Quake maps intrigue
Dave Thompson writes about the tech news that has caught his eye this week.
Users of Google maps will know already that Google updated Christchurch’s satellite image data. These new images are a few months old, so they show many of the after-effects of the earthquakes, with most suburbs showing numerous empty and overgrown sections and the more seriously quake-damaged roads clearly visible.
No doubt the landscape has changed even more since these images were taken, but it is a sobering snapshot of a city hurting and, while not many of us need to be reminded of the events, it is somehow, albeit morbidly, intriguing to look at a damaged city from above.
A clip of the eagerly awaited bio-flick jOBS (I don’t need to tell you it is about Apple founder Steve Jobs, do I?) has hit the web and it is interesting that they chose a scene where the man himself is trying to convince a sceptical Steve Wozniak that what they (Wozniak and Jobs) are working on will revolutionise life as we know it.
While the scene gives Ashton Kutcher a chance to show he can pull off pseudo-passion, apparently, it is all rubbish.
Pundits claim Jobs was known to be the sceptic and Wozniak the one enthusiastic about the stuff they were working on. I know it’s the movies, but it annoys me when Hollywood rewrites history.
It is also interesting to note that Wozniak was given the opportunity to work on the movie, but turned it down, saying after reading the script: ‘‘I thought it was crap’’.
He also checked out the aforementioned clip online and has criticised Kutcher’s portrayal of Jobs in general and the incident portrayed, telling online site Gizmodo: ‘‘Not close . . . we never had such interaction and roles . . .’’ and, referring to himself, as played by Josh Gad in the movie: ‘‘Personalities are very wrong, although mine is closer’’. I think I’ll wait for the video. It’s all harmless fun until someone gets hurt. Web activism is a relatively recent type of protest, the internet providing a new and potentially dangerous frontier where anyone with a Facbook page or an internet connection can carry out individual or mass campaigns of civil disobedience.
At the core of many of these protests is the freedom of information. Lately, we have seen the likes of the Wikileaks saga, as well as hacking group Anonymous cyber-attacking any organisation it doesn’t like the look of, or carrying out Denial of Service attacks against other online targets in support of someone else’s grievances.
However, a few members of that group have also been sent to jail for long stretches after being caught doing whatever it is they were doing, because the powersthat-be are flexing their muscles and demanding harsher penalties for what many see as legitimate protest, but others view as vandalism.
A few weeks ago, well-known internet activist Aaron Swartz killed himself as the full weight of the United States legal system was brought to bear on him.
His crime was to tap into a university mainframe and download millions of pay-toaccess documents with the intention of making them free to anyone who wanted them.
Ironically, the institution he attacked ended up releasing many of these same documents only days after Swartz’s death in apparent agreement with the late activist’s ideals.
Even though the prosecuting attorney shed a few tears on camera over the tragedy of the situation, she still defended the department’s actions in bringing the charges that could have resulted in Swartz going to jail.
On a lighter note, Dick Smith is in strife across the ditch with his latest advertising campaign.
The ad, which can be found on the web, was deemed too bawdy for Aussie TV because of the many ‘‘dick’’ jokes, some of which are very funny to those of us who haven’t had our sense of humour destroyed by the PC brigade. The first thing that you’ll notice about HP’s Officejet 150 mobile all-in-one printer is its size: Compared with a regular printer its much smaller, both in height and width, especially when the lid is folded down.
That’s a good thing if you want portability – and this is what HP is aiming the Officejet 150 at: The road warrior who wants a more compact printer that can be moved about locations easily – and not take up too much room in the suitcase.
But just because it’s smaller than a standard printer, though, doesn’t mean it’s lacking features: You can scan, copy and print with the Officejet 150, plus it has a popup touch screen. You can connect the printer using a standard USB cable or via Bluetooth, if you want to connect a laptop or tablet. The settings page on the touch screen will also tell you how much ink is remaining in the two ink tanks.
Print quality is good, with both text and images, although I thought printing was a little slow. HP says that the Officejet 150 can manage 22 pages per minute when printing black and white and 18 pages per minute when printing colour. I didn’t print that many pages at once but print quality in colour is good, too, even on plain
Stretching the truth? Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has criticised actor Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of Steve Jobs in the biopic jOBS.
Google Maps update: Google has new satellite image data of Christchurch post-earthquake.