Congrats to our winner

JayJay from Raleigh is our “Show Us Your Heritage” contest winner, who will soon be receiving a Genographic Kit. His image (right) shows his pregnant Great Grandmother (on the left) just before her first flight. At least she wasn’t in the third trimester when she flew 🙂

Anyway, congratulations to Jay and the runners-up (Jeff, Greg, Anand, and Iann) who will be receiving VerySpatial t-shirts.

Can’t Wait for Google Universe? Try! is a fascinating site that displays thousands and thousands of astronomical data in a Google Map-esque interface. The data is based upon the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which seeks to catalog around a million galaxies and quasars. The Wikisky application is almost overwhelming with data and information. It’s worth a bit of time to look around. Like most map interfaces, zooming in will get you some pretty decently detailed images that are very beautiful. Check it out.

“The Last Mile” on the cheap

The Last Mile problem is a well known issue in wireless broadband circles. Running between, say, cities is easy… getting it the last mile to individual houses is hard. Most of the solutions thus far have focused on rather expensive technologies (like tower based WiFi) that have limited utility. Enter these gentlemen. They are using low cost equipment that originates inside a dwelling, as opposed to outside on the pole, to spread WiFi Mesh networks. The idea is pretty intriguing and might have a great deal of utility, particular in low income areas. The one example the article cites indicates one landlord has rolled out Internet access at the expense of something like $1/month per household. That’s pretty darn impressive!

To be honest, I’ve wondered for a long time now why more companies haven’t been using more traditional router solutions. They’re cheap, they’re easy to configure, and they everywhere. I figured I was missing some key bit of information if everyone else was using boxes that cost hundreds of dollars each. Apparently I wasn’t.