|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Sunday, April 14, 2002
Microsoft Has Shelved Its Internet 'Persona' Service
: Passport/MyServices/Hailstorm is in deep trouble, apparently being dropped by MS: "At the time of the introduction of My Services, Microsoft also proclaimed that it would have a set of prominent partners in areas like finance and travel for the My Services system. However, according to both industry consultants and Microsoft partners, after nine months of intense effort the company was unable to find any partner willing to commit itself to the program." 11:46:44 PM
Using a Fingerprint Test to Keep Prying Eyes Away
: Targus sells a 2-port USB hub with fingerprint reader for $120. Once the "Defcon" is installed, a person whose fingerprint is not in the system cannot get into the computer. If the sensor is removed, the system still locks out unauthorized users.
Waiting for the DOM
. Though great strides have been made towards the ultimate goal of a single DOM for all browsers, some implementation differences still remain. Guest author Kenneth Tibbetts provides some browser-specific scripting gotchas to watch out for. From the WebReference Update. 0315 11:13:05 PM
Nanny-Cam May Leave a Home Exposed
: "Thousands of people who have installed a popular wireless video camera, intending to increase the security of their homes and offices, have instead unknowingly opened a window on their activities to anyone equipped with a cheap receiver. The [x10] wireless video camera, which is heavily advertised on the Internet, is intended to send its video signal to a nearby base station, allowing it to be viewed on a computer or a television. But its signal can be intercepted from more than a quarter-mile away by off-the-shelf electronic equipment costing less than $250." 11:03:50 PM
Pending law in Thailand boots renewable energy
: Legislation expected to come into effect a few months in Thailand will give favorable legal status and power sales terms to solar cells and other "renewable energy sources that generate not more than 1MW of electricity." 10:41:43 PM
Optical DSPs claim revolutionary performance
: "Startup Lenslet Labs has demonstrated an optically based digital signal processing engine that has the potential to take DSPs from the current giga-operations-per-second limit to tera operations per second by 2005... Targeted at wireless and wireline (xDSL) communications, along with JPEG, MPEG, machine-vision and voice-recognition applications" this could be a 1000-fold increase in performance of critical computations within 3 years. 10:29:44 PM
Keeping Watch Over Instant Messages
: "instant messaging, once the province of chatty teenagers, has invaded the work place. Jupiter Media Metrix says more than 15.6 million people send instant messages at work." A number of systems for recording and analyzing employee IM are marketed, esp for health and securities industries that must record correspondence, and it's in use by many other companies. 10:17:47 PM
Japanese professor develops novel small turbine for wind and water:
"Unlike conventional wind turbines with their propeller-like blades, Seki's turbine, which produces very little noise, has blades that are set vertical to the ground. The blades rotate on an axis that is also vertical to the ground. Current models are 4kw; projections are 600,000 yen for one-kilowatt turbine. Seki said in a canal that flows at a speed of 7 kph, his turbines will generate two kilowatts of electricity per square meter of blade area. " 12:42:34 AM
Thinner Materials Improve Flexible Solar Cells, Flat Panel Displays: Virginia Tech researchers create films in one-nanometer-thick layers. They select materials that will self-assemble. Positively and negatively charged molecules are elercctrically attracted to one another. Building materials based on this attraction is called ionic self-assembled multilayers (ISAM). The researchers are using polymers and fullerenes.
So far, the efficiency of organic solar cells is only about 20 percent of silicon. The Virginia Tech researchers use ultra-thin layers of fullerenes that act as electron acceptors, which they have demonstrated increases the efficiency of the organic solar cells. The problem being solved by nanotechnology is the distance between the materials that are electron donors and acceptors. The fullerene has to be within 10 nanometers of where the light is absorbed for current to be created. "We believe we can improve the efficiency by factors of five or 10 through nanoscale control of the composition and thickness," Heflin says. "We expect organic solar cells will be at least as efficient as silicon within five years."
They have also created thin film that can be changed from transparent to deep violet and back as rapidly as 20 times per second, close to what's needed for displays. 12:19:56 AM