Archive for ‘Technology’ Category

Canon’s new biometric photo watermarking is on it’s way

datePosted 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:

  1. Turn the Mode dial to “REG”
  2. Choose between “REG 1″ through “REG 5″ (for up to 5 registered users)
  3. Put eye to viewfinder
  4. Look at display of center distance measurement point
  5. Press the shutter button
  6. Iris image captured
  7. Shoot

Original and more details via Photography Bay.

Computer History Museum on YouTube

datePosted 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.

OpenMoko and Neo1973 hands on…..

datePosted on 22:07, October 27th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Came across a pretty good write up on OpenMoko  project and Neo1973 opensource Cell phone over at wired. It sounds like the Hardware is pretty good (well aside from the promised bits that are still coming), the software though seems to have some problems. The author seems to think the partially open source Qtopia software is much nicer. We’d covered this device before and think that once it matures a bit more it could give others a run for their money.

FotoFlexer advances online photo editing….

datePosted 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:

Have a look at their demo page first if you want to get an idea of the functionality. Below is a nice video tutorial on image carving, which we had covered earlier.

DEC Alpha Engineers….We salute you…..

datePosted on 12:25, September 28th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

Hallelujah, Intel has finally milked us enough, that they are now ready to give us Quickpath. Woohoo. Fresh squeeze from IDF, the Inquirer reports that intel has started handing out details about it’s upcoming Nehalem family of processors and QPI (Quickpath Interconnect). This is of course a reaction to AMD’s announcement and implementation of HT (Hypertransport) v3. All this might sound brand new to you and you might be thinking wow, aren’t these guys cool…..Well, NO….QPI and HT are the Alpha EV7 architecture bus, rebranded.

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.

SONET and Telecomm buzzwords explained….

datePosted 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.
Usually T-3 is the max and it’s pretty uncommon to find higher T-carrier circuits (ie: T-4, 5’s). That’s where Optical Carriers (aka OC) come in. The SONET (Synchronous Optical Networks) were developed to push the T-carrier systems to the next level (ie: Fiber). SONETs are based on the bandwidth of a T-3 line (44.736). Actually the are exactly 51.84 Mbps, the difference being attributed to overhead. This is what they call OC-1 or STS-1 which is the basic unit of measure here.
So now you know all there is to know about the telecomm buzzwords, but please keep in mind that the industry is changing and as we speak Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) schemes are jepourdising the future of the above technologies (anyone remember ATM?)

Jott rocks!!!

datePosted on 21:39, September 5th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

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.

With Jott Links, users can now call Jott and leave voice-to-text messages on the following services:

* WordPress (both .com and on local installs)
* Twitter
* Jaiku
* TypePad
* Zillow
* LiveJournal
* Blogger
* 30 Boxes
* Yahoo Groups

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).

Chroma-Key on the cheap…..

datePosted on 21:28, September 5th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

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 :-)

Diagram editor right in your browser…..

datePosted 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.

Gliffy Online has two ways to make document sharing simple. Collaboration enables others to see and edit your work by simply entering their email address. Publishing creates a read-only, or public, image of your diagram that you can easily embed in a wiki, blog, or other type of web software.

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.

Whhaaat Your Apple I has a USB port?

datePosted on 16:12, July 18th, 2007 by Many Ayromlou

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.