Updated: 5/16/2006; 11:36:37 AM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Friday, March 19, 2004


Nokia 5140 RFID Reader - Fun with RFID: A personal sized unit that links with a cell phone.  " The Nokia Mobile RFID Kit extends the mobility of field force personnel .. Simply by touching a smart object, the user can initiate tasks in their Nokia phone - call and send text messages or access databases and record new data entries.

"There are numerous ways to utilize the Nokia Mobile RFID Kit in a business", said Gerhard Romen, Head of Market Development, Nokia Ventures Organization. "The user can easily launch services and conveniently access phone functions like dial or send messages, just by touching smart objects, in this case RFID tags. The phone reader will read the content of the smart object, and translate it to an action. For example, a field service engineer can intuitively start browsing the latest service instructions to repair a machine on site. It is also possible to collect meter reading data to the phone by keying the reading into the phone, replacing the paper and pen method still widely in use today. The Kit can also replace the pen and paper method in recording time and attendance, for example."

The Nokia Mobile RFID Kit is part of the Nokia Field Force Solution and operates in the 13.56MHz frequency range, at a very short range of typically 2-3 centimetres, using the ISO-14443A standard. The short reading distance is optimal for field force solutions where tags placed in premises and devices are read individually by a workforce that moves." 

There could be consumer applications too.  Scan a store item and find its price online (via froogle, e.g.).  Find out if others are scanning you, or find the tags on objects you own.  Pick up a CD in a store and have the songs streamed to your phone.  It changes things when the consumer is the scanner.

  9:03:28 PM  permalink  

CommuniGate Pro: MAPI Connector: "The CommuniGate Pro MAPI Connector acts as a "MAPI provider". It accepts Messaging API requests from Microsoft Outlook (Outlook 98, Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, Outlook XP and later) running in the "groupware" mode, and from other Windows applications. The MAPI Connector converts these requests into extended IMAP commands and sends them to the CommuniGate Pro Server. "  10:52:06 AM  permalink  

CBEN: The Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology at Rice University studies the potential good and bad environmental impacts of nanotech.   Recent Congressional testimony by its director Vicki Colvin summarizes its point of view.  10:45:08 AM  permalink  

Nano industry should address environmental issues: "Nanotechnology will best flourish in an environment that is largely self-regulated but includes measured governmental oversight, according to a report released today by a think tank in California.  Emerging technologies of the past, especially biotechnology, offer lessons that could help businesses, researchers and policy-makers acknowledge and address public fears that could stifle growth.  But it is critical that nanotechnology’s advocates and those who are concerned about new technology’s impact on society and the environment begin discussions now, before ideology and politics come into play."  Full report issued Nov 2002.  Greenpeace issued a comparable position advocating government studies in July 2003.  10:38:27 AM  permalink  

Quantum Dots (QD) Used To Visualize Cellular Processes: Great application of quantum dots.  From the press release: "These are nano-sized semiconductor crystals a mere ten millionth of a millimeter in diameter that fluoresce in several different colors upon excitation with a laser source. These crystals enabled the researchers to deliver real-time video-clips of signal transmission in the so-called erbB receptor family, important targets for many anti-tumor drugs such as antibodies directed against breast cancer. Among other processes, the movies capture the uptake and subsequent redistribution of the receptor-growth factor complexes into the interior of the cell. .. Conventional tools, such as fluorescent dyes and polymer spheres, bleach too quickly - sometimes within seconds - to be of use for extended video images of living cells, according to the researchers. Quantum Dots, on the other hand, are not only very photostable but also very bright, making it possible to trace many elements of the cell for minutes or even hours at a time. "  3:29:20 AM  permalink  

Blogad classifieds: Buy a week on a small blog for $20, or a large political one for $400.  3:19:52 AM  permalink  

Do terrorists play election politics?: " In recent tapes and on websites, Al Qaeda operatives have targeted a number of countries for helping the US.  By one US government official's count, Al Qaeda has now hit 20 of 23 countries that either Zawahiri or bin Laden said they would after the invasion of Afghanistan. "Japan, Norway, and Nigeria are the only ones that haven't been attacked," he says."  3:07:01 AM  permalink  

A progress report on Iraq: An interesting collection of stats and polls.  2:58:59 AM  permalink  

Microsoft goes even more global: "The latest versions of the company's dominant Windows computer operating system and popular Office software will soon be available in languages ranging from Ethiopia's Amharic to Inuktitut of the Arctic's Inuit, under a project between Microsoft and various local governments and universities.  The Local Language Program has already resulted in a Hindi version of Microsoft's software, and there are plans to make Windows and Office available in a total of nine languages spoken in India by the end of the year.  The software maker hopes the program will soon double the roster of languages available for Microsoft products, from 40 to 80. Hundreds of millions of people speak the languages that will be offered, but it's unclear how many of them have access to computers right now."  2:45:43 AM  permalink  

News blogs making money: "Weblogs are going commercial. Marketers including Xerox, America Online and CNN have run ads on some of the Internet's most popular blogs, according to the Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for the Interactive Advertising Bureau said blogs really are not on the radar of large, mainstream advertisers. But two politically oriented efforts, Daily Kos and TalkingPointsMemo.com, are reportedly generating as much as $5,000 a month in revenue. A Chapel Hill, N.C. company has started to represent these online publishers to advertisers. Henry Copeland, founder of the Blogads service told the Journal he's placed ads on about 200 blogs"  2:41:04 AM  permalink  

Profile of Nanosys: "Nanosys is like industrial design company IDEO, which doesn't make products but improves them. .. Similarly, firms knock on Nanosys' door with a need or an idea, and Nanosys figures out how nanotechnology might help.

For some of its partners, Nanosys is working on what it calls nanostructured surface coatings. By messing with atoms, Nanosys can create a coating that can do things never before possible. For instance, one coating is super-hydrophobic — which means, as Empedocles tells me, it can make an item "so water resistant that water literally bounces off it."  This might someday make windshields that never need windshield wipers. Or clothes that could be worn underwater and remain dry. ..

Another Nanosys project, with Japan's Matsushita Electric, is making a photovoltaic liquid that can be poured onto a surface, turning the surface into a solar energy panel. Within a couple of years, Matsushita hopes to market roofing tiles with Nanosys' coating. Instead of paying thousands of dollars for unsightly conventional glass solar panels, you could just turn your roof into a solar energy collector for maybe one-tenth the cost...

Nanosys is essentially developing liquid electronics. Pour it onto a surface, and when it solidifies, its nanowires can turn that surface into a display. The process would be cheap, and could be done on thin sheets of plastic at low temperatures."

  2:21:28 AM  permalink  

WiFi paid hotspots disappoint:  Hotspots worldwide generate $80m/yr, in the US $28m -- "what Verizon Wireless generates every 12 hours" with cell phones.  Analysts expect that no hotspot provider will make money before the end of 2005.  Cometa has built only 230 hotspots and won't say how many of the original 20,000 planned will actually get built. 

In Asia, providers are selling access at lower prices.  In S Korea, one provider offers unlimted wifi for $13/mo, or only $1/mo additional for home broadband subscribers. They have 360,000 subcribers.  Similar Hong Kong providers have 40,000. Last year, 4.7m Asians used a hotspot, compared to 2.7m Americans and 1.7m Europeans.  Resistance to $6/hr or $10/rates is high.

  2:17:21 AM  permalink  

Wind Turbines, Photovoltaics Winners in Distributed Generation Market: " In the distributed generation (DG) industry, most of the fuel cell and microturbine companies reported disappointing results for 2003, as they failed to ship expected unit quantities of their products. Wind turbine and photovoltaic companies, however, experienced extraordinary sales, and are expected to translate these sales into solid market share gains on the competition, finds ABI Research. "  2:07:28 AM  permalink  

IBM Researchers Develop Low-Cost Method for Making High-Performance Semiconductors: "A team of researchers at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center (Yorktown Heights, NY.) recently developed a simple, low-cost process to make extraordinarily thin films of semiconducting materials that allows electrical charges to move through them about 10 times more easily than had been reported for all other similar approaches. Such an increase can enable a broad array of low-cost electronics and new pervasive-computing applications. "These types of easily processed semiconducting films could eventually be used to make circuitry for very-low-cost or flexible displays, high-performance smart cards, sensors and solar cells or for flexible electronics coated onto a wide variety of molded or plastic shapes," said the IBM Research team leader, David Mitzi. ..

Spin coating is simple and cheap: Several drops of a liquid solution are simply placed onto a spinning platter.  Centripetal forces then spread the liquid to a uniform thickness over the entire surface. The film's thickness is usually determined by the solution's viscosity (its resistance to flow) and the rate and duration of spinning. The liquid is then cured into a solid thin film upon which transistors and other various electronic devices can be made. Until now, the only semiconducting materials that could be made using spin coating had limited usefulness due to their low charge "mobility" -- a measure of how fast electronic circuits made with a semiconductor can operate. Better semiconductors could not be dissolved in any liquid that would result in a thin film that retained the desired mobility. Mitzi's team developed a way to dissolve such higher-mobility materials in a liquid that could be used in a spin-coating process, leaving a very uniformly-controlled film. Moreover, in a transistor made on the films, the materials exhibited 10 times the charge mobility of any previously spin-coated seniconductor. "

  2:06:33 AM  permalink  

ISP Gets Tough With 'Zombie' Customers: "Chris Belthoff, a senior security analyst at Sophos, said zombie machines are a drain on an ISPs' bandwidth and storage budgets [and] call center costs .. "The problem Comcast is trying to solve is a very serious one," said Belthoff, whose research has found that about 30 percent of spam comes from consumer-based PCs. ..

Antivirus experts estimate that the recent MyDoom-A worm compromised 500,000 to 1 million computers -- all with open proxies. And they expect that army of zombie machines will be put to use in the spam community, much as anti-spam experts believe computers infected with the Sobig virus were. For end users, the best advice is to keep antivirus and personal firewall programs updated, Belthoff said. And from Comcast's point of view, setting up a personal firewall is increasingly becoming a customer requirement for getting online. "

  1:47:06 AM  permalink  

Hackers Embrace P2P Concept: "Computer security experts in the private sector and U.S. government are monitoring the emergence of a new, highly sophisticated hacker tool that uses the same peer-to-peer (P2P) networking abilities that power controversial file-sharing networks like Kazaa and BearShare.

By some estimates, hundreds of thousands of computers running Microsoft's Windows operating system have already been infected worldwide. The tool, a program that security researchers have dubbed "Phatbot," allows its authors to gain control over computers and link them into P2P networks that can be used to send large amounts of spam e-mail messages or to flood Web sites with data in an attempt to knock them offline. "

  1:39:47 AM  permalink  

ResourceShelfPLUS: Extensive list of patents and filings in search technology.  1:30:54 AM  permalink  

Topix.net launches: Interesting news and RSS aggregator.  "You can keyword search the Topix database (over 4000 sources, a great deal of content that's difficult to quickly access elsewhere) but the real power comes via easy-to-use "pre-built" pages that aggregate news and other information onto over 150,000 topical pages (company names, industry names, etc.). This total also includes a local news and info page for every Zip Code. "  FAQ: "the classification technology can be applied to a variety of text classification problems."  RSS feeds available, though not yet for search results.  1:24:31 AM  permalink  

EPIC FOIA Gallery 2004: The Electronic Privacy Information Center uses the Freedom of Info Act to get government documents on various topics.  It has collected highlights from each of the last several years -- facinating reading, esp on uses of the Patriot Act.  12:56:20 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 11:36:37 AM.