The New York Times has an article on the use of laser scanning and ‘printing’ 3D objects that is pretty interesting. It is amazing how much the prices on 3D scanners have dropped given the relative increase in features. We have worked with an old Cyrex that the Virtual Environments Lab at WVU has and you can buy a new Leica (who bought Cyra a few years back) with better everything for less than half the price. Aaahhh, technology.
Well the Holux’s have it. The vote was 6-2 for the Holux with the other two votes going one each to the Pharo and TeleType. The Holux has been ordered and should be here before AAG…
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.
Today on Directions on the News there was an item about how VRCO has released their next version of Conduit for Google Earth. The Conduit software is a translator that allows COTS software (OpenGL based) to pushed through a graphics cluster to be projected onto multiple screens. WVU tasked FakeSpace/VRCO to implement Conduit for ArcScene and ArcGlobe (and hopefully AGX soon) a year ago as part of our CAVE hardware installation for our GeoVirtual Laboratory. Click on the picture to get a larger version of the image to get an idea of how GIS information (in this case a historic reconstruction of Morgantown, WV in 1900 created by Sue and our undergrads) can be viewed on multiple 8×10 ft screens running active stereo to give you a 3D experience. It is great to be able to zoom from a landscape overview (shown), down to street level where you are immersed in a nearly 1:1 representation of the area. We are still working on a VSTV episode that will highlight the technologies used to build and display the project from creating the buildings in SketchUp Pro to showing the final ArcScene project in the immersive environment.
Other World Computing put out a teaser for their product the ModBook that will be announced Tuesday. It is supposed to be a slate style tablet solution that will even offer a GPS add-on. From the press release
The ModBook is also the only portable Mac solution that features an optional built-in Global Positioning System (GPS). The Axiotron ModBook GPS Module was developed in cooperation with GlobalSat Technologies Corporation utilizing the industry leading SiRFstarÃ¢â€žÂ¢ III chipset for shorter first location fix times and improved tracking capabilities.
I am a huge tablet fan (just upgraded the Toshiba M200 to Vista) so I am pretty curious to see how this goes.
The EETimes is reporting that there has been a major breakthrough in the efficiency of solar cells. Up until now, solar cells have only operated at between 12-18% efficient. Through a grant from the DOE, Boeing-Spectrolab has managed to over double or triple that to 40.7% efficiency. That’s pretty impressive. This means solar cells can be deployed in more and more areas. I know that in WV, solar power doesn’t really work well. Maybe these new cells can change that.
While we are making our way through Geography Awareness Week, don’t forget that tomorrow the 14th is the release date for Microsoft’s new Zune, their attempt to compete with the iPod. While there has been quite a bit of discussion regarding the lack of podcast support for the Zune, please keep in mind that the Zune will play both MP3 and AAC files just fine, they just aren’t providing a built in podcatcher. Just use your RSS aggregator of choice to grab your podcasts and upload them to your Zune.
While the first incarnation of the Zune looks to be pretty much run of the mill for modern PMPs (Portable /Personal Media Player) there are some pretty interesting possibilities for future upgrades and versions.
Send us a photo of you with your Zune if you get one.
This evening I am spending time setting up both BootCamp and Parallels on the new laptop (Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro). I plan to install ArcGIS tomorrow and will begin to work with it for a while to see how it goes. I will be grabbing screenshots as I go through. I will be posting the details on my sadly underused blog at scirl.com/blog with a wrap up in a couple of weeks here on VerySpatial.
On the Oct 19 episode of Digital Life TV (www.dl.tv), Patrick Norton does a review of a dashmount Garmin GPS and the new Microsoft Streets and Trips and everyone uses many of the correct terms and phrases The overall take on the Garmin model they reviewed was pretty good, and at a $250 (US) price tag it seems promising. Head over to dl.tv to view the episode online or to download the video podcast. For the MS Streets and Trips they mention the Live Search integration. The review is around 35:00 minutes.
Listener Eric pointed out a news item that discusses how police in the Dutch city of Groningen will be testing a handheld-based computer system which will allow them to access information specific to the areas they are patroling. The article also seems to say that information can be pushed out the systems and that they will be locationally aware. Sounds like a pretty sweet system for police walking the streets.