I am pretty good on a computer. I may not be an expert but I can do all the normal expected tasks on a computer that any employer would require such as using office type software, design software, browsers, adding software and hardware to a setup, and can change settings to customize the desktop for pictures, fonts, and screen sizes. I don’t have any problems attaching files to emails and so forth and know how to update or add software like Adobe Acrobat to be able to look at pdfs files. My first computer was an Atari with an ultra clear black and white screen with no actual hard drive. We used the 3.5 floppy disks with software on them and relied on the ram D drive, which was like virtual or cache memory. This all sounds very primitive now, but it was amazing to have for writing college papers and my own personal manuscripts. I played a few games, but the computer was a vital tool for me for my education and my creative outlet, which was writing. Now I am faced with an unpleasant situation. I have this beautiful Lenovo Ultrabook that is an i7, but I can barely make it work for the things I need to do. I just got through having a Toshibi i7 that came with a faulty keyboard and a used hard drive, and no, it was not refurbished but brand new. This last Toshiba was also the cause for the NetObjects software to not run correctly nor the Wacom tablet, and countless other odd problems that I have had to endure over the past years. So I decided to never buy a Toshiba laptop ever again after
We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy with friends and family this past weekend, and it was good fun. And after the matinee was over, we all went out to get something to eat. Now the range of ages in this dinner party was from age 11 to 67 and the topic of technology came up since one of our dinner companions was pleased to find out that We Are Technology does do Mobile App Development. But the discussion did not end there with the normal, “Oh good, I will let my friend know that you can help her with that project and so forth.” The topic eventually morphed into what technology we had when we were kids - or more accurately – what technology we did NOT have as kids. It was at this point that our eleven year old companion that was enjoying his plate full of shrimp became more interested in the topic at hand. We proceeded to explain to him that there were no cell phones when we were kids and that we had to go to a phone booth and pay for calls away from home. We also explained that computers as they are now did not exist and one had to type letters and papers on a typewriter, and that it was sometimes frustrating when one made a typing error because it forced the typist to start all over again at least until liquid paper was invented. Teachers did not have copy machines or printers available, they had to use ditto machines or mimeographs to make handouts or tests for their students. This change in technology has probably broader implications than what is fully realized at the
Wearable technology has another innovation to share. This time it is a pair of smart shoes that are designed to work with Google Maps to aid walkers and joggers to stay on route. Apparently one can simply link their shoes through a smart phone and select a path on Google Maps and the shoes will buzz vibrations to the left or right foot depending upon what direction the person planned to go. The space slipper, aka Lechal smartshoes, developed by Ducere Technologies. The product was originally designed to aid visually impaired people. And the name Lechal means “take me along” in Hindi, but the designers realized during development that this product would be great for the fitness industry. The shoe design looks more like a space slipper than a running shoe, and it appears that the company is offering an insole to work the same way and can be put in a person’s currently owned shoes. So don’t throw away your fancy walking or running shoes yet. Personally, this is not a product for me, but it could be an interesting aid for those that are in assisted living locations and can easily get lost. I would suggest geo mapping a complex were assisted care units are. People with health conditions are often encouraged to take walks or get fresh air, but due to medication or health problems sometimes people can become disorientated. Perhaps the space slippers might have a more useful application in a place like that. Too bad they are still tied to a cell phone, which residents of such a facility may not carry along with them. To read more about the latest in “take me along shoes” just click
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
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.
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
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