Life

Blasting Mosquitoes crossing an Invisible Fence with Lasers

You know, there’s just something really cool about having an invisible fence that blasts approaching mosquitoes with lasers.  There’s even a “light-em up mode” that uses visible low power lasers to determine wing beat frequency to identify the blood sucking ones.  All the bugs that pass the fence can get lit up for a fraction of a second with a green glow.  The bad ones end up in a puff of smoke, while the others roam free.

Where was that job when I graduated from engineering in 2003?  I thought I had it good in Lego robotics, but this may be one step better.

WARNING:  If you don’t like watching bugs end up in smoke, please don’t watch the video.

–Ben

Sources:  IEEE Spectrum

Disclosure:  I am a member of IEEE.

Utah Makes the List of Top Jobs Created and Top Job Growth

Wow.  Just saw an infographic on mint.com about where the jobs are predicted to be.  Salt Lake, Provo and St. George cities in Utah made the list.  Did yours?


Budgeting – Mint.com

–Ben

Source:  Mint.com

Disclaimer – I use Mint for my personal finance.  Its free.  I like it.  However, I did not receive any special compensation for this post.

Google Maps 4.0 has Multitouch and is in Android Market

Just downloaded google maps 4.0 from the android market and it has Multi-touch! Its about time. And I really like it. I can’t wait for Android 2.1 on my Droid! Hope it comes soon.

–Ben

Utah Safety Data – Violence and Injury Data by Neighborhood on the web

Wow.  Utah does some cool stuff.  If you’re a Utahn, this may be interesting to see how your fellow people fare, statistically.  In all seriousness, it shows underlying data about neighborhood safety.

Personally, I’m impressed with Utah.gov.  It’s simple and quick to use and the Utah government seems to try to do a lot online, such that its a convenience to use for residents.

–Ben

Source:  Utah.gov, Utah Dept of Health, Utah Violence and Small Area Report

Is Google Autocomplete an indicator of our societal decline?

I just came across AutoCompleteMe.com and laughed.  I can’t believe the results.  Go view our declining intelligence and you tell me:  Is this an indicator of our decline?

–Ben

Source:  Consumerist.com, AutoCompleteMe.com

Bounce = Google Analytics Average Time on Site 00:00:00

Just a quick note to those in the Google analytics world that I’ve helped get on the road – an average time on site of 00:00:00 means a bounce.  Google Analytics requires a second pageview on your website to calculate time spent on your website.  If there’s no second pageview, there’s no “time” spent on your site, even if they spent an hour looking at that one page?

So if your website is like mine, that has a good sprinkling of one 0ff content – like my various fixes under Helpdesk – you’re going to get dinged big for average time spent on site.

A bonus is that I hear that the 00:00:00 is only calculated for the average time on site and not on average time on a page.

–Ben

Good Reference:  Scott McAndrew

Droid had Two Calendar Applications – Only Corporate Calendar Syncs with Exchange Unless …

UPDATE 8/16/2010: With Android 2.2 Froyo, there appears to only be one calendar application again.  The corporate and google calendar applications are now merged into one.  As far as I can tell, it pulls from both the google calendar and the microsoft exchange calendar.

–Ben

ORIGINAL ARTICLE:

So, I just had a stupid problem today.  I thought there was only one calendar application for Droid.  Acutally, the calendar application is for google calendar.  The corporate calendar syncs with Exchange.

Luckily, if you want your exchange calendar to sync with google calendar and your calendar application, there is a way.  A way by google.  Download and install Google Calendar Sync.  It will allow one-way or two-way sync to your google calendar.  Could be very nifty.

Otherwise, you can stick with the corporate calendar app native to Droid.

–Ben

Resources:

Google Blog on Calendar Sync

Cell Phone Forums on Sync

Droid Dock – Quick review

I was asking my buddy if he liked his Droid dock, as I’m starting to use mine for my alarm clock.  His comments weren’t exactly praising.   Here’s his bullet summary:

  • Lighting is too bright in a dark room, even when dimmed
  • You have to push the Droid on and then pull it off, its not just a “drop on” experience
  • Pretty lame as a multi-media experience – you use the Droid speaker and there’s no audio out jack (other than the Droid itself)
  • Can use the phone by sliding up the screen and exposing the keyboard.
  • He was luke-warm as to recommending it to friends to buy

I just found this Youtube video which seems to echo my friend’s experience.  Thanks to AndriodCentral.com.

You can find the dock at Amazon.com.  It also appears that Amazon.com has a car mount for those turn by turn directions. (Just links, no referer id for me, etc)

–Ben

Add a Custom Alarm on the Droid, for the Alarm Clock

I wanted to make a custom alarm for my Droid, as I now use it as my alarm clock.  Unfortunately, its not as obvious as it would look.  Here’s what I did:

  • Make a folder in the root called “alarms” (either by tethering your Droid to the computer or using Astro)
  • Use RingDroid to cut up one of my audio files and put it as an alarm (or you can just place the audio file in the alarm folder)
  • Now it is selectable on the alarm list

Hope this helps you as well.

–Ben

Droid has more expensive components than Nexus One or iPhone 3GS says iSuppli

iSuppli came out for a bill of materials for the Droid and it has more expensive stuff in it than the other phones.  At least that can help us get over the touchscreen issue.

Here’s the comparison of costs:

As to the breakdown of costs: here’s a summary of what iSuppli says:

  • microSD – 16GB – $35
  • Display – $17.75
  • Touchscreen Overlay – $17.50
  • Camera – $14.25
  • Transceiver – $14.04
  • Processor – $12.90
  • 4 Gb Flash and 2Gb DDR Memory – $9.20
  • Bluetooth/WLAN/FM Transceiver – $6.50
  • 1Gbit NAND and 512Mbit Memory – $4.90
  • Battery – $4.25
  • Other – $42.82
  • Manufacturing – $8.64

For a whopping total estimate of $187.75

–Ben

Sources: iSuppli, Engadget