Sunday, February 28, 2010

Micro-ear lets scientists eavesdrop on the micro-world

I can't wait to hear what the microscopic world has to say.
Micro-ear lets scientists eavesdrop on the micro-world
Via PhysOrg

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fiber nanogenerators give new meaning to the term 'Power Dressing'

New meaning to "loud suit?"

Fiber nanogenerators give new meaning to the term 'Power Dressing'

The Wired Repo Man - He’s Not ‘As Seen on TV’ - NYTimes.com

My dad worked as a repo man for a bit. I'm sure it's changed since his days in East LA. The link shows how far the technology has come since those days, and the 1984 movie, Repo Man.

Seems there is potential for use in fighting crime - if it isn't already. I wonder about privacy issues. Say trackign down a dead beat dad... Maybe it's time for bar code plates as seen in RoboCop.

The Wired Repo Man - He’s Not ‘As Seen on TV’ - NYTimes.com

Via NY Times.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New bioactive nanomaterial enables humans to grow new cartilage

I remember seeing a video of a friend's knee surgery much like this one. I know it's not ready to correct these types of injuries, but this nanotechnology looks like it will change medicine of the future.

New bioactive nanomaterial enables humans to grow new cartilage

Coastalwatch :: surfcams :: surf reports :: swell forecasts :: news

Nature meet tech. Tech, nature. And surfing! This is cool. Watch how fast this spreads to the US

Coastalwatch :: surfcams :: surf reports :: swell forecasts :: news

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

floatingsheep: Guest Map: Facebook Connections

Here is a map showing the regions of connectivity on Facebook. The "Mormonia" region is a good example of what the map is showing - people connect with people around them.


floatingsheep: Guest Map: Facebook Connections

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Using a skin graft to give city eyesores an eco-friendly face-lift

During my stint at a B2B advertising agency, a friend and colleague, let's call him Dave, wanted to leverage a Guinness Book of Records tactic
of wrapping a building for promotional purposes. This takes it to a much higher level. The addition of a display matrix gives it the ability to become a giant multimedia display.

Using a skin graft to give city eyesores an eco-friendly face-lift

I've Got an App for That - 2010-02-09 19:17:52 | Design News

He's got a point. Get beyond the gadget (eReaders in this case), and get to the practical use phase. Not the plumbing as I noted earlier.

I've Got an App for That - 2010-02-09 19:17:52 | Design News

Monday, February 22, 2010

Firefly bike light detects traffic and lights you up for greater visibility

Innovation in bicycle safety. I'm sure Trek will buy them up.

Firefly bike light detects traffic and lights you up for greater visibility

LiveLeak.com - Six-legged Robot Teaches Itself To Walk

Robot learning to walk. Two modes: one with stabilization/balance on, the other with it off. See the difference? We dig robots.

LiveLeak.com - Six-legged Robot Teaches Itself To Walk

Artificial intelligence: 55 years of research later - and where is AI now? | Software | silicon.com

Artificial intelligence has been a long time in the making. But it's a very short time compared with the evolution of the human brain, so don't be disappointed. This article give a good update on the state of AI. I never heard the term the Singularity until this article. That's the time when machines become as, if not more, intelligent than humans. 2050?

Artificial intelligence: 55 years of research later - and where is AI now? | Software | silicon.com

Saturday, February 20, 2010

British Library offer 65,000 ebooks for free

This just seems right.  And they are doing a value-add by publishing the books as replicas of their original versions that sell for many dollars. Or pounds in this case.

British Library offer 65,000 ebooks for free

Friday, February 19, 2010

Is that really decaf? Caffeindicator lets you know for sure

I once saw my mom get all amped up when she was served caffeinated coffee. The Moss Beach Distillery used to serve 30% caffeinated coffee as the standard - that's 70% decaf. I'm a regular half-caf drinker, sometimes referred to as a "split."

Is that really decaf? Caffeindicator lets you know for sure

From Gizmag.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Crisis of Credit Visualized

I'm a big fan of infographics. The loss of the 60 second spot on TV was and is a shame. :30s are ok, but you can get more of a message across in :60. I guess most of this longer format messagign has now moved to the web - a great place for it. Now the trick is to get companies to use this tactic more, instead of the catalog-ware websites still employed by large enterprises.

This video piece explains the credit crisis is such a straightforward way, but keeps it interesting and entertaining. You come out of it changed. If the President suggests a tactic to infuse funds in one part of the system, you'll understand the implications, and be able to form an opinion on whether or not you believe it will work.


The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Bumpfree Dynamic Speedbump gives drivers a smooth ride

I wrote about my idea on dynamic speed range to monitor traffic flow and cite for violators, but this idea is a cool, physical way to control speed. If you are within the limit, the bump is not felt. The faster you go the more you are reminded by the adjustable speed bump.

The Bumpfree Dynamic Speedbump gives drivers a smooth ride

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Traffic flow and citations - an original idea. Dynamic speed range

2/17/10 Update: NPR ran this story about Arizona speed cameras on highways. People not liking them. 
People generally know how fast to drive on any given road under any conditions. It might be part of our herd mentality. (BTW, I just watched the film about Temple Gradin, an autistic woman who, among other things, designs cattle shoots and pens.)

So let's say on a bright, clear day on Highway 280 southbound the traffic is rolling toward Silicon Valley at an average of 70 mph. Some in the fast lane in BMWs are clipping 80 mph or higher, and there are a few trucks and RVs in the right lane going 65 mph.

My thought is that you can set a speed range instead of limit, and cite the ones exceeding the limit on the high end, and send a patrol to check out the slow pokes. With digital signage, you could pull information from the plates and warn drivers personally. "Black BMW 735i: Please reduce speed or be cited." It's a bit RoboCop, but I am sick of the randomness of speeding citation issues.

If it's raining, the speed range changes accordingly, based on the average speed of the flow. The speed range is posted and can be adjusted based on upcoming traffic, or historical data that shows that, yes indeed, the herd does not know best, and is having too many accidents along this stretch.

What do you think of this?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Entertainment at the wave of a hand - the Gesture Cube

It's all about the plumbing! I'm so sick of seeing the Minority Report fantasies played out. You'd think everyone wants to manipulate pictures like Tom Cruise by waving their hands.

Can you imagine a time on earth when they were advertising the benefits of ceramic pipe over carved stone? Or the miracles of elbow joints?

In technology, we most often speak about the plumbing, and forget the great architecture and living it enables.

Let's think enabling folks, and stop raving about the PVC.

Entertainment at the wave of a hand - the Gesture Cube

How Will You Die? - GOOD Blog - GOOD

Cool infographic on the main causes of death by age, gender, and race. Does it mean if you're athletic and have a healthy heart, that you'd be more likely then to die of cancer? Generally a slower (and more expensive) way to die?

How Will You Die? - GOOD Blog - GOOD

Friday, February 12, 2010

Energy-generating sOccket soccer ball scores a goal in off-grid villages

This will do wonders for the kids and the world.

Energy-generating sOccket soccer ball scores a goal in off-grid villages

X2 announces cheekily named iTablet

God bless marketing and competition! The Wintel PC geeks are sure to love this one, and wave the ports (HDMI!) in the faces of iPad buyers. I'm sure Bill Gates would love to see it succeed as well.

X2 announces cheekily named iTablet

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Meet Marko, the 9-year-old (Doogie Howser) systems engineer | Beyond Binary - CNET News

I dig this article. The kid is showing the world that he is very capable, while showing indirectly that Microsoft's IT systems credentials are not rocket science. Not sure how this works for Microsoft. Too easy? Does it lessen the value of the certificates?

Handsome devil too!
Meet Marko, the 9-year-old systems engineer | Beyond Binary - CNET News

Telecommute via open-source, Skype-enabled telepresence robots by Willow Garage | ♥ i heart telework ♥

I want one of these. The guy in the video mentions several times how the impromptu, casual conversations lead to increased teamwork, productivity, and got to solutions faster. The power of face-to-face. Reminds me of an old robot called Shakey by SRI International.

Telecommute via open-source, Skype-enabled telepresence robots by Willow Garage | ♥ i heart telework ♥

This CNET article offers a bit more detail: Stay home, let Texas Robot attend that meeting | Crave - CNET

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Genius or lunacy? BMW Oracle Racing team set to wing it for the 2010 America's Cup

There is so much technology in this article it's almost sticky. Between the boat - carbon fibre sail, and the $149k binocular-sized wind map using optical fiber - it gushes.

Genius or lunacy? BMW Oracle Racing team set to wing it for the 2010 America's Cup

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Researchers develop 'lab on a chip' that detects viruses (w/ Video)

This is almost the opposite approach to lab-on-a-chip to an earlier posting on postage-stamp sized diagnostic tools made of paper. But there is a lot of this lab-on-a-chip under development. Maybe this is a technology that will roll out in the developed world before being reworked (made less expensive) for developing countries.

Researchers develop 'lab on a chip' that detects viruses (w/ Video)

I still prefer the approach taken by George Whitesides.

Implantable sensor simplifies blood pressure readings

Not quite a superhero capability, more like spy-tech.

Implantable sensor simplifies blood pressure readings

Posted using ShareThis

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

I expected to see Corning Inc. as the player in this story about thin glass film used as a coating, but no. It was invented in Turkey and held by a family-owned company in Germany.

I like that it's a reapplication of established technology - glass - in nanoscale. It bonds without needing additives due to quantum forces. Many benefits include low environmental impact, water and UV resistance. Way cool. Many applications.

Spray-on liquid glass is about to revolutionize almost everything

2/12/10 More on this from Gizmag.

Video: SoundRacer V8 turns your boring family car into a fire-breather

This gadget should be included in all rental cars. No, maybe they are mistreated enough. How about for Prius owners? I bet they mostly get used for a week or two then into the glove box.

Video: SoundRacer V8 turns your boring family car into a fire-breather

Posted using ShareThis

Saturday, February 6, 2010

George Whitesides: A lab the size of a postage stamp | Video on TED.com

This is a great combination of thinking - starting from strategy - with technology to deliver a great solution. But Geroge Whitesides argues that our capitalistic culture might make it nearly impossible to carry out - as a profit might be hard to achieve. Damn.

George Whitesides: A lab the size of a postage stamp | Video on TED.com

Friday, February 5, 2010

Superhero tech - spiderman grip

Here is yet another installment of superhero abilities becoming real. This is a technology to watch. Again construction comes to mind for me.

Has the human gekko's time finally come?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New England Journal of Medicine Study Finds Cognition in Vegetative Patients - WSJ.com

This story really got me boiling. Enough to add my comment to a line of better written ones. Check it out.

New England Journal of Medicine Study Finds Cognition in Vegetative Patients - WSJ.com


And my comment"I agree that it is cruel to keep these folks alive, especially if they expressed the wish not to remain in this state in a living will. If a family member is selfish enough, and has the _incredible resources_ it takes to keep them "alive," for God's sake tip them vertical and let them look out the window, instead of at fluorescent lights on an acoustic tiled ceiling."

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Turn waste office paper into toilet paper

I know this article may seem a bit sophomoric to include here, but we do have a killer app. I think document security folks like Iron Mountain could monetize all of their shredding and save the environment. Maybe a mobile version could collect and distribute. Certainly gives managers an easy way to criticize reports and presentations.

Would you have a problem using this paper?

Turn waste office paper into toilet paper

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Toyota Recall: Maybe It Isn’t the Gas Pedal | The Big Money

Ah ha! Maybe this is the beginning of a new era of software bugs causing recalls. The world in not just made of hardware anymore...

Toyota Recall: Maybe It Isn’t the Gas Pedal | The Big Money

Posted using ShareThis

Update 2/22/2010: Great article in the Economist on quality control in manufacturing and the shift toward software.

X-ray vision for soldiers

I dig this story from Wired about the forthcoming ability for the military and rescuers to see through concrete. It's kind of like ground penetrating radar already in use.

And the embedded technology side of this is interesting. They use ultra-wide band technology (you look it up) that gives them better imaging, and more importantly, in a smaller, handheld, wireless capable device that uses less power.

The way they position it as one of the superhero strengths makes you wonder how much of those technologies will eventually come true.

What other uses for this can you think of? Construction perhaps?