Archive for 2007

Happy New Years

Posted on December 31st, 2007 in The Never Ending Story/Other FLB Events, Time Wasters | No Comments »

^ at the title. 🙂

Hopes to become more active on this blog, as indicated before, and also because…my firefox window has faaaar too many tabs waiting to be blogged.
Cya next year 😉

Google Talk Translator

Posted on December 28th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Google, Tech News, Time Wasters | 7 Comments »

Google recently rolled out a 20% project that allows you to translate text using the google talk client. This works with both the desktop version and the gmail version.
You add a bot to your friends list that is specific for your language translation.

Example: fr2de@bot.talk.google.com.
translates the french that you type into german.
There are currently 24 bots: ar2en, de2en, de2fr, el2en, en2ar, en2de, en2el, en2es, en2fr, en2it, en2ja, en2ko, en2nl, en2ru, en2zh, es2en, fr2de, fr2en, it2en, ja2en, ko2en, nl2en, ru2en, zh2en

Happy translating!

Using the keyboard to move the mouse

Posted on December 28th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Tech News | 1 Comment »

Interesting little feature that I have not used that exists in both XP and Vista.
MouseKeys allows you to move the mouse using the numberpad. Its similar to a previously posted program, which was slightly harder to use, but more flexible.
Mousekeys can be accessed this way:

Vista:
Control Panel: Type MouseKeys in search box. Click Move pointer with keypad. Done!

XP: Control Panel: Accessibility Options: Mouse tab: Use Mousekeys. Done!

Thanks Cybernetnews

Long Time no blog? Rechargeable Batteries

Posted on December 20th, 2007 in Science!, Tech News | No Comments »

Introducing…the usb chargable batteries. Useful especially if their charging times are as quick as they claim. “A few minutes provides extra hours of instant use for most devices” Of course…by most devices…they could mean an itty bitty led 😛
But, who knows? This could be quite nice. Comes in AA, AAA, 9 volt forms, and other sizes. Usbcell batteries

New Light glows for 12 years- no batteries required.

Posted on December 14th, 2007 in Labs/Experiments, Photos/Videoes, Science! | No Comments »

I did some reading when I happened across this link for a new type of light-emitting material that will glow for 12 years, with no batteries or outside power.  It’s like the glow-in-the-dark materials that glow when you hold them under a light for a while, except you don’t need to hold this new material under a light, and it keeps glowing for 12 years.  The technology is currently patent pending, although I’ve got some questions as to exactly HOW this technology works. . . .There’s a similar effect that can be created using some mildly radioactive materials (Tritium), although these materials are highly regulated by the US government, and can’t be used in just anything.  (Apparently its considered a “frivolous” use of nuclear materials.  So you couldn’t make a glowing keychain out of the stuff because it’s not allowed.  It’s possible, and its been done overseas, but not in the US.)  I like the idea of a new non-nuclear 12-year glowing light paint/material, but I’m skeptical as to the technology used to make it happen.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/12/new_light_glows.php?q

Free Photo->Vector conversion software

Posted on December 9th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Photos/Videoes, Tech News | No Comments »

Introducing…VectorMagic
Can you guess what it does?

Free software that takes raster images and converts them into vector images. Its also know as an auto-tracer.
Whats nice about it, is its ease of use, ability to edit the results….and…its free!
Who can argue with that eh?
Check it out: VectorMagic

Gmail Talk Update

Posted on December 6th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Google, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News | 3 Comments »

Rejoice, for gmail talk now includes aim functionality!
Sign into gmail, go to settings, chat, setup aim. Done!
That is all 😛 Quite a simple update hehe

Definr

Posted on December 3rd, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Software/Hardware Reviews | 4 Comments »

Takes a bit of time to realize I can start blogging 😛

I found an interesting dictionary, which has in fact turned out quite useful.
Its an online dictionary thats dynamic. As you type, it gives you suggestions, like the google toolbar provides search suggestions. It then tells you the definition.
While this may seem kind of trivial, if you kind of know how to spell it, this can help alot. Or…if you’re just lazy and don’t want to type out all the letters 😉
Check it out, it has a nice clean interface too: definr; incredibly fast dictionary

Google Going Into Alternative Energy

Posted on November 28th, 2007 in Google, Labs/Experiments, Science! | No Comments »

“SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc.
is expanding into alternative energy in its most ambitious effort yet
to ease the environmental strain caused by the company’s voracious
appetite for power to run its massive computing centers.

As
part of a project announced Tuesday, the Internet search leader and its
philanthropic arm will pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a
quest to lower the cost of producing electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun.

If Google realizes its goal, the cost of solar power should fall by 25 to 50 percent, co-founder Larry Page said in an interview.

The Mountain View-based
company initially hopes to harvest cleaner-burning electricity to meet
its own needs and sell power to other users or license the technology
that emerges from its initiative, dubbed “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than
Coal.””

. . .

“Google aims to produce one gigawatt of power from renewable energy at
prices below the rates of electricity generated at coal-burning plants.
One gigawatt power would be enough to supply the needs of a city the
size of San Francisco.”

Well, it sounds like Google is jumping on the renewable energy bandwagon, and I think it’s a good thing.

(This is my opinion on global warming, then I’ll get back to the article at hand : I’ve been reading a bit about global warming, and what its causes are – is it man-made, or is it just part of a natural cycle of the Earths temperatures?  I’m not sure which one I believe.  Either way, the important thing is that the Earth is getting warmer.  It’s not important why.  If its man-made, then we should be working to slow down what we’re doing.  If it’s natural, the flooding and rising of the sea will still pose a problem for millions of people worldwide, so we might want to try and slow down the Earth’s warming anyways.)

So Google is working on ways to generate energy that are cheaper then coal, and can be sold at prices lower then the current market rate.  Global Warming or not, if it’s cheaper, who ISN’T interested?  Yes, coal has been a reliable power source for years and years.  But what’s to say that we can’t use something better?  Electricity can and will play a huge role in almost every aspect of our lives.  We use it to power computers.  I’m using my laptop and a desk lamp right now.  I’ve been reading some cool things about electric cars, and car makers are beginning to roll out plug-in hybrids that get charged from the wall outlet in the garage overnight.  True, these electric cars don’t have any emmisions, but there’s still a power plant somewhere burning something to get the electricity.  What if that electricity could be generated with almost no emissions at all?  Forget global warming, just think of the potential to improve air quality in and around major cities.  What’s to say that these renewable ways of generating electricity can’t be applied to other areas, or even other countries, that don’t have large amounts of coal, or places that don’t warrant running power lines hundreds of miles, and can’t afford to build power plants?  Is electricity the be-all and end-all of all our power needs?  No.  We need to make some other advances, like even more efficient electric motors, and better-still batteries, with longer life, and safer materials.  Is Google doing its part to start the electric ball rolling : Yes.

One other thing I’m wondering is weather or not there’s any way to get power from the heat generated by all of Google’s computers and servers.  I know that all that electricity and processing power generates vast amounts of heat, that must be dissipated, carried away, or cooled.  Is there any way to take the heat generated from all these servers and use it for something productive?  I know you can have sun-heated hot water.  How about server-heated hot water?  Is there any way to use this hot water to generate electricity?  I know that it probably shouldn’t be hot enough to boil, but there’s gotta be SOMETHING you can use this extra heat for.

Read the full article on Google’s renewable power efforts here

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071127/ap_on_hi_te/google_green_power_6;_ylt=AhBJXqqUN5nUDfIWfO2cW8wE1vAI

New Layout and Fur Elise

Posted on November 27th, 2007 in Computer software/hardware, Dumb Things That Happen, Site of the Day, Tech News, The Never Ending Story/Other FLB Events, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »

As we have returned from our hiatus, our layout shall be changed. This current one may be the one we choose, but whichever one we decide on will still need much revisions. Some of our pages may not work, our RSS icons have disappeared. Please excuse us as we prepare for our final exams :P. Afterwards, you can expect a lot more activity on the site.

On a slightly random note…
Ad from Microsoft:
Does your computer randomly play Fur Elise or It’s a Small, Small World? Don’t worry! It’s not a bug. This is a design feature! If this occurs, please place your computer in the fridge as it is overheating, fan is not working, or your power supply is on the fritz. While it is cooling, check out the help pages!
Your Computer is Playing Classical Music Randomly