Tuesday, December 27, 2005

GIMP on your Thumb




I love my thumb drive. Since I can't install any software on my GI (gov't issued) lappie, I use my USB drive to hold those open-source, really-effective applications that the AF would prefer to pay for by buying their commercial rivals.

One really helpful program is GIMP. GIMP is the Gnu Image Manipulation Program--think an open-source version of Photoshop. Good for editing your pictures without having to use MS Photo Editor.

More to come on this subject. I've got lots to add to this category.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

More Dazzling Goodness from ScorpWorks

ScorpWorks has been busy lately. Despite what some have said, the PHaSR really does exist. Seen it, held it, touched it. Makes a very eerie and very unsettling big green dot on your target...no piddly little red dot here, you know you're about to die!

Very cool stuff. And a buddy of mine works there, so I'm a tad biased.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One more nail in the "pilots as center of the Air Force" coffin!


I'm a maintainer...a knuckle-dragging, crass individual who'd rather be roasting or freezing among a bunch of crew chiefs than sitting behind a desk. Anyone familiar with the Air Force knows there's a certain ahem friendly animosity between us and "them" (read "Those with wings on their chest")

So you'll pardon me when I get a little chuckle out of this story from Aviation Week. Two USAF Test Pilot School students have successfully linked "bank-angle and roll-rate measurements and the relative positions" of two aircraft. Just the kind of thing you need for refueling ops.

This is a big step. Unmanned refueling would help close the current UAV coverage gap driven by the need to refuel.

NOTE: Aviation Week is a subscription-only pub. Read DefenseTech.org for the quick and dirty.

Alphabet Evolution Animation

Now this is cool. Ever want to know the origins of the letter G? Well, here ya go!

O'Reilly Books 30% Off

O'Reilly Books is giving 30% off on its entire library from now through December 31st. Get 'em while they're hot!

While you're following that link, check out the rest of GottaDeal.com. Pretty interesting site if you haven't seen it before.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Phototagging with Riya?

I was looking through some photos of my kids last night. We've been collecting them for the last three or four years. We keep every snap, every flub. With storage so cheap and getting cheaper, it makes sense to keep everything. The only problem is finding what you're looking for. Right now, we have the folders set up by date downloaded and it's hit or miss trying to find them. (Thank god my wife has a memory like a steel trap) We'd like to tag them, but at this point the pile is over 7500 photos and getting bigger.

Riya (which is in alpha, invite-only testing right now) purports to solve this problem using recognition software that will help take a lot of the labor out of tagging your photos. I hope it works (I haven't tried it myself--yet. Hey Munjal, how about it??). I'd even be willing to pay for this on a photo by photo basis.

Send an email to alpha@riya.com and ask for an invite. Better yet, send them an email and ask them to send an invite to me!