Friday, April 24, 2009

Never leave home without it?

Have you ever left the house to go out and once you got there and realized you forgot your camera? How about going to run, bike, hike or another outdoor activity and forgot your music player?

Well now you do not have to worry about leaving your camera or music player again because now the only thing you have to remember is your sunglasses. Yes I said sunglasses. Xonix has developed a pair of sunglasses that not only protects your eyes from the harmful UV rays but also is a camera and music player.

Here are some of the Specs:

  1. A 1.3 megapixel camera that allows you to take pictures and record video directly into the integrated hardrive.

  2. Store your music here as well and listen to it through the built in earpieces.

  3. UV coated lenses for eye protection and adjustable nose pieces.

  4. Easy to use controls along the side of the glasses.

  5. And for you techies like me there is a remote control that gives you full control of everything at the touch of the finger. The remote works up to 16 ft away from the glasses.

I have heard of other types of glasses out there that have some of the same features but I do not think that I have seen one that offers this many in one device. Sure there is a multitude of video glasses that allow you to watch movies and the such, check out the Coolbuzz article from 2007. You can get more information as well from an article in gizmag which goes a little more in depth than I do with background features. They do great job with the nitty gritty stuff. Although this is a really cool tool and I am stoked that it can do so much I am not sure when it is going to be hitting retail stores here in the states. Looks like a great gift for the techno-gadget guru in every family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


What is micro-blogging, well before we delve into that one let's look at what blogging is as a whole.

A blog or weblog is a site in which a user posts their own commentary regarding things they are doing, events in their lives, or just their personal views on different subject material. To learn more about blogs you can watch the following video to get a better understanding.

Now that you have learned a little bit about what a blog is let's talk about micro-blogging. In a nut shell micro-blogging allows users to send short text descriptions about what they are doing, what is going on or things happening around them etc. Users key in a sentence or so description that then posts immediately. Why go with micro-blogging? Some may think it is easier than keeping up with a blog website. Others may think that this could be their in route to the whole blog universe. Me, I am on the fence as to its use. I regularly post blog entries but tend to not use the micro-blogging options available to me.
Micro-blogging seems to taking off like a rocket in recent months. Or at least it has come to the forefront with all of the media attention that it has been getting lately. So, where do you go to micro-blog? Well some may not even realize that they are doing it while others are reading this and saying that I am crazy because they have been doing it for a long time.
If you have a Facebook, MySpace or Bebo account you already have an avenue for micro-blogging by telling people what you are doing or how you are feeling right then. Probably the most notable micro-blogging site is Twitter which advertises that you can let people now what you are doing in 140 characters or less. Twitter has thousands of users on the web and even some very famous user like Oprah Winfrey, Clark Howard, as well as news and sports shows. There are other micro-blogging sites out there in the world wide web that you can use as well. Here is a list of some of the available sites as offered up by many different search results I have looked at.

There are many others out on the web but these are a good starting place for you to get your feet wet. So go out there and jump in the water and start micro-blogging.
video provided by Commoncraft

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Bionic Eye

Well not actually a Bionic Eye but as close to it as possible.

All of my life my mother has suffered with Dry Macular Degeneration. An eye disease that normally begins to effect most people in their early to late 50's happened to her right after she had me in her late 20's. The disease effects the part of the eye called the macula which is what helps you to see things clearly. When it begins to deteriorate the best way to describe what happens is that you start seeing spots in front of your eyes. Actually as the cells die dark spots form in your field of vision which gradually over time begin to come together until you go completely blind.

Now there are two major forms of the disease one is Wet and the other Dry. Current Ophthalmology trends have been able to slow the progression of the disease in those with the Wet version through different medical procedures. Those with the Dry condition do not have much to look forward to in a treatment that could slow the progression.

Now that we have heard the bad let's have some good.

Towards the end of March the FDA advisory panel approved an implant that could give many thousands of people with end stage Macular Degeneration, including my mother, the hope of getting some vision back. What is it that will help these people to get some sight back? An implantable telescope for the eye. What the implant would do is to give recipients back "...about three and a half lines on an eye chart." This could considerably improve the quality of life for many individuals that suffer from this disease. For myself and my mother this could be an opportunity for her to be independent again. Something that causes undo stress on family members that have always been able to do things for themselves who now have to rely on others for assistance with normal everyday activities.

VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies were the developers of the implant that is about the size of a pencil eraser. It works like a telescope to help the recipient to focus on objects. The telescope is implanted into one eye only so that the other is used for its peripheral vision. With the hopeful FDA full approval the telescope could be out on the market by the end of this year.

Image provided by: VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies

Generating Electricity through Motion

Imagine this: you are on a dark road late at night and your car breaks down. You reach for your cell phone and the battery is dead and you don't have your charger. Or you are on that long drive, flight, biking or some activity and your iPod battery runs out. In most cases you are either sleeping in your car the rest of the night or you are doing your activity in silence, or maybe a-la "American Idol"

Now imagine this: you are in those same situations but because you are wearing a new jacket, shirt, pants with a new nano type of fabric your movements generate electricity that can recharge the cell phone or iPod battery.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have been working on a new type of technology that will convert the mechanical movements of the body into electrical energy. This new technology has been touted as having a potential impact on many arenas including.. "personal electronics."

What does his mean to all of us? That someday there will be a technology that allows us, through movement, to generate enough electricity to recharge our personal electronic devices. I don't know about you but I pay way to much for batteries that last no time at all. I am all for this technology. Think about it, right now for a number of years we have had watches that will self-wind themselves with the movement of the wearer. There are companies out there that have been working on thin light weight material to project images onto. This seems to be the next logical progression and oh the possibilities abound.

original article: PHYSORG

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bookmarking Revisited

You may have heard of Delicious or StumbleUpon and maybe even Diigo. Each has their own strengths and ease of use as Social Bookmarking sites. Well I found another one that you may or may not have heard about.

It is called trailfire and what it does is to not only allow you to create bookmarks to resources, utilities and your own personal interests but also strings them together to make a trail. "Find what you want on the web in an entirely new way. Follow trails of web pages and discover new ideas, hot topics, reviews... "

Each resource becomes its own trail. You could have students create trails as part of their senior projects so that the resources they use are more manageable. The good thing is that they have the ability to share those resources with you and everyone else. All they have to do is share the created short web link made by trailfire.

The trailfire site is easy to understand and takes only a couple of minutes to set up from logging in to creating your first trail. Downside, folks you have to create another user name and password, I know but if you follow a standard login name and password then it will be easy to remember. One you have registered you download the plug ins for your Internet browser window. In its current version it looks as if it only supports IE browsers. Now all you have to do is three little steps to create your first trail.
Step 1. Click n the trailfire logo in your browser
Step 2. Give your trail a heading title (basically a tag)
Step 3. Save the trail

This can eliminate a lot of lost productivity for your students when they are searching for resources. As well if combined with other utilities, like netTrekker, they could also eliminate extraneous non-educational sites and only look at valid educational material.