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When I heard that oxygen and magnesium hooked up I was like OMg.
Electric Paper PDF Print E-mail
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KoboElectric paper was first developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre in the 1970's, the same place ( and time ) that gave us windowed PC's screens with mouse pointers.

As with PC technology, others have taken the raw technology and run with it.

Today we see Kindles, Nooks, and now Kobo in New Zealand. Whitcoulls recently ran out of their initial supply, and have had to hurriedly import more of the devices to meet the demand.

There are various technologies used and here is a short description of each.



Uses charged polyethylene spheres black on one side, and white on the other, forming a dipole. The spheres are suspended in oil allowing them to move freely, and are flipped between the black and white state by applying a positive or negative voltage.



In an electrophoretic display, charged particles of a product such as titanium dioxide as held between two plates. When voltage is applied to different parts of the plate, the particles move to teh front or the back. When at the front the screen appears white, and when at the back, the screen takes on the color of the suspending fluid, usually dark.

Electrophoretic display

Graphic source Wikipedia


Electrowetting displays utlise an interaction between water and oil and the effects of applying a voltage to an insulated electrode. This technology is especially exciting as it allows a colour display that can change quickly enought to support video content.




Electrofluidic displays are a variation on Electrowetting.


There are other display technologies under development. For more details check out the Wikipedia Article here.


Liberate your data! PDF Print E-mail
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"Imagine you want to move out of your apartment. When you ask your landlord about the terms of your previous lease, he says that you are free to leave at any time; however, you cannot take all of your things with you - not your photos, your keepsakes, or your clothing.

If you're like most people, a restriction like this may cause you to rethink moving altogether. Not only is this a bad situation for you as the tenant, but it's also detrimental to the housing industry as a whole, which no longer has incentive to build better apartments at all."e

Brian Fitzpatrick, Data Liberation engineering manager at Google posted an interesting article on his Chicago based team, Google's Data Liberation Front.


Click here to read more.





Pigeon Datagrams PDF Print E-mail
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pigeonDigital cameras have made capturing and sharing photos of outdoor adventures easy.

But it’s still just plain hard to take a good picture while you’re rafting down the whitewater or traping in the great outdoors.

There is now a solution, and upgrade to ye olde "pigeon poste", developed by a crowd called Rocky Mountain Adventures.

So when you book your trip through Rocky Mountain Adventures, they do the picture-taking for you. On-site photographers position themselves at good vantage points during your river run and capture the action. When you return to RMA headquarters, your glossy photos are displayed brightly on the wall, ready for purchase.

We do live in the age of advanced technology, but, seriously – how do photo files come 30 miles from the backcountry, where there is no cell phone service and no Internet, and end up printed and looking pretty long before their rafting subjects arrive?

The answer is pigeons.

Click here to



Google & Amazon Databases PDF Print E-mail
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Tags: databases | map/reduce

Before anybody get excited about map/reduce based database systems, it's important to understand their limitations.

For those unfamiliar with the technology, map/reduce is a technique pioneered by Google to exploit parallelism across a large number of potentially unreliable servers. A problem is first broken down in a finite number of independent tasks (the map phase), which are parceled out to different servers for execution. The individual results are then integrated (the reduce phase) and a single answer returned. The reduce phase also restarts any failed tasks.

Both Google (BigTable) and Amazon (SimpleDB) have built what they call databases on map/reduce.

The essential limitation of the technology that it is difficult, probably impossible, to support transactions since, after all, the various servers are independent. To compensate, both BigTable and SimpleDB use complex rows that are essentially self defining and support things like versions and repeating groups. Updates in both systems are atomic but operate on single rows. This is a data model that works very well for shopping carts and very poorly for almost everything else.

Map/reduce is very good technology for a large number of computationally large problems. But I doubt that it has much, if anything, to offer to database systems.

Jim Starkey
Founder, NimbusDB, Inc.
978 526-1376

Quoted from: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Linux for Education PDF Print E-mail
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Tags: moodle | sugarcrm provides a wealth of learning tools, both for the open source community and educators in general.

Sponsored by the open-SUSE Education Project, the site contains collections of useful courses to help you better use the applications found on the Linux distributions. There are also forums, chatrooms, courses, and help materials at your disposal.

Courses range in topics from the Sugar OS to ice formations on Europa to Moodle basics and all materials are licensed under Creative Commons. The site is truly not to be missed, whether you’re a *nix fan or not. It also serves as a showcase for the power of Moodle and OSS in presenting coursework.



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