Friday, June 23, 2006

Extreme Memory!

:: How would you like to have an assitant with a perfect memory?
++ CompuTech: USA / Gorden Bell / Microsoft Bay Area Research

Humans naturally have the ability to remember almost two bits of information per second, or a few hundred megabytes over a lifetime. Compared with a DVD movie, which holds up to 17 gigabytes, that’s nothing. Worse, you might easily recall the 40-year-old dialogue from Hogan’s Heroes yet forget your mom’s birthday.

It’s a problem that’s been bothering Gordon Bell for almost as long as he can remember. In 1998 Bell, a senior researcher at Microsoft, began digitally capturing his entire life for a project he calls MyLifeBits. First, he scanned his old photographs, research documents and notes. He began recording his meetings and phone calls and cataloguing his new photos and movies he saw. Every e-mail exchange he had was digitally archived, and he started using the company’s prototype SenseCam, which he wears around his neck, to automatically snap photos throughout the day.

Upgrading our memory is a matter of improving our recording and retrieving abilities. At the current pace of miniaturization, camera components could be made tiny enough to fit in a contact lens (A) in just a few years. A high-precision microphone could fit in your ear (B). And the data could be downloaded to a searchable handheld gadget (C)
Note From Technophile: The biggest challenge to Bell’s vision is developing the software required to search your memory database effectively. So far, MyLifeBits pulls together more than 20 data types to link various memories to one another. Using a full-text search, Bell tracks down what he’s looking for in no more than 30 seconds. Soon, when searching through meeting notes, for instance, photos of people attending those meetings and their contact information will appear side by side. The effort could be pushed along by Columbia University researchers who are using statistical-analysis programs to automatically sort hours of recorded audio by time and location (office, café, etcetera). Next, they’ll tackle speaker recognition, which would allow for categorizing and searching conversation by who’s talking.
:: Source: [MyLifeBits Project]
:: Image Credits: [Big Sesh Studios]
:: Innovation: Miniaturization and the falling cost of image sensors and data storage will soon allow for unobtrusive recording, as well as on-person storage, of several terabytes—which means a vast upgrade in personal processing power, resulting in a surrogate memory that will create a freeing and secure feeling among all its users.
:: Available: 2021.
:: Cost: Unknown.
"To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward." ~Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender
Dan Lelevier, ET Consumer Product Advisor (CPA)
Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: Start "capturing" your life now! Free remote backup is finally here! Download and install PC Magazine Editor's Choice (and my choice), "Mozy" to ensure your photos, research documents, notes, audio and video files are safely backed up at a secure, remote location. Folks, "Mozy Free" is well . . . FREE! No setup fee, and no monthly payments for a whopping 2 gigabytes of secure (448-bit Blowfish encrypted) storage! You can help support this site by clicking on the banner below for this great (FREE service). Or upgrade to Mozy Plus (for just $4.95 a month) for an extreme amount (30 gigabytes) of safe and secure online storage!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Extreme Pest Control!

:: A lean, mean extreme bug killing machine!
++ Outdoor Tech: New York City, USA / Hammacher Schlemmer

The Mosquito Mega-CatchEasily the best non-propane unit on the market, the Mosquito Mega-Catch is virtually maintenance free: just plug it in and turn it on. The trap uses a strip of octenol (to generate a scent that resembles breath), a UV bulb, and flashing LEDs (oscillating frequencies determined to coincide with spectral sensitivities of many mosquitoes). [Image credits: Mosquito Biting ~ Gabor Bibor (Budapest, Hungary) | Mega-Catch ~ Hammacher Schlemmer]

When mosquitoes get close to the trap, the patented airflow system that disperses the attractant sucks the insects inside, where they are collected in a mesh catch bag or a liquid catch pan that is easy and safe to empty.
Note From Technophile: In a USDA suburban test, the Mega-Catch trap captured up to 1,200 mosquitoes in a single night and diminished mosquito populations over an entire acre! The question is, will it trap ghosts? (Looks kinda like a Proton Pack from Ghostbusters.)
:: Source: [Hammacher Schlemmer, VIA OHGIZMO and uncrate ]
:: Image Credits: [Hammacher Schlemmer]
:: Innovation: High-tech bug trap.
:: Available: Now.
:: Cost: USD $199.95
"We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics." ~Bill Vaughan Hosting Banner