Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Feliz Natal e Bom Ano Novo ou Vice-versa!

Science & Technology for 2008

Technology trends for 2008 include a lot of investment in the development of merged tech. Here are some of the things that will appear in the market:

- Printers and digitizers with incorporated shredders.
- Multidisplay systems.
- Mobile phones/mini laptops/PDAs will continue to present more and more functionalities: Camera, GPS, e-mail, radio, mp3, internet, video calls, VoIP. Basic new functions will be weather forecasts/atmospheric conditions sensors ( in some models it may even measure atmospheric particles, UV levels and carbon monoxide) and personal trainers ( sensors measuring cardiac rhythm and other health related functions). The big new thing will be the inclusion of location/ track possibilities. A lot of companies are developing software applications for that ( the number of patents is already high in this field). On the other hand do not expect many improvements on battery life (some experimental solar cell power stuff) or signal strength/communications quality.

Other trends:

- RFID tags applications will appear mostly in security systems (tracking goods in shops, tracking bags in airports, tracking people). Other security systems are expected either based in biometrics, retinal or DNA labelling.
- TV: TV on demand over IP. Mobile TV. HDTV. Multiple tuners for TV receivers. Broadcast and transmission systems. 3D imaging.
- Audio /video encoding and decoding.
- Remote data storage.
- Solid state drives(faster, higher storage capacity, lighter).
- Nanotechnologies: For drug delivery. Nanoelectronics and sensors. Nanomaterials. Nanotoxicology and biocompatibility. Nanotechs are still in their infancy therefore widespread tech applications should not be expected yet.

The above is my personal opinion based on nr of patent applications in each area and scientific and technical information I read during 2007.

My choice as the idea of the year 2007:

a car navigation/traffic information solution by IntelliOne that crosses GPS information with mobile phone signal detection for a given route. The purpose is to avoid congestioned roads. The system produces very reliable and timely information. It updates quicker than the use of video cameras or radars. Of course this is only useful for 1st world countries were almost everybody has a cell phone.


Percussion Lover

Yes, I love percussion but Peter Maxwell Davies Turris Campanarum Sonantium, played entirely in bells and metal percussion surfaces including japanese temple gongs sounds like a bunch of cows trotting along a valley with their cow bells dangling on their necks.
It is from 1970 so Davies may have been high on something...



Science & Tech landmarks 2007

Ambiente e ecologia:

A buzzword foi aquecimento global, especialmente depois da atribuição do Nobel ao IPCC.
Mas para além da divulgação maciça não se viram grandes resultados. Uma série de ideias + ou - parvas baseadas no bom senso e sem grande ciência foram atiradas para o ar:
- conceito de Pegada ecológica
- conceito de ser neutro em carbono
- Reciclar, só ter um filho, tornar-se vegetariano, poupar energia, não andar de carro nem de avião, plantar árvores, taxas de circulação em cidades, comprar comida que é produzida a menos de 10 Km da nossa casa (locavore) e etc...

No meio disto tudo até Quioto parece excelente!

Avanços científicos viram-se nas energias alternativas (solar, éolica, marés e ondas) e nos combustíveis alternativos/motores híbridos mas sem nada digno de grande nota. Claro que todos estão de acordo que o solar e etc.. nunca vão conseguir colmatar as necessidades energéticas mundiais sobretudo com grandes potências emergentes, Brasil, China e India, a consumirem e poluirem que se fartam. E os combustíveis alternativos estão a provocar um aumento exponencial do preço de certos cereais utilizados como matéria prima. Brevemente o pão vai ser um luxo e o pessoal em Àfrica vai morrer todo à fome.


Science & Tech landmarks 2007

In no special order/rate.

biomolecular/life sciences:

Stem cells: 2 teams of researchers were able to grow stem cells from adult skin tissues (published in Cell and Science). This possibility eliminates the ethical concerns about stem cells and the use of embryos.
Meanwhile, in
Portland embryonic stem cells from monkeys were cloned opening the door to human stem cell cloning (published in Nature).
And at the
Londoner Imperial College bone marrow stem cells were grown into a human heart valve.

In an access of dubious vanity Craig Venter published is own genome...
Unfortunately for him he was not the first. James Watson genome had been published a couple of months earlier...


No Time

A revista Time elegeu Vladimir Putin como a personalidade do ano.

Discordo claramente. Porque não Hugo Chavez ou o sr. Ahmadinejad?

Web 2.0

Nobody knows what it is nor were it is going, but it for sure includes social networks like myspace and facebook for occidentals or Daum and cyworld for Asians. In itself an entire revolution in the way we relate with others in the particular case of Myspace it also changed the way musicians and public interact (who did not listen/buy music from a Myspace page yet?). The more serious LinkedIn is a professional social network and Glee is a popular gay/lesbian social network.

Never mind the hyped Youtube and Joost and go for the real thing: Whatever comes out of the Google labs: Try google Gears for an offline online experience and Google Grandcentral to manage your calls on multiple phones.
Encyclopedic Information and dictionaries in a click and for free, using Wikipedia and sites like answers.com and wikianswers.com. Wikis are open cooperative environments that changed the way we give/get information about a subject.

Web 2.0 also brings new models of business. Incredible how a global thing like the internet can act so locally... Using virtual communities like Etsy you can buy and sell your handmade goods. From art prints to jewels there is everything. This is not even an incentive to the local shop it is an incentive to the small creative entrepeneur. Or take Lulu, a self-publishing service for books that also promotes your book.

Thus, it seems that the web 2.0 is mostly about sharing, cooperating and networking on a global level. But there is also a strong component that is connected only with each individual, leaving no space for interaction with others: choice. You chose what to write on you Blog or Vlog, you choose your tags and you choose your RSS feeds.

I still don't know what web 2.0 is but i have used all of the above stuff and i can't wait for the 3.0 version!




Chinese drive better than Russians, or why having snow and ice is not good.


the boredom

...of old colours and old layouts.
Just changed blog colour to a screaming yellow and i´m thinking about a few layout changes.


Excuse me?

Are this real coloring books for children or just jokes? Unfortunately they are real!

The black panther coloring book

Features a Black Panther philosophy of Black supremacy and racial violence. Whites are portrayed as pigs. Contains several violent pictures of Black children firing guns at white people.

The anti-abuse coloring book
A religious coloring book by the NY archdiocese. The book teaches children that "it is not safe to be alone in a room with an adult". Will it be safe to be alone with another children? or an animal? Or perhaps even for us adults it will also not be safe to be alone in a room with another adult....

NSA coloring pages
Several pictures encouraging the use of guns and violent games.


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