Monday, February 28, 2011

Frank Buckles 110 last of WW1 american participant

Frank Buckles, drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918, the last of the World War I doughboys, died Sunday at his home in Charles Town, W. Va. He was 110.  The last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”

The ending of an Era - Saying Goodbye to the Discovery...

Its somewhat sad seeing the near end of public space travel due to Obama killing funding for all flight related projects including engine and rocket design, killed the moon mission, killed the mars mission and proclaiming let private sector take over. Yes if you have $150K to give to Virgin, You too could exclaim I am an astronaut (for 15minutes).  Also disappointing to see hundred of scientists getting fired due to cuts in NASA..   Maybe we need a balance of private/public..  At least slap on a Apple and Budweiser logo on the side of the shuttle and space station to keep a few more flights going...

Each ISS crew has had an awesome photographer utilizing that new window.
Live space photo blogging
Here are some Astronaut Tweets that someone located

Soichi Noguchi – (860+ photos)

Doug Wheelock – (170 photos)

Paolo Nespoli –

(ash and smoke)
blogging and flickring directly from the shuttle...

The official Oscars-ABC iPad

An interesting $1.99, download official Oscars-ABC iPad app and view a variety of behind-the-scenes live camera shots of the show. But no director’s track in the control room, instead of a music track. No social integration with twitter or facebook streams...

Imagine a tablet version as you as the control room and having your friends view your channel broadcast instead of ABC would be somewhat more interesting...
No viral moment at the Oscars. Just a dull show with dull hosts... Bring back the comedians...

Prominence by Solar Dynamics Observatory

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rarest U.S. Coin Is Worth $20 Million

Here's a reason to start collecting, the most valuable rare coins have increased in value by an estimated 25 to 50 percent the past year. There are currently 235 historic U.S. coins valued at $1 million or more that are in private collections or museums (an estimated total combined value of $548.6 million).

1913 Liberty Head nickels,  in 1996 it sold for $1,485,000. It now is valued at $4,500,000," 

A 1794 Silver Dollar (graded PCGS Specimen 66 and shown at left) is listed at $7.85 million up from $5 million last year. In a private collection, this is believed by some experts to be the very first silver dollar struck by the United States Mint.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Iceburgs crash into Lake Tasman New Zealand

A group examines one of the many icebergs that calved into Tasman Lake as a result of the 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch Tuesday.

King's Education School - Distressing News from New Zealand - Review your Building's Design if in Ring of Fire.

If you are building in the Ring of Fire, Don't ever take the minium bid on construction.  The following photos are a sad reminder of what can happen when you do. 

Rescue workers are seen at the ruined building that housed the King's Education School, following Tuesday's earthquake in the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch February 23, 2011.

This building, King's School recently finished construction was completely destroyed.  Only the stairwell remains.  Older and newer buildings surrounding it were left almost untouch.  King's School had almost no survivers including 23 missing Japanese Students.   I hope there is a full investigation into the firms who built it and those who designed it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

France Telecom is second-largest iPhone vendor

My former company France Telecom/Orange is benefitting from sales of high-end data plans for smartphones such as Apple Inc.'s iPhone and devices running Google Inc.'s Android operating system. The company is the second-largest iPhone vendor, after AT&T Inc. of the U.S.

New Zealand Imposes Curfew as damage may exceed $12 Billion

The quake may be the costliest natural disaster for insurers since 2008. Insured losses from the temblor may be $12 billion, Michael Huttner, an analyst at JPMorgan, said in a note to clients. That would be the most expensive calamity since the $19.9 billion loss from Hurricane Ike, which struck the U.S. in 2008, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based trade group.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Did you know the roundest object on Earth is in a Vault in France?

Silicon-28 sphere is the latest contender in the physical weight game

It is officially defined as the mass of a 122-year-old cylinder of platinum and iridium, kept at theInternational Bureau of Weights and Measures(BIPM) in Paris. Yet the cylinder's mass seems to be changing as it ages, prompting several groups of scientists to seek a replacement. They hope to define the kilogram by referring to a physical constant rather than an antique object.

The new entire is shown above. The team has measured the number of atoms in a sphere of silicon-28 to calculate Avogadro's constant to nine significant figures: 6.02214084(18) × 1023 mol−1

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Google attempt to Block content farms.

Official Google Blog: New Chrome extension: block sites from Google’s web search results

Always an interesting read - Official Google Blog - now a new chrome extension is designed to allow users to block content farms.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Facebook now has about 60 billion posted photos

Facebook has a larger photo collection than any other site on the web. Facebook now has about 60 billion photos compared to Photobucket’s 8 billion, Picasa’s 7 billion and Flickr’s 5 billion. Women post twice as many photos as guys

American's are running out of cheap holiday locations - Visit Vietnam

Fourth devaluation since late 2009, a huge one at that: a full 8.5%. This means that the incredibly shrinking dong is now worth only 20,693 to the American dollar, down from 18,932.  Basically they are keeping exports and jobs growing by making their currency incredible cheap and running huge deficits.  This is what Obama is trying to do, though he still can't create any jobs because employers are afraid of his tax policy.

Great seats at the Tommy Hilfiger Fashionweek Runway at Lincoln Center

China Replaced Japan in 2010 as No. 2 Economy

TOKYO — Japan’s economy contracted in the fourth quarter when compared with the previous three months, though analysts are optimistic about the country’s prospects for the rest of the year.

That compared with a $5.88 trillion economy for fast-growing China. The latest numbers were further evidence of China’s rapid ascent as an economic superpower, as China surpassed Japan last summer after the half-year gross domestic product numbers were released. Just five years ago, China’s gross domestic product was around $2.3 trillion, about half Japan’s.

Stormy weather ahead for all the Clouds?

"Putting "cloud" in your start-up's name is a good way to guarantee complete anonymity, or suggest that you're a bandwagon-jumper: in Boston alone, you've got Cloudswitch, Cloudant, CloudBees, and Cloud Technology Partners, among others.
But CloudTree is a cloud-y start-up that's tough to ignore: its management team hails from local companies like EqualLogic, Ellacoya Networks, Arbor Networks, Virtual Iron, and Whaleback Systems. And they've had no trouble, apparently, raising north of $1 million in start-up funds from angel investors."

Warner Music is the only publicly traded major music label - looses $18mil

Warner Music Group lost $18 million in the last three months of 2010, or 12 cents a share, as new albums by artists like Josh Groban, Michael BublĂ© and Kid Rock fell short of expectations, the company announced on Tuesday...

Edgar Bronfman Jr., its chairman and chief executive, said the company now has these expanded rights, or “360” deals, with 55 percent of its artists. That is up “from essentially none in 2005,” he said.  Artists hate this since prior to 2005 artist kept all revenue from touring and merchandise. 
Revenue from digital music, which includes downloads from retailers like iTunes and Amazon as well as streaming services like Pandora and Rhapsody, was $187 million for the quarter.

Star Trek above Manhattan

Best way to view Star Trek... 40 floors above Manhattan at a friend's house 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The HP Pre 3: 1.4GHz Qualcomm CPU, 3.6-inch WVGA

The QWERTY slider with the all-too-familiar form factor has a 3.6-inch 800 x 480 display (a marked improvement over past Pres), 5 megapixel camera with AF and LED flash, 720p HD video, a front-facing camera for video calling, mobile hotspot, and webOS 2.2. Under the hood? A Qualcomm MSM 8x55 CPU running at 1.4GHz (!), 802.11a/b/g/n 5GHz, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, A-GPS, a 1230 mAh battery, HSPA+ and EVDO Rev A -- yep, it's a world phone -- and the same RAM as the Pre 2 (that's 512MB DRAM) more

HP Pre 3: 

HP's 9.7-inch TouchPad: webOS 3.0 tablet with 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon

Other specifications include webOS 3.0, "true multitasking," Touch-to-share, instant-on productivity, a 9.7-inch display (1024 x 768 screen resolution), a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU (!), inbuilt gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and 16GB / 32GB of internal storage space. There's also a front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calling, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, A-GPS (3G model only) more

The end of Nokia or a new beginning?

WSJ "Days before Nokia Corp. Chief Executive Stephen Elop is to reveal his plan for turning around the ailing handset maker, an internal memo penned by the executive describes a company besieged on all sides by competitors and in desperate need of a huge transformation.
Nokia chief Stephen Elop, pictured in September.
Comparing Nokia to a man standing on a burning oil platform who jumps into icy waters to escape the flames, Mr. Elop says dramatic action is needed to reverse a decline that has left the Finnish company "years behind" the competition."The first iPhone shipping [was] in 2007, and we still don't have a product that is close to that experience. Android came on the scene just over two years ago, and this week they took our leadership position in smartphone volumes. Unbelievable," Mr. Elop writes."

Nokia just announced they have canceled their high-end platform MeeGo OS.  Seems they will be switching or dumping Symbian soon.  Symbian was an awful OS for high-end smartphones...   My guess is Nokia will soon announce Win7 or Android support.
Nokia was the most arrogant company to deal with.  For years you could not change the UI of Symbian, multitasking support was poor or the simple fact they would only produced candy bars style phones and you could not get them to create a flipphone when that was all the rage 9 years ago...  and what? they finally have touch screen support?  Within two years I can see Nokia selling off their handset division.  

Update - Nokia Considers Adopting Microsoft or Google Phone Platforms and will take drastic actions to turn around the handset group.

Applying some simple numbers to Debt.

Eight years of Bush from 2001 to 2008 debt rose by $2.5 trillion.

Two years under Obama, debt is expected to rise $3 trillion.

The length of 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) one dollar bills laid end-to-end measures 96,906,656 miles. This would exceed the distance from the earth to the sun.

So in two years Obama has spent more in debt than 3 times the distance of the earth to the sun...

large numbers

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

hollywood numbers

Time Warner and Viacom last week reported lower home-video revenues for the December quarter. Industrywide last year, a 15% drop in DVD sales dragged down total home-entertainment revenues by 3.8%, according to IHS Screen Digest.

top ten blu-rays for valentines 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

How long will it take to Photograph each sq yard of Earth?

I enjoy numbers... So lets see how many photographs one would have to take of every square yard of land on this wonderful blue sphere we call earth... and for extra credit quickly figure out how long it will take... so lets do a little simple math...

There are approximately 57.5 million square miles of land on earth, only 29.2 percent of the earth's surface.

Lets assume my Canon EOS 60D with a macro wide lens takes a perfectly square yard with each 18 meg photo resulting in a 5meg compressed image file.

There are 3,097,600 square yards in a square mile.

So that results in having to take 178,112,000,000,000 photos to capture every square yard of land of earth

My disk storage to hold all those photos needs to be at least 890,560,000,000,000,000,000 bytes large... 890 Sextillion...

Off topic, this random number is almost the exact number of G forces of the Wakefield plasma accelerator 890,000,000,000,000,000,000Gs...   source

Or even more bizarre this number is also close to the number of photons from cell phone  "Although a single x-ray photon may destroy molecular bonds RF energy can effect damage by multiple photon absorption.  For example, a cell phone emits about 8.9 x 1021 photons per second per square centimeter at the surface of the human head.  For those unfamiliar with the scientific notation of that number, its magnitude appears more dramatic when written in standard notation as 8,900,000,000,000,000,000,000 photons per square centimeter per second."

Ok getting back to photos.... If it takes 60 seconds (i.e.1 minute) to take each photo..  so that 525,600 photos can be taken per year.  or it will take an incredible 338,873,668 years to complete the task. That over 338 million years!

Or from a balloon capturing every sq mile with one per minute to take each photo would still take 109 years to complete.


With repect to design there are a few old school designers who have been around forever yet still have a vision -- H.R. Giger and Blade Runner Design Work by Syd Mead to name a few...
Here's  new young Portuguese designer David Gonçalves and named Scarab that has created very interesting works. 

Microsoft ASP.NET Mobile Controls Device Profiling Tool

Customizing an old version of ASP.NET Mobile Controls Device Profiling Tool to generate new CSS Properties windows:  Profiling tool allows you to captures capabilities of a mobile device and desktop browser. supports HTML device, WML, XHTML...

Adobe Suite CS5

Recovering from a disk failure on laptop and having to reinstall everything... it got me to revisit the Adobe Suite CS5. Hard to believe Photoshop is over 20 years of age.  The feature list of such a mature program (12 versions) has to either get shorter but more extraordinary or branch into new areas.

There are a number of new features in this version making it worthwhile: Edge Detection, Content-Aware Fill, Puppet Warp, 64-bit for Macintosh, enhanced 3D features (Extended only), painting and brush enhancements, enhanced HDR, auto Lens Correction, Mini Bridge, and numerous other small enhancements. I have to say content-aware fill and sizing is amazing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

instruments for the written word

i am tactile my nature, be it thousand year old wood in some medieval castle or the white sands of Thailand.. so when it comes to feeling your thoughts transposed onto paper, there is no better instrument than these pencils.

In 1998, the pencil world (yes, there’s a world for that) mourned the end of the “best pencil ever made,” the
Blackwing 602 by Eberhard-Faber. California Cedar Products Company has purchased the name rights and released their tribute to the 602, the Palomino Blackwing.


Last numbers...

4.7 million Americans served in the 1914-1918 in WWI now there is just a single veteran that remains.  Frank Woodruff Buckles, America's last surviving World War I veteran, celebrates his 110th birthday today.
Read more

Nasa space shuttle Discovery prepares for its 39th and final launch. Nasa space shuttle Discovery prepares for its 39th and final launch. Prior to its latest mission the shuttle has travelled 142,917,535 miles and spent 351 days in orbit, with a total of 246 crew members on board over the past 27 years, including first female to ever pilot a spacecraft.  The STS-133 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for February 24, after which Discovery will enter retirement.  more

Word of the Day - Vidding

Vidding is the practice of creating fan-made music videos that edit clips from favorite TV Shows, anime series, movies or, even official music videos, to a another song or piece of music.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mobile explosion in data

I remember staying in Japan in 2000 and vendors were already complaining about the explosion of sms traffic and feared the upcoming camera phone launch...  note the first camera phones you had to attach the camera to the phone, it was not even built in...  fast forward 10 years and look at these incredible mobile numbers.

"Worldwide mobile data traffic is due to increase 26-fold to 75 exabytes annually, says networking giant Cisco in its latest report, the Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2010 to 2015. To put that in perspective, that's the equivalent of 19 billion DVDs, 536 quadrillion SMS text messages or 75 times the amount of global Internet IP data (fixed and mobile data) in the year 2000."

Forecasted an increase to 40 exabytes of mobile traffic by 2014. Exabyte it's 1 billion gigabytes.
Tablets in particular will generate 248 petabytes per month by 2015 - that's more than the entire global mobile network did in 2010 (237 petabytes per month)! The same will also be true for machine-to-machine connections - 295 petabytes in 2015.

news from the web...

another photo service gets $10mil in funding...

cool edits - as in removing all ads in time sq... from the guy who brought you supersize me..  ok not so cool he wants you to do all the edits...

another online photo editor -- well more than just edits and they have a html5 editor you can embed on your site
Sony fantastic HX9V, replaces the HX5V. same sensor as the HX100V, but has a 16x f3.3-5.9 24-384mm Sony G lens. 3-inch high-res LCD (minus the articulated part), manual control, full HD 1080/60p movie capture, 3D photos, and built-in GPS and compasss