Thursday, December 5, 2013

Release the virtual friar in you

Vatican 3
You don't need to scale these Vatican walls
to get to the manuscripts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you someone who wishes to be religious, old-school style? Do you harbor ambitions of going back to ye olden times and copying out your own religious manuscript?  Or an ex-monk driving in a Ferrari but longing for your previous vocation?
Well fret not dear sir. Get yourself on the Internet and trek virtually to the Vatican. The Vatican has released ancient manuscripts on-line for the public to view. They have also made it okay for Dan Brown followers to peruse and pursue their own conspiracy ideas.
What is interesting is not only what the manuscripts say but what is on it. Apparently, the monks wrote in the margins. More like doodled. I hope someone OCRs the manuscripts and put them through Google Translate, twice. That should be hilarious. Everything is hilarious after Google Translate gets hold if it twice. Try it. Take any article, translate it to another language and another language. Now translate it back.
Speaking of Dan Brown, shouldn't he be writing about Tom Hanks discovering some doodle in the margin of Vatican manuscripts on a tablet proving the existence of a conspiracy to hold back Armageddon?
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Amazon also wants drones to drop your packages

The power button of the Amazon Kindle 2
Will the drones be able to carry an Amazon Kindle? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think you've heard about it by now. And now, everyone is talking about drones bringing you stuff you bought on-line. While FedEx was thinking about it in the past and a couple of Aussies decided to carry around the heaviest object known to a package, Amazon is stealing their thunder by going on 60 Minutes and announcing that they want to do the same.
If you live within some distance from an Amazon delivery center, Amazon wants to delivery your (light) stuff in about 30 minutes. That right. Amazon wants you to get your DVDs as soon as you get your pizza. Except it won't be a pimpled-faced kid at your door. It's the flying terminator. Because there will be no one piloting it. It'll use satellite and GPS to fly to your house.
Again, there is nothing wrong with this picture at all. All those drones flying around, missing all sorts of poles, wires and trees. All the while holding on to a dangling package. Totally safe.
I heard there is a sale on helmets at Amazon.
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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Artificial Wombs and Robots: Living Like a Battery

English: Mobile phone evolution Русский: Эволю...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Is there no end to scientists taking movie ideas and trying to make them real? I'm okay with cell-phones, personal communicators and eventually, transporters. But really? An artificial womb?
Researchers at a private university in Japan are on their way to making the first artificial womb. It's a goat for now but that womb is big enough to keep anti-abortionists happy. Right now, they're not successful. The fetus can stay inside only for some time. The problem is feeding the fetus. Solve that and we might as well be selling pods and sell ourselves as batteries.
Which is something people would like to do anyway. It's a step above Couch Potato. At least your staying still and making money as a battery. The 3D world you live in is probably better than the one you are in anyway.
At the pace we're improving drones / robot / terminators, we well on our way. Why can't they look at movies and find ways that won't lead to end of humankind.
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Watch out for drones bearing books in Australia

An Australian company is trying to deliver books with drones. That's right, drones.
Here your 50 Shades of Boom
Why wait for tomorrow for that book you ordered when you can get it right now. Two Australian companies are working together to make this happen. Since there is more than one person involved, it's safe to assume it's okay. I mean how crazy can two aussies be?
I know it's hard to compete with Amazon but do we have to resort to armaments?
And I get that some of us can't understand a Kindle. Or that reading from a screen is not the only same as reading from a piece of dead tree. Or that you're afraid of dropping it in a toilet. But really, does your need to read exceed the fear of something with 4 spinning blades showing up to your house or front door. Maybe you shouldn't fear the blades of the drone as much as you should a hardcover falling on your head. Or maybe that's the thing we need to make children read more, the fear of drones showing up with more books.
Can you imagine the swarm of drones flying around the next Harry Potter or Twilight book comes out?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Drone me Facebook

Facebook is trying to buy social mapping app Waze for about a billion dollars. Great. Just when you found a awesome GPS direction finder, traffic avoidance system, it's gets bought by the people who are in the business of selling information about you. You don't want the whole world to know where you are right now. You don't even want them to know where you were last night.
Français : Ce drone assemblé par Flying Eye pe...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It's all a conspiracy, you know. The State Department is just outsourcing more and more stuff. Ever since their failed campaign to get Hamas to check-in their meetings on FourSquare, they are looking for legal ways to find people and sick the drone on them. With Facebook buying Waze, all they have to do is like a few facebook pages and follow a couple of squinty eyed looking guys on the Internet and Facebook will do the rest. Or they could spend a few bucks buying the information. How? Because Facebook is probably selling them.
Imagine the done is already on the way and the Paypal payment is taking forever to send the money to Facebook.
I give up. Don't Like my page. Drone it.

Google's bought Waze. Probably tired of people driving in the wrong directions using Maps.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's a Minority Report world

Eye (Photo credit: Gafoto)
Have you heard this? Now we can all live out Tom Cruise's nightmare. Well, not his real nightmare. One where he has in a movie. No, not waking up to Cameron Diaz next to him in bed. Not that movie. Ok, it may not have been his. It could have been Steven Spielberg's, though.
What I am talking about is the scene from Minority Report where Tom has to undergo eye surgery in the same way you get your kidney removed after passing out in a hotel room. When he wakes up, he goes around and all these billboards recognize him, well his eyes really, as an old chinese man. Wrong race, right height and complexion, though. The movie was set in the near future and guess what, the future is here.
This article from the Verge says that the age of where stores can recognize us is not far away. A company from New York, can now figure out what gender you are and how old you are just from a webcam. What you do is point from a webcam out from your store window and the software will tell you who has been watching your store window. It can be accurate up to 90% of the time, telling you whether it was a guy or a gal and whether they are young enough to be your customers.
This has store owners excited. They can greet their shoppers any time of the day. Imagine the day when the store window greets you young ladies "hi there mister" just because you forgot to shave some facial hair. Or wrap a shawl too close to your chin.. to hide the facial hair.
Or when the camera notices the diamond earrings and immediately adds 30% to the price on the LED display.
This can also backfire. Imagine the robotic store window calling the cops just because it's decided you're looking at the merchandise in the window the 'wrong' way.
Ah well.

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Best Google Glass App: PervAlert

Have you heard of Google Glass? Oh I'm sorry... "Project Glass".
It's the definitive way to know which side of the mirror you are on, non-geek or super-geek.
No, really it's a type of glasses you wear that shows your screen right in front of your eye. Yes, right in front of your eye. It's their way of getting back at their parents for warning them against sitting too close to the TV. Now, there is no way of getting any closer.
But really, seriously, it has it's good side. Like how often have you wondered, while talking to someone, whether the person you are talking to is a pervert. Yes, I know you've wondered about that. More than once. About a single person.
Well, with Google Glass, "Project Glass", you can now know or start to find out and make your own conclusion.. about whether the person sitting in front of you is a pervert. You see, Project Glass is an extension of your Android phone. Well, really Google actually. And like the phone, it needs apps to be useful. Like you can be watching a historical building and an app will tell you stuff about it.
What Project Glass needs is the PervAlert app. It will take a picture of the person you are talking to, do a facial recognition to starting finding out more about the person. It will match the face and using voice recognition and name to show their most recent and top Google searches, popular G+ posts and recent YouTube views. The app will rate the result based on keywords and weigh the result based on the stream and out comes a score..  a PossiblyPervScore. The higher the score, the more likely they are a pervert.
The app will then highlight several plausible excuses to exit the area and show the closes route to your car. Isn't technology wonderful?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Is your Fitbit and Fuelband gossiping with your Aria Smartscale?

It the world of the Internet of Everything, the likelihood of your Fitbit gossiping with your Fuelband is very much a possibility. More embarrassingly so, they'll be able to figure out, together with your Aria Smartscale whether you've been cheating on them.. sorry.. your exercise.
When word gets out to your LG smart refrigerator, it'll start ordering more celery and broccoli, cancelling that bag of Snickers fun size bars. Your treadmill will add on an extra 3 minutes once you start running to compensate for all that lost exercise. The smart thermostat will raise the temperature just a tad so that you sweat that much more. Once the toilet confirms that your sugar and salt level is back on track, you expect peace once more.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Windows RT hits puberty?

If you have older siblings, you'd know that parents track your progress by how soon you do the things your older brothers or sisters did. Say you learned to walk at 11 months, your parents would say, "His brother started walking at 10 months." Or "Your brother learned to ride the bicycle when was 4," when you had just announced your success at the age of 5. Or "It's ok that he's just learning to read. His brother was doing fine at this age". It's never "Thank god you want learn to drive at 16 and not steal the car and crashing-it-into-the-fence like your brother."
The Windows Surface Pimple
Well, by all signs Windows RT had finally grown up. It has achieved that important milestone of all Windows Operating systems: the first major bug. First it was thought to be a Windows update bug but later it was narrowed down to just Windows RT. The bug causes Windows update to fail. Some blame it for their applications crashing. But we all know in windows that could be anything.
So congratulations Windows RT for your first major bug. And for the prolonged response that comes with it. The fix to the bug comes out in a grand two weeks. But those 6 people who own a Surface tablet, you guys can just turn to their Windows Phone in the meantime. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Steve Jobs: Tech bully

In the most ironic turn for geeks, it turns out that the person who most people associate with high tech, Steve Jobs, turns out to be a mortal enemy of geeks, a bully. Wait a minute. How is this so?
Well it turns out that at some point Steve Jobs wasn't happy with a company trying to hire Apple staff. He then wrote to the company and threatened to use Apple's patents as a club against said company if they didn't stop. Not only did he say that but he also pointed out how big his club was. Now image yourself as the geek who suffered through high school, studied hard, went to university to come out and work for the most dynamic tech companies around... only to find out that your boss was that same tormentor from high school. Yes, that 'revenge of the geeks' fantasy didn't turn out as you had expected. Even when you thought you made it on Brain power, the Brawn still manages to come out on top. Riding on your Brain, apparently.
You see, there was this gentleman's agreement between companies to not poach each other's employees. And HR people who did, lost their jobs because of it. While in some cases, HR wasn't allowed to go out and recruit, in others, the company hiring went to that person's then employer and asked for permission to hire them.
Some people dismiss this as nothing new but won't condemn Jobs for it. They claim it is old news and nothing surprising. Well, so is indentured servitude... When you see people who work for you as objects you have control of, your attitude may not be too far from you and that southern plantation owner. Sure makes that 'employees are the companies greatest asset' slogan sound different, doesn't it. Some companies love their asset so much, they will bully others from taking them.
Apple strangely, is throwing Jobs under the bus. Current CEO Tim Cook, claims to have no part in this. Since he deals with the Chinese manufacturers, there are probably a lot of things he doesn't see.
Typically, Apple fanboys claim that this is not characteristic of Jobs. To them, I say, stop dreaming and start reading Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made. Find out how sausage is made.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Samsung copies Apple again?

Have you heard of this? It's another blatant attempt by Samsung to copy something from Apple. You'd think Samsung would be tired of it by now. After all the lawsuits, why would Samsung try copying Apple again? But it's  clear that when Samsung announced the Galaxy S II Plus, they were just copying Apple again. They were copying Apple's naming convention. But this time they are copying from an earlier Apple product line, the Apple II. It wouldn't be long before we will see the Galaxy S II models with the same naming conventions. Look out for the Samsung Galaxy S IIe, the most popular model incorporating the best features of the Galaxy S II line. 
And the Galaxy S IIc, the more compact version that everyone wonders why it was made in the first place. However, I wouldn't be holding my breath for the Galaxy IIGS and the IIc Plus.
You can almost hear the Apple lawyer's keyboards drafting motions.