Lots of interesting technology and science coming out of MIT these days and I just could not resist sharing it. It appears, or perhaps that is not the correct word for this article, that a team of students are working on creating an algorithms that will make it possible to print out a covering that will assist in the camouflage of stationary objects. I can just see the military getting excited about this one and wanting to put it on top of their buildings that need to remain hidden. Now my first reaction to this article is what exactly is an algorithm? I know it is something our Technology Expert, Bill Sikkens, always refers to, but what exactly is it? According to wikipedia “an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” So this team of MIT students are creating a procedure for a software to select the best choices of color and gradient to make a stationary item seem to disappear from view. What a really cool idea! Now of course the art of camouflage has been around for a long time and is used mostly in military situations and are evident in the painting of tanks, airplanes, uniforms, and netting used to hide bases and so forth. But it is also used in civilian applications as well. First World War German Fokker DVII biplane using camouflage pattern. How many people have seen the strange cell towers that look like trees? I have seen a number of these and I actually kinda like them. I appreciate the effort to make them look less like a blight on the landscape – especially in areas
A special treat today – User Friendly is going to an hour long format! Yes indeed, we have been asked to make it an hour long show so that other stations will be able to fit it into their programming schedule. This is exciting news for us, and we are very proud of our team members that have worked so hard to make this all happen. Tune in live at 10AM Pacific Time at FM 101.3 or online at http://renegaderadio.org/listen/ If you don’t have time this morning then you can listen online by going to the We Are Technology website under the News Desk to find User Friendly or just click on this link https://wearetechnology.com/news-desk/user-friendly/ The show also airs on America Matters radio 99.1FM, check their website for times. And don’t forget if you have questions or would like to suggest a topic or interview, you may do so by going to the following: https://twitter.com/1UserFriendly https://www.facebook.com/cumulustechnology https://www.facebook.com/pages/User-Friendly Or simply click onto the Ask Your Question tab on the right hand side of the We Are Technology website and send your question or comment that way. G. Winkler – Technology Artist © 2014 Cumulus Technology – the “We Are Technology” people
The water tank in which the procedure was preformed. G. Spalding/Illinois Wesleyan University So the We Are Technology Team is always reading up about the latest technology and this can be quite an intense task since technology is in our lives in so many ways. Our User Friendly Radio Show crew research for interesting topics to present for the news portion of the radio show, and sometimes we don’t have enough time to share all the cool and exciting things that are going on in the world of technology. So this is one of those articles that I just could not ignore. I just happen to love science fiction and Star Trek is one of my favorites, so I guess if one wants to be on the trail blazing towards technology found in a series such as Star Trek, then I guess the University of Dundee, University of Southampton, and Illinois Wesleyan University are the places to go for creating things such as tractor beams. Apparently an acoustic “tractor beam” that can pull an object by firing sound waves at it has been created by physicists in the UK and US. This is the first time that something larger than a microscopic target has been moved. They were able to demonstrate that enough force on an object around 1 centimeter in size could be held or moved by directing twin beams of energy from an ultrasound array towards the back of an object. This was done inside of a special tank of water. There are three different articles concerning this topic. Please go check them out and see how the world that was dreamed of by writers might actually someday become a reality.
So why should anyone consider a custom software solution when the market place has so many of the “in the box” software applications that might solve their business software needs? This question has been pondered, no doubt, countless times in boardroom meetings and planning sessions amongst professional teams. Old and long trusted responses have been that custom software is too expensive, not necessary, or that a box software solution will work for awhile and then one can always upgrade. And then the final nail in the coffin on this discussion would be that if custom software was decided upon – who would write it? Great reason for a custom software solution. So custom software is too expensive – is that really true? In some cases custom software may indeed be very expensive, after all the software has to be designed, coded, and then debugged. And the initial cost and effort may seem daunting to some boardroom committees that may baulk at the prospect of bringing such a request to the finance department. But is the custom software solution really more expensive in the long run? How will custom software affect the company in the years to come? Will productivity go up because employees are no longer wasting time fighting with in box solutions that may require extra steps and time? Giving company professionals time to be creative or allowing them to focus on what they are really good at instead of fighting software systems that don’t compliment the company’s focus can prove to be very beneficial. Survival of a business requires the leadership to look at the so called “big picture” and see if one aspect of a company’s infrastructure can change productivity.
Yes, the We Are Technology Team has developed it's first technology radio show called User Friendly. The original concept was for a TV Technology show that was brain stormed by the California We Are Technology Team, but since Bill Sikkens appearance on live radio had been well received, a decision was made to first put together a radio show and then consider the TV show project. Today will be the first airing of the User Friendly Radio Show with Bill Sikkens as the host and several We Are Technology Team members filling the roles as co-host and interviewer. Bill Sikkens has become well known for his appearances on Tech Tuesdays with host Dan Mason on KKOH on 780 AM radio. The User Friendly Radio Show is currently set to air on Tuesday mornings at 10 AM PT on Fox radio 101.3FM and will be played on Fox Stations throughout the US. If you can't get a chance to listen to the show on the radio, go to our Media Library page to find the YouTube links to the various appearances. Media library - click here. G. Winkler - Technology Artist - (c) 2014 Cumulus Technology - the "We Are Technology" people
Climate change and concern for the environment has been a topic ever since the Industrial Age began with massive coal fueled factories used to create large quantities of goods for a growing global population. It was obvious as technology progressed that a balance needed to be found. This has been expressed in literature and film starting with early thinkers like Jules Verne and more recently with writers like Dr. Seuss and Star Trek episode writers to name just a few. Regardless of what side of the fence one sits upon in regards to whether global warming is a reality or not – it still makes sense to not pollute or destroy the environment. Interesting map showing how the average temperatures in the U.S. have changed over the years. A couple of days ago various news sources addressed the topic of US climate change and they gave examples of situations throughout the US where changes in the weather has had a profound affect upon the population. I found one of these articles and have included the link from the New York Times here. So what efforts have been made to curb the damage that is being done? Reclamation laws for the mining industry, scrubbers for factory emissions, and recycle programs for residential waste to name a few, but obviously these efforts have not been enough. I think reducing pollution is like losing weight – one has to change their habits and make wiser choices and cut down on excesses. So what super awesome technology has come out that is assisting Humanity to change their habits and realize their goals of saving the environment and still being able to feed, clothe, house, and move the
Being a writer for a company site such as We Are Technology forces me to be on the constant lookout for new topics and old topics to write about concerning technology. I have to ask myself what does our audience want to hear about? And what do they need to know about? These are important questions since as the company writer, I want to serve our clients, company followers, as well as the company itself. And in the past we have discussed wearable technology and I think it has a future, but my question is….how soon is that future? So I started asking myself how often have I seen people in everyday life wearing and using wearable technology? And I was forced to respond that I only know one person who owns and uses such a device and that I have not seen anyone wandering around wearing Google Glasses or other smart devices. So what is happening? Am I too isolated to know the reality of how the market place has responded to these devices? Also, why have I not seen these products prominently displayed in stores either, and the items I see online are often Photoshop concept type drawings made to look very real to present the idea of the potential product, but not something actually produced and ready. So I have asked one of our top software programmers, Devin R., who happens to own a smart watch what he thought of the item. And this is what he shared with me. He purchased a Pebble from Best Buy since he had been following the item’s progress since it was on Kickstarter in 2012. The purpose behind the smart watch to be able to
This is a really important topic for everyone that loves technology, everyone who wants to work with technology, and everyone who wants to invent/develop things that work with technology. I don't know how to emphasize this any greater. It's really important. And I hate politics, but this is something that everyone should be looking at closely. Allowing company's - ISPs - the ability to censor what is affordable and what is not - is a big step in losing another major freedom in our lives and it will only hurt the poor and startup/small business owners. It could also open doors for businesses with political or religious agendas to censor what they think is fit for their customers to see. This is no joke. I have had personal experience with emails being censored by an ISP company because they did like an email with a swear word in it. (I have a friend who swears a lot in his emails - and his messages were being held back because of an outsider's opinion of what is right and wrong.) It should be up to me to decide if my friend should not swear in emails to me and not some company that is supposed to be providing Internet and cable service. I came across this article on the BBC that I wanted to share. They write so well and explain the situation much better than I can. Please read this and be aware of how your technological rights may be decided by strangers who may not like you or think the same way you do. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27141121 G. Winkler (c) 2014 Technology Artist We Are Technology by Cumulus Technology
Yep, it looks like another rash of the technology version of an illness. Ugh. The heartbleed bug is the latest concern. ven the name sounds yucky, but regardless of the type of name, it is the same old story that someone wants to steal or destroy data. This comes on the heals of the Windows XP expiration of support and services, which could be bad for those who are not paying attention. So I am sending out another article to herald to all those that love their computers and other tools of technology, make sure your IT crew knows what they are doing. Be vigilant and informed and ask your IT crew questions and voice concerns. These people are supposed to be your technological experts and if they aren't get yourself another IT crew. We live in a day and age where your data is often vital to the survival of one's company. In a short amount of time information that is key to your business could be damaged or destroyed costing you well into the thousands of dollars, and if you are the small business owner that price for not making sure data is secure and passwords are good could be the end of that small business. So keep informed. Here is a link from the BBC for more information concerning the heartbleed bug. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26971363
If you ever want a truly humbling experience, try reading the CERN COURIER, which is the International Journal of High-Energy Physic produced for CERN by IOP Publishing Ltd. I have browsed through it before only understanding glimpses of what they are discussing. Some articles leave me feeling like a giant blank canvas, but when I do understand a few tidbits, there is a certain strange feeling of accomplishment like I had just survived climbing some high steep cliff. One certainly develops a new appreciation for the people who do truly understand what is written within its pages. So some of you may ask, where or how did I gain access to such a journal of intense technology? Well, you know that technology expert that we are always bragging about…. Bill Sikkens, well, he receives it, and that is because he is a quantum physicist. So all that hubbub about him being an expert isn’t a marketing ploy or drama, it’s real. So he had me read an article from the latest issue of the CERN Courier because it is about technology and the kind of technology that the rest of us regular folks can get excited about. The only problem was after I read it, I wasn’t sure I understood enough to have anything to say. So here’s my take on the article…. Participants at the WAG 2013 meeting basically discussed a massive group effort from labs all over the western hemisphere to study gravity and antimatter. It appears that different facilities can observe different levels or aspects of the study and the scientists have to go through many intricate procedures to create the right environment to be truly sure they are measuring what they