Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nasa's Lost Toolkit Seen in the Sky

A few days ago an amateur astronomer saw something fly across the sky. Since he's got some background knowledge about celestial projectiles, he knew that this was not a shooting star, comet, or meteor. A UFO was just as unlikely. What it was, was Nasa's toolkit which astronomer Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper lost during a spacewalk to lubricatethe station's malfunctioning starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, or SARJ, which is designed to allow the solar panels on the left side of the station to rotate and track the sun. The cost of the bag is an estimated $100,000. Kevin Fetter of Brockville, Ontario, the amateur astronaut, saw it with his own home telescope. He followed the coordinates from the U.S. military, according the Toronto Star. Luckily he filmed the kit which is now considered space debris.

The video can be seen here or go to

Light-Powered Nanomachines

Solar power isn't so high-tech anymore when it comes to having light powered technology. Instead of converting light energy into electricity, researchers at Yale University have come up of a way to harness light energy directly. Although the researching has only just made produced a little success and is still on a very small scale of harnessing light energy, researchers at Yale can now cause a very small object to vibrate, simply by putting light through it. The nanomechanical resonator, or bridge which was the small object, vibrates when laser light is routed through it. The resonator simply reacts to the energy. The researching team is led by Hong Tang, an assistant professor at Yale's School of Engineering & Applied Science department. "You don't need to apply voltage, you just need to pass light through it," he says, explain how the concept is actually quite simple. Although the research is still in its very early stages and Tang would like to "get a similar device vibrating at much higher speeds, above the gigahertz range—in the billions of cycles per second,"the possibilities of harnessing light energy directly could be endless. When that happens maybe the world wouldnt need to rely on fossil fuels so much and help the environment, though that would be quite some time into the future before any of that actually happens. It'll be best if we all just stick to recycling for now until that happens...

Below is a picture of the nanomechanical resonator with the light travelling through it. The vibrations cannot be seen, nor detected unless using another extremely precise laser to detect movement.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mortal Kombat vs DC and Left 4 Dead

Mortal Kombat vs DC universe and Left 4 Dead were both released last tuesday. Mortal Kombat vs DC universe is quite an amazing game, allowing the player to play with some of the all time favorite Mortal Kombat characters including Raiden, Scorpian, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang and several others. DC Universe's characters include the big-name superheroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman, Flash and a few others. Character selection, despite having some great choices, is limited to only 20 characters and no unlockables. The gameplay is quite good as well with an interesting storyline. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe is a great game and very well worth playing.

Left 4 Dead is another game that was released last tuesday. Again this game is also very fun in its own ways. The gameplay is in a single player shooting style, but still different than most single-player shooting games. Where other games have missions that repeat themselves no matter how often u restart, this one has an amazing replayability function. Every time you play, you can choose a different course of actions and that will usually lead to other paths as well. Another thing about this game is that it is almost like being in a movie, capturing the zombie film genre feeling perfectly. This leaves the player feeling a little spooked as well as entertained with the surprisingly fun shooting of zombies, which seem quite realistic as well. Though the graphics aren't top-notch, after playing a few minutes of the game will make you completely forget about any visuals. Multiplayer with this game is also proving to be very addicting.

If anyone ever gets the time, check out these games. They're quite worth the time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


This week the ND ICT12 class started programming in the Python language at school. At home we had to install Python 2.6 but for those encountered problems, installed Python 2.5 instead. So far we are in the middle of a Temperature Calculation Program. It is to be finished Friday.

Il Divo and Their New Album "The Promise"

Il Divo just released their new album "The Promise" last tuesday, and it has already hit the number one spot in the UK. Il divo is a group that sing 'popera' a split between pop and opera. The group consists of Spanish baritone Carlos Marin, American tenor David Miller, French pop singer Sebastien Izambard, and Swiss tenor Urs Buhler. Together they are Il Divo, popera group created by SURPRISE! Simon Cowell. Not only can they sing, but they are handsome as well, and even more odd... they are all from different countries with different first languages, singing in a total of six languages made up of French, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. The four members are also known for their exquisite taste in fashion, most of the time wearing Armani suits.

So far, they are popular much around the world, and as for America, it is "more of a slow burn," says David Miller. Despite this they have already sold over 22 million albums internationally. It seems that the groups success and popularity are still growing more and more.

Second Life Taken Too Seriously in Reality

Nowadays married couples have been divorcing much more than before. And it is due to problems within the marriage that mess things up. But rarely, if ever, has there been a divorce over a computer game. Second Life is an online virtual world computer game, where people from anywhere in the world create a character, or avatars and interact with others. Anyone can join for free.

Now things start to become ridiculous when matters inside the game are being taken seriously outside the game, in real time. Just recently a British couple divorced because the wife found her husband's avatar having an "affair" with another avatar. The woman says, "It may have started online, but it existed entirely in the real world and it hurts just as much now it is over." And now the couple's marriage of three years is ended in divorce. It is reported by CNN that the woman is now dating a man she met in "World of Warcraft".

An even more weird event took place last month, during October. A 43 year old woman in Japan is in jail because her online virtual husband left divorced her in Maple Story, another virtual game, although different from Second Life. Maple Story is a massive multi-player online role playing game where players travel throughout "Maple World" trying to defeat monsters and developing their character's skills. Marriage is of course, a part of the game, and so is divorcing. When the woman found out her virtual husband left her, she hacked into game, with her colleague's account and murdered her virtual ex-hubby. The woman says, "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry." The hacking allegation carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sony Ericsson C905

Just released last month, Sony Ericsson's C905 ("C" for Sony's Cyber-shot line of cameras) has an amazing 8.1 megapixel camera in this high-end, scratch-resistant ( for the screen) cellphone. It is the first 8.1 megapixel camera to be released outside of Korea. It carries the Assisted GPS function and WiFi as well, although its camera feature and capabilities overshadow the rest of the phone's functions. The camera in it has the Xenon-in built flash. Because of this there will be no worries for red eye nor light adjustment. The Xenon-in built camera flash takes care of it all for you. It carries the Smart-Contrast feature, allowing the camera to automatically adjust the shadows to get a more beautifully taken picture. Auto Focus is another feature, though it is pretty much a standard in cameras now, allowing the camera to automatically focus on whatever picture you're trying to take. Face detection of course, is included. Obviously it detects the faces of the people in your picture and takes a clearer and sharper image of the faces so that it doesnt fade off into the background. And finally, the camera also has a Best Pic function as well. This makes it so that when you click to take the picture, three pictures will be taken, and then three more pictures after you let go of the button. This allows you to choose which picture is the best, just in case you're just a tad late in taking the photo.

All this is inside a CELLPHONE. Of course the cellphone has its own unique features as well but no other cellphone has a camera that even comes close to the C905, at least for now. If anyone is a fan of cameras, cellphones, and/or camera-phones, this is the phone to get.

Do cameras interest you? To find out more, go to the Digital Camera Survey website here or go to

Telus BlackBerry Storm retail price?

The BlackBerry Storm has been confirmed for Bell and Telus, though it has yet to be released. Currently the rumors are that the touch-screen BlackBerry Storm will cost $299.99 on a 3-year contract, $549.99 on 2-years, $599.99 on a single year and $649.99 without a contract, although either Telus nor Bell has made a statement for how much these handhelds will cost when they're released to the public.

bgC3 - Bill Gate's new mysterious company

After recently stepping down as an executive chairman, Bill Gates has started a new and mysterious company called bgC3, which he has kept very tightly under wraps. bgC3 is expected to be a think tank for scientific and technological innovations. According to the company's federal trademark registration the company will be involved in scientific and technological services, industrial analysis and research, and design and development of computer hardware and software as well.

More over, some have been wondering what the name represents. Obviously "bg" would stand for Bill Gates, and the "C" has been given a couple guesses as to what it might stand for. The first and most probable guess for what it might be is: company. That would make sense as C3 would mean Company 3, which really is his third company or enterprise after Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But TechFlash, a technological news souce based in Seattle, has reported that the "C" stands for "catalyst." The reason for this is that bgC3 will, aside from its other purposes, will act as a catalyst between Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So far, an insider has said that the statement is only half correct.

To visit the website click here or go to

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hugh Jackman - Sexiest Man Alive vs. George Clooney - Former Sexiest Man Alive

In a recent interview, Hugh Jackman who just won the title of the Sexiest Man Alive from People Magazine, revealed that he received a not-so-friendly phonecall from predecessor George Clooney, who has held the title twice before. It happened at 2a.m. when the phone rang. George Clooney told Hugh "I know what you did! You started this big campaign that's been going on and [you] took the title away from me." Whether this was intended to be a joke or not is not clear, although Hugh said it was NOT a courtesy call, despite recalling the event in a jokingly manner.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Motorola's Moto QA30

The Moto QA30 is Motorola's response to the latest trend in qwerty-equipped devices. Not just another qwerty phone, it is a qwerty SLIDER to be exact, the first of its kind. It comes with 2.5-inch 320×240 display, 2-megapixel camera, 1x EVDO connectivity, Bluetooth, 3.5mm headset jack, Facebook access, email, USB 2.0 and microSD card support up to an amazing 32GB. Details concerning the price and availability are still unknown at this time, but expect it to be revealed soon than later. Although it runs on the CDMA network, and not the more popular GSM, that just means that the QA30 will almost surely be available in Canada. Look forward to it!


One Laptop Per Child, or otherwise known as OLPC, is a non-profit organization. It is giving out laptops manufactured by Quanta Computer. These laptops can be given to children and schools in places that are in need of more modern technology for learning and every day use, for $199. Or for the price of $399, the person who made the purchase will, not only send one overseas to those in need, but receive one as well.

The latest laptop is the XO. It is a very capable laptop despite being only $199 each. They are made specially for children in remote locations and Third World countries, but recently, a large quantity has been given to the state of Alabama as well. It is only about the size of a small textbook, has a special screen that is just as visible even if it is directly in the sun. It is light, durable and self sufficient, meaning that battery can be stored through electrical outputs and if there are none available, energy can be produced manually through a handle that spins a rotator, storing energy inside the machine. Another neat feature is its wireless networking system. Say there are 15 of these laptops at a remote location. If even just one of these is connected to the internet, then the other 14 will be connected as well, as long as they are within range.

The laptop is a very interesting machine, with many features in which a normal computer bought at a much higher price doesnt even have. OLPC is clearly a great organization, not only helping others in places that need the attention, but for no profit as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Last week, we (the ict12 class) were introduced to the visual
basics program. We started off in the new language by creating a Hello World program that responds to clicks, unlike Turbo Pascal. VB appears to be a lot more fun as well.