April 23rd, 2004 by rbanks
The site is taking a short holiday. Service will resume on Tuesday May 4th.
The site is taking a short holiday. Service will resume on Tuesday May 4th.
Welcome to Knock-In-Key!. “With no external devices or traditional keys, knock-in-key allows the user to operate the vehicle’s existing central locking by simply knocking a predefined code on the vehicleâ€™s glass or panel.”
Father and daughter’s SMS lifeline. “An Essex man has taught himself to use text-messaging at the age of 81 so that he can communicate with his daughter who is deaf and has no speech.”
TV-to-cellphone SD card video recorder. “Japanese firm Solid Alliance, in partnership with Mitsubishi Plastics, Media Ring, and Connect Technologies, has come up with a little pyramidal device that hooks up to your TV and records video in 3GPP format onto an SD or miniSD card for playback on a cellphone.”
The Patent Busting Project. “Every year numerous illegitimate patent applications make their way through the United States patent examination process without adequate review. The problem is particularly acute in the software and Internet fields where the history of prior inventions (often called “prior art”) is widely distributed and poorly documented.”
Credit card only works when spoken to
. “The card requires users to give a spoken password that it authenticates using a built-in voice-recognition chip. The idea is to prevent thieves using a stolen card or fraudsters using someone else’s credit card details to buy goods online.”
Buy Design II. “Over the decade, through markets bull and bear, design-intelligent companies beat the UK FTSE 100 index by 200%. (The FTSE follows the 100 largest companies on the London Stock Exchange. It is the British Dow Jones or S&P.)”
Fast Company Now
Intel touts ‘MP3 for 3D’ universal graphics format. “In particular, they hope that such a standard will allow 3D data to be more easily incorporated into other apps, such as web browsers, to make 3D imagery more widespread – and, in turn, boost demand for faster processors and graphics chips.”
No Wires, No Rules. “Zooming down the highway, you’ll be able to use a laptop or PDA to check the weather or the traffic a few miles ahead. Back at home, couch potatoes will be able to dish up movies from their PC and transfer them to the flat screen in the living room — without any wires at all. And tiny wireless sensors will control the lights in skyscrapers, monitor utility meters in suburban neighborhoods, even track toxicity levels in wastewater.”
Loft Cube. A modular apartment that can be airlifted to any location.
Googling the genome. “Once personal genomes are available, all the facts about your susceptibility to medical conditions are there waiting for you on the CD-Rom, whether you want them or not. It is already hard enough for people at risk to decide whether to take a test for illnesses, such as Huntington’s, that are currently incurable, since nothing can be done in the event of a positive result. Personal genomes will deepen the quandary.”
A Machine-To-Machine “Internet Of Things”. “Nestlé (NSRGY ) is installing hundreds of ice-cream vending machines in France and England that send daily reports on their sales and notify drivers if they’re running low on Maxibon sandwiches or Extrême cones. Canadian train and plane maker Bombardier Inc. (BBD.B ) has fitted 1,000 railcars in Britain with radio devices that transmit reams of preventive maintenance data. And Dutch giant Royal Philips Electronics (PHG ) wants to put wireless links in all of its products, from entertainment gear to medical systems. It’s even developing technology that links light fixtures using ZigBee radios.”
Wired News: Detroit Parking Meters Go Online. “DETROIT — Credit cards, cell phones and even old-fashioned cash can be used to operate the high-tech parking meters going up around town but some drivers find them a bit intimidating.
“You need a master’s degree or something,” said Robert Blackwell as he tried to figure out how to use one of the new meters. “All I’m trying to do is not get a parking ticket.”
The rise of wireless connectivity and our latest findings. “55% of the 128 million Americans who describe themselves as Internet users go online during a typical day. Online whites are substantially more likely than online blacks to go online during a typical day; 59% of wired whites are online on that average day, compared to 35% of wired blacks. Hispanics fall in between: 41% of wired Latinos go online during a typical day. Generally, the more education, the more household income, the more Internet experience a person has, the more likely it is that he or she will be online during a typical day.”
Pew Internet & American Life Project
MoCoLoco: M.I.S.S.. “Philippe Starck’s ‘Audiovisual sofa’ for Cassina is ‘an elegant sofa which, not content with just being comfortable, also houses an audio system’. The main advantage of the new system is the fact that the AV equipment and wiring vanish from sight completely.”
Text message can change artwork’s colour. “A 10-metre high beacon of light that can change colour by having a text message sent to it, is going on display in Middlesbrough.”
PCs ‘infested’ with spy programs. “The US net provider EarthLink said it uncovered an average of 28 spyware programs on each PC scanned during the first three months of the year.”
Danes tag kids with Bluetooth. “Parents can buy a armlet for their child for DKK 20 (about $3). Should a child wander off, they merely have to send a SMS requesting information on the particular tag. Shortly thereafter they receive a message back specifying the location of the child’s nearest Bluetooth receiver. The access points can pinpoint the location down to 20 metres.”
Japanese books on cell phones. “The person behind the biggest success story so far, is ‘Yoshi’, who authored ‘Deep Love’, a novel about a 17-year-old girl named Ayu, who finds love through a chance encounter. After sending out email excerpts that attracted thousands of Japanese teenage ‘small screen’ readers, the novel eventually turned into a paper version. A movie may be next.”
Wired News: Music Magic Found in the Shuffle. “There is something thrilling about setting the player on Shuffle and letting it decide what to play next,” Ross writes. “The little machine often goes crashing through barriers of style in ways that change how I listen.”
Kindness by postcard: An exchange.. “Our group here, we try to see past the illusions—the pain—of the day, and rediscover the deep connections we all share. We do this through postal touch, a package of kindness intended to give the recipient pause, and welcome them back into the whole.”
TOPPAN and Sony Successfully Develop 25GB Paper Disc. “Using printing technology on paper allows a high level of artistic label printing on the optical disc. Since a paper disc can be cut by scissors easily, it is simple to preserve data security when disposing of the disc”.
Voice-activated Philips Easy Access can play the song you want to hearGlobal. “…you hum your favorite song. Immediately, your smart home entertainment system picks up on your needs – and starts to play the tune you wanted to hear.”
No Chip in Arm, No Shot From Gun. “The tiny chip would be implanted in a police officer’s hand and would match up with a scanning device inside a handgun. If the officer and gun match, a digital signal unlocks the trigger so it can be fired. But if a child or criminal would get hold of the gun, it would be useless.”
15 Rules for Rebuilding the World. “The four-volume set outlines the properties that Alexander believes underlie beauty in art, nature, and great buildings. Because his ideas fill 2,150 pages, here’s the abridged version.”
‘Universal’ hard drive system to ship this month. “IVDR is a cartridge-based format that encapsulates a standard hard drive and interconnect electronics, designed as a way of making it easier to transfer very large files not only between computers but between in-car entertianment systems, hi-fis and TVs. The format was also intended to be capable of sustaining its own life as storage capacities and data transfer speeds increase, and disk sizes decrease.”
‘Cellphone’ Tests Cheating Spouses. “The hero Yan Shouyi uses various tricks with his cellphones throughout the movie. He plucks out the batteries in his phone to make him “not able to be reached,” using excuses like being in a meeting to cover his dates with other women, and he often speaks as if he the connection is bad and he is unable to hear callers” voices.”
A Grand Unified Theory of Filesharing. “Free-riders are generally young. They have few if any moral qualms about filesharing, and they tend to assume that others feel the same way. They use filesharing to accumulate libraries of music, as an alternative to buying CDs.
Samplers are generally older and more risk-averse. They are highly engaged with cultural products of all sorts. They are morally conflicted about filesharing, and use it mostly to download songs that either aren’t for sale, or that they don’t value enough to pay for.”
Photo recognition software gives location . “You are lost in a foreign city, you don’t speak the language and you are late for your meeting. What do you do? Take out your cellphone, photograph the nearest building and press send.”
RSS and Mobile Devices. “So, what does all actually this look like on a device? Well, here’s what I look at each day. For these examples, I made this article an RSS feed on my site. I didn’t need to publish 100 different ways, just once and it was go to go.”
A Participatory Panopticon?. “What happens when you combine mobile communications, always-on cameras, and commonplace wireless networks? We’re going to find out very soon.”
Wired News: Women Drive Changes in Car Design. “A team of eight female Volvo engineers and marketers has developed a concept car that uses technology for comfort and safety, and hides the gadgetry that male gearheads savor. Volvo’s project is seen as part of the auto industry’s growing attention to the needs of female drivers.”
The rush to RFID. “The list of potential RFID benefits is seemingly endless: greater visibility and product velocity across the supply chain, better inventory management, automatic replenishment, reduced invoice reconciliation and labor costs on the receiving dock, easier product tracing and recalls, and reduced product tampering, theft, and counterfeiting. But to get these benefits, industries will have to navigate a host of thorny challenges involving hardware and software, standards, and even business models.”
Wi-fi positioning system. “WPS is designed for the millions of laptop, tablet PC, PDA and Smartphone owners that have Wi-Fi capabilities and would like to generate driving directions, utilize proximity systems, implement vehicle/asset tracking and communicate location information to friends and coworkers.”
After years of struggle, GPS is taking off. “The recent surge in GPS, at least in the United States, can be largely traced to the Federal Communications Commission’s E911 mandate. Under E911, cellular carriers must ensure that, by the end of 2005, 95 percent of the phones on their networks can be located by rescue workers when people dial 911.”
Medical Mood Ring. “MIT mechanical engineers Harry Asada and Phillip Shaltis have developed a ‘ring sensor’ that monitors the wearer’s temperature, heart rate, and blood oxygen level.”
Seamless. “Normally, clothes are made by weaving thread or yarn into fabric, which is then snipped and stitched to create, say, a dress. The A-POC method requires no sewing. Thread goes into the loom, the dress comes out. Specifically, a flattened tube of material emerges that contains the finished shirt, skirt, or pants, which need only to be cut out along the faint outline already woven or knit into the fabric.”
Kanguru Wizard – USB Security Key. “The Kanguru Wizard is a mini USB Security Key which enables you to portion off and secure data on any existing hard drive by creating a second ‘virtual’ encrypted drive. This virtual drive can be used like your normal hard drive, but is only accessible when the Wizard is plugged into your computers USB port.”
Distributed Meetings: A Meeting Capture and
Broadcasting System (PDF). “In this paper we describe a system that provides these
features, as well as a user study evaluation of the system. The system uses a variety of capture devices (a novel 360º camera, a whiteboard camera, an overview camera, and a microphone array) to provide a rich experience for people who want to participate in a meeting from a distance.”
Beauty and the Beastly PC. “But a new awareness of digital artistry is emerging, thanks to research by cognitive scientists that shows the extent to which aesthetically rich experiences enhance our mental faculties. Eye candy turns out to be nutritious after all.”
Microsoft Mice Show Their True Colors. “‘The days of boring beige are over,’ says Ken Fry, industrial design group director for Microsoft Hardware. He says the use of color in computer mice allows people to personalize their computer systems and workstations.”
Here there be data: Mapping the landscape of science. “Representing the computer, information and cognitive sciences, mathematics, geography, psychology and other fields, these researchers present attempts to create maps of science from the ever-growing and constantly evolving ocean of digital data.”
Helping People on the Move Keep Addresses Up to Date. “After downloading Plaxo’s free software onto either the Outlook or Outlook Express e-mail program, a PC user can choose which friends to ask for current contact information. Recipients can provide new contact information, decline the request or ignore it.”
U.K. Plans Roadside Wireless Network “Under Last Mile’s scheme, contractors would install about 150,000 inexpensive wireless broadband transceivers in such equipment as street lights and traffic lights, which will run off available power or even solar energy.
These units will self-configure into a network capable of passing signals from one node to another until it reaches an Internet uplink, a technique known as multi-hop or mesh networking.
Sony’s car navigator/multimedia player with PC dock. “Deserving of mention on the navigation front is the “motion street guide” (see pic bottom right), a 3D graphical representation of the road ahead with a golden line showing your course that looks highly detailed and probably nigh-on indispensable if you get lost as easily as we do.”
Hard Disk Drives to be Used in Mobile Phones. “Above all, however, what HDD manufacturers are aiming for is to have these HDDs used in mobile phones. Although Toshiba Corp stresses that “mobile phones are not the only target for 0.85-inch HDDs,” many see mobile phones to be the big target for HDDs in the one-inch form factor.”
GooOS, the Google Operating System. “Who needs Windows when anyone can have free unlimited access to the world’s fastest computer running the smartest operating system?”
Japan, China, SKorea join to develop Windows contender. “Japan, China and South Korea have agreed to jointly develop a new computer operating system based on Linux as an alternative to the dominant Windows by Microsoft.”
BBC – Norfolk Kids – Bamzooki with CBBC’s Jake Humphrey. “Teams of children design creatures or ‘Zooks’ which are brought to virtual life and put to the test against each other.”
Purdue engineers design ‘shape-search’ for industry databases. “Engineers at Purdue University are developing a system that will enable people to search huge industry databases by sketching a part from memory, penciling in modifications to an existing part or selecting a part that has a similar shape.”
Mogi: Second Generation Location-Based Gaming. “Mogi is a collecting game – “item hunt”. The game provides a data-layer over the city of Tokyo. As you move through the city, if you check a map on your mobile phone screen, you’ll see nearby items you can pick up and nearby players you can meet or trade with.”
Wireless called key to global development. “At a conference here on using technology to solve social and economic problems in developing nations, a number of speakers emphasized the role of wireless communications.”
Freecycle. “The worldwide (!) Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It’s a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Number of cities freecycling: 321
Number of people freecycling: 45,740″
Welcome to Gmail. “Gmail is an experiment in a new kind of webmail, built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail and you should always be able to find the message you want. The key features are: Search, don’t sort. Use Google search to find the exact message you want, no matter when it was sent or received. Don’t throw anything away. 1000 megabytes of free storage so you’ll never need to delete another message. Keep it all in context. Each message is grouped with all its replies and displayed as a conversation.
The SphereXP. “The SphereXP is a 3D desktop replacement for Microsoft Windows XP. Taking the known concept of three-dimensional desktops to its own level. It offers a new way to organize objects on the desktop such a icons and applications.”
My Avatar, My Self. “I’m in There, the most ambitious virtual world yet. Created by a coterie of programmers, Silicon Valley moguls, and Hollywood animators, who have raised about $37 million (and endured at least one round of layoffs), There is a big gamble on one little idea: that the future of online communication looks like a video game. But it’s not a game. People donâ€™t come here to battle dragons or ogle Lara Croft. They come to hang out. They come to socialize. And they come for the hot tubs.”
“Reality Mining” the Organization. “…studies of office interactions indicate that as much as 80 percent of work time is spent in spoken conversation, and that critical pieces of information are transmitted by word of mouth in a serendipitous fashion. Fortunately, the data infrastructure for mining real-world interactions is already in place.”