Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

um, never mind about the Dynabook

April 26, 2007


I have copied Palm Note Pad over to my Treo as well, which is fine for keeping notes as long as I don’t want to take them anywhere else. When I upload them to the Mac, the PNGs turn out to be unusable because the Treo’s display is smaller than the T|C’s. I’ve read about a third-party tool for converting Note Pad images, but I don’t have the details yet.

photon power

April 14, 2007

Discovery Channel :: News – Technology :: “Printable” Solar Cell Factory Revs Up

small, cheap, flexible. could this be the big breakthrough we’ve been looking for in solar energy?

I need a Dynabook

February 15, 2007

Here we are in 2007, and there’s still a computing device I need that doesn’t exist.

I need something shaped roughly like a notebook. Not a laptop; a notebook.

I need it to be big enough that I can write fairly long text compositions – like blog posts – on it, with a stylus, not a keyboard.

I need to be able to carry it like a notebook.

I need to be able to upload pages from it to something with a network connection – preferably wifi, not Bluetooth. (To paraphrase my father, “I need Bluetooth like I need a gold-plated asshole.”)

I don’t necessarily need handwriting recognition, although that would be nice. I could deal with page images, as long as they could be compressed to a size not much bigger than ASCII text.

If I had a thing like this, I could make practical use of all the neat hypermedia tools – what the hipsters call “Web 2.0” – currently being developed for Web browsers, like Google Notebook, Writely, Tiddlywiki, Zoho, etc. etc. etc. I could probably even quit carrying a pen and paper around. The requirement of a keyboard-driven web browser makes these impractical for someone with a truly mobile lifestyle.

My PDAs are too small; my laptop is too big, too fragile, too much of an encumbrance, and that would probably still be true of a Tablet PC (if I didn’t object to using Windows); my Windows CE mini-laptops are too old and too limited.

I need something like Alan Kay’s Dynabook. I need something like a fourth or fifth-generation Newton (oh, by the way, Apple: thanks for canceling the Newton and replacing it with the iPod, which is absolutely useless as an application platform).

quantum computing is for real?

February 15, 2007

I’ve read – we’ve all read – the hype about how quantum computing would change the landscape of technology, how it would enable the solution of a whole new class of problems, how it would render digital cryptography as we know it obsolete, yadda yadda yadda.

Yesterday, a company based in Vancouver demonstrated a quantum computer. This could potentially change the landscape of digital privacy as we know it. If the NSA doesn’t already have one, they will have one soon; and then they’ll have dozens.

Jeez. I have to think about this for a while.

(Update: this turned out to be bullshit.)

well, at least it’s an actual radio

February 13, 2007

Acoustic Energy Wifi Internet Radio

Back when these things first started coming out (though the first generation or two had 10BASE-T ports on the back, rather than wifi, making them technically not radios), I really thought I needed one.

And although it would be nice to be able to listen to music streams without having to boot the computer, I’m not sure I need $300 worth of it. I mean, I do have an iPod and an adapter cable plugged into the aux port of the Sony bookshelf system.

I first saw this on the mobile newsreader, where I hopefully thought that “wifi” meant “portable”. No such luck. On the other hand, now that I can listen to live streams on my Treo, I’m not sure why I would need such a thing.