Wednesday 28 January 2009

Face Ache

I think this bit of software is so fantastic - ok I haven't had time to try it out exhaustively but first impressions - very good.
"KeyLemon provides a new experience to access your computer.
Instead of typing your password, you just need to smile to the webcam and KeyLemon will recognize you.
It is fast, simple and convenient. So, start now and create your own and unique face model!"

I don't know quite how good/secure this software is but I installed it and 'enrolled' my face it seemed quite happy unlocking and locking my PC (though it is only a screen saver at the moment). This is an alpha version but it was able to recognise easily where on the video picture my face was, not that difficult a feat you might imagine by image recognition for computers has been a hard nut to crack.
Having unlocked the screen several times without incident I thought I need to try a different face - the easiest one to get hold of was my wife, I asked her to sit down in front of the camera and the screen didn't unlock - fantastic, not only can the software recognise my face it can differentiate between mine and my wifes (ok so not hard I'm bald she has long blonde hair). Try it out see what you think.

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Monday 26 January 2009

What a to do?

What do you do with recycled stuff?
It often seems that the stuff that we recycle actually gets downcycled into something less useful - for instance recycled plastic. It can be quite hard to get the purity that the manufacturer want from the material so we end up with things like Recycled plastic lumber.

From wikipedia "When different types of plastics are melted together they tend to phase-separate, like oil and water, and set in these layers. The phase boundaries cause structural weakness in the resulting material, meaning that polymer blends are only useful in limited applications.
Another barrier to recycling is the widespread use of dyes, fillers, and other additives in plastics. The polymer is generally too viscous to economically remove fillers, and would be damaged by many of the processes that could cheaply remove the added dyes. Additives are less widely used in beverage containers and plastic bags, allowing them to be recycled more frequently."

Other products are ones like coat hangers made from recycled paper.
I know that it is better (probably) to recycle stuff but surely it is better to try to avoid downcycling where at all possibleLink
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Thursday 22 January 2009

Standby shutdown - Energenie

This product looks to be a great idea. The Energenie
It is a standby 'buster', the Energenie Standby Shutdown is clever enough to recognise when you have put an appliance on standby - it'll then automatically switch off the mains power.

To switch on again, press the green button on the Energenie. Great for TVs, Sky Boxes etc, and you can use it with more than one appliance as long as the max load of 13A is not exceeded.

How to use the automatic Standby Shutdown

Step 1: Simply plug your appliance into Standby Shutdown socket, then plug Standby Shutdown into a wall socket.

Plug the appliance into the Standby Shutdown socketPlug Standby Shutdown into the mains

Step 2: Switch on the appliance and use it in the usual way; the automatic Standby Shutdown will have set itself up after two minutes of use.

Step 3: When you have finished, switch the appliance to standby as normal. The automatic Standby Shutdown then automatically cuts off the power after a short period.

Plug Standby Shutdown into the mainsPress the reset button

Step 4: To switch your appliance back on, simply press the reset button on the device.

You can use Energenie Standby Shutdown with multiple plug sockets, but note that all connected appliances will be turned off when Standby Shutdown automatically activates.

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