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Thursday, November 15, 2012

John McAfee's life on the run

If you have not been following the saga of John McAfee, of McAfee Antivirus fame, here are some conversations that he's had with Wired writer Joshua Davis with whom he's been speaking to for months. On the lamb hiding from the Police in Belise, wanted for questioning in the murder investigation of a neighbour and accused of trafficking of drugs. It's an interesting tale of intrigue. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Google's Bacon Number

Check this out.

Google's search engine will provide you with a celebrity's degree of separation from Kevin Bacon.

For example:

Type: "William Shatner bacon number" (quotes not necessary) into google and it returns:


William Shatner's Bacon number is 2

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Google's Death Benefits

Google is famous around the tech world, and beyond, for the many perks that it offers it's employees. Free meals, haircuts, bikes on campus, etc. but did you know that Google also offers death benefits? Not the kind that you get through your paid group insurance policy...

According to Forbes writer Meghan Casserly "Should a Googler pass away while under the employ of the 14-year old search giant, their surviving spouse or domestic partner will receive a check for 50% of their salary every year for the next decade." in addition any surviving child receives a monthly allowance of $1000 until their 19th birthday or their 23rd birthday if they are a fulltime student.

Chief People Officer Laszlo Bock says “But it turns out that the reason we’re doing these things for employees is not because it’s important to the business, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. When it comes down to it, it’s better to work for a company who cares about you than a company who doesn’t. And from a company standpoint, that makes it better to care than not to care.”

I completely understand that we should not expect such benefits from all companies, yet there is a lot of room out there for doing things because "...it's the right thing to do." I feel extremely fortunate to be working for a company that also thinks along these lines, while we are 1000th the size of Google, we are very much a family.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Askew

Here's one to get your Monday off to a good start... google the word "Askew". Can't take credit for finding this, it's making the rounds on plus.google.com

If you like that one be sure to also google "where is chuck norris" and click on the first item in the results list.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Great Blue Heron Nestcam

Here is a rare live look into the nest of a Great Blue Heron as provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology live webcam. So far 4 of 5 eggs have hatched and viewers have witnessed the family fend off great horned owls on multiple attacks of the nest. 



Watch live streaming video from cornellherons at livestream.com



Here's the hatching of no. 3 as shared on Youtube:





The only thing more fun than technology is nature.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wrap Your Mind Around This 1 Percent Scenario

Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson leaves us with something to ponder about Earth and it's relevance in the grand scheme of things...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Robot Prison Guard Undergoes Trials in South Korea

Equipped with 3D cameras and behavioral recognition software, a robotic prison guard is undergoing field trials in South Korea. The robot is autonomous but can also yield control to an operator via an iPad application. The purpose is not to physically interact with the inmates but rather observe and report, for now. It's no robocop, more like a pimped out roomba, but I think it's an interesting use of technology none the less. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Project Glass - Am I Missing Something?

Yesterday I, like many others, brought you the story of Google's Project Glass. Since then I've viewed a television news cast, Global National's nightly news, and this CNN story about Glass in which there seems to be the opinion that what was announced was a "prototype" (A first or preliminary model of something, esp. a machine, from which other forms are developed or copied.). My understanding is that there is no claim to be a prototype but more of a concept, an idea. Quoting the Project Glass team, "So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do." 

So, is it me who is mistaken into thinking that Glass does not yet exist but is only a concept or is it big media who is mistaken into thinking that this video was actually taken using the device in it's prototype form?

Thoughts anyone?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Google's Project Glass

I can talk to my Samsung Nexus (Google) phone and have it convert my speech to text. I have Google Goggles app which allows me to point my phone's camera at objects and returns relevant information about those objects. It has Google Maps and turn by turn navigation... however, I have to carry it in my pocket or walk around with my head down risking life and limb. 

Today some Googlers posted Project Glass to Google+ "So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do." 

I'm loving it! While it's not yet real, that I know of, it's everything that I carry around today in a stylish heads up display. My only concern is that I wear prescription glasses that don't look quite as cool as the Project Glass concept, I hope they come out with a version that is equally as cool for those of us who are optically challenged.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Catalyst Powers Robo Jellyfish



Researchers from several Universities including Virginia Tech and the University of Texas at Dallas have combined forces to create a robotic jelly fish that uses a coating on it's skin in reaction with sea water to propel itself. "using a combination of oxygen and hydrogen gases to contract its "muscles," or "nano-platinum catalyst-coated multi-wall carbon nanotube sheets, wrapped on the surface of nickel—titanium shape memory alloy," I'll be honest, I have little idea what that means but it's cool none the less.

The schools are working on behalf of the US Navy and their findings could have a "broad range of applications for both military and civilian uses."

Source: Yahoo!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Assassin's Creed Fan Video

Assassin's Creed is a great game franchise and it definitely has it's fans among gamers. Microsoft Kinect also has it's fans, so why not make a Kinect version of Assassin's Creed? or at least a fan video parody?


"also available for Wii... definitely not available for Wii!" 

I love it. Well done. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

A New Car Fit For This Geek

We picked up our new Toyota Prius c on Friday. The c, for city, is a new vehicle in what is becoming the Prius line of vehicles. Along with the Prius c, Toyota has produced a larger Prius v and a plugin version of the traditional Pruis.

Our little Prius is based on the Yaris hatchback chassis but has some nice lines to optimize aerodynamics and assist in the expected 53 mpg city rating. I chose the "technology" version (go figure) which is the middle tier of 3 versions available here in Canada. Drivers in the US have their choice of 4 models and from what I can tell the "technology" package is equivalent of the Prius c 3. The technology package buys me:


  • XM Satellite Radio;
  • 6.1" Display Audio with Navigation;
  • Touch Tracer Steering Wheel Controls;
  • 15" Aluminum Alloy Wheels;
  • Smart Entry System; and
  • Push Button Start.


  • I'll let you know what I'm using, what I'm not using and what I love or hate about this car in a future post however if first impressions are any indication I'll have nothing but glowing reports. With 53 mpg city and the great attention to detail that I come to love from this manufacturer, I expect that this will be a big seller for Toyota.



    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    It's That Time Again

    Google has been a pioneer since it's existence and as far as I can tell they have lead the way with their annual April Fools day announcements that seem almost plausible and have left more than a few people doing double takes. This years pranks are no exception to the list of far out ideas, though I think the Google Moon base job opportunity of 2004 is probably my favorite. This year it's, amongst other things, an 8-bit map and an autonomous Nascar.



    For the yearly wrap-up check out this wikipedia entry. 

    Oh, and not to be out done, Sir Richard Branson just announced via twitter (@richardbranson) that Virgin is launching the UK's first naked workout sessions and trips to the earth's core via the 5 most active volcanos "Introducing , journeying to the centre of the earth thru the world’s 5 most active volcanoes! ".

    Please leave a comment if you've discovered any others that you'd like to share!

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    A Peak Into The Future Of The 3D See Through UI

    Check out the fun that Cati Boulanger (a researcher at Microsoft) and Jinha Lee, an MIT Media Lab Ph.D. student and Microsoft intern are having working on a 3D see through pc user interface. Looks intuitive. 


    Eat your heart out Tom Cruise!

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    We Can Rebuild Him!

    It's a long story...


    ...typing with one hand is no fun, so excuse me if I didn't feel much like writing. The good news is that I now have my sling off (after 9 days in hospital and 8 weeks at home), I can raise my arm enough to reach the keyboard, I've started physiotherapy to build on the range of motion, and yes that is my x-ray. 

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