Archive for the ‘Things we should do more of’ Category

Backuping software…..alot of it :)

Posted on April 12th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News, Things we should do more of | No Comments »

Heres some good backup software, each with its own strengths.

Hinx Backup Easy, is a small utility that lets you do local backups or FTP backuping, with schedules. Theres the option for incremental backups, and thats about it. Simple, and small 🙂 Hinx Backup Easy

DocShield has a different niche. What happens if you’re working on a giant paper, and it just goes horribly wrong? DocShield scans marked folders for changed files and saves archived versions. Its like code versioning, but for allpurpose files. This also lets you backup your versions on an ftp server. DocShield

Finally…on a slightly different note, File Alert Monitor, does what any sane human being would be able to pull out of the program name. It works on networked drives too 🙂 Check it out: File Alert Monitor

Wheres Waldo – the Google Earth version!

Posted on April 11th, 2008 in Games, How To's, Labs/Experiments, Photos/Videoes, Picture of the Day, Things we should do more of, Time Wasters | 1 Comment »

“The striking young man – never without his
red-and-white-striped top, bobble hat, walking stick and glasses – had
a habit of turning up in the most unlikely and crowded of places, from
ancient Aztec kingdoms to medieval battlefields.

Satellite image of 'Waldo'
Melanie Coles, the artist, has released this photo of the figure taken from a helicopter

But
now a Canadian artist has brought the game into the 21st Century, by
painting an enormous Wally that can be seen by Google Earth satellites.

The
55ft figure was installed on an undisclosed rooftop in Vancouver last
month, sparking a flurry of interest among internet users keen to be
the first to spot this Web 2.0 Wally.”

. . .

“Coles, an art student who publicised the project on her blog www.whereonearthiswaldo.com, is encouraging others to follow her lead and create a network of Google Earth Wallys across the world.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/04/10/wwaldo110.xml

Perpetual Motion! for 10 seconds….

Posted on March 25th, 2008 in Science!, Things we should do more of | 1 Comment »

An interesting dilemma. Really…I mean, the first thing I thought of when I read the title was, huh?
I mean, firstly, perpetual motion…suuuuure. For 10 seconds? that makes it semi-believable, until you realize thats a direct contradiction 😛

But hey, its NIST. I mean, the scientists there think of new ways on how to make our definition of 1 second become even more exact. And I mean…MORE exact.
So, instead, they made perpetual motion, using bose einstein condensate. So, a long time ago I wrote up a little thing about what BSC actually is…well, too bad for you guys, I don’t feel like resurrecting the forums which have now become BOT TERRITORY. And therefore, let it suffice that it was made using BSC. The reason why it’s perpetual motion is because there is a total lack of friction. It’s at the lowest energy state, meaning there really CAN’T be energy loss.
Now, we gotta admit, right now, this is a totally useless thing. To maintain this toroid of BSC is energy consuming and essentially a power hole. However, since the liquid is moving indefinitely, this opens up the possibility of energy storage that is 100% conserved. There wouldn’t be a loss due to thermodynamics, unless you disrupt the BSC system. Who knows? This could become very useful later on.
Cheers!
Thanks Mark for finding the article, and thanks NIST scientsts 😛

Happy Bunnyday!

Posted on March 23rd, 2008 in Dumb Things That Happen, How To's, Labs/Experiments, Lacking a Category, Photos/Videoes, Picture of the Day, Site of the Day, The Never Ending Story/Other FLB Events, Things we should do more of, Time Wasters | No Comments »

Just a humorous Happy Holidays from FLB!

El Bulli

Posted on March 3rd, 2008 in Lacking a Category, Photos/Videoes, Things we should do more of, Time Wasters | 4 Comments »

In a slightly random departure of our normally scheduled/planned tech news…we broach upon…food.
I understand that El Bulli has been out there for years, but this is the first time I personally have heard of this restaurant. Of course, it would help that I am not in habit of regularly checking world-renowned restaurants…but…

El Bulli is a restaurant in Catalonia, Spain. Its a very small restaurant. It only serves 8000 people a season. With a small catch. More than 800,000 want to be served. What’s special about this place? Well…its run by Ferran Adria, who is perhaps the best chef out there, and probably a genius. Food genius 🙂
What they do is innovate on food. Instead of making, say, extremely good pork chops, or any particularly good “normal” food, they and i quote “deconstruct” popular dishes and remake them.
Each season, they create a new course list and last years menu included, snow balls that were stuffed with strawberries, tangerine/carrot whipped fluff, and other interesting things that I just really can’t describe.
For this….check out the video: El Bulli on Youtube
Also…despite the overwhelming popularity of the restaurant, Adria continues to run at a loss, for the 8th year in a row, with cost per diner at exactly 250 euros. Hey…if you can get a spot…250 euros isnt that bad for a 30 course dinner that spans 4 hours 😉

Meet the “Gravity Lamp”

Posted on February 24th, 2008 in Labs/Experiments, Lacking a Category, Science!, Tech News, Things we should do more of | No Comments »

“A Virginia Tech student has won the Greener Gadget Award for a clever
LED lamp that gets all of its power from gravity, which is a seriously
renewable resource. Working kind of like a grandfather clock that needs
to be wound in order to work, the lamp has a weight that’s raised up
every day. As the day goes on, it slowly lowers, with that movement
powering the LEDs.”

Cool.  A lamp that I power (gravity brings the weight down, but I lift it up).
It doesn’t need to be plugged in.  Put it anywhere you want.  And its got a lifespan of 200 years of used for 8 hours a day.

Read more about the gravity lamp here :
http://dvice.com/archives/2008/02/gravity_lamp_la.php

Thinking about this lamp gives me some other interesting ideas.  What would happen if we applied something similar to weight lifting equipment?  Charge your cell phone each day with your workout?  How bout an LED gage that shows how much of a power-workout you’ve actually done?  There MUST be other ways to make functional gadgets from this idea.  What if you scaled this up to a larger weight that you carry up a staircase, with a slider that goes to the basement, and every time you go up the stairs, you take one of a few weights, to keep the cycle going.  We’re always complaining that Americans are overweight.  This would help us exercise, and could be a fun way to compete to see who can be “greenest.”

I almost want to try this on a huge scale.  I can picture a conveyor belt, with hundreds of cups that could be filled with sand, and a hopper at the top and at the bottom.  Put in in a busy office building, and get people to bring a cup of sand with them each time they go up in the building – be it via elevator, escalator, or stairs, and dump it into the hopper at the top.  See how long the conveyor could spin, how much sand it could move, and maybe how much power it could develop.

I like the idea of the LED Lamp, but even I have to admit that there are some problems with the idea on a larger scale.  Everything takes energy.  Gravity may pull the weight down, but I need to eat food to burn the calories to raise the weight up.  In an office building, the elevator needs to work harder to raise up that cup of sand.  It may be only a little bit more power, but its a cost none the less.

Thinking about this idea, though, leads to another idea.  One of the largest problems with wind energy and solar energy is that the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t always shine when we’re ready to use the power they generate.  What if we started looking at mechanical means of storing energy, instead of chemical means like batteries?  What if we used solar power to pump water during the day, running on extra power, then use the falling water to generate electricity during the night?  It’s not the most efficient system, because theres loss of energy due to friction, heat, maintenance of the pumps, etc.  But would it be cost effective?  How simple could the system be?  I don’t know that the idea is remotely plausible.  But its a thought.  If a grandfather clock ran run for decades with a simple winding of a key, or lifting of a weight, what else could we do with that little bit of power?

Flight of the Paper Airplane

Posted on January 20th, 2008 in Hands On/Build This!, Labs/Experiments, Lacking a Category, Photos/Videoes, Picture of the Day, Things we should do more of | 2 Comments »

It might not be possible to launch a paper airplane from the ISS.
But a skyscraper. . . .

Snow Plowin’

Posted on January 20th, 2008 in Hands On/Build This!, Labs/Experiments, Lacking a Category, Photos/Videoes, Picture of the Day, Things we should do more of | 1 Comment »

A little themed video with the recent snow 🙂

Naps May Help Boost Memory

Posted on January 15th, 2008 in Labs/Experiments, PSA-Types, Science!, Site of the Day, Sleep/Naptime!, The Never Ending Story/Other FLB Events, Things we should do more of | No Comments »

Although not exactly a computer tech post, I think this is at least just as important, if not more so 🙂
Besides, a computer is only as good as the commands and programs that the end users tries to run on it.

“New research conducted by brain researcher Avi Karni of the University
of Haifa in Israel explores the possibility that naps help lock in
sometimes fleeting long-term memories. A 90-minute daytime snooze might
help the most, the study finds.

“We still don’t know the exact mechanism of the memory process that
occurs during sleep, but the results of this research suggest the
possibility that it is possible to speed up memory consolidation,”
Karni said. “In the future, we may be able to do it artificially.””

Read more about these promising developments, and what you can currently do to help improve your memory, and feel better and more awake, here :
http://www.livescience.com/health/080107-90-minute-nap.html