Frank Tropea's e-mail
took my attention to an interesting
article on NY Times
regarding Segway experience.
"The Segway Human Transporter
is a 2-wheeled, self-balancing, electric powered
personal transportation device designed to be used on sidewalks and
in other pedestrian environments. It's also an environmentally friendly
alternative to gas-guzzling cars and buses, intuitive and easy to use."
through a bunch of gyroscopes, tilt sensors, and microprocessors
which sense its state and (i assume) generate appropriate signals and
feed them back to the electric motors to keep it balanced. The way human
body keeps its balance through the inner ear, eyes, brain and the muscles.
Well, a little more complicated than just saying it! They say the balancing
act is the most amazing thing about the Segway.
The question is: "Will Segway replace the car to be the next human transporter?".
We sure will get our answer in the next few years, but what will make this
happen? First of all, customer confidence plays a vital role for the
success of Segay as well as many other new products in the market. Secondly,
cost, cost and cost. Is it more expensive to drive a car or a Segway?
It certainly will require a huge investment to make people believe the
device won't easily break and it's easy to fix in case it does. Customers
don't see the working device but the broken one will quickly draw
their attention, hence, there must be thousands of working devices
around them to make them believe in the product.
Segway consumes electric power instead of gas energy and it makes it
much more environment-friendly than a car (one reason Californians
are gonna be among the first ones to use it!!). But is it cheaper to use
electricity instead of gas? Electricity is a cleaner type of energy and it is
more expensive than the equivalent in gas form, I believe. But segway is
much lighter than a car (or even a bike), so it sure consumes less
Despite the fact there still are uncertainties about Segway's new technology,
it has been fairly popular. I was actually
thinking of buying one when I saw the ads on
amazon.com's first page to test drive it
and see how
sharp its turns are (I still think making sharp turns with such a device requires
a cutting-edge technology!).
Segway is the biggest step towards saving the environment, and the first
step of its kind in the transportation industry. Riding that must be a fantastic
experience like riding a scooter, but it's not a scooter. I call it a
"geek's scooter"! Thanks to Frank
for generously offering me a Segway ride but I'm not gonna make him ride across
the country all the way from NY to SF with his little Segway...
(Or am I...?) :-)
I have been always dreaming of a system that you can travel around with,
and talk to other people around you who are using the same system. Something
like an instant messanger, but wireless. In fact, the best way to describe
it was a combination of an instant messaging software and a mobile phone.
Now, the dream has come true:
Trepia is your instant Wi-Fi
community (found it through
Wi-Fi Networking News).
It's a revolutionary networking application that lets you instantly
meet other Wi-Fi users in your vicinity. Other people will simply appear
on your contact list, allowing you to communicate with them.
So, if you have a wi-fi card, simply
download the program and
start exploring your area! If you don't, you can start looking into
You may buy a card for $40 and the base station is sold less than $200.
Next dream: Online video chatting in the neighborhood! Happy Trepiaing!
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to publish these links yesterday because of the
Super bowl (we'll getcha next year!!, Go Raiders, Go Giants, Go Kings!). Here are
some links for your whole week! A link a day keeps the doctor away! :-) Enjoy!
Growth of a Nation
Imagination at Work:
Imagine, draw and send with this great flash application.
(Daypop top 40)
Kevin Mitinick, the most wanted computer criminal in the U.S. history is
back live on the
web again after 8 years. The first site he visited was his
Try to solve world's first crossword puzzle!
And ever heard the famous
in any movies?
Celebrities with visible thongs! A must see!
See my favorite stadiums
in the world's most complete database of stadiums!
Another great personal homepage!
Check out Mike the Headless Chicken
Join the sperms! (Flash)
Loved the egg tricks!
Oops, we missed the George Bush fun this week... But, here's a very cool one:
GB masking [flash]
a research at Harvard university!!
Washington post: "AOL and Hewlett Packard are teaming up to develop and market a new version of America Online's popular instant messaging service that will be tailored specifically for businesses around the world."
Under the terms of the agreement, HP will integrate AOL's services into its global messaging portfolio. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Palo Alto based HP will use AOL's instant messaging system and their 1.5 messages/day traffic and will give them their relationships with businesses and the technical ability to come up with the cutting edge technologies to secure instant messaging.
Yes, that's gonna be a huge market in the next few months and that's why all
three IM giants (Yahoo!, MSN and AOL) are shooting for that.
According to IDC, nearly 65 million workers already use IM products-and that number
is expected to surpass 255 million by 2005.
Yahoo! started the business by rolling out
its new enterprise editition of
Yahoo! messenger a few weeks ago. They claim IM fast, less intrusive and
saves money and they have added great support, security and archiving feature to
make it enterprise-class. Yahoo has already garnered support from BEA Systems, Novell,
Oracle, and Sun Microsystems. There is no price published on the web site but I heard
they charge 30 bucks per year for each client. Timing is advantageous for Yahoo!
since AOL and MSN don't have their products out yet.
I know a lot of start-up companies have their cash ready to buy instant messaging systems
to speed up their sales and development. Yahoo! seems to have a stronger start but
their rivals AOL and MSN haven't been idle at all. AOL, with the new
IM patent and
the very recent agreement with HP is the highest chance to capture the market in
my opinion (despite the fact I personally like Yahoo! to get more share of the market!).
There is no doubt the better business relationships are, the bigger IM market share
will be since the technology is simple, have been around for many years and it's
fairly robust now. Considering this fact, I wouldn't see any chance for small players
like Paltalk or Trillian (which doesn't have its own IM technology). MSN is greating up
to offer a company enterprise version of its MSN messenger later this year and IBM
is pushing its Sometime system to Lotus Notes users, but Yahoo! and AOL are certainly
ahead of them all.
Have you seen farsi version of my
blog?! This article is available there now!
Went to the anti-war rally in SF yesterday.
Nothing sucks more than going to work on a sunny Sunday afternoon!
Going home now for the big game now, go Raiders!
Still playing Gridlock! Level 33. Anybody?
Take this poll on TIME magazine:
Which country poses the greatest danger to world peace in 2003?
Learned During My Twelve Months At Victoria's Secret!! :-)
An average person's yearly fast food intake
will contain 12 pubic hairs! Take a look at
some disgusting truth of your life
World according to the USA
When was the
you got naked in front of someone? (Flash)
Icons Story (From Ehsan)
I don't want to see an elephant
Growing hair with
My farts and I!
Two pictures of Tehran. See the rest.
God bless Maurice Gibb
of the Bee Gees who died
last week at the age of 53...
It's my first chance to write about "Bowling for Columbine"
since I watched it a few week ago.
Michael Moore's new documentary film was a terrific masterpiece, no question about it. Although some scenes
might be exaggerated to show the reality, but it's an eye-opening and uplifting movie to open America's
mind despite the fact the doors are closed and locked here.
What makes this documentary special is the fact it's produced in America and watched and criticized by the
Americans. It's a smart mix of interviews, news footage, archived documents and the cartoon that make
you believe what it is trying to say. But what I liked about it was the selection of quotes and what
Moore said after filling out the application at the bank: "You think it's a little dangerous handing
out guns at a bank?". Yes, the bank was offering a free gun to encourage the people open a new checking account!
The greatest quote of the movie in my opinion,
"If guns make the countries safe, why is the America most unsafe country of the world?"
could play a very uplifting role to reduce the crime rate in the states. He criticizes the
country by putting a montage of America's interventionism when they helped Afghanistan by
giving them $245M to install Shah of Iran in 1953.
In another part of the movie Moore talks about the crime rate and why it has obscenely higher
crime rate than other countries (more than 11000 a year while next country has less than 1000
as stated in the movie) and the one to blame is certainly the media
according to the documentary. He says the main reason behind America's need to arm is fear
and it's caused by the killing reports we see everyday on TV or hear on the radio.
According to him, we get 600% more murder reports despite the 20% lower crime rate.
I loved the part
he said we don't even need a reason to be scared now and showed a footage of George Bush's
speech: "America should be on high alert today for some reason which cannot be disclosed now!".
And that explains why a country
like Canada doesn't have such a high murder rate although there are certainly
lots of guns and violent films available there. He shows how the Bush administration is taking advantage
of the nation's fear to fulfill its political goals and hide the corporate scandals.
"Bowling for Columbine" was a pretty good and eye opening documentary overall.
It is the first documentary film accepted into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 46 years
and the 23rd movie of IMDB's top 250 films
at the time I'm writing this (notice the high ranking despite the low number of votes).
A brief history of America
- a short cartoon showing the relation between fear, gun ownership and racism
Finally watched "My big fat greek wedding" today. Surprisingly, it's still showing at
Century Cinema 16 in Mountain view... Recommended for your weekend giggle! Gonna check
my soup and Khoresh Bademjoon now... Here are the links, enjoy and be good!
The FBI has a new way of tracking terrorists
through their clicks on the Internet. They annouced Bush (whose daughters
outdrank Gore's) is gonna use this
tank to fight the terrorism!
Fly the friendly flight (Flash animation)
When a great easy-looking game can take
hours of your time and finally drive you real crazy! (Don't get addicted!)
This is kinda a stupid reason
to be suspended from the school! :)
Cell phone etiquette:
10 dos and don'ts (Thanks, Hajir)
Map of the world is different in
Do you want to know how it feels to get pregnant? Buy an Empathy Belly!
Make your face with Ultimate Flash Face
Oh, I really need to learn Toilegami.
Kevin Starr: "As Chair of the California Quarter Committee, I am sending my thanks to Californians for their participation in the California Quarter Program. As we draw near to the much-anticipated selection of the California Quarter, it is my hope that the final design will visualize the concept of our diverse state. The generous participation of the public has made this historic program possible. From more than eight thousand submissions received between September 9, 2002 and November 9, 2002 the California Quarter Selection Committee has chosen twenty California-inspired ideas!"
Each state has its own
special quarter design
(I have collected 17 so far while 20 of them are already out). California quarter is number 31 in the list
and will be out in 2005.
Choose your favorite California quarter design concept from
the twenty semi-finalist choices available. My favorite is coin 2. (Thanks Debbie for the link)
Although I heard a lot of different news regarding AOL
during the past few weeks,
I didn't have any chance to write about their new activities and what they are
up to. It's a great opportunity to do so now.
First big shocking news was the instant messaging patent which will definitly
have a great effect on their revenue if they use it. What that means is, they
can start charging Yahoo! for its popular
messenger and Microsoft
for their MSN messenger if they want.
AOL has been through a lot of mergers and aquisitions during the past years but
they are very happy with buying Mirabilis (Remember good old ICQ?)
after they received the patent on the instant messaging technology. Mirabilis filed
a patent request in 1997 on instant messaging and AOL bought Mirabilis one year
later in 1998 for $287 million. The patent was pending for 5 years until a few months ago when it was
approved by the U.S. government in September.
I would say one of the worst decisions made by AOL were the $112 billion(!) merger
with Time Warner in 2000 and
launching AOLTV, the first interactive TV service. After that, the world's leading
Internet company became the world's largest media company as well under the name of
AOL Time Warner.
It's not still obvious if AOL wants to charge the rivals (Microsoft and Yahoo!) for
the instant messaging. Yahoo! Inc., which has grown to a market value of about $10.3 billion,
has one of the most popular Internet instant messaging systems which is used by a large
share of Internet users including myself every day. It's free, fast and benefits a lot
of great features such as stock price monitoring, weather, calendar, mail and news all
in one application. On the other hand, AOL has not been very happy with the recent mergers
since the company's stock is worth less than a quarter of its value at the time of the merger
with Time Warner.
They may also want to shut down the other rival, Microsoft, by starting
to collect royalties from them for their MSN messenger. Microsoft has been planning to
expand their instant messaging system by making huge contracts with cell phone carriers
such as Verizon Wireless according to a Microsoft employee. America Online said it's
testing a way for AOL Instant Messenger users to send messages to a cell phone even if
the recipient isn't an AOL registered user. Most cell phones can exchange messages with
each other but not through computer. Yahoo! has a great feature to send IM from its
Yahoo! messenger to AT&T wireless customers' cell phone which I as a Yahoo! messenger
and AT&T wirless customer use almost everyday. What that means is all three IM giants
are doing some research on bridging the SMS and IM gap.
AOL has been into a huge number of troubles such as the area code change in the fall of 2001
around Rochester, NY area which made them pay $100,000 to the customers who received huge
phone bills. However, they have never used their valuable patents such as
(Secure Socket Layers),
the key internet technology, which is owned by Netscape Communications, a part of AOL. Netscape
also has patented cookies (little files stored by the web browsers to identify and track
web visitors) which gives the power to its owner, AOL, to start charging Microsoft and other
web browser companies for using cookies technology in their web browsers!
And why doesn't AOL use its valuable patents? Simply to defend the rivals in case they
start charging for patents. It's usually more economical for the companies to retain
the patents and trade them if they are challenged on some other technologies. Anyways,
Instant messaging patent is definitly a great treasure for AOL which may affect their
not-too-good stock price in the near future.
Puff... I'm finally back, with a lot of cool links and a lot more
overdue tasks! This is my first 2003 posting.
Happy new year.
offers good quality, innovative and creative designs and custom fits for
Little Boys and Little Girls who need Baby, Toddler or Juvenile clothing
that is realistic and comfortable.
Terminator 3 is gonna be out June 2.
Have you ever tried to break your computer
like me? (Read carefully!)
Franko has one of the coolest personal web pages I have ever seen.
This happens when an idiot finally learns how to use
(My favorite is the letter to General Electric!)
Support Bush by buying one of these thongs, girls.
Ever wanted to get a tattoo?
Check out some mug shots of celebrities. Also,
top 10 celebrity excuses of 2002 from CNN.
Some useless facts and some
This friendly neighbor of mine has been successful in his
shower project in the bay area! [18+]
What is it that makes movie stars' homes different from yours?
It's that "Hollywood Air" they have about them. Well, no more!
Buy some hollywood air for 4.95. (I will do it for 3.95!).
Not weird enough to you? Then order some
half eaten NY pizza on e-bay!
Infinite picture frame. (Great animation)