Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, November 18, 2005; Page D01 BEILIU, China -- For the past three decades, Qin Chenghao has lived the life of an ordinary farmer. He has tended to the trees covering the mountains that rise from the musty soil of southern China, harvesting the star-shaped fruit on their branches. Year after year, the same few traders arrive to buy his crop to sell as seasoning and traditional medicine.
TV GASPING FOR AD DOLLARS
So the biggies — ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, UPN, and WB — got together yesterday in New York to confer on where the TV ad industry was going with special respect given the ever-disruptive DVR. When we first caught wind of the conference we thought it was going to be a TiVo-bash-a-thon, but hoped for the best: some ideas on how to make advertising work in the new era of digital video. But it turns out the networks just did some song and dance on the basic admissions of facts and fessed up to the reality that consumer friendliness — time-shifting broadcasts and optional skipping of commercials — is actually increasing viewership. But the positivist bits they parlayed in there about ad-awareness levels seemed a little unrealistic, and no solutions were presented about the future of advertising in a fast-forwarded world. But that’s ok, mild distribution partnerships and expensive gimmicks ought to be enough to get ‘em through the interim, right? Right?
You can look at Apple’s latest iMac in two ways: it’s either the latest in a long line of computers to bear that name, or it’s Apple’s first entry into the media PC arena. Given the inclusion of the Front Row media management software and Apple’s new remote control, most critics have chosen to focus on the latter, and USA Today’s Edward Baig is no exception. After calling the 17-inch and 20-inch iMacs “exquisite,” Baig highlights their media functions, and finds that, compared to a PC running Windows Media Center Edition, the iMac delivers Apple’s “trademark simplicity and beauty,” qualities that he sees extending to Apple’s shuffle-esque remote. However, in the end, Baig finds that the iMac doesn’t quite measure up as a media PC, due to its lack of a built-in TV tuner and maximum screen size of 20 inches. However, as an all purpose desktop with some media features thrown in to sweeten the deal, Baig sees the iMac as a “multimedia marvel.”
Coccolo’s $250 Vcam CVC-4 head-mounted display
Related entries: Displays, Wearables
LeapFrog Fly pentop computer reviewed by New York Times
Related entries: Handhelds, Misc. Gadgets
- Date: Nov 17, 2005, 3:30 PM ET
- Author: Victor Agreda, Jr.
The way light is extracted from the butterfly's system is more than an analogy - it's all but identical in design to the LED
Pete Vukusic, University of Exeter
The LED developed at MIT used a two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystal - a triangular lattice of holes etched into the LED's upper cladding layer - to enhance the extraction of light.
And layered structures called Bragg reflectors were used to control the emission direction. These high emission devices potentially offer a huge step up in performance over standard types. Pete Vukusic and Ian Hooper at Exeter have now shown that swallowtail butterflies evolved an identical method for signalling to each other in the wild. Swallowtails belonging to the Princeps nireus species live in eastern and central Africa. They have dark wings with bright blue or blue-green patches. The wing scales on these swallowtails act as 2D photonic crystals, infused with pigment and structured in such a way that they produce intense fluorescence. Pigment on the butterflies' wings absorbs ultra-violet light which is then re-emitted, using fluorescence, as brilliant blue-green light.
Most of this light would be lost were it not for the pigment being located in a region of the wing which has evenly spaced micro-holes through it.This slab of hollow air cylinders in the wing scales is essentially mother nature's version of a 2D photonic crystal.
Is anyone out there getting a decent night's sleep?
You have to wonder, given the steady thrum of radio and television ads for beds, mattresses, sleeping pills and assorted sleep-related products. Even a relatively listless scan across the car-radio dial or a desultory late-night channel-surf is bound to produce a toot-toot from the Sleep Train whistle, a reprise of the bouncy Mattress Discounters jingle or a reasonable word from European Sleep Works on the benefits of its allergen-resistant goods.
FROM APARTMENT THERAPY:
We just came across these Tapas plates from Sur La Table and think they are swell...and not just Tapas friendly, either. The plates come in sets of 4, and can be had in Acacia wood ($19.95) or glass ($24.95) No more precarious balancing act as we try to hold onto our gin and tonic and mushroom caps while gesticulating as we always need to do.
Tired of Living on Earth? Build Your Own Island!November 17, 2005 11:30 AM - Collin Dunn, Durham, North Carolina
We couldn't make this stuff up: this man, Reishee Sowa of Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, apparently grew tired of trying to live self-sufficiently on dry land, and did what any of us would have done. He built his own island out of used pop bottles. 250,000 of them, plus some construction leftovers and bags of leaves, make up "his island," though he's quick to point out that it's technically not an island by traditional standards. "You see not even the president is allowed his own island in Mexico," he says, "but technically I don’t have an island, I have an eco space-creating ship."
How to Drive a Customer Crazy
Through most of my corporate work career I’ve been associated with the “hospitality industry:” hotels and resorts and all the amenities they are made of, e.g. restaurants, retail and recreational outlets and the like. The hospitality industry is a labor-intensive one, where the majority of employees do come face-to-face with the customer. Within it, nearly every manager can tell you how they will limp their way through the dreaded monotony of daily pre-shift meetings, sometimes called “the line up.” For most of the hospitality industry the purpose is the same: 10-15 minutes at the beginning of a work shift to keep staff as up-to-date as possible, and in-the-know enough to have a decently savvy stage presence for the customer.