Archive for February, 2010

February 23rd 2010

The land of the free…?!

How do people even come up with stuff like this?

Similarly, students at Harriton High School in Rosemont, Pennsylvania just discovered that school officials had given laptops to students to take home with remotely-activated webcams, that could be used to take photos in student’s homes and transmit them back to school officials. Incredibly, this was discovered not by students or their parents examining the laptops, but because school officials used the feature to take a photo of a student in his bedroom, and then confronted him about “inappropriate” behavior, not considering that the students and their parents might consider it “inappropriate” that the school snuck spy cams into their bedrooms. (The school has issued a denial claiming, “At no time did any high school administrator have the ability or actually access the security-tracking software” — which doesn’t seem to make sense, since the lawsuit was filed in the first place because the student was told by the assistant principal that the webcam had caught him engaging in “inappropriate behavior.”) What was the school thinking? Probably, they were thinking, “These are minors, we can do what we want.” If their student clientele had been comprised of adults, they never would have dreamed that they could confront a student about behavior in their room that they captured with a hidden camera. (Ironically, the school may end up in more trouble for spying on minors, as this editorial argues, since the school officials may now be guilty of recording and possessing child porn, depending on what the cameras “captured” in the students’ rooms!)

Link

It always amazes me that people even think they can get away with it. And what kind of a sick basterd do you need to be to watch what those cameras transmitted? Does anyone sue the school for this?

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February 22nd 2010

Robot calligraphy

This robot is writing out the entire bible… It does not make sense, but then again, it is art, so it does not have to :-)

More photo’s here, I could not find a video…

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February 22nd 2010

Hubble pictures continue to amaze me…

Wow. Just wow. Not altered, as far as I can tell. The universe is just this beautifull…

More here.

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February 19th 2010

Frozen people in the metrostation?

I love projects like this… :-)
More from these guys can be found here

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February 19th 2010

Flowlab

Beautifull and somewhat strange pictures of a ‘lab on a chip’. More pictures here:

Link

Video’s like this one:

can be found on this YouTube-channel. Things like this are, apparently, actually commercially available:

Agilent Technologies is the leader in commercial microfluidic Lab-on-a-Chip technology. This technology utilizes a network of channels and wells that are etched onto glass or polymer chips to build mini-labs. Pressure or electrokinetic forces move pico liter volumes in finely controlled manner through the channels. Lab-on-a-Chip enables sample handling, mixing, dilution, electrophoresis and chromatographic separation, staining and detection on single integrated systems. The main advantages of Lab-on-a-Chip are ease-of-use, speed of analysis, low sample and reagent consumption and high reproducibility due to standardization and automation.

This is from the website of Agilent.

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February 19th 2010

A marble machine…

I’m alway slightly jealous about the amount of time some people can commit to hobbies. Still, I like watching them :-)

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February 18th 2010

Bodyscan – nodyscan

This is a video about a german TV-show where the bodyscan is rather seriously taken apart. It turns out that you can hide a lot of stuff on and even in your body that would not show up on the scan… amazing…

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February 18th 2010

Micro-photographs

Link

Very nice, shows us some new images of stuff you thought you knew…

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February 18th 2010

Money is just a figment of your imagination..!

Good satire is true, somewhere…

Link

The Onion is (once more, because they do this very often!) spot on, I think. Money is nothing more than a agreement. In itself it has no value whatsoever… :-)

“I’ve spent 25 years in this room yelling ‘Buy, buy! Sell, sell!’ and for what?” longtime trader Michael Palermo said. “All I’ve done is move arbitrary designations of wealth from one column to another, wasting my life chasing this unattainable hallucination of wealth.”

I read them a lot, and I love it :-)

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February 17th 2010

What are we gonna do?

Very thought-provoking piece on the Huffingtonpost:

Link

Semi-quote:

So where does that take us? Information is available and so are solutions. And where does that leave us? It strikes me, that with so much knowledge, we still don’t know better. If the world is not changing could it be because people are not changing?

This is what troubles me a about a lot of videos from TED, or many other interesting post/blogs/whatever. The trouble is not by any definition that we don’t know what should be done, or what needs to be done or even how to do it. The trouble seems to be that ‘we’ are just not doing it.

So the question should be more about: how can we pursuade people to start doing the right things? Of course, the trouble starts with defining what the ‘right thing’ is. And that is where most efforts will stop, because people will not even agree on what the right thing is. So that moves the problem again: how can you get people to subscribe to a problem?

Given the recent experience with the ‘Climate-gates’ and all the problems and escapes you see people using to try to wiggle out of this problem, I’m not very hopefull at all. People will deny a problem even if they know it exists if denying it will give them something they value more than solving the problem.

Again, the problem moves: how can you shift the burden of not solving the problem to the people that should be able to solve it, but don’t. And again, recent events (ie: the credit-crises) does not give me a lot of hope that this will happen. There, the exact opposite happens. The people who created the problem go more or less unhindered, and can simply continue doing what they always did and what created the problem in the first place.

Still, I think this might be the only way forward: start burdening people who can actually change things with the problem. That will lead to solutions.

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