Mapping the world

Groundbreaking, Tech, Thought Provoking, Travel, Web

I love this article, a neat and practical way of developing the world in which we live.

Whether the goal is to prevent cholera or crime, Missing Maps is a crucial first step. For much of the developing world, our current digital maps may as well say ‘Here there be dragons.’ There’s a long way to go, but someone has at last picked up a sword.

Dean Kamen on Potable Water and Sustainable Electricity

Groundbreaking, Tech, Thought Provoking

With all of the stories of financial meltdown, recession, depression and economic disaster, it’s important to remember that for almost 2 billion people in the world life is much worse. I came across this fascinating video of Dean Kamen via an article in the New York Times where he describes how he has turned to solving the two main problems facing the world’s poorest people, clean water and energy.

Abolishing Lectures

Groundbreaking, Tech, Thought Provoking

From the BBC comes the story of a university lecturer that podcasts his lectures..

Dr Bill Ashraf, a senior lecturer in microbiology at Bradford University, says the move will free up time for more small group teaching.

He told The Times Higher Education Supplement that first year biochemistry students would watch or listen to virtual lectures in their own time.

Students will access the podcasts via their MP3 player, phone or computer.

I’m asking myself why he doesn’t go all the way and introduce virtual lectures with Vyew, Skype and a webcam?


Groundbreaking, Tech, Web

One problem that occurs frequently when developing projects remotely or training remote users is that one usually needs to have a custom application that both sides can use (Net Meeting) for example. Now comes a website, Vyew that offers real-time collaboration with remote access and the only requirement is to have a recent browser version with Java 1.4 and Flash 8. That’s it. I set up a sample meeting and did a short presentation using a notepad and a conference call over Skype. It worked wonderfully The only feature that doesn’t work so well currently is real time desktop sharing but it will be developed further. And the cost? Currently, it’s free although no promises are made about what the business model will be in the future. However they do say

If you sign up now, we will provide the registered user’s features to you for at least two (2) years.

I believe it’s really worth a try.

I want my GigaPixels!

Groundbreaking, Photography, Tech

Forget about thinking in MegaPixels anymore, the future is coming with an engineer in Microsoft attempting to produce a 10 GigaPixel photo. When I first read the headline in this article on CNET I thought that they had invented some kind of of super-camera. However the reality is quite different as the trick is in the technique. As the article says…

The technique involves taking several hundred pictures with a standard digital camera, stitching the photos together and then compensating for changes in the position of the sun, the movement of clouds and other environmental factors during the time it took to take all of the photos.