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Saturday, August 19, 2006

An Irish company, Steorn, claims to have invented a Perpetuum Mobile—a perpetual motion machine. What a bunch of bull! Or is it a brilliant media campaign?

Ignorant inventors (or is it charlatans?) have been trying to build a Perpetuum Mobile since as early as 1150. Ignorant masses have been enchanted by the possibility ever since. But nothing like the Internet to generate mass psychosis, and huge traffic to the “inventor’s” website. Or so the theory goes.

Long tail, anyone?

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/19 at 04:41 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

As part of the ZeroOne art/technology festival a cutout of Bill Hewlitt and David Packard is travelling (with a cell phone to track it) across Silicon Valley. Strangers are picking the pair up and showing them highlights of the area. Their path is online. While the pair could not get into the HP lobby for a photo, they were welcomed into Sun’s headquarters and fitted with “I love Solaris” tshirts. Ultimately, Sun acquired them from the artist, and the company will send them touring once again. Several other tech leader cutouts are still touring.

via Mercury News

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/19 at 06:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, August 18, 2006

At the World Potato Congress in Wilder Idaho delegates are seeing the alternative to expensive and sometimes slow to deliver aerial and satellite imagery of crops. The answer? An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from Simplot Agribusiness. The potato Predator “transmits digital video and aerial photographs of fields to farmers to help spot weed, pest and watering problems.” High resolution and quick turn around for small areas is a challenge for both aerial and satellite sensors. And, while the military uses UAVs, it’s hard to imagine it’s affordable to potato farmers.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/18 at 10:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Well not really. It chose Harris. And Harris chose ArcPaD. And ESRI owns a 25% state in Maptel the Melbourne company that wrote and writes ArcPaD. According to an article in CRN Australia, the census sale of ArcPaD (500,000) is the largest mobile GIS sale in the world. Before the sale to cenus there were 70,000 users of ArcPaD. No word on how much Maptel makes in this deal.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/18 at 09:44 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Lee Gomes, technology writer for the Wall Street Journal, recently had the opportunity to explore a large database of key word searches that AOL had released to the general public. Using the 2.27 gigabytes worth of data, he determined the most commonly used word that people use for web searches. Excluding prepositions and conjunctions, "free" was tops on the list. But going a bit deeper, and excluding proper nouns, the next most popular word searches included the following: "lyrics," "county," "school," "city," "home," "state," "pictures," "music," "sale," "beach," "high,", "map," "center" and "sex."

Of these fourteen words, four are explicity linked to geography (county, city, state, map), and two are implicitly linked (high, center). Throw in "home," and "school" which you could also consider as "implied" references to a location, you have eight of the fourteen words containing some geographical reference. This would imply, taken to its logical extreme, that 57% of all searches are by people looking for the location of something. Do you agree? I’d like to hear your feedback on this.

by Joe Francica on 08/18 at 07:11 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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