Plan Isn't Exactly WiFi on Steroids

eWeek reports: "The announcement that the Federal Communications Commission was prepared to approve unlicensed digital operations in slices of frequency spectrum occupied by television guard bands is being greeted eagerly by many, including Google and Microsoft."

One of the best articles I have read on the subject. It has a great technical explanation on how the technology works.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation

TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness.

Resources for Find a New Job

If you're trying to find a job in today's market you have to be as savvy as you can.  You have to do more then post your resume on a few job boards, you have to create a "personal brand" to distinguish yourself from the other available candidates.

There are a lot of free tools and resources out there to help you write a resume, research a company, get interview tips, and a great deal more.  Below are links to videos, articles, web sites and other tools that I have found that can help you in your job search.
  • General Tips
    • Network with everyone you know and let them know you're looking.
      • If you don't know anyone to talk to try finding recruiters in your field.
    • Leverage social networking site (Linkedin, and Twitter) tools to help you find a job.
      • Use them to build a personal brand and find jobs
    • Make sure you're resume is perfect.
      • Have several people review it.
      • Make sure your resume contains relevant keywords to help it get found.
      • Post your resume on the job boards (such as: Monster, Dice, etc.)
    • Search the job boards for positions, also target specific companies that you want to work for and search their job postings.
    • Research a company before you interview.
      • Use the Google, and the companies web site.
    • Be ready with questions to ask about the company/job that you're applying for.
    • Dress appropriately for the job interview.
    • Avoid wearing any fragrances (like cologne or perfume).
      • Some people may be allergic to them.
    • Be to the interview about 10-15 minutes ahead of time
      • Plan for traffic and know the route.
    • Have a list of references ready.
    • Send out a thank you letter after a personal interview.
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Web Sites
    • Job Search Engines
      • Monster
        • General job search engine.
      • Indeed
        • General job search engine.
      • Dice
        • Technology professional job search engine
      • Craigslist
        • Some large and small companies do post jobs here
          • Government job search engine.
      • Job Social Network Sites
        • Linkedin
          • Professional/business social networking site.  Keep your resume up-to-date on this site and join groups.  Also do what you can find to build your network.
        • Twitter
          • General purpose social networking site. It can be a great resource if leveraged correctly.
      • Job Search Resources
      • Tools
          • This site allows you organizer your job search prospects and contacts.
        • VisualCV 
          • Create professional looking resume that people can view online.  If you don't have you're own web site to help brand yourself, this might be a good solution for you.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Google at 12: 10 IT Lessons the Search Engine Giant Has Taught Us

    eWeek reports: "Google is now 12-years-old and over that period, the search engine company has taught the tech space quite a bit about what Google is all about."

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Midichlorian Rhapsody

    Star Wars themed parody of Bohemian Rhapsody.

    The Solo Adventures 3D

    This fan film explains the story behind Han Solo ditching the cargo that caused Jabba to put a bounty on him.
    Note: 3D glasses are required to view it all of its glory. - Job Search Organizer

    Are you looking for a job, and getting overwhelmed with all the contact information from talking to the different people in your job search? promotes itself as a Job Search Tool, Personal Relationship Manager, and a Job Search Organizer. Watch the video below to get more information.

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Apple TV vs. Google TV: How do they differ? reports: "The smartphone brawl between Apple and Google just crashed through a fence and onto your television set. But is Apple TV vs. Google TV a fair fight? Here’s why Apple TV and Google TV are significantly different approaches to digital entertainment."

    10 Tips for an Online Job Search

    Baseline magazine reports: "Searching for a job, but don’t know where to begin? Need specific advice for Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter? Check out these ideas from the book The Online Job Search Survival Guide, by Sherrie A. Madia, Ph.D., director of communications at The Wharton School, and Paul Borgese, a managing partner at strategy and marketing company EyeCatcher Digital. Noting that 75% of companies expect recruiters to do online research on job candidates, the authors stress the importance of keeping your own online presence clean and current, and of finding ways to make yourself visible and attractive to the right people. A key is what Madia calls “reverse-engineering” the job search. “Rather than sending resumes en masse, social networking enables job seekers to plant content seeds strategically in places where human resources will likely be. Establish yourself as a thought leader, and give your expertise freely.” Using social media effectively also develops and showcases your marketable communication skills and online savvy."

    Its a slide show of about 18 slides giving you some basic social networking job tips. It tells you how you can use Twitter, Facebook, and Linkenin to find a new job.

    Thursday, September 09, 2010

    Article: Google TV on Track for Fall, Schmidt Says - Web Services Web 20 and SOA

    eWeek reports: "Google TV is an ambitious effort to let users turn their televisions into computers. The service, based on Google's Android operating system, will let users navigate between channels, Websites and Web applications through Google's Chrome Web browser.

    Schmidt, speaking at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin Sept. 7, said the service will soak up consumers' time in the evening. He also said the service will launch worldwide in 2011."

    Bill Gates: The End of Textbooks as We Know Them

    I totally agree with a lot of what Bill Gates has to say in this video about text books. I think having electronic text books that can help you do self-assessments tests to make sure you understand the material is absolutely genius. Most modern ebook readers all they do is take a real world experience and digitize it.

    Putting some intelligence in to these ebook, can expand the experience and make it more interactive. That is one way to take this technology to the next level. Personally what I would like to see in the next generation ebooks, is embedded media (i.e.: video, hyperlinks, maybe even flash), self-assessments test, and an open portable standard to move books between reader and platforms.

    The fact that there is no open portable standard that allows this I see as a hindrance to mass adaption because most publishers and consumers don't want to lock themselves into a proprietary technology. I also believe that this standard should include some type of open DRM (which is copy-protection) standard to help the publishers to want to adapt it.

    Wednesday, September 08, 2010

    Finding a Technology Job (Tip #2): Using Twitter to Find a Job

    If you're a technology worker who is looking for employment. You might find that you now have to leverage social networking sites like Twitter as part of your job search.

    Although, you may ask yourself "how to do it effectively?" Here is a video with some great tips on how to use Twitter in your job search.

    Please note, this blog post is not an endorsement of the business or its services that created the video. The video creator is responsible for all its content. It is being reposted for educational purposes in order to assist people in their job search.

    Finding a Technology Job (Tip #1): Using Linkedin - Free vs. Premium Service

    If you're a technology worker who is looking for employment. You might find that you now have to leverage social networking sites like Linkedin as part of your job search. Although, you may ask yourself "how to do it effectively?"

    Here is a video with some great tips on how to use Linkedin to find a new job. For more information about the person who created this video and some more information on the techniques discussed in it, see the following web site.

    Video title: Getting LinkedIn Premium Paid Account for FREE ($600 Value)

    Please note, this blog post is not an endorsement of the business or its services that created the video. The video creator is responsible for all its content. It is being reposted for educational purposes in order to assist people in their job search.

    Monday, September 06, 2010

    Researchers Find Quantum Encryption Hack

    eWeek reports: "A team of researchers has uncovered a new way to crack the security of quantum cryptography (using bright light)." Read the rest of the article.

    2012 may bring the "perfect storm" - solar flares, systems collapse

    The Seattle Examiner reports: "Long scorned as “mysticism” and “parascience,” concern about the year 2012 has now surfaced in a mainstream NASA report on the potential impacts on human society of solar flares anticipated to peak in 2012." Read the rest of the article.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Peter Molyneux demos Milo, the virtual boy

    Peter Molyneux demos Milo, a hotly anticipated video game for Microsoft's Kinect controller. Perceptive and impressionable like a real 11-year-old, the virtual boy watches, listens and learns -- recognizing and responding to you.