I Read Stuff!!

Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mosquito Pew Pew 2

Advancements have been made! If you would recall, last year I mentioned a program for mosquito control that involved lasers. The driving force is to reduce malaria, but I see a lucrative home market dyeing for this tech.

Well, this article reveals that a working prototype exists made from second hand ebay electronics. Here's how it works. Infrared LEDs, like the one in your remote, are installed in fence posts around the protected area. They beam light in a line from one post to another creating a barrier of light.

A camera on each fence post detects shadows cast by insects breaking the light plane and directs a small nonlethal laser beam to the insect. The nonlethal laser illuminates the insect and measures size and wing speed. Based off of that information it determines the type of insect.

The software is able to distinguish between male and female mosquitoes, bees, flies, etc. Once it has been determined to be a female mosquito, the only human biting mosquito, the firing arc is checked for obstruction. If nothing is in the way, a more powerful laser is activated to destroy the bug.

That sounds pretty cool, but personally I'd like to see some slow motion video of it in action.

I love the plumb of smoke as they go down like WWI fighter planes.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Houses As An Investment

I've owned a home for over 7 years now, and I've come to realize a hard truth. Your home, and mine, is not an investment. By investment I mean money that is put away with the purpose of earning profitable returns. (Thanks wiki!)

On the surface it appears that owning a home does net you a profit. You buy it for a certain price, and then years later you sell it for more. Unfortunately, that simplistic view leaves out two important factors.

1) Maintenance costs. How much money did you spend to put a new roof on your house? How much was that fence? The new water heater? Replacing the carpet? The blinds? How much of your 'profit' was bled away after years of home ownership?

Still think you're ahead? Look behind door number 2:

2) Inflation creates the illusion of wealth. A Yale economist laid out this graph of home prices over the last 100 years. He kindly removed the effects of inflation so we can more clearly see the value of our homes.

Outside of the latest housing boom and current bust, home prices have stayed just about the same. If you bought a home in the 60's, you can expect it to be worth just about exactly the same price.

Your home is inflation protection, and little else. Or course, you get to live in it, so there are some perks.

GameInterestRelease Date
Civilization IV1
C&C 31
Company of Heroes1
Half Life 21
Half Life 2: Episode One1
Supreme Commander1
Call of Duty 22
Dungeon Runners2
Dungeon Siege II2
Far Cry2
Galactic Civilization II2
Hitman: Blood Money2
Jade Empire2
Neverwinter Nights 22
Sam & Max: Episode 12
Titan Quest2
Dark Messiah Might and Magic3
Heroes of Might and Magic V3
Indigo Prophecy3
LEGO Star Wars3
Marvel Ultimate Alliance3
Space Rangers 2: The Rise of the Dominators3
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl3
Stubbs the Zombie3
War Front3
Warhammer: Mark of Chaos3
Pirates of the Burning SeaM6/1/2007
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars?6/5/2007
Two Worlds?6/26/07
Sins of A Solar Empire?8/1/2007
Mass Effect19/7/07
Age of ConanM10/30/07
Crysis1Fall 2007
Elveon?Fall 2007
Half-Life 2: Episode Two1Fall 2007
Portals1Fall 2007
Spore1Fall 2007
Stranglehold?Fall 2007
Tabula RasaMFall 2007
Team Fortress 22Fall 2007
Dragon Age?Winter 2007
Fable 2?Winter 2007
Field Ops?Winter 2007
Halo Wars?Winter 2007
Gods & Heroes: Rome RisingMWinter 2007
Haze?Winter 2007
Hellgate: London1Winter 2007
HuxleyMWinter 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men?Winter 2007
Left 4 Dead?Winter 2007
The AgencyMSpring 2008
Empire Earth III?Spring 2008
Guild Wars 2 MSpring 2008
Jericho?Spring 2008
Sacred 2?Spring 2008
Savage 2?Spring 2008
Time Shift2Spring 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault3Spring 2008
The Witcher?Spring 2008
Darkest of Days?2008
On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkeness: Episode 122008
Warhammer OnlineM2008
Alliance: The Silent War??
Alone in the Dark??
Assassin's Creed??
BioWare MMO??
The Crossing??
Dungeon Hero??
Fallout 3??
Lego Batman??
Space Seige??
Culdcept SagaPC??
Gears of WarPC??
God of WarPC??
Beautiful KatamariPC??
Resistance: Fall of ManPC??
Odin's SpherePC??
Castle CrashersPC??

1 - I will buy it
2 - I'll buy it at discount
3 - Other people think it's good, but I wasn't interested when I first heard about it
M - Mainly Multiplayer. See if friends get interested.
? - Find out more about this game
PC? - Will it be released on the PC?