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Tom Keating
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Technology and Science

Technology and Science

The War on Spam

July 11, 2005

The war on spam is a battle that no doubt will be fought for years to come. As the spammers continue to send viruses packed with email zombie programs and terrorize unsuspecting victims who open their attachments, we have to wonder when the spamming wars will ever end. Make no mistake, it is a form of terrorism.

There are countless victims of identity fraud that are a result of keystroke loggers and other forms of viruses that send your personal information to the virus writer (aka terrorist). Even if their identity isn't stolen, just think of the panic and terror that victims feel when they open the attachment and their PC starts acting strange.

Sandisk rescues valuable data

July 7, 2005

Memory cards, whether they're Secure Digital (SD), Compact Flash (CF), or another format have become an important part of most of our lives. Everything from digital camera to MP3 players use these memory cards. The thought of losing precious digital photos is not a pleasant thought. It happened to me once, although in my case it wasn't data corruption, but a stolen digital camera - with my wedding photos on it no less.

AOL and Plaxo

July 6, 2005

AOL and Plaxo are joining forces to make it easier to find your contacts. I personally get annoyed by all the Plaxo emails I get asking me to update my contact information. I get at least one or two a week from pubilic relations firms. It just seems a bit intrusive if you ask me.

Ray Gun Protects Nuclear Power Plants

July 5, 2005

U.S. scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are working to develop a Star Trek-style ray gun that will keep the bad guys (aka terrorists) out of nuclear sites by inducing extreme pain on anyone caught in the beam's path.

A multi-organizational team is adapting for DOE use a technology that can help keep security adversaries out of DOE sites that contain nuclear assets.

The DOE Office of Security and Safety Performance Assurance (SSA) is exploring the potential to use directed energy weapons technology sponsored by the Department of Defense (DoD), named Active Denial Technology (ADT), to help protect DOE nuclear assets.

SSA is sponsoring Sandia National Laboratories, a National Nuclear Security Administration lab, to investigate how the technology can be used on adversaries by developing a new small-sized Active Denial System (ADS) to meet the unique and rapidly evolving security needs of DOE.

Ocean Electricity

June 23, 2005

Interesting tech news from a BusinessWeek newsletter (I'd hyperlink to it, but I got it via email).

The sun rises and sets, and winds come and go—but the ocean’s waves roll all day and all night. That’s why harnessing wave energy promises more reliable power than solar cells or windmills, according to engineers Annette von Jouanne and Alan K. Wallace at Oregon State University.

They have built a buoy that may prove to be an efficient, nonpolluting generator of electricity. The mechanism is surprisingly simple.

Cosmos 1 Solar Sail Fails

June 22, 2005

The world’s first solar sail spacecraft named Cosmos 1 crashed back to Earth when its booster rocket failed less than two minutes after Tuesday’s takeoff, Russian space officials said. The Volna booster rocket failed 83 seconds after its launch from a Russian nuclear submarine in the northern Barents Sea, the Russian space agency said.

The Cosmos 1 vehicle, a joint U.S.-Russian project, was intended to show that a solar sail can make a controlled flight. Solar sails are designed to be propelled by pressure from sunlight.

Interesting GPS Patent Stuff

June 15, 2005

An Israeli inventor in Jerusalem has won a patent for using cellphone signals to determine where people are driving in their cars so traffic signals can be timed to reduce congestion. David Myr has invented a system that gathers location information from cellphone signals and uses mathematical formulas to calculate the travel times of those phones' owners as they drive along roads, through intersections, around corners and while waiting at lights. Those times can then be used to adjust traffic signals to ease vehicle flow. Mr. Myr received patent 6,539,300.

Not cool

Another inventor working on behalf of I.B.M.

T-Mobile Hotpot Growth Numbers

June 14, 2005

Some interesting T-Mobile hotspot numbers to share… No doubt the wireless data access market is on fire. Still waiting for WiMAX though...


BELLEVUE, Wash. – June 13, 2005 –T-Mobile HotSpot, the largest carrier grade, commercial Wi-Fi network in the United States, today announced continued wireless broadband leadership with strong customer growth and usage statistics, and new roaming relationships.

Since the service launch in 2002, T-Mobile HotSpot has evolved to become an expansive wireless broadband network. T-Mobile HotSpot meets the needs of mobile professionals and wireless data hungry consumers, whether they’re on-the-go in the United States or roaming while traveling abroad.

Z, Zod, Super Speed, and Time Travel

June 9, 2005

Faster than a speeding bullet (50 times faster than a rifle bullet to be precise), more powerful than a locomotive... It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's Z!!! Should have called this Zod after Superman's arch villain in Superman 2. Z fires objects faster than Earth moves through space.

U3 Portable USB Applications, including Skype

June 9, 2005

USB FOBs that you stick on your keychain are a lot more useful than you think. Sure you can use USB memory FOBs for storing files, pictures, music, applications, etc. But did you know you can not only store an applications installer, but you can actually run the application off of the USB drive? Sure you could copy the entire installer (.ZIP, .RAR, or bunch of uncompressed files) and install the application on the PC, but if it's not your PC you have to go and uninstall your "legally" licensed software.

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