Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Purdue's Handheld Chemical Thingy

So I read a lot of blogs and today, I happened to stumble across this article in one of the blogs I read every day. The article is here.


"Purdue researchers craft handheld chemical analyzer, likens Tricorder

Hot on the heels of being crowned the most prolific pirating university in the land, Purdue is donning its halo once again by kicking out yet another invention that will surely make the world a better place to reside. The Mini 10 prototype is a handheld chemical analyzer that its creators have likened to Star Trek's "Tricorder," and while the internal abilities should genuinely impress, we're handing out a round of golf claps for the uber-glitzy motif it's got going on. The sophisticated sensing system measures just 13.5- x 8.5- x 7.5-inches and weighs in at 22-pounds, which is around 30 times less than conventional mass spectrometers, and aside from its ability to be completely portable via battery power, it still sports the same sniffing capabilities as its mammoth-sized siblings. In order to cram such potent chemical sensing abilities into such a small package, a miniature mass spectrometer is "combined with a technique called desorption electrospray ionization (DESI)," and can display the chemical composition of materials in a "matter of minutes without harming the samples." Interestingly enough, the prototype has already analyzed garb, food, and actual cocaine, and while we're not quite sure when you'll be able to snatch one of these up to "check in" on your mischievous teen, a couple of Indiana-based firms are apparently already looking into commercialization options."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sad (dead?) iPod

A few days ago, I turn on my iPod to get the sad iPod icon (literally, that's what it's called). This wasn't good. After some (and by some, I mean like an hour-and-a-half) hardcore Google searchage, I get the iPod to actually turn on. Okay, good step, right? Apparently not. Now my iPod will start but it has no songs on it. My playlists are still there but nothing is in them and there is nothing listed in the music folder.

I had restored it while trying to fix it so all the songs being gone isn't that weird. I hook it up to my computer and everything just completely stops working. My iPod doesn't do anything and my computer completely locks up. Not good. Restart the computer and plug in the iPod, same thing. Try this three more times over two days and same result.

This is a little bit of a hassle and dilemma for me. I'm taking it into the Apple store whenever the next time I can is (which will probably not be until after Spring Break sometime, or summer) and they are probably going to tell me that my hard drive died and they'll have to replace it. Now, since my iPod is fairly old (it's the version right before the color screens), I'm guessing it's going to be expensive to fix. Probably expensive enough to where it would make more sense just to buy a new iPod, which I really don't want to do either. Anybody have any suggestions?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Advertising & The Super Bowl

This year's Super Bowl (Go Colts!) was the second most watched Super Bowl in history. About 140 million people watched the Colts stomp all over the Bears. A 30-second ad this year cost about $2.6 million. That translates into about $54/person. I wonder if everybody that watched the Super Bowl went out and bought $54 worth of Doritos or Snickers. I doubt it.

For those wondering, my top three commercials of the Super Bowl were:
1. Rock Paper Scissors
2. Live The Flavor
3. Dalmatian (Spot Wink)

The Dalmatian spot reminded me of the Budweiser Donkey commercial a few years ago (::sidebar:: I met the Budweiser Donkey at Sea World a few years ago. I have pictures if you don't believe me).

Anyway, the Sierra Mist commercials really creeped me out. So did the Sprint one (connectile dysfunction). Also, if you're not going to make a new, original commercial, don't advertise on the Super Bowl. It's a waste of money.