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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

Fringe on FOX

July 1, 2008


Speaking of fring (blogged earlier today), there is a cool new TV series called Fringe which comes out this Fall created by American Emmy Award-winning film and television producer, writer, actor, composer, and director J.J. Abrams. J.J. Abrams also wrote and produced for the popular TV show Lost, including the opening sequence in the first episode of Lost where the plane breaks apart in mid-air.

Apparently Abrams hates planes since in the opening sequence in Fringe involves a plane that lands "intact" but all of its occupants are dead and the inside of the plane is bloody, dark, and eerie.


Cocoa bean (chocolate) genome being sequenced

June 26, 2008


The entire cocoa genome (DNA) is being sequenced and analyzed as part of a project to help create stronger, healthier cocoa crops. Cocoa, of course s the key ingredient in chocolate. Through the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), IBM and the world's largest chocolate company Mars, scientists hope to increase the crop's yield, as well as pest and disease resistance and increased water and nutrient use efficiency.

WD VelociRaptor Hard Drive

April 22, 2008

Western Digital (WD) released their latest VelociRaptor 300GB hard drive. The WD VelociRaptor hard disk drive (HDD) is one scary looking beast! This puppy spins at 10,000 RPM - fast enough to tear through your gigabytes of naked flesh in nanoseconds. Did I say gigabytes of 'naked flesh'? 

Asterisk USB Hub

March 31, 2008

No Asterisk fan can do without some Asterisk paraphernalia such as an Asterisk or Digium T-Shirt, Asterisk book, maybe even an Asterisk coffee mug from ITEXPO where lots of Asterisk happenings take place. Well now you can add an Asterisk USB hub to your collection of all-things Asterisk! This four-port USB hub in the shape of an "asterisk" was created by industrial designer Joel Escalona

He writes:
Some of these designs have been fortunate enough to be manufactured, others were just lucky to be prototypes or models and the less fortunate live within a render. So if at some point you are interested in finding out more about any of my projects or you want to produce, buy or distribute one, do not hesitate to contact me to ask for more details about any of my designs.



SureWest Communications Launches Combined VoIP, TV, and HD DVR

March 12, 2008

Interesting news from SureWest where they debuted VoIP service combined with a high-definition digital video recorder (DVR) product for watching recorded and live TV. I'm assuming this is a combined set-top box that does video (TV) and voice over IP. If they really want to get crazy with combining stuff, they should stick a camera in there which will add video over IP (videoconferencing) capabilities. I'll see if I can get a photo of the set-top box.

In the meantime, here's the news from the Sacramento Business Journal:
SureWest Communications has launched Digital Phone, the telecommunication company's new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service and a high-definition digital video recorder product.

SureWest already offers VoIP for business customers, but Digital Phone extends the service to residential customers.

SureWest (Nasdaq: SURW) has been testing the high-definition DVR in region since December.






TeVeStream FrameSeeker Detects Video Frame Changes

February 25, 2008



Arcosoft Inc., those same rascals that built 8 simultaneous video streams only Star Trek's Data could love, today announced the release of TeVeStream FrameSeeker. According to Arcosoft, "Surveillance video, such as those captured for security, paranormal investigation, and wildlife study, often contains many frames that are essentially static. Without FrameSeeker, a reviewer must spend many tedious hours watching the video completely to find interesting events. FrameSeeker reduces the effort by scanning for changes frame by frame.

Battery Breakthrough = 40 hour Laptop Batteries

January 18, 2008

Following up on Toshiba's recent SCiB lithium-ion battery breakthrough, researchers discovered a way to use silicon nanowires to give rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries used in laptops, iPods, mobile phones and just about everything else these days, as much as 10 times more charge. This gives a conventional Li-Ion battery-powered laptop 40 hours of battery charge instead of just four.

According to ZDNet Australia, the new Li-ion batteries based on silicon were developed by assistant professor Yi Cui and colleges at Stanford University's Materials Science and Engineering Department. Traditional batteries use graphite to hold lithium, but their storage capacity is limited.

According to Cui, silicon anodes have the "the highest theoretical charge capacity". Unfortunately, silicon placed in a battery swells as it absorbs positively charged lithium atoms during charging, then shrinks down uring use as the lithium is drawn out of the silicon.



Sendio I.C.E. Box anti-spam appliance review

January 16, 2008


The Sendio I.C.E. (Intercept, Confirm or Eliminate) Box anti-spam appliance brings an assortment of weapons to do battle with the evil spammers of the world, including challenge-response (Sender Address Verification (SAV)), silverlisting, SPF, Domain Keys and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) with detailed SMTP protocol checks, and finally blacklisting by domain name or email address on a system-wide or per user basis. Sendio doesn't include spam filters, but don't get Tim Lee Thorpe, VP of Marketing started.

Vodafone USB 7.2 Modem Stick

January 11, 2008

Vodafone UK just launched a USB modem for their high-speed mobile broadband data network. The Vodafone USB Modem Stick is Vodafone's smallest wireless high-speed modem supporting HSDPA and HSUPA. It reminds me of the Sprint Novatel Wireless Ovation U727 USB stick, which I plan on writing the review today. Stay tuned!

In any event, the Vodafone USB Modem Stick plugs directly into a laptop and supports both Windows (Vista and XP) and Mac OSX.

Cool Phones for FiOS, Uverse and other VoIP providers

January 9, 2008

Home phone systems haven't kept up with the latest innovations in mobile handsets, such as Internet access, streaming video, camera, etc. Considering many people are now choosing VoIP providers such as Vonage, Packet8, Skype, etc. which already sit on the Internet, wouldn't it make sense to have more advanced home phone systems? Where is Phone 2.0 for the home?

In fact, most VoIP providers simply use an analog telephony adapter (ATA) that lets you use your home analog cordless phone system.

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