Trusting Your Technology

 Posted by on 6 November 2009 at 5:00 am  Cool, Technology
Nov 062009
 

This cool video shows the SawStop safety device at work:

The SawStop system uses electrical conductivity to tell the difference between wood and human flesh, allowing it to cut the first, but not the second. The technology is impressive, but the most jaw-dropping section of the video is the super slow-motion demonstration where the inventor places his own finger into the path of the saw to show how well it works.

I personally think that it was unnecessary risk for the inventor to take. But there is a similarity to the scene in Atlas Shrugged where Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart had sufficient confidence in their judgment to ride the first train on rails made of Rearden Metal.

More information on the technology can be found at the SawStop website.

(Via Maximizing Progress.)

Hong Kong Vs. Typhoon

 Posted by on 20 October 2009 at 4:00 am  Technology
Oct 202009
 

This time lapse video of “Typhoon ‘Nangka’ over Hong Kong” made me appreciate the power of storms — and the power of men’s ability to build cities capable of withstanding them:

The final minute when the lights of the Hong Kong come alive is especially beautiful.

Plus it made me think of Francisco d’Anconia’s words to Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, Chapter 5:

“It’s a terrible night for any animal caught unprotected on that plain,” said Francisco d’Anconia. “This is when one should appreciate the meaning of being a man…”

“You stood here and watched the storm with the greatest pride one can ever feel — because you are able to have summer flowers and half-naked women in your house on a night like this, in demonstration of your victory over that storm. And if it weren’t for you, most of those who are here would be left helpless at the mercy of that wind in the middle of some such plain…”

(Video link via Maximizing Progress.)

Be the Local Computer Expert!

 Posted by on 28 August 2009 at 12:01 pm  Funny, Technology
Aug 282009
 

Oh, this one is soooo going to all of my relatives… :^)

[from www.xkcd.com/627/ HT: JasonG]

How A Differential Gear Works

 Posted by on 14 August 2009 at 2:01 pm  Cool, Technology
Aug 142009
 

This superb classic pre-CG video explains how a vehicle’s differential works:

You may wish to start at 1:30.

Safety tip: Don’t do the stunt that starts at 9:00!

Project X

 Posted by on 13 August 2009 at 11:01 pm  Technology
Aug 132009
 

Am I wrong to think that this pain ray bears a disturbing resemblance to Project X in Atlas Shrugged?

The so-called “Active Denial System” works by heating the outer surface of the target’s skin using millimeter waves — short wavelength microwaves. The effect is painful, but generally harmless, and forces the target to get out of the beam. …

[The Silent Guardian] is Active Denial in a box, a 10,000-pound containerized system that can be mounted on a ship, a truck, or a fixed installation. It’s got an effective range of about 250 meters. The beam has a power of around 30 kilowatts.

Unlike “Project X,” this device won’t kill a person. Yet it seems like just the kind of device that some statist government might like to use to control … say … unruly “mobs” of protesters.

Man Vs. Machine

 Posted by on 12 August 2009 at 3:01 pm  Funny, Health Care, Technology
Aug 122009
 

Another round in the eternal struggle of man vs. computer.

Here’s a recent emergency room x-ray from the night shift, with the associated ER history:

I’d say the machines won this round…:

(You can click on the images to see the full-sized versions.)

Upgrade to HD Television

 Posted by on 28 July 2009 at 1:01 pm  Technology
Jul 282009
 

Paul and I have been living in the stone ages: we’ve not yet upgraded to high definition television. We bought a 52″ set back in 2001, when HD was way too expensive. We’ve delayed the upgrade as prices dropped so as to get more value from that purchase. But now, with the upcoming NFL season approaching, I just can’t stand it. We’d like to get another large screen — probably about the same size. Any recommendations for buying? Any features that we definitely must have?

That Newfangled Internet

 Posted by on 17 June 2009 at 2:42 pm  Funny, Technology
Jun 172009
 

This 1994 NBC News story features Tom Brokaw talking to Bill Gates about that newfangled “internet” thing:

Love those “virtual shopping malls”!

Volkswagen "Transparent Factory"

 Posted by on 15 June 2009 at 11:01 pm  Cool, Technology
Jun 152009
 

Volkswagen’s sleek new “transparent factory” in Dresden, Germany is a technological marvel:

Perhaps if American car companies practiced this kind of innovation, they wouldn’t be facing bankruptcy and/or government takeover.

(Via Howard Roerig.)

Time Travel Cheat Sheet

 Posted by on 14 April 2009 at 11:29 am  Funny, Technology
Apr 142009
 

In case you’ve gone back in time:

(Via Gizmodo.)

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