Electronics

Assimilated by the iPhone Borg

I took the plunge, got the iPhone 3G [S] as a gift for Father's Day.

A big thank you to Saferating, Inc. who picked up the tab on the monthly data plan. Without your contribution, this missionary was going w/pen & notebook for scheduling.

The award for best feedback from the challenge goes to K. Hokanson, "Productivity and distraction have nothing to do with the device." So true.

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Greylisting for your telephone

Greylisting is "method of defending e-mail users against spam. A mail transfer agent (MTA) using greylisting will "temporarily reject" any email from a sender it does not recognize. If the mail is legitimate, the originating server will try again and the email is accepted. If the mail is from a spammer it will probably not be retried since a spammer goes through thousands of email addresses and can not afford the time delay to retry."

Why not apply a similar technique to your telephone? It could be done without much effort in this day of caller-id. Imagine if you had a device that, when plugged into your telephone line, would allow you to automatically answer the phone for unknown numbers and give the caller a message. The message could be generic or it could be instructions to do something specific. You could be program the device with a list of white listed (allowed) telephone numbers as well as blacklisted (denied) numbers. The device could give a different message based on whether the number is in the blacklist or simply unknown. If the calling number is on the white list the device does nothing, allowing standard telephonic devices to continue operating.

Butt Kicking Chair

A couple of years ago I was sitting in one of those mind numbing meetings about stupid users or some such thing when I began to doodle and hit upon an idea. Wouldn't it be cool if all of our users sat in specially designed (or retrofitted) chairs that were capable of producing a shot to the sitter's posterior. The idea called for a chair, a boot, a lever, an actuator, a small computer with a network connection (wired or wireless), and some custom software. The computer would provide a network interface that would allow an administrator or help desk person to send a request to the chair and the person sitting in it would get a single kick in the pants. The idea for the interface later morphed into a web page and/or XML-RPC interface that listened to requests from authorized administrators which would trigger the butt kicking as well as various presets (single kick, small whooping, smack down, death by boot, etc).

Cheap Homebrew Home Theater Projector

I recently discovered an article over at Invent Geek about building your own home theater projector for around $200. I can't wait to try this. Apparently they've been overwhelmed with fan mail over this project that they put up an additional post explaining the details on choosing a projector panel.
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