technology

iPhone owned

This is the first time I’ve been back in the States since the iPhone was released, and after getting a chance to play with one yesterday, I decided I had to go out and buy one today. The problem is that AT&T-locked JesusPhone doesn’t work in Germany without a little bit of hackery, and Apple’s just-released-last-week 1.1.1 firmware is reported all over the internet to brick hacked iPhones. Would an AT&T store in Mount Pleasant, SC turn over so many iPhones that they would already be selling boxed 1.
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A downside of VoIP

I live in Germany but maintain a US-based VoIP number through a VoicePulse.com account. The VoIP account allows Rebecca and me to cheaply call the US, and gives our friends and family a “local” US number at which they can reach us in Germany. I’ve got a standard digitally cordless analog phone (heh) that plugs into a Fritzbox supplied by my ISP - 1und1.de. The Fritzbox is a wonderful piece of kit that works as a DSL modem, DHCP-enabled router, WIFI AP, and has two analog telephone adapters (ATAs) built-in.
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Streamburst is brilliant

I just came across Streamburst via Techcrunch. Within minutes, I was happily downloading In Search of the Valley at a blistering 8-9 megabits per second, probably the closest I’ve ever gotten to topping out my 16-megabit ADSL connection. By the time I finish this blog post, a full DRM-free 1.1 gigabyte DVD-quality movie will be ready to watch, all for $7.99. That’s brilliant. I went to ISOTV’s website, added the downloadable movie to my part, and paid using paypal.
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The iPhone hath cometh

I am impressed. After months of rumor and speculation, Apple Computer has finally announced the iPhone. From the stream of pictures coming from sites like Engadget, the upcoming iPhone looks even more impressive than anything Apple fanboys have conjured up in Photoshop. The hardware features are outstanding - high resolution 3.5” tough screen, 2 megapixel camera, bluetooth, quad-band GSM, Wifi, and either 4 or 8 gigs of onboard memory. Most impressive, however, are the software features that Apple is touting for the device.
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Honda's dreaming got Asimo hurt

Maybe I’m just a big robotics nerd, but I actually rewound and repeatedly watched the actual moment where Asimo’s right leg collapses and he takes a nasty spill down the steps. Five times. Is it also silly that I was nervous, mostly for the engineers, the first time I saw this? Asimo looked so timid, while simultaneously courageous, as he lined up to take his first step. In front of all those people.
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Best Toy Ever

This Canadian RC modeler built this setup using gyroscopes attached to his virtual reality headgear, independently controlling the camera on the RC airplane, while a standard controller handles all the flight servos. He’s able to wirelessly capture all video data streaming from the onboard camera. It’s amazing how well the headgear controls the onboard camera. It makes me really want to build my own… More info can be found at this forum post: http://www.
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Finally seeing some services based on Amazon's S3

Months ago Amazon announced S3, which promised unlimited, fast, and inexpensive storage of any kind as a web service. For $.15/gig/month storage and $.20/gig/month bandwidth, it instantly gives anyone with some programming knowledge the ability to use an enterprise class storage network with zero up front cost. Anyway, today I stumbled upon jungledisk and elephantdrive. JungleDisk seems more like a project than a commercial venture, since you download one of their clients and plug in your own s3 account.
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PHP Scalability?

Brian Fioca of Jobby recently talked to Owen Bryne, senior software engineer and one of the co-founders of digg.com, about the scalability of PHP on big sites.  It turns out at digg.com, PHP scales really well: To get a better idea of what was in store for a heavily loaded PHP application, I set up an interview with Owen Byrne, cofounder and Senior Software Engineer at digg.com. From talking with Owen I learned digg.
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Zooomr, a Flickr challenger?

There's a new photohosting site that just got out of public beta - Zooomr.  The similarities between it and Flickr don't just stop at the name - the rest of the site seems to take all of Flickr's good UI points as well.  However, it's obvious that the people responsible for Zooomr, BlueBridge Technologies Group, fully intend to innovate. Homer!Hosted on Zooomr One of the first thing you notice when you go to register at Zooomr is that you don't have to actually register.
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