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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Da Vinci Inspired Flying Machine Sets Flight Record

University of Toronto  PhD candidate, Todd Reichert built a human powered flying machine inspired by sketches made by Leonardo da Vinci in 1485. Reichert then flew the machine on August 2nd at Tottenham, Ontario with an official from from the world-governing body for air sports and aeronautical world in attendance. The governing body is anticipated to confirm Reichert's world record some time in October. The machine, with a wing span of 32 metres, about the same length as that of a Boeing 737 sustained altitude and airspeed for 19.3 seconds. Check out the video, it truly is the most graceful flying machine that I've ever laid eyes on! Well done Todd! Kudos to Leonardo as well.

HPO Flight from U of T Engineering on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Back Banner Ads

Google wants the world to know that it's not only about search ads anymore. The company is in the midst of a campaign called "Watch This Space" to let advertisers and investors know that it is also in the display ad business, erecting an interactive digital billboard in the center of Manhattan to get the message out. Display ads take many forms online including ads of different sizes that combine images, text, audio, video and animation. (Google also includes text ads that appear on Web sites other than search results pages as display ads.)

With it's share value down a reported 17% this year, the company is trying to convince investors that the ever more competitive search ad market is not it's only revenue generator. “One of the ways we could express our confidence in the space is to run what is primarily a display advertising campaign around our investment in the business and what our potential is,” said Neal Mohan, the vice president of product management responsible for Google’s display advertising products.

Source: NY Times

Monday, September 20, 2010

Google To Institute Two-Factor Authentication

According to this article in TechCrunch, Google is planning on rolling out an optional two-factor authentication to it's Google Apps Premiere, Education, and Government edition customers and then to the rest of us in the coming months. Two-factor authentication requires not only a password but also a six digit verification code that you've created when turning the extended security feature on. Many large business already employ such measures, usually relying on hardware dongles to generate and display random temporary codes, Google's system won't require the additional hardware and will be particularly handy if you access the companies services (gmail, docs, etc.) from your mobile device.

TechCrunch also says "Google has built a ‘Google Authenticator’ application for Android, the iPhone, and Blackberry — fire up the application, and it will give you the six digit verification code that you enter back into your browser (the system can also send you a SMS message or give you the code via voice call)."

Makes sense that we would want such authentication now that we are moving more and more into the cloud, and accessing our account via multiple devices via hot spots and various other networks. I think I like it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Arrrr... It Be Talk Like A Pirate Day

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day! It's a little anti climactic this year as she falls on a Sunday and most of me time be spent at home were the family has little appreciation for the sea fairing kind. When I visited the official site I was a little disheartened to find that we in Canada just don't seem to embrace the event like our neighbors to the South. My count is 11 parties taking place and none in my current port of call, we'll have to do something about that next year!