Author Archive for rheaver

What is Twitter?


Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows for its users to update “What are you doing” in 140 characters or less. Then friends, family, or co-workers can see their answer and stay updated with their daily activities. It is slightly similar to some of the other “networking” sites available but rather it sticks primarily with the texting attribute of simply updating “what are you doing”. Twitters can be received through SMS texts, RSS feeds, email, or applications such as Tweetie, TwitterFon, Twitterific, Feedalizr, and Facebook.


Twitter hasn’t had a long life but has rapidly grown since its birth. Founded in 2006 it has currently issued over 3 million free accounts and had over 5 million hits in this year alone. In 2007 it won the South by Southwest Web Award in the blog category, which gained it much notoriety.


It has been called the “social justice tool” that connects groups of people in critical situations. In April 2008 a graduate student of UC Berkeley was arrested in Egypt, he was able to alert his “Twitter followers” that he was arrested and then kept them apprised of what was going on during his incarceration while they contacted Berkeley and got him some legal help. Emergency service units utilize the ability to type a location or message and send it to their co-workers with the push of a button.


Twitter is definitely growing but isn’t currently making any revenue with advertisement or any type of charge for their service. I think we will continue to see this service grow but change into a paid service when we love it too much to give it up.

Marvin – The Autonomous Isuzu SUV

"Marvin" The Autonomous Isuzu SUV
This Self Driving Isuzu SUV named “Marvin” is the product of a program started by Austin Robot Technology (ART) members at the University of Texas at Austin. Recently it passed all examinations and driving tests making it a top contender in the semifinals of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s (DARPA) 2007 Urban Challenge race. This is only one of the many designs of automated vehicles in research and development at various Universities and Colleges.

They were able to pass a driving test allowing the vehicle to use only its preprogrammed intelligence and onboard computers. It completed three-point turns, detection and avoidance of obstacles, and stopping at stop signs then pausing for the other vehicle to pass before proceeding through the intersection. The completion of this driving test with flying colors meant great prestige for the ART team. And although they didn’t wind the DARPA they made it to the top.

Today automated vehicles are becoming more in demand as we see more fatal accidents from irresponsible, intoxicated, or distracted motorist. “Marvin” is definitely using some of the automation technology that we will see in the cars of the future. An array of sensors, video cameras, artificial intelligence, and machine learning technology (to hopefully avoid catastrophes as it drives around) make “Marvin” fully autonomous.

Specs describing exactly how “Marvin” executes such accurate precision in driving capabilities are not being shared with the general public just yet. Still in the development stage makes the technology very valuable and secret. But I wouldn’t be surprised to hear more about this technology getting ready for distribution, it could become extremely useful.

ICON A5 Amphibious Light Sport Aircraft – “The Sports Plane of the Future”


The company ICON was founded in 2005 right after the FAA’s dramatic regulation changes in 2004. Kirk Hawkins the founder of ICON wanted to create personal sport aircrafts that were small enough to tow behind a pickup, store in a common garage, and not cost a fortune. Their A5 design fit’s that bill perfectly.

The A5 is the easiest, low-cost, easy-to-store aircraft in production today. It is completely sea-worthy and being only a two-seater it is lighter than a compact car. It has retractable landing gear that can be completely removed to create a pure seaplane. The Seawing platforms make for easy access and easy docking. It is completely amphibious, allowing the owner to access a perfect runway in nearly any large body of water. The folding wings make transporting this adult toy as easy as towing a wave runner. And with a 100 HP engine it can be refueled at any marina with common unleaded gas.

This puppy is also fully loaded with GPS, MP3 in-flight music port, and a glass LCD multifunction display. It has a high-visibility wrap-around canopy window that not only gives the A5 a sleek look but also allows for some awesome sight seeing. The canopy window does have removable side panels that enable you to feel the wind in your face, but if you would rather not, it does come complete with an AC and a heater.

The price tag is $139,000 and is expected to be delivered in late 2010. The A5 took its first flight in July of 2008 and did great, the production is completely on track. Deposits are being taken and orders are being placed, ICON states they may have to broaden their production figures in the early years to keep up with all the orders currently being placed. For more information see

Web Connected Home Security System – “Monitor your Home from the Internet”


Home security has become an increasing necessity as the world becomes a more dangerous place. Today we have more and more security companies and security devices available. The type of devices that stand out against all the rest are the ones that are web connected, allowing the owners to view their property via the internet or communicate with pets or visitors from anywhere.
Web connected monitoring devices allow the owners to view their property via a safe secure internet site. They can control the activation of their system from this site and request the dispatch of necessary services. Also they can have their system send them messages via their pager or email such as certain alerts and activation confirmations. There is also an added feature of web-intercom technology which allows communication from the owner to the web-connected monitor.

The availability of web-intercom technology with web-connected home security can create a system perfect for anyone who may leave beloved pets at home or expecting visitors. Keep an eye on what your pets are doing, and communicate with them through web-intercom technology, it is the perfect way to still chastise them for getting on the furniture or barking while your gone. Also communicate with visitors who maybe ringing your doorbell or standing outside your gate that do not require your appearance and make it seem that you are home.

This technology is full of possibilities, the customizations available to the owner creates unlimited capabilities. There are several different products that are available based on the monitoring company you use research different companies to create the perfect system for yourself.

Deals on internet security systems at

New Airport Security – “Behavioral Screening”

Security Lines at the Airport

With the heightened security at airports the amount of time it takes to go through security has also become heightened. Long lines, tedious searches, and unrealistic specifications to what one can carry aboard the airlines maybe a thing of the past.
The technology being investigated right now would create a security system that would alert someone if the passengers behavior emit emotional strain. It could take as quick as 10-20 seconds, by introducing a subliminal stimuli such as an image of Osama Bin Laden or the Arabic words “Islamic jihad”, then monitoring heart rate, body temperature, and respiration can produce the perfect terrorist screening process. Created with a combination of infra-red technology, remote sensors, and imagers this maybe the answer to airport efficiency and put an end to airline terrorist.
Profiling is difficult and can be deceiving, racial, sexual, and religious profiling are all so combined these days that is almost impossible to pick out the “bad guys”. This new type of detection brings a whole new light to profiling. This technology has the ability to be completely undetected by passengers, they step onto a “smart carpet” or sit in a “smart seat” filled with hidden biometric sensors and gaze into a “check-in screen” and are profiled. Security is immediately alerted and the possible threat is removed and completely investigated.

There are several companies trying to develop this technology and get it into use. WeCU has received grants from the Transportation Security Administration within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to produce a system that will pinpoint behavioral profiled threats. The Orwellian-sounding startup has developed a system that detects a passengers intentions by scanning each step. And many other ideas and companies are jumping on this new innovative technology. We can only hope that this is truly the answer to overcrowded airport lines and terrorist threats aboard our airlines in one fail swoop.