WhatIs.com Word of the Day Archive

November 19, 2007  4:41 PM

Overheard: Easy bake oven for grownups

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
fabber.jpg Hod Lipson has developed a 3D fabrication-on-demand printer that can be built from a $3,000 kit. How cool is that?

Fabbers  build 3D objects by carefuly depositing materials drop by drop, layer by layer.  Slowly but surely, with the right set of materials and a geometric blueprint, you can fabricate complex objects that would normally take special resources, tools and skills if produced using conventional manufacturing techniques.

Lose a chess piece? Need a new pair of flip flops? Make it yourself with a 3-D printer. You may have seen similar technology used on American Choppers, but now you can afford to bring it on home. This rapid kind of prototyping takes a CAD design, transforms into horizontal cross-sections and then creates each cross-section in physical space, one after the next until the model is finished.

November 19, 2007  3:33 PM

Overheard: There is too a Web 2.0 bubble

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
steverubel.jpg “Let’s face it, we’re skunk drunk and it’s because of money. It’s almost like we all need to enter Betty Ford Clinic 2.0 together. This time, it’s not stock market money but private equity, M&A, VCs and to some degree the reckless abandonment of logic by some advertisers who are perpetuating what is sure to end badly when the economy turns.”

Steve Rubel, The Web 2.0 World is Skunk Drunk on Its Own Kool-Aid

Finally, somebody is saying it out loud.  Thanks Mr. Steve Rubel!

November 18, 2007  1:30 PM

Overheard: Datacenter in a box coming to a batcave near you

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
chris-mellor.jpg “Sun and a consortium of other businesses are going to lower Blackbox self-contained computing facilities into a Japanese coal mine to set up an underground datacentre, using up to 50 percent less power than a ground-level datacentre.”

Chris Mellor, Sun to set up datacentre in coal mine

Sun Microsystems promoted their “datacenter in a box” concept earlier this year. The datacenters are basically 20-foot shipping containers with racks of pre-configured servers and storage. The idea is that you’d be able to build a datacenter as big as you need because the Blackboxes are modular units — and because they’re self-contained shipping containers, you could ship them  just about anywhere — including outer space.  

When I first read about Project Blackbox, I was thinking military.  But I hadn’t thought about using caves and abandoned mines for commercial use. Genius.

In the Japan project, the coolant is going to be ground water — a little controversial, but they’re working on getting away from water altogether.  Since the cave’s temperature is a constant 59 degrees F,  the cost of running the underground center is expected to be $9 million less than if it were above ground.  

November 17, 2007  8:15 PM

Overheard: Crash differently

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/tOEKBC1JPz4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

November 17, 2007  5:46 PM

Overheard: Bullet car chase has new meaning

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
projectile_courtesy_of_StarChase The Los Angeles Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol will be the first two beta testers for the StarChase Fixed/Mobile Asset Tracking System.

More cop technology designed to make car chases obsolete. The StarChase system, which is fairly low tech compared to other schemes like HPEMS, lets police shoot a GPS tracking bullet from the front bumper of the police car and tag the back of the vehicle they’re pursuing. The goal? To allow police to follow the bad guys at a more leisurely pace.

On a similar note, General Motors plans to equip 1.7 million of its 2009-model vehicles with an OnStar system that will allow a police officer to remotely slow the engine of a stolen vehicle to idle speed.

November 17, 2007  2:27 PM

Overheard: Robots take over distribution centers at Walgreens and Staples

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
kiva_systems.jpg The scene is a constant swirl of activity, like a ballroom dance, with dozens of robots and pods in motion at any one time.

APICS The Association for Operations Management, Dance of the Bots

Robots move completed orders to a staging area. When the truck is ready, all the pods that have completed orders for that destination get up and move to the loading dock.

Check out this video from AT&T TV. You’re watching Kiva Systems robots. The little orange roomba-like robots follow adhesive bar codes in a high density grid pattern on the floor. They communicate with a centralized server in a big game of “Mother May I?”

November 17, 2007  2:02 PM

Overheard: It’s not your father’s joystick

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
guitar-hero.jpe “Though many popular games still employ a standard controller, the most popular games are using outlandish controlling devices that are so far-fetched, you’ll feel silly for trying, but won’t be able to put down.”

Triston McIntyre, Guitar Hero, Wii and DDR usher in new era of gaming

I predict that Guitar Hero a PlayStation 2 game whose controller is a two-foot-long plastic guitar, will be the big buzzword this holiday shopping season. Guitar Hero III was released in late October and sold 1.4 million copies in the first six days. It’s kind of cool hearing Guns ‘n Roses around the house once more. The fun part about this game, though, is looking at all the ways people have modified their controllers.

I don’t know whose mod is in the photo…I came across it on an MTV blog, uncredited. If you know who this is, please let me know so I can credit source.

November 17, 2007  1:43 PM

Overheard: Open source inspires strange bedfellows

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
matt-assay.jpg “If you want proof that open source is turning the world on its head, look no further than this announcement that Dell will be distributing Solaris on select Dell PowerEdge servers.”

Matt Asay, The gods must be crazy: Dell and Sun link up

November 17, 2007  1:23 PM

Overheard: What’s inside IBM’s Blue Cloud

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
erick-schonfeld.jpg “Blue Cloud is based on an open-source project called Hadoop that manages computing resources across large clusters of computers. Hadoop includes an open-source version of MapReduce, the same software Google uses to efficiently distribute its computing chores across its servers around the world.”

Erick Schonfeld, IBM’s Blue Cloud is Web Computing By Another Name

November 17, 2007  1:37 AM

Overheard: Moore’s law

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
gordon_moore.jpg “I’m through with making predictions. Get it right once and quit.”

Gordon Moore, BBC News interview 

I caught this interview last week on TV. The best part was hearing Dr. Moore complain about how slow his computer was.

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