Archive for ‘Technology’ Category
I think I will declare today (April 23rd, 2008) as the day of SUCKERS….hehehe. This is fantastic and continues to show how damaging proprietory technologies are to your life. If the Sony ATRAC debacle didn’t serve as a warning there’s always this: Microsoft just announced that it will no longer supply authorization keys for songs purchased from the defunct MSN Music service. According to the News Desk over at Ars Technica:
Customers who have purchased music from Microsoft’s now-defunct MSN Music store are now facing a decision they never anticipated making: commit to which computers (and OS) they want to authorize forever, or give up access to the music they paid for. Why? Because Microsoft has decided that it’s done supporting the service and will be turning off the MSN Music license servers by the end of this summer.
Proprietary technologies suck, no matter how good/neat they sound at the time. Case in point is the Microsoft SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) technology. At a sneak preview of the watches given by Microsoft at COMDEX 2003, Microsoft began referring to the SPOT watches as “Smart Watches with MSN Direct.” The purpose of MSN Direct, a new Microsoft service to be offered through a monthly or annual subscription, was to use FM radio subcarriers to feed data to the watches, such as weather, traffic, and other information. Watch owners could choose between two subscription plans: $9.95 a month with the first month at no charge; or $59 for a full year.
I still remember sitting in my chair at the 2003 comdex keynote and asking myself why? I mean Bill kept saying that this was the future…..yeah right!!! Well I hope you don’t have one of these watches, or if you got suckered in, lets hope you didn’t pay for a full year of service. Remember kids, Proprietory SUCKS BIG. I wonder what Bill is wearing on his wrist these days :-)
Brad over at bradfortner.com has a great article where he delves into the logic (or lack of) behind companies arguing IP with their own costumers. All I have to say is this, if the said company could write a decent driver, I would have had a little sympathy for them. But lets face it, Creative Labs is probably in a tie with ATI for writing the industries worst drivers for as long as I can remember.
The difference I guess is that when one of Creative’s own users started fixing the drivers, and asked other users for donations to support the effort, Creative went after him. When will these guys learn. If the guy was doing such a good job that Creative felt threatened, they should have hired the dude, not sent him a cease and desist letter. That’s pretty sad Creative.
Anyways, I think Brad is way to generous with the reptilian comparison. Reptiles have brains the last time I checked….right???
Posted on 21:53, March 28th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou
A friend passed this on today (thanks Jeremy). If you use a mic in your day to day businness (or even if you’re an occasional ichat/skype user, you should check this out. RevoLabs have introduced a new line of Wireless microphones that come with RF-Armor. What does that mean, well the next time your GSM phone rings/sync/receives email, your microphone won’t be going all crazy. Plus their Solo mics come in three different types:
Yeah baby, If you’re gonna telecine your Super 8 summer trip reels, why not do it using the RED Digital Cinema Camera at glorious (or is it gruesome) 4K. All those scratches and nicks blown up to 4K….Yummm. Well I guess film restorers will be back in business. The rig is a prototype made by Movie Stuff Workprinter XP specifically for the RED camera. The Workprinter’s “trigger out” interfaces directly to the Red’s GPI input to trigger capture in stop motion mode up to 30 frames per second in the Red’s 4K mode). I wonder if they’re gonna do a 16mm version of this rig as well. Now that would be a cheap 16mm telecine :-).
Posted on 21:19, March 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou
So head over to evernote.com and sign up for an invite, download whatever method of interface you want/need (webbased/OSX/Windows) and start clipping and organizing your life/brain. One of coolest thing about evernote is that you can feed the elephant anything (sound/image/text) and it will make it searchable. In the case of an image for example, you can shoot your buddies business card using your cellphone, send it to your evernote account and it will automagically OCR the card content and make it searchable. Same with handwritten notes, memos, doodles, stickies. All this works in Windows/OSX and on the Web……very nice.
Now if they could add a bit of RSS import/export goodness to it, I think it would make the perfect central hub application for all your social interfaces (blog/twit/flick/wiki/etc….).
Posted on 20:23, March 14th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou
Posted on 13:09, February 12th, 2008 by Many Ayromlou
Canon is using Iris watermarking to take photographer’s copyright protection to the next level. A new Canon patent application (Pub. No.: US 2008/0025574 A1) reveals the next step in digital watermarking – Iris Registration. The process is as follows:
Original and more details via Photography Bay.
Posted on 12:19, December 17th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
If you like to see some of the most prolific Engineers and Scientists of our time talk about how we got to where we are in computers, head over to the Computer History Museum Channel on You Tube. Oh, and if you’re ever in Northern California somewhere, take a side trip to Mountain View and visit the Museum in person, I did.
Posted on 19:08, October 9th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
I came across FotoFlexer a couple of months ago and I thought I would do a write-up at some point. Now with the addition of advanced morphing tools and image carving, I think I have to. If you haven’t heard of FotoFlexer go to their site and signup for an account. Trust me you’ll be sorry you didn’t. Their editing application is way up there in terms of advanced functionality and they integrate with pretty much any photo/social site (Facebook, myspace, photobucket, flickr, picassa, yahoo photo and even your own website). Below you’ll find some of the tools available to you when you login:
Posted on 12:25, September 28th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
You see there used to be a company called DEC (Digital Equipment Coorporation) who’s brilliant engineers designed this processor called Alpha 21364 (aka. EV7) and the associated bus structure wayyyy back in 1998/1999. Sometime after, a group of idiots (most likely accountants) decided that the company should merge with the Compaq computers , who themselves were sold to HP later. So to all you “original” DEC engineers…..we salute you. It’s just too bad that it took 10 years for your visions to become mainstream.
You can find out more info about these heroic nerds and their company on wikipedia.
Posted on 23:28, September 26th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
So this is just a short tutorial, so I don’t have to repeat this to every person who asks about the difference between T and E circuits. Here is the whole thing (more or less), (hopefully) once and for all.
It all starts with the Nyquist’s Theorem and Pulse Code Modulation. PCM is the way telephones digitize audio (your voice). Nyquist’s Theorem (named after Harry Nyquist) says that “When sampling a signal, the sampling frequency must be greater than twice the bandwidth of the input signal in order to be able to reconstruct the original perfectly from the sampled version”. Another way of putting this is that to accuretly encode an analog signal (your voice) you have to sample it twice as often as the total bandwidth you wish to reproduce (your voice on the other side).
Now the phone system carries frequencies between 300-4000 Hz, so according to Nyquist, a sampling of 8000 samples per second will be enough to reproduce any frequency within the bandwidth of an analog phone.
Now fast forward past a bunch of engineering mombo-jumbo (keeping the 8000 samples/sec in mind) and we get to DS-0, the magic designation of the foundation of digital communications. You see the standard way of to digitize a phone call is to record (transmit) an 8-bit sample 8000 times/sec. This PCM encoded stream requires a bandwidth of 64,000 bps. This 64-kbps channel is known as DS-0 and is the foundation of all digital telecommunication circuits.
So now that we have our base unit (DS-0) lets look at one level higher, the T-carrier circuits. You’ve probably heard of a T-1 line, right? Well a T-1 line is actually 24 DS-0 lines multiplexed into a 1.54 Mbps line. The proper definition of a T-1 line is actually DS-1. Now for your trivia question…..what’s a E-1? Well it’s similar in concept to a T-1 except the Europeans actually used 32 DS-0s to define E-1 (rather than 24 like in North America). BTW the really confusing part is that an E-1 — despite having 32 channels rather than 24 — is also called DS-1…..go figure.
Now I haven’t tried it myself (yet), so maybe the title should read “Jott (should) rock, if it works as advertised!!!”, but that just wasn’t cool. You all know that you can send email to certain blogging services and services like twitter (you can also txt twitter) with new content and/or comments. But can you type as fast as you talk? I bet not:
Jott capitalizes on that efficiency and allows you to quickly blog, Tweet or get a “Zestimate™” from wherever you are. You have more time to get on with whatever you were doing in the first place.
It’s simple, Call 1-866-JOTT-123, say the name of your link (ie: “Twitter”), after the beep, say your message and hang up. Very cool.
You can also Jott yourself, in which case you will receive a Email reminder with text version of your voice message. You can also Jott messages to other peoples email or to a group of people (ie: next time you’re late for a meeting, just phone jott, speak your message and send it to the group…done).
Take this with a grain of salt (maybe a rather large grain), but this soon to be released product (September 25th) might be a goodway to introduce kids (and adults) to green screen concepts for cheap. It even comes with a “Tripod”….Ooooohhhhh……Triipoooddd :-)
Posted on 17:34, August 31st, 2007 by Many Ayromlou
So today I had a choice to make. You see I had to draw a small diagram and needed a editor. Now I know visio is the end-all-be-all of editors, but I needed something fast and simple. Oh and I really didn’t want to go down to the office to pick up the install disks for visio (on vacation). That’s where web2.0 came to rescue again. After a short google search I found two online services that allow you to edit/share Diagrams right in your browser:
Gliffy Online: Gliffy allows you to create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, UI wireframes, Floor plans, Network diagrams, UML diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram. Gliffy Online brings you a familiar desktop application feel in a web browser. Features such as copy,paste and undo are all a part of this advanced web application.
Best4c: Best4c(Best for chart) is a Web-based, online diagram tool that allows you to create, edit and share charts anytime, anywhere. It allows you to create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, Floor plans, Network diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram.
I’ll leave it to you to decide, for me personally Gliffy is more polished and has a better feel. Try them both (they are free) and let us know.
This is just such a gem I couldn’t help, but put it up. Head over to Briel Computers and have a look. Fully functional Apple I, KIM-1 and Altair PC cases. Man this just took me back in time.
Note that Replica I is actually an “upgraded” APPLE I. Their version has USB and serial and can be used with PC keyboard and power supplies. The Micro-KIM is exactly the same as the original KIM-1, but at quarter the size.
Stumbled across this earlier today and did not get a chance to make a note of it. From the overview portion of the page:
“The Eyebeam OpenLab is a home for artists, engineers and hackers pioneering open source creativity. The first initiative of its kind, the lab is focused entirely on incubating experimental technologies and media that directly enrich the public domain.”
Sounds like my kinda place. Now you might be asking why it’s mentioned here…..well it’s N.E.R.D. content and since I’m working with a group of people at my Uni on a very similar Lab, atleast in concept, I thought it deserved a mention.
Their Facilities section describes the environment as:
“The OpenLab at Eyebeam includes a mezzanine with an extended whiteboard and projector for informal meetings; a Lab space for electronics production, software and hardware hacking and rapid prototyping with technologies such as a laser cutter and 3D printer; the Prototyping Gallery, a semi-public space adjacent to the lab allowing for ad-hoc installations and project demos where the public can view the latest developments and artists and engineers can receive feedback on prototypes; and raw studio space where artists in residence create projects and access all of the opportunities and expertise within the OpenLab, Production and Education Studios.”