Monday, May 30, 2005

Study Finds Life of Online News: 36 Hours

For the relation we have with “today’s newspaper,” or verbal jazz, is the same that people feel for fashions. Fashion is not a way of being informed or aware, but a way of being with it. --Marshall McLuhan

Life is short in online news
Philip Ball
How long did it take you to find this story?

A team of scientists from Hungary and the United States has found that the majority of online news items have a lifetime of just 36 hours. As reporters have always suspected, yesterday's news is stale, and the day before's news is invisible.

Zoltan Dezso of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and colleagues came up with the figure from an analysis of hits on Origo, Hungary's main online news and entertainment portal. They think it probably applies not only to other online news portals, such as this one, but also to other websites on which new items are posted regularly, such as online markets.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame: The Dynamics of Information Access on the Web
Z. Dezs˝o1, E. Almaas1, A. Luk´acs2, B. R´acz2, I. Szakad´at3, A.-L. Barab´asi

Study Finds Life of Online News: 36 Hours

Tag Your Kid

Get RFID enabled clothes for your kid. Keep track of them when they play. The clothes also let kids play tracking games with each other. (Make them think it's fun to be tracked)

Kevin Seirs comic Stolen From

From Phillips:
This garments uses mobile phone and camera technology to help parents pin point their kids' position, but also fabric antennas, radio tagging and miniature remote cameras to allow children to play exciting games outdoors.

No kidding - Royal Philips Electronics

2005 Risks In Global Filmmaking Map

From Insurance company and consultant Aon, an annual map of risks to making movies on location around the world.

The map shows the overall risk of each country and gives the specific reason for less than perfect score:
crime, organized crime/corruption, kidnap and ransom, disease risk and medical care risk.

Surprises? USA and most of Europe are Moderate rather than low risk due to the risk of crime.

Via boingboing

2005 Risks In Global Filmmaking Map

Military Spy Rocks

US military ‘rocks’ spy world
By Jeremy Grant in Chicago
Published: May 26 2005 20:59 | Last updated: May 26 2005 20:59

The US military is developing miniature electronic sensors disguised as rocks that can be dropped from an aircraft and used to help detect the sound of approaching enemy combatants.

The devices, which would be no larger than a golf ball, could be ready for use in about 18 months. They use tiny silicon chips and radio frequency identification (RFID) technology that is so sensitive that it can detect the sound of a human footfall at 20ft to 30ft. The project is being carried out by scientists at North Dakota State University, which has licensed nano-technology processes from Alien Technology, a California-based commercial manufacturer of RFID tags for supermarkets.

Greg McCarthy, associate vice president at the university's Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, said: "The military wants better sensing capability. People are being killed because someone's sneaking up on a tent and blowing them up." / US - US military ‘rocks’ spy world

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Will 2004MN4 be the next Y2K?

Russell L. Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut and Chairman of the B612 Foundation presented a paper last week at the National Space Society International Space Development Conference in Washington, DC, calling for action to prevent Earth from colliding with an asteroid headed our way.
The asteroid in question, 2004MN4, will probably pass within 19,000 miles of Earth on April 13, 2029. This is an extremely close pass in astronomical terms. It will be closer than our own Geosynchronous communications satellites at around 24,000 miles out. This is scary enough, but the real problem may be after the asteroid changes course during the close fly-by. The 320 meter diameter rock may be re-aimed for a direct hit to Earth when it swings back around in 2036. That would give us only seven years to figure out how to deflect it.
We will not really know how much the path will change until it has already passed by the first time.
It turns out that it would take a million times more energy to change the direction of the asteroid after it passes us in 2029 than it would take before it got here. So, we have to decide to deflect the asteroid away from us long before it would ever get near us. Also, it is a pretty small rock and it may not really come that close to us in 2029 after all.
Schweickart is asking for a mission very soon to plant a transmitter on the asteroid so that we can keep better track of its heading. He calculates that even with low probabilities of a direct hit, we would still be saving money by spending a billion or so now. With more accurate trajectory information we can make better decisions in the future.
To me, this sounds like a good plan. We might as well spend space exploration money on preventing a disaster as on anything else.
The Deep Impact mission is scheduled to crash into a comet on July 4, 2005. My guess is that the data from this mission will give rise to more questions than answers. There will be a sort of space-rock exploration fever around that time. That would be a good time to push through a project to send off a mission to an errant asteroid.

PDF of Paper: A Call to (Considered) Action
UN position on Impact Events

Monday, May 23, 2005

Understanding Sarcasm: Nature or Nurture?

I have long suspected that people who do not understand my humor must have been hit on the head or have some other kind of brain damage.

The anatomy of sarcasm: Researchers reveal how the brain handles this complex communication

The ability to comprehend sarcasm depends upon a carefully orchestrated sequence of complex cognitive skills based in specific parts of the brain.
The findings appear in the May issue of Neuropsychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).
The Israeli psychologists who conducted the research explain that for sarcasm to score, listeners must grasp the speaker's intentions in the context of the situation. This calls for sophisticated social thinking and "theory of mind," or whether we understand that everyone thinks different thoughts.
Participants with prefrontal damage were impaired in comprehending sarcasm, whereas the people in the other two groups had no such problem.

The findings highlight the importance of lesion size in sub-regions of the frontal lobe because the extent of the right ventromedial lesion was significantly related to performance in the sarcasm task: The worse the damage, the greater the impairment.

The anatomy of sarcasm: Researchers reveal how the brain handles this complex communication

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Social Watch

This is not new but it is new to me.
I like the interactive maps and charts with demographic, economic, health and social information for countries of the world.

Per Capita Gross National Income

Social Watch is an international network informed by national citizens' groups aiming at following up the fulfillment of the internationally agreed commitments on poverty eradication and equality. These national groups report, through the national Social Watch report, on the progress - or regression- towards these commitments and goals.

Social Watch

Friday, May 20, 2005

Toilets in the news

Vienna U. to Produce 'Toilet With Brains'
IENNA, Austria - They size you up, offer you a hand, raise and lower the seat and flush when you're finished. Researchers at Vienna's Technical University said Thursday they have begun production on what they've dubbed a "toilet with brains" — a high-tech commode designed to help multiple sclerosis patients and other disabled or elderly people.
Scientists are refining two versions: one that uses "smart cards" and another that does the same using voice-recognition technology.

Vienna U. to Produce 'Toilet With Brains' - Yahoo! News

RFID Toilet add-on H2Orb reminds you to 'shake the handle'

the Triumph of Technology Over Toilet Leaks and Overflows
The invention of H2ORB couldn't have come at a better time.
The system comes with two wireless sensors, which are attached to the toilet bowl and on the perimeter of the toilet tank, and monitor water flow.

The bowl sensor detects toilet bowl overflows. The dual tank sensors unit is attached to the rear of the toilet tank, with the sensor adjusted to the waterline mark.

When a problem does occur, either the bowl sensor or the dual tank sensors automatically send a signal to H 2 Orb. The signal tells H 2 Orb to stop water flow, sound an alarm (located on H 2 Orb) and activate the light alert, indicating a potential bowl overflow.

Aqua One Technologies, Inc.

High-Tech Theater to see the future?

ASU’s Decision Theater ushers in new age of public policy

A new age is dawning on public policy, one based on advanced scientifically informed decision making, with the May 23 opening of the Decision Theater at ASU.
The Decision Theater is an advanced visualization environment that will enable policy makers and others to literally see – in detailed, three-dimensional representation – the consequences of their actions. It will feature a 260-degree “immersive environment” where researchers will be able to view the effects of public policy decisions played out before them.
“The Decision Theater is an exciting new concept that melds science with public policy in a novel way, which we expect will have a huge impact in a number of socially important areas,” says ASU President Michael Crow. “The Decision Theater will provide informed analysis based on scientific evidence to key public policy experts, who then can use that analysis on which to discuss issues and provide a basis for sound policy decisions.”
The Decision Theater will be used in several targeted research areas, including:

• Enabling policy makers, business leaders and government officials to explore the outcomes of possible scenarios of urban development, such as water availability, urban heating, land-use patterns, transportation networks, air quality and homeland security.

• As a forum where decision makers and scientists meet to discuss and explore integrated environmental, economic and social challenges to arrive at optimal decisions through the use of models and dialogue.

• In simulation games, or “what if” scenarios, to model and visualize otherwise unimaginable outcomes of the many factors that affect our society and possible “breaking points” of our critical infrastructure. For example, ASU researchers will be able to simulate metropolitan Phoenix in the year 2040, when it is expected to include a population of 7 million people, by inputting the known and expected growth patterns and associated demands for water and other natural resources.

The Decision Theater employs seven digital-image projectors to beam stereo images onto seven high-definition screens to achieve the 260-degree image surround. Hardware design and system set up is provided by Fakespace Systems Inc. of Marshalltown , Iowa , a leader in virtual reality and immersive environments.

Anshuman Razdan, director of research and technology at the Decision Theater, says a key capability of the facility is its ability to incorporate and integrate complex multidimensional data from a variety of sources, such as numeric and spatial data, into models and simulations for display in an immersive environment.

“With this data fusion, we can take data from different sources, which oftentimes are gathered and presented in specific and varying ways, and integrate them to provide a complete picture of the scenario we are monitoring or simulating,” Razdan says.

ASU’s Decision Theater ushers in new age of public policy

Developing a cultural policy for the International Space Station

"The International Space Station is a great achievement of human ingenuity and international cooperation, as well as a cutting-edge research facility. But the European Space Agency believes strongly that the cultural world too should have a say in the future of space exploration. We therefore want to open the ISS to a new community of artistic and cultural users," emphasises Daniel Sacotte, ESA's Director of Human Spaceflight, Microgravity and Exploration.

ESA PR 25-2005. The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded the independent arts organisation the Arts Catalyst in London a contract to carry out a 6-month study on possible future cultural utilisation of the International Space Station (ISS), and, in particular, the European aspects of the Station

ESA Portal - Developing a cultural policy for the International Space Station

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Super Water Kills Bugs Dead

By Skip Kaltenheuser
02:00 AM May. 16, 2005 PT

A California company has figured out how to use two simple materials -- water and salt -- to create a solution that wipes out single-celled organisms, and which appears to speed healing of burns, wounds and diabetic ulcers.

The solution looks, smells and tastes like water, but carries an ion imbalance that makes short work of bacteria, viruses and even hard-to-kill spores.

Developed by Oculus Innovative Sciences in Petaluma, the super-oxygenated water is claimed to be as effective a disinfectant as chlorine bleach, but is harmless to people, animals and plants. If accidentally ingested by a child, the likely impact is a bad case of clean teeth.

Oculus said the solution, called Microcyn, may prove effective in the fight against superbugs, crossover viruses like bird flu and Ebola, and bioterrorism threats such as anthrax.

The company has just been granted approval in the United States to test the solution in the treatment of wounds, and already has government approval in Europe, Canada and Mexico for diverse uses, from disinfectant to wound irrigation.

According to Hoji Alimi, founder and president of Oculus, the ion-hungry water creates an osmotic potential that ruptures the cell walls of single-celled organisms, and out leaks the cell's cytoplasm. Because multicellular organisms -- people, animals, plants -- are tightly bound, the water is prevented from surrounding the cells, and there is no negative impact.

While super-oxygenated water is nothing new -- Microcyn has its roots in efforts to decontaminate nuclear reactors' cooling pipes, according to Alimi -- it is typically effective for only a few hours after it is formulated. To keep it handy, hospitals and labs must invest in extremely expensive machines costing $100,000 or more.

Oculus has developed a new formula with a shelf life of at least a year, which opens up an array of potential applications.

And unlike prior formulations of super-oxygenated water, Microcyn is pH-neutral, so it won't damage healthy tissue. This has prompted successful experiments in the treatment of challenging wounds like diabetic ulcers.

Wired News: Super Water Kills Bugs Dead

Study Finds Medication Prevents Travelers' Diarrhea

HOUSTON—(May 16, 2005)— An antibiotic can be safely used to prevent attacks of diarrhea that plague millions of globe-trotting vacationers and business travelers, a Houston research team reports this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
“Our findings show that rifaximin is an ideal drug for prevention of travelers’ diarrhea, an illness that affects an estimated 20 million international travelers each year,” said lead author Herbert DuPont, M.D., director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston and chief of internal medicine at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.
“This medication's effectiveness, lack of side effects, and its ability to avoid development of resistant strains of bacteria will allow us to change the way we manage this disease,” DuPont said.

The clinical trial reported this week studied 210 U.S. students studying Spanish in Mexico during the summer of 2003. Only 14.74 percent of those who took a daily dose of rifaximin for two weeks suffered from diarrhea, while 53.7 percent of those who took placebos came down with the illness, which also includes nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Traveler's diarrhea has been treated for years by antibiotics because it is caused by bacteria found mainly in local food. DuPont's group previously showed that rifaximin is safe and effective therapy for the illness in studies carried out in Mexico, Peru, India and Kenya. The antibiotic has been available in Europe and elsewhere for years to treat diarrhea. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antibiotic for treatment of traveler's diarrhea a year ago.

More at:
Study Finds Medication Prevents Travelers' Diarrhea

Diamonds Fast and Cheap

Very large diamonds produced very fast - Carnegie Institution News

Washington, D.C. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory have learned to produce 10-carat, half-inch thick single-crystal diamonds at rapid growth rates (100 micrometers per hour) using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. This size is approximately five times that of commercially available diamonds produced by the standard high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) method and other CVD techniques. In addition, the team has made colorless single-crystal diamonds, transparent from the ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths with their CVD process.

Figure 1. The variety of single crystal diamonds produced by the Carnegie high-growth rate CVD process.

Last year, the Carnegie researchers found that HPHT annealing enhances not only the optical properties of some CVD diamond, but also the hardness [1]. Using new techniques, the Carnegie scientists have now produced transparent diamond using a CVD method without HPHT annealing.

By this method, three-dimensional growth of colorless single-crystal diamond in the inch-range (~300 carat) is achievable.

Figure 3. 12 mm (1/2 inch) 5 carat diamond laser cut from a 10 carat single crystal produced by high-growth rate CVD. The diamond was laser cut (and inscribed) from a diamond block and only partially polished.

The standard growth rate is 100 micrometers per hour for the Carnegie process, but growth rates in excess of 300 micrometers per hour have been reached, and 1 millimeter per hour may be possible. With the colorless diamond produced at ever higher growth rate and low cost, large blocks of diamond should be available for a variety of applications. “The diamond age is upon us,” concluded Hemley.

Very large diamonds produced very fast - Carnegie Institution News

Wait until they start making their own in India!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Nanotube water doesn't freeze - even at hundreds of degrees below zero

A new form of water has been discovered by physicists in Argonne's Intense Pulsed Neutron Source (IPNS) Division. Called nanotube water, these molecules contain two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom but do not turn into ice - even at temperatures near absolute zero.
Instead, inside a single wall tube of carbon atoms less than 2 nanometers the water forms an icy, inner wall of water molecules with a chain of liquid-like water molecules flowing through the center. This occurs at 8 Kelvins, which is minus 509 Fahrenheit. As the temperature rises closer to room temperature, the nanotube water gradually becomes liquid.

Image: New form of water in a nanotube. Water behaves differently when confined inside a long, narrow nanotube. The copper-colored exterior rings represent the carbon nanotube 1.4 nanometers across. The red and white interior cylinder is an icy wall with permanent hydrogen bonds shown in red; white represents oxygen. The interior chain is in constant motion. Yellow represents the hydrogen in the chain. Image by Christian J. Burnham, University of Houston.

Research partners at MER Corp., Tucson, Ariz., supplied the nanotube samples made of nearly pure carbon only one atom thick. Each tube was 1.4 nanometers across and 10,000 nanometers long; imagine a piece of dry, hollow spaghetti 200 meters long because the nanotube is 100,000 times longer than wide.

Nanotube water doesn't freeze - even at hundreds of degrees below zero

Keeping Track on the Boogeyman

State Tracking Some Sex Offenders With GPS

The state [Massachusetts] began using global positioning satellite tracking technology to monitor some of the state's most dangerous sex offenders Wednesday.

"GeoFencing" From TracNET24

NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross reported that some sex offenders still under state supervision will be required to wear ankle straps that can pinpoint their location instantly.

Tracking Bracelet from iSECUREtrac
Beginning Wednesday, the state's most dangerous sex offenders who are released on parole will wear a GPS monitor so officers know where they are in the world.
Exclusion zones, like schools, can be set up to let officials know if an offender has gone too far.

"A 'stay away zone.' For instance, around a victim's home -- if they penetrate that home within 500 meters, an alarm would go off and a monitoring center would be notified 24 hours a day," said Massachusetts Probation Department Deputy Commissioner Paul Lucci.
Opponents call satellite tracking an invasion of privacy for ex-convicts who have served their sentences. Proponents don't agree.

"But it's also exculpatory. If they're doing the right thing, we know right away they weren't involved in the crime," said Panagiotakos.

State Tracking Some Sex Offenders With GPS - Yahoo! News

To me, this technology creates as many slippery slopes as a ski resort.
What happens after a trackee commits a crime anyway? Is the tracker liable?
Picture the anguished parents demanding that all the monitor information be made available to the public all the time. For, they would not have let their child go out of they had known a criminal was lurking nearby. Let everyone see the tracks and make their own decisions.
Well, then what about the liberty of the trackees? A different class of citizens that do not have the same rights as others. Can we rely on the courts to manage this?
According to an article in the Houston Chronicle 12/5/04, some ex-cons are classified as sex offenders by the parole board even though they were convicted of some other crime:
...said Bryan Collier, director of the Parole Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice...Collier said 3,910 people classified as sex offenders are under parole supervision in Texas.

Of that number, he estimated that "probably less than 100" do not have sex offense convictions. In such cases, he said, the parole board notices "something in their criminal background that looks funny" and requires a sex -offender evaluation as a condition of parole.

Are we really smart enough to manage something like this?

Saturday, May 14, 2005

DNA Hack - Mutation Fun

Have an idea for a new species?
This web page is the place to get links to supplies and instructions for home bio-hacking.

Interesting thought, from Michael Schrage in the June 2003 Technology Review: "Maybe bathtub biotech will be the next to capture the mindshare of the techie tinkerers. Maybe bioinformatics and the diffusion of genetic engineering technologies will inspire a new generation of bio-hackers. Certainly the technologies are there for those inclinded to genetically edit their plants or pets. Maybe a mouse or E. coli genome becomes the next operating system for hobbyists to profitably twiddle. Perhaps this decade will bring a Linus Torvalds or Bill Gates of bio-hackerdom -- a hobbyist-turned-entrepreneur who can simultaneously innovate and market his or her DNA-driven ideas."

DNA Hack

Friday, May 13, 2005

The State of The News Media 2005

The state of American News Media

Presented by which is a combination of:

The Project for Excellence in Journalism is a research organization that is part of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. It is underwritten by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The Committee of Concerned Journalists is a consortium of reporters, editors, producers, publishers, owners and academics from across media worried about the future of the profession. The group is dedicated to the idea that, in order for journalism to survive, journalists themselves must be clearer, more rigorous and more vocal about the principles that set their profession apart and make their jobs matter.

A rich source of data, critique and trends in journalism. The report is split into sections on nrewspapers, online, various kinds of tv, radio, magazines and alternative sources.
Some conclusions:

Journalism is a shrinking part of a growing world of media.

Today technology is transforming citizens from passive consumers of news produced by professionals into active participants who can
assemble their own journalism each day from disparate elements.

Since citizens have a deeper range of information at their fingertips, the level of proof in the press must rise accordingly.

There are now several models of journalism, and the trajectory increasingly is toward these which are faster, looser, and cheaper.

The challenge for traditional journalism is whether it can reassert its position as the provider of something distinctive and valuable - both for citizens and advertisers.
Somehow journalism needs to prove that it is acting on behalf of the public, if it is to save itself. The State of the News Media 2005

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Update: The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005

Update: The [Time Traveler] convention was a mixed success. Unfortunately, we had no confirmed time travelers visit us, yet many time travelers could have attended incognito to avoid endless questions about the future. We had a great series of lectures, awesome bands, and even a DeLorean.

And a side note about the NYT article on May 6:

If you are coming from the New York Times article: Please note that the article is somewhat misleading about the many devices that residents of East Campus have built. Amal Dorai did not build any of them. ...

It is amazing to me that NYT can continue to report made-up exagerations of the news.

The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

Coloured lenses could improve your game

COLOURED contact lenses are set to become the latest must-have sporting accessory - as commonplace as air-cushioned trainers, replica shirts and tinted sunglasses.

Red, yellow and amber-coloured lenses are being tested by Nike, sponsor of footballers including Wayne Rooney, Robbie Keane and Ronaldo.

The company believes the lenses can help players see the ball better, particularly in bright sunlight.

Red colours are useful for baseball players because amber blocks out blue light - "visual noise" to vision experts - while red areas, such as the seams on a baseball, are accentuated.

Tony Chipote, a marketing field manager for Nike, said: "We want our athletes to continue to see their game better and better for longer and longer. As soon as you start to lose your eyesight, the rest of your body will start to suffer."

It claims that while the red lenses are ideal for fast-moving sports such as football, grey lenses are the key to golfers being able to discern the lie of the land on a putting green. Leonard may prefer grey-green lenses which help to separate out individual blades of grass.

The lenses which have been under development for seven years could be used in Britain this year by Premiership players. Nike is working with contact lens company Bausch & Lomb to sell them through opticians.

There also could be medical advantages to wearing the lenses, which are essentially similar to soft contacts with a tint that has been scientifically developed. While light can leak through sunglasses - through the opening between the frame and the eyes - performance-enhancing contacts sit on the pupils and better protect them from the sun. News - Sci-Tech - Coloured lenses could improve your game

NASA-Issued Return to Flight Wristbands Banned from NASA

NASA Internal Advisory: NASA-Issued Return to Flight Wristbands Contaminated with Silicone

RESTRICTIONS ON RELEASE: The information in a NASA Advisory is for internal NASA use only. Distribution is limited to persons who require knowledge of its contents to aid them in minimizing adverse effects on NASA projects and equipment under their purview.
Neither NASA, the United States government, nor any person acting on their behalf, assumes any liability resulting from any distribution or use of this information.

Recently we have been made aware of a silicone problem associated with the "Return to Flight" wristbands. These wristbands are contaminated with silicone.

If you get silicone on the leads of a piece part, the silicone impairs the soldering process and gives a bad solder joint. Conformal coating will not stick to silicone either and will cause the parts on the board not to accept the conformal coating. What you need to know is that all of these type wristbands (Lance Armstrong's, Breast Cancer Awareness, and Return to Flight) use virtually the same production techniques, meaning that they are all contaminated with silicone. Therefore, caution should be exercised when wearing these wristbands.

ACTION TAKEN: Please do not wear these in our facilities and keep your eyes open for others that do not get this message. A Quality Alert has been issued at our Wasatch Facilities due to the serious nature of what silicone can do to our processes.

[Note the add for Return-to-Flight Wristbands on this link page]

NASA Internal Advisory: NASA-Issued Return to Flight Wristbands Contaminated with Silicone | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference

Developing New Stories | The News is

NowPublic Announces Citizen Photojournalism Awards.

From NowPublic Website:

NowPublic wants to display the best photographic work from citizen journalists and photobloggers like you. We invite you to submit your images to our first Citizen Photojournalism Awards.

Technology has broken the corporate news monopoly. Digital cameras, camera phones, blogs, and RSS put the tools of the news trade into the hands of the public, and now real news comes from real people everywhere. Now you can demand coverage of the stories you care about—all you need is nowPublic.

Here public demand launches investigations. Story Ideas come from people on the ground, insiders, community leaders. Footage comes from eye witnesses, citizen reporters, people close to the real story. It’s open source news, and even in its infancy it’s richer, faster, more powerful than the infotainment it replaces.

Developing New Stories | The News is

Friday, May 06, 2005

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator

Elevator that works without any cables or gears. Just like at the drive-thru at the bank only this is for people instead of money. The passenger gets in the pod then is sucked through the tube to the next floor.

Daytona Elevator: Residential Elevators,Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators,Wheelchair Lifts,Stair Lifts and Dumbwaiters

Thursday, May 05, 2005

FLASH.... code beats txt msg

A race to the wire as old hand at Morse code beats txt msgrs
By Mark Henderson

DOTTY and old-fashioned means of communication can still be the best: Morse code has seen off the challenge of the text message in a contest pitting the best in 19th-century technology against its 21st-century successor.

The race to transmit a simple message, staged by an Australian museum, was won — at a dash — by a 93-year-old telegraph operator who tapped it out using the simple system which was devised by Samuel Morse in 1832 and was the mainstay of maritime communication up until 1997.

Gordon Hill, who learnt to use the technique in 1927 when he joined the Australian Post Office, easily defeated his 13-year-old rival, Brittany Devlin, who was armed with a mobile phone and a rich vocabulary of text message shorthand. Mr Hill, whose messages were transcribed by another telegraph veteran, Jack Gibson, 82, then repeated the feat against three other children and teenagers with mobile phones.

n the competition, at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Mr Hill and his rivals were asked to transmit a line selected at random from an advertisement in a teenage magazine.

It read: “Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing.” While the telegraphist tapped out the line in full, to be deciphered by Mr Gibson, Miss Devlin employed text slang to save time. She keyed: “hey gf u can txt ur best pals 2 tel them wot u r doing, where ur going and wot u r wearing.”

-.-. .--

Just 90 seconds after Mr Hill began transmitting, Mr Gibson announced that he had the message received and written down correctly. It took another 18 seconds for Miss Devlin’s message to reach the mobile phone belonging to her friend.

Learn Morse Code in one minute here.

.. - ... ..-. ..- -.

A race to the wire as old hand at Morse code beats txt msgrs - Britain - Times Online

Spogger - Another way to share

I don't know. These community, tagging, sharing things keep popping up all over the place. How do you keep them from being taken over by buy-this-now! and other morons.

Great Picture. This sure will help to rent the condo.

Spogger is a platform for real-time visual information and news provided and managed by the user community.

Using this free service, people help each other find and share visual information, such as bargains at a garage sale, traffic conditions on the highway, lunch specials of the day, take-out menus, how crowded the movie theater is, what's on sale at the store, events and happenings, product images, weather conditions of an area, neighborhood around a hotel or rental, surf conditions and many others.
Spog is short for 'spot log' and it is a picture that says 'This is something I spotted that others might find useful to see'.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005

The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT (08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
(events start at 8:00pm)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
42:21:36.025°N, 71:05:16.332°W
(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)

What is it?

Technically, you would only need one time traveler convention. Time travelers from all eras could meet at a specific place at a specific time, and they could make as many repeat visits as they wanted. We are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT on Saturday, and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Why do you need my help?

We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.

Isn't time travel impossible?

We can't know for certain. The ancient Greeks would have thought computers were impossible, and the Phoenicians certainly wouldn't have believed that humans would one day send a spacecraft to the moon and back. We cannot predict the future of science or technology, so we can only make an effort and see if any time travelers come to our convention.

The Time Traveler Convention - May 7, 2005