Archive for April, 2005

Parents Need Internet Education Urgently

29 Apr 2005

The fact that technology is evolving very fast isn’t all that advantageous for everyone who gets in touch with it. Very often, regular people are sort of deprived access to and can’t or won’t participate in the daily electronical chaos. A recent study has shown that some ‘parents in general’ who have no or little feeling with internet and all it’s technological advantages are more likely to shut off the entry to this medium for their kids too. That easily puts those kids behind in the classroom and could have a very negative impact on their educational progress or employment opportunities.

Those parents are in most cases less affluent and have had no or very little training or experience with electronic and digital technology themselves. This situation has made them suspicious and has caused some sort of ‘fear for the unknown’. Natural protective behaviour makes those parents try to forestall the development of their kids in this field.

Lack of education is one reason, but money certainly is another. The offspring of the technological (r)evolution costs quite some valuta too.
New ‘Super Media Computers’ cost about a month’s pay, the set-up cost of a decent connection and the recurring monthly fees frighten a lot of
folks in the lower and middle middle class. The majority has massive pay-offs to do for a house and a car. School for the children is expensive already; This multi media computer with broadband connection unfortunately isn’t always on top of the list. A huge disadvantage for the kids, no doubt.

Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology for LSE’s media and communications department recently got interviewed by Steve Ranger of C|Net has posted the entire article.

“Now that many young people rely on the Internet for information, homework help and careers guidance, the more it matters that some of them are getting left behind,” said Sonia Livingstone, professor of social psychology for LSE’s media and communications department. “Not knowing how to best use the Internet may have a negative impact on their education and employment opportunities.”

“Of the parents we surveyed, 18 percent–nearly a fifth–said they don’t know how to help their children use the Internet safely.”

“The report added that “fearful parents may take too rigorous an approach to restricting online access completely and thereby leave their children less aware of online risks, such as chat room dangers, when they do use the Internet.”

Click here to read it on C|Net.
Click here for Silicon

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Posted in Ethics


While You Pee

28 Apr 2005

Men have always been going to the toilet alone. By themselves. Women on the other hand, have a tendency to go with a friend. I’ve always thought things were like this because someone had to watch the door in case anything happened. Or maybe for some quick restauration works here and there if two hands weren’t enough to do the maintenancing withing acceptable time limits. But that’s not the reason of this post. Gentlemen, we now have a reason to go per two too !

Werner Dupont & Bart Geraets used to be classmates and hung around in bars a lot, as regular students tend to do. They’ve noticed that ‘going for a wizz’ is anything but a social event behind the ‘Men’ doors. To resolve this matter, they’ve made a construction including two urinals with sensors and two monitors that display a game or advertisement. Using your beam to pilot the PONG bar or a race car, you can spend your time in the toilets competing with friends. Loser’s the one who’s out of beam.

Set up : “wouldn’t it be nice if two strangers went into a toilet and both came out laughing?” – I say : Yes ! A pleestation for everybody !

If there’s no one to play against, advertisements can be programmed to appear. Changing ads is as easy as changing the beam to the left or the right. Puts out the fire as well. ;)

What it looks like :

Pee Game 1 Pee Game 2
Sensors are located in the area around the red arrows. A CPU inside the display calculates what needs to be done and projects the output on a small monitor. This is how it looks like.
The screen is protected against vandalism or ‘nightlife’ in general.
In dutch ‘pleestation’ is almost pronounced as: ‘playstation’.

Sources :
I’ve read it in this paper. (.be)
Saw it on the PleeStation site (.be)


Customizing Your Candy

28 Apr 2005

Philipp Lenssen from Google Blogoscoped has posted a nice link about a very well known candy company that has a keen marketing stunt going on.
Apparently, for a very pricy minimum quantity for every order, the famous chocolate beans now come customized. Yey !

“Below you’ll see a preview of your customized M&M’S Chocolate Candies. You can make changes by clicking ‘Edit Message or Color’.”


Sources :
Click here to try it yourself or order


Marketing The Muslim

28 Apr 2005

It’s been over a year now since the Dubai-based company IlkoneTel has launched their first handset designed for the Islamic community, the Ilkone i800. To be exact, the first announcements were made in july 2004. Very soon, IlkoneTel’s mobile will become available to the Belgian market too. Imported by Masira, the company claims it is the perfect example of how technology and innovation can strengthen the power of a mobile phone, targeting the specific needs of Muslims (in general).

From IlkoneTel’s site about the Ilkone i800 :

“Mobile phones that connect your spirits as you never experienced before, you can carry and have access to your belief whenever you are and wherever you need, as you progress through life”

“The name ilkone is driven from an Arab word meaning universe.”


5 Ramadan calender with built in automatic alarms for Sohour, Imsak and Iftar
5 The complete Holy Quran text with English Translation, approved by Al-Azhar
4 Automatic Qibla direction from anywhere in the world (the direction to pray in)
3 Pray in the mosque : automatic silence and switching to vibration mode for 40 minutes from Azan
2 Hijri calender, the Islamic calender and date convertion
1 Azan of Mecca, Madina & Cairo Voice, from anywhere in the world, with prayer alarm before and after Azan

Sources :

Click here to read the article on ‘De Standaard’ (.be !)
Click here for the original post of ADM on July 11th, 2004
Click here for the Gizmodo Gadgets post of July 12th, 2004
Click here for IlkoneTel’s productpage


Visual Radio By Nokia & HP

27 Apr 2005

October 2003. Nokia announces its plans for Visual Radio through a demonstration that showed regular people using their cellphones for purposes far beyond ‘just’ texting and calling. They could receive FM radio broadcasts that came synchronized with live text feeds and interactive visuals. The only problem Nokia faced back then to successfully establish this technology was a decent partner to power the support forum. April 2005. Nokia and HP have reached an agreement.

“Now the Finland-based cell phone maker has teamed up with HP in a backend services contract that extends their previous relationship, builds out a new Web service for mobile phones and creates a revenue sharing scheme that impacts a couple of sectors.”

Also according to :

“HP will also provide installation, consulting and integration support. In addition, HP said it would host and manage the Visual Radio service using its own platforms. For its part, Nokia said it is committing more resources to provide and continue to develop the Visual Radio technology.”

“Nokia already has FM tuners in some of its cell phones before. But starting with its color screen 7700 series, the handset manufacturer’s service lets the listener interact with promotions, purchase ring tones, buy concert tickets, and get additional content supplied by the station. The service also allows for traffic and weather reports, talk radio and sports broadcasts. Fees would either be based on minutes per data stream as part of a carrier’s plan or as an add-on package, Nokia said. The company said it also plans to make the Visual Radio technology available to other handset manufacturers.”

“We all see that to be successful we have to raise the average investment per the end customer.” – Joy King, Vice President at HP Services.

Visual Radio

Read it all on
Read HP’s Press Memo
Check it out on the Visual Radio Website


The Open-Source Radio Experiment

27 Apr 2005

Wired reports about a new project being launched on the web involving ‘pods’ and ‘casting’. Infinity Broadcasting CEO Joel Hollander says they’re creating a new way to let a lot of people participate personally in radio – sharing their feelings on music, news, politics, whatever is important to them. The channel for this podcasting event will be the San Francisco’s former 1550 KYCY, now renamed :

“Infinity’s Hollander said the decision to launch the “open-source radio” experiment came partly because the San Francisco station’s current format has not been a great financial success.”

“This switch won’t be a big gamble for us monetarily, but it’s a potential home run,” said Hollander. “You have to make bets on new forms of technology — some work, some don’t. We’re making a bet that this might become the way people want to communicate.”

This is where Hollander hits the nail right on the head. The success of Apple’s little baby has been proven to be one that will stand longer than any other product in this field. Figures are showing the sales are still rising… having an iPod is almost the same as having a bike. Almost everybody has one. So why not make it possible for everyone to communicate with each other? It’s a very good idea to do so through a form that allows multiple ways of expression, such as any imaginable form of audio content, from spoken-word programs by bloggers to shows made by professional radio organizations.

Interesting thought :

If this is the medium of the future, then how will the advertisement industry adapt itself to this new mean of communication?

“Infinity said it may also launch a new advertising program before the end of 2005 that will allow marketers to place audio ads in podcasts elsewhere on the internet. The system would use podcast metatags to match a podcast’s audio content to corresponding ads, much like Google’s keyword-driven AdSense text ads.”

“Other related possibilities under review include selling podcasters access to radio spectrum, so that individuals or groups can become independent radio broadcasters.”

Source: Wired

Check out

Read all about it on Wired



27 Apr 2005

We, as modern people, are driven by comparison. We always compare our situation to those of others to look for any sign of discrimination or maltreatment of any kind. So too in our search queries on the web. How often have you entered the same keywords into Google and Yahoo, just so you could compare the results and fish for things one or the other didn’t display in the search results. Well. That time’s long gone now.

Once listed on Slashdot as an April’s Fool post, this project has begun its life as a stand-alone showcase, hosted by Asgeir S. Nilssen, a 31 year old technology architect from Norway. It’s very useful in the quest for the one true site. The merging of the two biggest search engines online is also a very symbolical fact to the web-o-sphere.

So from now on, we can compare the search results from both engines in one window. Very handy indeed.


Here’s the box ! Go ahead, try it out. Search something. ;) 


Click here to go read the YaGooHoo!gle Blog

Click here to go to YaGoohoo!

Heads up to F4gh4N1 for the lead.


A Good Exam For A Regular Student

24 Apr 2005

In about five weeks from now, I’ll be doing my final exams for this year. Hopefully all goes well. – knock, knock, knocks on wood – I don’t think that, except for Spanish, there should be any problems keeping me from succeeding. If I start studying the first of May, I should be able to wrap things up very smoothly. Unless I get questions like the ones I’ve read on Another Site.

Instructions: Read each question carefully.
Answer all questions.
Time limit – 4 hours.
Begin immediately.

HISTORY: – Describe the history of the papacy from it’s origins to the present day, concentrating especially but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: – 2,500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.

BIOLOGY: – Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.

: – Based on your knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodiseas, Ramses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluation with quotations from each man’s work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to

SOCIOLOGY: – Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.

ECONOMICS: – Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of
view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.

EPISTEMOLOGY: – Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.

: – Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of development of mathematics on science.

PHILOSOPHY: – Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Describe this in detail. Be objective and specific.

EXTRA CREDIT: Define the Universe; give three examples.
For a full list of weird questions, click here.

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Posted in Geek, Humor