October 25 2016 Scientists may have discovered alien communication between stars. Link: Tech Crunch - scientists say signals from certain stars are probably aliens URL: https://techcrunch.com/2016/10/25/scientists-say-signals-from-certain-stars-are-probably-aliens/
August 14 2016 Plot twist. Link: ArsTechnica - Orbital-angular-momentum-states may vastly increase fiber's bandwidth URL: http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/08/orbital-angular-momentum-states-may-vastly-increase-fibers-bandwidth/
July 18 2016 Abe Davis recovers audio from silent video recording ... with off-the-shelf cameras. A friend sent me a link to one of Mr. Davis's older talks on this tech. The link below is a newer version of the presentation. In it, Mr. Davis creates interactive objects that were filmed and run thru his tech. It's crazy. Link: TED - Abe Davis: New Video Tech Reveals Object's Hidden Properties URL: https://www.ted.com/talks/abe_davis_new_video_technology_that_reveals_an_object_s_hidden_properties?language=en
April 19 2016 Google recently posted a few 360-degree videos. The NHL All-Star Weekend video is the first glimpse at the future of sports. I can just image duel 360 cameras delivering stereoscopic live streams of sporting events. How much would you pay to throw on an Occulus Rift and be sitting center ice for the Stanley Cup Finals? ... what about the World Cup? The NHL video even includes spatial audio. I can't wait to watch the World Cup from one of these things and hear the roar of the crowd from across the pitch: You'll feel like you're actually there ... wherever there is. Ten years from now, watching any sporting event on a 4k TV will feel antiquated. Click the link below to view the video. Move your mouse over the video while it plays: your mouse cursor will look like a hand. Click and drag to look around while the video plays. NOTE: When the NHL video starts, there are a few 360 still-frame images. So, be patient eventually you get to the full video. Link: NHL All Star Weekend - 360 Video (with spatial audio) URL: https://youtu.be/DqlUEiyku44?list=PLU8wpH_LfhmvCvcBGui3LHC8DufjgvxNn
April 6 2016 Just started messing around with Brave. The Ad-blocking browser from Brendan Eich and co. Sites tend to load faster when the "junk-mail" is thrown out ahead of time. The GUI is a bit different than the run-of-the-mill tab-based browsers. But that's not to say it's bad: It's just different. Link: Check out Brave URL: https://www.brave.com/
Feb 15 2016 Created a portable web-server that links basic file-system access to the pages it serves. I'm calling it "AppServer" ... creative, I know. You can find it at the link below. It was written in BlitzMax, which, in general, is used for developing computer games. It's main advantage is that the source code can be compiled on the three major operating-system flavors: MacOS, Windows, Linux. (Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry?) The compilied executable is light-weight and portable. This makes it easy to distribute. I haven't compiled it on MacOS or Linux yet, but the Windows version is only 432Kb. Which is a lot smaller than NWjs or Node.js. App Server would be much smaller, but includes an IncBin'd copy of System.js which the "api-layer" between the browser and the AppServer.exe itself. I messed around with Java and .NET versions, but decided on BlitzMax because it's portable and small. Sometime in the next few days I will post the source code on GitHub for all. App Server is released under the MIT license. Have fun! Link: App Server 1.0 URL: http://www.spencerjobe.com/appserver/home.html
Dec 21 2015 So, Internet Explorer won't send cookies with requests if the domain name has an underscore in it. ... what fresh hell is this? ... I realize is probably some esoteric security thing, but wow that's crazy. typing in the direct IP solved the problem. Link: PRB: Session Variables Do Not Persist Between Requests After You Install Internet Explorer Security Patch MS01-055 URL: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/316112
Dec 19 2015 Going to see Star Wars today. I am really excited about this movie. I know they shot the whole thing on old-school 35mm file instead of using a digital camera. In an interview, JJ Abrams said they tracked down and used the camera lenses from Panavision that shot the original three movies. Good stuff. Video: Fox 5 DC - Abrams interview URL: https://youtu.be/MjWHpwihkZw?t=627
Nov 19 2015 Interesting article and a short documentary from Glenn Greenwald about a homeless man and his dogs living on the streets of Rio de Janerio. Article: The Intercept - Dogs forge a bond with Rio's homeless that is life saving URL: https://theintercept.com/2015/10/13/dogs-forge-a-bond-with-rios-homeless-that-is-life-saving/ Video: The Intercept- Field of Vision: Birdie URL: https://theintercept.com/fieldofvision/birdie
Nov 18 2015 So there's really no way to monitor progress of an upload in older browsers without using some type of plug in. Best I could come up with was to upload the file in a iframe and use a setTimeout loop to check for a page load. If the page is still loading, then animate a loading dial, if the page is loaded, then remove the loading dial.
Nov 1 2015 WhyArs Technica is a great site. Aside from the many well-written articles covering a range of different scientific and technological subjects, there is another reason why Ars Technica is so great. The article below highlights a cancer-attacking-virus therapy that the FDA approved for use on Tuesday. While the article itself is a great example of the topics covered by Ars, it is the promoted comments that make the site so much better. Below the article, one of the researchers working on the therapy described in the article replied with a comment. I haven't verified this person's claims. But, for the sake of argument, let's assume they are being honest. For me, this highlights an important fact: Ars Technica is read by experts in the industry. The comment itself enhances the value of the article. And, while it cannot be verified without further research, it helps promote fruitful discussion on the topic. Rather that forcing readers to dig through the "pile" of comments to find this expert's reply, the comment is promoted so it is easily visible to the reader. The promoted-comment mechanic is another reason why Ars Technica is a great site. I recommend adding it to your daily browsing habits. ArsTechnica: Cancer-killing viruses have finally arrived URL: http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/10/cancer-killing-viruses-have-finally-arrived/
Oct 22 2015 Great presentation by Douglas Crockford on managing programmers. This one deserves your full attention. Lot's of funny stuff (Dilbert and XKCD). I especially like his distinction between engineers and "software" engineers. Engineers have gravity to keep them honest, programmers don't have that. If you manage programmers, this is a must watch. Managing Programmers by Douglas Crockford at Silicon Valley Code Camp URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPlMcUxFOlY
Oct 13 2015 Crazy story about Soviet key-logging tech from the 1970s. "All of the implants were quite sophisticated. Each implant had a magnetometer that converted the mechanical energy of key strokes into local magnetic disturbances. The electronics package in the implant responded to these disturbances, categorized the underlying data, and transmitted the results to a nearby listening post. Data were transmitted via radio frequency. The implant was enabled by remote control. Another advantage of these bugs was easy installation. Engineers estimated that a skilled technician could install an implant in a typewriter in a half hour. The integrated circuits were very sophisticated for that time period. The circuits contained one bit core memory, an advancement that NSA engineers had never seen." Ars Technica : How Soviets used IBM Selectric keyloggers to spy on US diplomats URL: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/10/how-soviets-used-ibm-selectric-keyloggers-to-spy-on-us-diplomats/
Oct 8 2015 Watched an interesting video on programming language design. See link below for details. YouTube: "Eve" by Chris Granger (Strange Loop Sept 24, 2015) URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V1ynVyud4M
Oct 6, 2015 Finally saw The Martian. It was a fun movie. Maybe if the Romans didn't kill Archimedes, we'd be there by now... Thanks Romans.
Oct 6, 2015 Crazy story about Archimedes' lost journal. Turns out he invented Calculus about 1800 years before Newton. YouTube: The Lost Book of Archimedes URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6LtbV2nLLc
Oct 6, 2015 Well it's been a while since this thing was updated. It's got a new look and feel that is much cleaner. It's late, so its time for bed. I am going to try and keep this thing more up-to-date.