Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Post-PC era is nigh

CNet News has a post on a D8 conference where Steve Jobs was talking about the post-PC era:

Jobs said the day is coming when only one out of every few people will need a traditional computer. He noted that advances in chips and software will allow tablet devices like the iPad to do tasks that today are really only suited for a traditional computer, things like video editing and graphic arts work. The move, Jobs said, will make many PC veterans uneasy, "because the PC has taken us a long ways." "We like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen, it's uncomfortable," he said.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Coming Data Explosion

The New York Times has an interesting post on the emerging 'Internet of Things' and the ever-increasing number of real-world objects connected/interfaced with the digital world:

One of the key aspects of the emerging Internet of Things - where real-world objects are connected to the Internet - is the massive amount of new data on the Web that will result. As more and more "things" in the world are connected to the Internet, it follows that more data will be uploaded to and downloaded from the cloud. And this is in addition to the burgeoning amount of user-generated content - which has increased 15-fold over the past few years, according to a presentation that Google VP Marissa Mayer made last August at Xerox PARC. Mayer said during her presentation that this "data explosion is bigger than Moore's law."

Read more at 'The Coming Data Explosion'


Friday, June 25, 2010

Sony Shows Rollable OLED Display

Has the Sony company pulled off another hit? A colour display that can even wrap around a pen...uummm

Sony has developed a flexible color display that's sturdy enough to be wrapped around a pencil while still showing video images. The screen will be detailed on Thursday at the Society for Information Display conference in Seattle and ahead of that Sony released a video of it in operation.

Read more at - 'Sony Shows Rollable OLED Display'


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wikitude Drive Beta – Test Drivers Wanted

Is this the future for satellite navigation, one wonders? Live video stream of the road you are driving on...road testers required - sign up!

Press Release: Wikitude Drive 
Beta – Test Drivers Wanted

Wikitude Drive, the first mobile Augmented Reality (AR) satellite navigation system with global coverage, launches for test drivers. 

Salzburg, May 20, 2010. Wikitude Drive, the Grand Prize Winner of the Global Navteq LBS Challenge 2010 at Mobile World Congress last February in Barcelona, transforms your Android smartphone into a mobile navigation system looking a bit like something out of a science fiction movie…
Driving directions not only appear on screen, they are overlaid on the live video stream of the very street you are driving on. As a result, you are seeing the real world and real road in front of you, while being directed by a digital route on top of it.

Read more at - 'Wikitude Drive Beta – Test Drivers Wanted'


Monday, June 21, 2010

YeZ concept car sucks in C02, exhales oxygen

Now this does look cool... conceptual... but way smart..

Here is a vehicle that behaves like a plant, photosynthesizing carbon dioxide from the air and exchanging oxygen back into the atmosphere. Meet the YeZ, a concept two-seater that makes other eco cars blush when it comes to zero and even negative emissions. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation is behind this clever little creation in partnership with General Motors and Volkswagen. YeZ, pronounced yea-zi, which means "leaf" in Mandarin, works its magic of photoelectric conversion with the help of state-of-the-art solar panels on the roof, wind power conversion via small wind turbines in the wheels, and carbon dioxide absorption and conversion through the bodywork. This last bit is made of a metal-organic framework that can apparently absorb carbon dioxide and water molecules from the air. Through the series of chemical reactions, energy is generated, and it's then stored in the car's lithium ion batteries.

Read move over at 'YeZ concept car sucks in C02, exhales oxygen'


Friday, June 18, 2010

Tweet for Traitors

Yet again Twitter hits the headlines as it becomes a tool for pro-Chavez supporters to whistleblow:

President Hugo Chavez has urged supporters to use Twitter to blow the whistle on currency speculators and announced that police raids on illegal traders would continue as Venezuela's government tries to defend the embattled bolivar. The socialist leader asked Venezuelans to send messages identifying illegal traders. He described them as "thieves" who must be punished for currency speculation, which he blames for rapidly rising inflation. "My Twitter account is open for you to denounce them," Chavez said during his weekly radio and television program. "We're going to launch several raids. We've already launched some raids, thanks to the complaints from the people."

Read more at - 'Chavez asks Venezuelans to tweet on speculators'


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Theory, Culture & Society - Special Issue on Changing Climates‏

I've recently been shifting through a few articles in the new  Theory, Culture & Society ( March/May 2010, Volume 27, No. 2-3) titled Special Issue on Changing Climates - Edited by Bronislaw Szerszynski and John Urry - see

Some great content here... see the following:
Bronislaw Szerszynski and John Urry
    Changing Climates: Introduction
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 1-8. 

Bronislaw Szerszynski
    Reading and Writing the Weather: Climate Technics and the Moment of Responsibility
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 9-30. 

Nigel Clark
    Volatile Worlds, Vulnerable Bodies: Confronting Abrupt Climate Change
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 31-53. 

Myra J. Hird
    Indifferent Globality: Gaia, Symbiosis and ‘Other Worldliness’
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 54-72. 

Kathryn Yusoff
    Biopolitical Economies and the Political Aesthetics of Climate Change
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 73-99. 

Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap
    Anti-reflexivity: The American Conservative Movement’s Success in Undermining Climate Science and Policy
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 100-133. 

Bradley C. Parks and J. Timmons Roberts
    Climate Change, Social Theory and Justice
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 134-166. 

Melinda Cooper
    Turbulent Worlds: Financial Markets and Environmental Crisis
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 167-190.
John Urry
    Consuming the Planet to Excess
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 191-212. 

Erik Swyngedouw
    Apocalypse Forever?: Post-political Populism and the Spectre of Climate Change
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 213-232. 

Sheila Jasanoff
    A New Climate for Society
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 233-253. 

Ulrich Beck
    Climate for Change, or How to Create a Green Modernity?
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 254-266. 

Mike Hulme
    Cosmopolitan Climates: Hybridity, Foresight and Meaning
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 267-276. 

Elizabeth Shov
    Social Theory and Climate Change: Questions Often, Sometimes and Not Yet Asked
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 277-288. 

Brian Wynne
    Strange Weather, Again: Climate Science as Political Art
    Theory, Culture & Society 2010 27: 289-305. 


Monday, June 14, 2010

Google Invests in Firm that Tries to Predict the Future

Google's investment arm, Google Ventures, has sunk an undisclosed sum into Recorded Future, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup that "offers customers new ways to analyze the past, present and the predicted future.":

Recorded Future's own Web site doesn't list any products for sale, but the company appears to have developed a data analytics technology that could be used to try to predict future stock market events or even terrorist activity, according to blog posts and videos on its site. The technology looks at how frequently an entity or event is referred to in the news and around the Web over a period of time, then uses that data to project how it might behave in the future.

Read more here

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Bristol psychologist seeking tweets about dreams

This has to be the new level in Tweet-related phenomena! A Bristol academic is to take part in a worldwide experiment to collect and analyse people's dreams using the social networking service Twitter:

Dr Jennifer Parker, of the University of the West of England, is asking people from around the world to tweet their dreams to her on Monday.

The 10 judged the best will be analysed by Dr Parker, who is a member of the Association for the Study of Dreams. The top 10 tweeted dreams will appear on will be posted on Friday 30 April.

Dr Parker, who is from the university's psychology department, said even the dreams that will not be analysed publicly will help her with her research.

Read more at 'Bristol psychologist seeking tweets about dreams'


Monday, June 07, 2010

Cell phones to 'smell' biochem attack?

I remember coving this topic about 2 years ago...seems like it's been taking a while to move on this. Anyway, its implications are both 'reassuring' and yet 'worrying' - hopefully, you won't need to ask why!

If you ever get caught up in a chemical or biological weapons attack, your cellphone may save your life. Or at least that's the ambition of the Department of Homeland Security. The Department's science and technology team has begun talks with four cell-phone manufacturers on designing 'nextgen' phones that would be able to sense a wide variety of noxious chemical compounds in the air - and alert the user. The director of the "Cell-All" program at the DHS, Stephen Dennis, tells CNN that within a year, "We expect up to 80 prototype cell phones to be developed that can be then tested against various agents."

Read original post - 'Cell phones to 'smell' biochem attack?'


Friday, June 04, 2010

Car Steered With Eyes

Following on from the previous post on the automated car being closer to reality, this is a slightly different take - using the power of 'giving the eye'!

The eyeDriver software is a prototype application for steering the research vehicle Spirit of Berlin using eye movements. The software was designed by computer scientists at Freie Universität Berlin in collaboration with the company, SMI (SensoMotoric Instruments). The eye movements of the driver are collected and converted into control signals for the steering wheel. The application uses a converted bicycle helmet equipped with two cameras and an infrared LED, as well as a laptop computer with special software. One of the cameras is pointed to the front in the same direction as the person wearing the helmet (scene camera), while the other camera films one eye of the wearer (eye camera)...
In the "free ride" mode the viewing positions are linked directly with the steering wheel motor. That means that the x-coordinates of the viewing position are used to calculate the desired position of the steering wheel. The further the driver looks to the left or right, the further the steering wheel is turned in that direction. The speed of the vehicle is set in advance and kept constant, as long as the position of the gaze is recognized. In case it is not possible to detect which direction the driver is looking in, for example, if the driver's eyes are closed, the vehicle brakes automatically.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Car that drives itself gets closer to reality

It's getting a closer reality: cars that can stay in a motorway lane without the help of a human the latest developments:

self driving car

Software developed by the researchers at North Carolina State University helps a computer keep a car within a lane on a highway while staying aware of other lanes and vehicles travelling alongside. It can even read road signs. The technology relies completely on computer vision programming, which allows a computer to understand what a video camera is looking at - whether it is a stop sign or a pedestrian. The program uses algorithms to sort visual data and make decisions related to finding the lanes of a road, detecting how those lanes change as a car is moving, and controlling the car to stay in the correct lane. It does this - while avoiding other vehicles and without becoming confused by multiple lanes.

Read original post - 'Car that drives itself gets closer to reality'