Category Archives: Technology

Amazing Color Night Vision!

This was shot with an SPI X27 camera.

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Induction Stoves Are Literally The Coolest Kitchen Tech You’ve Never Heard Of

With normal cooking, your pot or pan sits on a source of heat (gas, electric coil, etc) and then gets hot itself and heats the food inside it. This is known as thermal conduction: heat is transferred from the source to the pot touching it. Induction cooking, on the other hand, uses a — get ready for this — electromagnet to heat the pot up without ever touching it. Seriously. Electromagnetic induction is actually used in all kinds of other things: generators, transformers, motors, and wireless chargers, to name a few.

The best thing, aside from it being wireless? The cooking surface stays cool! It will heat up a little from the hot pot sitting on it, but the whole idea is that an electromagnet zaps your pot, and only your pot, to whatever temperature you want. It is literally the coolest stovetop ever. You can put a book on the stove and put the pot on the book, and the pot will heat up, but the book won’t.

But wait, there’s more! It’s also faster, more precise, and more energy efficient than normal cooking. Ah-mazing. Pick your jaw up. Here’s a video of it in action:

Crazy futuristic technology, right? Nope: it was invented a hundred years ago. One hundred. Companies like Westinghouse and Sears sold these in the 1970s and ’80s, but somecrazyhow, they never took off. Maybe humanity can only handle one awesome new cooking thing at a time, and the microwave won.

In any case, these are available for sale right now, at this moment. You can find them on Amazon starting at like 60$ for the small, portable ones. It boggles the mind. The one catch — you knew there’d be one — is that you have to use cast iron pots, or other cookware that responds to magnets. But that’s ok, because cast iron is in right now anyway. Right now, in the future that snuck up on us with augmented reality and wireless cooking.

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From YouTube, via reddit and Laughing Squid

The Microsoft HoloLens Is Like An Augmented Reality Holodeck

HoloLens Builder

The floor, couch, table and walls are real. The Minecraft stuff is not.


HoloLens in the kitchen

The TV is a hologram, too

This January, Microsoft announced the most exciting thing they’ve created since the Kinect: a combination of the Oculus Rift and Google Glass called HoloLens. Except that unlike Glass, you’re not meant to wear it in public and open yourself up to ridicule and beatings; and unlike Rift, you’re not cut off from the world and placed in a (possibly disorienting) purely virtual one.

HoloLens is a set of goggles with a built-in computer which places holograms directly in your environment. So through visual trickery, you could look at your empty desk and actually see a 3-D hologram of a block of marble on it, then sculpt it into the Venus de Milo. Or you could play a game where the characters jump on your couch. Or see a screen on a blank wall. Take a look at the concept videos:

The thing is very much a prototype now, with the promise that it will be available “in the Windows 10 timeframe”. Developers and partners are supposed to get access to it this spring, but it’s not likely to be on the open market until 2016.

Wired tried it out and really liked it — they had nothing but good things to say. Engadget was a bit more real and said that in its current state, it sucks for two reasons: the prototype is heavy, hot and uncomfortable in general and the software is demo-quality only, not fully-fledged consumer-grade functionality. They did acknowledge that it has some great possibility, if Microsoft does it right. So if and when it gets there, it should make for a very, very cool gadget to get instead of the a differently-sized iPad or a smartwatch.

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From Microsoft, via Laughing Squid

About That Shiny, Thin New Phone

Let's further defile it with its own figurine pet, which we will tie to it

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From Dog House Diaries, via Neatorama

“Apple Watch would be a good name for Gwyneth Paltrow’s nanny”

The title, courtesy of @OhNoSheTwitnt, a.k.a, Ann Coultergeist. The below, from @KeirSimmons.

My new #AppleWatch ... So proud. #Apple #AppleLive

 

And then, there are the Android users, who still think specs are what drive consumer purchases:

Dear iPhone 6 users: Welcome to 2012!

 

 

Finally, everyone thinks the iWatch is stupid:

We wanted to honor Steve Jobs' vision for the future, but then we said , 'Screw it, let's honor Casio's vision for the nineteen-eighties instead'

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Via Happy Place, FAIL BlogFAIL Blog, Laughing Squid and Laughing Squid

‘Felicity’ Mentioned iPads In 1999

That’s right, 10+ years before the iPad was announced, it had a brief moment (with Spanish subtitles) in the third episode of season two of Felicity. The episode’s script is credited to Andrea Newman, who went on to be a co-executive producer of Cold Case and Chicago Fire, and apparently can divine the future. The show was created by J.J. Abrams, who went on to direct a couple of Star Trek and Star Wars movies.

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From YouTube

DVD Production Wastes A Ton Of Energy

From a government study, summarized by Motherboard:

If all DVDs purchased in 2011 were streamed instead, the energy savings would have been enough to meet the electricity demands of roughly 200,000 households. It would have cut roughly 2 billion kilograms of carbon emissions.

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From Environmental Research Letters, via Motherboard

Timelapse Of The Construction Of Freedom Tower

The building replacing the Twin Towers is officially called One World Trade Center, but is colloquially known as Freedom Tower. It is now in the final stages of completion, and EarthCam released a time-lapse video showing its construction over the past seven and a half years. (The cornerstone was laid in 2004, but construction didn’t actually begin until April of 2006.)

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The Bald-Faced Lie Everyone Tells: ‘I Agree To The Terms And Conditions’

The Register has an interesting article about the sheer absurdity of having to click “I Agree” to some legal document every time you install a piece of software, or sign up for a website. No one actually reads the document, and even if they did, they wouldn’t understand half of it — not unless they were lawyers, anyhow. Furthermore, it’s a giant drain on society: looking at the Adobe Flash license alone, and assuming it takes someone ten minutes to read it, the world has wasted over 50,000 working lifetimes of man-hours in just the past year. Clearly, this does not happen.

Adobe Flash license agreement checkbox

And yet, the farce continues. It’s reminiscent of other legal documents that most people just blindly initial in a few places and sign at the bottom: apartment leases, car rental agreements and credit card applications. The rationale being that some legal documents are boiler-plate: we know what a standard lease says and by signing it without reading it, all we’re saying is “we’ll play by the standard rules”. But while most leases are standard and the expectations widely known, the same doesn’t hold true for software. There’s no standard End-User License Agreement, or Terms and Conditions, and they could say anything.

For example, the Flash license doesn’t allow maintaining a copy of it, even in backups; since most backups are automatic, you’re violating the license without even knowing it. “That’s ok, Adobe isn’t gonna come after me for accidentally backing Flash up.” And that’s true — at least not until they have a reason to. But when they do, watch out: the whole point of the license agreement is to give the software maker leverage. If they for some reason do want to sue you, they can dig up so many infractions of their 3500-word license that you’ll have no choice but to capitulate. Because given enough rules, everyone will be guilty of breaking some of them, just due to sheer statistics.

From The Register

J.D. Power’s 2013 Smartphone Satisfaction Survey

Apple easily won the survey, for the ninth time in a row. Last year, them and HTC were the only ones above the industry average; this year, Apple was alone in that regard. Nokia improved a lot, thanks to their Windows phone, and it, Samsung, Motorola and HTC were virtually tied for second place. Way down at the bottom, LG and Blackberry.

2013 U.S. Wireless Smartphone Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power

 

The survey asks people who have had their smartphone for less than a year to rate it based on performance, physical design, features, and ease of operation.

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From J.D. Power, via iMore