Archive for October, 2006

“So-called experts” and

October 28, 2006

You can tell this isn’t made up. It’s a web designer, asked for tuition:

“So you want to be a web designer, eh? Well, that’s fine, just fine! There’s a lot to learn, but I’d be happy to get you started. First, we’ll talk about markup languages and semantics. Then we’ll spend a good deal of time on how CSS works and how it compares to older forms of layout, plus a basic grounding in the nature of text flow and ‘limitless canvas’ flows. After that–”
“Hold on there, Poindexter. I want to be a web designer, not a computer scientist.”

This summarises the anti-intellectual approach so well, I’d really like to just duplicate the whole article. Here’s a couple of extracts, headed with this lovely intro:

Don’t let so-called experts tell you what you should know about becoming a web designer. Eric Meyer tears back the curtain…

“So you want to be a farmer, eh? Farming ain’t easy, boy, but it’s honest work and it puts food on the table. How much do you know about it?”
“Not much, but I’d like to get started right away.”
“I like your attitude, boy! Ever had a garden?”
“No. Never really wanted one.”
“Hm. Well, maybe I could start you plantin’ some corn. That ain’t too hard, and it’s good for learnin’ how to put the seeds in right, plus I could take the time to cover some of the basics about weather signs.”
“What are you talking about? I don’t want to plant seeds or hear about the weather, of all things. I want to be a farmer.”
“You all there in the head, boy? How else do you plan to grow food, if you don’t plant seeds and keep the fields watered and fertilized? How do you expect to have your crops make it without knowin’ about the weather?”
“Why would I want to dig in the dirt or listen to boring lectures about meteorology, when all I want is to be a farmer?”

We then meet the indignant graphics designer, who equally already knows how it’s done – after being given basic tips, and who responds:

“You really believe all that, don’t you? Sad. Look, just because you think that kind of thing is interesting doesn’t mean that you should go around forcing it on other people. I’m here to be a designer, not a psychologist or a computer geek or whatever else you think I should be instead.” “Look, if you’re not willing to learn the basics, then maybe design isn’t for you.” “Oh, sure, whenever someone isn’t willing to quietly swallow your pretensions, you declare them unfit to join your holy order, is that it? The only people who can be designers are the ones who think just like you, right? The ones who play your little games and jump through the hoops you set up? You just keep stroking your ivory tower, okay? Just stop pretending that you know what makes a good designer, because it’s clear you’ve become completely dissociated from reality.”

Read the whole thing: “Vitamin Features » Stand Up For Your Rights! ” on the original site, courtesy Eric Meyer

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The folding plug…

October 27, 2006

folding plugI like the idea of a folding plug! and apparently lots of people do. And yet, even though the idea won Prizes, nobody can make or sell one.

At least, that’s the story here.

Tag:

Future of Optical Networking

October 25, 2006

While the focus of many operators over the past three years has been on transforming their access networks to support a broader range of broadband applications, optical network developments have set the stage for a significant step forward in the network’s evolution. Traditional product categories in the optical networks market are giving way now to a range of new solutions that leverage advanced technologies and innovative designs.

On Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at the Langham Hotel in London, Light Reading, in association with Heavy Reading, will host the Future of Optical Networking. Already in 2006, the signs of a sea change in optical networking are evident. Yet in any expanding market there remain important topics for debate and questions to be answered.

– What will the role of Sonet and SDH be in networks that are making the transition to pure-packet and Ethernet transport?
– Will ROADM and wavelength-selective switching be niche solutions in the metro core or represent a real paradigm shift in optical networking?
– Is it finally time for 40-Gig?
– What kind of growth can be expected in the long-haul network, and is there room for new suppliers?
– How does the introduction of video into telco networks affect their optical networking plans?
– Will packet and optical networks converge, and what level of data functionality is required in optical gear?

The regular price of this event is $500. However, if you are employed by a service provider, financial institution, or VAR, or are a network professional at a large enterprise, educational establishment, utility, or government agency, you may qualify for free admission, provided you confirm your attendance by Friday, December 8, 2006.

To register for this event, please click here:
http://metacast.agora.com/link.asp?m=36639&s=4837083&l=0

Call to action!

Remember! To qualify for free admission to the event – a $500 value – you must confirm your reservation by December 8. As an additional incentive, event attendees who register before November 15 will receive:

1) The complete Heavy Reading “2005 Year in Review”. This report recaps last year’s coverage by Heavy Reading of critical telecom industry developments, including: IP Multimedia Subsystem and network convergence; IPTV network architectures; service delivery platforms; Sonet-to-Ethernet migration; ROADMs and metro optical networks; and carrier Ethernet equipment and services

2) Hard copy of conference materials and soft copy via email post-event

3) A chance to win a Apple iPod Nano. The winner will be announced at the end of the conference and must be present to win.

Contest Rules:
http://metacast.agora.com/link.asp?m=36639&s=4837083&l=1

Register Now!
http://metacast.agora.com/link.asp?m=36639&s=4837083&l=0

Terms & Conditions

Admission is based on available capacity. In order to claim free admission, invitee must register for the event by December 8, 2006, and be employed by a service provider, financial institution, or VAR, or be a network professional at a large enterprise, educational establishment, utility, or government agency. Light Reading Inc. reserves the right to refuse admission to any person.

Your mobile phone is your Oyster card

October 25, 2006

Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Now you can go shopping with your mobile phone

Now you can go shopping with your mobile phone

Forget about the Oyster card – soon you’ll be able to travel on the Tube using your phone as a ticket

By Sean Hargrave
Thursday
 Mobile phones have brought us voice, data and even television. But handset manufacturers say the next big thing is using phones for shopping and ticketing.

Manchester City fans are at the forefront of this predicted development: 200 season ticket holders are trialling a system through which they “show” their Nokia 3320 handset to an automatic reader to get into a game, instead of handing a card to a gate attendant.

Within 12 to 18 months, claim handset makers, this Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows the handsets to buy and store low value electronic tokens (such as sport and transport tickets), will start being standard on new handsets. The Nokia 3320, used in the football trial, is already available and like the company’s more rugged 5140i is NFC-capable – once a shell containing the necessary chips and mini-transmitter is fitted to the handset. Such capabilities will be shipped inside mobile phones from next year, Nokia predicts.

The latest figures from research groups such as ABI Research and Strategic Analysis agree that around 40% of mobiles will be shipped with NFC as standard before the decade is out.

The company which makes the access technology for Manchester City’s ground believes these early trials will soon lead to trials by other major ticketing companies, and perhaps fully-fledged services in 2007. Besides serving several stadia around the world, NXP Semiconductors supplies the access technology for 75% of the main transport networks in the world, including the technology behind London’s Oyster card system on behalf of Transport for London (TfL).

In London, the Oyster card means people do not need paper tickets for journeys; instead, the card stores electronic credits which are deducted at the end of each journey by a reader that can scan a ticket a couple of centimetres away. That means commuters can check through station barriers by hovering their card over the reader.

NXP’s head of business development, Taoufik Ghanname, points out that mobile ticketing has always been behind its strategy as it rolled out its readers.

“We co-founded the NFC Forum which works on the open standards for this technology, so unlike other access technologies, a mobile capability has been built in to every system we’ve ever installed,” he claims. “So it really isn’t a big leap, we just need the phones with the necessary chips inside and then they can be read just like an Oyster card.”

Ghanname will not say when a TfL trial will begin, but points out that a trial like the Manchester one ran at the Atlanta Hawks’ arena in the US for four months earlier this year before the results were made public. He expects the results of the Manchester City trial to be presented to other potential triallists after Christmas.

NXP is now setting up a trial for New York’s public transport system and has already run trials with the Nokia 3320 handset on transport systems in Hanau, Germany, with Vodafone, and in Xiamen, China, with China Mobile. The service is now available to the public in Hanau.

A TfL spokesman says a trial of an Oyster-equipped mobile could happen at “some stage in the not too distant future”. TfL’s only question at present is, when will enough handsets that can store ticketing information be on the market?

Alan Wright, head of mobile strategy at Motorola, points out that many of the new handsets coming on to the market within 12 to 18 months will be NFC-enabled. From then, it should become commonplace to pay for low value goods and services on a mobile phone – beginning with tickets.

But will topping up phones be safe? Wright says “a lot of work” has been done with credit card suppliers such as Visa and MasterCard to ensure the system is securely encrypted. “Unlike a wallet, if your phone is stolen it can be deactivated over the airwaves,” Wright says.

“Also, downloading credit onto the phone would be PIN protected, so a thief could not download extra money and go on a spending spree. Although the technology is mobile, nobody can interrogate your handset to steal money from it because only a proper reader can deduct money from a phone, and that reader can only work over a couple of centimetres .”

Motorola has two mobile handsets developed for the Japanese market to enable customers on the Bullet train to buy and store tickets on their handset.

Meanwhile, Nokia predicts that its two NFC-enabled phones – which currently require a new shell or “skin” to be fitted – will be superseded next year by phones with the technology built in.

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Why can’t she sit still?

October 18, 2006

Lover’s Choice G-Spot clitoral stimulator.

Rock Chick is produced in the United Kingdom using medical grade silicone and comprising a micro bullet for vibrating function (it says here). “A discreet design that can easily fit inside your purse for those unexpected moments.”

Inside… your purse??

“Rock-Chick is a unique product that stimulates both the clitoral and G spot erogenous zones simultaneously. Rock Chick comprises 2 sections, the lower shaft for insertion [into the purse?] and the upper to rest over the labia and clitoris. “

It goes on to explain that the upper section is also comprised of a top grip, requiring a gentle rocking motion from the palm of the hand… will send you into orgasmic bliss. As the Rock-Chick stimulates both erogenous zones, it is very beneficial for Women that either can’t or struggle to achieve orgasm.

Women that are orgasmic have found using Rock-Chick produces easier and more intense orgasms. Rock-Chick is great for Women on their own looking for that extra satisfaction – not only does it offer a one-handed movement, but it can also provides hands-free orgasms. Once positioned, sit up on the edge of the bed or a chair and gently rock back and forth, leaving your hands free. Rock-Chick is also a great partner friendly toy that does not cause intimidation or embarrassment. Once positioned your partner will find your spot every time! The Rock Chick Kit includes one Silicone Rock-Chick Personal Massager, vibrating bullet, scented intimacy wipe, ID Personal Lubricant 1.1 oz. bottle, Rock-Chick Cleaner 2 oz. bottle and an instructional pamphlet. Batteries included.The rest is sales data, some of which needs editing!

  • Category:vibrating massagersclitoral stimulating vibratorseggs bullets
  • Measurements:9.75 inches long1 inches wide
  • Material:Silicone For Body Part:VaginaClitoris
  • Powered by:Micro
  • Color:Purple
  • Shape:SmoothBendableGspot
  • Vibration:VibratesWaterproof
    Powered by Micro? Hm…

Gizmondo crashes – Wired reveals all

October 18, 2006

Wired 14.10: Gizmondo’s Spectacular Crack-up

Gizmondo’s Spectacular Crack-up
Directors of the game device company went on living large long after their handheld flopped. Then a high-speed Ferrari crash blew their world to bits.
By Randall Sullivan

THE BUMP IN THE ROAD that ended Bo Stefan Eriksson’s fantastic ride is practically invisible. From 10 feet away, all you can see is the ragged edge of a tar-seamed crack in an otherwise smooth sheet of pavement. Only the location is impressive – a sweet stretch of straightaway on California’s Pacific Coast Highway near El Pescador state beach, just past the eucalyptus-shaded mansions of the Malibu hills. On that patch of broken asphalt, there’s barely enough lip to stub a toe. Of course, when you hit it at close to 200 miles per hour, as police say Eriksson did in the predawn light last February 21, while behind the wheel of a 660-horsepower Ferrari Enzo, consequences magnify.

The Enzo has less than 6 inches of ground clearance, and at that speed, it took only a slight scrape under the front bumper to launch the vehicle. The airborne Ferrari landed in a skid that in a blink became a sidelong drift. Tires shredding, the car bounced over the shoulder onto a grassy slope wet with dew. All Eriksson could do was hold on as the slithering, swiveling Enzo again achieved liftoff, then slammed broadside into a wooden power pole.

Mesh in a rain forest. Wireless IT, that is!

October 8, 2006

Google Mail – Funedesin – Using New Technology in Amazonia

Amazonian Mesh Network Supports Education, Science, Medicine and Eco-Tourism in Ecuador. The award winning ecology centre, “Yachana FUNEDESIN” use wireless mesh to link their many operations in the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle to the rest of the world. Funedesin use the LocustWorld system.

LocustWorld is a UK based company providing new technology for internet connectivity using wireless mesh networking.

FUNEDESIN – The Foundation for Integrated Education and Development – use a wireless mesh to distribute internet through their extensive site in the
Amazonian jungle, linking the Yachana Technical High School, Yachana Lodge
Ecotourism Centre, The Bio Science Centre, Medical Clinic, Offices and
Visitors. FUNEDESIN is 2.5 hours by motorised canoe from the nearest small
city where there is an airport. All power on the site is provided using
solar panels.

Douglas McMeekin, Executive Director of the foundation, was recently in the
UK with a party of four students from the Yachana High School attending an
event on “Young People and Sustainable Development” hosted by British
Council and the EU, where he reported his mesh networking progress to
LocustWorld.

The mesh distributes broadband from a satellite link between the various
sites on the river, including the Yachana Lodge Hotel, the High School,
which is 1500 meters away and the Bio Science Centre, which is 5km down
river. All of these locations get online through the mesh, which also
provides the potential for local communication between these places.

The mesh has been designed and installed by Bruce Schulte, an American who
has been working on wireless networking projects in Ecuador for many years.
Bruce attended an IICD course in mesh networking organised by the IICD in
Ecuador last year. Joe Roper was sent by LocustWorld from the UK to teach
the course, with materials translated into Spanish by the IICD, and gave a
dozen students from Ecuador and Bolivia a primer in setting up mesh
networks.

The Yachana High School, founded in 2005, provides vocational training. The
school operates year round, with two groups of students alternating for 28
days each as boarders, giving them time to work at home helping in their
local communities. The school offers a degree in Ecotourism and Sustainable
Development, specialising in ecotourism and sustainable development,
specialising in Ecotourism, Conservation, Agronomy, Animal Husbandry and
Micro-Enterprise development. Secondary education in Ecuador is provided
free by the state, but the quality in rural areas is very poor and the
students learn theory not practical skills. The Yachana High School is
serving students from four provinces and five ethnic groups in the Amazon,
all of whom are very poor. Funedesin relies on donations to help cover the
difference between the token $40 per annum the students pay for this
education and the true costs. Being online provides an incredible
educational benefit for the students and teachers in every subject and helps
them to bridge the digital divide between the developed and lesser developed
parts of the world.

The vocational training provided at the High School focuses on appropriate
technology, with classes making water filter and led flashlight bulbs for
marketing to local people. 7500 elementary schools in Ecuador have no
potable water, so a locally made water filter provides a great boost to the
health of students.

With such modest electric capacity it is amazing that the IT networks work
at all. This is achieved using a 3.5kw solar panel array and very low power
devices. The meshboxes use around 6watts, and the standard computer used is
a laptop, with inbuilt battery to overcome power outages. The potential for
using 12v low power PCs, containing similar technology to the meshbox, like
the VIA Mini ITX, is very great. VIA’s work on the PC-1 program is
pioneering new markets for PC use such as this.

In addition to the Solar Power in use at Yachana and FUNEDESIN, there are
also opportunities for other alternative power, such as fuel cell
electricity generation. Bio-fuel, and methanol from the Ecuador onshore oil
production and processing industry would both provide a potential fuel for
fuel cell power, to supplement the Solar electricity already used at the
Foundation.

The Medical Clinic that FUNEDESIN built in 1997 gets a great benefit from
now being online. Through Tele-Medicine, the medical residents going their
annual rural year of service can now have live tele-medicine consultation
from this remote clinic to experts in the Metropolitano Hospital in the
capital city of Quito, or throughout the world, through this internet
connection.

Yachana Lodge provide a unique experience in ecotourism holidays in
Amazonia. Profits from their business go towards funding the Yachana
Technical High School, with 2,000 visitors annually and capacity for 40 at
any one time, the lodge is busy all year round. Having an online connection
is a great service for visitors, who can maintain their contacts with the
rest of the world while they are enjoying the jungle experience.

FUNEDESIN owns 4380 acres of rainforest that is protecting biodiversity and
the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest. The purchase
of much of this land was made possible through donations from Rainforest
Concern.

Funedesin aims to be self-sustaining through eco-tourism and micro
enterprise, and is now getting recognition for their world-class pioneering
work in these areas from many major institutions. Yachana Lodge was awarded
the “Conde Naste Ecotourism Award” 2004 and was a finalist in the World
Travel and Tourism Council award 2005.

The mesh network provides the opportunity to run voice over IP within the
mesh, and to link the mesh users to the worldwide public telephone network
through the internet. Satellite internet does give a little delay when used
for voice services, but it is certainly a great improvement on no link.
Personal voip products like skype work fine, and the foundation plan to set
up their own VOIP server too. Using their own voip server local users could
also link into the cellphone network, which is just accessible from the
foundation’s tower, allowing incoming and outgoing calls via terrestrial
networks too.

Further down the river the Bio Science Field Station is run by Global Vision
International. Recently a new species of frog was discovered at the GVI Bio
Station. Being online allowed the centre to confirm their discovery and
upload photos to the internet whereas without being online these activities
would have taken weeks.

Historically FUNEDESIN and Yachana have run an office in Quito to handle
their administration, bookings, accounts and other functions. Now that there
is an internet connection throughout the jungle site all of these functions
are moving from Quito to Yachana, saving money, time and travel costs.
Having universal internet access lets the foundation run all of their office
functions from Yachana.

The Foundation also provides potential to operate as centre for teaching
others to follow this model of bottom up development, teaching wireless
internet, voice over IP, alternative high school operations in the remote
jungle, tele-medicine and ecotourism so that other communities can emulate
the success at FUNEDESIN.

FUNEDESIN and Yachana are great examples of how internet services, delivered
by wireless mesh, can bring benefits for so many different aspects of life
in remote locations.

http://www.funedesin.org/
http://www.rainforestconcern.org/
http://www.yachana.com/
http://www.gvi.co.uk/
http://www.iicd.org
http://www.viapc-1.com/

Fuel cell-powered phones still years away:

October 7, 2006

Fuel cell-powered phones still years away: Nokia [printer-friendly] | The Register

The Register » Mobile » Devices »

Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/10/03/nokia_fuel_cells/
Fuel cell-powered phones still years away: Nokia
By Lucy Sherriff
Published Tuesday 3rd October 2006 13:27 GMT

If the supply chain was ready, we could have fuel cells in our mobile phone handsets tomorrow, according to handset manufacturer, Nokia.

Early last year, the company said it was calling time on developing the technology which it then described as “immature”.

But 18-months later, Nokia research centre head Tapani Ryhanen told reporters at a seminar celebrating the 20th anniversary of the facility that Nokia had tested the technology underlying fuel cells and is confident it is ready.

Fuel cells generate electricity as a by-product of the oxidisation of dilute methanol. Although this technology has been well understood, the problem has always been making a small enough cell to provide a phone with decent battery life.

But now, Nokia seems confident it has overcome this barrier: “It is not a technology question, it is more like a supply-chain issue at the moment,” Ryhanen said.

The issue that has still to be resolved is how to get the fuel to consumers, Reuters reports. Initially this is the one issue the company said would be reasonably easy to solve: it proposed refilling the cells in much the same way as a cigarette lighter can be refilled when it runs out of butane.

“A few years you would still need to wait,” Ryhanen concluded, Yoda-style. ®
Related stories

Fuel-cell problems ground Shuttle (7 September 2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/07/shuttle_launch_nope/
Boffins build fuel cell to power iPod (3 July 2006)
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/07/03/voller_fuel_cell_abc/
Scientists build caramel-powered margarine-making fuel cell (23 May 2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/23/epsrc_hydrogen_project/
Samsung preps four-hour fuel cell for portable video players (31 January 2006)
http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/01/31/samsung_four_hour_fuel_cell/

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