Of course, every
image is different, but in Canon's testing, the company used the ISO
Standard #5 image to estimate inktank usage. (This image provides a
fair and accurate ratio of colors to approximate the average digital
photograph.) Here are the results, according to Canon:
I purchased the i9900
about 6 weeks ago
to replace my S9000. The
S9000 is no slouch and a top rated printer from 2 years ago but i9900
is much better. I now shoot with a Canon 10D and Canon L lenses even
though I have thousands of transparencies to scan on a Canon FS4000US
film scanner. The 10D was purchased just prior to a trip to Rome where
I shot about 1000 images.
I just finished
assembling 170 of
the best Rome images into an album using Canon PhotoRecord software
that comes with most Canon digital products. I printed the album on
both Epson dual-sided matte paper and Pictorico dual-sided semi-gloss
paper. The results are amazing. Both papers work extremely well with
the i9900 although they each have their own subtle tinting difference.
This can be corrected easily with color adjustment through the printer
driver. Printing the entire album on the dualsided 8.5 x 11 stock (68
pages total) used no more than half of some of the ink cartridges and
almost none of the red and green. People who have viewed the album are
stunned and amazed with the quality and can't believe it came from an
inkjet printer. The color punch and tone is incredible and the level of
detail and resolution equals or exceeds wet chemistry printing. If you
want to see dots you'll need at least a 4X loupe and there is
absolutely no banding.
It is a mistake to
not consider this
printer because of the limited selection of Canon papers. Epson papers
work extremely well on the Canon printers as do Pictorico, Mitsubishi
and Konica. These are the only papers I've had the opportunity to try.
Windows Dynamic disks (described in this article: KB222189 - note
this article does describe an "import" function that is provided to
allow you to move a dynamic disk from one system to another) cannot be
moved from one system to another readily. This knowledge base article: KB232463,
mentions this in the context of laptops, but I have run into this while
trying to move dynamic-type disks from an older Win2K machine to its
replacement WinXP box (when I did this the disk was shown as
"foreign"). Probably best to stick with the basic disk type, unless you
are really needing to make use of the new features of dynamic disks
(for example to provide a RAID file system). It also appears that you
cannot put a dynamic disk into a USB drive case and still access its
contents (the article KB254105 confirms
this is the case) - probably for similar reasons relating to the disk
partition database, as once the disk is USB attached it could be
attached to any number of machines and this database is not designed to
handle this. Other articles on dynamic disks:
has a good searchable database for the long/latt coordinates cities
around the globe
date calculator, this is based on an algorithm from Astronomical Formulae for Calculators,
by Jean Meeus, ISBN: 0943396018.
Published by Willmann-Bell who
appear to specialize in astronomical tomes.
A new wide
angle telescope in Chile, based on a 3 giga-pixel sensor, is going
to make it possible to take a complete picture of the night sky every
three nights, this should help in the search for more asteroids
 A GPL based lawsuit is brewing between Monsoon Multimedia and the BusyBox project.  PyDbLite, a small in-memory database engine  
is a Python script program to dump the EXIF information, this would be
of use if you were writing some (python) scripts to manipulate a number
of photographs, perhaps you wanted to extract this information and
place it in a database...
Noiseware, from Imagenomic,
looks like a good noise reduction package for high ISO shooting. This
is quite impressive at what it can do with ISO 800 shots from a Minolta
A2 (which are quite noisy). Have a look at this gallery for
some examples that have been processed by it. Also have a look at these
images I processed with it. It gets reviewed
  BullZeye
3 is a standalone image colour corrector package, it also supports
batch processing. It is based on technology from PictoColor Corporation who make
a standalone package called iCorrect EditLab Pro,
which looks very similar to the BullZeye 3
package, yet sells for half the price. There is a demo version (fully
functional but puts watermarks into the saved output) of EditLab that
you can download to test, I played with this a bit and found that it
worked quite well, as long as there was something white or grey in the
frame to base the colour cast correction on. In Apr'08 PictoColor started to beta test an online version of iCorrect, it's not clear at this point if they intend to charge for this service.
a retouching package based on Ansel Adam's Zone System
PhotoArtist 2, is a package for creating artwork based on digital
  Bill Gates must be getting worried about his health, now Microsoft is wanting to make a user-controlled health care historical database. While such a system could be of great benefit to patients (the users) by centralizing all their records and ensuring whole sections don't get lost when a doctor's office moves or closes, and it could also be of great benefit for researchers who could get anonymized access to query the system, there is still the risk that such a system could be very tempting to Big Brother and so it's privacy should also be shielded by strong acts of law.  
has a database of information about web hosting services, including
supports a number of Python based web hosting services (such as Django,
Zope and TurboGears), they appear to allow one to install and run custom
applications. A note on installing lxml for Python on WebFaction.
Picaboo.com offers a photo book service, this appears to be based on an application you run on your computer to create the book.
The Shuttle SV24
is a very compact PC case, designed to hold a few drives and a very
small form factor motherboard, such as the Shuttle
FV24. Shuttle has produced a few more of these compact designs now,
the latest is the SS51, reviewed
here on AnandTech and here on Legion
Hardware. The Shuttle SS40G
is that same concept, except supporting an AMD Athlon motherboard. I
would like to get one of these with two 5.25" front accessible bays...
Shuttle now has some competition
in this small case style, almost looks like a direct copy, except it is
based on a different motherboard.
Tom's Hardware reviews the JadeTec
micro PC, this is smaller than the Shuttle mini PC units but
a similar set of built in features, there is a good set of pictures
the various sizes of cases and how the micro PC is assembled. The IWill
XP4-G reviewed on the JEM
Report sounds like another interesting possibility (but is lacking
firewire). The Shuttle XPC
SB81P, reviewed here,
(July 2004) improves greatly (it has PCI-Express) on the earlier XPC
Here are some very
small PC designs (for home made MP3 players), and this
based on a set-top box.
is a small case design that even has a custom front panel display, its
intended for use in home entertainment type applications. It is
by Motherboards.org. One thing that bothers me about this is MSI's
statement: "Due to proprietary mechanical design, MSI only guarantees
the compatibility of the MEGA PC with MSI's own Optical Storage
Devices". Another thing that bothers me is in Motherboards.org's
review they note that the hard drive mounting bracket actually
positions the hard drive upsidedown
and suggest drilling a new set of mounting holes to correct this.
by SFF TECH, they also have a forum with some feedback about it and a knowledge
base thread on it. Technology Review has a collection of links to
other reviews of the MEGA. Apparently there will be an AMD chipset
version of this box in the fall of 2003 as well. 3DVelocity reviews it here.
MSI's MEGA-400, which is an AMD based version of the MEGA-651 will
be appearing soon, AMDboard.com had a preview of it.
silent build-it-yourself, Linux based, home theatre PC, reviewed at
available from lixsystems.net.
These look quite nice, like a traditional AV component, and have all
the front panel slots and ports you would need.
is building a mini-ITX based machine for the Chinese market, the
EC280, which would be quite nice for a small home appliance type
 The mini-ITX form factor is showing some promise as the basis for making
low-power dedicated appliance-like PCs. For example one might make:
- How to convert basic and dynamic disks in Windows XP
How to establish a striped volume with parity (RAID-5) in Windows
Server 2003: KB323434.
Best practices for using dynamic disks on Windows Server
2003-based computers: KB816307.
Basic storage versus dynamic storage in Windows XP: KB314343. This
says that the mirroring and RAID-5 features are not available in
Windows XP Pro.
How to use disk management to configure dynamic disks in Windows
based on these small motherboards.
is a cute little highly integrated motherboard, roughly 6 inches
square (this PDF claims that the mini-ITX board can be mounted in a
FlexATX or MicroATX chassis, perhaps with modification of the mounting
hole positions. Also, the mini-ITX supports both ITX and ATX compliant
power supplies) .
Here are a number of neat
case projects built around this sort of motherboard. The Lex
case (reviewed here)
is based on the VIA Mini-ITX. The mini-ITX format could also be used to
your own supercomputer cluster. Or you can fit an entire PC
into a Windows XP retail box - not your typical computer case, but the
artical has some interesting custom case building ideas.
Logic Supply has a lot of
mini-ITX stuff. They alo have some P4 based mini-ITX motherboards (with
a 2.4GHz P4 you need 75W for the motherboard and CPU, plus some more
for the drives)
Mini-Box makes a very compact
PC based on the VIA Mini-ITX platform.
a lot of news on the mini-ITX platform, it also has information about
motherboards based on a variety of processor types.
There are some other motherboards that are based on Socket 370 CPUs
that approach the mini-ITX form factor. Here is a review of the Jetway B860T
describing the constuction
of a mini-ITX system based on the MII10000 processor running Puppy Linux
 n May'07 Gigabyte announced a DTX form
motherboard (along with a proposed case design), this is based
around an AMD chipset.
reviews five of the VIA chip set based dual processor motherboard
a round up of current (summer 2001) VIA
Apollo KT266 based main boards
A7N266 is an nVidia nForce 420 based single Athlon motherboard, its
a bit odd since ASUS went with the basic audio and for some reason did
not connect up the built-in ethernet port...
The Register reports that VIA chipset based motherboards may
have problems keeping up with full PCI speed data bursts, and that
this could hurt the performance of high speed (like ATA133 and U160
SCSI) disk controllers. And this
article documents a similar problem with the Intel 850 and 860 chip
AMDBoard focuses on the
AMD based motherboards
In Aug'06 ABIT
launched their AW9D
motherboard, based on the Intel 975X chip set that is said to be quad
core (Kentsfield) ready. Apparently these chips
will be available in Nov'06.
Here is a 1U
high RACK mount server based on the Tyan Dual Athlon motherboard
for high density rack mount applications (you can fit up to 42 of these in
a single standard rack).
Newisys is making a 1U
server based on AMD's Opteron chips
based CPU cooling system.
 In Sept'07 Toshiba
announced their SpurEngine video processing chip, this is based on
the Sony Cell processor technology used in the PS3, it looks like they
are going to integrate this into some of their future laptops to give
them a boost in the video editing (trans-coding) department. This could
be a significant advancement, I wonder if anyone is going to make a
PCI card to allow a video processing accelerator to be plugged into
existing systems. This could also help with power consumption, as its
possible that one of these chips could consume less energy that a
general purpose CPU to do the same overall task, which would be good
for laptops. LeadTek's HPVC1100 puts a SpursEngine in a small external enclosure for connection to a laptop (or perhaps some other computer).
based power storage
And now solar cells based on spinnach,
yes the plant Pop-eye loves to eat.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a
new material capable of capturing solar
power, this is a plastic based substance that is up to 30% efficient
 Ultracapacitors based
on nanotubes may be the batteries of tomorrow. Graphene may also find application in the ultracapacitor problem.
In Mar'06 Dr. Martin Fleischmann of cold fusion fame was hired
by D2Fusion to produce a
commercial prototype of a fusion-based home heater. Discussed on Slashdot.
Time to start investing in heavy water plants.
 Slashdot discusses how to measure
the electric consumption of single devices. ThinkGeek has the Kill-A-Watt,
which is a power meter with a digital display. There is also this power
watt meter, from Germany with a UK style plug and socket.
CanadianTire (in Canada) has the 52-8851-2, EM100
Electronic Energy Meter. The EnergyHub is another power monitoring device, this has a base station with LCD interface and monitoring modules that you plug in to track the power usage of each device of interest - probably a great deal of overkill but it looks nice.
GM is developing a hydrogen
filling station for the home, though as its electrically powered
its not really an advantage over just buring fossil fuel directly in
the car - unless you install a set of solar cells to power it.
A new form of solarcells
based on synthetic dyes that work in low light conditions and might
cost 1/10th of conventional silicon solar cells have been discovered.
Could these be OLEDs in reverse?
microwaves to turn plastics and other hydrocarbon based material
into oil and gas. Would this work on complex organics like
cellulose or starches?
Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology has developed
a plastic solar cell that is only 6.5% efficient, but can be
produced for a very low cost of about $0.10 per watt, which would be a
good thing given current silicon based cells are about $2.30 per watt.
They think these could be available commercially by about 2012.
A new pellet-based
storage system for Hydrogen may allow a hydrogen car to be fueled
faster and travel more than 500km on a 50L tank.
At the other end of electric based performance is the Human
Powered Car, this seats up to 4 and also has some electric drive
Smith Creative Photography from the UK has some interesting IR photos
(film based) along with a variety of portraiture, including a lot of Bands.
kite based photography
a photographic equipment retailler (camera store) based in London UK.
Looks like they have a Nikon focus.
unit based on SMaL Camera
to ship the first 50in SED based TV in March 2006, apparently these
have a 100,000:1 contrast ratio.
Engadget has seen
the light, and its SED, apparently 2006 will see the first SED
technology based displays and the current demonstrations are very good.
Information Servers, an idea for small WiFi-based servers to
provide information at train stations and airports and other public
Tapestry is a Java-based framework for rapid
web development from IBM
an on-line rent-a-database service
is a Java based application that can be used to test web applications
by driving the IE and FireFox browsers.
 Mozilla 1.2 based browsers (such as FireFox) are capable of
doing link prefetching (if the web page calls for it), here is how
to set this up. Discussed here
on Slashdot when Google started to support this.
A quick guide to setting up a Scheme-based web server
Technologies is a hosting outfit in the UK that does Xen based
virtual private servers, their pricing structure is similar to the
US-based hosters except their bandwidth limits seem a bit lower.  iDAQ offers both Linux and Windows based VPS solutions in the UK.  The Koolu is a tiny computer based on the AMD Geode processor and drawing about 5W of power. They offer two versions and the RAM and disk space can be changed. This gets reviewed by a new monk (his Shades of Renunciation: An Inventory of My Remaining Worldly Posessions is worth a read too) and found to be comparable to a 666MHz Pentium III in an older PC.
 Beaming solar power from space in the form of microwaves has been talked about in the past for a long time, but now it seems to be getting more attention. The collection efficiency can be improved (versus land-based) because there are no losses due to clouds or atmospheric pollution and potentially a collector can be kept in full sunlight 24 hours a day (though this would mean it needs to transmit its output to different sites on earth as the world turns) the raw cost per watt would be less for space based collectors than ground based ones. Of course, that would get massively reversed once the cost of lifting the collectors into space is factored in.
- printer server
- file server
- domain controller
- PVR boxes (though this sort of application is going to be pushing
the CPU somewhat)
The real drive behind this might be the need for power in the military (though that does not make a lot of sense as the power will be off during the night, and the batteries the military would need to store power for use overnight would likely be bigger than the oil fueled generators they replace). It might be the military sees this as a way to get a new weapon in the sky, consider their recent work with the "pain ray", a microwave gun that causes intense pain by stimulating the nerves of the skin, perhaps such satellites (which use microwaves to relay their collected power to the ground) could do double duty and be used to cover large areas of a battlefield with pain rays, thus, knocking enemy troops out of action prior to an attack.  boto, a Python interface to Amazon Web Services (S3, SQS, EC2 and the Mechanical Turk)
gdata a Python client interface to the Google Data APIs (Base, Blogger, Calendar...). Some notes on a problem with "import hashlib" in version 1.5b. Notes on using M2Crypto with boto.  The Nokia 810, the successor to the N800, is now official. The biggest visible change is that it has a slider-style keyboard. And more news about this, including a price of $479, so this will be a tough sell against the ASUS Eee at $399. The Nokia site's page on the 810. This article has a good set of photos which even comapare the N810 to the iPhone, the N810 almost looks like a slightly larger version of the iPhone and does not seem to be that much thicker. Discussed here on Slashdot. Here are some first impressions of the N810 and some information on the micro USB plug it has.  The Xs-DriveBox is a hard disk based media player, it has composite, S-Video and component outputs plus the ability to record composite video. It also has an SD flash card slot and a USB port, but no LAN connectivity. 
A review comparing
the performance of IDE base RAID 0, 1, 10 to single SCSI drives.
Slashdot looks for large
RAID solutions for the home server, it appears that hardware raid
cards may no longer have a performance advantage over a software Linux
based system. Setting up a RAID array for Linux even has a dedicated
book now: Managing
RAID on Linux, by Derek Vadala, ISBN 1565927303.
In April 2005 Hitachi announced
plans for hard drives based on perpendicular magnetic storage, this
should mean that drive sizes will start to climb again.
A review of very small
USB atached hard drives (those based on the 1 or 0.8" microdrives)
An article on how to calculate the life
time of a flash storage device based on its size, wear rating, free
space and anticipated write rate.
In June'06 a new technique for making narrower laser beams
(based on existing lasers) was announced
- this could result in another large step in optical disk storage
 Arizona State University has developed a new type of flash-memory like storage, called a programmable metalization cell. This has been licensed to three companies already and they are expecting to see products based on this in about 18 months (so maybe in 2009). 
now up to 4GB - they have product compatibility tables here
Rob Galbraith's compact
flash performance database
DIGIC-II based cameras have had their firmware hacked to enable a
number of hidden features, including a RAW mode.
camera base is intended to be a useful alternative to a convention
 The BUGbase and BUGmodules from Bug Labs get some hands-on treatment.  The ezSource is a NAS based on Windows Home Server.  A crop harvester built of Lego. 
out colour on dreary day photographs in post processing with
 The Google Phone is for real, it will be Linux based with a layer of Java, target date is Spring'08. It sounds like it will be open for developers to produce new applications (which makes sense as a lot of what Google has been doing includes providing public use APIs). Wake up iPhone, time to open up or die. Slashdot discusses the Google Open Source Mobile Platform. Engadget has a lot of coverage of this: live coverage" of the announcement, Google and HTC's dream phone, a letter to Palm, and Palm's vague response, how Symbian, Nokia, Microsoft and Apple don't want to play, and a quick summary of all this. Microsoft's Ballmer calls Android a mere press release, guess Microsoft might be a bit concerned about the impact of this on Windows Mobile licensing. Dvorak says the gPhone is doomed - so it must be a good thing!
 Python-gdata, a Python wrapper for Google's GData API for Youtube.   Intel's Entry Storage System SS4200 will be a Windows Home Server based NAS that can house 4 drives internally.  While not strictly mini-ITX in form factor, the gOS Dev Board is a micro-ATX board based on the Via C7 processor, so it has the nice low power characteristics of a mini-ITX board, but it has more slots and it is roughly 1/2 the cost of an equivalent mini-ITX board. So unless you want to put it in a very small case this might be a good choice. Since it has both ATA and SATA connectors if you have a defunct PC you could just remove its motherboard and pop one of these in its place. If this board had DVI or HDMI output it would actually make a reasonable media PC for quite a low price. Discussed here on Slashdot and here on Engadget.  Interlogic has a good selection of mini-ITX motherboards that are Pentium processor based as well as SBCs for embedded applications. 
makes thinkDB, a database package for the Palm.
LinuxDA offers both
a Linux-based PalmOS like package (which will run on a Palm Pilot, looks like the
8Meg versions) and a PDA
that uses their OS (wonder if you could load their PDA with
While this can hardly be considered a "palm-top", the Dana
from AlphaSmart is based on PalmOS and brings it into the
micro-laptop form factor (adding a built in keyboard)
STNE has memory
upgrades for Palm based machines
a Java based development environment for the Pilot
In Sept 2005 the sale of
PalmSource to Access (A Japanese cell-phone software company) was announced,
is this the end of the road for Palm-based organizers?
Aerodrome Software makes AeroPlayer,
an MP3, AAC and OGG player for the ARM based Pilots, this is well
revieiwed and does have the ability to turn off the display backlight
while playing on a Tungsten T3
Future (perhaps starting in 2007) Palm devices will be
based on a Linux core, discussed
here on Slashdot
Datastick makes a
vibration spectrum analyzer (VSA-1214)
based on a Palm TX
an encrypted data storage folder by MSB Software Engineering
for your Palm device, to view the contents you must enter a password,
if you switch applications or turn off your Palm it automatically locks
up. When it syncs to your PC its backup database is encrypted, a
second tool (Yaps
Viewer) is available that lets you view the database on the PC. I
highly recommend Yaps.
 picnik is a web-based photo editing package,   Engadget asks: How would you change Windows Home Server?, from the comments it appears that this cannot act as a domain controller (though some of the betas might have been able to) and it does not use RAID - rather it has some sort of file based redundancy.  The hotwire-shell project is a Python based system for remote administration, in Nov'07 the project worked for UNIX and Windows development was in the early stages. 
how to demote
a Windows PDC to BDC, also discussed here,
Mepis.org has a small distro based on Debian
2K4, a distro based on Mandrake (reviewed here), this is a
live-CD sort of thing
A distro that can turn a laptop into an OLPC
system is available
is assembling a Wiki based document set for Linux
Building an encrypted
file (the details are here) server this
is based on OpenBSD
Slashdot book review of: Ubuntu
Linux for non-geeks, by Rickford Grant, ISBN: 1593271182.
Slashdot book review of: Linux
Appliance Design, by Bob Smith, John Hardin, Graham Phillips and
Bill Pierce, ISBN 1593271409.
This book focuses on building a Linux based system that is dedicated to
performing a single task from booting to shutdown.
discusses essential steps to securing your Linux-based server
is a Fedora Core based distro that integrates MythTV
is a customizable live-CD distro based on Knoppix. The idea being that
you tailor it to meet your needs and then burn a custom CD.
Building a Linux box
that uses compact flash instead of hard disk, based on a mini-ITX
board and a Live CD.
 Linux based GP2X
portable, from gbax.com,
the second generation Linux game pad. Here's a possible view of Pandora, aka the GP2X. A view of the development board for this in action.
Zonbox is a small machine made by Zonbu (with a good array of
the cost of $99 must be partially offset buy a monthly
subscription-based update service. Currently (May'07) this appears to
be in a closed beta program and their
website requires an account to sign in. They have some information about
this now. A review of this can be found here,
and is discussed on Engadget here.
media player is Linux based and you can plug it into a computer's
USB port to get a Linux desktop.
An ARM based Linux single board
computer in a USB form factor, discussed here
on Slashdot. Made by Calao
 A new Linux-based VPN
router project is approaching
Slashdot book review of Linux
Toys, a book that tells you how to do various Linux based projects
Asterix@Home is a Linux-based
phone PBX system, this artical
gives a simplified overview. Some more information on Asterix.
(electronic ink) development kit
that is Linux
based, looks like the E-ink technology is finally becoming available
Webmin is a package to allow
you to administer a UNIX server through a web-based interface, an extra
Book of Webmin is available, as is a Wikipedia entry.
 Google's Pages software may be replaced by JotSpot based software in 2008 - allowing users to set up business sites with intranet, project management tracking, multi-user collaboration and extranet functions.  VIA has announced ARTIGO a ultra-compact barebones system based on the Pico-ITX motherboard, for about $300 (including case).  The PyMOTW takes a look at the BaseHTTPServer which gives you the basis for building a custom HTTP server in Python. I have used this in a problem report tracking system for work and in the pictatrove server and the webanno server.   pycallgraph generates an actual usage call graph based on data collected from a run of your application.  Quisition is a web-site based flash card system that is being developed in Python.  Amazon's SimpleDB is simliar to other things like CouchDB and DBSlayer, is this a new fad or a turning point in database design?  The PIXXA photo frame from Ality is an 8 inch 800x600 unit with WiFi can the ability to sync with various web based services. There is also a Photo Messanger feature that allows photos to be pushed to the device.  The first satellite to ground power transmission may be in operation in 2012, though at $800M for only 1MW of power that's a lot more than ground based solar which can be had for $10/W (and perhaps as low as $1/W soon).  Some Kindle easter eggs may make the Kindle a lot more appealing. The Google Maps page looks pretty nice.  The Chief Technical Officer of OLPC has quit to start a for-profit company to commercialize some of the technology developed for the OLPC project. While the trade articles suggest this will be a blow for OLPC, unless OLPC looses the rights to use this technology (which is rather unlikely unless they had some very unconventional employee IP agreements) it probably will not have any noticeable impact. According to this article She is heading up a new project (Pixel Qi) to produce a $75 laptop. They showed a hybrid e-Ink/LCD screen at Computex'09. Turns out this new display does not use e-Ink for for the black and white mode, rather it reverts to a monochrome LCD mode which makes more sense and still allows for fast display updates. In June 2010 the Pixel Qi display was shown at Computex, including on a prototype from Innoversal. Engadget used a Pixel Qi display replacement kit from MakerShed to add this display to their Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbook.  Westinghouse is going to produce a wireless HDMI adapter based on Pulse-Link's technology.  Bug Labs announces the pricing and availability of the BUGbase and BUGmodules.  The SDR-SW20 is an SD-based camcorder from Panasonic that is waterproof to 5 feet.  Shuttle is going to produce the KPC a low end small form factor box intended for use with Linux, complete at $199 and barebones at $99. Discussed here on Slashdot. There is some more information on this here, the complete system will have a Celeron processor, a 945GC chipset, 512MB of RAM and a small shard drive. From this it sounds like it might be using something like the Intel D201GLY2 mini-ITX form factor motherboard. Tom's Hardware has a look at this here. Some more coverage of this on The Tech Report. The Shuttle web site on the KPC, looks like it has gigabit ethernet and 5.1 audio but no DVI monitor port - just VGA. The KPC is finally ready to star shipping, Engadget reports it at $299 for the full unit (which originally was supposed to be $199), the Shuttle site does mention a $199 version but does not give any details yet. A review of this can be found here. Building a small home server with a KPC system.  The LimePC series from THTF of lightweight portable computers, these are Linux based, so might be quite low cost if they make it to market.  AgfaPhoto is producing the AF5080W a Linux-based digital photo frame with WiFi. More info on LinuxDevices.com. This has clock, calendar and alarm functions and can play mpeg video.  The Dresden Files is a good, captivating, cross between the detective show and the occult. The Wikipedia write up is here and the IMDB covers it here and since its good, it got canceled at the end of the first season. This is somewhat loosely based on the novels by Jim Butcher.  PicWash is a web-based digital photo retouching service. 
development support tools (like Great
Circle) that look for memory leaks and such. We recently had very
success with this package at work, in fact we turned to it when Purify
consistently failed to work. If you are writing complex software that
programmed in multiple languages (ours uses C++, FORTRAN and JAVA) and
interacts with an object database (such as ObjectStore) this might be
a try. I have used a similar tool from Rational
Software called Purify,
though over the years this has got harder and harder to run (probably
the program we are running it on has got bigger and bigger). GlowCode
also makes a package for code profiling and leak detection that sounds
promising, and it is a lot more reasonably priced than Purify and
If you are doing development with Java, then OptimizeIt
is an excellent tool to have. This was written by VMGear
and later picked up by Borland.
Slashdot artical also includes some freeware
memory leak references, such as this
page which has further references.
open source SQL database project
A favorable review
Visual Quick Start Guide, an introduction to database programming
that includes examples that have been tested on many different systems
(both commercial and free) and explanations about the defects of these
A Slashdot review
of Jess in Action, which is a rule-based framework for Java. Drools is a similar sort of thing,
with versions available for python and java.
glitch grounded American and US Airways, all those planes and no
one knew where they were supposed to go.
The hidden cost of outsourcing might be loss
of customer satisfaction and then loss of customers, discussed
on Slashdot. After spending more than 2 hours on the phone one Saturday
with Norton's support centre (obviously based in India) trying to fix
my Norton Antivirus 2005 I gave up and removed it from all my computers
and switched to a competitor.
Slashdot asks: Is
the One-Size-Fits-All Database Dead?
Notes on the Google GTAC conference
on testing held in Aug'07
 The FON Google map based locater application works well, hidden in it is the ability to download POIS (points of interest) files which can then be loaded into your GPS. These contain the current list of fonspots for a single country which you select. The official way to get at this data is from the FON maps page, then go to the "Tools" link in the "Menu" box on the left side of the page. Under "Tools" you will find "download to navigation gizmo", click on this and you get to a small form that allows you to pick the country of interest and the file format you want. This only worked for me from the Mozilla Seamonkey browser, both Firefox and MSIE failed to download the file.
You can get this to work by directly entering a URL like this one for Canada. It has a format that looks like: Google is going to help science by offering free database storage.  Coskata is attempting to make ethanol for about $1/gallon from almost any organic waste using a bacteria based process.  JSONStore, a simple database for JSON documents. The Rest API for this.  Python's BaseHTTPServer class makes it pretty trivial to build little custom web servers to perform dedicated functions, here is an example to add a web interface to command line tools or scripts.  Using CompactFlash in an SATA adapter as a replacement for a regular laptop hard drive instead of using a dedicated SSD device. This article gives some speed comparisons based on running Windows XP off a few different compact flash cards, and found that by using a faster compact flash card one could out perform a low end SSD drive.  Google has been researching web site based malware distribution techniques. They are finding that 1.3% of Google searches return at least one link to a malware site and that most of these are hosted in China. Web adverts are now being used to deliver malware.   The $200 laptop returns, this time from Elonex in England. This is thought to be the Chinese "Simple PC". Just for fun it moves all the heavy electronics and batteries from under the keyboard to behind the display, which makes it look rather unbalanced. The Register has a press release and says it should ship June'08, they also say it's going to be based on a 300MHz processor with 128MB of RAM (so should be slower than the Eee) and only has a 1GB SSD and has a removable keyboard. Pretty much the same info from The Inquirer. Here is a video of it in action - this shows the removable keyboard function, by removing the keyboard you turn the device into a webpad tablet (though not touch screen) which you control using a couple of mouse buttons and a thumb stick that are built into the back of the screen unit. This tablet conversion idea looks like it might work. In the video you can also see that the "unbalanced" nature of the device (when in keyboard attached mode) is addressed by a little pop-out stand behind the display. Now lets hope they make a version with a larger display and a faster CPU and more RAM... ITWire looks at this here and Slashdot discusses here.  The Linutop 2 mini PC is another entry into the small Linux based green computing platform - though its more expensive than some of the competition like the Koolu.  CommandLineApp is a module for parsing command line arguments and a base class for command line applications.  Various Python based solvers for mathematical problems such as linear equations and optimization.   picurl is an application (written in Python) that attempts to unify a set of separate photo storage sites (including disks, removable media and web based photo sharing sites) with the goal of making photo storage, query and access uniform.   A project to build your own geotagger for a Nikon D200, this is based on a SiRF Star III GPS module. This is a seemingly simple project because the Nikon's firmware already includes the ability to read GPS NMEA formatted data from the camera's external interface port and embed it into the EXIF data area of the photos.  
The CWnd class has the necessary functions for traversal of the child/parent/sibling window lists (and since CDialog inherits
from CWnd it has all these too). Traversal in TAB key order (within dialogs) gets more complex because there
are sub windows that do not have TABSTOP set on them, so they get skipped. Plus the tabbing
logic knows to skip any windows that are disabled. The tab logic will always descend into
dialog windows that have the WS_EX_CONTROLPARENT set (this might happen even if there are no windows in them that have tabstop set, which can make for a tab traversal that seems to stop and catch the tab).
http://maps.fon.com/main/downloadPois?country_code=ca&format=csv, you can select the different file formats by changing the "csv" at the end (I picked CSV because I wanted to search for all the fonspots in one city) and you can change the country by replacing the "ca" with the country code you are interested in. A note of interest, as of 20-Jan-2008 Canada now has 850 FONspots listed and Calgary has 27. 
Getting out of a sub dialog, by hitting the tab can be done by trapping the tab key
and putting in some code to manually move the focus out of the dialog to another window. If you really want this behavior the best thing to do would be to override CDialog::PreTranslateMsg() to handle the tab key and then use that version of CDialog as your base class for dialogs.
Using the Spy++ tool can help understand the window tabbing order because the tabbing order is the order that
windows appear in its view (i.e. the order they are constructed and chained together).
The win32 function ::GetWindow(HWND, UINT) can be used to find the first child
window of a given window when UINT == GW_CHILD. It can also be used to find the first (among several) sibling windows when UINT == GW_HWNDFIRST. There is a CWnd::GetWindow() equivalent function.
 An example of an owner-drawn list control in MFC.  The United Nations' collection of statistical databases is now open for searching, discussed here on Slashdot.  WikklyText is a Python based wiki compatibile with TiddlyWiki, the main site is here.  The ECS GIL10IL is an 11-inch sub notebook (additional pictures) that might compete against the Eee, but because the specs are somewhat higher I'd expect a higher price too. This update says it will come in 8.2 or 10.2 inch versions. This got a hands-on review at Computex in June'08. This is now expected to be available in Sept'08 and starting at $399. Here is a brief look at one.  Metakit is a structured database for Python (and other languages). This gets referenced here.  DyBase is an embedded object oriented database that can be used with Python.  dbcook is a framework to abstract database mappings of objects and relations to isolate the database from the application code.  RFID based access control cards may be very insecure.  The ASUS EP20 could be a new low-cost small form factor PC for the home. It seems to be Linux based and possibly priced at about $300.  NorhTech is planning a sub $300 laptop to join the competition with the Eee. This first laptop was not a success, too expensive for what you got, they are looking at a second attempt with a 8.9-inch screen and a $200 price point, which if realized would be a good seller. They appear to have achieved this with their Gecko EduBook which is $199 F.O.B. Thailand. This uses the Xcore86 CPU at 1GHz (only using 1.2W, so it has no fan), has an 8.9 inch 1024x600 screen, has a replaceable CPU module and is also powered by eight AA batteries (either NiMH or lithium) for 4-6 hours. It also has an internal USB socket intended to be used by OEMs to customize the Gecko for particular applications (allowing telcos to add a particular radio system). Here is a look at one showing the AA based battery pack, the SD card boot disk and the CPU module.  Using the Lumex Graphic LCD, a black and white 128x64 pixel LCD based on the KS108 controller chip.  The (Lack of) Testing Death Spiral discusses reasons why you should have some form of automated testing in your software development process. This is based on a talk given at PyCon 2008 on testing and the OLPC project  Mail filters (milters) in Python for sendmail allow for easier customization of server-based spam detection, virus scanning and logging of in and out-bound email.  Not that we want nuclear batteries in every household, but a new material to is being developed that promises to increase the efficiency of this by 20 times over what the current thermo-electric technique does. With such a large increase (which might mean an overall efficiency of 20% instead of the current 1% or so that thermo-electric based modules have) it might make a new type of nuclear power station feasible - perhaps one that uses a fuel with less problematic waste products.  The Sony HDR-SR12 is a hard-drive based hi-def camcorder (reviewed here) with a 5M pixel CMOS sensor which is supposed to bring a significant improvement to low-light noise levels.  Google's Android could be appearing on the W.E. Phone from Koolu. 
Build your own 100Mbps
fibre network for your neighborhood. Here's a do
it yourself optical link based on LEDs that can do 10Mbps over
distances as great as 1km.
a new Internet
Book List, rather like the concept of the Internet
Movie Database project
cancer scanner looks a lot like it uses one of the scanning wands
used in airport security checks. It may offer a fast, inexpensive, way of
screening for presence of any cancer in your doctor's office. If this is fast,
cheap and efficient it'll never be welcomed by the medical community, they'll
claim something like "it has too many false-negatives to be safe to
Of course the cancer scanning that is currently carried out on all
patients on their regular doctors visits is running about 100% false negatives
right now... That is to say practically everyone who visits a doctor for an
annual medical leaves his office with a false feeling that they are healthy
(i.e. cancer free).
park near a US naval base, you might not be able to get back into
your car if it has a key-less entry system
Could black boxes in cars lead to cheaper
insurance rates? I think they are missing the point here, while
where you drive is a factor in the risk you undertake, its probably
less important than the distance you drive (i.e. time behind the
wheel). In fact insurance companies could get this information very
easily by insisting that people report the odometer readings of their
insured vehicles once a year and then just adjust the rates for the
next year based on the previous years distances.
In the USA a database of DNA fingerprints is steadily
growing (discussed here)
and is being used in some interesting ways. For example if a
"near-match" to crime scene DNA is found, then the police start to
suspect relatives of the person who had the close match DNA.
A web based version of the GNATS
bug tracking software, and QM
Test, a testing tool, also the Software
Carpentry project is attempting to organize the development of more
coding and testing tools.
TWiki, a web-based collaboration platform. 
Track the location
of your kids or cars with GPS based transponders from Wherify
Looks like the Greeks have overturned
their recent law that banned all computer based games
illegal music by matching to a sample database
Some neat hacks based on
the Sampo DVD players, including adding a hard drive to one.
 The Datto Backup NAS is a NAS that includes software to pipe a copy of the data to an offsite storage service (which you need to pay an additional annual fee to use). An interesting concept, but perhaps a better idea would be to sell a simple remote backup server in-a-box that could be placed at another site (say in the CFO or CTO's basement) and that would be the destination for the offsite storage. But then the vendor won't have a nice recurring revenue stream in his business plan...  shove is a common object storage front end, this allows you to store Python objects to a variety of different database or file-system backends (even things like Amazon S3) using a single API.  
flashlights, I got mine from the Calgary MEC
store. These work well off NiHM rechargeable batteries too.
Later in 2003 Sharp
expects to have a true-3D LCD computer monitor on the market (they
have just released one for phones - Dec 02), this is based on the
"parallax viewer principle" (which is how old stereo photographs work) and so
does not need any special glasses. The restriction is that you need to view
the monitor from one distance (about 40cm in the current design) and
moving nearer or further will cause the two images to appear. I would
guess that off-angle viewing would also not work. Apparently they have a two
LCD sandwich along with a mask of some type that causes the two images
to be projected separately to the viewer's eyes.
phones to monitor road traffic congestion. All that's needed is a
bit of GSM and some phones that are turned on (they don't have to be in
This has some interesting possibilities: it could be used to determine
approximate traffic volume (based on the simple statistics of the
of people who have cell phones) in real time (which would be far more
than other car counting techniques used today). It could also be used
to determine how fast the traffic is going, of course they cannot use this
to issue you a speeding ticket as they don't know that you are the
but it would be useful for planning enforcement activities (even on a
personal nature - if someone does some serious speeding on a regular basis the
police could stake him out and follow him to catch him in violation). Ok,
maybe that's not a particularly good way to spend a limited policing
resource, but how about monitoring phones that leave bars at closing time and
then take a "drive along the back roads" in an attempt to avoid check stops,
this might save some lives? This sort of location ability might be useful
for tracking down potential witnesses to crimes (imagine the police serving
you a summons on the basis that you were "in the vicinity" of a
as well as gathering a list of potential suspects (better have that
turned off when you go to do evil - or better yet, leave it on, in some
other part of town, to establish your alibi).
 On 8-Apr-08 Google started to preview their Google App Engine, discussed here on Slashdot.
Their overall design goals:
- make it easy to use
- make it easy to scale
- free to start (small apps)
What Google will do for you:
- Run the web applications
- provide the full life cycle, logs, status, updating, database...
- provide access to Google's scalable infrastructure, google accounts, big table, Google FS
To do this the application stack they provide has:
- Scalable serving infrastructure
- Python runtime
- Web based administration console
- Datastore (based on big Table)
Their environment does allow you to run a local test server, so you can do your application development on your own private machine.
They provide a basic Django template module.
Seems to follow the Python wsgiref module.
An initial presentation of this is in these videos.
One of the things this does is to get you to build things using Google tools which may result in an implementation that is difficult to move to some other service provider without doing a complete rewrite. Whereas if you were using Amazon's EC2 you are writing for a more standard LAMP style environment so you should be able to take whatever you develop and run it somewhere else. Of course, if you keep this all in mind it might not be a big issue, use the Google tools to develop a prototype and test the waters before investing in a full scale project.
With Google's use of Python as the first application language to be supported by this system it has caused an unprecedented stir in the Python community, see:
  Some thoughts on replacing conventional file storage with an object database type system. Some more consideration of this idea here.  python-sybase, a module to provide for the Sybase relational database system.  For an RSS feed file to be valid you need to escape any "<" and ">" bracket characters that are part of the data. This is because the RSS file is XML so these will be taken as XML tokens by the parser in the feed reader. This is an issue because it is quite natural to want to put HTML fragments into the item/description elements. One way to do this is to do a simple substitution of "& l t ;" and "& g t ;" (ignore the embedded spaces) for the two angle brackets. Another thing to note is that because some URLs contain & characters you can run into an issue with parsers thinking those & are the start of an HTML special character sequence, so you also need to replace & with "& a m p ;". This sort of thing would really be much simpler if XML had just included a proper opaque data blob tag from the beginning (or perhaps a special attribute that could be used with any tag), something to indicate that the contained data is a base 64 encoded ASCII string and all the parser is to do is to read it, decode it back to the original form (which may include anything, even non-printable binary) but then do no further parsing on this content. The CDATA is somewhat intended to do this but its not a very clean solution.  The Indian company HCL is going to make a Windows XP based small laptop similar to the ASUS Eee, and are targeting $429 for it. One nice feature is that it will have a screen that converts to tablet mode. 
The Panasonic HDC-SD9 HD is a SDHC flash card hidef camcorder with a 3 CCD sensor. The individual sensors each have an effective resolution of only 520,000 pixels which seems way to small for a camera that is supposed to record at 1920x1080 (which is 2M pixel) so either the review is wrong, or there is some serious extrapolation going on (effectively they are doing a 2x digital zoom to go from 520K to 2M: since each sensor will record one RGB colour channel you put the three sensors together to get the equivalent of a single 520K pixel RGB sensor to start with and then you need to expand that 4 times which is twice in width and twice in height - hence a 2x digital zoom) and this is really not much better than S-video.  Rumors are circulating that the next step in the ASUS Eee dance will be taken in June'08 with the introduction of an Intel Atom-based Eee. This would improve performance while also increasing battery life, both of which are weak spots for the current 7 and 9 inch Eees. 
an embedded web server for control purposes, packaged in a 10/100baseT
The SAP-DB is a free SQL
under GPL/LGPL license terms, it gets discussed
 Another look at the hydrogen
 Fujitsu has added hardware-based automatic full drive encryption to a 2.5 inch 320GB hard drive.   Slashdot discusses storing data for the next 1000 years using a hard drive based approach.   Cyanobacteria have been made to produce a gel-like form of cellulose that can be easily broken down into glucose for use in biofuel production. It is thought that this process could be much (up to 17 times) more effective than corn-based biofuel production.  Recreate MS Access table in SQLite, this has some limitations but could be used to help migrate data from one database to another. Also includes some use of the win32com API to get at the Access database.    Slashdot discusses the FTC's Red Flag program requires businesses that handle private consumer data to check its customers and suppliers against databases of known online criminals. Looks like someone has figured out a way to build a distributed big brother network in the USA.  The WR-100 radio controlled shutter release, at about $100 its not too outrageously priced, but really, isn't it time in this age of Bluetooth and WiFi cameras started including built-in radio-based remote control systems? Heck, with a WiFi based system one would have the bandwidth to even support a remote-view capability allowing one to look through the view finder from a display on the remote control.  The Tile64, a 64 processor CPU appeared in 2008, along with a PCIExpress development board and a Linux-based development kit. They claim one of these chips can outperform a dual-core Xeon by a factor of 10. Might be just the thing for some fast ray tracing. Though with the development cards hosting a pair of 10Gbit ethernet ports the initial applications are probably going to be in the internet packet sniffing and routing fields.  Fresnel lens-based concentrating solar cell modules may become commercially available at a cost of about $0.07/kWh. Other researchers are pursuing a system that uses some of the core components of biological photosynthesis, and potentially could be much cheaper to produce.  DViCO's PCIe FusionHGTV7 is a dual HDTV tuner card with support for regular video too, priced at $140.  In WiFi pirate radio Dan's Data discusses the possibility of home grown public WiFi mesh networks based on inexpensive solar powered WiFi hardware. Plenty of links to related materials.   The SAP DI Commander IronPython starts to manipulate SAP databases.  MSI's Titan 700 mini-PC is a mini-ITX based PC that uses a 2GHz VIA processor and has a 2.5 inch hard drive and DVD burner for $458. It looks like it has VGA, DVI and TV outputs; if so, this might make for a good media player computer, though it probably would not be up to full HiDef decoding.  The rather inconsistent world of date objects in the land of the database.  Another product based on nano-tech aimed at rapid blood clotting. Now all they need to do is package it in an aerosol spray for rapid application.  FusionCharts has a free, flash-based charting component for web applications that can be used with Python.  Hotsync 6.0.1 when running under Windows Vista may one day fail to finish transferring your calendar data. When this happened to me I did some searching and found that a common cause of this was that either one of the databases had become corrupt or that there were a large number of deleted items on the Palm (and as these get deleted once the hotsync is done, so the problem never clears up).
There is a tool called DbFixIt you can install and run on your Palm to check to see if you have any database errors. This will also report the number of deleted records in each database. The registered version of this tool will also fix common database errors. By the time you need this you might be in a Catch-22 position where you cannot hotsync but you need to hotsync to install the tool. So to install the tool you will need to configure your hotsync manager (on your computer) and tell it not to synchronize the applications that are causing it to hang (the calendar in my case). When I ran the tool it told me that all the databases were fine and there were no records to delete. Later I tried hot syncing on a Windows XP machine, and much to my amazement the hotsync finished, but it did report an error:
Some handheld records were not copied to your PC. Your computer may be full or you may have reached the maximum allowed records on the desktop. To correct this situation, delete some records and perform a HotSync operation again.
So my problem was that I had exceeded some fixed maximum number of records in the calendar. To test this theory I deleted a few records from the Palm's calendar and synced again, this time without incident. I then synced on the Windows Vista machine, and again, the sync ran without any issue.
Desktop = 6378, Handheld = 6375
So now the question is: is 6375 the maximum number of calendar records, and can this be changed?  The ASUS Eee 901 will be based on the Atom processor, some initial pictures here. This is going to be available 3-June-08 for $650 and will include built-in Bluetooth. For me the Bluetooth is not an essential, but there are some nice wireless headphones that use it, so if it supports the advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP) it would be a nice feature. ASUS released some pricing and specification of these in June'08 along with the 1000 series, look for the 901 to be $550 and the 1000 to be $650. The official pricing for this is now US$599 (a bunch of reviews are here too), though I would expect this to drop quickly as soon as the competing MSI Wind and ACER Aspire One reach the market as these are claiming $499 and $399 prices which makes ASUS's price hard to justify.  Intel has added an Atom chip to the D945GCLF mini-ITX motherboard, this should improve the CPU performance of the board, perhaps to the point it can play hidef video? It is available here and gets mentioned here along with some other boards (the DG45FC) that might support DVI and HDMI outputs and also here. Discussed here on Slashdot.  The Linux based OS replacement for the Palm might be available in Summer 2009.  dbtxt is a small, free database written in Python. It gets mentioned on Slashdot here.  The EVOLUX LED light bulb from EarthLED is an LED based light designed to provide the same light output as a 100W incandescent bulb, but only requiring 13W. It's expensive and appears rather large, but it might still be a good choice for some applications. Discussed here on Engadget.  Using Python to update selected records in a database or using an SQL command to do this.  Amazingly bad APIs argues that APIs should be built based on intended use so they are actually easy to do common tasks with.  Focus Fusion which is based on an electric field containment system is getting some funding for its next phase of research.  Call/Recall claims it is going to build a 1TB optical drive based on their blue-violet laser diodes (which are used in Blu-Ray drives) and a 200-layer optical disk. Discussed here on Slashdot.  rrdtool provides some support scripts for working with Round Robin Databases from Python. There is also python-rrdtool. Graphite is a similar sort of data trending and graphing tool. PyRRD is a Python wrapper for rrdtool.  Two Sigma Investments develops computer based trading systems.  dabo (home page here) is a 3-tier framework for desktop database applications. This also includes a wrapper layer for wxPython (called dabo.ui) that can be used separately.   Pinax is a project to create an out-of-the-box Django-based website, ready for you to add content too. The main website for this is pinaxproject.com.  The RF4CE consortium is attempting to develop an RF standard for entertainment center controls based on IEEE 802.15.4.   CherryPal has announced a very small computer that runs debian and only consumes 2 watts. Might be just the sort of thing to drive a PhotoFrame that also serves as a simple document/web portal.  The egenix-mx-base (home page is here) is a collection of extension packages for Python, mxDateTime, mxTextTools, mxProxy, mxBeeBase, mxURL, mxUID, mxStack, mxQueue, mxTools.  Slashdot asks the question: what are the best electronic kits for adults? In the discussion are a number of suggestions, including:
 The Zope Object DataBase (ZODB, the package is here) can be used without the rest of the Zope environment to give Python programs a transactional object database. A brief introduction to using it is here (and discusses a bit of how object references are maintained persistently. An IBM DeveloperWorks discussion of it with some simple use example code. The ZODB/ZEO Programming Guide is online here, a stand-alone PDF copy can be obtained here.
- NerdKits are based on a solderless breadboard and an Atmel micro-controller and can include a 24x2 character LCD display and USB interfacing.
- AdaFruit Industries which has the Arduino controller. The DC Boarduino is quite neat, it plugs into a standard solder-less breadboard for easy prototype work and is less than $20.
tempstorage provides a RAM based storage implementation for ZODB.
Introduction to the Zope Object Database provides a good summary of what the ZODB is, how it behaves and how to use it. FileStorageBackup talks about the design of the FileStorage type of storage system for ZODB, as well as the repozo tool for backing it up and some other integrity related tools. This article includes a list of tools that can inspect or analyze ZODB databases.
How to Love ZODB and Forget RDBMS.
CouchDB for ZODB Users takes a look at CouchDB and how it compares to ZODB.  It appears that some prior are for doing gateway-based virus scanning has been found.
 PopPhoto runs a comparison of AA batteries (both regular and rechargeable). They perform a rather screwy cost comparison: they base the cost of the rechargeables on a single use (rather than say 100 recharges) - even with this handicap rechargeables are almost the same price as disposables (though they should be about a factor of 100 less!). It is interesting to see that for digital photography the NiMH rechargeable battery always has more capacity than the one-use battery (with the exception of the more expensive one use lithium batteries). As well, their test shows that the claimed mAh capacity ratings of rechargeable batteries are not a very accurate guide, for example the Polaroid 1800mAh was the lowest claimed capacity, but it solidly out performed the Kodak 2400mAh battery.  VW plans to get into the electric car game with a hybrid based on the Golf, this will feature an electric system as the primary drive with a gas or diesel backup power plant. They are targeting the first working road tests in 2010 but some time after that for production.  After a successful trial in mice a new cancer treatment based on donating granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) is going to enter human trials.  Tube-based wave power generation, called the Anaconda. The Pelamis wave power generator sounds similar and is being tested in Portugal.  MLPY is a package for machine learning based on Python and NumPy.  Kodak's new (Sept'08) Theatre HD Player is a disk-less media player with HDMI and component video outputs for playing media from your LAN, flash cards and USB devices. Looks pretty nice, but at $300 might be a bit pricey. It also might only do 720p and be more limited in the range of media file formats it supports. This gets reviewed here, the remote for it is very nice - perhaps better than the Wiimote.  The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (the name is longer than the URL!) is a good source of nutritional information on foods, it contains much more detailed information than the standard product packaging labels and they have a nutrient list search so you can find foods that are good sources of particular nutrients.  Extracting data from old computer cassette tapes, in this case containing the 4K BASIC of the original Apple I, by digitizing the "audio" signal and then examining the width of the tone pulses. There's hope for that old box of Commodore PET tapes in my basement.  The Neo FreeRunner is a Linux-based smart phone from OpenMoko. As of Aug'08 it is now possible to run Debian's ARM port on this phone. More news on this. OpenMoko is also working on an Android-based handset.  urwid is a console (i.e. text-based) user interface library.  The Photo Safe II from Digital Foci can download photos from flash cards to a hard drive in the field. The full press release is here. Of course with current flash prices being roughly $10/GB the typical consumer probably does not need this for still photography, but if you are shooting with a HiDef flash-based video camera this device might still be quite useful.  Slashdot discusses liquid metal based CPU heat sinks which will probably be the next fad in CPU cooling. Perhaps these are using alloys based on gallium, some of which melt near room temperature. Bismuth and indium can also be used in these low melting point alloys.  There have been some reports of false matches in the typical DNA tests that the FBI uses, but the FBI does not want to open its databases to independent investigation.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the base64 module.   The CherryPal, a small PC based on a 400MHz processor and 256MB RAM. Slashdot discusses this very low power (2W consumption) device, apparently it is a minimized Linux to reduce local storage needs and will download additional applications and includes 50GB of storage on the Net.  dbmigrate is a utility set for managing database migrations.  The Mini Chocolate from Ripple is a small, low power computer based on the Atom processor.  The Ultimate Quality Development System (UQDS) is a ticket-based agile approach to software development. This gets discussed here.  Mercurial Woes contains some observations about difficulties encountered when trying to use Mercurial. Mercurial Basics has some suggestions on how to avoid getting into trouble with Mercurial on a large project. Rebase is not the only way to deliver clean code talks about the popular but probably misguided use of rebase in distributed version control based projects.  pysimpledb is an attempt to make working with databases in Python simpler.  gerald is a tool for recording and comparing database schemas. It is also available here on SourceForge and here on PyPi.  Slashdot discusses a new catalyst that makes electrolysis more efficient and safer. This appears to be done by dissolving cobalt phosphate into the water and using an otherwise conventional platinum electrode electrolysis apparatus. Reuters has another reference to it here. More discussion of this on Hack A Day.  An electric tricycle based on a recumbent bike design looks a bit like the return of the Reliant Robin.  In Aug'08 Olympus and Panasonic announced the Micro FourThirds lens system. The objective of this is to bring the larger 4/3rds sensor size and interchangeable lenses into a small (perhaps point and shoot sized) body by eliminating the optical view finder and mirror box. Since the sensor remains the same size existing 4/3rds lenses will be able to be used on these new cameras by an extension tube style adapter. This design will also result in a reduction in size of the lenses, since the rear optics can be much closer to the sensor. About a month later Samsung announced plans for a similar system called Samsung Hybrid based on the larger APS-C sized sensor. I wonder when Canon or Nikon will try the same thing, perhaps introducing a sensor that is smaller than APS-C (yet larger than the typical digicam sensor to reduce noise), this way they can introduce a new line of smaller lenses to sell to a new consumer group. This way your initial $200 digicam purchase gradually builds to $1000 as you buy a few lenses and, when you replace the camera in a few years, you stick with the same company because of the set of lenses you now own.
The Panasonic Lumix G1 (also here on PhotographyBLOG) will be the first of the micro 4/3rds cameras, it will have a flip out 3 inch display (it looks like it is fully articulated and can be turned face in to protect it, yeay! this was a feature I really loved on my Canon G1) with a 460K pixel resolution (which still might not be enough for manual focusing). It has a very high 1.44 million pixel resolution viewfinder (so that might be enough to do manual focusing on, but I found that the 900K pixel view finder on the Minolta A2 was not enough for this so I am expecting this will will not be enough, however Panasonic is using a different technology which effectively stacks the RGB pixels so it might be a much sharper display than the traditional pixel count implies.). It got HDMI output too, so you can inflict painful hours of slide shows on your friends and relatives. Digital Photography Review has a preview of it here.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 started shipping at the end of Oct'08 (actually a little ahead of schedule) and the first full review of a production model is here.  Canon updates its HiDef camcorders, including the flash-based HF11 which also gets reviewed here.  A discussion of The Invisible Cost of IP Law. Where progress stalls in certain fields because of key patents acting as road blocks. This happened to some extent with the RSA cryptography patent, though its effect was largely restricted to the USA and it was further diminished because the patent was granted too early - before computer technology and applications were really ready for it. Another example is probably the touch screen display issue, not a lot happened with touch screen displays until the Apple iPhone popularized them in 2007, but I recall reading something that suggested that a key patent on touch screen technology had expired around then and with this expiry an economic obstacle to implementing touch screen based systems was lifted. This topic might well be worth a thesis in Economics.  A new refrigeration system based on polar polymers that change their state from disorganized to organized on the application of an electric field has been demonstrated.  NVIDIA has released some free PhysX and CUDA software for users of GeForce 8, 9 and 200 series graphics cards. This also includes some CUDA applications like a Folding@Home client and a trial version of the Badaboom video transcoder. There is a discussion of Badaboom here. When I tried this on a 5 minute MPEG2 clip of some recorded TV I found Badaboom taking 338 seconds while a StaxRip run took 240 seconds, this was on a Q6600 machine with a GeForce 8600 GT card, so not much use for me (except that it off loads the CPU during the encode). Perhaps they will speed things up by the time it is commercially released. MaximumPC takes a look at Badaboom and compares it to Handbrake. Tom's takes a look at five applications that use the CUDA engine to speed up processing.  Shuttle's X27 mini PC is a small Atom-powered desktop unit. This should be priced at $189.  Kodak may be bringing OLED technology to photoframes. In Sept'08 Kodak announced their first OLED picture frame, its going to be expensive at $999 and it's got a bit of an odd base.  A new photoframe from picwing is based on Linux, this is at the public prototype stage.  Windows XP SP3 has caused some grief for AMD based computers, often resulting in failure to boot after being installed.  The Toshiba Multi Tool contains two 3.5 inch LCDs, one of which can be configured as the keyboard. They have also show their SD Photo Editor which is a 5-inch display based unit designed to do on-the-go photo editing. Both are supposed to cost around $300.  The French are thinking of building a big brother database to record information about anyone who is active in politics, unions or likely to breach public order...  Plastic Logic is finally getting ready to launch an e-book reader based on its flexible E Ink device. But don't hold your breath, this has just reached the "first half of 2009" stage. This has now slipped into 2010.  Plastic Logic is building an e-book reader based on a plastic display system. They have selected an 8.5x11 screen size to match standard North American paper and appear to be targeting business users (which probably means their device will initially be quite expensive). Still, it looks quite nice.  cogen is a library for network oriented, coroutine based programming. This is based on an enhanced WSGI server.  Engadget asks: which digicam takes the best video, which is an interesting question since some of the flash-based camcorders are more expensive than most digicams and combining the two devices into one might be a good way to cut some clutter and weight when traveling.  The PicoLCD SideShow display adds a few lines of text to your computer. This only has Windows Vista and Linux drivers (no XP support), no why can't someone just configure one of these things to look like a small USB drive and then applications could just write "files" to it, which would be displayed and paged through by the user. Then each time you need the display to update, the application just updates the file. That way a user could even just drag and drop a file onto it for display. This idea would work really well for a device that can display photos. The Slashdot discussion of this includes links to other similar solutions and instructions for working with character based LCDs. A Python interface to this is here.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the anydbm module which provides access to DBM-style databases.    The Linux-based Porient H12 UMPC might make for a very small webpad. This uses a 4.8 inch, 800x480 display.  Adobe is adding GPGPU based acceleration to its Creative Suite 4.  svglib is a module for reading and converting SVG based on the ReportLab toolkit.  A recommendation for the new multiprocessing module which implements an API similar to the threading module, to distribute work across multiple processes. Combining this with Net-SNMP for asynchronous multi-processing in Python.  A new internet-based denial of service attack may have been found. Slashdot discusses it here. After some thought it appears this form of attack probably isn't against a new weakness, rather it is a better way to launch a common type of denial of service attack allowing each client machine (i.e. attacking resource) to inflict more damage.  CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide) is a thin-film solar technology being developed by a number of companies, such as Solyndra. This has some potentially large cost advantages over silicon-based solar cells. This photo on Engadget gives a better view of these devices, they really do look a lot like fluorescent tubes.  The Drools Solver can be used to solve some types of constraint-based problems such as planning problems like lesson and exam scheduling.  Portwell is shipping the Nano-8044, this is the first nano-ITX board that is based on the Intel Atom processor.  The Cowon O2 looks like a rather nice PMP. This is now available in the US, now how about Canada?  ExRx.net has a good collection of articles on training. They also have a number of online calculators, like one to do a Rockport Walk test which is based on measuring your heart rate and time walking a mile.  Elmo Live! gets stripped, now what creations can be based on him?  ATI's Radeon HD 4800 spec sheet mentions that their hardware can assist MPEG2 to H.264 encoding, improving speed by 1.8 times on full 1080P and up to 19 times on lower resolution video. They call this Accelerated Video Transcoding (AVT). In the fine print (which is rendered in a smaller font with a faint grey colour to make it illegible) they say:
This may vary depending on your system configuration and video formats. Using an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 GHz based PC, AMD was able to achieve GPU accelerated transcoding speeds up to 19x faster using Cyberlink PowerDirector than when using the same CPU alone with MainConcept encoder in Adobe Premiere CS3. Using the same system, full 1080p files were converted 1.8x faster than real-time.
The Cyberlink PowerDirector pages don't say anything about this.  In the quest for the title of World's Biggest Brother Interpol is after a World Facial Recognition Database.  Some more views on using the ZODB, in ZODB-LESS ZOPE the author reports on bad performance with the 2.7 series of ZODB. This article mentions problems with query performance when their database hit 30K objects.  An open-source portable game console development system based on the Arduino.  The Aigo P8860 MID is a small x86 based webpad.  A recipe for converting MySQL database to Amazon's Simple DB.  Netbooks have hurt Windows profits, Microsoft is finding it hard to monopolize the low-end market because the cost of their Windows license is a significant part of the overall machine cost. This is something that anyone who has tried to build a low-cost "appliance" type machine (like a NAS device) based on Windows knows quite well. Typically you can buy all the new hardware you need for a few hundred dollars, and then the $140 or so for an XP license is close to half the cost of the hardware making you think strongly about using Linux instead. It looks like the netbook manufacturers are getting their XP licenses for something like $50, which means that on a $250 machine Microsoft is still 20% of the total, leaving little room for profit. The sudden development of the netbook market has taken Microsoft by surprise, its increasing size and popularity due to the typically lower price point is seen as threatening to erode the sales of traditional laptops and desktop systems and thus reduce Microsoft's profits. What Microsoft is not considering is that many of these netbook sales are going to people who are adding a second or third computing device, and who are only doing so because of the tempting price, so it is likely this new market is not eroding the traditional markets to the degree that Microsoft fears. In fact, if Microsoft were to extend its reduced price XP license some more it might find XP showing up in other low-cost devices like NAS boxes and set-top media players where Linux (thankfully) has a near total monopoly.  Another possibility for a Linux-based NAS machine would be to use unRAID from Lime Technology, their hardware compatibility page is here. This is reviewed by SmallNetBuilder and here is another approach. unRAID is somewhat like RAID-4 in that it uses a single parity disk, but it also does not stripe the data across multiple disks. This causes it to loose some potential performance due to the lost striping, but it provides some important gains in flexibility. You can upgrade existing data disks much faster (as the only data regeneration is to reload the contents of the replaced disk) and there are fewer limitations on the sizes of the individual disks. There is a long support thread on the LIMEtechnology unRAID product here. A video review of unRAID can be found here, they gloss over some of unRAID's biggest advantages: it can make a fault-tolerant array out any random assortment of IDE and SATA drives (they don't have to be all the same size, this also allows you to easily upgrade old (small) drives by just unplugging them and replacing them with a larger new drive) and if you have the bad luck of having two drives die at the same time the data on the other drives in the array is still usable (which is not the case for RAID-1 or RAID-5). Another video on unRAID, this goes through reasons for using it and a full build, further discussion here.  The Register asks has the time come to reject traditional database techniques? This includes links to a lot of alternative big database approaches.  ARM and Canonical will be bringing the full Ubuntu Desktop to ARM-based devices, this could mean that in 2009 a new wave of ARM powered netbooks starts to appear. This would mean longer battery life and a new threat to Microsoft.  The Meggy Jr RGB is a small game platform based on the Arduino. This is a kit that you solder together and then write the code for. Steven Read has built a Donkey Kong clone that runs on this.  The Dynamic ECD display from Funai is expected to start shipping in 2009 and will use about 1% of the power of conventional LCD displays. This is based on colour changing dyes and functions without backlight (and is easy to view in daylight). They are also talking about it costing about 1/3rd of what an LCD costs. Should be great for netbooks and perhaps will cause a shake up in the e-book reader market too.  EtherPad and SubEthaEdit are web-based applications that allow several people to edit the same document at the same time. Discussed here on Slashdot.  At last, a leisure suit that will never get wet (no matter how many drinks get split on it), well currently just the fabric has been made and its based on nanotech. Another company is going to produce swim-wear that does not get wet.  Robot Framework from Nokia Siemens Networks, is a Python-based test automation framework.  DNA databases can be used to find relatives to criminals, perhaps to help identify a suspect who's DNA has been found, but who is not in the database - by flagging near matches as well one can identify likely relatives, and hence, the culprit.  The Linksys WRT54GL is a Linux-based wireless router (the wireless section can be disabled if you just want a wired router) that is well supported by a number of open source projects:
Tomato the manual is here. This installs very easily over the original Linksys firmware, just download and unpack one file then go into the administration section of the interface and upload the new firmware.
A Botnet Worm has been identified that targets modems and MIPS-processor routers based on Linux (such as the OpenWRT, DD-WRT or Tomato firmware). Discussed here on Slashdot. It looks like power cycling the device will clean it, but then you should also change passwords and disable any administrative access from the WAN (which is how it gets infected - though presumably if you have WiFi enabled it could get infected from that network too).  At last, a UMPC called LLUON Mobbit that may sell for less than $500.  pygraphviz is a Python wrapper for Graphviz Agraph data. An example of using graphviz to map out a database schema.  The Alpha 400 might be the first netbook to break the $200 price barrier. The Alpha 680 adds a tilt and twist screen for tablet mode operation to this, it looks like it will be Android-based.  Mars in 3-D based on data from the Mars Orbiter's HiRISE system.  Addonics' USB to NAS adapter is quite literally a small black box that will take any USB drive and make it into a NAS drive for $55. I would guess it must contain a small Linux-based computer so its likely someone will get to hacking this soon (like the old NSLU2). The PogoPlug (reviewed here) is another attempt at the same thing, though for somewhat more than Addonics.   Slashdot discusses options for long term data storage. This comment lists some of the previous related discussions that have happened on Slashdot. The consensus seems to favor multiple copies on hard drives with periodic testing and migration to new drives before failure takes place. This article gives a formula for calculation of the Mean Time To Data Loss (MTTDL) for multi-drive arrays based on the number of drives, their expected mean time to failure, the degree of redundancy (one or two independent parity channels) and the time to replace a failed drive and rebuild (which can be measured in days if you don't notice a failure right away). With this approach, using the Seagate 1.5TB drive with a quoted annual failure rate of 0.34% less than 2% of these drives should fail in 5 years (the warranty period) so taking 5 years as the mean time between failures should be very, very conservative. Then, if you have a RAID array with 3 data and 1 parity disk (or a 4 drive RAID 5 system) and it takes you a week to detect and replace a failed drive then the MTTDL would be (working in days):
(5*365)*(5*365)/(4*(4-1)*7) = 39650 days
or about 108 years before you had 2 drives die within the 1 week replacement window and lost your data. Alternatively you might use each drive as a simple redundant copy of some data, so if you have 3 drives you put the same data on each, then once a month you check each to see if it is still fine (perhaps you put more data on it at that time as well), then using the same conservative 5 year MTBF you would have:
(5*365)**3/(3*(3-1)*(3-2)*(31)**2) = 1,054,178 days
or 2888 years before you had all three drives die within the same 1 month window and lost your data. So it looks like just putting your important data on two or three external hard drives which you periodically test and refresh should be safe enough, and the more copies you have then safer you will be. Of course, with multiple copies you can place some of them in off site storage which will help protect against fire, theft, flood and other catastrophes.
 A few articles on plugins:
 RelStorage is a backend for ZODB that stores pickles in a relational database. This can allow multiple ZODB clients to share the same database without additional configuration.  Implementing a tiny stack-based language in Python. This sort of thing might be useful for some form of configuration language or application extension (macro) language.  Pegatron (an ASUS spin off) is looking at producing Freescale ARM-based netbooks. These should achieve a more useful 8 hour battery life. They are targeting the $199 price point. This has been sighted in Nov'09.  TechCrunch is building a prototype of a true webpad (see CrunchPad.com). This gets discussed on Engadget and Slashdot. This prototype is based on a 12-inch LCD. Let's hope someone actually builds this. In Apr'09 some more pictures of this CrunchPad appeared that look pretty slick. The team behind CrunchPad talk a bit about how the project is going (also here on Engadget and here on Slashdot). The CrunchPad edges closer, the first working prototype is expected in July'09. Some more videos of the CrunchPad in action have been released, the one about the unboxing has been pulled, but the one showing it in operation remains and it looks rather nice. More discussion about the CrunchPad, they are expecting to unveil it by the end of July'09. In Nov'09 more details of the CrunchPad's progress were revealed, now looks to be in the $300-$400 price range. And at the start of December it looked like the CrunchPad may never make it to market, discussed here on Slashdot.  Using an AC current clamp to measure whole house power consumption. This uses an ioBridge module to digitize the data and publish it to the internet. The ioBridge module has four IO ports which can be adapted to do various things - they have a few different adapters here.  The TS-639 Pro Turbo is a 6-bay NAS system which can do the usual RAID 0/1/5 plus it can do RAID-6. They also have a smaller 4-bay version called the TS-439. At CDN$1300 it is pretty pricey for home use, but it does have a lot of capabilities.  esedb is a Python module that uses the Esent database engine (which is used by Windows Update and Microsoft Exchange) to provide another Python database.  keas.pbstate and keas.pbpersist can be combined with ZODB to allow for an object database that stores its data in Google's "protocol buffers" format, which may prove to be more portable between languages than pickling is.  pymongo is a driver for the Mongo, document-based, database.  pymssql is a simple database interface to MS-SQL.  RFID passports have been cloned (discussed here on Slashdot) through a war driving rig. What would he have got if he had just parked in the airport parkade for an hour? He points out that one of the potential issues with the widespread use of RFID tags (for things like drivers licenses and credit cards) is that it would allow the movements of individual people around a city to be easily recorded - just set up these RFID scanners at choke points (office tower front doors, subway station entrances, parkade pedestrian access and car entrances etc.) and you can now track the movements of individual people - and with access to one of the RFID databases (like the driver's license information or a credit card database) one can find out who went where and when. Of course this could be very handy for generating an initial list of possible suspects, so expect banks to have RFID scanners at their doors - and to detain anyone who tries to enter the bank without an RFID tag on them... Another attempt at gathering passport numbers via RFID is discussed here on Slashdot.   Look for a new round of netbooks to appear in early 2009, based on a new Intel chip set these will have faster graphics and processors and consume less power, plus their smaller motherboards will leave more room for larger battery packs. So here's hoping the entry level versions of these will be looking at a 6-8 hour run time. The first of these is expected to be the ASUS Eee PC 1000HE.  A simple database-like thing, essentially a dictionary with persistence.  Auto-tune is a signal processing technique to make a singer pitch-perfect. This is based on autocorrelation.  Palm has finally made it official, 2009 will be the last year they ship PalmOS based devices.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the pwd module which is used for reading user data from the UNIX password database.   BoxeeBox is a netowrk video download and display system based on Linux.   Explaining Why Interfaces Are Great attempts to explain why interfaces would be better than the new Python Abstract Base Classes (ABCs). I rather liked the way Java used interfaces but these articles are talking about a lot more complexity.  Could we get some solar power collection happening in space in the next decade? I don't see this being very likely, given the costs of getting things into orbit and the fact that earth-based generation has lots of room to grow and will keep getting less expensive with time. It appears that PG&E is about to purchase power (also here) from Solaren who are planning to start beaming power back to Earth in 2016. They are going to build a photovoltaic system illuminated by concentrated sunlight. More news on it here.  Slashdot discusses which distro is a good choice for an Eee PC. Some of the suggestions include:
  The SheevaPlug is an embedded Linux device from Marvell Semiconductor that will deliver a low cost, low power, platform for working with ethernet and USB devices. It gets discussed here on Slashdot, here on Make and here on SlashGear. It is what the Pogoplug is based on. Attaching something like phidgets to it would allow for some home automation functions to be implemented, but as the device contains some IO lines it would make more sense for someone to build a version that includes analog and digital IO interface circuitry. This is now available (see GlobalScale and PlugComputer.org), Slashdot discusses what to do with it. It appears that Seagate is making a NAS adapter for their FreeAgent portable drives that is based on the Pogoplug system. After about a year the second version of the Pogoplug got announced. An updated version with a 2GHz processor was announced at the start of 2010.  Fungus is a scene based game engine based on pyglet.  The Hornet from Acer might be one of the first new Ion-based media PCs.  The Neuros Link (discussed here on Slashdot) is a small form factor HTPC running a custom Ubuntu Linux distro. It will be priced at $300, which is pretty much at the low end of what you could build yourself. The system I build around the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H board works very well as an HTPC, and as the Neuros system is based on a very similar motherboard I would expect that (with the right device drivers) it also works very well.  Manufacturing costs of solar cells from First Solar (FSLR) reached $1/Watt in March 2009 (discussed here on Slashdot), establishing a new benchmark in low-cost solar power (especially compared with silicon-based solar cells at about $3/Watt).  The Robin Z510 and Z530 computer modules are credit card sized computers that have an Atom processor, up to 7 USB ports, and on-board video, 2GB flash disk and 512MB of RAM for $164 to $227.  NVidia has built a set of single-chip computer system devices it calls the Tegra processors, these are based on an ARM processor core integrated with all necessary additional support circuits. One logical application of these would be to the netbook market allowing the production of lower cost, smaller and most significantly, low power consumption devices.   pypp is a Python preprocessor based on the Mako template engine.  Slashdot discusses an article that compares simple new databases to the old establishment. Another similar comparison is here. Cassandra is the distributed database that Facebook is developing. Some more thoughts on Cassandra are here. Version 0.3 of Cassandra has appeared in release candidate form. Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs) may not be well-suited for the storage of complex objects.  Various resources on the conficker worm that is set to change course on 1-Apr-09. Slashdot has more on it here. This has actually infected some medical equipment in hospitals where the equipment is based on Windows NT or 2000.  The efficiency of dye-based solar cells (which is typically about a half of silicon cells) could be tripled by using a layer of diatom shells that contain titanium dioxide.  Using YAML instead of XML or other text-based files.  schevo is a next-generation database system for Python. It is being re-licensed.  A stem cell based cure for blindness caused by age-related macular degeneration is approaching the clinical trial stage.  PyCap is a Python game writing framework that is based on the PopCap Game Framework. It gets a recommendation here.  At least one netbook running Android is in the works, see: I-Buddie shows a prototype. Skytone is also going to produce an Android-powered ARM-based netbook, this one in a tablet-convertible format at a price of about $250 which sounds a bit high but it is for a convertible so they have much less competition than the standard netbook form factor.  Zotax makes a number of mini-ITX motherboards (available here) and are now going to offer some Atom+ION solutions too. A number of reviews of the IONITX-A motherboard (which appears capable of BluRay playback) can be found here.  The Robard RB-100 is a micro controller based on the Vortex86DX which is an x86 system on a chip. For $255 it delivers a lot of IO in a small package. More details and discussion here.  The Aday5E-NCS1 from Aware Electronics is a micro controller based on an X86 core running at 133MHz with ethernet and running Linux.  The DDRdrive X1 is a DDR RAM based drive that has NAND flash for backup, it interfaces via a PCIe-X1 slot but it can only expand to 4GB and is much more expensive than some of the alternatives like Gigabyte's older GC-RAMDISK and the more capable HyperDrive5 type hardware from HyperOS Systems.  Soy-based toner cartridges, maybe you just eat them afterwards?  The Intel BOXD945GCLF2D is an Atom 330 (i.e. dual core) based mini-ITX format motherboard that is pretty low cost at about $80.  The UK has launched a national database of all its children, with a mere 390,000 authorized users it won't be long before someone finds a flash drive with all of its contents in a pub parking lot.  pod is an object database system for Python built from cPickle and sqlite.  hg-wiki a wiki that is based on Mercurial.  jug is a task-based parallelization framework that uses the file system to communicate between processes (which can evn be on separate machines).  A bunch of new netbooks are being introduced at Computex'09 including the Toshiba NB205, a bunch of products based on NVIDIA Ion, the Tegra-based Mobinnova elan, the ECS T800 running Android, and an Eee PC running Android on Snapdragon.  KirbyBase is a simple database written in pure Python, it gets used with IronPython here. This database stores the records in simple CSV text files.  A comparison of matplotlib and PyQwt for plotting in Python. And some examples of using matplotlib with a wxPython based GUI.  pyOODB an object-oriented BTree Database for Python.  A 7-inch Android-based webpad from Kinpo.  The Archos9 will be a Windows 7 based tablet with a 9-inch display, which will make it a pretty serious webpad if the price is right (though currently they are thinking of 450-500 euros). A longer look at the capabilities of this device is here. This is due to start shipping Oct 22nd with a US$499 price tag. It gets a brief review where it is found to be too big and too slow.  The Compal KAX15 UMPC is a small device with an 800x480 display and a slide out keyboard.  Canada now gets access (until the end of 2009) to the Cochrane Library under a trial national subscription.  freebase is a Python client library for access in the freebase.com database service.  The Guardian newspaper in the UK is looking to use crowd sourcing to dig up the dirt on MP's expenses (discussed here on Slashdot). A proposal to do something similar in the USA. This article goes into some depth about how they accomplished this and were able to role it out in a very rapid manner using Django (a powerful Python-based web framework) and Amazon's EC2 cloud of servers.  pudb is a full-screen, console-based Python debugger.  How to redate pictures based on the date code in their EXIF information.  The US FDA is considering banning acetaminophen-based pain killers as they appear to be causing liver damage at doses of 2000mg per day.  The PyMOTW takes a look at the abc module, which is used to make an abstract base class.   A wooden computer workstation, probably non-functional but some WoodPunk somewhere will make a working one soon. An interesting idea that blurs the line between machine and furniture. Of course the little catalog browsing podiums that Chapters has installed based on Macs with a keyboard that is built into (and is flush with) their desktop surface are quite similar, just made from plastic and metal instead of wood.  Novell has a SUSE based appliance program that makes building a special purpose-specific Linux system easier. Discussed here on Slashdot.  tempstorage is a RAM based storage implementation for ZODB.  Dell is considering making ARM-based smartbooks, this would be good for battery life and probably good for the Linux world too.  Rollei have introduced some new scanners, including a low cost slide scanner. Looks like these might be based on a 5M Pixel sensor.  How many cores will our CPUs get in the future, and why don't we already have 1024 core based machines. This article blames the lack of applications that can use multiple cores.  TTFQuery is a package for querying system fonts based on FontTools.  The Aegis Padlock Secure portable USB drive from Apricorn has a built in number pad for entering the pass code and does AES-128 or 256-bit drive encryption. They have updated their USB attached secure drive offering to include one based on an SSD drive.  Could the next power station be built in your basement? That's what a German power company called Lichtblick is working with Volkswagen to do. The idea is to put small co-generation (i.e. electricity and heating) plants in homes, then the home can use the waste heat for hot water and space heating making the overall efficiency of the plant almost 100%. Since each plant is only capable of about 20kW lots of them would be installed throughout the city and controlled remotely by the power company to respond to the grid load.  Very powerful magnets can actually levitate small living creatures based on their water content.  The RAmos Android-based W7 MID looks interesting, it looks like there may be some other screen sizes too.  Slashdot discusses scanning books for use on a PDA by photographing their pages using a camera and software to flatten the resulting images. From the Slashdot comments: Snapter is one such package. Make Online mentions a book scanner a project to build a books scanner from the instructables. A tutorial on stitching flat scanned images with Hugin. Prizmo is OCR software to do this sort of thing. Scan Tailor is a free software package. More discussion of book scanning here on Slashdot of a rather nice camera-based unit which can be found on diybookscanner.org.  dobbin is a new (in late 2009) object database for Python. This is taking a different approach to ZODB in that it all data that you access is read only until you check it out. This should have some significant benefits, including easier use with multiple threads and processes and a smaller memory usage footprint. Located here on PyPI.  the HP Mini 311 is an ION-based, large (11-inch screen and 3.2 pound weight) netbook that has much-improved graphics performance.  The WikiReader from OpenMoko is a portable device with a black and white touchscreen LCD display that is usable in bright sunlight. While this product is sold pre-loaded as a dedicated Wikipedia device it is based on Open Source software and so might well be modifiable for other purposes. At only $99 it could displace a lot of the e-book reader market.  The Dell Streak is a 5-inch Android-based MID. This sort of thing might stand a chance against the iPhone for those looking for a larger display for mobile web work. This has a dock that can output HDMI video.  The ODROID is an Android-base hand-held device with WiFi.  tokyocabinet is a Python wrapper for the Tokyo Cabinet database library.  ASUS is thinking of launching a $180 ARM-based smartbook in Q1 of 2010. This could be $30-50 cheaper than any current netbook just by dumping the Windows tax, and it can probably be another $30-50 cheaper by reducing the size of the battery pack since an ARM chip uses less power than an Atom. So the sub-$200 price is feasible without a quality sacrifice. If they stick with the $199 price point they are going to sell a LOT of these.  The Amazon EC2 cloud computing service has been used to crack PGP passwords through brute force key searching. This article describes the general process and some details of how to setup the EC2 machine images. A followup article examines the cost to crack passwords of different sizes (and complexities) using this technique. Based on an opponent spending a few thousand dollars a password of 8 characters or less is not safe unless it uses more than just upper and lower case letters and numbers. The good thing is that a password using only lower case letters and numbers would cost $75M to crack this way if it was 12 characters long (and this rises massively with just one more character), so passwords still don't have to be massively long. This gets further discussion here on Slashdot.  Isomyr is an isometric gaming engine for Python based on Pygame.  The Remus project is attempting to bring transparent high availability to Xen based virtual servers, replicating the state of the running server machine to a hot standby which allows for seamless failover including things like in use sockets staying active.  Slashdot discusses low-power home Linux servers. One recommendation is for the micro server products based on Xcore86 from NorhTec.  The iFrame will be an Android-based 7-inch touchscreen tablet from Hikari.  While not a backup technology, SUN's ZFS is getting block-based file content deduplication to make more efficient use of storage media.  The British national DNA database now contains 5 million DNA profiles, and a claim has been made that their police have been making arrests just to gather DNA samples. Discussed here on Slashdot.  I wonder why Apple never put an infrared receiver and transmitter in the iPhone/iTouch, as with it they would make very nice universal remote controls. You can "fix" this problem with the RedEye base which the iPhone talks to via WiFi and the base then sends the appropriate infrared controls to your home theater system. But still, its not a portable system and it costs nearly $200, to provide functionality that was standard in earlier PDAs like the Palm and probably costs about $0.25 to manufacture. An IR dongle type attachment (along with a universal remote application) has been announced, of course this probably makes more sense for use with the iTouch. The L5 iPhone IR dongle was shown at CES 2010. Logitech has released an app for the iPhone that turns an iPhone into a wireless trackpad or keyboard - this might make the iTouch a rather nice HTPC remote controller. The New Potato's FLPR IR dongle is another IR controller for about $80. The RedEye mini will bring the IR remote dongle down to about $49, it gets reviewed here. The i-Got-Control IRB1 is another entry into this market.  Looks like Google may be going to sell some netbooks that run Chrome OS directly.   The Vertex 2 PRO from OCZ may be the first SSD to outperform Intel's X25 flash drives. It is going to be based on a new controller by a company called SandForce.  Paradigm Shift is selling 5 and 7 inch e-book readers based on conventional colour LCD displays, it looks like the 7-inch unit will work as a webpad and PMP too.  It looks like DNA profiles may not be an exact science after all, scientists and lawyers in the US are arguing for the FBI to release its CODIS database for independent research to see if there are any other cases like the white man who was a DNA match for a black man in the Arizona state DNA database.  Aceeca is trying to release (in 2010) some PalmOS based PDAs.  The Hivision PWS700CA could prove to be a very inexpensive Andriod-based 7 inch screen laptop.  The Dell Mini 5 is a small Android-based webpad, might be a good choice for those who think the Apple iPad is too large or restrictive, or who want something bigger than an iPhone. Engadget takes a look at this and rather likes it.  The Chuck Norris botnet is attacking weakly secured routers, DSL modems and even satellite TV receivers. Given that devices like DSL modems and cable modems are often only configured by the ISP there's a good chance for poor practices on the ISP's part (like using one user name and password on all of the modems it controls) to lead to massive hacks. Even though this attack is only against the router or modem, there is a nasty issue here in that a compromised router could be set to divert DNS look-ups to a bad DNS server which could serve up the wrong IPs for the some common internet services (like Facebook or some of the advertising suppliers) which could divert the user's browser to sites that try to install malware.  ARCHOS is getting ready to introduce some new 7 inch Android-based PMP / FDA / MID style tablets. The first announcement is here and then this article refers to them as the Archos 7 Home Tablet and Archos 8 Home Tablet. The Archos 7 Home Tablet is due to ship in June 2010. Engadget takes a look at the Archos 7 Home Tablet but finds it somewhat lacking, still for $199 it might be a good choice for some users.  Artificial photosynthesis from Sun Catalytix is looking at a better way of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using a cobalt-based catalyst.  Will 2010 be the year of the tablet? At CeBIT low end tablets are appearing aimed at a price point of about $100. Apparently more than 50 ARM-based tablets are currently in preparation, so the later parts of 2010 could see a lot of activity in this market sector. I'm guessing that manufacturers are looking at this "new" segment and thinking they had better not miss it like the early days of the netbook segment which allowed ASUS to run away with that market. It looks like Toshiba is thinking along the same lines and is getting back into this market segment.  The Earth Impact Database collects information about impact craters on Earth.  For $155 the Enso zenPad is probably the least expensive Android-based tablet yet. Its a small device built around a five-inch 800x480 display (so the same resolution as the Google Nexus One phone). Looks like this one is vaporware. Or maybe not vaporware, but just disappointing.  The Google Nexus One Phone does work on Virgin Mobile in Canada. As of 26-Mar-2010 I was able to successfully connect my (ATT/Rogers style) Nexus One to the Virgin Mobile network in Calgary, Canada. It runs fine and with the data plan activated it works over the 3G (HSDPA) network quite nicely. Getting connected was much more painful than it needed to be. Here's the story:
 Novatel's NovaDrive is a cloud-based file storage service.  Photosynthetic man-made material that is based on frog-foam that can capture carbon dioxide.  How to identify market direction to improve your day trading.  Thoughts after a couple of weeks. I have owned a Google Nexus One for a couple of weeks now and I thought it would be a good time to record some first impressions. In a word BETA. Yes, in keeping with Google's fine tradition of apparently never finishing anything, this is most certainly a beta product. Now given the intended audience (geeks) of the Nexus One this is not a particularly bad thing, but Android is being billed as a mass-market phone (and appliance) operating system and I am finding the smart phone platform is falling short of what a consumer would need, want or expect.
- It all started when I heard from a couple of friends that the unlocked Nexus One was now available to Canadians and that they had taken the plunge. So I did a bit more research and found that there were now two variants: one (the AWS version - for "3G on T-Mobile USA") would only work on the Wind network in Canada and the other ("compatible with 3G on ATT and Rogers Wireless") should work on Rogers, Fido, Telus, Bell and Virgin. I ordered the ATT/Rogers version because it offered me more carrier choices in Canada.
- After researching the various carrier offerings (and rediscovering that the thinly-disguised monopolistic cell phone price fixing conspiracy was still alive and well in Canada) I decided to stick with Virgin Mobile where I already had a pre-paid phone.
- I then called Virgin's support to see if they thought the Nexus One was compatible, they confirmed that the specifications were a match and stated that: as this was not a "supported phone" they could not guarantee data would work. They said when I got the phone to take it to one of their stores and get hooked up using their GSM SIM card.
- I then paid a visit to their North Hill mall booth (they don't really have "stores" just booths in Calgary) only to be told "they only do CDMA phones". Of course Virgin has only recently begun handling GSM/3G type phones, but you'd think their staff training would have mentioned the fact that now they are carrying the iPhone and offering SIM cards and that they had joined the GSM/3G service crowd (like the rest of the Virgin operations around the world). I also visited the Bell booth (Virgin runs on Bell's network in Canada and shares network towers with Telus, competing with Rogers and Fido) and they were ready to try right away.
- Undaunted I called Virgin service the next day, reconfirmed that the phone would work and that I would be able to port my pre-paid phone number and remaining balance to the new plan and then settled back to wait for DHL to deliver the phone.
- Once the phone arrived I returned to the Virgin booth, this time it was staffed by someone who did know that they did more than CDMA, so we got set to the task of hooking up. After about 15 minutes of credit check, verifying that the phone's IMEI number was listed in their database as compatible (for the 3rd time!) we got to the part where they scan in the SIM card's number and associate the phone by its IMEI number. At this point we got a rather odd error from their system saying something like "the SIM card is incompatible with the selected plan". The salesman called his support line and they got the same error and after a few minutes they just gave up. The salesman gave it another shot (this time starting as if I did not have an existing account, in case the pre-paid legacy account was messing things up) and even used a different SIM, but still got the same error. As I was running late, I just called it a day and left.
- The next morning I called Virgin support and told them what had happened, they went through the same registration process (again checking the IMEI for compatibility) and ran into the same error (using a SIM card on their end as I had been unable to purchase one). This time support called their support, and after a few minutes on hold, they returned to say they had got around the error and we could proceed, but that I would have to now buy a SIM card from one of their stores. However, all the account stuff had been done and I had a new (non-working) phone number and once I had the SIM I was to call back and they could complete the process.
- So at lunch time I went SIM shopping, its just a little $5 card that all the Virgin retailers carry and there are several a short ways from my office, so I checked stock levels at The Source (as the Virgin Booth is further away) and walked over. On my way I passed "The Telephone Booth" which had a big Virgin Mobile display at the front of their store, so I went in and asked for a SIM, they wanted $42 for it (unless I registered through them) so I resumed my search for The Source.
- At The Source they said no problem, they had the SIMs but needed to check the phone first, so they checked the IMEI against the database and then got out their "test SIM" (which was from Bell), popped it into the phone and declared it good. So then they proceeded to sell me the Virgin SIM, but at some point in the checkout process they have to have a Virgin Account number (to sell the SIM against), so they wanted to go through the registration process (again!). I told them this had already been started and it was on hold pending purchase of the SIM. They called Virgin, and after about 10 minutes of back and forth (and another IMEI check, credit card check and photo ID recheck) they got the account number out of Virgin and were able to complete the sale. All in all, about 25 minutes to make a $5 sale - how do these guys stay in business?
- Later that day, SIM in phone, I call Virgin back again to resume the process. After about 10 minutes on hold I get an operator and after a brief description of what I need to do she decides another department needs to handle the call, so back on hold. After about 30 minutes more on hold I hang up and call back to the support line again, this time I get through and after about 5 minutes we have completed the next step. The SIM and the IMEI are now associated! So now I have to power off the phone, pull out the SIM, reinsert it, power up the phone and then wait for 2 hours for the phone and network to connect up and then call them back to finish the data configuration step.
- After 2 hours I check the phone and the it appears to be on the GSM network (I don't see any 3G indicator), I can make a phone call with it and I have received two text messages from Virgin welcoming me to the party. Things are looking good, so I call them up, wait for about 15 minutes, talk to someone in support who curtly tells me the phone is not supported by them so 3G ain't going to work, your phone's only going to do what its doing now, goodbye. I hope Virgin reviews their call recordings on that one... Muttering to myself I dig through my accumulated net-searches on Virgin 3G lore and find this helpful article where the author reports the same sort of grief. He mentions that the solution is actually documented on Virgin's site (note: Virgin has since removed this page from their site and when I pointed it out to them they denied it even existed, you can get the information you need from Bell's site, since Virgin just resells Bell's service) in a cunningly concealed section of the page on their SIM cards. I found that following the setup (under the misleading heading "What Do I Get?") for the iPhone 3G/3GS eventually worked just fine. These are the settings that worked for me, there are some other settings that I didn't enter anything for.
To get to the data entry page on your Nexus One go into the Settings menu, then "Wireless & networks", then "Mobile networks", then "Access Point Names", then (for me) it says "virgin pda.bell.ca", I click on this and it gets to the "Edit access point" menu.
Initially it did not seem to do anything, but after a few minutes I thought "what if my phone's too smart, perhaps when it is connected via WiFi it does not display the 3G indicator?". So I shut down my WiFi connection and the 3G icon popped into view, a quick test confirmed that data was flowing through 3G and all was well!
- APN: pda.bell.ca
- Proxy: web.wireless.bell.ca
- Port: 80
- MMSC http://mms.bell.ca/mms/wapenc
- MMS Proxy: web.wireless.bell.ca:80
- MCC: 302
- Well that should have been the end of the story, only the next day I realized that in all of this Virgin never actually shut down the old account and ported the number, so I had to call them again (20 minute hold) and go through the number porting process. This required another SIM remove/replace and wait an hour or two cycle, but now things appear to be working.
- I just have to wait a few days and check that their accounting department did move the unused balance from my pre-paid phone to the new monthly (one month term contract) plan. Oh joy, another half hour of hold time ahead. And yes, they did transfer the remaining balance from the pre-paid plan, so nothing was lost there.
The hardware is quite good, the device looks and feels nice. The screen is very nice, except in bright sunlight. The digitizer generally works quite well, it certainly feels like the iPhones I have played with. The sound quality is good for both phone and media functions. The battery life is good for this sort of device, I'm getting about two days of use out of it by which time the battery level is at about 30%, but I don't do many calls and maybe log about an hour of web surfing, an hour or two of MP3 playback and about 2.5 hours of GPS use in that time. I leave the WiFi and Bluetooth radios on all the time. The fastest drain is when I use the GPS (using Google's Latitude and the MyTracks route tracker applications). I like the fact the battery is user-swapable and there is a microSD card slot.
The only issues I have with the hardware so far are:
The software, this is the part of the phone that's really beta. I have not had any real problems with the underlying OS, I have not had to reboot the phone to get it to function properly or anything like that. My gripe is with the included applications. One of the things I wanted from this phone was a unification of the functions of my old phone plus my old Palm Tungsten T3 PDA, so that I would be able to replace two devices with one and have more functionality at hand too (like the GPS and browsing on the go). So far the places I find that fail are with the basic PDA functions. Here's how I see it:
- The ringer volume (as is mentioned here along with other issues) is too low
- the back cover is rather hard to remove, they could fix this quite easily by including a ridge or slot to get a grip on, or better yet a small latch.
- I would prefer that the microSD card slot was exposed (i.e. externally accessible on one side) so one could change cards without having to power down the phone, remove the back cover and battery and the reassemble everything. My little Samsung flip phone did this quite well. Perhaps there should be two slots, an internal one that is used as fixed storage and an external one that is intended for user-swapping?
- the dock connector appears to only provide a power connection, any other connection must be either through the USB port (which is limited) or via Bluetooth or WiFi radio. This may be a good thing, but at the moment it limits what other things the unit can be used for. Perhaps someone will make a WiFi player dock for it so that the device can be used to play video to an external monitor or TV.
- For a few cents more why didn't they put an infrared transmitter/receiver on this so that it could also be used as a programmable remote control?
- The GMail client is pretty good, its an effective way of doing email triage on the road (train) and the unification of your email into the Google GMail cloud is very well done. You do something on either the GMail web client (at home or at the office or where ever) or on the phone and it's auto-synchronized in a seamless fashion. For anyone who needs to deal with email while on trips this would be worth it alone.
- The contacts manager is also very good, again it pulls off a nice, seamless two way synchronization All you need to do to make this useful is to import your contacts into the GMail contacts lists. I had to do some work on this one because GMail does not have a direct import from Palm devices, you have to export to a CSV and then upload to GMail, which is ok, except GMail import does not understand a lot of the columns that the Palm export provides so it just tosses a lot of stuff into the "Notes" section.
- The todo (tasks) list is missing. Total fail, GMail has a todo list on the web, but to get at it from your Nexus One you must visit a web page! Todo lists have been standard on PDAs since the beginning, so why is this missing?
- The Note taking function is also missing. It seems obvious that this should have been implemented as something that interfaced with Google Docs on the web, in fact there is a third-party free application called GDocs that attempts to fill this void.
- While the device does have a media player that does a reasonable job of MP3 playback and video playback this is a very basic implementation. It lacks the glitter of what the world has come to expect from the iPhone, so it's just basic marketing that this needs to be improved. Note the video formats this can play appears to be pretty limited, so expect to transcode anything you want to view here. Given there are a lot of inexpensive media players that are based on Linux that do a great job of playing just about anything without using super powerful chips one wonders why this cannot be done on this phone?
The last issue is with accessing the microSD card over the USB cable to load or unload data. As a geek I can understand why they have done what they have done, but surely there must be a better way! Here is what the user sees:
In my view what should happen is that when you plug in the USB cable the phone should immediately do all the mounting, the fact it can detect the connection and then prompt you, tells me that there's no real reason why it could not have just done the mounting right away. The mounting attempt might fail if some phone application current was using the SD card (though I have not seen this happen yet), in which case it should notify you of the problem. Then Windows would have quickly opened the drive and you could get onto the important business of dragging over some more MP3s right away. Once you are done with the drive in Windows, you should just use the Windows eject function as normal. Then the phone would detect the end of the session (as it currently does) and instead of bothering you with some more UNIX voodoo it should just silently umount the drive and return it to the normal phone mode - only if there is a problem should it prompt you for anything. This would make the whole process plug and play, the only voodoo left is on the Windows box when ejecting the drive at the end, and that's now accepted as "normal".
 An overview of the 2010 crop of Atom-based mini-ITX form factor motherboards which are good for building low-power appliance servers. And an idea for building a small NAS out of the Supermicro X7SPA-HF and a Lian Li PC-Q08.  The WePad is an 11.6 inch Android-based web pad, at that size it's not that wee.  A felt tip pen based printer implemented in Lego, also discussed here on Slashdot.  Pandigital's 7-inch Novel is an Android-based e-reader that uses a conventional colour LCD. At $199 it would be competitively priced and with Android on board perhaps it might be hackable for other uses? In june'10 it appeared this would become available for $149, which would open up a whole new market price point for both webpads and e-readers.  Google will be helping the patent office make data available to the public.   The LPCXpresso micro controller is based on an ARM processor, and for about $30 from DigiKey packs enough power to even generate video signals.  An iPad clone based on Android might be just the thing for an inexpensive webpad.  The Insignia Infocast Internet Media Display is a lower-priced clone of the Sony Dash, based on the Chumby system.  Toshiba is going to try the Android/ARM based smartbook market with their AC100. Now, if only it had a twist around display that could convert it into a tablet. Engadget takes a look at one here.  The Blaze tablet from TI which will be sold to developers in Aug'10 looks rather nice. Since it is ARM-based I wonder if it will be Android friendly?  CUDA graphics engines have been used to accelerate the calculation of MD5 hashes to speed up password cracking attempts. Based on the timings that are published here a password length of 10 characters is getting to be pretty weak - that would take a single machine 50 years to search, so a project that combined these machines in a distributed fashion could easily crack 10 character passwords in days or less.   How to rebase with Mercurial.  Some new Android-based webpads are starting to appear around the $199 price point for a 7-inch screen, such as the Cruz Reader from Velocity Micro, the SmartQ T7 and the Pandigital Novel.  Hack A Day is running an introduction to Android development. Part 2 and part 3.  Oracle is suing Google over Java patents that are being used in Android. Of course this is all baseless.   Holy Penguin in a Suit Batman! Linux now provides the London Stock Exchange with the fastest trade executions in the world (well faster than any .NET based exchanges). High frequency traders will be enjoying this. The NYSE is also running on Linux machines.   Saul's Advanced Waxing Technique is a video that covers base preparation and glide waxing for cross country skis.  Sauls's Cross Country Ski Base Repair and Restoration is a video that covers repair and restoration of cross country ski bases. 
- Upon connecting his Nexus One to a computer via the USB cable he gets a notification that says the USB was connected.
- He then drags open the notifications list and touches the USB notification.
- Then a dialog appears saying: "You have connected your phone to your computer via USB. Select "Mount" if you want to copy files between your computer and your phone's SD card." and it gives you two buttons: "Mount" and "Don't Mount". This simply reeks of geek, and not just any geek, we're talking about 50 year old UNIX geeks with massive beards that wear old hiking boots to work in case they need to climb things in the server room! Mount, don't talk to me about Mount! Steve Jobs must find this hilarious!
- Once you hit "mount" your microSD card becomes accessible from the computer and then you can use it until you use the Window's remove USB devices tool to eject it (in a way equally mysterious, but in this day of USB thumb drives something that most people know how to use).
- Once you do this the Nexus One gives you another notification titled: "Turn off USB storage", tapping this gets you another dialog that reads "Before turning off USB storage, make sure you have unmounted the USB host. Select "Turn Off" to turn off USB storage." and gives you to choices "Turn Off" and "Cancel". Again the mountains appear on the phone.
['base'] is in these pages: