There is trouble in the U.S. patent office. It seems that the rewards for holding a patent - even a patent on a bad idea - are so good that the Patent Office is flooded with applications for bad patents. Government tries to do good for the public, but there are all those unintended consquences.
ASUS will finally make a netbook computer with a larger keyboard. This will come with a 10-inch screen. No information is yet available on delivery date and price.
While a large number of people are entering retirement age, businesses don't seem to be concerned. Maybe that is where all the H1-B visas are going.
Speaking of H1-B visas, some House Republicans are requesting an increase in these visas from 65,000 to 115,000. Such an increase happened just before 9-11-2001. Those events caused it to go back down. I guess enough time has elapsed since that travesty or something.
I want one of these. A quiet, supersonic jet that flies 1,200 mph. It will fly in 2013 and carry 12 passengers coast-to-coast in two hours. I probably won't be able to afford a ticket. These things sound too luxurious at first, but if someone puts it out there, technology may advance, supply may create its own demand, and who know what will happen.
Intel has cut prices on many of its processors. I like this.
Some people are now trying to capture the lost heat a power plants and use it for energy. Wow, what a concept - convert energy from one form to another. It won't be 100% efficient, but it is greater than zero. I have to wonder how much of everything we waste instead of use.
The Chinese group that was going to hack CNN.com has disbanded. But, someone hacked a sports site connected to CNN. These are interesting times. Is this undeclared war among nations, commercial espionage, childish pranks, something else?
Here is a method to improve fuel efficiency in tractor trailers by 5% to 15% - put skirts on the side. Even greater gains come from putting boat tails on the back of the semi-trailer. Simple ideas.
Should Internet access be turned off in college classrooms? That was one of the topics of discussion yesterday among the two current and two former college students in my family. This post also addresses the question. My conclusion - kids pay attention if the professor is interesting, educating, and important.
This blog predicts a 2009 release of Windows 7. I agree with the advice given here - strip out much of the junk that plagues Windows Vista and do incremental releases of Windows 7. We shall see what Microsoft does.Email me at email@example.com
This is a compact, universal charging station for all those things we need to keep charged. I like the concept. I just don't have that many things that need charging. I guess I am behind the times.
Scott Adam's is letting people add their own punchlines to his Dilbert cartoons. Silicon Alley Insider has this report on it. There are many other reports on this today. This is part of the new Dilbert web site that many people don't like. I like this part. Adams is pretty smart and this is a smart move.
PsyStar claims to be shipping systems now. We shall see when someone actually receives one.
Here is a Washington Post editorial from two environmentalists discussing how ethanol has hurt the environment. We tried it, it didn't work, let's move on to something else.
Next Energy News reports on gas hydrates which hold more potential for energy that current coal and oil reserves. Like a lot of energy research, this could be nothing or it could be huge. Let's stop burning food and invest in research like this.
Kevin Kelly reports on the 1,000 true fans idea. He has a long note from musician Robert Rich on his experiences with the concept.
Scientific American reports on what it calls Science 2.0 or how Web 2.0 is influencing scientific research. My experience with university research labs was that researchers don't like to share much with one another. They seem to be competing too much with one another for research dollars. I hope the sharing philosophy has some success.
posts for an update on that).
Several of the key figures in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program have left. This may lead to the demise of the entire program. Even if OLPC fades away, I think it has done the industry a lot of good. There are now a number of smaller, cheaper, computers on the market that look at lot like the OLPC.
Here is a less expensive way to have a Solid State Disk (SSD). Buy this adapter and fill it with CompactFlash cards. I like the idea.
On the other hand, here is news of a one-inch solid state drive. Competition keeps swirling the market. I like it.
There is some hope of turning any plant life into fuel. This sounds like a good idea: using grass clippings from everyone's yard and the center medians from the Interstate highway system for fuel. I hope this one works so we can stop burning food.
Continuing with energy, I like this post about the role of technology research in working the world's problems. We spend ten times more money on medical research than we do on energy research. There are ways out of this mess, and we have plenty of smart people available to work this.
CNN.com was hit by a cyberattack. Everyone suspects the Chinese or groups of Chinese. Freedom of speech does not exist world wide. Americans should remember this. With the Internet and other technologies, countries can deter or eliminate free speech in other countries.
In print, Capers Jones has a good article on software tracking in the April 2008 issue of Crosstalk. He concentrates on what he sees as the four most common problems in tracking software projects: (1) not using accurate estimates, (2) poor change control, (3) poor quality control, and (4) progress tracking does not reveal the true nature of the project.
Here are photos of a Dell computer with a bamboo case. Here is a post about an ASUStek laptop with a bamboo case. I am not sure if these are hoaxes or the real thing. It seems that cutting bamboo to make a computer case is bad for the environment. This story seems to proclaim that good for the environment.
Getting a new computer easily becomes a new hobby or a painful past time. This post goes through those laments. Maybe this is why I only buy a new computer every four or five years - it takes me that long to forgot how painful it is to move from an old computer to a new one. I have to say that when I got my iMac last year it was easy to move all my files from a Windows XP machine to an OS X machine over WiFi.
Here are a couple of new netbook computers. This one is from 3K Computers. This one is from Acer. Both look much like the ASUS eeePC netbook. I like the trend and the competition.
I spent some time today looking into software radios. In particular, I looked at the GNU Radio software. Here are some links: in Wired magazine, Wikipedia page, on the gnu.org page, and the GNU Radio "home page."
Fundamental to using the GNU Radio, is the Universal Software Radio Peripheral (USRP) hardware. Here are some USRP links: Wikipedia page, Ettus Research (they make the USRP), mention of USRP on the GNU Radio site. I have lots to read and understand, but hey - this is the reason for a day book.Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an article about global cooling. Sorry to ruin the global warming party. Global warming is much preferred over global cooling.
Wired Magazine reports on a system to aid your memory. The system is called SuperMemo. Its basis is that there is an optimum time to review materials so that you remember them. That optimum time varies from person to person and also varies depending on the material. The SuperMemo program helps you review material at just the right time for you and the material. Interesting.
Here is a review of the latest release of Ubuntu (8.04). It sounds like a good release. Ubuntu has a lot of momentum. That is difficult to achieve.
Apple is doing well financially. Everything is up compared to this time last year. The sales of Macs is up 50%. The recession hasn't hit Apple, yet.
And Amazon is doing pretty good, too. Their revenue grew 37% in the same time period.
But, Motorola sales were down 21% from a year ago.
Here is a real sign of recession. People aren't buying as many expensive drinks at Starbucks. I buy one cup of coffee a day at Starbucks. $1.63 current price.
China will soon be the world's largest Internet user. The potential use of the Internet in China is ... well huge.
This post agrees with me that Linux is a good system for older people. The author says it is good for grandma's. Hey, my wife will be a grandma in November! Anyway, I argue that Linux is perfect for my 78-year-old mother. She has never used a computer. She has nothing to unlearn to move from Windows to Linux. Maybe when my wife is a grandma I can get her a Linux system.
Toshiba will ship 128GB Solid State Disks in June. They hope to ship 512GB SSDs in 2009.
Here is an energy-saver I really like. It is an inflatable bladder that heats water. Fill it with water and set it in the sun. Of course it works, and it only costs $160.
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Here is a detailed post about the state of the netbook computer market. I like what is available. I have more wishes in the way of less, less, less with a bigger keyboard.
By the way, I performed a test of the ASUS eee PC keyboard. I was surprised to learn that I could type about 75% as fast on it as I could type on full-size desktop keyboards (30 wpm on ASUS vs 40 wpm on full-size keyboards). I used a typing tutor program to provide the drills and the wpm calculations. I thought I was typing at half speed on the ASUS. The keyboard is better than I expected. One caveat - I am 5'10" 150 pounds, so my hands may be smaller than many men out there.
Here are two articles on intellectuals using performance enhancing drugs. It seems there is a contradiction in that sentence somewhere. Look here and here.
Apple rumors: updates to iMac and Mac mini next week.
Dell will install Windows XP even after the Microsoft deadline. Let's consider this: people want to buy a product and Dell agrees to sell it to them. Dell might make some money here.
Toshiba predicts that a quarter of all notebooks will use Solid State Drives in the next three years. I think that number is low. I think people want light weight and speed more than massive storage capacity in their portable computers.
Kids in school are writing assignments in shorthand text style without punctuation and with odd spellings like L8. My daughter-in-law has told me this from her experiences teaching 6 to 10 year olds. They tend to do this even in their hand-written exercises.
I like this blog post. The author recommends hiring "family people" vice 20-something people who will work 20 hours a day. The family people bring much more realism to the work place. I don't know if such talk violates some hiring laws or something, but I think I understand the principle.
America On Line has had a good year judging by the traffic on its revamped web sites. That is good news to people in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C. where I live. I know of colleagues whose children made a lot of money in the hey day of AOL. I hope the diversified their funds before AOL lost a lot of value in its stock.Email me at email@example.com