PDA Smart Phone Stadium Size Display App

The Stadium Size Display App

Here is a great app to add to your various smartphones and PDAs. I'm sure we will find other uses for it but the initial idea for this application is to use to create a stadium size display. Each person in the stadium with this application installed on their phone / PDA will act as one pixel of this large display. They hold there display over their head or facing desired direction depending on the desired viewing (overhead camera for televised, across the stadium for live viewing, etc). Software is then used to change the display color of each phone individually. Can be used to do the wave, show images, and maybe even live video with frame level time sync accuracy.

Details of the application:
  • The client application is downloaded and installed onto the PDA / smart phone (iPhone, Android phone, etc).
  • The client application has a code or url data entered to specify the server to control the application.
  • The client app is then configured to use location information. Either GPS information which can be used if the person is part of a display on the field or in large open field or moving around, etc. For higher accuracy and static position a user id may be specific by the server with the person in an assigned position or coordinate may be entered, for example the seat they are sitting in.
  • The server can then in real time send commands to change the color of the screen on each PDA creating a large mosaic / display. Another option is to send a pre-created sequence to each phone and have all the phones start based on a timer / clock at the same syncronized time.
  • The server software converts the image / image sequence / video to map pixels to phones and distribute the image / pixel assigned data to each device.
Idea was inspired by great food and company on night out with Carl, Sarkis, SOs, friends, and people using their phones as flash lights to read the menus. Good food is usually a critical part to stimulating invention.


Ways to Use Your Screen Real Estate

Ways to Use Your Screen Real Estate

Using the following tools has worked well for me to add functionality and solve problems. Some funky configurations were required to get them working the way I and you might like for them to work.

High resolution monitor that you can't drive using your laptop.
MaxiVista - allows a desktop to drive the high resolution monitor and the laptop to control it and place content on that monitor.
KVM and Multi Monitor software

Can also use RealVNC to control the remote computer. Provides the KVM control feature but does not allow for displaying laptop windows on the high resolution monitor.

Want to have your screen saver turn off your monitor without having to go into power saver configuration.

Want to shut off your monitor and don't have a power button - for example on a laptop.
Uses Shift-F1 to power off the monitor. On the remote machine I set it to Ctrl-F1 so can shut that one off in Remote Control Mode, did not work when both use Shift-F1 as the key is intercepted by this program before MaxiVista can pass it on.

Or just run whatever commands you want as a screen saver

Extra multi-monitor features and task bar support for multiple monitors.

Virtual Desktops
I tried many and this one was my favorite for usability and not loosing windows and minimum strange side effects (also tried - Reflection Virtual Desktop ,Vista/XP Virtual Desktop, and others)
The Reflection Vitrual Desktop was great but does not work with more then one physical or virutal monitor since instead of virtual monitors it really creates a virtual sized large monitor.
Check out the modules (KvasdoPager - but only shows primary display) and extra icons sets (I like 3x2)

MaxiVista Version 3.0.28 - Extra configuration information
In the era of green most people have the monitors power off, not display pretty pictures from webshots.

MaxiVista has a few features useful in the Misc. section. One selecting "Disconnect secondary PC when" and select "Current session is locked" instead of the "Always keep MaxiVista activated" option. This will result in the features in MaxiVista that are preventing the Secondary PC from powering off the monitor to do so.

In the "Power related settings" where you would expect the feature that allows powering off the secondary PC monitors there are some features that might help as a word around.
MaxiVista behaves differently in "Extended Screen Mode" and "Remote Control Mode" for these features and expectedly so. Quick explanation, when in "Remote Control Mode" the keyboard and mouse events are being sent to the secondary PC. In these cases the secondary PC will power off the monitor when no events occur for given period, events on the primary PC are not seen by the secondary so it will do its own thing. In this mode the "Prevent hibernation/standby on secondary PC" will keep that machine from going to sleep by turning off that setting on the secondary PC until disconnection occurs. In "Extended Screen Mode", the same is true and it is important to understand that no keyboard or mouse events are going to the secondary PC and just the full size window showing the display coming from the primary PC is visible. To prevent the monitor power off or the screen saver from coming on in this mode

I also find that MaxiVista does not always find the clients when they come back from Stand By mode, so just restart MaxiVista on your primary PC.


Food Lover's Substitution Guide to ... but I can't Eat that

New Cookbook.
Food Lover's Substitution Guide to ... but I can't Eat that

A great cookbook idea.
The cookbook has a few sections.
One lists all the ingredients that people have allergies to (or won't eat, veg, vegan, etc) and gives possible substitution ingredients.

The rest of the book gives recipes of old favorites and new ones with various ingredient substitutions.

Chicken Parmesan might become eggplant or veal. The beef broth in French Onion soup might be replaced with vegetable broth and the bread replaced with gluten free matzo. The ice cream with coconut milk or goats milk instead of cows milk.

Chickens: Stop the Rooster Crowing and Still Get Eggs

Urban Chicken Farming dilemma .
2 issues: rooster crowing, chickens not laying

We have a rooster which keeps the other chickens quite and happy. The problem is the rooster likes to wake up the neighbors at day break. Solution was found. Make sure the chicken coupe does not let in the morning daylight that causes the rooster to crow. This was achieved in our case by using some old flannel bed sheets attached to the coupe so light would not get in through the various cracks. This solution allows for airflow while blocking the daylight from entering and has the added bonus of dampening the sound if the chickens or rooster make noise at night.

The rooster problem has been solved and the neighbors are okay with the rooster crowing at 8AM when the chickens and rooster are let out of the coupe. The next problem resulting from the first, the chickens are not producing eggs. It might be that they are simply late bloomers or after various research the answer I liked best was --- most chicken breeds need a minimum of 15 hours of daylight to produced eggs. Lack of daylight, not temperature is the reason chickens don't lay in winter. It could be argued that this requirement is rather suspect unless egg laying chickens and therefore chickens cannot exist near the equator where light stays at 12 hours a day. Maybe they need those special winter laying breeds. Anyway, returning from tangent land. I have inserted a full spectrum 75w bulb in the coupe and will turn it on at sunset and leave it on until midnight. Could leave it all night but why waste energy.

The theory is the rooster will still not crow leaving that problem solved and having 16 hours of light should allow all the chickens to lay eggs. Two week later ... have 12 eggs from 14 chickens. The rooster does crow when the light comes on but the sound muffled by being inside has satisfied all but the lightest of sleepers.


Plant Auto Watering System using Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier

You might have an window air conditioner or dehumidifier. Both result in the condensation of moisture from the environment into water that is collected. That water can be seen leaking down the side of buildings under these units.

Might as well make use of this natural resource. Have the excess run off go into a planter. This creates an automatic plant watering system. Easy to setup, no water lines need to be run to your plant, hang the planter below and near the unit and redirect the water to the plant.

The extra heat generated by the exhaust and reflective heat from the unit might help some plants, tomatoes for example, grow even better.


Focus and Lighting feature for Video Cameras

Have you ever videoed an indoor performance. You probably notice that the focus is unstable in poor lighting and the lighting is over exposed on the area of interest, the subject in the spotlight. These issues are easily managed by the professional and person willing to understand the camera. It requires their attention as they manually focus and control the exposure manually as well.

Now a solution for the general public that wants a simpler solution and requiring less concentration. Many camera are coming with a touch screen. Let the user utilize the touch screen to select the spot or region to be used for selecting focus. Same technique would be used to select area to use for deciding exposure.


Turn your iPhone and other PDA into a video phone

Many of you have purchased your iPhone and other PDA devices to find that the camera is facing away from you when you are looking at the screen. This is not a poor design but instead a conspiracy by the service providers to reduce bandwidth usage. I had an old PDA that had a camera that could be rotated to face front or back and models in other countries have current PDA devices with either 2 cameras or a rotating camera.

We can wait a few years until the new models eventually have cameras facing you to allow for video chat or we can solve that problem today. This is the solution we want to help all the legacy devices and not cause current owners who are not gear heads to have to run out and buy the new model.

This is a simple device that can be manufactured to fit current phones. It can sell for $9.99 on an infomertial or a little more in stores. It is a double mirror that attaches to your phone. The first mirror reflects your image from the front of your phone, where you are looking at the display of the person you are chating with, parallel with the back of the phone to a second mirror that reflects the image into the camera lense on the back of your phone. The double mirror also has the advantage of flipping the image twice so the image is not flipped.

Urban Chickens - method of reclamation and reuse

Urban chickens are all the fade. Some have been doing it for years but critical mass is being reached and people trying it out are on the rise.

After several attempts I have found a systems that works great. In the coup put straw. Using wood shavings and other things gets too wet and messy while the straw does a good job a breathing. In the closed in chicken run put sand. Areas where they are free roaming don't matter as you won't be cleaning up those areas.

Now for the magic.
The straw from the coup
Assuming you have a compost pile where you want to cultivate the Nitrogen from the chickens. Putting the straw in the compost will take a long time to break down and you will go through too much straw so -- put the straw in a wheel barrel and then fill it with water. Mix it around a bit and the bird fesses/dropping/poop will dissolve and sync to the bottom. The straw floats which I then skim off the top with a garden rake and spread out on the lawn for drying and putting back into the chicken coup. Lastly pour the liquid aka tea onto your compost pile. It will then give the compost the water it needs and all that Nitrogen will begin to break down. Don't apply the tea directly to the garden as the Nitrogen content is too high / hot and will burn plants. Also, to kill off any diseases best to compost the droppings before use.

The sand from the chicken run
With a rack or shovel put the top layer of sand that contains the bird droppings, feathers, and other stuff that has built up into the wheel barrel. Fill with water and then pour the water onto the compost pile leaving behind the sand to reuse back in the chicken run. Feathers will have floated and gone into your compost.

Note: don't do the sand and straw at the same time, too much work. This is a good reason to keep straw out of the run and just in the coup.

Here are some quick tips to help you make it work:
  1. Go to The ICYouSee Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart at Ithaca College and pick the breed that meets your environment and with the temperament you desire. I like the human friendly and less noisy breeds, winter layers, fun colored eggs.
  2. Another is Back Yard Chickens, this site will give you ideas on coup building, space, etc.


Break Lights when Engine Breaking

Break Lights when Engine Breaking
Ever find yourself slowing down by taking your foot off the gas or down shifting to let the engine slow you down. You then notice in the rear view mirror the cars behind you quickly catching up. You then apply the break to signal the cars behind you that you are slowing down.
Engine breaking is becoming even more common with the hybrids that use the engine to slow down the car and store the energy into the battery.

I'm suggesting that for hybrids and no-hybrids either use the existing break lights or add an additional light that goes on to signal some threshold of deceleration that occurs even though the breaks have not been applied. Also useful when slowing down on step up hill by taking the foot off the accelerator.


Energy Management for the home user

Uses of technology to improve use of energy and reduce cost per user / household.

Various companies are currently working on ideas for improving the grid (see Google green energy article). Other companies like Tendril, are working with the energy companies to distributed smart devices for the home. The following inventions include 3 ideas on improving energy usage in the home - 1. off peak battery loading 2. GPS tracking residents 3. Calendar tracking residents

1. Off peak power usage and storage
System figures out your needs and based on requirements and off peak hours will charge your electric car and home storage batteries during off peak hours. Based on usage and times when power is cheaper make usage of electric. Enables power companies to smooth out the usage curve and reduce the need for power production to meet the needs of peak usage times.

2. GPS for tracking residents and power needs
Using peoples phones with built in GPS feature can track where they are and when they will be back home. This information enables the house / system to heat / cool the house in time for the persons return. Can tell when they have gone away for the weekend and won't be back for days or hours enabling reduction in house climate usage and can hold off on charging the electric car until the peek time. If couple likes the house at different temperatures, for example one likes it at 70 and the other at 60 F. Based on GPS can decide who is home and when the other person will be home and adjust between 60-70 based on occupants.

3. Calendar for tracking residents and power needs
Same as 2 above but this time adds the use of checking the persons calendar to see their schedule and modify usage based on what they are doing and when they will be back. If it shows yoga class then maybe they will want it warmer upon their return but if they went for a bike ride cool the house off a bit.

The three ideas above can be used along with existing AI technology that tracks and learns who is where within the house at what times of day and heats rooms in the house based on usage of the rooms. This includes who is in the room. Learns what temperature people like based on time of day, external temperature, time of year, day of the week, clothing the person is wearing. For example a heat sensing camera can be used to adjust climate controls, noticing when someone is hotter or colder then they like to be based on their feedback.


Restaurant Concept

A restaurant idea - works best with sandwich type shop but can do it with anything.

Restaurant Name: One Bite Short (captain goes down with the ship)

Every dish is served with one bite missing. The idea is the food is safe since the captain (aka chef) tastes one bite of each dish. The captain shows the food is not poisoned and you won't get sick or die (think of the old food court taster).

I'm for the cute fun of it. Use tools in the back to make it look like a fork or other implement took a piece out of the dish. For sandwiches, big score, something that makes it look like a person took a bite out of it - teeth mouth shaped piece missing.

Rebecca thinks the taster should do it in front of the customer. Making it a good hang out for the mafia and the like. I think the customers won't go for that and same with the restaurant licensing board.

Invention occurred over lunch with input from - Ann, CC, Rebecca, Lera


Facebook - searchable email and communication archive

You have your Facebook account and for many it is creating a great community and way to stay in touch with old and new and never met friends. I use friends loosely. Anyway, many people are switching from email to Facebook for communication and posting and sharing photos / videos and chatting.

For years I have kept some of my old emails and attachments of various medias (essays, notes, audio, video, images). These are an archive of letters and communication with friends. In years before email and computers this information would have been photo albums, home movies, letters, and newspaper clippings.

It is nice to look back years later and have these memories. I was just looking over my 1988 emails between college friends.

Solution - an application aka app for facebook that lets you select what information you want to archive and a local copy can be kept of the information you request be archived. Many things on facebook and other such sites flow from the top of the page to the bottom and is either deleted or simply cannot be located in the large information overflow. There also needs to be an interface to make the information easily searchable - google desktop should do the trick for now.

I believe we need such an system for all of our data since it has the words "our data" and over several decades, there is a good chance information stored on external providers could disappear or go missing. This may happen from companies going out of business or your computer savey 2 year old accidently selecting delete account.

DVD or HD TV use for extra Audio channels

DVD and HD both have multiple audio and text / subtitle channels.
Think of all the fun ways you can use these features.
Can do a mystery science theatre 3000 / MST3K voice over or subtitles during a movie.

Can get Jesse Manno, Farrell Lowe, and Beth Quist to create a musical score aka music over.
Just this Sunday we watched the Super Bowl but instead of hearing the game we had various music creating the sound track.

How about those news channels that insist on speaking during speeches. Can then decide if you want just the commentators or the original sound or a mix and the same goes for the subtitles / text.

Lets make fun use of these extra audio and text channels.

wii fit porn - humor post or ...

The wii fit porn ... okay a humor post which may actual come to fruition.
Think of bachelor parties.
Pelvic thrust and gyration - like belly dancing or hula hoop but not exactly.

new uses for the wii fit board to improve your game through more realistic training

So you have a wii fit board and new software is being released regularly for its use.
Great us for the wii fit is to go back and release many of the sporting games utilizing the board and help as a training tool for the actual sport.
  • Golf - currently users often sit on the couch and flick their wrist to control the golf club. All the input is coming from this one device - fun yes - but does it improve your game. Adding the wii fit board to the golf game allows for feedback about body positioning and shifting of weight through the entire swing of the club.
  • Baseball - like golf the player could swing the bat sitting down. Standing on the wii fit board gives feedback and allows for more realistic swinging of the bat.
  • Tennis - can help with the swing but not as good of an application as tennis is a moving sport.
Sports and activities that involve moving in sagittal and horizontal won't work as well but still have options