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April 25 to May 1, 2005
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Mac OS X Tiger
There was a lot of news this week, but the big news was the release of Apple's new system upgrade, called "Tiger". I've tested the heck out of it and it seems stable and faster:
Here's a comprehensive technical overview of Tiger, and why its software architecture for recording, composing, and playing images, movies, music and generally any kind of media is light years ahead of any other personal-use operating system in the world:
I think the news behind the big news is the introduction of high- definition video to the masses. Upgrade to QuickTime 7 and you may be able to view movies in the new QuickTime HD Gallery:
The HD wildlife reel is stunning and played beautifully on my PowerBook G4 and should run fine on iMac G5s. The H.264 codec crushes the best codecs being used in movies distributed over file sharing today. No doubt, this is the future of online video, TV, and movie distribution:
Hawaii's High-Tech Successes, Today
Hey, Silicon Valley people! Blue Lava Wireless, which makes Tetris for cell phones, was acquired for $137 million:
And Hoku Scientific plans a $58 million IPO:
New Tech
A new waterproof, heavy-duty hand-cranked radio:
Super-strong flip flops, developed by surfers:
Gateway's new $200 LCD monitors...
...are made possible by a price war between Taiwan and South Korea, which make 90% of the world's LCD monitors:
I just want to make a phone call - the new Nokia N91 has a 4GB hard drive, camera, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, mp3 player, headphone jack, USB connector, FM radio, Web browser, and records video:
Scientists make bacteria behave like computers:
And they're closer to making a quantum-based computer by figuring out how to make atom lattices:
Modern Life
How smart mobs are fueling revolution around the world:
My Future China
"Does the Future Belong to China?"
China's got growing pains though, thanks to unequal wealth distribution, corruption, and "environmental degradation":
This man's making a mint from moving U.S. factories overseas and is responsible for some of the Chinese-made goods you see at Wal-Mart. He's crying while driving his Hummer to the bank:
"The Wal-Mart 'Foundation' is nothing more than a front group for Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated, and should not be confused for a real charitable non-profit":
An update on Iraq's ravaged cultural artifacts - not good:
Did you know the keys on your GM van may open the doors on "a half-dozen other GM vans and pickups"?
An "alarming number" of young American girls are taking steroids to emulate the look of "models and movie stars":
Hey ladies! Here's why geeks and nerds are worth it!
Terrorism and You
Did you know that the military occupies over 22% of Oahu?
Now classified military research is making inroads into the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dozens of students and faculty have occupied the administration building in a rare sit-in:
"U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism - State Dept. Will Not Put Data in Report":
Canada once took in 50,000 Vietnam-era draft dodgers. But today it's denying political asylum to those who refuse to participate in the Iraq war:
Some privacy measures are at least being considered for the new RFID-enabled U.S. passport:
Anti-terror laws are resulting in sophisticated software that can track every financial transaction no matter how small:
Unhackable communications get one step closer to reality:
Distracting TV visuals make people forget, regardless of age:
Health/Environment
Growing Tea In Hawaii
Hawaii-grown tea could become a world-famous if these growers have their way:
How about also growing yerba mate locally?
Aluminum Bottles
Aluminum beer bottles have started to show up in the islands. The advantages over glass bottles - they can keep contents colder an hour longer, they're less breakable, and they have more design flexibility. They're a big hit with consumers and are 100% recyclable:
Glass bottles require less energy to produce and recycle. But could Hawaii save due to reduced shipping weight? It's a careful trade- off:
A beautiful woodpecker thought to be extinct for 60 years is found:
Bamboo bikes could be a great industry for bamboo-filled regions:
Art/Design/Music
A simple, well-designed game - Guess the Google!
Mathematicians turn an Escher drawing into a trippy interactive experience. Check out the movies:
The all-wood musical door/doorchime based on the African tongue drum. What a great concept!
Photo Stitching
I recently revisited AutoStitch and tried the Windows demo application that was released last year. The results were completely amazing and it's the most easy-to-use, powerful panorama maker I've ever used on any platform. Why this isn't built into Photoshop, iPhoto, Picasa, Flickr, or cameras yet is beyond me:
The most complex photo stitching problem ever, and the mystery and story of the Unicorn Tapestries:
Why is the FBI plastering notices all over CDs, to the dismay of artists and consumers alike?
Doonesbury's take on file sharing:
21st Century Music Videos
The Manual Input Sessions explore the connections between image analysis, shadow puppets, and music generation:
"America We Stand As One", with commentary:
Daft Punk's "Technologic", a sinister yet groovy reflection on our relationship to technology and language:
Finally, French dance sensation Vitalic's "My Friend Dario" is one of the latest examples of electroclash, which mashes up New Wave, disco, glam rock, and cyberpunk:
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