Saturday, August 2, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Why go flat screen when you can go round? Microsoft developers have created what I'd call a spherical version of the Microsoft Surface PC, though it doesn't have all of the applications it's pretty cool just the same.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
On September 30th Canadians will be able to opt out of unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers. On Wednesday the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), announced new regulations that govern telemarketers, who will not be allowed to call anyone registered on the do-not-call list either online or by phone with Bell Canada Inc., which is administering the list on behalf of the CRTC. There is a 31 day grace period, I can hear the phone ringing already, after which telemarketers are subject to fines of $1,500 in the case of an individual or $15,000 for corporations if a registrant complains to the CRTC. The rules do allow for exemptions for charities, political parties, polling firms, newspapers and companies that have done business with an individual over the past 18 months. You may wish to bookmark this website and mark an X on the calendar, the site will only accept registrations on opening day. CBC Story Here.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
As the 5.4 magnitude LA earthquake hit on Tuesday many of the folks I follow on Twitter were busily tweeting their experiences, letting the world know they were okay or inquiring about friends and loved ones. It seems this was a common theme on Twitter. Twitterer Verdell Wilson told CNet that she was having an exam in her gynecologist's Los Angeles office when the quake hit. "As soon as I got dressed, I twittered my experience from my cell phone," Wilson said. "I usually twitter to 80 friends, but I now have 274 messages from people commenting on it."AT&T spokesman John Britton is quoted as saying "If you're on a wireless network and you can't get a call through, often the texting network won't be as congested,"
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Attempt to play Scrabulous from the United States or Canada today and you will be greeted with the following: "Scrabulous is disabled for U.S. and Canadian users until further notice. If you would like to stay informed about developments in this matter, please click here." Doing so directs you to a form asking for your e-mail address so that the Scrabulous team can keep you updated on news as it develops. The move apparently was made by the development team and not by Facebook who is trying play Switzerland and remain neutral in the fight. In this NY Times Bits blog posting David Swain, a Facebook spokesman, is quoted as saying “They decided in the middle of the night to disable the application in the U.S. and Canada.” A commentors on the post is asking the same question we've all been asking "Why does’t Hasbro get with the program, have the lawyers work out the details, and collaborate with the creators of Scrabulous?" Oh, I'm sure it's not that simple but come on guys can't we all play nice?
Richard Branson has unveiled White Knight Two "Eve", named after his mother and representing the eve of a new era in space according to the BBC. More than 250 people have already paid $200,000 each in order to be lifted into space to enjoy weightlessness for approximately 5 minutes and then glide back to earth. The inaugural flight is expected to take place in about 18 months and is reserved for Branson's family. "The mothership is a white, four-engine jet designed to cradle SpaceShipTwo under its wing and release it at 50,000 feet (15,200m) in the air. Once separated, SpaceShipTwo will fire its hybrid rocket and climb some 60 miles (100km) above the Earth. Engineers still need to finish building SpaceShipTwo, which is now about 70% complete, according to Virgin Galactic." Anyone want to pitch in on my ticket into space?
Monday, July 28, 2008
I'm not exactly sure why anyone would need to do this much braiding, unless you are a fraternity of assassins looking to modernize your operations... but it's a cool Mindstorms application just the same.
A new search engine is launching today in an attempt to challenge Google, and interestingly enough the developers are four former Google employees who actually created another search engine before joining the search giant, only to be bought up by Google in 2004. The new service Cuil, pronounced "cool", is backed by $33 million in venture capital funding. Cuil's search index is reported to span 120 billion Web pages which Cuil developer Anna Patterson believes is at least three times the size of Google's index although that's unconfirmed since Google stopped reporting their number of pages indexed about 3 years ago. Perhaps Cuil's launch is a little premature though, I'm getting the following "Due to overwhelming interest, our Cuil servers are running a bit hot right now. The search engine is momentarily unavailable as we add more capacity."
Sunday, July 27, 2008
"We discovered what makes the Northern Lights dance," Dr. Vassilis Angelopoulos of the University of California, Los Angeles is quoted as having said in this NASA press release. David Sibeck, THEMIS project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. explains "As they capture and store energy from the solar wind, the Earth's magnetic field lines stretch far out into space. Magnetic reconnection releases the energy stored within these stretched magnetic field lines, flinging charged particles back toward the Earth's atmosphere," and that "They create halos of shimmering aurora circling the northern and southern poles." Using five THEMIS satellites and 20 ground observatories located throughout Canada and Alaska, scientists directly observed the beginning of substorms . Regardless of how they are formed, I've witnessed them many times and they are spectacular, definitely something that everyone should experience at least once!