Jul 31 2012

Gigapixel Camera

Category: Digital Imaging,Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 7:18 pm

Yes – you read the title correctly! A team of researchers from Duke University has built a gigapixel camera for the US Department of Defence. The approach it has taken is to create a curved sensor (probably best understood from the drawing below). I think that is very interesting!

Gigapixel Sensor (Copyright Digital Photography Review)

Gigapixel Sensor (Copyright Digital Photography Review)

You can read about it, and see a sample photo, in One-shot gigapixel camera offers a future beyond flat sensors and Megapixel Camera? Try Gigapixel.


Jul 28 2012

B.Sc. in Problem Solving and Software Development (PSSD)

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 8:37 am

I noticed that DCU has recently launched a new computing degree (B.Sc.) titled Problem Solving and Software Development (PSSD). The novel thing about it is that entry is achieved by showing an aptitude for programming rather than by the traditional exams results method. For more information see DCU School of Computing launches new degree to produce top programmers.

I think that it is a really great idea, and I hope that it is a success! Of course, I assume that the course will be suitably tailored for entrants that have a natural aptitude for computing!

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Jul 27 2012

Standards Expert

Category: Humour,StandardsTeknovis @ 3:38 pm

I received this from somebody recently:

Standards Expert

Standards Expert

Apparently it is consistent with the sender’s perception of me!


Jul 25 2012

Apple’s Graphical Interface Patent

Category: Mobile Computing,PatentsTeknovis @ 8:29 pm

There has been a lot of discussion recently about one of Apple‘s latest granted patents – US 8,223,134 Portable Electronic Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Displaying Electronic Lists and Documents. For example, see Apple granted ‘the mother of all smartphone software patents’.

I actually think that the patent is being over hyped. I would not be overly concerned about infringing it, because its independent claims are very narrow.

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Jul 23 2012

Firefox 14.0.1

Category: Security,SoftwareTeknovis @ 9:51 pm

I updated to Firefox 14.0.1 over the weekend. It does not contain any new user features, but there have been several security enhancements. See the Release Notes for the complete details.

In particular, I like the following two enhancements:

  • HTTPS is now used for all Google searches. That should prevent network administrators from eavesdropping on searches ;) Image searches are particularly fun ;) See Rolling Out HTTPS Google search for more details.
  • It is no longer possible to spoof the HTTPS icon using the favicon on a fraudulent site. I think that this was really necessary to protect ordinary computer users. I also like the way that the real domain name is highlighted to prevent fraudulent URLs. See Site identity UI updates for more details.

For more general reporting on the upgrade see Firefox 14 arrives with “secure search” and Firefox 14 Hides Your Searches from Prying Eyes.

The only downside the the upgrade has been that my favourite theme, Silvermel, no longer works :( Hopefully this will be rectified soon!

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Jul 22 2012

Irish Characters in SMS Messages

Category: TelecomsTeknovis @ 8:44 am

There was an article in the media during the week describing how people are charged more for sending SMS messages in Ireland containing accents. See Texters charged for the sĂ­neadh fada.

Personally, I do not see the problem here! If you are sending characters that are outside of the normal character set then you should expect to fit less characters per SMS message (or else pay more for more SMS messages)!

I had the opportunity to discuss this with some Spanish, Polish, and Italian friends yesterday. Some of them said that they get charged more for using accents on their home networks, and others did not know. More interestingly, none of them use accents when sending SMS messages either because it is too slow or akward to find the character, or because it is never needed to understand the message. It was also pointed out to me that this is the same in English, for example, where people use “u” instead of “you”.

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Jul 21 2012

Mobile Phone Usage

Category: Infographic,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 8:09 am

A nice inforgraphic on mobile phone usage by Inneractive (click image to see larger version):

How do people really use their phones? (Copyright Inneractive)

How do people really use their phones? (Copyright Inneractive)

The infographic states that battery consumption is correlated with transmission levels. I can believe that. However, I would have thought that the data requirements of running apps would have a greater influence on transmission levels than geographical network conditions :o


Jul 18 2012

Robotic Walking

Category: RoboticsTeknovis @ 9:48 pm

There is an interesting story (and demonstrative video) of a new approach to robotic walking in ‘Most realistic’ robot legs developed.

Now I am off to find a baby and a treadmill…


Jul 16 2012

Jelly Beans and Nexus 7

Category: AndroidTeknovis @ 8:43 pm

At the end of last month Google announced a new version of Android (called Jelly Bean) and a new tablet (called Nexus 7).

There were the most useful links that I found for Jelly Bean information:

There were the most useful links that I found for Nexus 7:

I am really just posting these for my own future reference :o

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Jul 15 2012

The End of the US Cent Coin?

Category: Infographic,MoneyTeknovis @ 8:39 am

The BBC asks if the US one cent coin should be abandoned in The US penny: Should it be scrapped?.

It also provides the following nice infographic:

US One Cent Coin Infographic (Copyright BBC)

US One Cent Coin Infographic (Copyright BBC)

It is an interesting question, and I do not have a strong opinion on it either way.

However, I would not like the Euro cent to be discontinued!

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