Watch a pistol discharge in ultra slow motion

Thursday, 27 August, 2015

Since I like looking at super slowed down slow motion video, here’s footage, filmed at a rate of seventy-three thousand frames per second, of a pistol being fired. Incredible.

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Technology takes work away, technology gives work back?

Wednesday, 26 August, 2015

A study of British census data, dating back over one hundred and forty years, suggests that far from doing away with jobs, emerging technologies in fact give rise to new work opportunities.

A study by economists at the consultancy Deloitte seeks to shed new light on the relationship between jobs and the rise of technology by trawling through census data for England and Wales going back to 1871. Their conclusion is unremittingly cheerful: rather than destroying jobs, technology has been a “great job-creating machine”. Findings by Deloitte such as a fourfold rise in bar staff since the 1950s or a surge in the number of hairdressers this century suggest to the authors that technology has increased spending power, therefore creating new demand and new jobs.

That was then, this is now. With talk of white collar jobs under threat from artificially intelligent robots, will that trend hold up for the next one hundred and forty years?

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Who needs a computer to play solitaire anyway?

Wednesday, 19 August, 2015

Solitaire cards by Susan Kare

If, like me, you’re a Microsoft Windows user who has recently upgraded to version ten of the operating system, or OS, you may be surprised to learn that a fee is now payable before certain games, including the much loved Solitaire, that are bundled with the OS, can be accessed. Or, more to the point, accessed free of adverts.

Lucky for me I have an older machine – that I keep as a back up – running on a previous version of Windows, I can fire up when the desire to play a hand or two manifests itself.

Of course not everyone has that option, but now, thanks to Susan Kare, who designed the artwork for the Windows 3.0 version of Solitaire in 1990, there is now an alternative… an actual deck of cards, based on her pixelated Solitaire designs, can now be purchased. Still not free, but who would be worried?

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Roll up, roll up, for the drone circus

Tuesday, 11 August, 2015

Air2015 is a circus with a difference… it is a show without artists, a show without stages, and a show without circus animals. Instead, upwards of one hundred drones will perform all sorts of stunts at a show being staged in Amsterdam later this year.

Drones as entertainment, how’s that supposed to work then? Check out the preview, and see what you think.

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Will rhythmic gymnasts of the future be robots?

Friday, 7 August, 2015

By the looks of it, not even rhythmic gymnasts are safe from the technologies that stand to eliminate many of our jobs in the future… a robot going by the designation of DENSO VS-050S2, may displace them.

While DENSO VS-050S2’s moves are pretty good, I doubt robots are really a threat to this form of gymnastics though.

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Sending text messages is one thing, transmitting them another

Friday, 7 August, 2015

Text messages, just type and send, and they reach the recipient almost instantly. It’s that simple, thanks to the science behind the technology, that, needless to say, isn’t quite as straightforward. It’s fascinating though, and it all comes down to a beam of light. In a way, that is.

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Your keystrokes, and how they can identify you

Thursday, 6 August, 2015

We really do have a digital fingerprint… the way one person types on a keyboard differs from any other, making it possible to identify someone once their keystrokes have been analysed by way of a profiling technique developed by security researchers.

The profiling works by measuring the minute differences in the way each person presses keys on computer keyboards. Since the pauses between keystrokes and the precise length of time each key is pressed are unique for each person, the profiles act as a sort of digital fingerprint that can betray its owner’s identity.

A concern possibly for anyone who wishes to, for whatever reason, remain anonymous online.

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What do machines sing of? The desire for a human personality?

Tuesday, 4 August, 2015

A machine that so much desires to be possessed of a human personality, it continuously sings number-one ballads that were written in the 1990s. Work on those vocals, and it may yet pass the Turing test…

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Your website looks the same as all the others, but so what?

Tuesday, 4 August, 2015

Websites all look the same, it’s a comment I hear bandied about from time to time. But then again, everything looks the same, cars, phones, computers, aircraft, cities. Or they can, if viewed in a certain way.

Singapore based web developer Yugene Lee suggests though that not too many people are worried. It’s not what a website looks like, the main concern is what the website (or car, or phone, or computer, or aircraft) does.

People are complaining that the web looks the same, every website looks like each other. And there is no value in web design anymore. But, the problem is it doesn’t just happen in the web industry, it happened in every school of design.

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To see the internet in fifty years time, look at the internet today

Wednesday, 29 July, 2015

San Francisco based computer programmer Maciej Ceglowski predicts that the internet in fifty years time will look much like the internet of today. The apparent lack of innovation over the next half century may not be quite as bad as it appears to be though.

This contempt for the past also ignores the reality of our industry, which is that we work almost exclusively with legacy technologies. The operating system that runs the Internet is 45 years old. The protocols for how devices talk to each other are 40 years old. Even what we think of as the web is nearing its 25th birthday. Some of what we use is downright ancient – flat panel displays were invented in 1964, the keyboard is 150 years old. The processor that’s the model for modern CPUs dates from 1976. Even email, which everyone keeps trying to reinvent, is nearing retirement age.

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