Emerging technologies, let’s list them shall we?

Monday, 17 March, 2014

Since we’re forever hearing about one emerging technology or another, here’s a list of those currently in development.

Now you know why you’re constantly hearing about emerging technologies.

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Maybe I invented Bitcoin… here’s how to find out

Monday, 17 March, 2014

Maybe the Bitcoin inventor has been unmasked, maybe not. It could well be anyone though. Maybe even you. That’s right, you. If you’re (somehow) uncertain as to whether or not you are the Bitcoin creator, you could try taking this quiz to find out for sure.

You never know, we may meet in the media scrum that ends up forming outside your home…

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Subtract the landscape from satellite photos and what do get? Art

Friday, 14 March, 2014

San Francisco based artist Jenny Odell takes images of airports, ship-yards, factories, and the like, that she finds on Google Earth, and after removing the surrounding landscape, or background, creates artworks that feature only the structures of these complexes.

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On creating an all new digital identity

Thursday, 13 March, 2014

Every little thing you do electronically, online, and digitally, can be recorded or monitored, allowing the powers that be to keep close tabs on you, should they so desire. It may be possible though to extricate yourself from any such surveillance, by creating a new digital identity, but it isn’t easy.

For starters you’ll need a “clean” computer, and, I guess, a smartphone, devices whose ownership can in no way can traced to you, plus some Bitcoins, to buy said goods off the grid, as it were, to commence the process. It is possible however:

Here’s the trick. The usual Deep Web purchase is sent via regular post. I want to negotiate with my vendor to secure a “dead drop” in another location. In a decidedly old-school twist, a dead drop is when the vendor leaves the merchandise in a hidden location – an abandoned home, a hidden tree, or even buried like treasure – so that the seller and buyer never meet. On black markets like Russia’s RAMP, dead drops in Moscow for the type of products cooked by Walter White are the norm. Other markets vary. But as long as I’m willing and able to be in a major city for the drop, I should be able to engineer the ideal delivery for my new electronics. I’ll have the seller or his errand boy stash the parts on a dim dead end block in Boston, Mass. that I know has no surveillance cameras.

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Scanning the pages of a book… not the best way to read at all

Monday, 10 March, 2014

Scanning the pages of book, left to right, up to down, is not the most efficient way to read it seems. Time is wasted as our eyes have to keep changing direction to take in what is written on the page.

A better idea, that would also allow us to read a lot faster, would be for each word of a book to display in the same, fixed, spot. That way the words would do the moving rather than our eyes. It’d kind of be like watching the carriages of a train pass along a rail track if you’re standing perfectly still.

The basis of Spritz concept is that much of the time spend reading is “wasted” on moving your eyes from side to side, from one word to the next. By flashing the words quickly, one after the other, all in the same place, eye movement is reduced almost to zero. All that’s left is the time you take to process the word before the next one appears.

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Eye, optometrist

Friday, 7 March, 2014

I linked to an article a month or two ago warning that advances in technology could see machines taking on the work of skilled professionals such as doctors and accountants… and sooner rather than later, at that.

If an online service that offers comprehensive and accurate eye tests, allowing people to perform such check-ups from their computer or smartphone, while also issuing a prescription if needed, is all that is cracked up to be, then optometrists could be among the first of these workers to be thus affected.

Since people with astigmatism see the world stretched at certain angles, Opternative shows a fan of red and green lines. The stretching causes the red and green to bleed together into yellow that users can pick out to identify the angles where they have astigmatism. By asking for your shoe size and then telling you to take heel-to-toe steps away from your screen, Opternative can accurately measure your sight at different distances. It all feels clever and easy – almost fun.

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I was a 1990s web designer, I have the tags to prove it

Wednesday, 5 March, 2014

Blink tags, spacer GIFs, and DHTML… if those terms make sense then chances are you were web designing in the 1990s, and possibly, therefore, deserved the rock-star status the job title way of life conferred upon you.

You were a web developer in the 1990s. With that status, you knew you were hot shit. And you brought with you a score of the most fearsome technological innovations, the likes of which we haven’t come close to replicating ever since.

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If we had to abolish one occupation or industry, what wouldn’t it be?

Tuesday, 4 March, 2014

Another Reddit question/discussion… if all the workers from any given industry were to vanish overnight, whose absence would be most keenly felt? The consensus appears to be with those in the electrical/power sectors…

Electricity runs just about everything in the average person’s daily life. Without it there’s no access to clean water, food will spoil, everything shuts down. Internet is gone. TV is gone. Radio is gone. Just check out Revolution for a decent idea. The only hope would be an extremely quick reaction by all governments before rioting and chaos set in. Without power though that isn’t very likely.

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Taking Flappy Bird for a spin on a… Commodore 64

Friday, 28 February, 2014

While smartphone gaming sensation Flappy Bird is no longer available, someone did manage to fire it up on a Commodore 64 computer… Flappy Bird appears to be in his/her element here, if you ask me.

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In case you’ve ever wondered, why does the mouse pointer… slant?

Monday, 24 February, 2014

Another of life’s unasked questions possibly, why does the mouse cursor point at an angle, or to eleven o’clock, if you see it that way, rather than straight up? Seemingly it comes down to the low resolution of the early monitors in use at the time the mouse was invented by US engineer Douglas Englebart:

The mouse, and therefore the mouse cursor, was invented by Douglas Englebart, and was initially an arrow pointing up. When the XEROX PARC machine was built, the cursor changed into a tilted arrow. It was found that, given the low resolution of the screens in those days, drawing a straight line and a line in the 45 degrees angle was easier to do and more recognizable than the straight cursor.

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