Monday, November 30, 2009

Funny Online Wal-Mart Banner

I'm not sure what I think about this ad, except it makes me laugh. In a laughing AT it, not WITH it sort of way.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

US Navy starts up sense and avoid project for UAVs

Umm....does this mean we're going to have unmanned drones patrolling our own skies? Scary...

US Navy researchers have announced a new contract aimed at developing a "sense and avoid" system that would allow unmanned air vehicles to fly in airspace regulated by the US Federal Aviation Administration.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is asking bidders to submit white papers by 1 April 2010 and full proposals by 3 August. Each document must describe how the bidders propose to solve one of unmanned aviation's biggest technical challenges and barriers to future growth.

The autonomous collision avoidance system must fit inside a 4.5-6.8kg (10-15lb) package, consume no more than 500W at peak power and not increase the UAV's drag.

The sensor system must provide spherical coverage of between 5km (2.7nm) and 10km around the UAV, but focus especially on "non-cooperative" aircraft, which lack transponders, flying towards the aircraft's nose.

The ONR plans to install the sense and avoid system on small tactical unmanned air systems (STUAS). With a major contract to supply the STUAS/Tier II system for the US Navy and US Marine Corps still in competition, the office has selected the AAI RQ-7 Shadow UAV and Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter for its demonstration.

Bidders will be allowed to use the mission sensors already installed on the Shadow and Fire Scout air vehicles as part of their sense and avoid packages.


Ha ha ha!

This is funny.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Now That's What I Call Littoral

Click the link to see video of the Aussie-built LCS in action. Okay, not much action, but it's some of the first actual footage I've seen. Pretty neat article, too.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Common Sense About Global Warming

Here's your reality check of the day, courtesy of Professor Ian Plimer:

We cannot stop carbon emissions because most of them come from volcanoes," he said. "It is a normal element cycled around in the earth and my science, which is looking back in time, is saying we have had a planet that has been a green, warm wet planet 80 per cent of the time. We have had huge climate change in the past and to think the very slight variations we measure today are the result of our life - we really have to put ice blocks in our drinks.

Let's stop wasting time and money on concocted issues and turn our attention to more important things. Like saving time and money.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Filling a Life Sentence Behind Bars? You Might Prefer Death Row.

In California, the quality of life--and even life expectancy--of death row inmates exceeds that of "lifers." Think about that next time you choose to commit a heinous crime.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Super Photo of Devil’s Tower

Photos like this remind me how much I stink at photography.

Google Storage At Cutrate Prices? Very, very tempting...

I'm an avid user of Google service. Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Blogger--and even the now defunct Google Notebook. The only thing I'm not using? Picasaweb, which is Google's answer to online photo storage and sharing.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Picasa desktop application--especially now that it offers facial recognition and easy geotagging support. And the way it integrates with your photos on Picasaweb--it's just sublime.

Despite all that, I'm a full-on Flickr user. I put everything on there. Outtakes, short videos, scans, you name it. The site says I have 19,590 items posted at this moment. Flickr makes it quite easy to upload and share (or not share) your photos with whomever you please. And it's a snap to organize things however you like. Plus, it offers unlimited storage--and unlimited uploads--for a mere $25/year.

So why Flickr instead of Picasaweb? Up until now, the main issue has been cost. I have far more photos than can be contained in the free 1GB limit imposed by Google. And purchasing 10 more GB cost $20--again, far short of my storage needs. I estimate I would need at least 40 GB, which need will only grow over time, and I'm not prepared to drop $40/year or more on that.

This week, that all changed. Google drastically reduced its storage price to $5 per year of 20GB storage.

I would require the 80GB plan, which costs only $20/year--and that would last a good while before needing even more space.

I am truly tempted to migrate my photos from Flickr to Picasaweb--except that

1) Despite my love of Google products, I'm quite happy with Flickr;

2) it would be a HUGE pain to move all the photos over; and

3) my annual storage needs will undoubtedly continue to rise, eventually pushing me over the 80GB limit, at which time I would need to purchase 200GB at a cost of $50/year. Which, despite the cut-rate cost per GB, is still too much for me to consider.

Five years from now, I very well may have 100GB of photos stored on Flickr, and unless Flickr doubles its rates between now and then, I'll still be paying less than I would on Picasaweb.

All that aside, I may still pay Google $5/year for an extra 20GB of storage. After all, the limit applies to all Google services--including Google Docs, on which I'm amassing quite a few PDFs and Word documents. To say nothing of my ever-growing email archive.

Summary: Great job, Google, for providing an awesome storage option! I just won't be purchasing any today.

Great Shot of the Oakland LDS Temple

This is the first temple I ever visited. I hope to return to it again some day.

Check out the photographer, who travels all over the United States (and world) creating one of the most prolific portfolios I've ever seen.

The Titans Will Clash Again

I had no idea they were remaking Clash of the Titans, but it only makes sense. I remember it being a very cool movie from my own childhood.

I'm not terribly impressed by the trailer, and hopefully it doesn't do the movie justice, which comes out in March 2010.

I'm just wondering: where's the little mechanical owl?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thomas Sowell Wisdom of the Day

"One of the few advantages to the country in having Congress overwhelmingly in the hands of one party is that the lack of need to compromise lets the leaders of that party reveal themselves for what they are-- in this case, people with unbounded arrogance and utter contempt for the right of ordinary people to live their lives as they see fit, much less the right to know as citizens what laws are going to be passed by their government. The question is whether voters will remember on election day in 2010."

What Does a Supernova Look Like After 400 Years?

It looks awesome, that's what it looks like.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Navy: A Global Force for Good

Very cool Navy TV spot.

The Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge

Having driven over the Hoover Dam during the construction of this thing, I say that pictures cannot do justice to the awe invoked by the sheer magnitude and engineering of the thing. These pictures, however, do come close.

via Likecool on 11/9/09

The pictures of the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge are amazing! The photos were shot in September 2009. Th..(more...)

Viruses Planting Child Porn On Your Computer?

Yet another reason to keep your computer safe from viruses.

Recently Discovered Never-Before-Seen Moon Landing Photo

Mormon "Swashbucklers" Spot Gets Award for Best PSA

This is fun.

One of the recent "Homefront" ads from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was recognized thusly,

Swashbucklers was recognized by community service directors for its relevance, high production quality, and exceptional combination of excitement, humor, and warmth. “The Swashbucklers PSA had a great message about parents spending
quality-family time with their children,” said Jana Gordon of WAVY-TV, Portsmith, VA’s NBC affiliate. “It was incredibly well-produced and the concept was so different than many of the other PSAs the station receives. I really enjoyed sharing that message with our viewers.”

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Windows 7 Upgrade Report

This weekend I upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7. The process was very easy, smooth and devoid of hangups. But given all the preparation that's recommended (backing up your system, verifying compatibility, etc) the whole thing took more than three hours.

But it was worth it. The Windows 7 interface is quite cool, the performance is snappy and there's support for every single application I was already running. Looks like Microsoft got this one right.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Windows 7 Arrives

Well, my Windows 7 upgrade disc finally arrived today. I plan on installing it this weekend; I hope all goes smoothly. Better make a system backup disc first, just in case. I'll report how it goes.
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