That's a lot of history in a very short period of time. Personally, I can't wait to see what's next.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
A college degree might not be good enough anymore. At least according to this New York Times article.
College's have been raising tuition for years because they need more faculty and resources to educate the increased student population and now it may turn out that expensive degree won't even be good enough to get your feet in the door.
Can't say I'm surprised.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Look, I think 3D is neat. If I find myself needing to buy another TV, more than likely I will pick up one that is 3D capable just for the "wow" factor... but 3D technology just isn't ready for every day use like all of the TV manufacturer's (and content producers) want it to be. Box office returns have shown that.
But it's certainly not worth the price premium... and for a lot of people it's just a pain... literally.
So I've often wished that my home's HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) had a little bit smarter "brain" so that I could tie into my "Smart Meter" or maybe even have some kind of android app so that I could control my home's temperature from remote. However, some Microsoft Researchers had a totally different take on computers and HVAC....
Essentially, computers produce a lot of heat.... why waste all that heat when it could be put to use heating homes?
While the idea is a bit "out there"... fundamentally, I think this kind of thinking is going to become very important to society. Why waste all of that heat and then consume yet-more-energy to heat a home? We need to start looking at our "waste" products of our processes and try and do a better job of determining if there is a better use for them.
Unfortunately, in Texas, I really don't need heat all that much... I just need some appliances that put out cool air as a waste product.
I regularly listen the "This American Life" Podcast and I was excited to hear at the end of last week's episode that this week, "This American Life" would be looking at small companies that all they do is create massive numbers of patents in hopes that some other company will come along and do something that intrudes on one of these patents so that they can then extract licensing fees from them.
I'm ashamed to say that the East Texas court system has also been very friendly to these "patent trolls" when it comes to intellectual property cases.
I'll admit I haven't listened this week's episode yet (it typically doesn't show up in my podcatcher app until Sunday afternoon), but I encourage anyone and everyone to listen to this.
There are major issues with the US patent system and our intellectual property laws and unfortunately the vast majority of the american public is totally unaware.
Geeks love their comic strips. Whether its Dilbert, Penny Arcade or something else... we all have some strip that we hold onto. However, I distinctly remember seeing the below strip in hte newspaper one morning when I was in college and I thought it pretty much summed up my life.
I always have to take it to the next level.
I had a hard time tracking this down, but it turns out Bill Amend is regular poster on twitter... A couple of months ago I asked him directly about the comic and while he wasn't sure how to find it... one of his other twitter followers was kind enough to supply a link.
Maybe one of these days I'll buy this as a framed art print.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I'm filing this article away for the next time someone throws out the video games and violence stories. If you've ever heard the expression, "Lies, damn lies, and statistics" this is what it's all about. If you take the time you can correlate almost any data sets to prove a point. Just because there appears to be a statistical correlation between one data set and another does not mean that one thing caused the other thing to happen (or vice-versa).
Anyway enough serious stuff.... apparently this professor has been able to correlate a countries GDP to the average penis size of a country's men. No.. I don't know how he sourced his data.
While the title of this source article is a little controversial (and arguably racial... if you believe Judaism is a race), but the author goes on to consider not just genetics, but also cultural, and historical explanations for his hypothesis.
Mmmm... this might make me re-buy the books. I found the whole Pottermore ebooks store idea intriguing, but by giving me an option to stick this into my Google Books library means I can have access on any of my Android Devices. Very tempting.
Read more at www.androidcentral.com
Calling all Muggles -- JK Rowling's Harry Potter series will finally be hitting e-readers this fall, and it'll be available on Android. There's a bit of a catch, as you'll actually be buying the books from the new Pottermore site in October. When you purchase, you'll have the option to save the book to your Google Books library. And from there, you can read on any Android smartphone or tablet (or any non-Android or iOS device that has a browser).
Personally, I'm sick of lugging around my single-screen, 17" Dell M90 laptop that my company issued me for work. I know a lot of developers and video professionalls crave screen real-estate so I expect there is a (albiet niche) market here, but I just can't see many people wanting to make this their "daily driver". I'm due for a replacement at work and I'm seriously considering downgrading from the "high end" laptop to the company's "standard" configuration (which is a 15" screen) just to save on the weight. That being said, even the new high-end machines are thinner and lighter (albeit still 17") then the M90 so maybe I would be still okay with the high end. I would hate to give up the high end processor/memory/graphics card, but bulk IS an issue.
As of yesterday... google can now detect if your PC has a particuliar type of malware infection when you execute a search on http://www.google.com. If your PC is infected you'll get a yellow bar like in the image below.
Personally, I think this is genius. Too many people don't check their machines or stay up to date with proper malware/virus scanning tools. If popular websites integrated a scanning services I think it could potentially cripple botnets. Of course, this first attempt is to block a particuliarly bit of malware, but I think the idea is a good one.
I would have thought my Sprint Epic 4G would have been one of the first devices Netflix supported. Long before releasing anything on Android they had released statements indicating that their support was going to be contingent on their ability to secure content via DRM. Now my feelings about DRM aside for the momemt, all Samsung Galaxy S devices (including the the Epic 4G) have DRM services in order to secure content purchased through Samsung's own "Media Hub" application (which also allows for video rentals).
I suppose there wasn't an easy way for Netflix to piggyback on the existing service.
Nevertheless... glad to see it finally officially supported. Ironically, I've been able to use it from the very first Android release on my hacked Nook color, but this is the first build that I've seen run on the Epic.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
AndroidCentral.com offers yet another tip for android beginners. I've been intending to do some articles to help my friends and family get acquainted with their new phones. To date, I haven't had the time yet, but in the meantime I'm going to re-post any of these articles that I come across.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I know people hate coming up with passwords, but the reality is we all need to get a whole lot better at this. Based on all the recent hacks that have exposed password databases, and a bit of statistical analysis it appears that 70% of all passwords chosen fall into pretty predictable patterns. The password cracking tools will be updated to try these patterns first and accounts will be compromised much faster. Personally, I've been using tools to generate random passwords for years (and I won't mention which lest the tool is found to have a bug that that shows it's "random" algorithm is actually predictable), but that's a step most people won't follow.A little while back I took a look at some recently breached accounts and wrote A brief Sony password analysis. The results were alarming; passwords were relatively short (usually 6 to 10 characters), simple (less than 1% had a non-alphanumeric character) and predictable (more than a third were in a common password dictionary). What was even worse though was uniqueness; 92% of common accounts in the Sony systems reused passwords and even when I looked at a totally unrelated system – Gawker – reuse was still very high with over two thirds of common email addresses sharing the same password.
Click here for the full article.
Seriously, if you don't get it... the flame is actually producing the music you are hearing. Had no idea there was a hackerspace here in Houston. Looks like there is some pretty
Saturday, July 16, 2011
|How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education|
|"'This,' says Matthew Carpenter, 'is my favorite exercise.. I peer over his shoulder at his laptop screen to see the math problem the fifth grader is pondering. It’s an inverse trigonometric function: cos-1(1) = ?"|
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Just ran across an article from the Standford magazine which is a fascinating look at the Stanford Prison Experiment including interviews with some of the people involved. I was aware of this study, but I don't think I've read anything in depth before. A good read.
|The Menace Within|
|"Male college students needed for psychological study of prison life. $15 per day for 1-2 weeks. More than 70 people volunteered to take part in the study, to be conducted in a fake prison housed inside Jordan Hall, on Stanford's Main Quad. The leader of the study was 38-year-old psychology professor Philip Zimbardo. He and his fellow researchers selected 24 applicants and randomly assigned each to be a prisoner or a guard..."|
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Driven off the Road by M.B.A.s
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Jack's Big Music Show | I Hog The Ground - Music Video | Nick Jr.
I also can't count the number of episodes of Blue's Clues I watched. However, I completely failed to put 2+2 together. It's Steve from Blues Clues! Oh yeah... and the other guy is from The Flaming Lips!