I'm having fun today being home alone, cleaning, cooking and reading about some new technologies. As there isn't anything to blog about cleaning and cooking (although the tomato sauce I've made tasted just great), I'll give some highlights about my technology update:
Induction stoves: Neat technology that uses electric current induction through applied magnetic fields to heat the food, by heating the pan where the food is. There are two major problems about it: (1) like an electric stove top, it does not give you fire that you can use to flambée, for example; (2) it does not work with all pans, only the ones that can be magnetized (no cheap aluminum, I'm sorry). There are two main benefits, though: (1) there is no heating element, thus it does not leave a hot surface for too long (of course the surface in contact with the pan will heat, but not for long); (2) it only heats magnetic materials, so you can't get burnt after accidentally leaving it on (only if you leave a pan on top of it).
I only wonder how to deal with interference? Magnetic waves can interfere with everything and heat pans that are not on top of the stove! Oh, there is one extra problem with it: price! It is about 3 times the price of an electric stove! Sometimes even more! But it's a cool technology nevertheless!
Apple's Shake 4: You can look at Apple's website about it [source]. It is a software to do image composition, i.e., get a background image and add multiple other sources that were filmed against a blue or green background. What impressed me about it is the amount of features that you get. Complex slow motion, automatic 3D composition that calculates the perspective for you and allows you to move a "virtual camera" around, fixing shaking footage... Lots of very complex image processing steps, interestingly enough involving pretty much two procedures: tracking and interpolating. It is difficult to tell from their examples how well they actually do all this, but it does seem impressive. Hail to the technology!
The last one is not that great, but I just thought I had the "2" theme too much already, so I needed a third:
The new My Web from Yahoo: [source] (note: you will have to log on to a Yahoo! account for it to work) It is interesting to organize websites. It biases results on the websites that you go through and lets you add tags to these websites. It's Yahoo! continiously trying to get into Google's controlled territory. It's not that I don't like Google, but competition is always good. Monopolies are boring.