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  (High Tech Developments)

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Current Topic: High Tech Developments

Caffeinated Donuts!!!
Topic: High Tech Developments 8:11 am EST, Jan 27, 2007

Science might soon serve up the ultimate sugary snack for drowsy cops and late-night truckers: a caffeinated doughnut. Molecular biologist Robert Bohannon, president of biotech company Onasco, has patented the power-packin' pastry concept, and is looking for partners to produce caffeine-laced doughnuts, bagels and other items, according to a report on LiveScience. To Bohannon, the idea's as simple and straightforward as dunking an old-fashioned buttermilk in a hot cuppa joe. "Some people get their caffeine buzz from soda, chocolate and other sources besides coffee," he said. "The Buzz Donut and the Buzzed Bagel lets them get the caffeine buzz by simply eating a delicious pastry item.

I love donuts, but I'm not a donut junkie. However, I am a complete coffee junkie. They call the area between me and my morning coffee the "kill zone". I'm drooling at the idea of caffeinated donuts to go along with my coffee.

Caffeinated Donuts!!! - Japanese unveil robot wine steward
Topic: High Tech Developments 11:30 am EDT, Oct  3, 2006

The ability to discern good wine from bad, name the specific brand from a tiny sip and recommend a complementary cheese would seem to be about as human a skill as there is.
In Japan, robots are doing it.

Researchers at NEC System Technologies and Mie University have designed a robot that can taste — an electromechanical sommelier able to identify dozens of different wines, cheeses and hors d'oeuvres.

When a reporter's hand was placed against the robot's taste sensor, it was identified as prosciutto. A cameraman was mistaken for bacon.

Ladies and gentlemen, the future is here, and it thinks you taste like bacon.

I for one welcome our future robot masters, and am glad to know they will be cultured snobs. I would have it no other way...

Update: We will have robot jam bands too! I have a feeling our future robot masters will toss some kickin' parties. - Japanese unveil robot wine steward

And if You Liked the Movie, a Netflix Contest May Reward You Handsomely
Topic: High Tech Developments 9:02 am EDT, Oct  2, 2006

Netflix, the popular online movie rental service, is planning to award $1 million to the first person who can improve the accuracy of movie recommendations based on personal preferences.

James Bennett, left, a Netflix vice president, with the company’s chief executive, Reed Hastings, in a headquarters screening room.

To win the prize, which is to be announced today, a contestant will have to devise a system that is more accurate than the company’s current recommendation system by at least 10 percent. And to improve the quality of research, Netflix is making available to the public 100 million of its customers’ movie ratings, a database the company says is the largest of its kind ever released.

“If we knew how to do it, we’d have already done it,” said Reed Hastings, chief executive of Netflix, based in Los Gatos, Calif.

If no one wins within a year, Netflix will award $50,000 to whoever makes the most progress above a 1 percent improvement, and will award the same amount each year until someone wins the grand prize.

And if You Liked the Movie, a Netflix Contest May Reward You Handsomely

Airborne laser weapon stays on course - -
Topic: High Tech Developments 10:11 pm EST, Mar 26, 2006

The Airborne Laser, or ABL, is a Boeing 747 aircraft being equipped with a high-powered chemical laser to destroy ballistic missiles in their boost phase. Chicago-based Boeing Co. is the prime contactor on the effort.

[Obligatory Real Genius reference]

Airborne laser weapon stays on course - -

As Toyota Goes ...
Topic: High Tech Developments 2:15 pm EDT, Jun 17, 2005

Tom Friedman wants Old Auto to Fail Fast. (Reread the manifesto from Isenberg and Weinberger. The parallels are striking.)

We don't need to reinvent the wheel or wait for sci-fi hydrogen fuel cells. The technologies we need for a stronger, more energy independent America are already here. The only thing we have a shortage of now are leaders with the imagination and will to move the country onto a geo-green path.

Where have we heard this before? How much time do we have left? Read the report:

As late as September 4, 2001, Richard Clarke asserted that the government had not yet made up its mind how to answer the question: "Is al Qaeda a big deal?"

A week later came the answer.

According to James Fallows, eventually we'll get the leaders we need. But what's along the path between now and then?

The story we will tell Americans begins in 2001, and it has three chapters. For public use we'll refer to them by the names of the respective administrations. But for our own purposes it will be clearer to think of the chapter titles as "Cocking the Gun," "Pulling the Trigger," and "Bleeding."


The two-party system had been in trouble for decades. It was rigid, polarizing, and unrepresentative. Eight years of failure from two administrations have finally blown apart the tired duopoly. The hopes of our nation are bleeding away along with our few remaining economic resources.

As Toyota Goes ...

Google Sitemaps
Topic: High Tech Developments 5:39 pm EDT, Jun  8, 2005

Google seems to be really on top of indexing MemeStreams, but this is still worth implementing. I'll look at it in some detail and put it into plans moving forward.

Google Sitemaps is an easy way for you to help improve your coverage in the Google index. It's a collaborative crawling system that enables you to communicate directly with Google to keep us informed of all your web pages, and when you make changes to these pages.

With Google Sitemaps you get:

* Better crawl coverage to help people find more of your web pages
* Fresher search results
* A smarter crawl because you can provide specific information about all your web pages, such as when a page was last modified or how frequently a page changes

Google Sitemaps

RE: What’s New in NetNewsWire 2.0
Topic: High Tech Developments 10:10 pm EDT, Jun  4, 2005

noteworthy wrote:
There's a new NetNewsWire. It's been "streamlined", includes a tabbed browser, automatically downloads podcasts, supports "smart lists" like iTunes, and more.

Best of all, upgrades are free.

I've been using NNW 2.0 for awhile now. Even most of the betas were pretty reliable. The biggest win, aside from the new features, is the speed increase. Zooming around browsing articles is significantly faster. The memory usage could be a little bit better, but that's the tradeoff.

I have not used it myself, but there is also now support for syncing subscriptions between multiple machines using both .Mac and a standard FTP server.

RE: What’s New in NetNewsWire 2.0

TheFeature :: Talking Loud And Saying Nothing
Topic: High Tech Developments 8:27 pm EDT, May 20, 2005

] ASA is developing a subvocal speech system that could
] enable you to make a phone call while keeping your lips
] sealed.
] How do you talk to someone without opening your mouth?
] Psychics call it telepathy. NASA refers to it as subvocal
] speech. Scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center in
] California have developed a system of tiny sensors that
] read nerve signals in the throat that control speech. You
] may not make a sound when, say, you read silently, but
] your nervous system is buzzing with activity. Recently,
] they used the system to make the first subvocal cell
] phone call.

Very cool. Even in the limited fashion described in this article, this technology could be used as a method to control wearable computers.

TheFeature :: Talking Loud And Saying Nothing

IBM Sought a China Partnership, Not Just a Sale
Topic: High Tech Developments 1:14 pm EST, Dec 13, 2004

The most intriguing, and potentially most important, dimension of the deal for the company is that it is IBM's China card.

The new Lenovo, folding in the IBM personal computer business, will be China's fifth-largest company. IBM is eager to help China with its industrial policy of moving up the economic ladder, by building the high-technology engine rooms to power modern corporations and government institutions with IBM services and software.

IBM is placing 10,000 of its employees, its brand for five years and some of its prestige in Lenovo's hands. There is a lot more at stake than the cash.

Today, there are two ways to create long-term value for information technology customers and shareholders. "Invest heavily in R&D and be the high-value innovation provider for enterprises, or differentiate by leveraging vast economies of scale, high volumes and price."

IBM is choosing the first path, and has decided that the PC business is inevitably on the second path.

IBM Sought a China Partnership, Not Just a Sale - U.S. airborne laser advances to 'First Light' - Nov 15, 2004
Topic: High Tech Developments 9:14 am EST, Nov 17, 2004

] The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency described the event
] -- carried out on Wednesday in a 747 fuselage on the
] ground at Edwards Air Force Base in California -- as a
] "landmark achievement" for the so-called Airborne Laser
] system.

Yes, the technology present in Real Genius exists in real life now. Only its being used to shoot down missiles, not vaporize human targets. - U.S. airborne laser advances to 'First Light' - Nov 15, 2004

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