Tag Archives: technology
Smart Is As Smart Paint Does!
Man, oh man, is this interesting: smart paint that can detect problems in structures painted with it. Something I constantly tell the people in my life is this: “Technology will save the world.” I really believe that’s the truth. Yes, there are drawbacks we discover while learning to manufacture various technologies. Yes, we run into unforeseen problems. But at the end of the day, technology enables more people to enjoy a greater degree of safety, comfort, freedom and health. These things improve our odds of living happily, and that’s worth our effort. Read on after the jump for more!
Let me tell you for the record, I am not a smoker. I have the good fortune to have been born allergic to tobacco, and learned that at the curious age of 5 when I begged my mother for a drag off her cigarette, only to be rushed to the hospital with an almost totally closed breathing dealabob thingy. Since that day I’ve never had so much as the faintest inkling of desire to smoke anything whatsoever. Until now.
There’s a new Windows Home Server device in town (by the way, WHS is a PHENOMENAL product!), but this one’s a bit different from the devices on offer from HP and Acer. Aside from the fact that it’s a bit less capable and expandable (due to lack of space for hard drives), this is a product that blends two things I would never have thought to blend: A Humidor and a Server.
That’s right, the new Home Servidor (seriously!) offers you the ability to serve up stinky death via a top mounted humidor, thermally isolated from the server guts below it, while simultaneously ensuring that your computer’s data, pictures, documents, etc are handily backed up. When you die a choking, coughing, gasping-for-air death…your data remains safe and secure. It’s brilliant! This, my friends, is the fucking key to immortality.
If you’re one of those few elite who truly must have the finest in craftsmanship, this lovely little box of safety and doom is hand crafted at the time you place your order, by the King of Irony himself. If you’re in the market for a Home Server for Home Server purposes, you can get a lot more oomph for a lot less money, but friend let me tell you, you’re gonna have a helluva time finding anything more ironic to decorate your house with.
I…almost want one!
So, this was a couple of days ago now, but I’ve been so busy over at E3 and blogging at our sister publication All That Gaming Stuff, that I haven’t had time to drop a note about it here. Project Natal is, in a word, the single most advanced motion control system ever devised or introduced for a home game console (OK, so that’s not a word, it’s more of a…phrase-like construct…thingy). And yes, that includes Sony’s newly announced Wiimote Duo (and yes, you should check out the Demo, it’s actually very cool as an evolution of the Wiimote concept).
So what does this sucker do? Well for starters it detects your entire body and the motion of 48 of your joints. It also detects your face–and will automatically log you into your profile when it sees you. It can detect your voice–and distinguish it from those of your friends, your family and even the game or movie characters you’re watching or playing. It can rapidly scan real world objects and convert them to real-time objects in a game as you can see in both the above video and in Lionhead’s demonstration of its advanced AI character Milo. But the most impressive thing shown with regards to Natal so far is that it enables the game software to do something that no game software has ever done before–it can recognize your emotional states by reading your facial and vocal patterns. No other system on the market or announced for a home console has this capability, and what it can mean for games where characterization is of great significance (RPG lovers take note) is simply off the charts.
Sadly, Microsoft has yet to announce a release date for this impressive new device, but given that they’re now in a race against time to beat Sony’s new Wiimote to market, to say nothing of Nintendo’s Wii Motion Plus, which is already on the market, it’s likely that this device has already been placed onto a priority track in Redmond. I wouldn’t be surprised in the coming months to hear of a massive internal push by Microsoft to get developers up to speed with this technology, retrofit high profile existing games for which it will make sense, and get the device into the hands of consumers as soon as possible. If they’re smart, they’ll also bundle it with consoles moving forward to ensure a reasonable amount of developer support, but we’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled.
What do you think of Natal? Next-Gen or gimmick (or both?) Let us know what you think in the comments!
It’s not as if HDMI hasn’t already been a complete disaster, what with its inconsistent behavior across consumer devices made within, oh, months of each other and all, but apparently somebody just isn’t happy with the format being as crappy as it already is. No, HDMI 1.4 is now inbound, with not one, nor two, nor three, nay not even four but five new connector types. It’s pretty much a given that, like with its predecessors, HDMI 1.4 will have sporadic compatibility problems with previous and future versions of the same connector and only the very goddamn lucky will actually be able to say that their TV, DVD, Bluray and Receivers tethered together with HDMI actually work right.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: HDMI is the most poorly planned, badly implemented, shitty consumer electronics device connector ever developed. I’ve already seen some folks who plan to wait on their new HDTV purchases for the new connector (I did the same thing years ago and it was a mistake) to hit, but my advice is this: Avoid HDMI at all costs, it is not worth your hassle.