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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Fond of the disk drive era? Take a spin in an art car that would make Jobs and Woz proud

posted by on 2010.06.20, under context, design, history, technology, wow

Given the number of colorful floppy disks attached to the Honda Civic at the Seattle Artcar Blowout, one question needs to be asked: Is a memory stick car soon to be created?

The artcar show is was part of this weekend’s Fremont Fair in Seattle - and before my family and I left Saturday, we walked around in search of some good-looking cars that have been given the tender, loving care that only artists can give to their creations.

And smiles came to our faces when we spotted the whimsical, colorful vehicles sitting in a parking lot.

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Wanted (on Google maps): Yes, that car!

posted by on 2010.06.04, under china, context, design, technology, video, wow

Yes, after seeing the clip above, the only thing I’m waiting for is an actual online video game in which a person can go to Google maps (or some version of them), pick out a car and drive it (virtually) in a city just like this great video from Honest Directors.

Such a video game might actually exist. But you know, I’m a bit old school. I might be out of the loop.

Ah, yes: Google maps. You can do much with them these days. I actually still have paper maps of China, if you can believe that.

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An online channel fills a void (of sorts) with sharp, colorful videos – and help from you

posted by on 2010.05.14, under history, information, technology, video

In recent months, I’ve found myself gravitating toward this site’s crystal clear videos – many of which cover fascinating topics, the pinnacle of power and behind-the-scene glimpses at a world I typically don’t see.

The professionally-made videos tell a story as well as capture historic moments. Plus, there are plenty of videos from which to choose.

Am I talking about Vimeo? YouTube? Hulu? PBS? Network or cable news? National Geographic?

No, no, no, no, no, no.

To the online hip and especially Inside-the-Beltway types, just say – or rather type:

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Don’t think too much – but when you do, think well. Author Greg Bear talks future.

posted by on 2010.05.03, under history, technology, video, wow

My thanks to Todd Bishop at TechFlash for posting this insightful TEDx chat last month by science-fiction author Greg Bear.

It involves the brain and thinking. And the questions and ideas that Bear raises do require some thought.

Does too much information – dare I ask it – need some type of editor or online guide or moderator? What should be off limits? When we talk about a free flow of information, what do we mean by that?

Speaking of information and monitoring, there are sensors that help police locate gunfire. In the future, the bicycle and camera might be redesigned. Journalists and cooks might come in new forms.

Also on TechFlash, John Cook posted an entry about the founder of TechCrunch moving to the Seattle area.

And the last time I typed the letters TED, it was about the Rhode Island School of Design president growing up in a tofu factory in Seattle’s International District.

At Expo 2010, China (again) on world stage

The world’s party is happening in Shanghai – at Expo 2010.

And China’s “The Crown of the East” is turning heads at Expo 2010, which runs through the end of October.

Officials estimate 70 million people will attend. In many ways, the entire Expo 2010 symbolizes much of China – big, beautiful, complex, meaningful, modern, traditional and head-scratching.

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Does a mapo tofu cooking robot exist? Perhaps – Look East (or West from Seattle)

posted by on 2010.04.16, under china, context, design, technology, video, wok robot, wow

Researchers in China have designed a robotic wok - capable of serving hundreds of dishes. What about mapo tofu? That remains unclear, according to a Xinhua news article. Photo source: Xinhua

I’ve said this many times: I know there are serious topics in the world today.

But since I launched this blog last year, I’ve talked about how mapo tofu – and its spicy, sweat-inducing, numbing taste – is one of my favorite foods around.

With the right amounts of garlic, chili and Sichuan peppercorn, your cold can be down on the ground in minutes.

And robots? Well, robots have found new popularity – thanks to the online world’s ability to connect homosapiens with mechanical discoveries.

Now, thanks to Alaric Bien, a friend who pointed this out, it looks like there’s a robot that can use a wok like the best chef around and knows how to whip up more than 600 dishes.

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Robots as journalists: They’re already making noodles and playing with LEGOs

posted by on 2010.03.25, under information, journalism, technology, video, wow

Researchers at Tokyo University reportedly have made a robot that can conduct interviews, shoot pictures, search the Internet for background and crank out online stories. Image source: Charlie Catlett on Twitter

Perhaps, if journalists, content producers or information brokers – or whatever label you use – really want to get a jump on things in 2010, one logical step might be to enter the robot industry.


Well, robots might have the ability to do what human journalists do these days – at least, according to this blog entry from Singularity Hub which the Knight Foundation also noted.

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A little here, a little there: More on Google’s decision to stop censoring

posted by on 2010.03.23, under china, google in china, information, technology, video, wow

I’ve been trying to get my mind around Monday’s announcement from Google that it would shift its servers from mainland China and to Hong Kong - a move which it viewed as legal but would let them run a non-censored site.

That site, as we all know by now, would redirect users to

China unleashed a volley of criticism and the fallout and analysis quickly took place.

At the risk of tossing out a simplistic answer to a complicated issue touching free speech, sovereignty in a country that has seen uprisings, instability and occupation and increasingly complex U.S.-China relations, there is the thought that revolves around a simple phrase that people in Washington, D.C. are all too familiar:

To get along, you go along.

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Google rolls the dice, lifts censorship in China, shifts servers to Hong Kong

posted by on 2010.03.22, under china, google in china, information, technology

These pandas were part of a museum exhibit last year in the United States. The exhibit looked at change, specifically in the design field. Image source: Portland Art Museum

Consider Google’s decision to stop censoring its site and shift its servers to Hong Kong, both of which were announced Monday, as just a point on a very long line.

This is fascinating. But it is, by no means, the end point.

The Associated Press, in its report, called it a way around censorship. The New York Times moved a version of this historic episode regarding the Internet.

If there’s anything to remember about the epic view of Chinese history in this wave-making incident, it’s that, well, senior leaders have a good memory.

Just as leaders in any country like to win, they also are happy when they get their way.

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“Bond, here. Is my flying hovercraft fully electric, hybrid or just petrol powered?”

posted by on 2010.03.16, under context, design, history, technology, video, wow

You can read all the details about Rudy Heeman’s flying hovercraft on Popular Science.

I just like watching this thing fly.

Is it practical? Is it worth the $13,000?

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