Saturday, June 30, 2012

Apple in the Enterprise

Neil Hughes reporting – ServiceNow IT firm surges on IPO, CEO says company is 'wall-to-wall' Apple:

IT firm ServiceNow went public on Friday as the company's CEO revealed their operations are "wall-to-wall" reliant on Apple products, including iPhones and MacBooks.

ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman appeared on CNBC Friday to promote his company's IPO. While live on the set, Slootman was asked about the growth of Apple products in the enterprise.

"Our company, we're all Apple, wall to wall," he revealed. "Not just on the iPhone, also our notebooks, laptops and so on."

Slootman was also asked if the enterprise is "embracing Apple in a surprisingly strong way." To that, he responded: "I believe so."

Two different approaches to getting your products into the enterprise. Microsoft builds products to please IT departments, Apple tries to please consumers. It seems end users are having more and more say in what products the enterprise (and IT department) must support.

Windows Phone 8 – Apps Cannot be Installed to MicroSD Cards

John Chan … Apps cannot be installed to microSD cards on WP8 - Mobile Phones:

During the TechEd 2012 event, a session on the new features of Windows Phone 8 (WP8) clarified the use of microSD cards for apps. When announced last week, the slide for microSD support showed that the new feature supported storing media (photos, music and videos) and "installing apps". This refers to installing apps from the card to the phone, and not to the card directly.

Primarily a feature targeted at enterprises, this feature allows companies to bypass the Marketplace (the Windows Phone app store) when installing apps specifically for the organization's use. This makes it easier for IT departments to create and deploy programs.

Microsoft is selling to the IT department not to the end user.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Selling the Nexus 7 at a Loss

From Brian Barrett … You Can't Beat the iPad Just by Losing Money:

How, you wonder, can Google make any money selling this for $200? The answer's simple: it doesn't. Like the Kindle Fire before it, the Nexus 7 proves that the only way take on the iPad is not just to undercut Apple; you have to undercut yourself.

Carriers Feared iPhone's Influence

Sam Oliver reporting … AT&T asked RIM for iPhone competitor while it was Apple's exclusive carrier:

In 2010, when the iPhone was still exclusive to AT&T in the U.S., the carrier turned to Research in Motion and asked it to develop a touchscreen device to compete with the iPhone, a new report reveals.

AT&T wasn't alone in worrying that the popularity of the iPhone could give Apple too much power, according to The Wall Street Journal. While AT&T and RIM collaborated to make the BlackBerry Torch, Verizon and Vodafone also worked with RIM on the first BlackBerry touchscreen device, the Storm.

AT&T and Verizon both reportedly turned to RIM because they were concerned about the "wild popularity of the iPhone." Their goals in partnering with RIM were to prevent Apple from gaining "outsize influence in the market," the report said.

How'd that work out?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Where Does Google Make Money?

From search – everything else? Not so much.

Ben Brooks questions Google’s Tablet Strategy:

from Google’s Andy Rubin on the Nexus 7 tablet:

“When it gets sold through the Play store, there’s no margin,” Rubin said. “It just basically gets (sold) through.”

In other words: Google isn’t making a profit off the Nexus 7. I absolutely do not understand how shareholders continue to be OK with this mentality. Google now has several high-cost, low-reward, programs running that they are pissing away money on — let’s recap the ones I can think of:

  • Google Glass
  • Nexus 7
  • Self-driving cars
  • Space Elevator

Most of these projects can be found on this Wikipedia page. Perhaps I’ll look like a fool in ten years and Google will be rolling in cash from all these ventures, but more likely investors will be sitting back and wondering what the hell went wrong.

Consumer Data Moving to the Cloud


From Brandon Butler … Gartner: 1/3 of consumer data will be stored in the cloud by '16:

Consumer adoption of cloud services will continue to increase in the coming years, with one-third of personal data being stored in the cloud by 2016, Gartner predicts.

Today, only about 7% of personal data is stored in the cloud. But, Gartner researchers say the ability for consumers to capture data on their smartphones and tablets, using cameras and video recording devices, will drive the need to store data outside of local traditional options, such as on a personal computer hard drive or an external hard drive. Plus, the advent of technology allowing data to be automatically uploaded to the cloud, will mean that 36% of consumer data will be stored in the cloud within four years.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Windows Malware Forces Printers to Print Garbled Data

Lucian Constantin … Malware Infection Forces Printers to Print Garbled Data, Researchers Say:

Printers connected to Windows computers infected with new variants of a malware program called Trojan.Milicenso, will automatically print out pages full of garbled data, according to security researchers from antivirus firm Symantec.

Trojan.Milicenso is distributed in several ways: as a malicious e-mail attachment, as a drive-by download launched from compromised websites or as a fake codec advertised by social engineering scams, the Symantec researchers said.

After it infects a computer, the malware drops a copy of Aware.Eorezo as a randomly named .spl file (Windows Printer Spool File) in the default Windows printer spool directory -- %SystemRoot%\system32\spool\printers. Despite the .spl extension, the rogue file is actually an executable one.

The spool directory temporarily holds copies of files that printers are scheduled to print. Even though some printers allow users to specify a custom spool directory, many configurations use the default Windows one.

This causes printers attached to computers infected with new Trojan.Milicenso variants to automatically print the contents of the rogue .spl file, sometimes until their paper runs out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Researchers Demonstrate 2.5 Terabits Per Second Wireless


From Sebastian Anthony – Infinite-capacity wireless vortex beams carry 2.5 terabits per second:

American and Israeli researchers have used twisted, vortex beams to transmit data at 2.5 terabits per second. As far as we can discern, this is the fastest wireless network ever created — by some margin. This technique is likely to be used in the next few years to vastly increase the throughput of both wireless and fiber-optic networks.

These twisted signals use orbital angular momentum (OAM) to cram much more data into a single stream. In current state-of-the-art transmission protocols (WiFi, LTE, COFDM), we only modulate the spin angular momentum (SAM) of radio waves, not the OAM. If you picture the Earth, SAM is our planet spinning on its axis, while OAM is our movement around the Sun. Basically, the breakthrough here is that researchers have created a wireless network protocol that uses both OAM and SAM.

In this case, Alan Willner and fellow researchers from the University of Southern California, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tel Aviv University, twisted together eight ~300Gbps visible light data streams using OAM. Each of the eight beams has a different level of OAM twist. The beams are bundled into two groups of four, which are passed through different polarization filters. One bundle of four is transmitted as a thin stream, like a screw thread, while the other four are transmitted around the outside, like a sheathe. The beam is then transmitted over open space (just one meter in this case), and untwisted and processed by the receiving end. 2.5 terabits per second is equivalent to 320 gigabytes per second, or around seven full Blu-ray movies per second.


According to Thide [researcher Bo Thide of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics], OAM should allow us to twist together an “infinite number” of conventional transmission protocols without using any more spectrum. In theory, we should be able to take 10 (or 100 or 1000 or…) WiFi or LTE signals and twist them into a single beam, increasing throughput by 10 (or 100 or 1000 or…) times. For fiber networks, where we still have a lot of spare capacity, this isn’t all that exciting — but for wireless networks, where we’ve virtually run out of useful spectrum, twisted radio waves could provide an instant, future-proof solution. For the networking nerds, Willner’s OAM link has a spectral efficiency of 95.7 bits per hertz; LTE maxes out at 16.32 bits/Hz; 802.11n is 2.4 bits/Hz. Digital TV (DVB-T) is just 0.55 bits/Hz.

Photo from New Journal of Physics

Monday, June 25, 2012

MS Surface, Disruption, and Legacy

Chris Armstrong on Microsoft's Shift

the Intel powered versions of the Surface show us that Microsoft is terrified to move into the future too quickly. I can't see any reason to buy an expensive, overpowered and overheating version of the Surface.

I think he's hit the nail on the head here. Microsoft has always been protective of their cash cows - Windows and Office. They can't make a committed jump to Office in the cloud (Office 365), because they are terrified of cannibalizing one of their core businesses - all the while Google Docs continues to improve and gain ground. In this case, they are unable to see a future without Windows and the legacy apps Surface Pro will support. There's a reason why they're called "legacy" apps!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Apple's Secret

Apple's Secret - Bitstrips:


Floating Cyclists

Floating cyclists:

Zhao Huasen takes photos of people on bicycles and erases the bicycles.

Floating Cyclists


Two LulzSec Hackers Plead Guilty

From Peter Bright … Two LulzSec hackers plead guilty to DDoS attacks:

Ryan Cleary, 24, and Jake "Topiary" Davis, 19, have both entered guilty pleas to two charges of disabling websites belonging to, among others, the National Health Service, News International, Sony, Nintendo, and the Arizona State Police.

Porting from Windows Phone 8 to Windows 8

Tim Greene reporting … Windows 8 Update: Windows Phone 8 Apps Won't Run As-is:

In announcing Windows Phone 8 last week, Microsoft intimated that apps for the new platform would be readily adaptable to Windows 8, but one thing is for sure: Without rewriting, Windows Phone applications will not run on Windows 8.

That means whatever applications businesses may write for the phone will have to be rewritten for tablets, laptops and desktops running Windows 8.

Wireshark 1.8.0 – Capture from Multiple Interfaces at Once


Seems like a great update to an indispensable network troubleshooting utility. Wireshark 1.8.0 can capture from multiple interfaces at once:

Support for capturing from multiple interfaces at the same time is one of the most notable improvements in the major update to the Wireshark network protocol analyser. Version 1.8.0 of the open source, cross-platform tool – used for network troubleshooting, analysis, development and education – also includes support for GeoIP IPv6 databases, and now allows users to add, edit and save packet and capture file annotations.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Everything is a Remix

I've posted these before, but worth re-watching – very well done!

Kirby Ferguson's Everything is a Remix

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Turing Word Cloud Shirts

For your favorite geek – in honor of Alan Turing's 100th birthday.

ThinkGeek :: Turing Word Cloud:




Facebook and Man-In-The-Middle Attacks

Hmmm …

Gervase Markham notices Facebook doing MITM attack on your email.:

Facebook silently inserted themselves into the path of formerly-direct unencrypted communications from people who want to email me. In other contexts, this is known as a Man In The Middle (MITM) attack. What on earth do they think they are playing at?

The Statue of Liberty in Paris

Very cool!

Cyriaque Lamar ... Old photos of the Statue of Liberty standing in Paris were extraordinarily surreal [Megaengineering]

strange views of Lady Liberty, particularly when she was under construction in Paris during the mid-1880s. Here are some curious photographs of this iconic Statue in various states of disarray.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Giant CNC Milling Machine

From Tim Maly … This Giant CNC Mill Will Build Your House:

Meet HSM-Modal. This modular and customizable milling machine can expand into a 41-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall, and 495-foot-long giant. In other words, it’s not a tool you put in your garage; it’s a tool that will build it.

To give you a sense of the scale it’s working at compared to other industrial giants, the machine’s creator EEW Protec calls this monstrosity a “lightweight” thanks largely to its carbon fiber components. Even then, operation requires eight inches of reinforced concrete floor.


HSM-Modal has been used to make boat hulls, massive turbines blades, 1:1 concept vehicle models, and molds for all kinds of casting purposes. But perhaps most interesting is the company’s proposal for the advertising and entertainment industry. They suggest that the machine could whip up “medium-sized to large molds, sculptures, scenery and similar objects.” Imagine designing a set or sound stage on the computer, then pressing Print to have the whole thing carved out for you at a rate of 492 feet per minute.

Wanna see it in action? Watch it mill a concept car.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Launches: Surface vs. iPad

Brilliant! ... and funny

via RRW

Forrester CEO – Facebook Is Toast

Toast toast

Facebook really has to make a big move in mobile!

From Mike Simons … Facebook Is Toast, Forrester CEO Says:

Apple and Google will dominate the emerging digital economy while Facebook "is toast," claimed George Colony, CEO of Forrester, in the opening key note of the analyst group's European forum in Paris.

Colony's provocative predictions came at the conclusion of a session where he challenged IT leaders to "disrupt or be disrupted" and pushed Forrester's theme that Chief Information Officers and the departments they manage need to transform themselves to focus on business technology

The Forrester CEO focused on the accelerating pace of innovation and predicted that mobile engagement will bring as profound a change to business technology as the client-server revolution of the 1980s.

Photo by oskay -

AutoCAD Worm for Industrial Espionage

Wow – scary stuff!


From John Leyden … Rare AutoCAD worm lifted blueprints from Peru, sent them to China:

Security watchers have discovered a worm that targets drawings created in AutoCAD software for computer-aided design (CAD).

Tens of thousands of drawings have been swiped using the malware, which is likely to have been designed for industrial espionage, according to antivirus firm Eset. The worm, dubbed ACAD/Medre.A, steals files and sends them to email accounts located in China. ESET said it had worked with Chinese ISP Tencent, the Chinese National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center and Autodesk – the creator of AutoCAD – to stop the harvesting of drawings by blocking email accounts associated with relaying stolen data. Business users in Peru were the main victims of the attack.

An Introduction to Arduino

A nice primer on Arduino from Matt Richardson

If you have a friend or relative who has been asking "what's an Arduino?" You can point them here. They'll get an overview of what it is and what's possible with it.

Get the kit mentioned in this video: Getting Started with Arduino Kit V3

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How Noise-Canceling Headphones Work

At the left, two normal waves (bottom) and their combined waveform (top). At the right, the two bottom waves are mirror images of each other, and the combined waveform on top is null, or silent.

Great post from Kirk McElhearn ... Three-Minute Tech: How noise-canceling headphones work

The technology works using tiny microphones on the outside of the headphones that monitor ambient sounds, along with special circuitry inside the headphones that turns those sound waves upside down and feeds the resulting inverted waves through the headphones to your ears. This results in destructive interference—when you take two sound waves that are out of phase (each a mirror image of the other), they cancel each other out, resulting in silence. In other words, that external noise is, well, canceled.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Anodizing (Or the Beauty of Corrosion)

Bill describes how metals like aluminum and titanium are made resistant to corrosion by growing an oxide layer into the metals. [This] is the same process used on many Apple products.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quote of the Day

Learning is not compulsory ... neither is survival. - W. Edwards Deming

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Open Source Conference ...

… not open source pricing. Wow!


Registration: OSCON 2012 - O'Reilly Conferences, July 16 - 20, 2012, Portland, OR

Millennials Not So Tech Savvy After All?

I don't think so!

Student at Medical Stimulation Lab

Student at Medical Stimulation Lab

Interesting piece by Brian Proffitt Millennials: They Aren’t So Tech Savvy After All. The article focuses on productivity applications and references two applications/skills in particular – spreadsheets and basic HTML coding. What's wrong with this analysis is that it focuses on old world skills. Spreadsheets? Really? Our students have a wealth of untapped skills – digital content creation (audio, video, photos), impressive search skills, crafting webpages (Tumblr and Facebook) and social networking. While I don't don't dispute that there are tech skills our students need that they don't have, I don't think it's spreadsheets and HTML coding. Instead, I think we should focus on giving them increased competency in information security, privacy, troubleshooting systems and a little bit of networking and computer repair. So let's put the spreadsheets on the shelf, tap into the digital skills our students already have, and focus on the tech skills they really need!

Conventional wisdom has it that kids and young adults now coming of age have been so steeped in everything from video games to social networking that they bring amazing new technology skills to the workforce. The truth may not be so rosy.

Even as millennials (those born and raised around the turn of the century) enter college with far more exposure to computer and mobile technology than their parents ever did, professors are increasingly finding that their students' comfort zone is often limited to social media and Internet apps that don’t do much in the way of productivity. One professor at the University of Notre Dame, for example, reports that many of his students don't even know how to navigate menus in productivity applications.

Photo by Tulane Public Relations -

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, M.C. Escher


Happy Birthday, M.C. Escher! (PHOTOS):

Today we would like to wish a very happy birthday to the master of paradox himself, M.C. Escher. The Dutch artist behind never-ending staircases and gravity-defying landscapes would turn 114 years old if he were magically still alive this June 17th.

Nip in the Bud

Flower Bud

Nip in the bud - Grammarist:

Nip in the bud comes from horticulture, where trimming a bud from a plant prevents the bud from becoming a flower or fruit. Used metaphorically, the phrase usually means to stop a potential problem before it develops. For example, you might nip an argument in the bud by coming to a compromise immediately, or you might nip an illness in the bud by taking medicine as soon as you feel symptoms.

Some plants thrive when buds are selectively nipped—even when the nipped buds are not especially harmful—so a slightly different metaphorical meaning of nip in the bud would be to end something early for the sake of a greater good. But the phrase is usually used in the first sense.

Photo by wackybadger -

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Voyager Is Leaving The Solar System



From Henry Blodget – Voyager Is Leaving The Solar System!:

The Voyager 1 space probe, which launched in 1977, has now reached the edge of the solar system Chris Wickham at Reuters reports. It will soon become the first and only man-made object to enter interstellar space.

Voyager is now about 18 billion kilometers from the sun. It's traveling at 17 kilometers per second. It takes 16 hours and 38 minutes for its radio signals to reach earth.

The probe is powered by plutonium, a power source that is designed to last until 2025. After that, Voyager will keep speeding through space, but we'll never hear from it again.

Voyager photo by San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives -

Math Humor

From Nathan Yau … Always label your axes:

label your axes

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zune or Xbox?

That seems to be the prevailing question regarding Microsoft's planned tablet offering.

Chris Rawson's thoughts on Microsoft planning to launch its own tablet... again

Perhaps Microsoft has something truly magical and revolutionary up its sleeve for its Monday event. Maybe its tablet will be more Xbox than Zune in terms of its success. But based on the past decade of “innovation” coming out of Redmond, I truly wouldn’t count on it.

Microsoft's 'iPad Killer'


Can you say Zune?

Chris Taylor reporting … Microsoft Is Launching an 'iPad Killer' [REPORT]:

We already had our invitation to Microsoft’s “major” announcement in Hollywood next Monday — an Apple-style event so hush-hush, there isn’t even a location yet.

Now rumors are starting to coalesce around the thing being launched: a touchscreen tablet, manufactured by Microsoft itself, running on Windows RT (a version of Windows 8), intended to rival Apple’s iPad.

Amazon E-Books Not Such a Great Deal …

… for authors.

Andrew Hyde analyzes that sales data for his travel e-book. Really shocking – I had no idea! Amazon’s Markup of Digital Delivery to Indie Authors Is Around 129,000 Percent:

So my book about travel came out last week! You should buy it! A pretty exciting time.  I’ve decided to write a few posts covering the launch and lessons I’ve learned.I self published it (wrote, designed, marketed and even did the layout for it) and am really proud of the project.

This post is about the where the sales of the book are coming from, and why Amazon takes 48% of digital book sales.  Surprising eh?  I thought Amazon was the BEST for indie authors, right?


Wait, Amazon pays out the worst? What? This can’t be right! They are the best right? Everyone loves them. I love them. I dig a bit deeper and find this little gem:

Avg. Delivery Cost ($) 2.58.

So for every $9.99 book I sell I, the author, pay 30% to Amazon for the right to sell on Amazon AND $2.58 for them to deliver the DIGITAL GOOD to your device. It is free for the reader, but the author, not amazon, pays for delivery.[emphasis added – MQ]

The file itself is under their suggested 50MB cap Amazon says to keep it under at 18.1MB. The book contains upwards of 50 pictures and the one file for Kindle needs to be able to be read on their smallest displays in black and white and their full color large screen Mac app). I’m confused. Amazon stores a ton of the Internet on S3/EC2, they should have the storage and delivery down. If I stored that file on S3/EC2 it would cost me $.01 PER FIVE DOWNLOADS. Hat tip to Robby for that one. Use Amazon to run your website: .01 to download a file. Use amazon to sell your book: $2.58 per download + 30% of whatever you sell.

(Via Daring Fireball)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Windows 8 in a Word

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes shares his Final thoughts on Windows 8: A design disaster:

I’m now ready to sum up my Windows 8 experience with a single word: awful.

I could have chosen a number of other words — terrible, horrible, painful and execrable all spring to mind — but it doesn’t matter, the sentiment is the same.

Nokia to Fire 10,000

From Marcus Wohlsen – Nokia Fires 10,000: Looks to Undercut Cheap Android Phones


Nokia, formerly known as the world’s largest mobile phone maker, announced during a news conference that up to 10,000 workers would lose their jobs. The company also said a factory in its native Finland and research operations in Germany and Canada would close.

The cutbacks aimed at “sharpening its strategy” come as Nokia lobs a Hail Mary toward smartphone relevance by partnering with Microsoft, whose own Windows Phone mobile operating system has yet to capture imaginations in a world dominated by iPhone and Android.

In a conference call to discuss Thursday’s grim news, Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop focused not on the high-end but said the company was working with Microsoft to go even cheaper than its entry-level Lumia 610 with a specific aim of undercutting low-priced Android handsets.

Open-Source and Blackboard?


Oil and water? I've never understood this relationship. Why the Man With the Open-Source Tattoo Now Works for Blackboard: Listen here

Charles Severance helped start Sakai, an open-source alternative to Blackboard’s course-management software. In a surprising move, Blackboard hired Mr. Severance this Spring to lead its bid to support the open-source software. The Tech Therapy team talks to this open-source pioneer about how it happened and the future of open source in higher education.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Microsoft Buying Yammer?

Owen Thomas … Microsoft Is Buying Yammer, According To People At Yammer (MSFT):

We just heard from a source inside Yammer that the office is abuzz with talk of Microsoft buying the social-enterprise startup.

Making the Case for Renewable Energy


From Andrew Sullivan … Quote For The Day IV

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that,”

Great quote making the case for moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Who said this? Al Gore? A president? A nobel prize winner? Nope – click here for the answer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Litmus Test


Litmus test - Grammarist:

Litmus is a substance, made of lichen-based dyes, that is absorbed in paper and used to test acidity. Blue litmus turns red when exposed to acidic materials and red litmus turns blue when exposed to nonacidic materials. This is the origin of litmus test in its figurative sense—i.e., a test that draws broad conclusions based on a single factor. By extension, it’s also used to refer to a small result that is useful for predicting a larger result.

Photo by magnuscanis -

Dwelled vs. Dwelt

Dwelled vs. dwelt - Grammarist:

In American English, the past tense and past participle of dwell is usually dwelled. In varieties of English from outside North America, dwelt is the preferred form. Both are common in Canadian English.

Both forms are many centuries old, but dwelt has been more common for at least three centuries. The American preference for dwelled is a new development.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Scent of a Book


From Lauren Davis … Spritz this perfume on your e-reader to make it smell like a paper book:

For those who complain that ebooks lack the olfactory experience of opening a freshly printed book, Passion Paper has conveniently bottled the scent of ink on paper. It's meant for a person to wear, but you could easily spray a little on near your screen before you settle down with a good ebook.

Get it here

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Nerd, Dork, Geek Spectrum

Where do you fall in the spectrum? I'm somewhere between Nerd and Geek (self-diagnosed), but often veer hopelessly into Social Ineptitude.

From Dustin … Nerd, Dork, Geek:

Why do we almost always use “three” circles for venns? Could this diagram have benefited from another circle?


Saturday, June 09, 2012

An LED That Puts Out More Energy Than it Uses?

I'm dubious, but the last sentence seems to explain it.

From Duncan Geere … Ultra-efficient LED puts out more power than is pumped in:

MIT physicists have managed to build a light-emitting diode that has an electrical efficiency of more than 100 percent. You may ask, "Wouldn't that mean it breaks the first law of thermodynamics?" The answer, happily, is no.

The LED produces 69 picowatts of light using 30 picowatts of power, giving it an efficiency of 230 percent. That means it operates above "unity efficiency" -- putting it into a category normally occupied by perpetual motion machines.

However, while MIT's diode puts out more than twice as much energy in photons as it's fed in electrons, it doesn't violate the conservation of energy because it appears to draw in heat energy from its surroundings instead. When it gets more than 100 percent electrically -efficient, it begins to cool down, stealing energy from its environment to convert into more photons.

Friday, June 08, 2012

A Single PC Can Take Down a Server!

Scary DoS (denial of service) detailed by Dan Goodin - New DoS tool lets a single PC bring down an Apache server

Recently discovered malware circulating online gives miscreants a small arsenal of denial-of-service attack tools, including a relatively new one that allows a single PC to take down an Apache webserver, a researcher said.

MP-DDoser, as documented in a blog post by Arbor Networks researcher Jeff Edwards, implements an exploit known as "Apache Killer," which first came to light last August. Researchers said then that it worked by sending Apache servers multiple GET requests containing overlapping byte ranges, consuming all memory on a target system. The Arbor post suggested the technique worked against other webserver applications.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

CCD: The Heart of a Digital Camera

Bill Hammack, better known as The Engineer Guy explains the CCD.

via Engadget

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Gordon And Mike's Bits and Bytes Podcast


Gordon Snyder and I have started podcasting again – a new re-branded Bits and Bytes Podcast.

You can listen to this week's podcast Disappearing Facebook, Online Cheating, 4G and Dial-Up Modems here and read the show notes at Gordon And Mike's Bits and Bytes Podcast

I Won't Bother Using Real Words

From Dustin Smith – Presentation Charts:


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury on E-books and Gadgets

Acclaimed Sci-Fi writer Ray Bradbury died today at 91. Here are a couple quotes I found interesting:

Via the Huffington Post

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wirelessly Transfer Data at 2 Gbps


Not today or tomorrow, but soon. And with 802.11ac and 802.11ad coming, the future for wireless looks very bright. Cables could quickly become a thing of the past.

John Chan … 2Gbps Wireless Chip

Scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU)’s Virtus IC Design Centre of Excellence have announced a new microchip called Virtus (named after the design center) that promises up to 2Gbps wireless data transfers in mobile devices. This will theoretically allow users to transfer 1GB worth of data in under 5s. Not only would this make copying music and videos to and from phones painless, it could also be used to make streaming content from mobile devices to TVs and projectors more convenient.

The Virtus meets the upcoming IEEE 802.11ad standard, which is complementary to current Wi-Fi technologies such as 802.11n and the latest 802.11ac . The latter two work in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, and are widely used for Wi-Fi networks. 802.11ad, however, uses the 60GHz spectrum and has the potential for much higher transfer speeds. The downside is that it has limited range and wall penetration, and is thus more suitable for short distance device-to-device communications.

Photo by DeclanTM -

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Google Held Back iOS' Maps Features for Years

John Fingas reporting … Apple said held back by Google on iOS' Maps features for years, might bring turn-by-turn nav to WWDC:

The tales of Apple possibly dumping Google Maps as the backend for iOS 6's Maps app are gathering steam, but we're now learning just how much forethought may have gone into the split. According to theWSJ's favorite tipsters, "people familiar with the matter," Apple isn't just hoping to spurn Android -- it's reacting to push-back it got years earlier. Google supposedly delayed Street View, and blocked Google Maps Navigation outright, as it wasn't getting the limelight for branding and couldn't push in social tracking services that tend to make a privacy-sensitive Apple jittery, like Latitude. The August 2009 buyout of Placebase was ground zero for Apple's shift, which saw subsequent deals for Poly9 and C3 Technologies flesh out the project.

As for the end results? They supposedly include turn-by-turn navigation that mimics an "in-car GPS device," and regular mapping should now be free to integrate with other apps: Calendar might warn you if a traffic jam on Interstate 280 will affect that appointment at 1 Infinite Loop, as an example. We might not have long to wait for the truth behind the new tips and earlier leaked shots, as the contacts believe Apple could show its Maps overhaul when WWDC starts next week.

Getty Images Updates Their Watermark


Brilliant! GettyImages

Rather than being a barrier, a watermark should give you access. That’s why we’re getting rid of our old watermark and replacing it with one that’s less invasive and more useful.

Monday, June 04, 2012

802.15.6 - BAN: Body Area Networking

We can add this new acronym to PAN, LAN, WLAN, WAN, etc

From Shuang Yu - IEEE 802.15.6, A New Standard for Body Area Networking

IEEE, the world’s largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, today announced a new standard, IEEE 802.15.6™-2012, optimized to serve wireless communications needs for ultra-low power devices operating in or around the human body. Created for a variety of applications, IEEE 802.15.6-2012 is designed to address and compensate for the effects of a body on network performance. It will help enable a new generation of wireless implantable devices, assist in the development of new opportunities for delivering better healthcare as well as support other innovative uses for wearable computing devices.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Dvorak Keyboards on iPad

Sadly, the built-in virtual keyboard doesn't support a Dvorak layout, but as is often the case, there's an app for that.


This may not allow you to replace the keyboard on the iPad, but for 99 cents you could experiment with the Dvorak layout to see if it works for you.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Dvorak Keyboards

Do any tablets support switching the virtual keyboard from Qwerty to Dvorak?


Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason with An anecdote on switching from the QWERTY layout to Dvorak:

I started using Dvorak because a year or so into my first tech job I started getting RSI from typing, it was at the point where I'd often spend long stretches of time just browsing around code formulating my next steps (which would involve minimal typing) instead of actually doing anything, since the doing would mean pain in my hands.

I'd been touch-typing in the sense that I never needed to look at the keyboard for years, but with the QWERTY layout my touch-typing would be really ad-hoc, my hands would hover over the keyboard jumping from place to place while I was typing.

So long story short I found out about the Dvorak layout, how it was supposedly more ergonomic and decided to give it a shot, could turkey. My method of doing this was to print out a copy of the Dvorak layout from Wikipedia (attached) and glue it to my monitor. Then I'd type really slowly with the keyboard in my lap under the table (my usual working posture at the time).

It took me around 3 hours or so to be able to do any sort of basic typing with Dvorak, 3 days not to type painfully slowly, 3 weeks to type at some approximation of reasonable speed, and 3 months to get back to the speed I typed when I was using QWERTY.

One thing I noticed within a couple of hours of starting to use Dvorak was that it felt like much less effort, with QWERTY my hands would jump all over the keyboard, whereas with Dvorak you feel more like your hands keep gliding from place to place and don't jump around as much.

The reason for this is that with Dvorak you end up typing more on the home row (around 70% of strokes with English text instead of around 30% with QWERTY), that Dvorak is arranged so you're more likely to alternate between your hands, and that the keys are explicitly arranged so the hand movements are more natural. There's some more coverage of this in the Wikipedia article about the layout.

To sum this all up from what I remember about using QWERTY Dvorak is much better, and I haven't had any RSI ever since switching to it.

Friday, June 01, 2012

The Future of the Book

Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?


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