Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shadow Internet? and Free Entrance National Parks...

Shadow Internet?

Today I stumbled upon an article that is a bit odd.  Rulers in many countries are shutting down the internet, or monitoring it in a way that leaves citizens of the country limited to what they can access.  Countries like Egypt and Syria. 

Naturally, America feels the need to help others before helping itself.  So Obama has opted to invest time and money in setting up a "shadow internet" that will remain in place if the countries own services are shut down by the Dictators or terrorists and such.  This is a good thing for the people of the country looking to keep a grasp on "free speech" and even to further their educational resources. 

One thing I find odd though is the amount of interest Obama is taking into this.  In the past, if Obama approves, it's bad.  I also don't get why this is something we should be stepping into to begin with.  It isn't our country and it is not our place to establish a separate network.  Even on a legal stand point, aren't we helping construct an underground network disapproved by the ruling powers?  Regardless of the power and how corrupt they are, is it really something we should be sticking our noses in?  Due to the recent activity in so many of these "oppressively" led countries I think this is both good and bad news.  What do you think?

Free Entrance National Parks

On a far more meaningful note, national parks are charging $0 for entries on specific dates.  This is great for those outdoorsy types, and even those not so outdoorsy and should head outside for a hike! 

June 21st marks the first day of summer, and a free entrance to national parks means money saved and a healthy start to your summer schedules.  Each year many parks all over the U.S. do this so look at the schedules and find out which parks near you participate in this great service to the people.  Get outside and get moving!

Hope you enjoyed today's blog.  Follow, Comment, Enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Movies Without Texters, Yea! and Why The Quotes For A Cured HIV Patient?

Movies Without Texters, Yea! and Why The Quotes For A Cured HIV Patient?

Movies Without Texters, Yea!

This first one was a hilarious read.  I personally am very happy to read something like this because texting and phone calls are a plague in the theaters I go to.  I have actually skipped going to a movie based solely off of the fact somebody will probably ruin the film because they are either talking, answering their phone, or texting.  I am happy to see a theater finally standing up, and in a very humorous way, against theater interruptions.

Focus on Alamo Drafthouse as your new bar of theater standards.  Recently a woman was caught texting in the middle of a film multiple times and removed from the theater without a refund.  The theater makes a comical statement, "I don't think people realize that it is distracting."  They had to put this in a nice way because if they came out saying, "If you are a customer clearly being rude and inconsiderate, we're gonna ban you for being a 'A-hole,'" they wouldn't have looked as much like the good-guys.  None the less, I support them.

But either way you look at it, this is a great national attention getter.  I can't stand interruptions during a movie because I'm one of those hard core self-proclaimed critics.  Since I study film, each and every ticket I buy is like a small investment into further understanding a countries filmed history.  Having someone take you out of the filming experience is seeing the film less then the director intended.  Thus ruining the film.

Be sure to check out the video in this article, too.  They made a theater PSA out of that same woman's phone call she made shortly after getting booted.

Why The Quotes For A Cured HIV Patient?

This article is a lot shorter than I would have liked.  I really wanted to know more about further studies/potential future studies in this matter.  What happened was a man gets a bone marrow stem cell transplant from a patient that was immune to HIV.  Apparently about 1% of Caucasians are immune.  This transplant has potentially "cured" the patient, as no more reproduction of the virus is occurring. 

A scientist talks about how this encourages the research, however, I would liked to have heard exactly what is being researched.  I didn't even know there were some people immune to HIV.  Why are they immune?  What is special about their bone marrow that enables them to fight off the virus successfully?  They give a theory in the article, but that is all it is.  A theory.

The same scientist makes a good point, however.  This "cure" isn't something you can properly consider if you were to become, or already are, infected with HIV.  The cost of the operation and the rarity of the immune bone marrow couldn't be given to the 33.3 million people around the world infected with HIV.  Further tests must be done to mass produce this discovery so we can stamp out this virus once and for all.

Hope you enjoyed today's article.  Follow, comment, and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Battle of the Game Developers - E3 Special

Nintendo Wii arbitrary letter here...

Ok guys, E3 is back again with all new gamer drooling content.  And I am here to start it off with what I consider, something not that great to look forward to.

Next generation Nintendo gaming comes to you in the form of the Wii U.  The letter thing is really getting old.  But that doesn't mean the technology isn't to want.  Is it?

Taking a look at this article, and many others floating around the web, the Nintendo Wii U is again reinventing the wheel for controlling your pixilated plot carrier.  The control now consists of a touch screen with built in controls all around the screen.  The article talks about how innovative this is as though it has never happened before.  *Cough* hand helds *cough*  The example given is "Johnny won't need to turn off his Super Mario Bros. outing so that dad can watch the Cowboys game," referring to the game being able to seamlessly move from TV to controller screen.  Well then why not just make "Johnny" play his handheld?  Or just make the consol itself a hand held?  Ok ok, I'm being a little tough.  I can see the benefits of this example.  And with the control being able to directly interact with action on screen, acting as a separate addition to control, it does seem quite interesting.  But I'm not sure I can consider this extremely advanced and outgoing. 

The cheap Ipad wanna-be will be able to browse the web, utilize HD technology to keep up with the other two "big boys," and enable picture and voice chat with a built in microphone and camera.  I think without the games, this would make for an awesome home phone/conference system.  Getting closer to those quirky anime video phone stereotypes!  Yea!

I got to be honest, though.  This looks about as interesting as the dozens of German E. Coli articles floating around the web.  Even though I can see this device being quite helpful in business, or even schooling, I'm thinking Nintendo is just getting side tracked here.  Good thing they have the 3DS.

PS "LIFE"...

Mentioning the 3DS for Nintendo reminds my of my old PSP.  Ah, how it collected dust in the corner of my gaming cabinet due to the lack of truly immersive content, and down right confusing controls for many games.  But I still loved the multiplayer abilities and the other 2 people I found hard core enough to bother with it.  But that seems to be a thing of the past.

PS Vita is now the only thing I have on my Christmas list.  Well... next to the black Ferrari Testarossa and a date with Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  But my dreams seem that much closer with a price tag of only $300 for the 3G-capable version.  The cheaper of the two models is $250 and the basic difference just gets you WiFi.  The awesomeness, however, only gets better. 

From here you get a range from touch screen/device capabilities, TWO analog sticks (thank you for not hiring a retarded game designer who has't picked up a game controller since 1994), OLED screen, built in GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, motion sensing, 4 core processor chip, dedicated graphics processing unit, two built in cameras for picture capability, a microphone, NVG Cards instead of UMD's, and a handful of highly anticipated launch titles.  Excuse me while I catch my breath.

...  Did I mention it looks sexy?

Ok, so not much else has really been revealed about this new portable device.  And like the 3DS I imagine two cameras would be used for 3D picture taking, however, nobody has said anything about that yet.  At least from the articles I read during time of post.  And with internet access and a microphone I imagine this could easily be a (video) phone.  I really hope that service plans come out for the new system and will include unlimited talk and text so I don't have to stay with my phone company any longer.  Oh, let the dreaming commence.

As for what Microsoft is up to, who knows.  I was too busy replaying the Halo 4 hype video for the 92nd time. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Better Electronics Tomorrow and Plague Insects To Save Lives

Better Electronics Tomorrow

This article talks about an advancement in Diode technology.  Studies and tests have been going on since the 1960's trying to bring a theory to life, but have only recently achieved success. 

Like most of these advancements we start with a University.  Oregon State University to be exact.  What they achieved was a "metal-insulator-metal" diode that can accept a much larger electrical load then current technologies.  The best part is, it is a cheaper process, as well.  This technological advancement could make computer parts cheaper, run faster, and require less parts, like transistors. 

Last couple of paragraphs are especially interesting so check it out.

Plague Insects To Save Lives

I had a bit of a laugh from this one but the University that is studying this is getting a nice hefty check for studies so maybe I am the idiot here.  University of Newcastle in England has a biologist by the name of Claire Rind studying Locusts to help prevent car crashes.  The idea is in the Locusts' head.

A specific neuron found in the head of a Locust is called the Locust Giant Movement Detector (LGMD).  And like it sounds, this neuron is responsible for detecting movement and providing incredibly fast response time to the body of the Locust to avoid collisions.  This works with both avoiding other Locusts and predators.  This happens to be the concept in study by Claire Rind.

In short, the idea is to create a Crash-Avoidance system that can detect objects coming at the vehicle.  Automatic response systems will kick in to ensure safety.  Not sure why this idea was inspired by bugs, to me I thought this was a natural next step in vehicular evolution next to energy sources.  However, if you read this article, it will probably  make you laugh and you will find out some interesting facts about the locust.

That's it for today.  Follow, comment, and enjoy!