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Category: News: Tech

November 18, 2005

Lost in Translation

The same person responsible for distracting me with various puzzles is also working on a portable English-Arabic translator for US troops: Wired article on the project. Such a technology is clearly important and could save lives, but I find the goal of translating troops amusing. I spent several of my formative years living next to Marine barracks. Are there really enough phrases in Arabic to cover the various ways that you can insult someone's mother? Perhaps, but you do you translate the insult literally or do you choose a comparable Arabic phrase with an equivalent level of insult?

June 7, 2005

One more Macintel followup

To clarify some questions that people had:

After Jobs' presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will," he said. "We won't do anything to preclude that."

However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said.

The product that I (as a PC user) will be paying attention to is the Mac mini. It has the price point most seductive to traditional PC users, and it's about to get the horsepower that we are accustomed to. Take the Mac mini, a little bit of wireless USB, and you get a pretty hot little apartment-friendly computer.

June 21, 2004

Free GIFs

The patent covering the algorithm used in the GIF format expired yesterday last week in Japan, UK, France, Germany and Italy. While this may not seem like big news to everyone, it was a huge problem when Unisys started enforcing this patent a couple of years ago. A lot of software (especially free software) stopped having the option to save files to the GIF format, which really sucked if you were doing Web design on the cheap. It also lead to numerous gif burning campaigns..

The patent is still active in some other countries (Canada), but I hope that the GIF format will start appearing in free programs once more.

More info

Update: heavily updated with correct info after better reading of post thanks to bp.

May 10, 2004

I just have to post everything Google

Google, owner of Blogger, now has an official blog:
- Google Blog

April 20, 2004


It looks like the PARC-Scripps partnership is finally out in the open. If there was a previous announcement, I missed it. One of the higher-ups at Scripps gave a forum at PARC where he showed off some of the cool stuff they were doing, such as adding new codons + base pairs + tRNA, growing ears on the backs of mice, etc... (though he spoke with such glee that seemed a complete rejection of any social or moral implications of what they were doing). PARC has now been working with Scripps to figure out how to wonderful world of Xerox technology (printers, scanners, etc...) can be merged with the world of biotech to create interesting, and medically useful technologies. This CNET article talks about how PARC is working on tagging cancer cells and then using lasers to try and scan for them in the blood.

BTW - I think it's funny that CNET has to lead there article with "Xerox Palo Alto Research Center," followed in the next paragraph with, "The research center, known as PARC."

February 16, 2004

Simplified photo sharing

another link for bp:
Wired News: Share That Photo: Hit Save

December 3, 2003

Boo Comcast

For a couple of months I had digital cable with Comcast, but I quit using it because the Motorola digital cable boxes managed to decrease the quality of my TV viewing experience. Comcast had an opportunity to improve this by going with a TiVo DVR, but instead it looks like they are going to try and do their own DVR using an upgraded version of the crappy Motorola platform.
Comcast takes on TiVo | CNET

November 13, 2003

Cool Inventions of 2003

2k3 still has two months left in it but the "Best of" articles are already hitting the Internet. These are some of my favorite items.

Continue reading "Cool Inventions of 2003" »

Getting closer to wireless power

It would be great in the future if every table had one of these contactless charge pads in the center. Then you could just set your gadgets in the middle while you enjoyed your cup of coffee or typed your meeting notes. Maybe they could even keep your cup warm.
KoKoRo: A technology of Contactless battery chage from Epson

November 12, 2003

Sydney Bristow did it

This sounds like it's straight out of an episode of Alias:
Globes [online] - Steadicopter's prototype pilotless helicopter stolen
(via /.)

August 19, 2003

Little kids are getting more annoying

Research by marketing consultancy reveals that one in nine five to nine-year-olds has a mobile.

It predicts that this will rise to one in five by 2006, making this the fastest expanding group of mobile phone users.

BBC NEWS | UK | Five-year-olds given mobiles (via Avi Greengart)

July 16, 2003

"human factor"

Former Asteroids power hitter Josh Tyler is back in the news with some quotes on his e-mail study.

June 13, 2003

Bush on Technology

Bush on Segway

I've been waiting all day for an image of this that i could hardlink to, but I guess this is the best for now.

June 12, 2003


KoKoRo is back with a vengeance, and it looks like I'm one step closer to having my bionic exo-skeleton:

powered suit photo

KoKoRo: Powered Suits!

May 28, 2003

Congrats Jeff

Co-worker/pyro Jeff Breidenbach made it to the front page of Slashdot courtesy of Leigh Klotz with his GlyphChess program. I'm so honored to be in the presence of geek celebrity.

May 21, 2003

Tomorrow is Ethernet Day!

Tomorrow is Ethernet's 30th birthday! Celebrations will be held at PARC, with both Boggs and Metcalfe attending. I'm tempted to bring some wirecutters and cut myself a piece of original ether. CNET already has an

April 22, 2003

Opteron released, benchmarks galore

Opteron released, benchmarks galore
- summary: Opteron spanks Xeon in some cases, hurt by lower Mhz
- most benchmarks don't take advantage of x86-64 with more architectural registers
- Opteron lags in SSE2 applications, excels in Java Web apps
- i.e. workstation apps (audio/video) in Intel's court, server apps in AMD's court.
- Itanium 2 looks threatening

March 19, 2003

Congrats Josh

Former ASDer and Asteroids softball team member Josh Tyler got his 15 minutes of /. fame today. Here's the Nature article that his work appears in. Congrats!