Archive for February, 2008

Blu-ray vs. HD DVD? Does it matter?

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Image of Blu-ray diskImage of HD DVD diskDoes the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD format battle going on right now really matter? If we think about things from the media center point of view, then probably not. Instead of the physical medium, why not just purchase and download the movies online. But, if we think about the media for data backups, it might be interesting.

Digital Media Center

Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

Stack of DVD moviesTerabyte network storage systems are appearing for the home. With so much storage an integrated media center makes a lot of sense. Why have a pile of DVDs and CDs stacked up someplace when they can be migrated to the media center. I don’t know how many times I have opened a DVD case to find either the wrong movie or no movie inside. This results in a search for the actual movie. If everything were contained in the media center keeping track of individual movies would be easy.

Drifting Towards the Singularity

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

The tag-line on this blog is ‘drifting towards the Singularity’. This post is intended to give a flavor of what the Singularity might mean by providing pointers for further reading. But, it also will help to expand on the aim of this blog.


The Singularity refers to a time where the rate of change of technology is so great that the way we will interact with the world will be so much different than today. This concept was originally proposed by Vernor Vinge in an article titled, ‘The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era’. The title polarizes one potential outcome of the singularity. Ray Kurzweil in ‘The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology’ goes into greater detail and highlights ongoing trends in technology: genetics, robotics and nanotechnology. Based on their estimations the Singularity should occur sometime between 2030 and 2045. Almost right around the corner, but not a certainty.

Toilet Tech

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Modern toiletA frequent sound on entering a hotel room in Japan is that of the toilet rebooting. This can be a bit disconcerting since one wonders why noisy printer-like sounds are coming from the bathroom. But it does bring to light the question of what does a modern toilet require?

The plain old toilet which requires no electrical outlet is a dying breed. In the winter one can not live without a warm toilet seat. And a quick wash and dry after completing your business with the built in bidet is a must for many around the world. The temperature of the water and seat need to be independently adjustable. In public restrooms the toilet should create masking sounds to avoid embarrassment and wash itself between users.