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Showing posts from August, 2008

Aurora Cilindro LED lights

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Met these nice people in France at the hotel. He was launching a new multi-color LED table light/lamp in Europe. Thought it might be something cool for Zamen, the chain of restaurants I work for.

The lamp is called Aurora Cilindro and is the size of a fat wax candle. It is rechargeable and features 8 LEDs for a multitude of colors. They're selling it in sets of 8 for €100 each. So not cheap yet, but it's still in early phases. They are also making other types/sizes of lamps: the Aurora Toretta and the Aurora Ovale. Cool, wish I could get some, because the light is very nice and warm and soothing!

Petra's photo serie of the Dance Parade

Petra made a beautiful set of pictures at the Dance Parade this year! Very original. And it captures the feeling of dancing very well! (K) My pictures are very uneventful, although a few are nice. However, I could come up with enough inspiration this year. :(

Professional photography accessories

While reading a story on how Nikon is aggressively punishing Canon by giving D3s out to Canon guys, I read the article about a photographers trip to the Olympics. Of course, the equipment list is impressive and I'd kill for 1/4 of it, but more interesting to me was the list of accessories and how it packing it all. Because it truly is A LOT!
Here are some links that may be useful: Bogen/ManfrottoMagic Arm, Slik Pro ball head, PocketWizard MultiMax remote, ThinkTank Airport and Urban Disguise™ bags and ThinkTank raincovers (coool!)

Nice Olympic pictures

Stern, a German magazine, has a beautiful selection of photos of the Olympics.

Why people pirate computer games

Positech wondered why people pirate their games and it made a bold move: ask the pirateers why they do what they do. It worked! Slashdot, Digg, Arstechnica and many more geek sites picked up the faint cry and gave their replies. Positech has just posted the result: Talking To Pirates.
/me scurries off to read

Update: it's interesting to see the responses of people and where the majority lies. There are bastards everywhere, also among gamers and among pirates. Not everyone is evil, some just maybe be mad and need to be heard. Cool! I've looked at the games and this makes me more inclined to buying theirs instead of others'

Sony introducing OLED TVs in 2009

T3 says Sony will live up to its promise and launch the first OLED TV for consumers in the UK in early 2009. The Sony XEL-1 has a 3mm thick display and fits all the logic in its base. It costs a whopping £1500 and measure 11" in diagonal. You do get a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio though... :S

The BeagleBoard: $149 Linux System

Was rereading LinuxJournal's write up over Jailkit, an easy toolkit to setup and configure scp/sftp for specific users, when my eye saw this: The BeagleBoard: a $149 Linux System.

The specs are impressive! I only lack an Ethernet port, but using USB (for power), you could add disk storage as well as a network port. Easy! What could you do with it? Uhm... create a media server with it; build a portable movie center; build a fancy web or database server; create a firewall or proxy server... lots!

I'm thinking putting this inside a small box, take a USB hub with power, a USB Bluetooth dongle, a Bluetooth mini keyboard and a mouse. Add Linux, install VLC and connect your choice of USB disk(s) filled to the brim with HD 720p movies and all you need is a TV with an S-video input and you can watch whatever you brought with you! w00t :nerd:

Tiësto in London

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Tiësto did a cool show in the O2 Arena (you know, the millennium tent). Although I think the Gelredome in Arnhem is bigger (25,000?), it is a really cool place for a DJ set! w00t Wish I had been there! Great show using a 200 m2 LED wall behind him. So cool!

Lenovo ThinkPad W700

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Lenovo has the new killer laptop! It's a 4 kg beast but it has more than most desktops!
The ThinkPad W700 features a 3.0 GHz Core 2 Extreme quad core processor (!), up to 8 GB DDR3 RAM, a professional NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700M graphics with 1 GB of RAM and dual harddisk bays with an on-board RAID controller. Oh, and a 17" screen (a bit disappointing, I thought), a built-in Wacom tablet, dual-link DVI, 5 USB pors, WiFi/WiMax and an optional Blu-ray drive. Prices start at $3000, so that's fine too! ;)

Inside the Linux boot process

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Just an interesting tid-bit that I had been wondering about for a while: why is there a "boot stage 1.5" during Linux boot? I see a "stage 1" notification, then stage 1.5, but nothing else... How come?
Well, IBM has the answer in "Inside the Linux boot process". Linux uses a 2 stage boot process, stage 1 loads the boot loader, stage loads the kernel. But to allow Linux to load the kernel from a native file system such as ext2 or ext3 (or Reiser, XFS, ZFS, etc.), GRUB introduces an additional stage 1.5 that understands those file systems. Stage 2 then still loads the kernel, only now it can reside in a normal Linux partition instead of a raw disk sectors, such as with LILO. Neat!

Daily Arctic Sea Ice Maps

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Rumors about the north Pole melting? True or false?
Check for yourself using the Daily Arctic Sea Ice Maps

R E V O L V: $15 Computer in India

Blogosphere is all hyped about these MIT students who are working on turning a $15 Computer in India into a more modern computer with Internet access. Check the picture book of what it looks like. Reminds me of my C64 days...

What if: 40,000 ecstasy pills in nine years

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The Guardian has a story of a guy who took an estimated 40,000 ecstasy (XTC) pills in nine years! He reported himself and was treated as much as was possible, but checked himself out a year ago and has been lost since then.
The guy showed signs of permanent memory loss and especially short-term memory problems. He also had muscle rigidity around neck and mouth which could prevent him from opening his mouth. He started taking ecstasy when he was 21 and gradually took more and more pills until he used 3-4 pills a day! Eventually, he took 25 pills per day for 4 years!!!

adaptive path: future interaction with web content

The adaptive path blog has an interesting technology preview called Aurora (it's all faked, BTW) about how we might interact with content on the web and our local data (which might also be online somewhere), our friends, localization and manipulation of data in a Web2.0 or 3.0 fashion to customize and personalize it in a way that is more suitable for us.

8 Useful Adobe AIR Applications That Work In Linux

While most of the cool AIR applications are meant for the Windows/Mac platform, here is a list of 8 useful AIR applications that have been tested and found to be working in Linux.Personally, I'd install WebKut just for the name and use as often as possible during live demos and presentations! ('Kut' means 'cunt' in Dutch! Pardon my French.)

read more | digg story

WiFi monitor arrives on Linux desktops

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A really nice WiFi monitoring, debugging and securing tool for WiFi networks, which has been freely available for Windows and OS X for some time now, has arrived for Linux too!

The Xirrus WiFi software let you:

Details on available WiFi networks, including SSID, signal strength, channel, and security
Current WiFi connection signal strength with five-minute history
Display of WiFi adapter IP and MAC addresses


Applications for the utility include, searching for WiFi networks, verifying WiFi coverage, locating WiFi devices, detecting rogue APs, aiming WiFi antennas.

The Cult of the Kindle

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Kindle...? WTF? Cult? Huh? Did I miss something? Reading Source Claims 240K Kindles Sold on Slashdot, it starts to dawn on me that I did read something about an eBook reader appearing before Xmas last year. Turns out this "Kindle", by Amazon, is becoming quite a hit! And new one may arrive in October. :) Wow, those ugly plastic gray thingies for $350 may start a revolution after all! Can't wait to own a shiny, gray, plastic, device with a 6" B&W LCD display at a whopping 600x800 resolution! ;)

Obscura Digital's VisionAire holographic multi-touch display

TVs, flat panel LCDs, Plasma screens... :yawn: It's all sooo last century! Multi-touch displays...? Hmmm, I'm getting interested. But I've seen Microsoft's Surface and Sphere thingies. I want something cooler!

OK, how about a holographic multi-touch interface that just displays objects in midair? You can zoom, select and interact just like Tom Cruise in "Minority Report" only this time, it's real, not clever CGI effects. Too good to be true? To hard top make? Wrong! Check out the video of Obscura Digital's new VisionAire technology. Cooool!

SmugShot for the iPhone

People at Smugmug, where Petra and I host our photos, are as much tech geeks as I am because they keep answering my questions without me having to ask them. :)
After they were accepted to the Apple SDK for the iPhone, they built a sweet, simple, small app SmugShot to upload any photos you've taken, add geotags (or not), add keywords (or not) and post them to your smug. Sweeet!

New Mario Kart Wii tournament hacked up

I saw this for myself this weekend, but it seems to be true: the New Mario Kart Wii tournament has been hacked. :) Qualifying times of 00:00.004 seconds can't be real. I tried... :) It also seems that Time Trials have been hacked already, which I also saw myself. However, upon viewing their ghost data, the time posted was a more normal 01:54.xxx. Still incredible, but more believable. :)

Bees clean up oil spills

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NASA has created Green Technology to Revolutionize Oil Spill Clean Up, such as was the case with the Exxon Valdez. It uses bees...

Actually, hollow spheres are created from beeswax. The spheres will suck up the oil into their cavities where microbes eat the oil and produce enzymes that help oil break down more quickly. Coool! Read more about PRP Powder on UniRem's website.

Build A Book On Facebook With Blurb

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Everyone has a digicam these days, but not everyone has a good picture of a certain subject. What if you could get together with anyone and let them contribute (with credits!) a picture to you and your great idea for a photo project?
Now you can! Facebook and Blurb have combined forces to let anyone cooperate with 50+ million other Facebook members to create new and innovative photo projects with the Blurb GroupBook. Members can make a new project, set subject and guidelines and ask other to contribute photos to their project. Images can be selected by the project owner and put into a printable, sell-able photo book and everyone gets their name mentioned! Perfect example of Creative Commons licensing.

Protect your data with self-correcting code

This guy is a my kind of hero. Smart, savvy, open and helpful. He is the guy who downloaded the entire wikipedia, so he could browse it offline too. :) And he surprised everyone with the facts that wikipedia is only 2-3 GB in size and can be imported in minutes in your local copy for personal pleasure (vs. day-long imports in MySQL)...
But he also devised a way to protect his imported data from data corruption. Despite ubiquitous storage in the form of CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, USB keys, USB disks and RAID arrays, one single bad block or magnetic pulse or scratch can still cause read errors in your precious backup and make you loose that one important file just when it need it badly (Murphy's Law).
Thanassis used a very common error-correcting Reed-Solomon code to add 32 bytes of redundancy to every 233 bytes of data, resulting in 255 bytes shielded against 16 failures! His code works on most Intel x86 operating systems (Linux, Free/Net/OpenBSD, Windows(Cygwin/MinGW) and is easy to use. …