American Civics | Khan Academy.
I have always loved the idea of Khan Academy, which has become one of the leading educational sites on the Internet. Free, and effective, education about math and science and economics on the Internet, what's not to like? However, math and science have never been strong interests of mine, so I didn't spend a lot of time there. Now, Khan Academy is branching out into the Humanities, which is in my wheelhouse, and it is going to be wonderful. Are you interested in an even handed discussion of Obamacare, the Government's Financial Condition, or Medicare Sustainibility, among other topics? Are you interested in Art? Check out these lessons. This is what the Internet should be all about.
Star Trek's Tricorder Becomes Reality With Scanadu's Scout.
O.K. This is cool. This little device is like the Star Trek Tricorder, in its medical use. You hold it to your head for ten seconds and it measures and shows vital signs, ECG, heart rate, oximetry and stress. The results go to your smartphone and can be seen with an app designed to receive the data. Of course, this thing will never replace a Doctor or even Doctor McCoy. But, if you are obsessive about your vital signs, and you are a hypochondriac, the normal fluctuations of your body signs will give you plenty of ammunition to convince SWMBO that you need to stay home from work.
BillyJim47: My Life With Technology - Chapter 2.1.
Bill Holmes continues his quest to learn everything there was to know about early computers; but, he has to do it in Valdosta, Georgia, in the early seventies, and while driving an Opel. Apparently, the life of a computer geek hasn't changed much over the past 30 to 40 years. In computer years, 1970 seems like a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. However, the details of what it took to process simple check data in the early days of computing is instructive for our future. Is it better that human minds and hands were required back then, or that today we are dealing with billions of electronic bytes stored in a far away data center that runs itself, except for a few humans at computer consoles? This all makes me think of the rise of the machines in the Terminator series.
Google cuts network usage by terabytes by switching to WebP | Webware - CNET.
Of course you don't. However, every PNG image you upload to Google + and some other websites is now being converted to a compressed WebP file, which you don't notice, but which saves Terabytes of network storage space, and saves everyone money. Now that we are paying for mobile data on a metered basis, the size of our uploads becomes a dollars and cents issue. Even Facebook is looking at the new standard. Expect more image software to include the WebP option in the future. Now, get back to clogging the Internet with photos of your children and food.
Google Play Books enables user uploads of e-books, documents | Internet & Media - CNET News.
One of the things I love about Google Music is that I can upload my music to the Cloud, and access it from any device. Yesterday, Google announced the upgrade of Google Play Books to do the same thing with up to 1,000 books and documents. Now, my classics don't have to be loaded on to each device. They will be available wherever I am. The future is in the cloud.
Official Blog: Live from Google I/O: Mo%u2019 screens, mo%u2019 goodness.
If you want to know all the announcements being made today at Google I/O, and you don't want your news filtered third hand through he mouths of pundits, this is the place to go. The Google blog has published the announcements officially right here. If you want, there is a link to watch the conference live; but, there will be plenty of recordings available later. For now, check out what's new in the GoogleVerse right here.
BillyJim47: My Life With Technology - Chapter 2.0.
Bill Holmes' book has moved to Chapter 2. In this Chapter, Bill moves to start up data processing centers, which, in the old days of computing, were populated by huge computers in remote locations. Nowadays these centers have been replaced by huge server farms, and the processing is done inside a computer. The IBM 360, pictured here, was the smallest computer then available, and had a whopping 8K of memory. This is a fascinating look at how computing and data processing has developed from a human being intensive activity to something that happens inside a modern processor. Thanks, Bill, for the education. I, for one, can't wait for the next Chapter.
What Your Coffee Says About You [Pic] | Geeks are Sexy Technology News. Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words. I drink a lot of coffee. I won't tell you how much. Let's save that bit of information for the movie of my life. In the meantime, I am not a fan of fancy names or expensive machines. I want my coffee black, fast, and cheap. It is, after all, not a ladies' afternoon repast; but, a caffeine delivery device. Get jacked. Get alert. Have you had your coffee yet?
DOJ: We don't need warrants for e-mail, Facebook chats | Politics and Law - CNET News.
The Department of Justice, and other Government agencies, will always take the default position that they do not need a valid search warrant to look at digital data such as email, Facebook or other social media posts or anything placed online by the author. There is a conflict between this position and privacy advocates who argue that the new emphasis on cloud computing has put much information in which the user has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" in the ether where it can be discovered and claimed by anyone. Of course, the sticking point is what we consider "reasonable". The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Social media, and other Internet based methods of communication were certainly not contemplated by the founders. However, the principle is the same. Citizens have the right to maintain private information. The question becomes whether, in the modern era, it is reasonable to protect information that we voluntarily place in the cloud. I always will default to the position that my private information, wherever I choose to store it, belongs to me until a Judge, after a probable cause hearing, says it doesn't.
BillyJim47: My Life With Technology - Chapter 1.3.
In the next chapter of the Bill Holmes serial "My Life With Technology", Bill describes what used to happen with checks in the era of computer punch cards. How did we survive? These days, I pull out the smartphone, take a picture of the check and email it to the bank, where human hands will never touch it. We probably won't even have checks in another 30 years. Fascinating history, Bill. I can't wait for Chapter 2.