Wednesday, December 26, 2007

More geekware

I've already talked about all kinds of geekware before, but this one sounds more interesting.

How about using QR-coded clothing to disguise what you want to say to the world and let only a few people to actually know what you're "saying"?

The Space Invaders-themed scarf shown in the picture on the left is a great example of QR-code based geekware.

Want to know what's this lovely girl's message? Well, install a QR-code reader on your cellphone and you'll be able to read it :-)

The day after Christmas

Had to much to eat or drink on Christmas? Well, web 2.0 can be a helpful diet programmer and provide you with the necessary tools to get back on shape and get ready to the next summer season (I know that's a few months away, but it's never to early to start thinking about it):

  • Fat Secret - Use your network of friends to help you recover your ideal weight
  • Diet Television - A bunch of information for getting you on the right diet
  • Traineo - Another friends' network to get support for training and diets
  • Wellsphere - Another social network for getting useful advices on day-to-day healthy habits
Source: TechCrunch

60 advanced photoshop tutorials

Are you a Photoshop geek-wannabe? This will give you the boost you need.

Check out these 60 advanced Photoshop tutorials that range from text effects to photo manipulation and video techniques.

UPDATE: a few more can be found here.

What's wrong with this picture?

Can anyone tell? Look closer...

Still don't see it? What's holding the red ribbon to the condom? Clever, humm??

Dirty monitor?

Is your monitor dirty? Click here to solve the problem.

The geek's birthday cake

Source: Halbot

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Things that can start a war

This is the kind of thing that triggers enough rage to start a world war:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Arthur Benjamim: the "mathmagician"

Memory consumption on Firefox 3 will be improved

One of the main problems of Firefox is the memory consumption while loading and maintaining websites in view. A few minutes of using Firefox can boost up the memory to values over 100,000 KB.

But as a new memory test review that compares Firefox 2 with the new beta version Firefox 3 shows, the new version of the well-known internet browser will greatly improve this feature.

Can't wait for the stable version. This will be a really interesting upgrade :-)

The human calendar

Here's an original idea that uses photos of people with cards to display the current month's calendar: the human calendar.

And the most amazing of all is that it changes everyday to adapt to the new day, so the faces of all the people adjust their look to simulate as if they're watching to the correct date.

More tips to get some sleep while at your office

Remember when I gave some tips on how to react if you get caught sleeping at your desk? Well, I have some new ones:

Make it look like you have to tie your shoes:

Or pretend you need absolute concentration:

There are more here.

The truth about Web Design

For all of you that are now starting on the world of Web Design, have a look at what you're getting into:


The new most ridiculous/genius gadget in the world

In this past summer I suggested that the plastic popper gadget was the most ridiculous/genius gadget of all times.

However, I've found this new gadget that can seriously face off the competition: the Foot Mouse.

If you think that the number of buttons on your mouse are not enough and are limiting your potential to do great things on your computer, then the Foot Mouse is for you.

In the words of the creators, the benefits are:

- Speed up computer workflow in designing, editing, etc

- Hands-free computing and online surfing

- Enable people to multitask simultaneously

- Avoid repetitive hand/eye movement between hand-controlled input devices

- Much easier and faster shortcut entry (Multi-key finger control is replaced by 1-button foot control. Plus, no more eye/hand movement!)

- Reduce hand/wrist stress and help prevent/heal carpal tunnel syndrome or other injuries

- Keep clean/dirty hands off keyboard/hand mouse

- Give video gamers more "hands" to fight

- Offload hand work, outsmart hand mouse, outpace keyboard in shortcut entry

- A foot mouse with brain can boost your gain and kill your pain! It saves time and hands!

A new way of painting

Digital technology has been the catalyst to the change of our way of living. Who thought that 15 years ago, when we would send paper letters to our friends to tell them about our summer vacation, that nowadays doing that task would be as simple as attaching some pictures to an e-mail and send it and our friends receive the message in less than 5 minutes?

Digital technology can also change the way we produce art. And here's the perfect example: a new paint brush that uses a built-in camera and a special canvas to allow painters to create modern-day paintings by using the textures, colors and all kinds of surrounding elements.

This gadget basically “lifts up and captures photons”, allowing artists to draw with “special ink” picked up from their immediate environment.

Check out the video below to see the paintbrush in action:

Source: ComNetSlash

Thursday, December 13, 2007

R2D2 Translator

Totally useless, but you can't get any geeker than this.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blow to control your computer

It's not as naughty as it seems! This new research is aimed at people with accessibility limitations, which allows them to control the computer by simply blowing towards its screen.

The system uses the microphone as the input device and calibrates it to distinguish sounds associated to the areas at which the user is pointing the blow at. Confused? Nothing better than a demo video to let you know what it looks like:

For those more interested in the scientifical/technical details or if you're looking for an implementation of your own, here's the link for the research paper.

Source: Makezine via Walyou

What to say when caught sleeping at your desk

5 Best Things to Say When Caught Sleeping at Your Desk:

5. "They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen."
4. "This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time management course you sent me to."
3. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You probably got here just in time."
2. "Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?"

And the NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk...
1. Raise your head slowly and say, " Jesus' name, Amen."

Source: Atlanta Illustrated

Get Firefox

Have you ever noticed what you get if you put on your web browser? No, it's not Internet Explorer 7 download page!!

Windows on an ATM machine: is this really a good idea?

Having Windows running on machines that are supposed to be running flawlessly for a long, long time, might not be a good idea (as the BSOD in Frankfurt Airport shows).

Just this week, while I was browsing around for Christmas presents for the family in some shopping mall here in Portugal, I found this odd screen for an ATM machine:

Here's a magnification of the previous picture:

If you still can't read it, this is what it says:

"Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEMHardware Profile\Last Know Good menu" (I don't know if this last word is actually "menu")

"You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows NT setup using the original Setup floppy disk or CD-ROM. Select 'r' at the firt screen to start repair."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

File Destructor: the perfect excuse

I don't even have to describe File Destructor. The words of the creators are self-explanatory:

"Want to play games on your Playstation but got a deadline for an exam or report that didn’t match your gaming ambitions? Then you have come to the right place. Send trashed files and blame your faulty computer, instead of confessing that you are a lazy bum who just wants to play videogames."

Geek stuff

There are geeks all over the world and they all have weird ideas. But sometimes, some of those ideas can actually be very funny or useful.

Check out this experience which uses the sound of sparks coming from tesla coils to play the Super Mario Bros. theme song:

And what about this guy, which decided to create a "Minority Report"-like interface by using the infrared capabilities of the Nintendo Wii controller?

Not to brag myself, but I still think that my GELToC solution is far more simple and elegant :-)

By using two led torches and a webcam, I was able to create an application that processes the light sources (from a dark background) and maps them into mouse control movements, which in turn are converted into Google Earth control movements, giving the illusion that you are controlling the World map with just a pair of tiny lights.

Check out a demo video:

GELToC is an open source application and you can obtain more information on it here.

Context-aware image resizing on GIMP

Remember when I talked about "Context-aware Image Resizing"? Well, now there's a free open source solution for GIMP.

Liquid Rescale plugin is a free, open source implementation of a context-aware image resizing algorithm. It aims at resizing pictures non uniformly while preserving their features, i.e. avoiding distortion of the important parts.

Check out a demo of this software in this screencast:

Free icons

The community offers a lot of free high-quality and creativity icons. Check it out.

Gadgets: there's one for every taste

The thing that I love about the Internet is that you can find gadgets for every taste (check this, this, this, this, this and this). And you don't even have to try very hard. Just search a little bit and you'll find a lot of interesting items, such as:

The flameless USB Zippo lighter (source)

The Hello Kitty Toilet Paper Dispenser (source)

The Static Electricity Eliminator (source - in PT, source - in EN)

The OhMiBod - an item for the ladies. It vibrates at the sound of your iPod music. What you do afterwards, it's your business :-)

Please, turn this sentence into an MP3!

If you need to create an MP3 file with an electronic voice saying a specific sentence, then vozMe is for you.

All you have to do is write a sentence on the website's form and then click "Create MP3".

You can also add this "Hear this post" kind of feature to your blog (as this blog will have from now on), by either using the WordPress plugin or the instructions to add this widget to Blogger. You can also add this widget to your iGoogle home page.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Retro-blogging: best posts of December 2006

Previously, on the Tech In Me:

iPhone in Portugal: yes, I tested one!

That's right, this a real iPhone and I tested it in a Media Markt store in Portugal. Sorry for the out-of-focus hands were still shaking from the excitement.

I have to say that, even though I've seen a lot of iPhone reviews, images and videos, I still ran into a few surprises:

  • It was thinner than I actually though it would be.
  • The resolution of the screen is absolutely fabulous. At the beginning, I even thought the menu that was displayed on the phone was a sticker. It wasn't until I touched the screen, that I could verify that this was an actually working iPhone.
  • The transitions between applications and menus are amazingly fast
  • Handling pictures with the multi-touch screen interface is even better than I expected
There were however some things I could not test:
  • There were no music files on the iPhone, so I couldn't test the "iPod" feature
  • The device wasn't connected to any WiFi network or GSM network, so I couldn't test the Internet access or the "phone" feature
And there were some things I didn't like (that's right, the iPhone is far from perfect):
  • Writing in the multi-touch keyboard is not simple. Your fingers get in the way of each other and you end up writing more than you wanted
  • The calendar is nothing special and it doesn't add almost anything to the calendar I have on iPod.
  • The iPhone gets a bit (actually, a lot...) smudgy after playing with it for just a while and you feel the need to clean it almost every time you use it. But I guess that's the problem with every multi-touch interfaces.
I couldn't fully tested because at this time a lot of angry eyes behind me were burning my shoulders enough for me to know that it was time to let someone else test it. It was even difficult to take a picture without a hand handling it. And in spite of the "downs" that I pointed here, it was a pleasure to finally test this device. But I'm not sure if it's worth to buy one once it gets available in the Portuguese market. It will depend on the price. Let's wait and see...