Diary of a Techy
August 29, 2007
March 23, 2006
This is me and my friend Brian at Davios which is across Columbus Ave from his restaurant, Smith and Wollensky's in Boston, MA. We hit the lunch at the latter restaurant celebrating WINE WEEK. For $10 (plus a lunch obviously) we got to have (pretty much) unlimited glasses of on average $110-a-bottle wine! The best wine I've ever had.
Then we went across the street to Davios and had a few before we retired to Brians pad where we proceeded to drink an Irish Car Bomb each in celebration of the recent St. Patrick's Day. Brian then "layed down" for a while, while long-time friend Rose and myself hung out. All in all that was my spring break all packed into one day!
March 22, 2006
February 09, 2006
Download Google Earth - Mac or PCWell I've kinda been under a rock as far as updating this website recently so sometime in the past few months GOOGLE WAS RELEASED FOR MAC OSX.
Wonderful news, especially because I recently got an iBook G4. Proud to announce too that Google Earth runs wonderfully on my 1.33ghz iBook G4 with 512mb ram (the bare bones iBook config).
Enjoy the free program for the small price of selling your soul (via Liscense Agreements) to Google forever
PS Just Kidding
PPS I hope.....
Google Earth Homepage
MMMmmm that bookmark is just del.icio.us!What if you could access your bookmarks everywhere? Share them with others? What about seeing who has bookmarked the same things? Enter Del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/), the social bookmarking site. Here you can search other peoples bookmarks by their title, or using TAGS ( as mentioned 2 posts back in the flick post ). My favorite thing to do is bookmark an interesting site, see who else has bookmarked it, and see what else they themselves have bookmarked.
October 19, 2005
Flickr Photo BadgeNewly added is my flickr random photo badge from My Flickr Photostream. Flickr is a cool photosharing website that uses tags and Tag Clouds. Very interesting organzational tools and overall interconnected spider web-like interface/feel of the Flikr site. If you've never seen it check out Gadget Boy's Photos on flicker,
My sets (of pictures) on flicker
Groups I have pics in on flicker:
-Digital Underwater Photography
Get your own Flicker
September 23, 2005
Hurricane Rita Real-TimeFound a really cool Hurricane Tracking KMZ file for Google Earth. Gives windspeed, projected course, and spectral satellite imagery for hurricanes found worldwide.
In conjucntion with the awesome real-time weather tools (scroll to the bottom to find the radar and satellite mosaics for the US) found over at googleearthhacks.com. I really feel like a weatherman with these amazing tools at my disposal.
Here is an image of Hurricane Rita at 5:00 pm on Friday September 23rd:
Google Earth BBS Post: "Hurricanes live positions (v 1.0) worldwide data"
And of course the direct link to theKMZ Download
If you still haven't seen Google Earth then download it now
September 13, 2005
Back Online!The gadget boy moved to a new location recently and is now plugged back in. Sorry we've been out of touch for a while but everything should be back in business!!
Next Gen Logitech® WebcamThe Logitech® QuickCam Fusion raises the bar for webcams everywhere. It boasts 1.3 megapixels, a built in microphone that cancels echoes enabling headset-free video conferencing, and face tracking technology that allows you to control a 3d avatar with your facial expressions. $99 US, available now.
The alien's face is being controlled by the man at left.
While Webcams can be found for much cheaper (even from logitech) this camera may spark a new age in chat-rooms and videoconferencing, one in which you can become other people or things in a new way. Gives a new sense to the meaning of Avatar.
Quickcam Fusion Site Available now for $99 US plus shipping.
August 28, 2005
Google Wants Dark FiberPosted from http://www.zdnet.com/
Is Google planning to build a global fiber-optic network from scratch? And, if so, why?
The question has cropped up in light of a recent job posting on the search engine giant's Web site seeking experts in the field.
"Google is looking for Strategic Negotiator candidates with experience in...(i)dentification, selection, and negotiation of dark fiber contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as part of development of a global backbone network," the posting reads in part.
"Dark fiber" refers to fiber-optic cable that's already been laid, but is not yet in use. Thousands of miles of dark fiber are available in the United States, but there have been few takers because of the high costs of making it operational.
A Google representative declined to elaborate on the job posting. Still, the posting offers a glimpse into Google's bandwidth needs over the coming years, indicating some prodigious internal projections. Although it's still rare for companies to buy significant amounts of fiber on their own, it's not unheard of among companies with exceptional data demands, such as banks. So buying and developing fiber now could well be nothing more than a strategy for cutting costs down the road.
But the move also raises some tantalizing thoughts, including the long-shot chance that the company is laying the groundwork to jump into the telecommunications business. The posting was reported by Light Reading, a Web site that tracks the optical networking industry.
If Google were to build its own global or national fiber network, the project would likely cost billions of dollars and take years to implement, an investment that would be hard to justify based on the networking needs of most companies. Renting "lit" fiber from carriers is generally a cheaper, and therefore preferred, way to go.
Google is thought to be a shrewd judge of computing value, having built its widely admired infrastructure on the back of low-budget server clusters. At the same time, curious geeks have long pondered the apparent mismatch between its service demands and the reputed scale of its computing resources.
Dark motivationsA handful of dark-fiber projects have been gaining momentum recently, mostly involving large consortia of private companies, universities and medical facilities, sometimes with heavy government backing. Best-known is the National LambdaRail (NLR) , which has acquired more than a third of the 28,000 route miles of dark fiber so far snapped up by the research community, according to Steve Corbato, Internet2's director of network initiatives and an NLR board member.
"We view this, in a sense, as exploiting a moment in time," Corbato said. The telecom boom of the late 1990s led to a glut in fiber assets, and the subsequent bust put undeveloped fiber on the market at bargain basement prices. "The sense of urgency in acquiring these assets has been tied to the unique opportunity that's been presented...The spot market for fiber is already going up, and most people expect these assets will get gobbled up."
Corbato says he has noticed signs of increasing interest in dark fiber from private enterprise of late, most notably among large financial institutions. Meanwhile, in December, cable giant Comcast signed a $100 million-plus deal to buy long-haul dark fiber to build out its network.
A Level3 representative declined to comment when told of Google's job posting.
Corbato also declined to speculate about Google's plans. But he said fiber-optic expertise is a natural fit for a company like Google.
"If I were the CIO of an international information technology company," he said, "I would think that having these types of skills would be a natural to have within the organization."
August 18, 2005
NOVA - Military Technology being used in IraqRecently I saw NOVA - Battle Plan Under Fire on PBS. I like NOVA, I think they provide enough information to interest you, and explain things in a way everyone can understand. The show sparked me to make a post with some highlights and present a little information that I found after looking around on the net a little.
The US military has bombs guided by GPS, UAVs remote controlled via satellite, oh yah and and a secret military internet that keeps everyone in communication. The war in Iraq is a laboratory for a new type of battlefield, where decisions can be made on the fly, and targets can be changed at the last minute. A highly advanced mapping system connected to the military internet keeps track of the locations of friendly units via GPS, and enemy units spotted by ground forces.
The RQ-1 Predator (pictured at left) is a remote controlled drone that has cameras and sensors which send information and live video back across the military internet to the ones making the decision where bombs are dropped, and what shall be done next. Hellfire missiles can even be launched from the Predator. It's been in use since 1995 in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Yemen according to the RQ-1 Predator Wikipedia article.
It can be the eyes and means to target things for a much larger C-130 Hercules(pictured below) residing even higher in the air that can then drop lots of bombs with deadly accuracy.
This is the time of network-centric warfare which facilitates a chat-room style of fighting, communication changes everything. But the enemy does a good job of staying below our radar and they seem to somehow adapt. No matter how much technology we have, they just keep coming. Its pretty amazing really. I really suggest people check out the NOVA program if possible.
NOVA - Battle Plan Under Fire
Predator RQ-1 on PBS website
August 05, 2005
Fuel Cell Technology, and the ONE-Wheel ConceptImagine that your next motorcycle is a unicycle, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell! The EMBRIO is a concept transport vehichle from Canadian based Bombardier Recreational Products. It has...well i guess you could call it "landing gear" that deploy when speeds drop below 20kmph (12.4mph), althhough the unit's gyroscopes will balance the vehicle even while motionless. Steering is executed by shifting one's wait (leaning) rather than turning handlebars or a steering wheel. I know I want to be the first guy on my block to have one of these. Unfortunately fuel cells have a few hurdles that need to be overcome before everyone and they're brother will be driving cars powered by the technology. Which brings us to the next section...
Theres alot of buzz about fuel cell cars, but cars will not be the place we'll see fuel cells first. Where will we see them? The answer may be in your pocket, or on your lap:
Micro Fuel Cells
Mobile Phones, PDAs, and Laptops should start to utilize micro fuel cells to power them by the end of the year. That means your next phone, or notebook computer may be using this new technology. At first they'll give us power just as well as batteries, but within a few years our fuel cells will be getting much longer use out of our portable electronics than batteries ever could have. Companies already have prototypes and very soon we'll see working devices on the market.
This new technology will also fight pollution and waste problems on a grand scale. The fuel cell car's only byproduct is water vapor (compared to harmful carbon monixide and much more) and in the micro fuel cell world, batteries are bad for our environment to dispose of improperly (which I'm sure most are). Hopefully the obstacles preventing us from launching large scale fuel cells in the transportation industry will be overcome, saving the earth, our collective conscience, and some money if we're lucky.
Embrio One-Wheel Concept At Gizmag.com
The Fuel Cell Way A great website with lots of info (multiple languages)
July 30, 2005
Make your MP3s HEARDI love music, and I believe it should go everywhere I go. Now if you already have some nice speakers for the portable music player of your choice, or maybe even a regular boom box with an input on it then this post isn't for you.
Cambridge SoundWorks PlayDock MP3
This speaker unit will turn your iPod or other mp3 player into a boom box! It boasts a 15 watt powered subwoofer with 4-inch driver and approximately 10 hours of playback time. It'll even recharge "select MP3 players while AC powered". It's $199 on the Cambridge Soundworks website, which appears to be the only place it's available.
This next guy is one I can personally vouch for because I own one. It'll just about fit into a nice large cargo pocket, and you can put your mp3 player in another pocket and music will just follow you around. It's great and loud for both the price ($95 at BestBuy.com) and its size. The OnTour takes 4 AAA batteries which last at least a few hours. AC adapter included.
JBL website Has the specs
July 29, 2005
Track your kids 2
Forget buying the device that I mentioned here in order to spy on your kids location, now if you live in the UK, KidsOK.net will allow you to "Ping" you childs phone and recieve an image back on your phone with a map of their location! Wow guys, too bad parents can't build up, oh maybe trust, instead of cellular and gps networks in order to know where they're kids are. I love the little advisory at the bottom of their page (of course in miniature print) :
" KidsOK is intended to complement, not be a substitute for, normal parental supervision."
Realistic RoboticsA japanese scientist and professor named Ishiguru, has designed what is probably the most beleivable android in history, affectionately named "Repliee Q1". He claims that his robot can fool you for a few minutes, that is, into beleiving that she is real. Although it can only sit in one place, and is not self contained, this is another step towards real waking and talking beleivable andriods.
The BBC article is HERE
July 27, 2005
De-thawing Dead Dogs"US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years."
The subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution. The brain shows no activity, and the heart does not beat, making them scientifically dead. After replacing the blood and applying an electric shock the dogs come back to life "perfectly normal, with no brain damage".
The research I intended to one day allow field medics the ability to transport wounded persons to a proper facility before they are unable to be saved. They predict this technology could start saving lives as soon as 10 years from now. It's called “suspended animation with delayed resuscitation” or “applied emergency hypothermia.”
In my opinion, this could be the first few steps towards developing cryogenic sleep technology, or "Hyper-sleep", where a human could be suspended in an unconcious state for months or even many years without aging one minute.
Official Statement from Sarar Center
July 26, 2005
CantennaHi folks, I'm Ben's brother Drew. I told Ben I would post something on his blog a few months ago, and I'm just now getting around to it. Ben, I better get some glowsticks for this! (Heh, just kidding.) I'm a big fan of homebrew technology, and while looking for something to post about, I saw this really cool thing. Enjoy...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A cantenna is a directional waveguide antenna for long-range WiFi (cf. Hi-fi) used to increase the range of (or snoop on) a wireless network. Originally built using a Pringles® Potato Chip can, a cantenna can be constructed quickly, easily, and inexpensively using readily obtained materials:
- Four small nuts/bolts;
- A short length of medium-gauge wire;
- A tin can roughly 8 cm (3.66 inches) in diameter (the longer the better); and
- An N-Female chassis mount connector, available at any electronic supply store.
An optimal design will use a tin can longer than a Pringles can. Instructions for constructing and connecting a cantenna can be found at Turnpoint.net.
While cantennas are useful for extending a local area network (LAN), the tiny design makes them ideal for mobile applications such as wardriving. The design of the cantenna is so simple that it is often the first antenna WiFi experimenters learn to build. Even the Secret Service has taken an interest in the cantenna.
- How To Build A Tin Can Waveguide Antenna for 802.11(b or g) Wireless Networks
- Wlan antenna Waveguide type - includes some basic theoretical explanations and formulae.
- Antenna in a Pringles can
- Cantenna.com - commercial site advertising ready made cantennas.
- Do-It-Yourself Wireless Antenna Update - make you own wireless antennas.
July 20, 2005
Stem Cells FAQ
Stem Cell Researtch is a very hot topic in news right now, and sometimes its hard to grasp because of the advanced medical nature of the whole idea. Not to worry, Wired.com has a great "Crash Course" about stem cells in FAQ format.