One Aging Geek

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Wishlist: No, really anybody out there is welcome to buy this for me

Samsung YP-T6zThough not as small or light as BenQ’s Joybee 102 (still the world’s smallest MP3 player at half an ounce), we’re willing to bet that Samsung’s YP-T6z, which manages to squeeze in a full gigabyte of storage room in a nice little stick weighing in at a full ounce, is the world’s smallest 1GB portable music player. The YP-T6z also pops in support for OGG (the open source audio format) an FM tuner, and will play for about 20 hours on a single AAA battery. No price mentioned as of yet.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Crypto-Gram: September 15, 2004 -- Security at the Olympics

Crypto-Gram: September 15, 2004

If you watched the Olympic games on television, you saw the unprecedented security surrounding the 2004 Olympics. You saw shots of guards and soldiers, and gunboats and frogmen patrolling the harbors. But there was a lot more security behind the scenes. Olympic press materials state that there was a system of 1,250 infrared and high-resolution surveillance cameras mounted on concrete poles. Additional surveillance data was collected from sensors on 12 patrol boats, 4000 vehicles, 9 helicopters, 4 mobile command centers, and a blimp. It wasn't only images; microphones collected conversations, speech-recognition software converted them to text, and then sophisticated pattern-matching software looked for suspicious patterns. 70,000 people were involved in Olympic security, about seven per athlete or one for every 76 spectators. The Greek government reportedly spent $1.5 billion on security during the Olympics. But aside from the impressive-looking guards and statistics, was the money well-spent? In many ways, Olympic security is a harbinger of what life could be like in the U.S. If the Olympics are going to be a security test bed, it's worth exploring how well the security actually worked.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Will Frances end the US manned space program? As you might expect, today's Astronomy Pic of the Day is a shot of Frances. For those that aren't aware, the entire shuttle fleet is in immovable condition in the OPF. The OPF is rated to withstand a Category 3 storm. Frances is expected to hit land as a Category 5. The likely track of strongest winds etc goes right over KSC. This could be bad. Could be VERY BAD.

Nanobot: Achieving the 'impossible

Grad's Breakthrough Artificial Pancreas May Help Diabetics (The Daily Californian)
    Even though her colleagues told her it was impossible to create an artificial pancreas that could alleviate diabetes, and that she would never finish it in time to graduate from UC Berkeley, Tejal Desai finished what she set out to do.

    ... Desai, 31, built an implantable device—containing live pancreas cells—that could be used in place of daily insulin injections for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels.

    ... The main challenge hindering scientists was protecting the insulin-producing pancreas cells from attacks from the body's immune system. In diabetics, the immune system damages these cells.

    It took Desai four years to step over the barriers. She started growing cells on chemically modified silicon, which she used to create a container of silicon membrane covered in tiny pores.

    These pores, which are a billionth of a meter wide, allow glucose, insulin and oxygen to pass through, while blocking larger, harmful immune cells.

    This combination of biology and nanotechnology was unknown when Desai began her research, but bioengineering breakthroughs such as her own are making it a quickly growing field. More here

NanoBot Backgrounder
The Amazing Montemagno
Driving under the influence of Feynman
Nanotech and Tikkun
Carlo's just a Copycat
[Howard Lovy's NanoBot]