Category Archives: technology

Techie celebrities

Actor Ashton Kutcher owns Foursquare

I was watching Social Network on HBO the other day, and I always thought Justin Timberlake  was miscasted as  Napster co-founder Sean Parker. He’s not a geek!  That was until I found out yesterday that he’s one of the owners of Myspace, among many other .com businesses.

Have you checked-in your favorite cafe lately and posted it via Facebook?  If you are one of those people who likes to  shout-out their location,  be surprise: Ashton Kutcher is also one of the  owners of Foursquare!

I was really floored when I read that even Lady Gaga and Will Ferrell have invested in technology (read here).  And even Jessica Alba has joined the tech wagon for honest.com, organic products for kids.

In today’s world, it’s the battle of creativity and innovation. I n the book Innovation Nation, author John Kao says that America is losing its edge- they need to innovate, they need to be creative if they want to compete in today’s world.  China, India are on the rise again –  just like they were centuries ago, the height of their creativity. But you don’t really need millions of money for tech start-ups.  Think of George Takei’s  creativity – after  discovering photo shop to edit pictures, he has taken over facebook (read here)

adobe by george takei

The internet has given us that power! All we need to do is be creative!

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Decoding online addiction

by bbc

Parents are losing their kids to computer games.  Everyday, these gamers would rather go to cyber cafes to play the latest online games than go to school.

In a report from Malaya, child psychiatrist Dr. Vanessa Cainghug,  says that in a  study done in 2000, out  of 18,000 internet users under age 18 showed that 15 percent were “in the process of becoming psychologically addicted.”

With the advent of technology, more specifically of online games, parents are in constant battle with the “online gamers world.”

Computer addiction is an International issue.  Even South Korea  faces the problem of losing these youngsters to virtual land.  A survey of over 1,500 public school students conducted by the Korea Youth Counseling Institute found that nearly a third (29.3 percent) showed signs of game addiction, while nearly 40 percent of male students were determined to be addicted.

Korea Herald reports that the  Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has started imposing a gaming ban.  The ministry hopes the new measures they have implemented will help eradicate video game addiction among teenagers. The curfew automatically shuts down any online access as soon as the clock strikes midnight.

The policy in South Korea has been strictly implemented when several cases of death because of online games have been reported.  These report ranged of gamers dying  after having spent days and even weeks at PC rooms without a break, and the death of a newborn through starvation from a couple’s neglect and addiction to online gaming rocked the nation.

Pulitzer includes online journalism

Online journalism has now been included in the prestigious Pulitzer Prize.

According to Reuters, ProPublica bags the first award for reporting the controversial deaths  at a New Orleans medical center following Hurricane Katrina.

Another first win is on a new category – editorial cartooning.  The award went to Mark Fiore for  http://www.sfgate.com, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Other investigative online reporting winners are Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News for their expose of a rogue police narcotics squad.

“WATCHDOG JOURNALISM”

Reporter Michael Moss and New York Times staff won in the explanatory reporting category for writing about contaminated hamburger and food safety issues. Reporter Matt Richtel and Times staff won the national reporting award for writing about the hazards of using cell phones and computers while driving.

Cameron directs Mars, rover in 3D

photo from stsci.edu

Yes, we will soon be viewing the surfaces of planet Mars in 3-D.
James Cameron is helping in the construction of the new Mars rover  by installing a high-resolution 3-D camera.

Although this plan has been rejected in 2007 due to budget,
Cameron lobbied the inclusion of a 3-D camera last January to NASA  administrator Charles Bolden. Cameron insisted that viewers will appreciate the Mars mission more when viewed in 3-D.

Bolden was convinced. Cameron is now the co-investigator of Malin
Space Science Systems, building  contractor of the rover.

Bulletproofing your tees….easy!

photo by zazzle

Ordinary tank tops can be made bulletproof style.  Discovery.com reports that scientists from South Carolina, Switzerland and China have discovered a way in making armors of ordinary t-shirts.

By combining the carbon in the cotton with boron, the scientists have created a tough, lightweight fabric of boron carbide, the same material used to protect tanks.

What they did was  cut a  white shirt into strips and dipped into a black solution of boron for  an hour.  After removing from the solution, the strips were then  baked for another  hour in an oven at more than 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Aside from blocking a bullet, the shirt  can  block the sun’s hazardous ultra violet rays and  also radioactive neutron materials. The shirt was made to become a comfortable armor wear for soldiers and policemen.

Tattoos that move

Summer time means showing off not only your itsy bitsy bikini, but also flaunting your tattoo. But it’s not about the size anymore, but the movement. Developed by Thinkanapp.com, these augmented reality tattoo is an unusual application where a barcode marker is tattooed onto someone’s arm,which when viewed  through a camera transforms into a three dimensional animation .  Above is an example of an augmented reality tattoo of a flying dragon.

commentary:

This is something to watch out for in the future.  But it is also something to be careful of in the future.

“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13:16-17

In Revelations, it talks about the mark of the beast where no one will be able to do any transaction without this mark.  People are probably thinking of Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, because this technology makes life efficient especially when you have to be admitted to the hospital or when you go to the groceries.  How? An RFID chip is inserted inside your body so that they would easily know your health history.  You are also your own walking credit card.

RFID is the system. For it to be implemented, is another story.  Having an RFID chip implanted in your body will someday be considered  a “caveman” method because of surgery.  So if this bar code translucent tattoo merges with an RFID, it becomes convenient for everyone to have it – this is actually being studied already.

The bar code tattoo is still at its infancy, and it can be made into something more.  This invention is so awesome yet it’s also terrifying which we should be vigilant for in the future.

Becoming invisible, literally!

Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak will soon be defictionalize.  According to Discovery News from a report in Science journal, Tolga Ergin, from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and his team  made a microscopic cloak using photonic crystals (see above 3d photo), which influenced the behaviour of light rays, to conceal a small bump on a gold surface.

“It’s kind of like hiding a small object underneath a carpet — except this time the carpet also disappears,” they said.

In an interview with BBC News, Ergin says, though still  microscopic, the cloak was based on the team’s concept that you can “transform space” with a material.

commentary: this product is just microscopic, so don’t try to imagine buying that cloak soon,  and sneak inside your crush’s bedroom.  And as much as you want it, I don’t think this will be widely available though.  Just like those x-ray shades, it’s for military use only.  And menitioning about shades, someone will probably invent an eye wear to counter these invisible men.