Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Hawaii Geek Meet: Collective Brainpower

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

The collective brainpower at Ala Moana right now is staggering.

–Me, at about 1:30 p.m. April 20, at Ala Moana Park

And I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that. I don’t think there ever was this many technically-minded folk, of so many stripes, gathered at a single place in this state. Bloggers, twitterers, digital photographers, hams, astronomers…and even a politician, all gathered at Magic Island for a big potluck.

I was there, primarily representing the Emergency Amateur Radio Club (I had my callsign on three places on my body and my walkie-talkie on my belt) but armed with a new digital camera around my neck.

What made it all the more fun was not only reacquainting myself with other people with an online presence whom I’ve met before, but also getting to meet, for the first time, other people whom I know only by, say, their username on services like Twitter or Flickr. As much as Web 2.0 has to offer, there’s still something to be said about face-to-face contact.

Here are some pictures I took from the event.  Some are landscape photos to test out the new camera…they turned out pretty darn good.

This may become an annual thing…if so, I can’t wait ’til next year!

That is SO 20th Century

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

I never thought I’d see the day. XHTML and CSS working together to form a page that looks like what the web looked like ten years ago. Bruce Lawson has done just that in his tribute to the state of the Web in 1996, applied against the iconic CSS Zen Garden.

Bring your sunglasses. Your eyes will hurt.

Six Degrees of Satoshi

Saturday, January 20th, 2007

It’s said that the Internet has made the world a smaller place, and that the phenomenon known as Web 2.0, referring to the current trend of social networking services, is shrinking the world down to manageable proportions.

There is the notion that every person living on earth is, on average, six people removed from anyone else in the world. This notion launched party games such as “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” and also serious research such as the Milgram small-world experiment. In that experiment, randomly selected residents in Omaha and Wichita were asked to get packages to a contact point in Boston by sending it to people they knew on a first-name basis. The packages that made it to the destination did so within 5 to 6 steps on average.

Which brings me to what has become the Find Satoshi project.

Mind Candy Games, a British game publisher, has put together a game known as Perplex City in which people try to solve puzzles on cards in order to find a buried treasure somewhere on Earth for which there is a real-life US$200,000 reward. One of the clues to the puzzle is held by an ostensibly Japanese man known only as Satoshi. His picture appears on the card, along with these Japanese words: 私を見つけなさい。(“Find me.”) His picture was taken in Kayserberg, France. It is not known whether he lives in France, Japan, or somewhere else. The puzzle involves making contact with him to get a certain clue as to the larger game.

Fortunately, Satoshi himself has agreed to be part of the project and is not consciously hiding. At the same time, though, I’m not sure whether he really knew what he’s getting himself into.

This is by far the most ambitious test of the “six degrees” hypothesis to date. Has the Internet really made the world a smaller place? Is there really no place for people to hide? We shall see. It seems hard, but I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility.

さとしさん、世界は是非見つけると思います。

Satoshi, I think the world WILL find you.

(hat tip Digg)

New Printer…Back to the Future

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Just the other day, my old HP Deskjet 5150 gave up the ghost. The color cartridge ran low, and I replaced the cartridge, and then the carriage stuck, never to move again. And I couldn’t even retrieve the unused cartridge from the old printer.

So I’ve got a new addition to my computer…an HP PSC 1610. One of those all-in-one combination printer-scanner-copier things. I’ve always been of the mind that printers, scanners, and copiers were all meant to remain separate, but this one has the potential to change my mind. Print quality is pretty darn good.

Of course, the thing I’m trying to get used to again is the scanner. I haven’t used one in ages.

Remember back in the day when scanners were all the rage, when they were THE way to get pictures into your computer? You had to make sure the picture was aligned just so, then you had to decide just how many dots per inch to scan the picture at, and then the picture would never come out just right so you would have to fiddle with it in your image editing program…

Then came the digital camera. And getting it into your computer was a matter of connecting the cable and downloading. Or putting the memory card in a card reader. Simple.

My old scanner is taking up space in the corner of my desk…and I never got around to downloading the XP driver.

So, now I’m rediscovering the joys and frustrations of scanning…maybe I’ll go find the old photo albums and try scanning some old baby photos. Maybe.

The World’s Hub for Pron (sic)

Sunday, March 12th, 2006

Online storage and universal access to your data may now be possible with the yet-to-be-formally-released GDrive from Google. User Friendly, the Dilbert of the tech set, gives this take on it. Only question I have is this: what the heck is “pron”?