Monday, June 30, 2008

An Engineers Guide to Cats

Here's a great video for all us geeks out there thinking of buying cats. I, of course, have 2 cats of my own and I never really considered myself a cat person, but today I don't know how life was without them. Anyway, kinda funny hope you like it


Friday, June 27, 2008

Start your car with your cellphone (Key Fob

Well of course, I never have any really original ideas. But I was thinking the other day, shouldn't it be possible with a bluetooth device, for my other devices to be intelligent and detect my presence?

For example, wouldn't it be nice if as I walk up to my car, the doors automatically unlocked, the car started and it was ready and waiting? [Because pushing a button on my key chain is just way to much work]

Well, the basic idea already exists and the device is called a KeyFob. The KeyFob sends out a wireless transmission to your car, which responds and acknowledges you. It is a small device that you attach to your keychain, and can be used to start your car, sound a horn etc etc. It is also possible to embed the device into the 'key' itself. So if someone copies your key, it still won't start your car because the car will recognize the key as a forgery.

So you can expand on this idea and use existing bluetooth technology. So that your phone, or bluetooth headset is recognized by your car, your office computer, or you home and responds accordingly.

I have set this up myself and will release instructions shortly. It seems to work pretty well. I have it attached to my twitter account so when I leave my home, my status is sent out to twitter, and when I arrive at work, my laptop nicely unlocks itself for me. No bluetooth reciever in my car...yet :-)

You can of course, expand on this idea. Suppose employees just synced their cell phone with the work security system to gain building access, or for parking privileged etc. Your home door could unlock for you when you arrive home, and your lights could turn off automatically when you leave. The possibilities...endless?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Microsoft Vista - The next generation bloatware

By now, you should all have realized that Microsoft has released it latest operating system "Vista". Orginally codenamed "CE-ME-NT". This latest version promises to deliver more decreased productivity then ever before. An operating system so overblow they've chopped it up into 6 different versions, none of which actually work. At least not until you've spend hundreds of dollars on upgrades to your system to make it run (somewhat) The popular new feature is the arrow cursor, that lets you flow through blue screens, red screens, endless pop-ups ad permission questions all in eye-popping 3D ! Just like in previous versions, Every copy of Vista is covered by Microsoft's Gold Standard - Sinkhole of support. Is it any wonder we ask "Where are we going today?"


Friday, June 13, 2008

Funny Newspaper Headlines

If you've ever been up late at night, you've probably seen Jay Leno's headlines. If not here's a quick preview. Nice for a good Friday Laugh ! BTW - It was a bit hard trying to find a Leno video so I don't know if the video at the link below will continue to work. NBC seems to be taking them down from various sites along the web. So watch it while it lasts !


Funny Newspaper Headlines

When my first daughter was born, we did not get a lot of sleep at night, we found we were often up at 2 and 3am in the morning. I've probably seen more of the Tonight Show then any other time in my life

Here's a few more:

The Funny Pages - Newspaper Headlines

Headline Humor

Armenian Teens Newspaper Humor

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Understanding Movie Prices

If you're like me.. [besides being a bit crazy] would be growing more and more annoyed at the advertisements being played in movie theatres !! Haven't seen them yet? If not please let me know, where you live, so I can start going to your movie theatre :-)

After paying $10.00 for the movie, plus $15.00 for concessions, then sitting through 30 minutes of adveritsing, finally I get to watch my movie. What's up with that?

A friend of mine used to be an assistant manager fojr a local cinema. He tells me the "secret" told to staff is that "We are not in the movie business, we are in the concession business"

Making a movie is possibly one of the best examples of teamwork/quality that can ever be accomplished. All in a fairly short timeframe, the movie maker has to get the people, get the funding making the movie, edit it, sell it to movie theatres and hope it is a sucess to pay back the people who funded it !

The initial costs for making a moving (which are in the millions of dollars) are put up by one or more investors who believe in the movie's eventual success

In a similar manner to book sales, movies pass through a specific set of stages [the "distribution" channel]

Once the movie is made, it is normally first released to theaters. 99% of the money that a movie cinema earns when a movie is first released goes back to the movie company. So when you here
the weekend box office sales (99 million dollars). This money all goes back to the movie no to the cinema.

As time passes, the %age of share that the cinema makes increases, however, normally the number of people showing up to watch the movie decreases. So the cinema has to walk a careful line between making profit of the movie and boring customers who have already seen the movie and want something else [new] to watch.

This distribution chain moves on to hotels, pay per view, video (DVD), and eventually even TV. At each point less and less money goes back to the film makers themseles. [So in theory at least, when you pirate a DVD you are robbing the distribution companies more then the film-makers themselves]

When I was younger, we used to smuggle food into the cinama. Chips/popcorn and pop because the prices at the concession stand were so expensive. It used to be that cinemas would not let you take food into the cinema and would take it from you if caught. They don't seem to care as much these days.

So advertising before your movie is a way for the cinema to make extra money. Did you know those coming attactions are advertisments? These have been going on for years, and I don't really mind them. It's the ads for cars, and similar producs that tend to drive me crazy. Is the cinema industry really that much in danger that they need to run these ads?

Oh well, I don't remember the last time I went to a movie in a cinema so what am I complaining about anyay :)