Technology

Category archives for Technology

Academic Poll: Appropriate Language

We did a lab yesterday that asked students to measure the speed of a ball leaving a spring-loaded launcher in a few different ways. this is a great way to talk about the difference between systematic and random errors and how those are dealt with. As a way of starting that discussion, I asked the…

The Internet Makes Everything Better

For one obvious example, I’m typing this on a plane– Southwest has started doing wi-fi on some flights, and it is totally worth $5 to be able to web-surf in flight.It would be even better if the flight wren’t packed, so I could type more comfortably, but I’m ok with just reading (once I post…

Lookit the shiny: That’s a new Droid X smartphone, and it’s mine. I got it yesterday after discovering the existence of a slightly cheaper “data only” plan that is so secret only about 10% of Verizon Wireless employees know it exists. As my previous phone was a freebie LG flip phone from about three years…

Replacement for Delicious?

As has been mentioned in countless places over the last few days, Yahoo plans to shut down Delicious, the social bookmark service that lots of people use for lots of things. My interest in it is pretty narrow, but important for this blog: I use Delicious to generate the quasi-automatic daily Links Dump postings here.…

Invasive Searches and Underage Drinking

Kevin Drum posted an anti-rant about the TSA, which argues that the new scanners and pat-downs aren’t an outrage because they really mean well: I’m not trying to defend everything TSA has put in place. Some of the stuff they do, like the penknife and nail clipper bans, really is stupid. And maybe backscatter scanners…

Crowd-Source Your Physics Questions

There’s a new physics Q&A site from the folks at Stack Exchange, this one on physics. If you’re not familiar with the format, it’s a bulletin-board style site where you can post questions to be answered by other users, and people vote the answers up and down, so you can get a decent feel for…

There have been a bunch of interesting things written about education recently that I’ve been too busy teaching to comment on. I was pulling them together this morning to do a sort of themed links dump, when the plot at the right, from Kevin Drum’s post about school testing jumped out at me. This shows…

Packaging Technology… of the Future!

I needed a band-aid this morning, and when I was getting it out, it occurred to me that there are some subtle details of packaging technology that pretty clearly mark this as the future, not the past. I’m not sure when the transition was, but if you’re around my age or older, you can probably…

Relativity, Quantum, and the Internet

When Kate and I were walking Emmy last night, we were talking about the historical development of relativity. As one does, when walking the dog. I mentioned a couple of the pre-1905 attempts to explain things like the Michelson-Morley experiment, and how people like Lorentz and FitzGerald and Poincare were on the right track, but…

Camera Lens Questions

I am planning to buy a telephoto lens for my camera. From time to time, I want to take pictures of the various critters Emmy chases in the back yard, and that would be a whole lot easier if I didn’t need to get so close to them. And, of course, I strongly suspect there…