Archive for February 12th, 2009

I Still Like My Idea Better…

Yeah, this is pretty cool…

he Rubik’s TouchCube is gearing up to join the Rubik’s 360 at the American International Toy Fair. Christened the “first completely electronic, solvable Rubik’s Cube,” this one maintains the shape of the original but replaces the colored stickers with actual lights. Users ready to engage their minds simply hit the scramble button on the cube, and then rearrange the blocks by swiping their finger. There’s no mention of when this will take store shelves by storm, but we’re pretty sure it’ll be around for the pre-Christmas rush.

But it still pales before my incredibly expensive genius idea.

February 12th, 2009 at 09:47pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology

Insane Wingnut Quote Of The Day

Diaper Dave Vitter:

After quoting comments from President Obama suggesting that he’d like his judicial nominees to be able to empathize with the downtrodden, Vitter declared that demanding empathy in a judge was something you’d expect in a “dictatorship.”

Because if there’s one thing I totally associate with dictatorships, it’s empathetic judges.

(f/t Attaturk)

February 12th, 2009 at 08:38pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Judiciary,Politics,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers

Pokerface Fail

The greens aren’t exactly playing it cool about the stimulus…

The stimulus package about to be passed by Congress is one of the biggest spending bills in US history, and environmentalists are crowing that they got a decent share. Roughly $60 billion of the $789 billion package will be devoted to spending on clean energy, environmental projects, and scientific research. “Overall, this will be by far the biggest investment in new green technologies that we’ve ever seen from the federal government,” says Gene Karpinski, head of the League of Conservation Voters. “And that’s good for our economy and for our environment.”

Details of the conference package released on Thursday show that spending on green causes did not decrease significantly in the process of creating a compromise bill. “I thought we fared pretty well,” says Marchant Wentworth, a legislative representative for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Is it true that these are monster funding increases for everything green that we believe in? Yes it is.”


“This is unbelievable,” says Josh Dorner, a spokesman for Sierra Club. “This is an unprecedented investment in building a clean energy economy. The Clinton Global Initiative, about a year or so ago, their big challenge was to get spending on energy efficiency to reach $1.5 billion, total, in all of America. And this bill, just on federal buildings, has $4.5 billion. It’s just kind of sinking in that this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and Congress and President Obama really stepped up to the plate.”

Is it wise to be that obviously happy?  Shouldn’t they at least act disappointed so they can push for more funding later?  Greenpeace demonstrates how it’s done:

“We’re not impressed overall,” says Kert Davies, the research director for Greenpeace. “It seems in the prioritization of things, environmental matters got the short end of the stick.”

But Davies acknowledges that the stimulus is a way to “start the green economy and create green jobs.” He also sees the comprehensive climate change bill that Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has promised to push through his committee by the end of May as another opportunity to get the country on the right track environmentally. “I don’t think it’s the last bite at the apple.”

That’s more like it.  Still, it’s hard to blame the greens for being a little giddy over a win, considering they basically just lived through eight years of continuous wedgies.

February 12th, 2009 at 07:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Energy,Environment,Politics

Construction Photoblogging

Some photos from the construction of the new hockey arena:

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1 comment February 12th, 2009 at 11:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Is The Future Here Yet?

This is amazing:

At TED last week, speaker Pattie Maes came onstage wearing something very cool indeed: a contraption, dangling from her neck, made from a Web cam, a 3M pico projector and a mirror, all connected wirelessly to a Bluetooth smartphone in her pocket.

Basically, the camera recognizes images, people or gestures you make in the air with your hands…. And the pico projector can project information onto any surface in front of you….

The point is to help you process information on the go, using the whole Internet as your right-hand man; the entire world becomes a multitouch surface.


* When you want to check the time, you draw a circle on your left wrist; the projector displays a clock right on your arm.

* You hold up your boarding pass; the words DELAYED 20 MINUTES or ON TIME are beamed onto it.

* You hold up your left hand, fingers pointing to the right. The system recognizes that you want to make a call, and projects a dialing pad onto your fingers. You tap the virtual keypad with your right hand to dial the call.

* You hold your fingers out at arm’s length forming a square, the way a cliché Hollywood director does to frame a scene. The system snaps a photo of what’s enclosed by your fingers. Later, you can sort, resize and fiddle with these photos by projecting them onto any wall and dragging their images with your fingertips, à la Microsoft Surface.


You can see the videos of these demonstrations here and here, although they’re missing the narration. It’s very rough, it’s still a prototype, and it’s not clear to me how many of these demos are just simulations. But it’s a very cool idea.

I. Want. This.

February 12th, 2009 at 07:15am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology

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