Tag Archives: Technology

One diabetic’s take on Google’s Smart Contact Lenses

Om Malik, himself a diabetic, looks at Google’s Smart Contact Lenses.

While I was aware that diabetics must be aware of a number of health issues (in addition to their blood sugar levels) the recommendation against contact lenses is new to me. Diabetic health is definitely an area that could use some automation, obviously, but smart contacts aren’t the answer.

Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online

England’s Bletchley Park wasn’t just the home base of Alan Turing and the efforts to break the Nazi’s Engima machine, it also collected communication transcripts, communiques, memoranda, photographs, maps and other material relating to key events that took place during the war. Now a donation of document scanners will allow volunteers to digitize the entire collection and make it available to researchers and historians. Expect a lot of untold stories to come to light in the next few years.

Early Apple Employee Reunion Celebrates the Twiggy Mac Resurrection

Recently a couple of “Twiggy” Macs, original prototype 128K versions from 1984 using the unreliable Twiggy drives from the Apple III, were restored to working order. In honor of that, a reunion of early Apple employees was held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Among the attendees was Woz, Andy Hertzfeld, Guy Kamasaki and Chris Espinosa.

Every engineer dreams of making a great product that is well-remembered but few ever get that chance. These guys got that chance.

Facial recognition tech didn’t help find bombing suspects

If you’ve ever seen a cop show on TV you’ve probably seen examples of software that can magically take a photo of someone and search image databases to find all about them. Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily work that way in real life. Case in point, the Boston Marathon bombers were found through a combination of repeated views of surveillance video, information from social media and intense public interest and investigation. In fact. Boston police chief says that facial recognition tech didn’t help find bombing suspects at all even though both suspects had their pictures in government databases.

Declassified: America’s Secret Flying Saucer

Believe it or don’t, the US actually built and flew a flying saucer in the 1950s. Technically, it was built by a Canadian aerospace company, Avro, but it did fly. Sort of. It never achieved stability in the air, and it never traveled faster than 30 knots or higher than 3 feet. The design relied on mechanical routing of the exhaust from three jet engines and lost too much thrust to friction to make it reach any higher.

The entire project was highly classified and only recently became available to the public. Some of the ideas from the saucer have been used as inspiration for more practical aircraft, including the Harrier Jump Jet.

The stability issue would not be a barrier today as computer controls enable many modern aircraft designs, which are inherently unstable, to fly without a problem.