Category Archives: Tech

LEGO electrophoresis

http://citizensciencequarterly.com/2011/09/12/lego-electrophoresis-box/

Gel electrophoresis is a molecular biology technique that is often used to visualize, purify, or separate DNA based on the size of the DNA molecules inside a solution. It uses an electric current to force charged DNA molecules to migrate through a porous gel that restricts the DNA strand’s movement based on the size of the strand.

And now it’s in LEGO. These are images of an electrophoresis apparatus made out of LEGO blocks. Unlike Lt.Cmdr Data it’s not fully functional though – it would have to be modified to include electrodes. You’d have to drill a few holes into the LEGOs, but you could have your own electrophoresis apparatus for the price of a few plastic blocks.

Remote Spy Quadrotor Drones

Now you can own your own spy drone. Silent, maneuverable quadrotors with cameras attached. If you haven’t seem some of the impressive aerial feats capable with the quadrotor design then check out this:

Logically the next step would be assassin quadrotor drones that inject neurotoxin or explosive cerebral bores into soft targets.

1337 VVii ╠╣ 4 © |< $

There’s a whole movement around hacking the Wii remote’s infrared sensing capabilities. This video demonstrates how a Wii -mote can be used to cheaply make an interactive digital whiteboard or can utilize head tracking to create a 3D virtual reality interface.

Rogers Defending Chatr in Court


by Irma Arkus

uh oh. Rogers is on stand this week, after complaints from competition that its marketing for Chatr, a new mobile service apparently touting itself as superior for not dropping as many calls as its competitors, is nothing but…marketing.

The competition says that there are no technological reasons for such claims, nor is there any proof that Chatr is superior in any form from already existing mobile services. After all, Rogers uses the very same network for Chatr, as it does for the rest of their services.

The competition bureau is demanding Rogers halt the advertising campaign and deliver $10m in damages as a penalty.

Google TV


by Irma Arkus

Google announced today that it will start its pilot TV live programming on YouTube.

Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood will be the first 4 channels that will provide live broadcasting scheduled to run from 11 ET onward.

For years now, ability to simulcast has been sitting in the shadows, despite its overwhelming potential to transform the business of broadcasting.

While Apple has been toying with the idea of iPod show, albeit not live, and reviewing the potential for AppleTV, Google is a huge contender for a spot in a remarkable technological development that will combine video content with a far more accurate, targeted niche advertising.

While YouTube emerged as a go-to video channel, initial responses from the networks were to block or remove as much content from YouTube as possible. But those days are over, say Google executives, who are seeing YouTube climbing in profits as more networks view potential content release as another avenue for advertising revenues. Live simulcast would open that unexplored market much further, allowing advertisers to receive far more accurate statistics on ratings, viewership and marketing.

Embeded Advertising: Tweet This


by Irma Arkus

First of all, I don’t know who Kim Kardashian is. Not a clue. Second of all, why on earth would anyone get $10,000 bucks to promote a product by tweeting about it???

What I do know is that Duncan Watts of Yahoo Inc. is asking advertising agencies to STOP paying such outrageous sums of money to people like Ms. Kardashian. Why? I will simply wave off the reasons and assume it is because Kardashian already has a boatload of money.

Nooooo!?

“If I had a fixed budget, I could get more value from a small amount of very influential [influencers], or a lot of smaller influencers, on Twitter,” Mr. Watts said. “If you recruit enough people who, on average, influence just one other person, you could get a much better return on investment if you aggregated them and altogether paid them a tenth of what Kardashian gets.”

Oh. This is why I back hobo advertising only.[AdAge]

Star Trek: TV Show Announced

by Irma Arkus

To all the passionate Trekkies out there, the JJ Abrams movie may not have been all that, but it did do one thing – allowed for television executives to be excited all over again with the idea of bringing more Trek to small screens.

And some wishes are coming true, as announced TV series is in the works. Paramount is behind a major push for a new Star Trek series. Star Trek: Starfleet Academy has been announced at Wondercon in San Francisco, and it will have all the Smallville bits it needs to drive me crazy and turn me off of Trek forever…but it will also regenerate an old franchise in need of some new blood (don’t forget, executives are vampires!)

I am personally more excited about a remake of Blake’s 7 than the new Star Trek, because after watching Enterprise, my mouth still tastes of ashes.

Either way, it will be a teen version of Trek, which, if you are fantasizing about sparkly vampires, probably seems like a great idea. To the rest of us, who were observing the tough moral and ethical conundrums of Star Trek crew, the new Trek offers little in terms of satisfying entertainment or for that matter, “responsible entertainment.” (see what you made me do Abrams! call for RESPONSIBLE ENTERTAINMENT!!!)

Either way, we’ll get to watch this, horrified or not. More updates to follow.

Airport Scanners, Real Images Revealed


by Irma Arkus

The latest frenzy to install airport scanners has, in my humble opinion, gone overboard, and furthermore has given itching authorities carte blanc to installing another trillion dollars worth of security machinery that many experts doubt in terms of legality or safety, and generally making lives of passengers beyond miserable.

The airport scanners are invasive, and though I personally cackle with fond thoughts of Total Recall, they indeed present a serious invasion of anonymity for passengers.

Undertheradarmedia reports that actual images produced by the scanners are not in fact the negatives we’ve been shown. Instead the images appear as simple black and white “scans” of our bodies.

I personally am not a shy daisy, and neither is the woman in the image. But there is a great differentiation between having the right to say no to being examined head to toe and being forced to comply with extreme security measures(or otherwise get Tasered?)

Our sense of anonymity and privacy has already been vanquished to make way for “securitization.” Whether it’s securitization of economic funds, national borders, or just following orders of some vague “intelligence” community, I at least expected the luxury of having my ass covered with a shammy through the process. [Undertheradarmedia

Square Up Just May Beat Those Pesky Credit Card Machines


The inventor of Twitter has just shaken the market with his new invention: Square Up.

A small card reader that can be attached to your iPhone is combined with software that automatically creates a receipt that is sent to your email, along with verification of the location of exchange and photo of card carrier.

The card reader is probably not very good at commercial use, but for many freelancers who are charging consulting fees on the run, this would be the perfect solution for generating quick invoicing and receiving payments on the spot.

I am impressed. Check out Square Up

Digital Is Better: Adobe Gives the Goods on Digital-Only CS4 Release

by Irma Arkus

On my bookshelf I have a few magazine holder, but I also happen to have a few boxes pretending to be magazine holders. Nice, shiny, quite large enough for paperwork, and they have Adobe logo all over their covers.

These, my friends, are remnants of previous purchases of software releases by Adobe. Complex packaging, retail distribution, manifold of CD’s in their hard jewel-cases…those are things of the past. The truth is, while the music industry is lamenting the death of CD sales (those were some good times, 20+ years of selling plastic for high dollar) companies such as Adobe have dropped it all for the joys of digital-only releases.

CMO Ann Lewnes explains that the switch from physical distribution of software releases to a sleeker, humbler, digital-only release, has its benefits. In her recent interview with Advertising Age, Lewnes says that the cutting of tedious traditional release saved some 3 million dollars, and also expanded the reach of CS4.

While Adobe is relying on product launches to an already steady buyer market. Lewnes is very much aware of that, but points to the actual Launch Party, a costly event that would have a limited reach, that when done online only, managed to attract millions of interested people.

The response to this is that the launch event when done digitally, attracts specific social node marketers, who influence in turn, other millions of people and their purchasing habits. But Adobe is a well-oiled machine existing in a rather narrow market, and CS4 is a line of products that one can say, has little or no competition, and the techo-babble-wizards that love Adobe will continue to endorse this product line regardless of whether they taste the foie-gras this year.

Adobe is moving forward, but it may be one of rare companies to be able to do so. Regardless, the article and the video short are interesting to view, and they do indicate a smart way of cutting down on unnecessary costs related to product packaging, offering, releases and launches. [AdAge]