New airport passenger x-ray screeners

An Associated Press article in today’s Post and Courier grabbed my interest today. It’s about a new airport passenger screening device that uses scattered x-rays to detect weapons and explosives.
AFAIK, many states prohibit the use of radiation on people unless it’s for medical purposes. I’m sure that someone will manage to get an exception for these types of machines given time. There are still ethical issues with exposing masses of people to radiation, no matter how low the dose. Most people are paranoid enough about radiation (mostly because of lack of knowledge). Now the TSA wants to unecessarily irradiating hundres of thousands of people with low, but not trivial radiation doses just to get on an airplane?
I smell much controversy coming up if the TSA gets their way with these units.

MicroBe Cards

Because my wife is a biology person (where I am decidely not), I occasionally end up getting introduced (willing or not) to various biology and chemistry related topics. So when the latest issue of New Trail (the University of Alberta alumni magazine) arrived, arrived I saw an article about something called Microbe Cards that I thought she might be interested in.

Continue reading “MicroBe Cards”

nifty blogging software

Ok, today I’ll plug the blogging app that I’m using here, MovableType.
One of our radiologists asked about possibilities for setting up some kind of online logbook that residents could use to log the procedures they perform. My first thought was that it sounded like something a blogging app could do. I searched the web looking at different blogging apps that met 2 criteria: source code available, and low cost (preferably free). This one had the most features for the best price that I could find. Installed it, got it running, played with it a little bit, then they decided to go with some other software.

Continue reading “nifty blogging software”

Computer upgrades

I’m stoked. Stuffed a new 160GB hard drive into my computer over the weekend. Best Buy had an amazing deal on them last week. Retail price $199. With $100 in mail in rebates, the price was $111 with tax. 70 cents a gig…can’t beat that.
So now I’ve got the 40 GB that came with the computer, 160 GB partitioned into 30/140 GB and an old 3 GB drive that I’ve now dedicated to virtual memory. Had to take out the 2nd CD drive, but it wasn’t getting used much anyway.

Continue reading “Computer upgrades”

Resurrected website concepts

Those of you who were surfing the web a few years ago might remember a website called SixDegrees, circa 1998-2000.
It was an interesting website based on the ‘6 degrees of Kevin Bacon’ idea. You created an account and linked yourself to friends, who were linked to other people and so on and so on. that way you and your friends formed a network with all the other thousands of people signed on as well. Pick any two people, and the website would compute how many ‘degrees’ away the two of you were. I always thought it was pretty cool. It shut down at the end of 2000, for reasons I’ve not been able to find out yet.
Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to a similar site, Friendster.com which is based on a similar concept. It’s not quite as full-featured or as easy to find people to link to as the old SixDegrees site was, but this one still seems interesting and worth checking out.

Continue reading “Resurrected website concepts”