Tuesday, May 25

Wednesday, May 19

Can Cell Phones Cause Fires at Gas Pump?

ABCNEWS reports:

"A college student was pumping gas into his sports utility vehicle near New Paltz, N.Y., recently when he flipped open his cell phone to answer a call, and suddenly found himself surrounded by flames. "


Experts believe that it was static electricity, and not the cell phone that caused the fire.
This topic has also been covered by a show on The Discovery Channel - MythBusters (episode 2).

Monday, May 17

Casual Photography

HP Labs - Photographic memories: Always-on camera captures life's fleeting moments.

HP Labs has been doing work on continous photography, with algorithms and techniques for culling the uninteresting and bad photos, so you are just left with the good photos. They are also working on techniques to use video footage before and after the still to make a better still photo (detecting that people have blinked/etc).

And when you plug in Eye Contact sensors, you can take photos (or video) of people you make eye contact with. With a more detailed explanation on the researchers blog.

Toyota Prius - Info on the Transmission System

I found a site which gives a very good explanation on the "Hybrid Synergy Drive" used by the Toyota Prius, including how it is different from both a normal automatic transmission, and how it is different from a Continuously Variable Transmission.

Following the link on the left to "Understanding Your Prius", brings a new menu on the left with headings such as Continuously Variable Transmission and The Power Split Device. The figures mentioned are from the 2001 to 2003 model Prius, but the concepts are the same.
Quite an interesting read.

Saturday, May 15

Little Brother is Watching You

The New York Times reports: What's Next: In a Road That's All Eyes, the Driver Finds an Ally:


"Its latest creation is an embedded stud equipped with a camera that catches speeders, monitors traffic for criminals or stolen cars and even checks for bald tires on the fly."


Astucia, a UK Company, supplies markers around the world, and even has a distributor in Melbourne.

Friday, May 14

Designer Virus Stalks HIV

Wired News reports on a Designer Virus to cure HIV:


It took Adam Arkin and David Schaffer just $200,000 and a grad student to develop a potential treatment for AIDS. And that scares them.
That's because the therapy itself is a virus. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory assistant professors created a virus altered to latch onto HIV and mute its ability to become AIDS. They've tested the theory in a computer model and in cells in a dish. The results have been promising, and if they continue in that vein, the researchers could begin animal testing by the end of this year.


This looks more promising that a pill that is being trialed that will stop people from becoming HIV infected.

Thursday, May 13

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Official Movie Blog

The people making the new HHGTTG Movie have started a blog.
Unfortunately no RSS feed on this blog. And only one post so far.

'Fictitious' author publishes the first book without verbs

'Fictitious' author publishes the first book without verbs:

First, there was the novel written without using the letter 'e'. Now a French author has produced what he claims is the first book with no verbs.

Perhaps inevitably, critics have commented unfavourably on the lack of action in Michel Thaler's work, The Train from Nowhere, which runs to 233 pages.


Order Le Train de Nulle Part : Au fil des Sorayades!
by Michel Thaler on Amazon.Fr today!

Wednesday, May 12

Activision and id Software Confirm Summer 2004 Ship Date for Doom 3

Activision and id Software Confirm Summer 2004 Ship Date for Doom 3:

"This summer we're sending game fans on a first-class trip to Mars -- with a layover in Hell," said Todd Hollenshead, CEO, id Software. "DOOM 3 is coming to the PC and delivering the most atmospheric, terrifying and visually mind-blowing gaming experience ever conceived."


That's an American Summer release date. Australian Winter.

Tuesday, May 11

200th Post

To celebrate my 200th Post, along with the newly renewed blogger interface, I have done a little redesign of my blog (as you can probably see).
I have moved to the new built-in commenting system, rather than the system supplied by enetation.

The old comments will still be visible on old posts, and the comment links will be marked as "(Old Comments)". This was done with a little bit of CSS and blogger tag hackery.

I have also changed the colour scheme to something a bit darker. This should help save the eyes a little bit when reading.

I'm not sure if I'll keep the "About Me" box on the right that the template supplied.

Please give me your comments on the new style.

The Great Blogger Relaunch

Blogger Has changed their interface. They have added a built in comment system, and changed their look and feel completely.
More info after I've played around with it a bit more.

Google's Gmail Beta

Extreme Tech has written quite a good review of Google's Gmail Beta.

I'm finding Gmail quite nice to use. The labels and archive features are very nice to use, and the speed of the service is excellent compared to Hotmail.

The auto-refreshing of the mail folders is also usefull. I'm leaving my browser window minimized on my desktop, and I can just quickly pop up the screen to see if there's new mail and minimize again if there isn't. None of the 10 second delays that you get with hotmail when trying to do the same thing.

The addition of a windows tray-icon new mail notifier would be nice, but given the auto-refreshing, isn't really required.

Friday, May 7

DVD Dual Layer Primer

AnandTech: AT News Update: DVD Dual Layer Primer

Dual Layer DVD's, here we come. Lets just wait for the hacked firmware for my current DVD drive to support it. : )

Thursday, May 6

Builder survives nailgun accident

Builder survives nailgun accident: "A construction worker has miraculously survived after six nails were embedded in his skull."

The X-Ray picture in the article tells all. Ouch!

Tuesday, May 4

That Yellow Taxi May Be Turning Green

The New York times talks about using Hybrid Electric cars as Taxis, with an interview with some drivers who own Toyota Prius's.

The New York Times > Automobiles > That Yellow Taxi May Be Turning Green: "Mr. Grant said he usually replaced the front brakes after 28,000 miles, but on his first Prius, the first set lasted 90,000 miles.
And because the engine does not idle, he said he did not need to replace the timing belt or fuel injector, and did not have to adjust the valves. He reported no expenses for the electric drive system in 200,000 miles."