Port Images

Posted by Luis
In Resources
24 Jan 12

Here is a chart at Deviant Art of Ports and other computer parts.

Toshiba is releasing a new high-resolution display–a 6.1-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, also known as “WQXGA,” which is one of the highest resolutions offered on current computer monitors. However, such a resolution usually comes in a 30-inch display. Toshiba does this by making a display with far smaller pixels–in other words, better density. A 30″ display at that resolution has about 100 pixels per inch (PPI), whereas the new Toshiba display has a PPI of 498.


You can easily see the difference between the resolutions! Your laptop or desktop screen probably has a PPI no better than 110–worse than the lowest-PPI screen shown above.

In the next several years, you should expect the high-density displays to become more and more common, with excellent viewing quality as a result.

Post-Focus Cameras

Posted by Luis
In Fun Stuff
19 Oct 11

Did you ever take a photo of a friend but notice later on that only the background was in focus? In that kind of situation, you wish that you could re-focus the photo–but of course, that is impossible after the image was taken.

Until now. Or, at least, until next year. That’s when the cubish new “Lytro” camera goes on sale. The Lytro is a revolutionary new camera design which takes very small images–just over 500 pixels to a side–but the images can be re-focused by the viewer after the photo has been taken.

Don’t believe me? Check out some images yourself.

The cameras will cost $400 (350-image memory) and $500 (750-image memory), have 8x optical zoom, and will be Mac-only at first.

Tn Lytro-Cameras-Stacked

Steve Jobs: 1955 - 2011

Posted by Luis
In Computer News
5 Oct 11

A major influence in the computer industry passed away today. Steve Jobs, at age 56.

T Hero-1

Especially upon the event of his passing, his commencement speech at Stanford University is a particularly appropriate way to remember him.

Hulu in Japan

Posted by Luis
In Computer News
3 Sep 11

Hulu has just started operating in Japan. It is a streaming video service, and, if I am not mistaken, the first of its kind in Japan. This has been available for a while in the U.S. now, with Hulu and Netflix offering unlimited content (you can watch all the video you like for a monthly fee) without having to leave home–just browse the content and watch what you want. For example, if you never saw the last three seasons of 24, you can watch the episodes back-to-back, on your own schedule.

That’s called narrowcasting, which is different from broadcasting. To “cast” means to “throw” or “spread,” and so “broadcasting” has always meant to take content–like radio or TV shows–and send (”cast”) them out to millions of viewers at the same time. That is the nature of TV and radio–there is a set schedule and everyone must tune in at the same time.

Narrowcasting, on the other hand, is possible on the Internet, and refers to the ability to send content to one person at a time, on their own schedule. Instead of watching one episode of a TV show each week at 10:00 p.m. Tuesdays, you can watch an entire season in one day, or as many episodes as you want on whatever days you wish. In other words, it’s like having a video rental store on your computer.

The service is not just on a computer, however; some Panasonic and Sony TVs can receive it directly, as well as the PS3 and X-Box 360, or your iOS or Android device (iPod, phone or tablet). To watch on a TV, you could use video out from your computer or mobile device.

With Hulu, for ¥1,480 per month, you get access to a fair number of TV shows and movies. For example, some TV shows available now include Lost, Prison Break, 24, Heroes, Dollhouse, Grey’s Anatomy, and Ugly Betty; movies including The Da Vinci Code, National Treasure, Spiderman 3, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sixth Sense, Men in Black, Training Day, etc. are available–but the service just started a few days ago, so the list should expand quickly. You can visit the site and see a list of what is there now, and what will be coming soon.

Netflix has not announced directly that they will open in Japan, but they have hired people in japan and Korea and will probably follow Hulu in a few months.

Cool Twitter Ad

Posted by Luis
In Fun Stuff
1 Sep 11

In Fun Stuff
7 Jul 11

A general rule of computer technology is that it gets faster, smaller, and cheaper in time. What is surprising is how fast that sometimes happens! I recall when you would have to pay at least 2,000 yen for a 64 MB (that’s MegaByte) USB flash drive. Just a year ago, an 8GB stick cost 2,000 yen.

When I went to Akihabara last Monday, I found that the same 8GB stick cost 900 yen, and now the 16GB stick cost 1750 yen.


Maybe 5 years ago (I am not sure of the exact time), a 128 MB drive cost 3000 yen; note from the image above that the 32 GB drive costs that much today. 32 GB is 250 times more than 128 MB–meaning that prices today are 250 times cheaper, or just 0.004 times of the price a few years ago.

Imagine the same being true of, say, Coca Cola. 5 years ago you bought a 500 ml bottle for 120 yen. If prices for cola changed the same way, then for the same 120 yen, you could now buy 125 liters of cola!

Why Do Hackers Do It?

Posted by Luis
In Computer News
18 Jun 11

Often people will ask the question–why do hackers create viruses or do other destructive things?

There are several answers. One of them is to make money. Viruses which spread spam, or cause other people’s computers to visit spam sites, can generate money. If a virus or information about how to hack a system is powerful, some people will pay a large amount of money to possess it.

Another answer could be fame. Some people desire attention, want to see their work become known worldwide. They may wish their reputation within the hacker community to become greater. A destructive piece of malware could help accomplish this.

Some people do it as a form of espionage or even terrorism. Recently, a worm called Stuxnet was released, designed to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and destroy their ability to create nuclear weapons. However, the Stuxnet worm could be turned to other purposes as well; it and other similar malware could be used to attack the public or military infrastructure of any nation.

However, the sad fact is, many people do it just for fun. Some will destroy for the same reason an arsonist burns down buildings: to watch it burn. Some people take pleasure in destroying what others treasure or enjoy. They like to upset people, play tricks on them, frighten them, even do horrible things to them. This was explained by the hackers themselves:

Yes, yes, there’s always the argument that releasing everything in full is just as evil, what with accounts being stolen and abused, but welcome to 2011. This is the lulz lizard era, where we do things just because we find it entertaining. … You find it funny to watch havoc unfold, and we find it funny to cause it. We release personal data so that equally evil people can entertain us with what they do with it.

Most of you reading this love the idea of wrecking someone else’s online experience anonymously. It’s appealing and unique, there are no two account hijackings that are the same, no two suddenly enraged girlfriends with the same expression when you admit to killing prostitutes from her boyfriend’s recently stolen MSN account, and there’s certainly no limit to the lulz lizardry that we all partake in on some level.

This announcement came from a group called “Lulz Security“; the Internet slang term “lulz” means to laugh at someone at their expense. The announcement, explaining some of their actions, came with a warning, however, concerning other hackers with stolen passwords and hacked accounts–hackers who are even more dangerous:

Do you think every hacker announces everything they’ve hacked? We certainly haven’t, and we’re damn sure others are playing the silent game. Do you feel safe with your Facebook accounts, your Google Mail accounts, your Skype accounts? What makes you think a hacker isn’t silently sitting inside all of these right now, sniping out individual people, or perhaps selling them off? You are a peon to these people. A toy. A string of characters with a value.

One way they hack accounts: if they gain access to an account with a password, they will look for accounts with the same username and password elsewhere. Many people repeat the same username and password in different places. One level of protection is to use a variety of user names and passwords. It is difficult and tiresome, but could save you from being hacked.

Mark your calendars! OnJune 24, from 6:45 pm to 8:30 pm, LCJ will host a Tohoku Earthquake Relief event. There will be presentations by LCJ students and staff who have traveled there to help, as well as a food court and auctions to raise money for the people devastated by the disaster. Make sure you will come to this event!

3-D Without Glasses

Posted by Luis
In Computer News
24 May 11

Your computer may soon include an option to use 3-D without special glasses. It does this by using the computer’s web camera (now standard with many, if not most computers) to track where the user’s eyes are. The computer then changes the view to make it appear like a 3-D image. This is not “true” 3-D, as the image does not appear three-dimension when it is not moving. However, it is certainly an improvement over 2-D displays.

The technology will only work if there is a single viewer, as it can only change the view depending on one person’s eye’s location. However, this is not a problem as computers are usually used by one person at a time.

Here’s a demo of what it looks like:

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