Posts belonging to Category Technology

Verizon Downloads 2.4GB Movie in 4 Seconds

This is pretty amazing. It is hard to imagine an entire movie downloaded in only four seconds. By the way, I am an account manager for Verizon Wireless/Cellular Sales and would be glad to assist you with any of your wireless needs. (Click here for contact information.)

2.4GB Verizon Movie Download (Video length: 3:08)

From Electronista:

Internet and cable provider Verizon has been performing technical trials that could eventually see bandwidth speeds of up to 10Gbps in each home. The company used prototype Alcatel Lucent XG-PON2 nodes to provide the speed, which is about 200 times faster than FiOS’ regular 50Mbps service. GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) access can theoretically provide download speeds of up to 2.4Gbps or 1.2Gbps upload speeds.

Tests conducted by Verizon back in August saw FiOS speeds as fast as 925Mbps to a local server and 800Mbps to a regional speed test server. The latest test showed a 10Gbps download and upload speed, allowing the user to download a 2.4GB movie in just four seconds. The Optical Network Terminal (ONT) supported as many as 10 individual gigabit connections and a dedicated link that can bring the 10Gbps symmetric speed to a single location. Two computers with a 10Gbps network interface card were communicating across the network between the ONT and the line terminal in Taunton, Massachusetts. The speeds were eight times faster than those provided by the standard GPON technology.

Homemade Flying Hovercraft

Okay, this is just too cool.

Homemade Flying Hovercraft (Video length: 1:15)

New Zealander Rudy Heeman has been showing off his latest garage invention — a hovercraft which takes off at 70 km/h. Heeman hopes to sell his invention at $13,000 USD per unit.

HT: Neatorama

Related posts:
    • Get Ready for Flying Cars?
    • Jet Pack in Flight

Are Ebooks Dead?

I am fascinated with the emergence of the Ebook market and try to read everything I can on the subject. I would have loved to attend the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference this week (my brother was there), but now that they are putting some of the addresses online, I am doing my best to catch up. Here is a great presentation on Ebooks and how technology is impacting the publishing industry.

Are Ebooks Dead? -Skip Prichard (Video length: 19:52)

Michael Hyatt of Thomas Nelson Publishing has a good summary of the conference here: The O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference, along with some great quotes from the conference. The money quote as far as I am concerned? “Obscurity is a bigger problem for authors than piracy.” (Tim O’Reilly; see also linked article below) As the book industry enters the digital age, publishers need to look carefully at the early missteps taken by the music industry and avoid making the same mistakes.

What are your thoughts on Ebooks and how they will change book reading and publishing?

Related article: David Pogue Revisits DRM Question about Ebooks

Cell Phone Revolution

From Friday’s New York Times:

By mid-2010, there will be 6.8 billion humans on this planet. According to United Nations estimates, there also will be five billion cellphone subscriptions. These are astonishing numbers. What is still more astonishing, and hopeful, is the breadth of change this number reflects.

The United Nations says that right now 80 percent of the world’s population has available cell coverage. The fastest adoption of cellphone use is occurring in some of the world’s poorest places.

Cellphones are cheap, their batteries can be easily recharged with solar power and they are creating nothing short of a revolution: knitting rural communities together, sowing information, and altering the most basic assumptions about health care and finance. Anyone who has traveled to Africa recently can vouch for these changes.

In nearly every sizable town or city, there are dozens of tiny kiosks where phones can be rented or repaired and subscriptions can be purchased. In regions where communications used to be nearly impossible, cellphones are essential to social innovation. This means everything from microfinance and electronic credit, via SMS, to better networking among health care workers and their patients.

Five billion cell phone subscriptions out of 6.8 billion people on the planet is truly a straggering statistic. How will the world going mobile change life as we know it? Your thoughts?

Teens and Time Spent Online

If your kids are awake, they’re probably online. So reads the headline to a story in yesterday’s New York Times about today’s teens and how much time they spend online. The article highlights a new study on the online lives of children and teenagers by the Kaiser Family Foundation. As the report states:

Eight-to-eighteen-year-olds spend more time with media than in any other activity besides (maybe) sleeping — an average of more than 7 1/2 hours a day, seven days a week. The TV shows they watch, video games they play, songs they listen to, books they read and websites they visit are an enormous part of their lives, offering a constant stream of messages about families, peers, relationships, gender roles, sex, violence, food, values, clothes, an abundance of other topics too long to list.

These numbers are up from an average of nearly 6 1/2 hours a day measured five years ago. The study attributes the higher numbers to increased use of mobile devices such as cell phones and iPods.

It also cites a lack of parental supervision. According to the report, most youth say they have no rules about how much time they can spend with tv, video games, or computers. But when parents do set limits, children spend less time with media: those with any media rules consume nearly 3 hours less media per day than those with no rules.

“The amount of time young people spend with media has grown to where it’s even more than a full-time work week,” said Drew Altman, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation. “When children are spending this much time doing anything, we need to understand how it’s affecting them – for good and bad.”

If you would like some tips on managing media consumption in the home, let me recommend an earlier series from this blog on the subject: Taming Technology in the Home. What are your thoughts about teens and time spent online?

MAF Announces New Mission Planes

Kodiak 100

Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) recently received its first new plane specifically designed for missions.

Manufacturer Quest Aircraft Co. of Sandpoint, Idaho delivered its first KODIAK 100, the first of the next-generation bush planes it produces, to MAF on Thursday. The plane is the long awaited result of the shared vision between MAF and Quest to design an aircraft that can run on jet fuel, which is cheaper than aviation gas (avgas) and in greater supply.

Most of MAF’s fleet is Cessna 206’s (C206), which need avgas that is often in short supply and costly in areas where the mission group operates.

Also, the KODIAK 100 can carry nearly twice the cargo – such as medicine, food or disaster relief supplies – of the C206 and will help MAF dramatically increase delivery while reducing operating costs.

“Aviation, in the minds of many, is the heart and soul of reaching the unreached peoples of the world,” says John Boyd, president and chief executive officer of MAF-USA. “Missionary aircraft can take people into areas where there are no roads. They can deliver food, medicines and other supplies when roads are impassible.”

Profits from the commercial sales of the aircraft will subsidize a portion of the cost for each 11th plane produced. The 11th plane will be delivered to participating non-profit Christian and humanitarian aviation organizations.

Around the Web – 3/5/2009


  • Like robots? The Big Picture has pictures.
  • E.T. Phone Home. The Kepler Spacecraft will launch Friday in its quest for Earth-like planets in Earth-like places.
  • Read Kindle Books on Your iPhone. Can’t afford to shell out $359 for a Kindle 2? Download this free app that lets you read Kindle books on your iPhone instead.
  • How to Make Your PC Boot Faster. I know, my brother would say, “Buy a Mac.” (See PC and Mac in the Garden of Eden) The “/noguiboot” setting was a new one for me.
  • Gdrive in 2009. Google Drive, or Gdrive as it is better known, will offer online storage where Google servers have enough capacity to hold the entire contents of your hard drive. (Question: Do you want to give Google access to every file on your hard drive?)

Live Hologram Interview on CNN

This was pretty neat — Wolf Blitzer conducting a live interview with reporter Jessica Yellin via hologram on election night.

(Video length: 3:57)

Update: Whoops, looks like this was not a real hologram after all. Apparently we could see Jessica on our television screens, but Wolf Blitzer could not see her in the studio.

Young Adults Communication Preferences

The leadership development organization Growing Leaders recently asked focus groups of young adults (ages 16-24) how they prefer to receive communication. Their order of preference was:

    1. Text messages,
    2. MySpace and/or Facebook,
    3. Podcasts,
    4. Instant messaging,
    5. Cell phone,
    6. CDs,
    7. DVDs, and
    8. Email.

Source: Pastor’s Weekly Briefing 4/4/08 (HT: Sam Lamerson)

See related post: Why Email is Dying Out with Younger Generation

Update: Audio for Radio Interview Now Available

                        Pilgrim Radio

The audio of the Taming Technology interview on Pilgrim Radio is now available at the original post. Click here to go to: Taming Technology – Pilgrim Radio Interview.

Taming Technology – Pilgrim Radio Interview

                        Pilgrim Radio

Update: Taming Technology – Pilgrim Radio Interview
Click above (twice) to play | Length: 22 minutes
Click here to download the MP3.

Bill Feltner at Pilgrim Radio recently interviewed me about my blog series: Taming Technology in the Home. Pilgrim Radio serves over 100 cities and communities in Nevada, California, Wyoming and Montana, as well as listeners online through their website. They provide a mixture of adult, contemporary Christian music along with Bible readings, Christian instruction, and interviews on a variety of topics.

The 25-minute interview will be aired Wednesday, April 23 (my birthday!) during the His People segment. The show will air three times during the day: 2am, 12pm and 9pm Pacific Time (5am, 3pm and 12 midnight Eastern Time). If any of those times are good for you, feel free to tune in to Pilgrim Radio on Wednesday to hear the interview. (Click here for Pilgrim Radio home page.)

Taming Technology in the Home series:
    ● Taming Television in the Home
    ● Taming Video Games in the Home
    ● Taming the Internet in the Home

Taming Video Games in the Home

Taming Technology in the Home series:
    ● Taming Television in the Home
    ● Taming Video Games in the Home
    ● Taming the Internet in the Home

One of the dangers that comes along with TV, video games and the internet is the potential for wasted time. We have found this particularly true with video games. Video games can be incredibly addictive and time-consuming. If you are not careful, they can quickly turn into a giant sinkhole of wasted time for your child. How do you help your children manage their time with video games and other technology in the home? Here are some of the things we do.

  • Set time limits: We allow our kids a set amount of time to play video games each week. We know if we did not set limits for them, video games could easily take over their lives. Most kids have not developed the willpower or self-control to make good choices in this area yet, so as parents we need to help them. Setting time limits for our children has allowed them to pursue other interests and to use their time more productively. (More on setting time limits below)
  • Set alternate activities: Video games are not a priority in our home. School work, reading, musical instruments, activities and chores come first. When you require certain activities of your children, it automatically limits the time they have for other things. By setting up alternate activities, there is only so much time left over for video games.
  • Kick them outside: We don’t do this one as often as we should, but there is nothing wrong with telling your kids to go outside and play for a couple hours. Kids are naturally creative, and they will find plenty of stuff to do.
  • Know your kids’ games: Time isn’t the only problem with video games. Some games have inappropriate content. Be sure to read the ratings on your kids’ games and set the ground rules for what is and is not acceptable in your home. When your children get a new game, sit down and watch it with them to make sure you are comfortable with the content.

Now, I promised you I would tell you more about setting time limits. This was the biggest frustration at our home for the longest time. At first we just told our kids how much time they could spend. But then they would forget how long they had been playing. Next we tried sign-in sheets, but they would forget to sign in. Or they would sign in and forget to sign out, and then when they came back later to play they would have no idea how much time they had remaining. Sometimes it got so bad we thought about just getting rid of all the video games in the house. But we knew they enjoyed the games, and we didn’t mind them playing as long as they kept their time under control and were doing other things as well.

Then we discovered Bob. Bob solved all of our time problems when it came to video games overnight. Suddenly the kids knew how long they had been playing and when to stop. They began to monitor their own game time and budget it carefully through the week. We no longer had to get on their case or constantly police them. It was amazing. We like Bob! Bob is our friend.

You are probably wondering, who or what is Bob?

  • Bob is an electronic time manager. It looks like a miniature ATM machine. You set the daily or weekly time limits, give your child a passcode, and Bob takes care of the rest. When your child exceeds their time limit, Bob shuts off the TV and will not turn it back on again. Bob can manage time for up to six different users. Bob set us back about $100, but it was worth it. We like Bob! Bob is our friend. We mostly use Bob for video games, but Bob can also be used to manage time spent watching TV.

So, what things have you done to help tame video games in your home? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Click here for next post in series: Taming the Internet in the Home

UPDATE: My wife pointed out to me that much of what I wrote in this post deals more with the past in our home than the present. There was a time when we really had to crack the whip with video games in the house, but it is no longer an issue. Our oldest son no longer has any time restrictions, and he does fine. And the younger two really don’t need the time restrictions anymore. They do plenty of other things on their own – including playing outside! So, sorry boys. I hope I didn’t make you look bad. It was not my intention, and it certainly does not reflect where you are at now.   – Dad