Category: Science

World Maker Faire New York 2012 (Geek Event)

Looking for…

  • a renewed love of technology and geekery?
  • a fun time?

Well my friend, then you must come to World Maker Faire New York.

If you think that Americans don’t make things anymore…

Then you must come to World Maker Faire New York.

If you think you’ve seen all that technology has to offer us, or that the people who commercially implement technology are unscrupulous…

Then my friend, you must come to World Maker Faire New York.

Maker Faires happen all over the country, and they feature the work of DIYers. Everything from robotics to 3D printing, homemade prosthetics for amputees, knitted items, baked goods, greeting cards, a giant fire-breathing metal dragons made from truck parts, the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir (I hope they come back)… and all manner of other crazy, useful, useless, and incredible things.

It really shoots fire from its mouth.
3D printed glasses
Mechanized metal Archangel wings, yes, like the X-Man
Your’s truly riding a handmade bike for paraplegics. You steer by shifting your weight.

Bring your kids, wallet, and child-like sense of awe.

Not sold yet?

I’ll be there at the FUBAR Labs table displaying some stuff that I’ve been working on in my spare time.

World Maker Faire New York
New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY
Saturday, September. 29, 2012 – 10am – 7pm
Sunday, September 30, 2012 – 10am – 6pm

Make sure to order your tickets in advance!

Let’s Finally Build Nikola Tesla a Museum

Matthew Inman of “The Oatmeal” fame discovered a superpower in June when he was very wrongly sued over calling out a website that was copying his work (Before & After). It turns out that he can bend the Internet to his will, and generate huge amounts of money for good causes (in addition to writing funny as hell comics).

Inman has decided to use these powers for good, having just launched an Indiegogo campaign to purchase Nikola Tesla’s old laboratory, known as the Wardenclyffe Tower, so it can be turned into a museum.

In the time it took me to donate $50 (which wasn’t long), the campaign raised over $1,000. In the time it took me to write this post, the campaign has picked up an additional $12,000.

You want to donate! Trust me.

This campaign is going to work, and it’s going to be one of those groundbreaking moments in history. This shit will be in history books a century from now. You want to be a part of it.

Plus… Tesla was the king of the alpha geeks and should have a damn museum. It’s a travesty that he doesn’t have one already… But I digress.

If that isn’t enough, there is another organization looking to buy the land so it can rip down the lab and put in… you guessed it… shopping!

If you already know how amazing Tesla was, go donate!

Don’t know how badass the man was? Read up! Then go donate. This is an easy decision.

Is Chrome OS Ready for Primetime? (March 2012)

Question: “If we take Chrome apps to its logical conclusion: Do you like Samsung 5 Chromebook? Do you see any there at SXSW?”

Browser As An Operating Systems

Rumors circulated for years that Google was creating an operating system environment within a web browser. It’s a natural leap for Google because it benefits greatly from Internet expansion. Due to ubiquitous broadband (at least in the States), and relatively fast, and inexpensive processors have given this idea legs: an inexpensive machine that only accesses the Internet and other software that runs in-browser.


Google has a fun habit of releasing mostly-baked products into the market. They do so with everything: Gmail, Google Music, Android, G+, Chrome (browser). Now, they are doing it with Chrome OS.

When you buy a Chromebook, you are essentially paying to enter an open beta. That’s all well and good if you’ve got the cash, and don’t mind tinkering with partially completed software & hardware, but it’s not my cup of tea. I’m happy to beta test a free product from time-to-time, but I won’t pay for the privilege.

What is Chrome OS Good at?

  • Browsing the web
  • Basic to intermediate word-processing & spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Editing content from within a CMS

Where Does Chrome OS Fall Short?

  • Designing
  • Developing
  • Gaming
  • Privacy

The Law & The Cloud

Technology moves fast. Regulations and laws creep when they move at all. Steven Levy put it best:

“…the legal and regulatory framework for cloud computing is still evolving, as we are reminded by the government subpoenas for digital information on people tied to Wikileaks. If we’re going to make the leap to the cloud, we’ll need renewed assurances that personal data on the servers of Google or other companies will enjoy the same protections as the information stored on our personal hard drives and in our desk drawers” (Wired).

This is a big deal because with every passing month, the US government has become more aggressive in expanding online search and seizure.

Are People Using Chromebooks at SXSW?

While I’m hesitant to use SXSW attendees’ behavior as a measure of good tech decisions, I have not noticed a single Chromebook. Mostly I’ve seen a ton of Macbook Airs & Pros, Lenovo Thinkpads, and iPads.

Where is This Headed?

For better or worse, our computers are going to become increasingly more dependent on the cloud. That being said, I do not believe that Chrome OS is the answer. Over the next few years we will witness an operating system convergence.

Apple: iOS & OSX will merge

Microsoft: Windows 8 is all about convergence of the desktop, television, phone & tablet

Google: Android & Chrome will become one

The Bottom-line

Chrome OS is kind of a neat idea if you can already do all of your work in-browser, and can mentally get past the privacy/ legal issues.

Personally, I can’t do all of my work in-browser. I can’t ignore the privacy issues, and completely surrender all of my data to Google. I am deeply troubled by the imbalance between meatspace and cyberspace civil liberties (which is not Google’s fault).

All that being said, this really is an individual decision based on personal values, and use-cases. If Chromebook is all you want and need, enjoy. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a Macbook Air.

Image / More information of Chrome OS

Here Come the Personal Drones

Until recently, if an item was small, remote-controlled, had a propeller and flew, then it was a toy… And probably a crappy one at that.

Now quadcopter drones are performing all manner of nifty precision tricks. Make no mistake, these tricks are a precursor to a coming technological revolution. The results of this revolution are unknown, but they will have huge implications for law enforcement, military, journalism, cinematography, and scientific research.

As with any new technology, some of the applications will be incredibly beneficial to human life, and other will be destructive. Drones can rapidly travel where humans cannot to gather data, or make repairs. Drones can also be used for surveillance and murder.

Regardless of their application, you can expect to see drones playing a larger role in our lives over the coming years.