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February 28 to March 6, 2005
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Howard Stringer becomes Sony's first non-Japanese CEO, after five years of stock declines and poor business decisions. The beginning of the end was circa 1998, when the mp3 community (then a loose collective of Web sites that posted mp3 files for downloading) sent a letter to Sony asking them if they would support the mp3 format in their minidisc players. A rather arrogant response was written by a Sony engineer saying that their ATRAC format was superior in every way, shape and form, and that there was no good reason to support an inferior format. The letter has been lost in time, but the repercussions continue:
New Tech
Yeah, an FM transmitter for the iPod shuffle!
Fujitsu's 120GB notebook drive. Side note - a friend asked a major hard drive recovery specialist which drives they thought were the most reliable. The answer - Seagate for desktops, and Hitachi for laptops:
The Vectrix electric scooter gets up to 62mph:
But Honda's new hybrid scooter prototype is nice too:
Add this little gadget to your toilet to make it dual flush - save lots of water and money:
Send any application's audio to remote speakers connected to the Airport Express with this software:
More TV shows should do this - you can watch "Battlestar Galactica" while listening to this podcast with show commentary at the same time:
Make interactive Web apps with the SAJAX PHP toolkit:
Adobe open sources software that can be used to build systems with complex dependency graphs:
Modern Life
There are now at least 50 million Web sites on the net:
From Miami to Oakland, kids are putting 150-decibel train horns on their cars and stunning bystanders:
More on T-Mobile's security - an undocumented backdoor in their systems allowed a hacker to gain access to extremely confidential customer information, including people's data from their Sidekicks, since it's all kept centrally. Security through obscurity never works...
...but it does boost the popularity of your insecure products:
Flirt with iTunes - boy meets girl via music sharing and manages to swipe 700MB of her songs as well:
Here's a helpful list of resources to use for when your iPod battery dies:
Telcos are using legislation to prevent large-scale free public wireless networks:
The industrial chicken catcher. Watch the video...
...and these popular industrial shredder videos:
Uh-oh - 6,200 Wells Fargo ATMs are now running Windows:
The inspiring story of Pakistani woman Mukhtaran Bibi. Gang-raped by her neighbors, she started two successful schools in the midst of her now-free attackers:
Terrorism and You
Ira Rennert's house was featured on VH1 this week. It's the largest in the world, containing over 100,000 square feet worth of structures, 30 bathrooms, and its own power plant. He owned the company that makes the Hummer and a chemical plant that is listed as America's number one toxic air polluter by the EPA:
"A man who recently had received radiation treatment... set off a nuclear alert detector on a fire engine, prompting police to close down a roadway in Escondido while authorities searched for a nuclear weapon.":
Extreme bomb blasts are causing an "alarming increase" in the amount of Iraqi vets with brain damage:
"The Drugs I Need!"
A funny little movie advocating public disclosure of drug trials.
A friend wrote this article about the Kolea, a five ounce bird that has been flying from Alaska to Hawaii annually for the last 120,000 years:
1,000 patients are getting iSights to enable at-home telemedicine. Hands down, the iSight provides the best PC video and audio conferencing quality I've ever experienced:
This pill camera takes 50,000 pictures of your insides over eight hours:
A "brain pacemaker" turned previously untreatable "beyond suicidal" people into antique dealers and PTA members. Ever seen "The Terminal Man"?
15 celebrities drove hybrid cars to the Oscars:
Meanwhile, a man convicted of copying Oscar films online died in prison:
HIV/AIDS' impact on life expectancy in Africa - the big picture:
Big art projects pay off - The Gates generated $254 million in economy activity, with 4 million visitors:
The online rerelease of the acclaimed animated short "Balance":
One of the better online color scheme generators I've seen:
Hm, I like this free font browser. Fast, WYSIWYG, and to the point, unlike many free font sites:
Fliker, an interesting image browsing interface:
More on the DJammer, the "next-generation electric guitar":
Smithsonian Global Sound, their new online music store offering the Smithsonian's world music collection:
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