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<Summary> YATB, Yet Another Technology Blog </Summary>

Monday, December 26, 2005

It's a small world after all

Thanks to Sids for pointing out Professor Srinath's blog . Welcome Professor.


MIT is Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Mario Institute of Technology ?

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Seems like Girls just wanna have fun. Or maybe just swallow cellphones! .

Future of Technology

From USAtoday

<start source="http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/2005-12-15-future-tech-gifts_x.htm">

Technology's just getting started

By Kevin Maney, USA TODAY
The tech industry is pumping out all sorts of cool products: flat-screen TVs the size of the Acropolis, nanotech golf balls that only Mr. Magoo could hit into the woods, cellphones that mix cocktails for you.

Maybe that last one is still wishful thinking. Remind me to check with Nokia.

At the end of the year, it's time to talk about what you might be giving your loved ones in 2010 or so.

Such as, the Morning After Bot.

"It's a robot that cleans up after a party," says Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab at Stanford University.

"It takes a snapshot before the party and tries to restore that state by picking up bottles and glasses after the party."

What else is coming? We asked around at tech research labs, looking for concepts that might be available in the next half-dozen years.

An electronic coffee table

You thought a coffee table's only job was to look nice while holding martini glasses? Ha!

Lots of companies have been working on large touchscreen surfaces. Both Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft are working on building such a surface into a coffee table, which would be loaded with electronics and connected to the Internet.

"People can sit around the coffee table and surf the Web, share digital photos and videos and play games," says an HP Labs document.

Microsoft Research calls its version the PlayAnywhere project. The smart tabletop would know if you set a coffee cup on it. If you were reading the news on a website, the table would shift the text around the cup. The table could have a database of every board game ever made. And it could, of course, download coffee table books from the Web — so they'd be literally in your coffee table.

GPS walkers

Let's say Grandpa regularly grabs his walker and heads off to bed but winds up in the neighbor's garage.

Stanford has built a prototype of an intelligent walker with embedded sensors, voice recognition and Global Positioning System technology. Grandpa might stand in his walker and say "bedroom." The GPS combined with indoor sensors could know where the walker is, map the route to the bedroom and avoid hazards such as stairs, low furniture and the cat while guiding Grandpa to bed.     

By 2010, you'll see GPS integrated into all kinds of things. You'll be able to buy a bike that can keep you from getting lost. GPS even will be embedded in handheld video game players so the games will be aware of what's around you.

Home 3-D fabricators

Today, if you want a CD of Grand Funk Railroad's greatest hits, you load the songs from the Web and burn a disk on your home computer — in a sense, making something that a decade ago you could have bought only at a store.

Imagine that trend continuing.

A decade from now when you want a plastic knob for your dishwasher, instead of ordering it from a factory in Outer Jabip, you could load its design from the Web and make it using a 3-D fabrication machine.

Neal Gershenfeld of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is working on "home fabs." He's already built a prototype, but it would barely fit in a garage and costs $20,000. He predicts that in 10 years or so, home fabs will cost $1,000 and be as commonplace as ink-jet printers.


Microsoft Research chief Rick Rashid has been pitching this project coming out of his labs.

The idea is you take a miniature digital camera, give it vast amounts of storage and pack it with tiny sensors — an accelerometer that senses when you move, infrared sensors that know when a person is standing in front of you, GPS and more.

You set up your preferences and maybe tell it to shoot a photo every time you stop walking and every time a person comes into view, and every 10 seconds when the GPS realizes that you are within 100 feet of a tourist attraction.

Then you mount your SenseCam on your baseball cap and go see the world.

"We've got a number of tourism companies that are saying, 'Look, instead of our people spending their lives behind cameras when they go on tour and they've never actually seen the Tower of Pisa, only the LCD display of the Tower of Pisa — now there's an opportunity,' " Rashid told the MobiSys conference in June.

Seeing-eye eyewear

London industrial design student Katie Williams has made a prototype pair of goggles that let swimmers see their times and keep track of laps. Embedded electronics project numbers on lenses.

The goggles aren't out yet, but experts say she's onto something.

Golf glasses might use GPS to show the distance to the hole and draw a visual line to the flag. For musicians, glasses could projectsheet music so they'd never have to turn pages. Skiers could see a map showing how to get to the lodge from where they'd just done a face-plant.

Then again, if the skier had a cellphone that mixed cocktails, getting to the lodge would be less critical.


I am really excited about the fabricators project. The others just seem to be more of marketing gimmicks.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Tim Is Here

Sir Tim has a blog . And going by the number of comments to his first post it seems that this is going to be one popular blog in the blogsphere.

Knuth And Poetry

Chitrakavya is a project at IIIT-B which deals with the "Knights Tour Problem". Professor Prasanna here is quite excited about this project and if Professor Donald Erwin Knuth sending poem, "sung", in his own voice is anything to go by, then it seems that even God has his blessings for this project.

Here are the files in which Donald Erwin Knuth is "singing" poems.

Knuth Poem 1
Knuth Poem 2

Background information on Chitrakavaya project which is under Professor Prasanna can be found here.


Have Fun!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Blake and Microsoft

I was going through Blake Ross's post on "The decline of the Windows brand" . He comments that Windows is no longer is a brand and that "Google" is what matters today. He adds "My generation doesn’t know or care about Windows, and why should they?" That is completely outlandish!. I am not sure why he has a problem with Microsoft labeling its products as "Windows Messenger" and for that matter even "Windows Live Messenger". Sure half of the "current generation" might be using Google for their searches but if he does not know about the number of users of Microsoft Windows then FHI more than 90% of desktops today use Microsoft Windows. I am a great fan of Google but I sure don't "God Worship" Google. And if name is the name of the game, what about the name that Google chooses. Google too chooses to prefix its products name with Google. Not to mention suffixed with the godly "beta" tag.

Products need promotion but to promote them on arguments that have no basis is just plain stupid. Blake just seems to be getting better at it.