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Monday Evening (9 Comments) (link)
 Monday, 29-January-2007  19:13:19 (GMT +10) - by Rational

There was discussion in IRC before about Google Gapminder where you can compare a whole bunch of different statistics of countries over time. It is also done with a really nice interface so information is displayed very well. "Gapminder is a non-profit venture for development and provision of free software that visualise human development. This is done in collaboration with universities, UN organisations, public agencies and non-governmental organisations....It all started in 1998 from an idea to enhance the understanding of world health. We developed prototype software showing time series of health statistics as moving graphics and varying life conditions as 360° photo panoramas from homes, schools and health facilities. From the prototype emerged the Dollar Street project with Save the Children Fund in Sweden and the World Health Chart project with WHO. Within the later project Gapminder developed the free software Trendalyzer that turns boring time series of development statistics into attractive moving graphics."

A man has built a spy submarine for $300 which looks really fun to use. He used PVC pipe, bilge pumps, and a home builtnavigation computer. "Some fathers and sons play catch. Electrical engineer Jason Rollette and his 12-year-old son Trevor are a little more ambitious. Hoping to explore the lakes and rivers near their Milwaukee home, they’ve built their own underwater remote-operated vehicle, or ROV. Controlled and powered by a laptop, their ROV can swim more than a quarter of a mile, to depths of 250 feet, while a home-surveillance camera sealed inside sends a live feed to the pilots onshore."

ThePCSpy has taken a look at software that slows you down the most. Mirror here and here. Unsurprisingly Norton Internet Security 2006 took out the top spot slowing down the test system by 57% in the test. "Any computer user that's owned and installed software onto their computer knows that the more you install, the slower the beast runs. Most also know that it's not just quantity and that what you install plays a large factor in how slowly your computer runs....To measure performance, I'm going to be using Microsoft BootVis, an application to time the load-times of each element of the system so users can remove the offending items or otherwise disable things that are taking too long."

Phoronix has looked at the Open Linux Router Project which is a open source router software similar to Clarkconnect and Smoothwall. "The Open Linux Router hopes to provide much more than basic router functionality. Among the features that developers hope to tack on is a file sharing server, firewall, and the capability to add services all on the same device. Users will be able to add (or remove) additional functionality as they see fit. The project aims to provide "true modularity" where the user can simply and cleanly add or remove modules for services they want. The end-user will not be challenged by dependency issues or other conflicts when using OLR modules."

I came across this old Damn Interesting article about old colour photographs from as early as 1909. Some of the picures are really cool and the story behind it all is interesting as well. "Color film was non-existent in 1909 Russia, yet in that year a photographer named Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii embarked on a photographic survey of his homeland and captured hundreds of photos in full, vivid color. His photographic plates were black and white, but he had developed an ingenious photographic technique which allowed him to use them to produce accurate color images."

For the Top Gear fans out there, it is back on free to air TV (for those who didn't already know). SBS are screening episodes from the 7th season today at 7:30pm.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.