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billy

Gold Nanotechnology: Past and Future

By | Emerging Technology, nanotechnology, Whacky | No Comments


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Nanorods Close-upSome cool news about gold has come out recently; not that it’s a “great hedge against inflation” or that the “latest Monster cables have gold connectors for BLAZING SPEED!” Instead, it’s some news about nanotechnology: researchers have been working on new applications for gold nanorods. At the same time, a report very recently came out about medieval church windows, and their usage of gold particulates to purify the air in the churches they decorated. It seems early forges, without fully understanding it, used a coating of gold to soak up sunlight. In this energized state, the gold particles would eliminate volatile and toxic compounds in the air. Personally, the medieval usage of gold sounds more fantastic to me than nanorods, if you can believe it.

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Nifty Tricks with “Computer Management”

By | Computer Tech Support, OS, Software | No Comments

Vista LogoFor power users of Windows Vista and XP, places like the Control Panel and Administrative Tools can be, at times, downright familiar. However, even casual users can benefit from some of the nifty tools found in the Computer Management program. Typically hidden from the view of all but PC experts, Computer Manager contains a number of tools that can help you manage your user accounts, disk partitions, and even your drive letters. As a household’s computer setup becomes increasingly splintered between individual desktops, USB devices, and even a Media Center PC, network and drive management becomes a priority.

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OpenID Simplifies Your Online Experience

By | Emerging Technology, Yummy Links | No Comments

OpenID LogoFor end users like you and I, the Internet can be a very fractured place. With each new website, message forum, or networking site, the list of user accounts a user has to maintain can become rather lengthy; don’t you wish you could consolidate all of these accounts under one “banner”? OpenID and the OpenID Foundation are looking to do just that. Instead of being a run-of-the-mill password management software, OpenID is a whole protocol foundation, which opens up some fantastic new opportunities.

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Intel Turns 40!

By | Hardware, Industry News, Uncategorized | No Comments

Intel LogoI can’t believe I missed this! Apparently, last week (on the 18th to be exact), Intel turned 40 years old! At the forefront of microprocessor technology since 1968, Intel has been responsible for some pretty cool stuff: who can forget the old P3 “blue man group” ads, or when Apple dropped PowerPC and went with Intel hardware? Taking a look through the Integrated Electronics Corporation‘s rich history, I was surprised to find some other fancy tidbits…

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Germicidal Kevlar

By | Medical Technology, Military Technology | No Comments

Kevlar BiweaveBullets, shrapnel, and the occasional dirty look are all things that Kevlar can put a stop to. OK, only kidding about that last one, but soon Kevlar body armor may be able to stop more than just projectiles. Researchers, looking to upgrade the usefulness of Kevlar (which is already found in everything from SilentArmor tires to fiber optic cables to sports equipment), have been experimenting with giving the polymer a coating that will make it germicidal and fungicidal. While your heavy duty garden gloves may not be immediately affected, germicidal Kevlar would go a long way towards protecting our soldiers, enforcement officials, and emergency response personnel.

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Gas Prices at a Glance

By | Alternative Fuels, Yummy Links | No Comments

GasBuddy LogoAs the pinch at the pump gets ever so tighter, the frugal among us each find individual and unique ways to see if we can skim  a little off the gasoline bill. While there are plenty of ways this can be done, one of the simplest is finding the cheapest gasoline source. This simple task is made difficult in that, outside of a small, walkable distance, it typically requires gasoline to find the cheapest price, and usually our search is limited to gas stations that are immediately along the avenues we usually take in our daily routines. Have no fear, GasBuddy has a clever solution that combines the simplicity of Google Maps with a level of information that rivals even the most intensive weather forecasts…and it involves gasoline prices.

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NetFlix To Keep User Profiles

By | Commentary, Industry News, Video | No Comments

Netflix LogoOK, I don’t personally use Netflix, but I’ve heard the hoopla and buzz surrounding how simple and easy their service is to use. I was, therefore, surprised when I heard that they were going to eliminate individual user profiles “for simplicity’s sake”. User profiles, from what I understand, allow accounts with “multiple DVD check-out” privileges to allow individual users to specify what DVDs they want next, up to as many as the host account allows. Therefore, a family could maintain separate queues for action movies (Oorah?), romance movies (Nick Sparks), and kids movies (Anything Pixar…).

Apparently they realized, with the help of the adamant NetFlix community, that this would be a friggin’ stupid move.

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Bringing Sight Through Microchips

By | Biotechnology, Medical Technology | No Comments

Argus System I get a fuzzy feeling in my stomach when technology helps to bring a happy ending. Biotechnicians have been working for a long time on gadgets  that help people with disabilities, especially those with sight or hearing loss. From wearable cameras that interface with the brain to ear implants, science has some promising solutions. One solution involves implanting a microchip into the eye of a patient which directly interfaces with their optical nerves. Pretty crazy stuff, if you ask me.

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USB 3.0 Getting A Final (Sillicon) Coating

By | Emerging Technology, Hardware | 2 Comments

USB LogoNot too long ago, I did an article about how development on new standards of USB devices and controllers had halted with the release of USB 2.0. With a capped speed between two USB 2.0 devices of 480 Mbps, this is hardly ideal for increasingly complex computer systems. As file transfers are becoming bulked up with music, movies, games, and pictures, this once-blazing speed is starting to show its age. Thankfully, since then, Intel and the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) have been hard at work with USB 3.0.

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Bacteria-Based Radiation Shielding

By | Biotechnology, Military Technology | No Comments

BacteriaSome research by the Air Force is changing the way some people approach ionizing radiation and, more interestingly, protection from these dangerous rays. Ever since its discovery, radiation has posed a problem for physicists and engineers, pilots and astronauts, and even electronic equipment. Typically, creating adequate shielding has revolved around creating large barriers of lead, or hardening electronic equipment against the damaging effects of radiation, but some guys in the Air Force are taking a new approach to resisting radiation: They’re using bacteria.

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