Archive for June, 2007

Bob + Joe = Got Tape?

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Got Tape?

First EMC competitor, Hitachi, publishes an attack ad video starring Mr.(“M” as in “Mister”) T.  Now EMC is doing viral video marketing at fun with tape starring Bob + Joe.  Is that a chocolate mustashio on Bob that harkens back to the California Milk Board’s Got Milk? campaigns by GS&P, namely, cow abduction and the insanely elaborate planet in need? With milk prices at record highs, about the same per gallon as gasoline, which does nothing for strong bones (nyuk, nyuk, nyuk), the real question is Got Cash?

Update: A new Hitachi attack video starring Mr. T is out on youtube.

STS-117 + IIS = Look Up Tonight

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

STS-177 & ISS 

As reported by the BA, the Space Shuttle (STS-117) and the International Space Station (ISS) are flying tandem, and should be visible from Westford tonight 9:17 through 9:24 pm (details at heavens-above, btw., Distan=distance in km).  Unfortunately, the cloud cover is predicted overcast here.  But if it is clear where you are, look up! You won’t even need binoculars.


Just to prove them wrong = Shameless Self Promotion

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

You may have noticed the column of web widgets in the sidebar on your right.  Eaton Web – The Blog Directory is one of them.  When I signed up I thought it was another blog stats counter like so many others.  But they actually have a human look at your blog and write a review (or they have a great AI program that even mispells).  They said some nice things, so I thought I’d bring it up.

Shameless Self Promotion

Don Herbert = Mr. Wizard

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Let me be the ~20,000th blog (here, here, here, here, slashdot) to moan the death of the great Don Herbert (NY Times obituary) just shy of his 90th birthday.  We celebrated his 89th here in this blog.  Thank you Mr. Wizard (official website).

Mr. Wizard

Magnetic + Resonance = WiTricity

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Tesla - WiTricity 

An MIT research team reported last Thursday in Science Express (pdf available to Science subscribers) a novel method for transmitting power through the air.  They are calling it WiTricity (pronouned “why” not “we” – why?), and there is a web site ( to follow events. It reports the spectacular rise from zero to over a million google results in the last 5 days.

Google Results for

Sending power through the air is certainly not new.  It goes back at least to Nikola Tesla’s coils, which you can buy from Resonance Research if you are a science museum.  But they aren’t safe!  At high frequency high voltage your body’s nerves will not register a painful ZAP from the sparks – but damage to cells can occur.  Indeed, Tesla coils have been the basis for death rays. WiTronics uses magnetic fields to transmit power.  This has been studied extensively, since it is used in the medical procedure MRI, and is much safer.

Safety aside, the other innovation is using resonance to efficiently transmit the power.  Without resonance the power would either dissipate in all directions, or need to be focused in a direct line of sight to the target device.  Resonance allows the target device to selectively pluck power from the air, while intervening objects would not be affected.  A prototype can transmit 60 watts across 2 meters with people in the airspace between the devices (see picture)…miniaturization TBD.