Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amazon launches Prime Instant Video, unlimited streaming for Prime subscribers

Engadget reports: "We heard it was coming and now here it is. Amazon has flipped the switch on its 'free' video streaming for Prime members, the service we've been hearing about for the past month or so. If you've already been taking advantage of subscription-based two-day shipping so that your impulse buys get to your door a little quicker you can now enjoy streaming of 5,000 pieces of 'prime eligible' content, including some recent movies and a lot of TV shows, much of which will look awfully familiar if you're also a Netflix subscriber. However, on some foreign films (like The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' Nest above) you have the choice of subtitles or dubbed, and much of this content is still available to 'rent' or 'buy' if you want to be able to download it to a mobile device. We're just checking out the service now and will be back with some impressions a little later."

Its looks like Amazon is trying to give Netflix a run for its money.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

NOVA scienceNOW: Where Did We Come From? | Cosmic Perspective

Watson Jeopardy! computer: Ken Jennings describes what it's like to play against a machine. - By Ken Jennings - Slate Magazine

Slate reports: "When I was selected as one of the two human players to be pitted against IBM's 'Watson' supercomputer in a special man-vs.-machine Jeopardy! exhibition match, I felt honored, even heroic. I envisioned myself as the Great Carbon-Based Hope against a new generation of thinking machines—which, if Hollywood is to be believed, will inevitably run amok, build unstoppable robot shells, and destroy us all. But at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Lab, an Eero Saarinen-designed fortress in the snowy wilds of New York's Westchester County, where the shows taped last month, I wasn't the hero at all. I was the villain."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Locked in a Vegas Hotel Room with a Phantom Flex

Tom Guilmette: "I was working a gig in Vegas with a brand new Phantom Flex high speed digital cinema camera. I had to try it out. In fact, I never did go to bed that night. I opened up a wormhole shooting at 2,564 frames per second."

Firefox's Problem with Windows

USB Dead Drops (Cool Idea)

Excerpt from the site: "‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. USB flash drives are embedded into walls, buildings and curbs accessible to anybody in public space. Everyone is invited to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your favorite files and data. Each dead drop is installed empty except a readme.txt file explaining the project. ‘Dead Drops’ is open to participation. If you want to install a dead drop in your city/neighborhood follow the ‘how to’ instructions and submit the location and pictures."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture

How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. At TEDSalon in London, Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.

Martin Jacques: Understanding the rise of China

Speaking at a TED Salon in London, economist Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of "When China Rules the World," he examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Watson's Jeopardy Showdown: Man Vs. Machine

CIO Insight reports: "An epic showdown of man vs. machine kicks off Feb. 14, 2011. That's when “Watson ,” a computing system from IBM, will face off against 'Jeopardy!' superstars Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Can an artificial intelligence-driven machine overcome championship-level human minds? With Watson, the key challenge isn’t a command of statistics and factoids. It’s a matter of programming a computing system that can pick up the subtle nuances of the game show. This requires understanding of language, including the puns and irony that provide the subtle clues hidden in the often-clever wording of the Jeopardy! answer-and-question trivia format."

IPv4 Address Depletion Adds Momentum to IPv6 Transition

eWeek reports: "The official distribution took place in a ceremony Feb. 3 in Miami to mark the occasion. AfriNIC, the RIR (regional Internet registry) that oversees IP-address allocation in Africa, received the first of the remaining IPv4 blocks, followed by the APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Center), ARIN (American Registry of Internet Numbers), and (LACNIC) Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry. The RIR for Europe and Middle East, RIPE NCC, received the final block, 185/8, marking the end of available addresses under the current IPv4 system."

Internet almost out of space with allocation of last addresses

The Guardian reports: "The internet is full. Or, to be more precise, it has run out of new internet addresses – having used up almost 4 billion since being set up 40-odd years ago.

The Internet Address and Naming Agency (IANA), which doles out blocks of new internet addresses (consisting of machine-addressable numbers rather like a phone book), said on Tuesday morning that it will allocate the last seven remaining blocks of addresses this month, including three to the overall internet registrar for Asia and the Pacific."

For the last few years, lots of IT Pros have been perdiciting that we will run out of IPv4 addresses. What I think is going to happen now that it is more official, is that IP addresses will become a commodity, and a bidding war might start for IPv4 address block, until IPv6 is fully implemented.

I guess its now time to get serious about really learning IPv6.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Counterfeit Car Maker Cranks Out Porsches and Fauxraris | Magazine

Wired reports: "You can buy cut-rate bootlegs of Mad Men and Chanel handbags all over the world. But if you want a fake Ferrari, you need to go to a garage on the outskirts of Bangkok. That’s where Chris Pongpitaya and his 10-man crew use scavenged and scratch-built parts to piece together ersatz Porsches, Maseratis, and other dream machines for enthusiasts whose budgets are too small to match their egos. “When you look at the car, there’s nothing different,” Pongpitaya says. “But when you test-drive it, you may notice.”"

Google - Art Project

Take a tour of museums from around the world with the Google Art Project. Explore, discover and view hundreds of masterpieces at incredible zoom levels. You can also create and share your own collection of artworks.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cool Google Calculator Tricks

Learn some cool Google calculator tricks, click on the links it will take you to the search results.

For example: What is the answer to life the universe and everything?

Sartre Vehicle Platooning

First demonstration of SARTRE vehicle platooning. 
Platooning may be the new way of travelling on motorways in as little as ten years time -- and the EU-financed SARTRE project has carried out the first successful demonstration of its technology at the Volvo Proving Ground close to Gothenburg, Sweden.

From Wikipedia: "Platoons decrease the distances between cars using electronic, and possibly mechanical, coupling. This capability would allow many cars to accelerate or brake simultaneously. Instead of waiting after a traffic light changes to green for drivers ahead to react, a synchronized platoon would move as one, allowing up to a fivefold increase in traffic throughput if spacing is diminished that much. This system also allows for a closer headway between vehicles by eliminating reacting distance needed for human reaction."

HD Twilight Landing At LAX (Cockpit View)

A 30 minute approach compressed into three minutes. The whole video was shot with a Canon S95.