Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blackstairs mountains

This photo was taken late summer before the deluge started. Looking forward to taking to the skies again in 2010!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 28, 2009

Juicedriders.com – China trip

  • Juicedriders.com is a play on words for bikes that are juiced with batteries, i.e. powered. This video shows how extensively the Chinese are using e-bikes to ferry children and goods on a daily basis. 2009 China sold 21 million e-bikes internally and have 100 million e-bikes on the road. They outsell cars 2:1 – 12 million cars hit the streets in 09, 1 million per  month! China still has an impressive growth rate of between 8-9% per annum. E-bikes are their biggest sellers. They have been riding e-bikes for years now, being originally based on lead-acid batteries

Sony – die based solar cells

  • Sony have come up with an ingenious idea, pigment based solar cells that can be created in any design

Chevy Cruze at Jay Leno’s garage

  • Early version of the 2011 GM Chevy Cruze. Does 40mpg, possibly more as it’s a pure electric hybrid utilising a 1.4ltr petrol decoupled engine driving a generator. 40 miles on the electric motor alone, no step-down functionality (powers up motor for power boost) unlike the Prius, although it does have a sport mode giving you 120W of power. Uses Li-ion (Lithium Ion)) batteries down the central tunnel and under the boot. After battery discharge, engine kicks in to give drive only power with charge being necessary from home; does have regenerative braking with disk based stop-through for faster breaking. Charge time 6-8 hours on 120VAC or 3-4 hours on 240VAC

Atkinson cycle!? My surname in fame..

  • Ford fusion car with a Atkinson cycle hybrid engine. The Atkinson cycle leaves the inlet valve open for longer during the induction phase loosing some low end torque which is compensated by combining the electric motor during acceleration. The new Toyota Prius uses this technology along with regenerative braking and a heat transfer pump, taking exhaust heat away to keep the engine warm during pure electric phase of driving. 2.5 ltr. donkey!? Are you kidding me! The Prius uses a 1.8 VVti engine giving roughly 50mpg combined – theoretically >72mpg.
  • This puppy does  42mpg urban (city) and 36mpg extra-urban (highway) with a combined of 39mpg ‘theoretically’; more like 35mpg in the real world according to the-truth-about-cars. It weighs in at circa 3,800 pounds or 1.9 imperial tons!
  • Waste of money? We should see some better hybrids on the market in 2010, for now my advice is stay away from them. Is this a hybrid? No not really, more like a ‘light hybrid’ with a gas-guzzler engine. A 3 cylinder modern diesel-electric (with a particulate filter) would be the best hybrid I reckon, perhaps combined with a capacitive battery utilising emerging carbon-nanotube technology

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chevy Equinox – hydrogen fuel cell SUV

  • Jay takes the Chevy Equinox for a spin. range >300 miles, output, water. Zero pollute technology apart from the carbon used to produce it. Electric motor with 1:1 gearbox differential. Three hydrogen compressed gas tanks, storing 2.2x3=6.6kg of fuel
  • In Q3 2010, we should see the 2011 Chevy Cruze go to market, a lighter, leaner looking car, sweet

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Atkinson cycle!? My surname in fame..

  • Ford fusion car with a Atkinson cycle engine hybrid engine. The Atkinson cycle leaves the inlet valve open for longer during the induction phase loosing some low end torque which is compensated by combining the electric motor during acceleration. The new Toyota Prius uses this technology along with regenerative braking and a heat transfer pump, taking exhaust heat away to keep the engine warm during pure electric phase of driving. 2.5 ltr. donkey!? Are you kidding me! The Prius uses a 1.8 VVti engine giving roughly 50mpg combined – theoretically >72mpg.
  • This puppy does  42mpg urban (city) and 36mpg extra-urban (highway) with a combined of 39mpg ‘theoretically’; more like 35mpg in the real world according to the-truth-about-cars. It weighs in at circa 3,800 pounds or 1.9 imperial tons!
  • Waste of money? We should see some better hybrids on the market in 2010, for now my advice is stay away from them. Is this a hybrid? No not really, more like a ‘light hybrid’ with a gas-guzzler engine. A 3 cylinder modern diesel-electric (with a particulate filter) would be the best hybrid I reckon, perhaps combined with a capacitive battery utilising emerging carbon-nanotube technology

Jay Leno goes green?

  • Jay Leno’s garage is err.. ginormous and he has some impressive gas-guzzlers for sure, but he’s also a keen motorcyclist by the looks of it and is interested in the whole EV/Green motors

Zero motorcycles

  • Nice e-Mbike from Zero Motorcycles that does 60mph, range 60 miles and can pop wheelies :-)
  • Jay Leno has an vast garage and he needs to loose some pork, so e-bikes might be the route for him, arf

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Frisbee – endurance e-bike

  • Here you see Umberto Marchese (born 1941) at the grand old age of 60 racing in the Giro delle Dolomiti (the Dolomites in Italy) in 2007 on his Frisbee e-bike. That bike has some range and this guy is pretty fit for an old guy!

  • Here Umberto is doing a run from Denmark to Italy a distance of >200Km per day, covering a total distance of 3266Km in 15 days in June of 2009

GRACE – e-motorbike?

  • GRACE have created a custom built allow frame housing a 1300AH Lion battery (how would you replace them!?) frame mounted speed controller utilising a 1300W motor. They say it’s a motorbike and are asking for about €5877 for this puppy. Nice idea, but way too expensive for what is really a custom built mountain bike with a overly large motor. Range is only 30-50km range and a top speed of 45kph (street version is limited)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Park flyers

  • I used to fly the Multiplex PicoJet and MicroJet back in the UK at a local field. I still have an old TwinJet which I haven’t flown for awhile due to lack of power as I used to have to bungee (catapult) it to get it off the ground safely. RCPower.com have come at the problem by using extra light foam combined with the latest in small but extremely powerful brushless motors

  • Funny video of the new Welgard GH2212-06 brushless motor from GraysonHobby

Jet powered RC – where have we got to?

  • I stumbled across a really great video of the Jet powered LAVI flow by 3D RC jet pilot Ralf Losemann of Germany (fully aerobatic – similar to Heli-3D), more like 2D, but still very impressive flying – never seen a model jet thrown around the sky like this before!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Model GeeBee

  • Very impressive model GeeBee with radial engine. Very well flow too, especially the inverted turns, spin and flips

Worlds smallest V12 engine perhaps?

  • And the worlds smallest super-charged V8!

E+ – Electric bikes

E+ Elite electric mountian bike

  • Another company out in Northern Virginia called Electric Motor Systems have an interesting take on the e-bike, they incorporate the battery in the front hub. Some smart electronics on the handlebars including a computer providing battery usage etc. also provides a human charge cycle, whereby the cyclist recharges the battery

Bicicletta - Whisper

  • This is the first truly professional looking video from an outfit over in the UK selling e-bikes. Well overpriced at £1,249.99! But hey, they have no competition yet. I don’t see the need to pay more that £500 for an alloy framed bike with suspension, and cable based brakes. There are plenty of other people entering the market within the £500 range

Amazon selling e-bikes

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  • Just spotted an e-bike called the Cyclamatic Power Plus for £499 on Amazon. The actual seller is Sport HQ and they do two bikes, a mountain/tourer and a foldaway. Not a bad price for an Alloy frame and a Shimano group set. Note the electric hub on the rear wheel supports and integral brake
  • The battery looks like a decent size and the hand throttle is well detailed with a battery meter and on/off switch. The battery is detachable and lockable. A nicely detailed example of what an e-bike should be. It’s only 24V, so don’t expect radical torque on take-off; more aimed at longevity than out and out power

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Product Features

  • 17" mountain bike frame (suitable for use from 5ft 5 to approximately 6ft 2) - 250 watt brushless motor
  • New Lithium-ion battery provides huge power (up to 45km range) and weighs a fraction of traditional lead-acid batteries. Also won't suffer 'memory effect' and has a very low self-discharge rate -
  • Shimano Tourney SIS-Index gears with quick-shift - Adjustable height seat raises to up to 43" from the ground
  • Servo "anti-cling" safety brakes - premium front suspension for comfort
  • Quick release battery and front wheel - Front and rear mud guards - Legal for road use - no road tax or driving licence required. Legally, no helmet nor insurance required (although we recommend both!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

YikeBike

  • Not what I call a comfortable ride, but the YikeBike puts an interesting spin on the concept compact e-bike. Lack of range and durability look like its main sticking points. OK for small local rides on smooth surfaces. Certainly a fun concept, but I can’t see it going mainstream, especially with an expected price tag of between €3500-3900

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In search for the perfect e-bike

  • I’m whittling down the options for creating two e-bikes out of two existing mountain bikes I have languishing in my garage. The best so far is from http://www.cyclone-usa.com using a brushless motor that mounts under the main ring gear, thus giving the advantage of using the main gears for hill climbing and cruising
  • The brushless motor includes a “DC motor featuring an integrated planetary gearbox that significantly multiplies the motor torque” combined with 360 or a 500W motors. The 500W looks like the one to go for with speeds up to 26mph on the flat using a 26” rim whilst drawing between 15/20 accelerating and >40amps climbing. The best power to weight battery appears to be the 24V 20Amp/hr Lion (Lithium-ion) giving a range of up to 45 miles on the flat
  • The kit:

  • Fitted:

  • Project – hill climber. 12-18mph >6% incline, with no pedalling!

ERockIT – EV bikes

  • Just discovered this video up on break.com of an electric bike that is more of a motorbike than a pushbike. Like www.izipusa.com, Stefan Gulas of www.erocket.net has created a pedal based system that uses an pedal servo accelerometer to govern speed. Too expensive at €30,000, but for an early prototype, you’d expect that exclusive price tag

Friday, December 18, 2009

Irate granny

  • Funny video of a guy in a Merc who decides to hassle an old granny – big mistake dude

Granny Airbag - Watch more Funny Videos

EV - Bikes

  • I’m about to convert an old mountain bike languishing in my garage to an electric bike and have been researching who are the leaders in the field
  • This year was the first time they raced EV motorbikes and Brammo Racing came third

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tesco entertainment anybody?

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  • My wife is a big fan of Michael BublĂ©, so today I moseyed over to the new Tesco entertainment site and within 10 minutes had setup my account added my Tesco club-card and started downloading the Crazy Love album for £3.97. The same album on iTunes is £7.97, so a whopping £4 saving
  • Well done Tesco. Now’s who’s going to beat them? Spotify maybe? The other players had better get real with their pricing structure, because now that Tesco has entered the fray, the musical pundits will now be forced to give us genuine market prices and the torrents will eventually die off, as people will prefer to have legal ownership

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Can Dad’s dance?

  • Robert Llewellyn demonstrating how Dad’s end up dancing in middle age. True? yeah sadly so, arf

Saturday, December 12, 2009

MIT – Project elEVen

  • Radu Gogoana a MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is leading a team of engineers that are building a prototype EV (electric vehicle) that uses 8000 Li-ion batteries driving a 250bhp motor capable of up to 200 miles. They hope to be able to charge the system in about 10 minutes after final trials using a smaller battery pack. The car weighs circa 2 tons and has a 0-60mph in <9secs. The weight of the motor and batteries alone makes this car non-viable, but the research work will no doubt produce some interesting results
  • MIT are also working on carbon nanotube (capacitive) batteries as an alternative to ‘dirty’ Li-ion/Li-Pol batteries. The environmental impact of these legacy battery technologies outweigh their worth due to the chemical fallout involved in production

virusbat

  • MIT are also developing virus built batteries, quote:

“To achieve that, the researchers, including MIT Professor Gerbrand Ceder of materials science and Associate Professor Michael Strano of chemical engineering, genetically engineered viruses that first coat themselves with iron phosphate, then grab hold of carbon nanotubes to create a network of highly conductive material.

Because the viruses recognize and bind specifically to certain materials (carbon nanotubes in this case), each iron phosphate nanowire can be electrically "wired" to conducting carbon nanotube networks. Electrons can travel along the carbon nanotube networks, percolating throughout the electrodes to the iron phosphate and transferring energy in a very short time.

The viruses are a common bacteriophage, which infect bacteria but are harmless to humans'”

more

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sunday, December 06, 2009

XP Mode revisited

  • I have another PC at home that needs to be upgraded from Vista – Win7 and might have some malware. So I fired up my Virtual Image based version of Windows 7 and then fired up Virtual PC 2007 XP Mode

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  • That way, say if someone visits a site that might be infected, I just shutdown the XP session and it’s sandboxed into oblivion..
  • I also recommend Microsoft Security Essentials as an alternative to AVG9, as 9x has become clobber-ware, i.e. all the good things taken out of it

Bing maps (beta) in Silverlight & PhotoSynth

  • Now I’m seeing the big picture. Mosey on over to the Bing Maps site and play around with the new Silverlight interface with street-eye view. Very impressive use of PhotoSynth integration with 360 degree panoramic views. Take a walk around Capitol Hill
  • Next I daresay this will appear on our mobiles. ‘Take me to the best Thai restaurant and show me how to get there with a street-eye view with GPS overlay’ With a virtual ‘you’ ghosted over the GPS overlay, as you walk along.. got to be on the cards :-)

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How to change your Windows7 login background

  • On the theme of how to actually change your Login screens background without any third party tools , watch this short video – beware do not change any other parts of the registry! you’ve been warned
  • Here is the direct path:

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  • Folder path: %windir%\System32\oobe\Info\backgrounds . Note the Info folder is already there, so just add ‘backgrounds’
  • Folder name: backgrounds
  • File size: >256KB with .JPG extension

How the Windows 7 login screen came to be

Get Microsoft Silverlight
  • Denise Trabona, Senior UX Lead (User Experience) walks us through how the Windows 7 logo (login) background was developed. After a good amount of fruitful internal work Microsoft decided to look to an external  illustrator called Chuck Anderson of NOPATTERN
  • You can see some of Chuck’s work on Flickr 

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Kindle for the PC

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  • I’ve heard a lot about Amazon’s Kindle, but I don’t want to fork-out for the cost of one, given that both Apple and Microsoft are due to bring our competitors in the New Year. I discovered they do the Kindle app for iPhone, Blackberry and even the humble PC

Kindle for the PC

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bing Mobile Search – Windows Mobile

bingmaps
bingmaps2

  • Once in awhile I see a compelling little app like Bing Mobile, which includes live maps and GPS location or approximation via your mobile network. I tried the Google Maps equivalent, but much prefer this app. If you live in the USA you get Live Traffic and Gas (fuel) prices. The full moving map with GPS tracking is way cool and if you fall out of coverage there is still a tracer in place until you regain a signal. You can also Speak your destination and it will search according to what the voice recognition software thinks you said. Close enough providing your not in a noisy car. I’m assuming you would use this at a halt, or to find a restaurant etc. Not bad for a free bit of software. Tom-Tom and co, much be worried.. it’ll kill their market share big-time!

Download for the client

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Racing Green – electric tour

  • Just picked this up via #carpool (twitter) on The London Imperial College’s partnership with Radical Sports SR8 to modify an existing sports car into an EV Electric vehicle. The aim is to start from the southern most tip of South America and travel to the northern most tip Alaska. Looks like it will be a very hard ride! Capable of 390Km distance and peak power of 500 BHP! 0-100km/hr in 7s. I’d like to know the data on CO2 output based on battery usage and production. So weight for weight, how much CO2 does this car consume over the journey including it’s creation… carbon fibre production probably has fairly high carbon footprint
  • Looks like we’re set for EV F1 racing at some stage.. Formula 1-EV anybody?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials

  • Quick blog post on MSE, which is Microsoft’s free antivirus/anti-spam tool. I sometimes boot into an XP Mode virtual PC for demos and was using AVG, but noticed that AVG 8x had more functionality than 9x, more of a downgrade than an upgrade..
  • Works with all Windows 32bit based systems, no support for 64bit at present

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Microsoft Security Essentials

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of Sixth Sense technology

  • Interesting take on emerging digital human interface technologies that Pranav Mistry is developing. He plans to make it open source

Secret knock detector anybody!?

  • Picked this up via MSN videos then found his site www.grathios.com
  • Me thinks this device will fall off the door as it’s suction based. Funny though and a complete waste of time. I once adapted a remote control device to open a door lock solenoid, you just pressed the remote clicker and kicked open the door. Once I forgot the clicker and had to give the door a extra hard kick with a log (sic) to force the door lock. Front doors like these are notoriously easy to break through

Full length video of Atlantis launch

  • Pretty impressive launch of Atlantis. The final tank separation was clean and you can see ice coming off the last main engine prior to shutdown and pre-orbital alignment . Fast-forward to 8:30 to see main tank separation

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

yellowBird – 3D movies anyone?

  • Picked this up from #carpool on Twitter. Pretty cool technology. I especially liked looking backwards at the skiers

Sunday, November 15, 2009

P2V - Creating a Virtual Hard Disk (.VHD) from a physical disk

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  • I’ve started experimenting with Virtual Hard Disk (.VHD) bootable environments under Windows 7. There is a free Disk2VHD tool available for converting a physical disk to a VHD. I have already created a training .VHD which I boot to for my WorkSmart training. I used the WDT (Windows Demonstration Toolkit) version of Windows 7 Ultimate and bundled Office 2010b on to it. Works like a dream, boots fast and yes you can run XP Mode Virtual PC in that environment
  • I already posted on VHD Resizer, a tool from VMTOOLKIT that let’s you take an existing .VHD file and resize it to a Dynamic or Fixed disk .VHD. The only thing you need to do after resizing it, is to boot into the resized disk and using the Disk Management tool, extend the partition size to the new size. I discovered when using BCDEDIT to enter the .VHD into the partition table as a mount point, that the new size is not reflected

Roaming hacker

  • I was just reading a blog BornToLearn at MSLearn.net and stumbled across this supposed hacker – could be a spoof, not investigated it yet, but from all accounts this guy is for real – funny he hasn’t hit the prime-time TV news yet..
 
Hacking a train station
 
Hacking building lighting systems

Hacking a train station
 
Hacking building lighting systems

Hacking a train station

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Auslogics – Disk defrag

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  • I still think the Auslogics Defrag tool is the best thing since sliced bread for Windows 7. You can set it to load at start-up and run in the background as a scheduled service, or shutdown after completion. Not bad for a free tool!

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Auslogics Defrag

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tweetdeck on the iPhone

  • Almost tempted to go out and buy an iPhone.. That app-store looks very compelling.. perhaps I should hold off, otherwise I’ll end up extending my OCD way out of limits, arf :-)
  • In fact I’m more of the mind to disconnect entirely at weekends etc. and dump the mobile altogether  - get a life dude

Free e-book: Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance

  • Micro-blogging via Twitter is way cool, you just link to any blog/site and harvest the best tweets on your chosen subject matter. It’s akin to an RSS subscription in may ways, but using tools like Tweetdeck and Twhirl from Twitter downloads you can catch-up and follow fellow Tweeters and blogs alike.
  • I’m following MSL – Microsoft Learning. They are looking to garner some exam beta testers. I suggested they think about using Twitter as a platform for this, perhaps a Yammer group would be better as I don’t think you can have a private channel on Twitter

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Deploying Windows 7, Essential Guidance

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Outlook 2007 - could not install custom actions. the object could not be found

  • Got this error yesterday and it turns out that a file called FRMCACHE.DAT had become corrupted
  • Close Outlook, delete the file in C:\Users\user-x\AppData\Local\Microsoft\FORMS (replace with your own username) and restart, now you can right-click on objects – this also didn’t work

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Monday, November 02, 2009

MS Learning Silverlight videos

  • Also included is Silverlight video demos, see previous post on the MSL offline e-learning player

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Microsoft Learning: Windows – Training Portal

  • Free MS Learning materials for Windows 7 are available
  • Plus you can download the e-player to view offline

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What's New in Windows 7 for IT Pros (free) New
What's New in Windows 7 for Information Workers (free) New

Microsoft Learning: Windows – Training Portal

Spotify – playlists on Twitter

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  • Just listening to Robots from Kraftwerks and note there is now a Spotify twitter site for ‘best of’ music being listened to and tweeted on leading to top lists on tracks, artists and album. I wonder when Spotify will have a DAB’s channel, or work with say BBC Radio1 – seems a logical path to me. DJ’s should leverage this social aspect of sharing and delivery

Spotichart

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Arctic sea ice almost gone

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

  • Freak weather in the USA and Philippines is raising concerns amongst scientists, government and military officials about the fallout should the arctic ice caps melt completely. Policy makers in the USA, both Republican and Democrats.. are meeting to discuss how they might turn around the massive destruction of the polar ice caps and glaciers by injecting an aerosol like artificial cloud (sic) into the upper atmosphere by employing military jets or a mile high tower (sic) at a cost of circa $7 billion per annum
  • On further reading up on MSNBC, there is grave concern that we are entering a run-away-train situation with the ice caps melting entirely in the next 5-10 years (sic). The question remains what if anything can we do to reverse the unexpected accelerated ice-melt that is now being witnessed
  • It’s interesting that since global warming was initially reported that no news coverage is now being given to this serious situation..  it’s as though the news organisations have been told to zip-it and not fan public concern – read more:

Expert: 'Almost out' of old Arctic sea ice
Willing to give up blue skies for climate fix?
Europe OKs climate aid, but not amount

AA - pilots busy using their laptops!

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

  • Apparently the American Airlines pilots who over flew their intended destination were busy on their laptops!
  • Well when I’m flying, my hands are firmly on the controls and my mind is fully on the job in hand

Auslogics – disk defrag

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  • Updated disk defrag tool for Windows/7. Very cool tool, as Win7 doesn’t have a native GUI for defragmenting files. Can run in background, at Windows start up, multi-drive, move system files etc. For a free tool it’s very good

Download from CNET

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Steve Ballmer on the Engadget show

  • Steve lays it out on how he sees the future of Microsoft as a world player. Some interesting insights into Windows Mobile, and the likely merger of the Zune as a hardware platform – time will tell, although more like on a Windows 7/2010 Mobile from a hardware partner
  • The segment with Steve lasts 37 minutes, the rest being Engadget talking about Windows 7 and new products from Apple, the new Mac Book and touch based mouse

Friday, October 30, 2009

The ice is melting fast!

  • A couple of recent videos from TedTalks on the speed that the poles and glaciers are melting.. The first one shows the sophisticated use of remote controlled time-lapse photography to show the rapid ice flow into the sea from North and South poles and Greenland's glaciers. The second one is of Lewis Pugh, who decided to swim for 20 minutes in the Arctic! sea (sic)
  • For a detailed and mostly scientific conversation on said see
  • So the new Toyota Prius get’s my vote. Just think all those unsold cars sat on the dealers forecourts, that will rapidly depreciate as vehicle manufacturers rush to market with hybrids and pure combustion-based cars fall by the wayside

Lewis Pugh’s thread

Thursday, October 29, 2009

toolkit - Extend Boot Partition in VHD

  • As I had just created a dual boot Windows 7 system that loads a .VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) of Windows Ultimate as a bootable .VHD for demos I ran into a problem of running out of space in the .VHD. The workaround is to resize the .VHD which is no easy task with the limited Microsoft tools. Don’t believe you can use dispart.exe, nope that doesn’t work, because the mounted (mount point) .VHD does not form part of a partition.. it is a .VHD in a folder on an active partition.. So here’s the tool that will actually resize the .VHD – cool
  • Just open the file and set the type and set the size

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VHD resize tool

Download details: Microsoft Application Screen Decoder 1 (MSA1)

  • This just popped up courtesy of Microsoft - a CODEC for Live Meeting 2007 OCS (HFP) High Fidelity Presentation format. Previously the desktop sharing part of the recording was blacked out and not visible due to the CODEC not being installed on Windows 7 RC1. It is bundled in Win7 RTM and can also be downloaded separately
  • An even better find was a HFP converter to video :-) So you can now watch your recordings through a media player – cool
  • The only caveat being..

    The following meeting metadata or contents are not supported:

    • Flash as multimedia content
    • Shared Notes
    • Question and Answer

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Recording Converter for Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007
Microsoft Application Screen Decoder 1 (MSA1)

Monday, October 26, 2009

SharePoint 2010 - The Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and the Web and the virtual road from here

  • I’m gearing up for Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 now that we’re into Beta phase
  • Office 2010, especially Outlook 2007 and Excel 2007 look like great products and the web based versions look like they will parry nicely with the main fat clients.. more here
  • I blogged back in 2005 that Microsoft would probably move into a semi client/web based environment sooner or later and that licensing would just become a click-once exercise via the web via an online shopping mall. And now that hosted versions of both the server and client applications are here or nearing completion, Microsoft will have one of the largest and most mature online suite of server/apps available compared to any other vendor. So you can either use fat clients, or slim clients via Terminal Services pointed at either the web or the companies intranet, hosted by way of Server 2008R2 hyper-v. If you take a peak behind Virtual PC 2007 RC1 you see that the active window is in fact a Terminal Services window into a Terminal Server 2003 hosting XP as an Operating System.. just change the Start menu to Classic:

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  • This is a neat trick, although I noticed that Communicator 2007 R2 (trial) would not install because it detects the RDP session into the Virtual PC Terminal Server. So unlike Virtual PC 2005, or Virtual Server 2005, where you are actually in a proper Virtual PC (client/host) environment, VPC 2007 RC1 is really a remote RDP session in a single-user license Terminal Server (TS). This is so that you can launch any of the installed applications in the VPC2007RC1 environment, either in the TS session or as a standalone application on the Windows7 desktop, called App-v, or Application Virtualisation
  • This same technology can be leveraged via Server 2008 R2/Hyper-V utilising MEDV, instead the server behaves as the TS host that streams the application over the wire to an RDP client interface on the PC, so App-V over the wire rather than Windows7 (localised MEDV). Clever use of existing technology when parried with client or server, you just choose if you want local access or remote access to the application and data. This is what I call a split virtualisation architecture, allowing you to either have local access or remote access. In the future you won’t care where the applications or data reside, it will just work, and when we have total network coverage via technologies like WiMax and the like over mobile networks
  • Cisco have just bought a data streaming specialist Navini Networks as a precursor to the explosion of mobile applications of which no doubt virtualised apps will form a large part. As both Google and Microsoft have invested heavily in data centres and the fabric underpinnings are largely in place, it only remains to be seen who will win out in the world of virtualised network providers and their respective service offerings. It stands to reason that IBM may also play a part in this, as they have invested heavily in services over the wire and have some pretty impressive hardware which can be farmed out. I see some interesting partnerships forming over the next few months and each of the big guns lines up to carve up this lucrative market
  • Just think, you buy four laptops and go online to buy your software, you ask for a small business server with 25 licences, server based apps and a server based workspace environment. The local OS ends up being a shell which then launches applications in the cloud that just appear on the desktop in seconds via TS like windows spawned locally, but served remotely. Data can be local or remote, your choice, security can be locally handled or encrypted via BitLocker locally or in the cloud.. Will this happen? For sure it will, because one big concern corps have is privacy concerns (government snooping) and of course loss of valuable data. I mean there’s no way I would put my data into the cloud knowing that someone can break the encryption when ordered to do so my some remote government.. Not that shouldn’t be able to do so, but it would have to be by mutual agreement.. not by proxy
  • Here’s an interesting video from the guy responsible for BitLocker’s deployment


Trampoline Systems – skills mapping/mining software.. a hot topic for smart corporate’s
SharePoint 2010 - The Collaboration Platform for the Enterprise and the Web

Friday, October 23, 2009

Llewtube - Ade Edmondson

  • Another great episode on the road with Robert Llewellyn on this weeks Carpool

Web site

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Media Frenzy

  • Well it seems like every man and his dog is getting on the media sharing bandwagon with none other than BSkyB now sharing music online. High quality preamble tracks are available. Still Spotify is better IMHO, allowing full track reviews

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  • More notably there now appears to be a price war starting between these new rivals. The Editors new album is £6.49 (320kbps) from BSkyB and £7.99 through Spotify/7Digital and £8.99 from iTunes. Look’s like BSkyB means business and loyalty to music provider brands will become strained given that price is king these days..
  • And.. once you’ve subscribed say just for the month for the cost of the album you have downloaded from BSkyB, you then get a months worth of free streaming of entire tracks in 320kbps! Cool, and yes addictive.. the long tail mentality alright

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BSkyB Songs

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Channel4 4oD – new media age

itcrowd

  • One of the funniest comedy series I have seen in a long time, all available by courtesy of Channel4 4oD (4 on demand)
  • Channel4 will soon be hosting 4oD content directly from YouTube carrying their own branding and commercials adding up to 3000 hours of content, available up to 30 days after initial broadcast to the UK only at first. Hopefully this will then go global once they can figure out a sustainable licensing model – more
  • PRS have also signed a deal to allow music content to be put back on to YouTube, originally having had to pull all the music video content off due to licensing issues surrounding global access rights and payments to PRS and it’s associated artists – more
  • Channel4 will now benefit from switching hosting traffic to YouTube, gaining from Google’s massive data-centre network combined with data reporting facilities, so that viewing metrics can be passed back to the Channel hosts and licensees like PRS alike

Microsoft tablet

  • Microsoft are currently in the process of building a touch based tablet PC with some interesting features, including touch technologies used in Microsoft Surface and soon to be released Windows 7
  • It looks like it will combine technologies originally developed by their research labs such as InkSeine and OneNote Canvas

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spotify – burning to a CD

  • Just pinged Spotify today that I wouldn’t sign up to Premium unless I could burn tracks to a CD or have them available on my Windows Mobile
  • Then I just read a new blog entry that shows you can indeed now burn to CD :-)
  • Still the price is the same as iTunes, but the quality may be better at 320kbps, so I’ll test out a few tracks. The best thing is that the tracks are .mp3, so that makes it easier for access rather than iTunes AAC format..
  • There’s also a video on said here

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Urban Networked Electric Cars - Tokyo Show

Nissan Land Glider

  • I’ve long had an idea for a hybrid motorbike and couldn’t help noticing this concept car from Japan. This is an early working prototype and looks set to be a real winner. The only problem I see is that as a hardened biker of many years won’t opt for one of these because you can’t inter-take between traffic on a busy road.. One thing I love to do down the busy M50 in Dublin is ;-)
  • Still, a lean-over car looks a interesting concept for those people looking for a cheap city-flicker and as someone pointed out in the original article, you could slot these on to drive-through trains for for the long hauls

Urban electric cars – original article

Ford Fusion Hybrid - Review | Hybrid Cars

  • Next month whilst I have my Audi A4 Avant 1.8T S-line put through it’s annual MOT test, I thought I would take the opportunity to test drive a hybrid vehicle, namely the Toyota Prius
  • Whilst I was researching the Prius I came across the Ford Fusion Hybrid

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  • It look’s a tad ugly and it certainly isn’t anywhere near as well tailored as the Prius, but it has to said that Ford are fast on the heels of Toyota, probably 2-3 years behind in terms of build quality and reliability
  • The dashboard is a bit too busy, but I expect a simpler OLED display to replace the aging power hungry LCD displays

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Ford Fusion Hybrid - Review | Hybrid Cars – original article

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The boy who harnessed the wind

  • As we have just got broadband down in the foothills of Kilkenny, Ireland, I was listening to some Spotify music whilst watching last nights Don Johnson daily program on Channel4’s 4oD
  • Don’s a funny guy alright, though a tad close to the line sometimes – buy hey that’s entertainment USA right. The best part of the show was when he interviewed William Kamkwamba, who co-wrote a book with Bryan Mealer on how he spent a few not so idle months off school fabricating a windmill out of scrap parts. An idea inspired from a few pictures he had gotten from a book in his local library. William needs just $80 (a year) to attend local school. Due to civil unrest in Malawi , he was unable to attend school, so instead decided to invent his own home-grown wind turbine for electricity and a second one for lifting water from a well
  • Way-to-go William, you brought a tear to my eye to see such courage and sheer imagination in your endeavours