Friday, August 26, 2005

Blow Monkey Nail Dryer

If you're tired of flapping your hands about like you've got some kind of nervous tic in an attempt to dry your nail varnish, this is for you. The Blow Monkey is nothing to do with the pretentious late 80s band – it's a handy little device that not only speeds your way to pristine nails, but brightens up your day with its unashamed cuteness too.

Managing XML Encryption with Java

A lot of developers nowadays who work with XML will seldom worry about the security of the XML transmission. Only occasionally when the XML is used as web services, SSL will be configured on the server instance to encrypt the communication channel. However, not all the time everything needs to be encrypted. Publicly available information can be sent in plain text and this will save a lot on processing resources as encryption is a very processor hungry algorithm. Sometimes, XML files need to be save on physical storage, exported as file, etc. These files are usually in plain ASCII. If anyone with malicious intent gets hold of this information, there goes your application security. Learn more about XML encryption. You will never know when your application will need it. XML is a text format, and as such, provides no wire security by itself; however, using standard Java encryption techniques, you can transmit and receive XML securely. by Jeff Hanson

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Human-Robot Interaction

Philips iCat User-Interface robot is a project to stimulate Human-Robot Interaction research. It seems like remote controls and electrical switches will be the past if this project succeeds. Users will just need to talk, interact with the robotic interface to activate commands such as starting the washing machine, switching on the lights or channel surfing. iCat is a research platform for studying human-robot interaction topics. The robot is 38 cm tall and is equipped with 13 servos that control different parts of the face, such as the eyebrows, eyes, eyelids, mouth and head position. With this setup iCat can generate many different facial expressions - happy, surprise, angry, sad - that are needed to create social human-robot interaction dialogues. iCat expressions A camera installed in iCat's head can be used for different computer vision capabilities, such as recognizing objects and faces. Each foot contains a microphone to record sounds, perform speech recognition and to determine the direction of the sound source. A speaker and soundcard are installed to play sounds and speech. Finally, touch sensors and multi-colour LEDs are installed in the feet and ears to sense whether the user touches the robot and to communicate further information encoded by coloured light. For instance, the operation mode of the iCat (e.g. sleeping, awake, busy, listening) can be encoded by the colour of the LEDs in the ears.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Google Talk Plugin for Google Desktop Search 2

For those of you who are searching for Google Desktop Search 2 plugin for Google Talk, it had been supplied when you installed both the application. Once you installed and execute both GDS and Google Talk, select add remove panel on GDS. You will be able to add the Google Talk. Make sure Google Talk is running or else you will not be able to select or use the panel. For those who do not know what I am saying about, download Google Desktop Search 2 and try the Sidebar feature.

Google Talk

IM from Google is finally here. It offers IM, email, and voice call. After trying it out for a few minutes, the user interface is simple, it is quite similar to gmail interface therefore gmail users will feel right at home. However, the IM lacks support of emoticons or any other exciting IM features from YM or MSN Messenger. Maybe Google Talk is just meant for basic messaging and voice chat, like Skype.

They say talk is cheap. Google thinks it should be free. Google Talk enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for free–anytime, anywhere in the world. Google Talk offers you:

  • Choice: Get in touch how and when you want to–over email, IM or a call
  • Quality: Talk through your computer but hear your friends as if they were in the same room
  • Convenience: Your Gmail contacts are pre-loaded into Google Talk so inviting or talking to your friends is just a click away

Google Talk is in beta and requires a Gmail username and password.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Discovery returning home

Eye opening pictures of NASA transporting their space shuttle Discovery back to base. I always thought they were going to use trucks to haul it. Didn't even imagine they can piggy back it on another plane.
NASA's specially modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft
Take off!
In the sky

Rules of Work, The: The Unspoken Truth About Getting Ahead in Business

Rules of Work, The: The Unspoken Truth About Getting Ahead in Business By: Richard Templar ISBN: 0131858386; Published: Jan 26, 2005; Copyright 2005; Dimensions 5 7/16 x 8 1/2 ; Pages: 240; Edition: 1st. You're good at your job.

That's a given.

But being good at what you do is not enough if you want to be really successful. You need something else. You need The Rules of Work.

Online Sample Chapters Rule 1 of Work: Get Your Work Noticed Rule 2 of Work: Never Stand Still Rule 3 of Work: Volunteer Carefully Rule 4 of Work: Carve Out a Niche For Yourself Rule 5 of Work: Underpromise and Overdeliver

Now, remember to borrow me the book after you have read it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

J2EE Clustering

Read to know more about how clustering, failover and load balancing works in a typical J2EE environment.

Custom Arcade Tokens

Hundreds of photos on arcade tokens. Who wants to scan and upload photos of casino chips?

Bloggin with Blogger for Word add-in

This is a test blog from Microsoft Word 2000 using Blogger for Word add-in. Now I can use Blogger right within Microsoft® Word. After installing the Blogger for Word add-in , a Blogger toolbar is added to Word allowing me to:
  • Publish to blog

  • Save drafts

  • Edit posts
However, it seems like image linking and uploading is not supported. This tool will only be useful for text only posts.

Check it out.

Blogger for Word FAQ and Known Issues

Word Verification for Comments

Blogger just introduced a new feature for the commenting system. I had just turned it on and it will require users to key in the word they are shown on an image file in order for them to submit the comment. This is useful in combating spam from bots.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Google Toolbar WordTranslator

Google Toolbar now supports word translation. Just select the language you wish for English words to be translated to in the toolbar options. Hover your mouse over the word you wish to be translated and the translation will pop up. It seems to be able to translate only individual words and only in Internet Explorer at the moment. However, it is still a very useful feature to look up meanings of a word while browsing.
Google Toolbar WordTranslator in action. Mouse is hovering the word knowledge and the translation for the word knowledge pops up instantly...