Archives for category: Technology

This is a legal battle which seems to be lighting up the technology blog space. Even though I don’t count myself as a “technology blog” I still feel the urge to throw my two cents into the ring.
From the snippets of evidence that I’ve seen, it seems quite obvious that Samsung has copied Apple, it also seems to me that several of the patents that Apple has should never have been granted.
So, my ideal outcome would look something like this: Samsung is fined, but a relatively small amount (especially compared to the amount that Apple seems to be after), maybe a few tens of millions of dollars.
This in my mind amounts to a stern slap on the wrist for Samsung, it should develop it’s own ideas and forge it’s own path (lets face it, that should be the best for consumers anyway).
However in addition to this I think there should be a negative taint to the outcome for Apple to dissuade them from throwing around lawsuits with such abandon.
Either the simple fact that the damages awarded are insignificant enough that the whole thing seems completely pointless, or one or more of their more obvious looking patents is rendered invalid.
Having said that I don’t envy the jury in the slightest it certainly seems to be a difficult trial!

I’ve just finished watching ‘The Cell’ on BBC iplayer. Not the rather dodgy film with J.Lo in but a three part documentary originally aired on BBC4 about the scientific process that led to the current understanding of the cell and life on earth. It is totally mind blowing how far science has come in just four centuries, and to be honest I wish I’d seen it sooner so I could recommend it before it expires on the iplayer site (runs out this evening). It served – for me – to highlight how much of what we take for granted took massive intuitive leaps for scientist of the day. For example, when the cell was first discovered by a linen maker in Denmark it was well understood that new life just appeared. Literally just popped into existence. There was even a written method for ‘appearing’ mice. Leave some grain in a jar along with some sweaty rags and ‘pop’ – one week later you had mice.
Then from seeing the cell for the first time there was a long time and lots of experimentation to find some ‘well known’ facts. e.g. All life is made of cells, cells have a nucleus, the nucleus contains chromosomes, cells with-out a nucleus or with more than one don’t work. Chromosomes are DNA, DNA is the code of life etc.
In the last episode the current state of the art research was outlined. In Harvard scientists are on the brink of making life.

Making life. I don’t think there is any way in written words to express how completely ground-breaking, history making and philosophically challenging this is. As soon as the human race has made life then we can essentially act like gods in our own playground. A scary thought at the best of times – but it’s actually happening. The next ten years have the potential to be very very interesting time to live in!!

I’m fairly sure that I’ve mentioned the multi-touch sceen technology on here before. They have a new video (which doesn’t work in Opera), which makes minority report look like a simple beginning.

This has to be the future of computer interactions. Download the video and watch it. I Don’t mind admiting that there was a tear of techno joy in my eye the first time I watched it !!

As I mentioned earlier, my laptop now works. Credit goes to my dad for finding the answer to the problem and I feel compelled to explain it here as apparently the answer is very difficult to find.
At the moment I don’t know where the solution is, if I did then I would link to it (if you know, let me know).

So, enough beating around the bush, to the explanation.

First, the problem:
When pressing the power button on the laptop, the power light comes on for about two seconds, then the hard disk light flashes and the power light goes off. No booting, no whir of fans, nothing.

The solution:
You need new RAM, the old stuff has packed up. Quite a simple solution really.

My excuse for not finding this out is that before my laptop ‘died’ it was having hard drive problems, so of course I assumed that was the problem when it stopped working. The fact that it didn’t even get into the BIOS and no longer displayed the helpful ‘Boot device not found’ message should really have alerted me to further possibilities.

Truth be told I was kinda looking for a good excuse to build a spangly new machine anyway. Now I’ve got the best of both worlds!!

Well yesterdays post recounting the events of the holiday was delayed due to another crash of my machine. This is not good, although now I have backed up all my pictures. Hopefully it’ll hold out until I go home this weekend where I can backup all my stuff on my dads machine and go through the trauma of a complete restall.
This is long over due as the last time I did a complete format was in my final year at uni, which is now distressingly over two years ago.

Stupid online shopping.

I suppose I have myself to blame, the fact that I know my credit card number off-by-heart pretty much nullifies the cunning and clever leave-it-at-home-anti-spending-plan. I said ‘off-by-heart’ on purpose, because memorised implies intent and I honestly didn’t set out to learn my credit card details for internet shopping…

So I guess I’ll have to take my photography a bit more seriously.
Why you ask?
Well yesterday in a fit of enthusiasm for the upcoming move to a bigger room in the house (August), I was doing a bit of research into the prospect of getting a new computer to celebrate the existance of a desk. Doing the build in stages seems to be a good idea purely from a financial point of view. Although this does mean that at some point during the process I’ll have a swanky new case with nothing in it, but thats beside the point.

The first stage of the process I logically decided would be to get a decent screen, this can be used on my laptop until the rest of the new machine is complete. And well if I’m going to get a new monitor I may as well look into the price of those calibration doo-dars.
Whats that, they’re how much… well in that case…

Before you know it, the order is placed for a Spyder 2 monitor calibration device. It has yet to arrive, or even be dispatched. If there is anyone in the Guildford area that wants an ICC profile for their monitor (windows 2000 or XP only)… tenner a go.

At some point in the future I may even get round to adding a contact page to this site so you can actually email me with interest.

I had a thought for a new computer game.
There are plenty of assassin style games out there, the lone hitman faced with the challenge of taking out the mark and getting away clean. ‘Hitman-47’ is a good example that I’ve actually played.

So I thought, what about a game from the other perspective?
You take the possition of the body guard, or security expert or whatever you want to call it. Start off small with minor dignitaries and you as the soul bodyguard. Could work up to being in charge of mulitple team members and security procedures at events.

The game could have different paths, do you become an offical bodyguard, with the hope of ending up protecting the president or someone high up like that, or do you go and work for the mob working your way up to protect the mob boss. Perhaps even you’d become a private bodyguard, working for rich people or singers/actors, that kind of area.

Lots of opportunities for very cool stuff, just need someone to take the idea and do it.

If you’ve got broadband then you really need to check out this video clip. Be warned that the streaming can be a bit dodgy, it froze about five or six times when I was watching it. It’s very worth it though.
I’ve been interested in augmented reality ever since I saw it mentioned on the TV. In that instance it was a portable head-worn system that would sense rectangular shapes, like bill-boards and using a projection system would make it seem that information pertinent to you was printed on it. For example it could tell you that you’ve got email, or the name of someone trying to call you. I suppose there would be nothing to stop it displaying text messages you’ve recieved and things like that.

The possible uses for it are quite exciting, especially in the workplace. I know that airport maintenance crews already have something along the same lines to bring up schematics and the like.
Or for medical use, to be able to see an real-time ultrasound picture like its actually cut into the patient. All very cool stuff!

It seems that the ‘make love not spam’ site was only suffering a temporary glitch and is now back up and running again!

If you can’t install the screensaver (please do, its great!) there’s an ‘annoy a spammer’ button on the site, so you could just sit and click that for five minutes a day…

Every little helps!