Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Robotic Fence

Another robot blog post describes a robotic electric fence that is designed to move cows slowly around a field so they eat the grass in different areas evenly.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Firefox tip: the spacebar

Lifehacker points out a Firefox tip that I have never heard of before. If you hit the space bar while browsing a long page it pages you forward in the document (as if you had hit page-down). Similarly shift-space takes you back up a page.

Wanted: A Robot that flies for 5 years

According to this blog post, the US defence research agency DARPA has announced a new robot technology contest. They want people to come up with a flying robot that can remain in the air for 5 years. Nuclear power and lighter than air flying are not allowed.

Friday, May 25, 2007

What's up with your car? has an article about how to find technical service bulletins (information about recalls and other faults) for you car.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Pop can fridge

For those of you who like to keep a cool can of pop handy by your computer, here we have a USB powered single can mini-fridge.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who are all those people at the coffee shop?

SF Gate has an article that tries to find out who all those people are that you see sitting on the patio at the local coffee shop when you are at work.

Full disclosure: I am one of those people.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Practical Origami

Today we have several examples of useful (ish) things that you can make using origami:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Smart Drugs

The BBC has an article on smart drugs. The British Department of Health has asked the Academy of Medical Sciences to assess these drugs. Interestingly the article claims the drugs, including Modafinil - an anti-sleep drug, are widely used in the US.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Right Number

A web comic by Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics. The comic uses Flash but isn't really animated. There isn't any sound for those of you who should be working.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Longevity Gene Found

According to this article on the BBC website, scientists have found a gene that may explain why caloric restriction works as a method of prolonging lifespans. Caloric restriction has been known to work(at least for animals other than humans) for many years but the reason it works has never been understood.

It is hoped that knowing the responsible gene will allow the development of drugs that can mimic the effect of caloric restriction without having to be on a starvation diet.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

PC in a Gameboy

I'm not sure why anyone would want to do this, but according to this blog post, someone has put an entire PC into the case from an old Nintendo Gameboy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Timeline viewer

MIT have developed a very cool looking timeline widget that lets you display a series of events in a web page without having to worry about horizontal scrolling. The example is of the events around the Kennedy assassination.

I haven't tried it but there doesn't seem to by anything on the server side to get this working so you just need to make an XML file of your data.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Keep dress shirts wrinkle free in a Fedex envelope

A blog post describes how you can replace one of those fancy fabric and Velcro packing boards that keep your shirts from getting wrinkled with a Fedex envelope and an old clip board.

The post is from a bog called The Rucksack Life which is about a fellow who is trying to simplify his life by ensuring that all of his possessions will fit inside his rucksack. He even has a post where he lists all 101 of his possessions and another with a photo.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Global Incident Map

Another Google Maps mashup, this one displaying "incidents" - such things as terrorist attacks, or natural disasters. It is a bit of a heavy load on the browser but is worth checking out.

Walmart has its own intelligence agency

According to this article in Business Week, Walmart is hiring intelligence officers for a unit in its global security office.

The job description includes collecting information from "professional contacts" and public data to anticipate and assess threats stemming from "world events, regional/national security climates, and suspect individuals and groups."

"Familiarity with a broad spectrum of information resources and data-mining techniques" is listed among the skills sought, along with a foreign language, preferably Chinese or Spanish.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Veteren dies of wounds recieved in WWII

The Times has an article about Leslie Croft, a British veteran who died recently at the age of 86, from the effects of a shrapnel wound suffered during the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943.

Croft served with the 6th Battalion of The York and Lancaster Regiment but never returned to combat after his injury. The wound to his stomach caused the growth of scar tissue which eventually lead to his death.

According to the Rotherham coroner:
“I rather suspect that Leslie Croft will be one of the last men to die of a wound suffered in World War Two.

“Mr Croft died from broncho-pneumonia consequent on a war wound which he suffered when fighting in World War Two in Italy in 1943.

“He had undoubtedly made what appeared to be a miraculous recovery because he went on to work in the coalmines and he must have enjoyed quite a long period of retirement.”

cross posted on my military news blog