Bored during the weekend? What about meteorite hunting ?

… you’ll have to go to Texas though…

Look ma, a fallig star !

On the afternoon of February 15, 2009 a television cameraman covering a marathon in Austin, Texas captured a spectacular fireball on video.

Eyewitnesses to the north in McClellan County saw the fireball close up. Many reported hearing loud sonic booms and someone even reported that the shock waves broke a window in his house.

By studying first hand accounts, specialists were able to predict that meteorites made it to the ground north of Waco, Texas about 120 miles from the Austin cameraman who filmed the event.

This meteorite was found only six days after it fell to earth. Note how this stone has partially buried itself in the ground, forming a small impact pit. Photograph by Geoffrey Notkin © Aerolite Meteorites.

This meteorite was found only six days after it fell to earth. Note how this stone has partially buried itself in the ground, forming a small impact pit. Photograph by Geoffrey Notkin © Aerolite Meteorites.



March 4, 2009 at 11:18 Leave a comment

GoogleSync or NuevaSync ? Let’s give GoogleSync a try…

UPDATE 04 March: I’m switching back to NuevaSync for now… Main reason: my contacts don’t sync well with Google (I use Zindus). Stay tuned.

Until today I’ve always been a happy NuevaSync user. A very happy user indeed.

Their service not only is free, but it also works fast and is rather stable.

On Feb 9, Google announced the release of their own GoogleSync solution, also using the native ActiveSync Exchange protocol, Microsoft kindly (well, kind of :o) ) provided to Apple.

Since that day, I started doubting whether or not to stay with NuevaSync. Today, I switched. Mainly to check out the Google “native” solution, and… I must be honest… because I didn’t like the fact that NuevaSync keeps switching colours of my calendars. (“I want to be blueeeee !! and not purple 🙂 )


March 3, 2009 at 16:27 Leave a comment

GPS Navigation finally coming to iPhone ?

The xGPS project is about to release their turn-by-turn navigation software, as early as March 7th !

The app has been around for a while, but the upcoming 1.2 update is the first to add a voice engine in order to bring the often asked for turn-by-turn functionality. You can even use external GPS units to add the capability to a first-gen iPhone or iPod touch.

You can download and cache an area of the map before you head off. Presumably this works over Wi-Fi for those of you with prohibitively expensive data charges or tiny data allowances.

One thing is for sure – Apple needs to take a good, hard look at whatever stopped “legit” developers bringing desirable, valuable functionality to the App Store table before hackers brought it to Cydia…for free.


February 25, 2009 at 13:35 1 comment

A whole different kind of sea snakes…

They look cool, and could potentionally provide “green” (or is it “blue” ? :o) ) power for thousands of households: The “Wave Snakes”.

Wave energy graphic

Portugal is one of the first countries to actually use the technology. Check out the BBC News article.

The new technology has been inspired by the way fish swim, consists of cylinders positioned horizontal to the water flow and attached to springs.

As water flows past, the cylinder creates vortices, which push and pull the cylinder up and down. The mechanical energy in the vibrations is then converted into electricity.

Cylinders arranged over a cubic metre of the sea or river bed in a flow of three knots can produce 51 watts. This is more efficient than similar-sized turbines or wave generators, and the amount of power produced can increase sharply if the flow is faster or if more cylinders are added.

A “field” of cylinders built on the sea bed over a 1km by 1.5km area, and the height of a two-storey house, with a flow of just three knots, could generate enough power for around 100,000 homes. Just a few of the cylinders, stacked in a short ladder, could power an anchored ship or a lighthouse.

Systems could be sited on river beds or suspended in the ocean. The scientists behind the technology, which has been developed in research funded by the US government, say that generating power in this way would potentially cost only around 3.5 USD per kilowatt hour, compared to about 4.5 USD for wind energy and between 10 USD and 31 USD for solar power. They say the technology would require up to 50 times less ocean acreage than wave power generation.

The system, conceived by scientists at the University of Michigan, is called Vivace, or “vortex-induced vibrations for aquatic clean energy”; in Portugal they call it “Pelamis”.

Similar ideas:

A similar idea uses rubber “snakes” and the movement of the waves alongside of them:

December 4, 2008 at 12:26 Leave a comment

Kick-ass Video manipulation from Adobe

The Whiz-kids from Adobe’s R&D labs have been playing around with really nifty video technology…

Although there are no immediate plans to build this technology into any of their existing products, it is clear they have a couple of nice surprises in their sleeves.

Check out this movie:

As they explain it them selves on

Existing approaches to interaction with digital video are complex, and some operations lack the immediacy of interactive feedback. Our research in video annotation, visualization, and interaction harnesses computer vision to aid users in understanding and communicating with digital video. We are developing new approaches for computing the motion of points and objects in a video clip, and interactive systems that utilize this data to visually annotate independently moving objects in the video. We have applied this interface to construct visualizations of a short video clip in a single static image, using the visual language of storyboards. The principal advantage of the storyboard representation over standard representations of video is that it requires only a moment to observe and comprehend but at the same time retains much of the detail of the source video. The layout of the storyboard can be optimized to place the elements in a configuration that maximizes the clarity of presentation. We also explore novel interaction techniques for random video frame access using the natural spatial dimensions of a storyboard representation or an individual video frame.

December 2, 2008 at 13:22 Leave a comment

Fancier than a multi-touch user interface ? Check this out…

If you’re an über-geek, you probably spent waaay to much money on an iPhone. (I admit, I’m guilty as charged) Is it so ? It wouldn’t surprise me that you got pulled across because of it’s fancy multi-touch user interface.

It gets more interesting though…

Microsoft, together with HTC, demonstrated what they call “SideSight”.

A set of Infrared emitters/receivers embedded in the side of a handheld device, “looking” (hence “…Sight”) sideways and detecting finger movement.

The device could even be covered whole the way around to enhance the experience.

SideSight proof of concept

SideSight proof of concept: turn a picture.

Interesting for small screen PDA’s and certainly an alternative for the stylus-operated handhelds.

This technology could even allow you to scroll up & down with your left finger while you’re typing with the right hand…

Check out these other innovative user interface concepts


Magic Lenses

"Magic Lenses", allowing overlap

Magic Lenses

"Surface" is going to be available soon

Magic Lenses

Manipulate 3D objects

Magic Lenses

A "Sphere computer"

Or, you can combine all of these technologies:

touchscreen-touchpad on notebook (Might be mockup)

touchscreen-touchpad on notebook (Might be mockup)

October 24, 2008 at 15:14 Leave a comment

Run Internet Explorer 6 and 7 next to each other

So… you’re a web developer and you MUST test your creations on Internet Explorer.

That’s a fact of life. So, get over the shock (You’re all Firefox users, right ?), and start fiddeling around on your tweaked PC, and… horror… find out that you only have Internet Explorer 6 installed. Darn… and your customer reported he’s using Internet Exploder 7 (sorry for the typo’s 🙂 )…

No problem,  just upgrade to Internet Explorer 7. Tadaaaa…. You’re done. Right ? Not.

Aaaargh… you just realized after rebooting (installing a browser actually requires you to… reboot ??) that the good (?) old (!) Internet Explorer 6 has vaporised from your system !!! Not nice.

Multiple IEsFortunately, we’re not the only ones with this problem.

Drumroll… Enter “MultipleIEs”…

The nice folks at Tredosoft released a tool that allows you toinstall multiple Internet Exploders (I do it again… ah, these typo’s) on your machine.

Oh, and if you haven’t made the mistake of upgrading already to IE7, they also have a solution to install IE7 as a standalone browser next to your existing IE6…

Check it out !

October 22, 2008 at 10:11 Leave a comment

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