Dr Mike J Smith

Plymouth University

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Mike Smith

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Windows 7 RC Hibernation
Just a brief update about my install of the Windows 7 RC. Everything has worked very well on may Sony Vaio TX3XP; the RC drivers did their job, although a couple of device specific hardware failed....

posted on: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

EThOS Update
I finally had an email back from the British Library concerning my earlier thesis request using the new EThOS service for digital thesis delivery. This was requested 17 February 2009 and was delivered today, which by my count is 129 days. So perhaps not the fastest service, but the product itself can't be sniffed at. Well scanned, in colour, delivered to your door. Of course, if it's already been scanned then it's instant delivery and this will improve as the back catalog increases, however for "serious" use it needs to be returned within the 2-4 week timeframe.

posted on: Fri, 26 Jun 2009 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

Now this is just too cool not to blog about. A PC that is part of a 3-pin plug?? With a 1.2GHz processor, plus 512MB of DRAM, 512MB of NAND Flash memory, plus Ethernet and USB port. How cool is that?! They are touting it as an ideal media server but I can think of all sorts of environmental applications where you could plug a sensor in to it and just let it record. Very neat.

posted on: Wed, 24 Jun 2009 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Metrics in the Research Excellence Framework
As the Research Excellence Framework (REF) begins to take shape it is worth keeping an eye on developments over at HEFCE....

posted on: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 | path: /publications | permanent link to this entry

OGC 3D Fusion Summit
Lidar News reports the OGC 3D Fusion Summit next week, rightly noting that "This is being billed as a first of its kind event in North America, bringing together many of the major technology players in 3D and related topics." Lidar is really hitting it big time and their are all many key players coming together. Whilst we have LAS as a file format and ESRI entering the fray with terrains, some standardization is sorely needed. Hopefully the OGC can provide this in the same way it has for other areas; the 3D Information Management (3DIM) Working Group seems to be the right starting point.

posted on: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Windows 7 Release Candidate
It was quite some time earlier in June that Microsoft made the release candidate of Windows 7 available for download....

posted on: Sun, 14 Jun 2009 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Palm Pre is here
Perhaps somewhat quietly to European audiences, the Palm Pre was launched last Saturday in the US. Apparantly stocks have sold out and it has been largely well received, being described as the only likely rival to the iPhone. Clearly an awful long way to go and in depth reviews seem to praise webOS highly, with the Pre itself being a satisfactory starting point. A ROM image restorer has had the techniques in palpitations as the 200Mb file has allowed some disassembly to see whats going on. As ever, plenty of gossip over at Palm InfoCenter. However the biggest news has got to be the porting of Doom on to the Pre. A thoroughly worthwhile cause.

posted on: Fri, 12 Jun 2009 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

Minimap for Firefox
Minimap is a great extension for Firefox allowing access to a range of online mapping services through a sidebar. However it is much more than that; default view is the (broad) location of your IP address. You can drag and drop addresses on to the map to move to that area. Route planning is integrated, along with import/export of KML and support for many webservices (such as FireEagle, Flickr etc). Really takes web mapping to the next level of integration.

posted on: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 | path: /computing | permanent link to this entry

NextMap on iPhone
Intermap are finally moving in to the consumer arena with the release of Accuterra, an iPhone app that offers terrain data (and other info) for off-road users. This was noted by All Points last week and they point out that the app is not streamed, but downloaded to the users phone. You buy a single tile which is 200-400 Mb in size. Meaning of course when you are out of range, the app carries on working. It'll be interesting to see how popular it proves.

posted on: Tue, 09 Jun 2009 | path: /remote_sensing | permanent link to this entry

Location in Twitter
Twitter, the micro-blogging website, has seen huge upsurge over the last year through it's ease of use and adaptability to a variety of uses (see BakerTweet)....

posted on: Mon, 08 Jun 2009 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

Making satnav pay for itself
OK, so satnav is the spawn of satan (vsatan!!) and should be avoided at all costs. But this little snippet reported by All Points shows a genuinely useful application, namely used GPS/map (aka satnav) to pre-cool a hybrid car prior to coming to a standstill at traffic lights ensuring that the engine stays off for the maximum amount of time. Reported fuel efficiency of 9% which in my books is pretty good. Roll on more innovative uses.

posted on: Thu, 04 Jun 2009 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

UKMap Update
Just a brief follow-on to yesterday's post on UKMap; GeoconnexionUK has an interview with Seppe Cassettari outlining the datasets, collection process, potential scope and future development. Worth a read although it's not yet listed on the Geoconnexion website.

posted on: Wed, 03 Jun 2009 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry

OS to scrap Mapping Services Agreement??
Ed Parsons, quick of the mark as ever, posted a blog entry on the recently announced UK Map. The GeoInformation Group have, for some time, been rumoured to have been collecting small scale mapping data allowing them to compete directly with the Ordnance Survey....

posted on: Tue, 02 Jun 2009 | path: /GIS | permanent link to this entry