Showing posts with the label pittsburgh

CMU: Snakebots

Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh (CMU) has been working on some creepy, sneaky but way cool Snakebots and have a video to demonstrate how it can be used:

Creepy fellow: Scutigera coleoptrata

Friend from PGH posted a picture of a scary looking centipede that we used to see a lot in our basement in Pittsburgh (PGH). It's fast, REALLY fast and looks terrible. But it actually eat other nasty insects in the house. :) The Scutigera coleoptrata is slightly toxic but its bite can't penetrate human skin. If it should, it won't be worse than a mosquito bite of bee sting, unless you're allergic. But always sucks anyway. ;)

Update: Funny story of a guy's living experiences with the critter.

Twittering too

I am on Twitter now too.

I've been contemplating about it for a few months and just decided to go ahead with it. Twitter is becoming a nice platform, not just a tool. There is a whole "ecology" growing around the idea of "microblogging". But when sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Hyves and others start to incorporate similar things and API open up to link things together, there is something to be had.

I'd like to tweet and be able to specify the 'channel' the update belongs to. Not all my channels are equal, some are more equal than others. Some private thoughts should not be visible for professionals on LinkedIn, for instance. Likewise, having recently become divorced and spitting out harsh feelings for the world to see has proven that not all my friends are equally interested in raw feelings or don't know what to say when presented with them. If I can group my friends into channels and permit certain friends to watch some channels but not others, t…

Getting Being old

Today I realized I am not getting older, I am old. :)
I read the newsletter of the Pitt Alumni and glanced upon the Athletics news. That reminded me of my Diving coach Julian Krug and I wondered how he'd be. I searched Google and found some news regarding the Olympics from last Summer in Beijing. "Cool!" I thought and read it...
It shocked me to read about Cassidy Krug, who tried to make the selection.. O_o She was 3 when I met her. Julian and his wife Dorothy often brought her to practise or diving meets where I'd help with the scoring. She would bounce all over the trampoline and make me jealous with her dare devil attitude! :) LOL Now... she graduated from Stanford (where was in the Diving team), wanted to make the Olympic team and is writing Diving history just like her father! Oh and she'll 22 years old and beautiful! ;)

You know you're getting old when... remember the first Internet worm, 20 years ago!

I was at Pitt then, sophomore in college doing a double major Chemistry and Computer Science. I read it on usenet and we had to laugh at the mistake, clearly recognizing the skill of the guy but also finding the mistake a bit too likely to happen to ourselves. :) Cheers Morris!

George Carlin dies at 71

My all-time favorite comedian, George Carlin, died last week of an heart failure, according to the International Herald Tribune. I first heard about him in college in Pittsburgh, as he was immensely popular with university students. Later, I ordered his CDs over the internet and got his stuff on my stereo. Lately, I browsed youtube for sketches and some brilliant sarcastic self-reflecting thoughts that are so un-American it is genius.

Allegheny Conference

Last night, Isa and I went to the Allegheny Conference in the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam. I had received an invite through the PITT Alumni Association - for which I/we am/are the Area Representatives for Benelux - and was excepting something along the previous lines. However, it was a very well organized international trip to Europe to get new foreign investments into the Pittsburgh area. It is the 250th birthday of Pittsburgh this year and it has been re-elected as the US's "Most Liveable City". The first time ever a city has been given that title twice!!! :proud:
Anyway, we met another Dutch couple who'd lived there for several years and is now living in Holland. We met the mayor of Pittsburgh. And I'm helping to get Direct Flights to Pittsburgh. And hope the PITT Alumni group on LinkedIn can help out next year... :)


OK, I love cartoons. I adore animated series. I think full-length CGI movies are to die for! :) Toy Story (1995) was awesome. It was unbelievable what they did, they being Pixar. I had first seen Pixar during the 1987 Computer Animation Festival in Pittsburgh (the play house): Red's Dream. I was smitten. A feature length movie would be ideal. And Toy Story was!
Ratatouille is the latest and greatest of Pixar geniuses. The technology is out of this world!!! The detail in incredible. The movie outstanding. Everything is sublime. And believe me, I checked. The hairs on the mouse, the way the rain drops bounce when they hit the pavement, the brisstle of leaves in trees, the change in motion when a person carries a heavy object, change of focus, focus position, depth-of-field, color tone of the light (temperature) differences between outdoor/indoor day/dusk/night... it's all there. And *everything* is computer generated. That means NOTHING is there by accident! Someone placed that o…

MacBook Pro, OS X, Vista and Ubuntu

I finally got my new laptop today... Pfff, 2-3 day delivery turned 12-13 day delivery! Grrr %@#&$%@!! Anyway... I got my Apple MacBook Pro today! Dual-core, 2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 100 GB disk. Nice stuff. Packaging is really tremendous. Now I know why they cost so much! LOL Seriously, it been about 15 years since I've last touched a Mac. Back at Pitt, I used to work with Mac Classics on a daily basis and used them for all my word processing because MacWrite was much better than Word 2.0. ;) Sjeez, I'm old... So seeing OS X in a hands-on situation for the first took a bit of getting used to. I still do, as a matter of fact. The whole Finder experience has always been a bit daunting for me, even back in 1987.
However, I've installed Bootcamp on it already and updated with the lastest security fixes (140MB!). A colleague also pointed me to REFIt, a boot loader specifically for EFI computers (i.e. software BIOS) so you can add regular boot loaders, such as GRUB. Of course, I want…

Pittsburgh Penguins bought by BlackBerry

The CEO of the makers of BlackBerry has bought the Pittsburgh Pengiuns hockey team for $175 million...
Wow, didn't know they were for sale. Didn't know they needed the money. It seems the world is on a shopping spree with women buying tickets to space, buying MySpace and sports teams being sold like cinnamon rolls... tsk

Pitt Tuition in 2006

While discussing tuition rates in Holland for College, I became curious what tuition would be today, if I went to Pitt for Graduate school: Shock! Unbelievable!
I guess that is out of the question...

Pittsburgh Steelers win SuperBowl

Wow, I can't believen it! After like 30 years or so, Pittsburgh finally wins another Superbowl! Amazing. I believe last year they lost in the finals or so... Too bad I no longer live in Pittsburgh, because while I lived there (1986-1990), the Steelers weren't much at all. I went to a few games in Three Rivers Stadium and decided College games were much more fun. The damn commerical breaks in NFL annoyed the hell out of me. :D
But today I am kinda proud that I have lived there and carry at least the knowledge of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So I'll say: congrats to the team and all of its fans in the Burgh!


Raymond Wong, aka Firefox, is a site by a friend from my time in Pittsburgh. He is a friend and former Zet, just like me. :) Cool! Just learned through good ol' 'zm' that he had a site and wrote a book. :respect:

Roxette singer free of cancer

Recently, I heard a remake of the Roxette song "Listen to your heart" on the radio and remember that they were about to go on tour when she was diagnozed with cancer. The tour was cancelled, etc. etc. But since then I had't heard anything. So I just did some digging (heard another song on the radio) and found out: Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson was declared free of cancer this year, on my birthday! LOL Cool! She is no longer receiving medication and will probably get back to work. But for now, she's ok and taking it easy... (y) Good to hear!
I always liked Roxette and they had a big hit on the day I graduated from Pitt (April 28th 1990). Good memories! :D

Zets Banquet at Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe

My old group of the friends from Pittsburgh held their annual banquet again tonight. It's also the election of the Persident and Vice (Just Vice). Here are some pictures of the Zets Banquet at Joe Mama's Italian Deluxe. Good to see you guys again! It's been ages...!

Europe's Largest WiFi hotspot is on a University campus

The University of Twente in Enschede, Netherlands, has the largest WiFi hotspot of Europe (Article in Dutch, sorry). It is where I went to college after getting my Bachelors in the USA (Pittsburgh). Great, now they get all innovative and all... That does me a lot of good! ;)
A total of 650 hotspots covering 140 hectare has been covered with help of IBM and Cisco and a grant from the Dutch Dept of Economics. It Not only allows people of surf anywhere, but also enables a whole range of new ways to teach classes.
The Industrial Design students, for instance, all work with (required) laptops with a fast 54Mb/s WiFi link (802.11g) so they always the information they need with them. It also means rooms are more flexible because less material is needed to create on, with most materials being available on-line.