Category Archives: Money
Wow! What a cool idea for a camera! Take a picture and don’t worry about focusing – you can focus later on an spot on the photo. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! Go ahead . . . I’ll wait . . .
Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? From what I’ve read, Lytro is planning on building their own camera with this technology embedded. However, I’m hoping that they license the technology to other camera manufacturers, too.
Some of you may remember that in 1996 and 1997, we saw a chess match between then-champion Gary Kasparov and Deep Blue, an IBM computer created to beat the best chess players. It lost in 1996, won in 1997, and was then dismantled.
IBM is at it again. They’ve created a supercomputer system named Watson that will play Jeopardy with two of Jeopardy’s best players between February 14th and 16th of this year. One million dollars is on the line. All goes to charity if Watson wins; half to charity and half to the player if one of the other two players wins. Either way, artificial intelligence will be in the spotlight once more.
Mark your calendars!
Changes to the E-Rate program will go into effect as of January 3, 2011 and will be implemented in the July 2011-June 2012 year. The changes fall into 3 conceptual categories (from Federal Register):
- Providing more flexibility to select and make available the most cost-effective broadband and other communications services;
- Ability to lease dark or lit fiber from the most cost-effective provider;
- Schools can now allow their communities to use E-rate-funded services outside of school hours;
- Supports eligible services to the residential portion of schools that serve students with special circumstances;
- Indexing the funding cap to inflation;
- Seeking proposals for a limited pilot to establish best practices to support off-campus wireless for portable learning devices outside of regular school/library operating hours.
- Simplifying and streamlining the E-rate application process;
- Reduce administrative burden on applicants;
- Remove technology plan requirement for priority one services;
- Facilitate disposal and recycling of obsolete equipment that received E-rate support.
- Improving safeguards against waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Codify requirement that competitive bidding processes be fair and open.
- Includes eligible services list for funding year 2011.
Much of this supports the priorities of the National Broadband Plan.
Raise your hand if you like wearing bifocals! Trifocals? Help may be on the way . . .
Later this year, you may be hearing about “e-glasses,” which adapt to where you’re looking with the click of a button. One click, close reading; another click, distance; a third click, mid-distance. From CNET:
The lenses are made with a type of liquid crystal, sandwiched between traditional plastic lenses, that reacts according to the electrical charge passing through it. The frames run on rechargeable batteries. Pressing the button sends a low-wattage jolt through the liquid crystal, which expands or contracts to change the shape of the lenses, thereby changing the focal range.
Remember the day Google put PacMan on the searching home page? It was May 21, 2010 — PacMan’s 30th birthday. You could actually play the game — it was great! It was such a hit that they’ve kept it available for everyone.
RescueTime, a blog which deals with attention data, did a calculation to determine how much time was lost due to Google’s PacMan. Here are the results:
- 4,819,352 hours were spent playing or watching Google’s PacMan; time spent searching Google was above this
But wasn’t it worth it?
In an earlier post, I mentioned that the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay had changed their default font and, as a result, saved on ink costs. Since then, I found that Printer.com, a Dutch company that compares printers and their costs, did a study encompassing more fonts. In their results, they found that Century Gothic is the most economical font, followed closely by Ecofont, Times Roman, Calibri, and Verdana.
In the comments, however, I saw a very practical idea — print in draft when you can. That probably saves more money than using any of the fonts above.
USBCell is currently selling rechargeable AAA batteries. The interesting thing is that they use your USB port to re-charge.
The cost almost $20 each. Re-chargeable 9-volt and cell phone batteries are in the works. Not sure if this is helpful or not, but it’s certainly different!