Alaskan Farms

As I was shopping for a new house, I saw some amazing photos of ‘open-air’ homes. Homes that have giant doors the size of walls that can be opened up and create an amazing open space feeling. I thought about cooling a space that size, and wondering if the right airflow design could keep an ‘open-air’ home cool, even on the hottest days. Being the geek that I am, I suddenly flashed over to server farms, and thought – ‘What if you had an ‘open-air’ server farm in …

Firearm barcodes

I just noticed that Smith & Wesson is doing 2D Data Matrix barcodes on some of their pistols. As a geek, I find this interesting for a few reasons. First, basic inventory tracking at the factory and second, to help reduce the ability to fake modify gun serial numbers. As with most gun issues, this will have zero impact on criminals. If they want to change a serial number, they’ll spend the time and money to do it – or, they just don’t care and they’ll use a …

Mobile card readers… for the laptop

Mobile phone card readers have become more popular in recent years because they’re small and easy to use for swiping a payment cards while away from a retail location. There are at least half-a-dozen readers out there that you can get for free from the various payment processors. That’s because the readers are extremely inexpensive to produce – and that’s because they are very simple devices. They read the non-encrypted data on the magnetic stripe of your card. The other day I was sitting with a friend who …

How to stop Smartphone theft…

A recent article on CNET titled “Android, Windows Phone to add kill switch to thwart theft” missed the point on how to actually stop Smartphone theft. The article talks about Google, Microsoft and Apple adding a ‘kill switch’ to phones to "…remove all data and information in the event their devices were stolen." That’s great, but it doesn’t actually stop theft. As an Android user, the ability to remotely find, lock and wipe my phone gives me great confidence that my data is safe(r) than if there were …

Amazon Locker… fail

A few years ago Amazon came up with a fantastic idea of putting banks of locker (like those you use to see at airports, train and bus stations) at convenient locations in bigger cities. My preferred Amazon Locker is located inside of an Albertson’s grocery store. This is good for me and Albertson’s, as I always buy a few more items from the store when I’m picking up an Amazon order. The magic of the Amazon Locker comes in your email in the form of an access code …

Microsoft Stores – Have some stock!

If you’re Home Depot or Best Buy, I can understand running out of stock on items. It happens. Businesses can only carry so much debt when ordering products from suppliers. It’s understandable that Best Buy might only have 50 iPad 2’s in stock at a given store. Home Depot could run out of 3/4 in. HD Maple Plywood, as they only order it once every 6 months and don’t sell much of it. Let’s look at the Apple Store. Sure, Apple only makes and sells about 50 products, …