Friday, June 17, 2011

Techno Combo Platter

Thanks to my buddy Patrick, I've been visiting some new tech sites, and several stories I found pertained to previous posts here on chimpwithpencil.  So today is a good day for some updates.  We'll call it Followup Friday.

Back in May in 'Send in the Robots' and 'Robot Counterattack,' we discussed the use of robots to help in natural disasters like the tsunami in Japan.  A story and video on Engadget tells how workers used a robot helicopter called a Parrot to enter an earthquake damaged church in New Zealand and survey the structure without risking human lives.

Good idea, but it struck me funny that the $300 robot helo was controlled with an $700 iPad.  Wouldn't a radio-controlled plane type setup with a joystick have been easier and cheaper? But the main thing is that no one went inside the building and got crushed.  Here is the engadget link to the Parrot's video.  

In other tech news, on 13 June we talked about hacking in 'Who are the hackers?' Gizmodo has a story about a hacking group that released 62,000 stolen usernames and passwords combinations.  The names/passwords may be from Paypal, Ebay, Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and other sites.  I'm not sure what the point of this is.  Digital vigilantes usually pick a specific person or organization they disagree with, but this appears to just be 62,000 random accounts.

And from Lifehacker, there's a neat story for the DIY (do it yourself) folks on how to rig you garage door opener so you can open it with your smart phone.  Projects like this are fun and useful, although the paranoid part of me wonders how secure this is.  Still, if someone wants into your garage, there are low-tech ways to break in.

It's interesting to me that there is a strong do-it-yourself approach to a lot of technology these days, and the Internet makes it possible to share these techniques with each other.  But that's a post for another day.

Have a good weekend!

(Pic is from www.robotsrule.com)

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