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Transparent Aluminum

Okay, Star Trek fans–remember this scene from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)?

It turns out that a transparent aluminum ceramic actually exists. It is aluminum oxynitride and is currently being marketed as ALON by Surmet.

From the following demonstration, it seems to live up to the hype.

via MAKEzine.com

January 6, 2014 Posted by | Science and Technology, Television, Video | , , , , , | Comments Off

Logical Increments – PC Build Guide

Logical Increments

 

I’ve seen a lot of PC build guides, but this one seems to be the most succinct and granular one to date.

Thanks for the link, Brian!

November 19, 2013 Posted by | How-To, Productivity, Science and Technology | , , | Comments Off

Make your own action figure

Image from PetaPixel

I know what I’m getting my family for Christmas. :)

If you don’t mind holding as still as possible for 30 minutes and paying anywhere from $445 to $2295 (depending on the size of the finished product), you can have your own action figure (or wedding cake topper, or cat toy, etc.)!

via PetaPixel

August 14, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Science and Technology | , , | Comments Off

Ultra Ever Dry

Ultra Ever Dry

I won’t even bother trying to explain how wondrous this “nano-tech coating” is. Just watch the video.

I can’t vouch for the validity of this product, but it’s fun to think up of uses for it. What would YOU use this on?

via NPR

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Science and Technology, Video | , , | 5 Comments

Transporter – An alternative to cloud storage

I qualify as a heavy user of cloud storage. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive are essential to my collaborative workflow. There are certain caveats to this, though:

  1. As a photographer, sharing 20GB of photos (from a single wedding shoot, for example) through Dropbox is cost-prohibitive. Collaborating on multiple wedding shoots will cost a pretty penny. Videographers have it worse.
  2. Companies require certain rights to your files in order to provide the “sharing” portion of their service, since your files will be living on their servers. As such, you are subject to their whims. (In general, you should be wary of any free service you make use of. Facebook, for example, just released new “functionality” in their mobile apps that automatically uploads ALL photos you take into a private album onto your account. It sounds convenient, but realize that once your files are on their servers, Facebook has certain rights over them.)
  3. My particular cable internet provider has a data cap of 250GB/month for my service tier (30Mbps). Once we hit that limit, we get throttled down to around 1.5Mbps (which is still preferable to getting overage charges). When I was experimenting with online backup solutions, I hit that data cap in half a month.

Enter Geoff Barrall, CEO and founder of Connected Data (and former CEO and founder of Drobo, Inc.). He is aiming directly at users like myself with a new product called Transporter. In a nutshell, it is a non-RAID NAS that provides Dropbox-like sharing. The kicker is how it works with other Transporter devices. If, let’s say, my photo business partner had a Transporter, we can have a synced folder for wedding photo shoots. Our Transporters will sync with each other automatically. The only “cloud” element is in the hand-shaking protocol between Transporters so that they can find each other. None of your data passes through their servers. This seems like a near-perfect win to me. It takes care of caveats 1 and 2 above.

Transporter has a KickStarter if you want to get in on the action early (and get a discount). According to an interview with Geoff Barrall, the Transporter will go on sale in 2013.

Transporter [website] [kickstarter] [video]

Interview with Geoff Barrall (starts at 1:07:00) – This Week in Photo

December 24, 2012 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, Photography, Science and Technology | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

xkcd Password Generator

It may seem counter-intuitive to have a plain English passphrase instead of a t0tta11y l337 password, but what it comes down to is how many bits of entropy you can generate while not following any predictable patterns.

Lifehacker has a great article explaining why old password tricks aren’t working anymore with the amount of raw computing power available today.

If you’re lazy and you want to make use of the XKCD passphrase method above, you can always lean on a passphrase generator.

My favorite combination is using LastPass along with its support for two-factor authentication. For those of you unfamiliar with two-factor authentication, the way it’s implemented with LastPass (and Google, if you enable it), is that a random number is generated that needs to be entered in after you provide your passphrase. This random number can either be SMS’ed to you or you can view it using the Google Authenticator app. That random number rotates every 15 or so seconds. It’s a little cumbersome, but in order for somebody to gain access to websites I use, they would need to know my LastPass passphrase AND physically have my iPhone.

Be safe, everyone!

Lifehacker – Your Clever Password Tricks Aren’t Protecting You from Today’s Hackers

XKCD Password Generator

LastPass

August 23, 2012 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, How-To, Science and Technology, Software | , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Pareidolia

Image from prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com

Pareidoloop (Image courtesy of prostheticknowledge.tumblr.com)

This is creepily mind-blowing. Hooray for Pareidolia.

What happens if you write software that generates random polygons and the software then feeds the results through facial recognition software, looping thousands of times until the generated image more and more resembles a face? Pareidoloop. Above, my results from running it for a few hours. Spooky.

via prosthetic knowledge

August 5, 2012 Posted by | Science and Technology | , , | Comments Off

30-story Hotel Assembled in Two Weeks

30-story Hotel Assembled in Two Weeks

To say this is an incredible feat of engineering approaches understatement. I purposefully used the term “assembled” in the title since the parts of the hotel are prefabricated elsewhere. I’m sure that the prefabrication process will add a significant amount to the total time required for this 30-story hotel to come into existence.

Still, though, imagine living in that area, going on vacation for a few weeks and then returning home to see a 30-story hotel.

via Los Angeles Times

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Science and Technology, Video | , , , , | Comments Off

I Want To Live!

Project KARA (tech demo from Quantic Dream)

Though this is only a tech demo showing the “emotive capabilities” of a game engine on the PS3, it is an amazingly succinct and poignant narrative on the birth of self-awareness within a “newborn” android.

I also thought that embracing the “uncanny valley” within this context was a smart move. Since the featured character is an android, our expectations are lower for lifelike emotion—we are pleasantly surprised and in awe when we do see emotion. That subtlety drives the power behind this short film.

Enough of my chatter. Watch this film!

via BoingBoing via EuroGamer.net

March 8, 2012 Posted by | Movies, Science and Technology, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Are Mobile Devices Destroying Your Body?

I’ll admit that I exhibit addictive behavior when it comes to my mobile device(s). If you think you fall into that category, the infographic below may be of some use.

via Lifehacker via How-To Geek

MobileDevicesDestroyingUs

February 28, 2012 Posted by | General, How-To, Science and Technology | , , , , | Comments Off

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