Skip to content

Category Archives: Gadgets

Nomar & Dumbo’s Feather

On diets, baseball, project management, and getting things done.
There is a thing called a mind hack. If you are unaware, a mind hack is an ostensibly productive, or at least positive, use of the esoteric nature of our brain to trick ourselves into doing something we otherwise might not due to procrastination, priorities, or [...]

Thoughts on Kindle

Now you’ve got a lot of DRM free versions of music (amazon’s mp3 store for example) because the producers didn’t like to be locked into Apple, and what I suspect will happen is something similar when the Kindle has shown enough publishers that people will pay for digital content the producers will then start unlocking it for other eBook readers. The Phone idea isn’t unlikely per se, and the Kindle app for iPhone is a step in that direction (they’re apparently going to be making for other devices as well), though I think the BIG dig against a blackberry/phone concept is that having read a few things on the iPhone and Blackbery, it’s just not as comfortable to try and read any quantity of content on a small screen.

CTDL 224: The Perfect Gadgets

Boing Boing Gadgets has great run down of “perfect” gadgets, ones that can’t really be improved on in largely significant ways. As a Unix dork I only take marginal offense at the comment below about keyboard layouts.

The Keyboard
Forget about Dvorak for a moment: no one’s talking about keyboard layouts here. There’s a surprising number of [...]

CTDL 209: How much ocean-front real estate do we need?

I think this will bring back some very interesting and useful data. I just hope that whatever the data is it doesn’t get abused by politics.

The Jason-2 satellite will become the primary means of measuring the shape of the world’s oceans, taking readings with an accuracy of better than 4cm.
Its data will track [...]

CTDL 204: Le Space Camp?

Europe may get a manned spacecraft (carefully not called a space shuttle), which is nice. I think the cold war US leading the way was a good thing, but it’s also important to have other players in the game. I’m not sure we’ll see that sort of drive again anytime soon as it was such [...]

CTDL 192: OLPC 2.0 (Kindle competition edition)

BBC has a picture of the proposed v2.0 of the OLPC/XO machine. I like the “book” design, and if it hits the $75 price point I’d be very tempted to participate in the get one give one.

The revamped machine created by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project looks like an e-book and has had [...]

CTDL 175: The Human Speechome Project

Yes it’s an apple shill article, but it’s also an INTERESTING one on how study of language development is being done.

At a Glance
MIT’s Deb Roy wants to understand how children learn language. Until now, scientists lacked the technology to implement the intense observation, data gathering, and analysis they need to properly investigate this [...]

CTDL 169: DSLR Autofocus on TWIP

Bit of info on how auto-focus works in most DSLRs. I’ve got a balky 75mm-300mm zoom with auto-focus issues forcing me to “re-discover” manual focus (and not enjoying it as much now that I’m old and half blind), I doubt this will help with that lens’s problems, but it’s worth a shot.

These systems rely heavily [...]

CTDL 155: Ion engines are go.

A) I didn’t realize Ion engines were “common”ly being used in space missions (but apparently we’re using them for missions to the moon, comets, and soon mercury).B) I’ve often wondered about the “keep it in a clean room” and then “blast it into space” aspect of space agency work.

This laboratory in a leafy part of [...]

CTDL 154: Good thing I don’t have a boring job

Or at least my job isn’t “critical.” (in the “crash the plane” sort of way… it’s pretty critical to paying my bills and I like to think it’s critical to my employer).

Boring jobs turn our mind to autopilot, say scientists – and it means we can seriously mess up some simple tasks.
Monotonous duties [...]