Month: March 2011

New HTC Compass Digital Compass app for Windows Phone 7

New HTC Compass Digital Compass app for Windows Phone 7


Finally, we can use our digital compass again, and it’s bigger and better!

The HTC Digital compass can be found in the marketplace if you search for HTC Compass. It shows not only the digital cmopas but overlays it on live maps.

New HTC Compass Digital Compass app for Windows Phone 7.

Private Browsing – keep your life off the net

Private Browsing – keep your life off the net

Most browsers now support private browsing where they do not save cache or history on the local pc. These features are going a little further now lead by the Mozilla Firefox browser that uses a new http header to tell websites not to track your internet activity.

The Federal trade Commission endorses the private browsing feature in it’s privacy report last year.

The below link takes you to an informative Trend Micro article about private browsing, how it works and how to use it.

Private Browsing.

The amazing Kinect and how it works…

The amazing Kinect and how it works…

The fastest selling consumer device of all time is now exposed and explained in the following article and video…


“Their skeletal-tracking algorithm works by assigning each pixel in an image to a particular body part, creating a fuzzy picture of a person where the depth of each point is known, thanks to Kinect’s infrared sensor. The algorithm can also be adjusted depending on the application, so a game that only tracked the upper body could merge the lower body into one single part.

Each pixel is first evaluated for how well it fits certain features – for example, is the pixel at the top of the body, or the bottom? The score for each feature is then combined with a search through a “randomised decision forest” – essentially a collection of decisions that asks whether a pixel with a particular set of features is likely to fit a particular body part.”

One Per Cent: Microsoft explains the tech behind Kinect.

The NBN gets closer, kind of.

The NBN gets closer, kind of.

So the NBN got some senate air time on Friday. Several aspects of the network work passed into law, they are as follows:

The NBN rollout deadline is not 2020 and incorporates another 1000+ homes with fibre

The NBN Co will be able to sell directly to utilities

The ACCC will have final say on interconnects as a proper regulator, something Conroy was not keen on. (He wanted the ACCC to have to ask NBN Co before they ruled on interconnects! anyone hear a new Telstra coming in here?)

The Senate Did Some Work On Friday: Passed Key NBN Bills | Gizmodo Australia.

Arrr, pirates are not affecting the entertainment industry as much as the industry has been harping on about

Arrr, pirates are not affecting the entertainment industry as much as the industry has been harping on about

The SMH has an article published that rips apart the dodgy facts and figures toued by the entertainment industry.

The figures have been alleged to be based on european figures that have been  dissproved and shown to be completely embelished.

companies are using piracy as an excuse for jobs being lost and downsizing.

Unsurprisingly, Piracy Stats From The Entertainment Industry Are BS | Gizmodo Australia.

Reactor nearing control but new threat emerges

Reactor nearing control but new threat emerges

Spent fuel rods from nuclear reactors are stil very hot and are cool after use in storage ponds. At Japans Fukushima Daiichi plant there are two sets of ponds, the primary ponds situated above each reactor are used to initially cool the spent rods and usually sit at around 50C. Secondary ponds are located outside and are used to store the cooler rods more long term.

The primary ponds at Fukushima have now reach over 80C and may possibly boil over and expose the spend rods. Since several explosions at the plant have blown the roofs off the reactor buildings, this means the ponds and in turn the spent rods if water levels get low enough, are exposed to the atomosphere presenting another source of contamination to the environment.

With the continuing drama of these power plants over the last few days, i think it had brought new light on the negatives of nuclear power which in many circles is often referred to as green power. Now if the ingeneous Japanese cannot make a nuclear power plant safe then who can?

Short Sharp Science: Nuclear crisis: Radioactive fuel dumps pose new threat.

Japanese Nulclear crisis – update from New Scientist

Japanese Nulclear crisis – update from New Scientist

A grwat article today from New Scientist, does a great job of explaining the developing disaster in Japan’s nulcear power plants:

“When caesium was detected, that indicated that some of the rods had ruptured.

As the zircoloid heats up, it reacts with the cooling water to form hydrogen, which is a highly explosive gas. This was to blame for the dramatic explosions that damaged the outer buildings of reactors 1 and 3.

However, it is now reactor 2 that is causing the most concern. Replacement pumps intended to inject cooling water have repeatedly failed, meaning that water levels fell and the fuel rods overheated still further. According to Kyodo News:

Water levels sharply fell and the fuel rods were fully exposed for about 140 minutes in the evening as a fire pump to pour cooling seawater into the reactor ran out of fuel and it took time for workers to release steam from the reactor to lower its pressure, the government’s nuclear safety agency said.

Then within the last few hours a further accident occurred. Kyodo News reports:

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday fuel rods were fully exposed again in the No. 2 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as of 11 p.m. TEPCO said a steam vent of the pressure container of the reactor that houses the rods was closed for some reason, leading to a sudden drop in water levels inside the reactor.”

via Short Sharp Science: Fukushima update: cracked fuel rods threaten meltdown.

Optical Photon Qubit networking!

Optical Photon Qubit networking!

a qubit is a Quantum bit allowing the representation of more then a traditional bit. a bit can hold one of two states, “0 or 1” or “on or off”, this is how physical devices have represented data since the very first computer. Now however we have a new level of computing in the qubit, this type of computing is called quantum computing.

The next step in using qubits to represent data is to be able to transmit those qubits, which is what has been proposed in the following article.

“To deploy and operate a quantum network which utilizes existing telecommunications infrastructure, it is necessary to be able to route entangled photons at high speeds, with minimal loss and signal-band noise, and—most importantly—without disturbing the photons’ quantum state.”

via Phys. Rev. Lett. 106, 053901 (2011): Ultrafast Switching of Photonic Entanglement.

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