[Google Australia Blog via Frank Liu]
You are currently browsing the andrewgentle.com blog archives for the year 2009.
- Unofficial Panasonic GH1 Firmware Enables 50 Mbps Full HD Video
- Reservations Begin for RED EPIC Stage 2
- Adobe Photoshop CS5 Content-Aware Fill Tool is Unbelievable
- Adobe to Launch Creative Suite 5 on April 12th
- Canon Pulls 5D Mark II Firmware Due to Audio and Pixel Bugs
- RED Post First 5K EPIC Still
- YouTube Adds Automatic Closed Captioning
- New Canon 5D mk II Firmware Adds Standard Framerates
Archive for 2009
Sensis, the arm of Telstra which owns Yellow Pages, White Pages, Trading Post and Whereis have released a Yellow Pages iPhone app. The app uses your GPS location to suggest nearby businesses which you can then call using your iPhone. Click here to download it from the App Store.
This is a concept of a smart measuring cup which displays the precise measurement of whatever’s inside on an LCD display on the handle. You choose what kind of ingredient you’re measuring with the buttons on the handle and the it can measure it for you in metric or imperial. The great news is that it has been picked up for manufacture! I have no idea how it works, perhaps it has a pressure sensor in the base or some kind of sensor strip up the side. Hopefully it will help prevent arguments in the kitchen when I cook with my girlfriend!
Woolworths have launched their own mobile carrier today on the back of the Optus network. Everyday Mobile is “simple, low-cost, pre-paid mobile service.” Buying the SIM card will set you back $2 and there’s a 15c flagfall on calls which are charged at 15c per thirty seconds. Text messages cost 15c each and your credit will last for 100 days. It’s not a good deal on the Data, though, $1.32 / 60 kB is a little steep. If you’re not into data though, this looks like a pretty good deal!
Researchers at MIT have developed an alternative to the 35 year old barcode which also adds some extra features. Dubbed the ‘Bokode,’ a spoonerism of the word bokeh, which describes the out of focus circles in photographs, and barcode, the new technology allows much more information than can be contained in a barcode to be read at a greater distance.The system works by diffusing the light from an LED which is shone through a bokode pattern and then a collimator which forces the light rays to be parallel. A section of the bokode pattern can then be viewed when a camera which is focussed to infinity is pointed at the bokode. Data can then be read from the pattern. Further to identification, since the camera only sees a small portion of the pattern, angular information can be obtained from the bokode. This allows the system to guess at the object’s orientation relative to the camera.
While traditional barcodes must be read from at most a foot away, the team from MIT have demonstrated that their bokodes can be read from four metres away and could theoretically be read from up to 20 metres away. Currently, bokodes are quite expensive at $5 each but a prototype exists which does not require an LED but uses the camera’s flash and a cross polariser to achieve the same effect.
The video below explains the process more clearly.
ITP student Ohad Folman has created a luggage concept which uses the energy produced when wheeling the suitcase as well as a solar panel to charge an internal battery which can then be used to recharge your gadgets when travelling. Dubbed “Pluggage,” Folman states that the battery in the prototype will charge after around two hours of walking at between two to five kilometres per hour and that once charged it could power a laptop for around an hour and a half.
The prototype was constructed from a Burton bag, a Duracell PowerSource Moble 100 external battery pack, a stepper motor, a multimeter and a Brunton SolarRolls flexible solar panel. Here’s what Folman said about it:
I would envision this piece to retail for $400 to $550 depending on the model (with flexible solar capability or without). The kids model would probably be cheaper (around $250) and the bare-bones (for those who already have a carry-on case) and are interested in the kinetic capabilities would be around $300.
I’m working on making the kinetic mechanism removable (like a tape cassette) so it can go through air port security easily (the kinetic mechanism can be scanned separately). I’m also working on hand release switch that will enable the user to remove the friction between the motor and the wheels in situations where the user needs to rush somewhere and does not want to have to deal with any level of friction.
The folks over at Gizmodo reckon that you’d have to avoid airport moving walkways but I disagree. If you were to tether the bag to something and rest its wheels on one of those walkways, your gadgets could charge without you lifting a finger!
Queensland Police are set to commence a wardriving mission to warn unsuspecting citizens that their wireless networks are unprotected. Detective Superintendent Brian Hay was presented with a “International Cybercrime Fighter Award” by security vendor McAfee at their Strategic Summit in Sydney and stated that his unit is “about to undertake a wardriving program, in which we drive through areas of Queensland trying to identify unsecured networks”.
Once an unsecured network is detected, the police plan to pay the home or business a friendly visit informing them of the risks of fraud and identity theft which they are exposing themselves to.
“It is a simple campaign, much like past police campaigns in which officers walk around railway station checking cars have been locked. If you leave your car unlocked, you come back and find a note from the Police warning you of the dangers involved with leaving your car unsecured,” Hay told iTnews.
Channel Nine are launching their new free to air digital channel in Australia on August 9. The new youth/lifestyle channel will be called “Go!” and will screen shows which were previously only available on pay TV such as Gossip Girl, Weeds, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Fringe, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dog the Bounty Hunter and more!
Nine boss David Gyngell said
“Within weeks our viewers will have access free of charge to a second channel offering quality and a great deal of first-run content through its schedule.
“It’s a win for our audience because it offers more diversity and substantially wider viewing choices than ever before, at no cost.”
Google have deployed a real estate search function. It’s pretty impressive, there’s a huge number of properties listed. You can use it to search for properties, check them out with Street View and then look for nearby schools and public transport. You can constrain your search by price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, car parking spaces and even property size in square metres. Once you find the property of your dreams, you can even send the address to your GPS unit to take you there! I’m very impressed, I think that this is going to come in very handy for a lot of people.
Try it out here.
Here’s an interesting concept. This clock has a surface which you can write on with a whiteboard marker and when the time passes, whatever you wrote is erased by the hour hand. It doesn’t have a minute hand which would probably make it even harder for me to read!
There’s even a YouTube video with weird music of the clock in action in case you can’t imagine it.