Powerful insights into interface design

...with cool video and lots of pertinent illustrations! Bret Victor here articulates much of what I (and others) have felt. Worth a visit.

Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 03:28PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

9 impressive robots

Screen Shot 2011-11-18 at 5.48.26 PM

Robbie the Robot was all wrong. Today’s robots, loosely defined as mechanical or virtual “agents” that can perform some autonomous tasks, aren’t ungainly bubble people that issue plangent warnings.

In some cases, such as Boston Dynamics’ terrifying “Big Dogs,” they’re physically able but essentially dumb machines. In other cases, such as the virtual scientist Eureqa,they’re highly able pieces of software that can learn on their own but have almost no physical expression. As Joseph Engelberger, one of the early fathers of robotics, once cheekily said, “I can’t define a robot, but I know one when I see one.”

Click to read more on txchnologist.com

Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 08:27PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Cool physics comics!

Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 06:31PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Control games and movies with your thoughts?

I have no idea if, or how well, this works. But it sounds interesting! Press release here.


MindWave headset and Bundle pack- This headset and software package allows users to play games using the power of their own brainwaves.


Myndplay - What is MyndPlay and how does NeuroSky's technology work? Click above to watch an introduction video.


Brain Athlete – This sports training unit tracks an athlete's level of concentration, allowing them to "get in the zone."


Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 04:57AM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Transhumanism: The state of prosthetics

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at 12:54PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Ralph's new book on Autocad 2011/12 Mac vs PC

Ralph Grabowski is definitely one of the good guys. Here's a blurb about his latest book:

I was waiting for Autodesk's announcement today to let you know that Tailoring AutoCAD 2011/12 is now available as a special dual-OS version for Mac OS X and Windows. Some customization on the Mac is identical to Windows, some is very different, and some doesn't exist at all. This ebook distinguishes between the changes through the use of gray-colored text, sidebars, and extra screen grabs to make it easy for you to see what  is specific to the Mac version.

As you are a reader of Joel's blog, I'd like to offer you a 30% discount off the $43.20 list price. This ebook is 22 pages longer than the Windows-only version.

To get this PDF ebook for $30.24 through Paypal, please follow these steps:

1. Log into www.paypal.com

2. Click Send Money

3. Enter the following information:

4. Click Continue.

Thank you for your support!

Ralph Grabowski, 


PS: Here is the table of contents for this ebook:

1. Starting AutoCAD
2. Changing AutoCAD's Environment 
3. Tweaking Options
4. Customizing Linetypes 
5. Making Hatch Patterns 
6. Creating Shapes and Fonts 
7. Writing Command Aliases 
8. Coding Field Text
9. Managing CAD


Posted on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 09:28AM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

5D storage for medical imagery and more

5D glass storage could revolutionize medicine, computing

Nanostructured, data-storing glass

Researchers from the University of Southampton, England, have successfully recorded, read, and erased data from a piece of nano-structured glass. This technique could revolutionize microscopy in general, and medical imaging in specific — and, perhaps more importantly for computing, it could also be used to store binary data, like an optical disc.


Posted on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 12:20PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

From SketchUp to finished house parts at the push of a button

© .cc

Imagine taking your Google Sketchup creation for a house and having it milled out and assembled all within 24 hours.  WikiHouse, an Open Community project that puts you in the driver’s seat of design and construction has recently unleashed the opportunity for anyone to realize their own vision of architecture.


Posted on Monday, August 15, 2011 at 07:05PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

Cooper Union student builds flywheel bike (SciFri)

Posted on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 03:03PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment

3D printing: I think it may be soup

3D Printing and The Replicator Economy

“Tea. Earl Grey. Hot,” is the command synonymous for every fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation with one of that show’s most magical technologies: the replicator. Using 25th-century mastery over matter and energy, the Enterprise’s replicators can create virtually any desired object for which it’s programmed, from a replacement engine part to Captain Picard’s beverage of choice.

No need to wait centuries, however. The beginnings of that technology may be making its way into your home within the next five years and sparking an industrial revolution in the process.


Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011 at 02:18PM by Registered CommenterJoel | CommentsPost a Comment