Archive for June, 2011


Replace WinZip with 7-Zip

7-Zip is simply the best zip management tool out there, paid or unpaid.  It handles ALL zip formats, not just some.  It compresses zip files more efficiently than WinZip, and 7-Zip’s “.7z” format is even more compressed and performs faster than its .zip format.  7-Zip has a wonderful user interface: colorful, simple and intuitive.  Opening a zip in 7-Zip defaults to folder view, so you always see the folder format (or lack thereof) and you’re never surprised by a hundred files dumped onto your desktop.

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Still not convinced?  Try it for yourself, it’s also free and open source.

Kinect SDK released, works only on Windows 7, illegal to actually use

UPDATE: the commercial license of the Kinect For Windows SDK has been released

You can finally write cool apps using your Kinect for your Windows 7 PC, but if you use them at work (even for in-house development), Microsoft will come at you with everything they have.

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/

Long list of ways using your expensive Kinect system is actually illegal:  http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/faq.aspx

Artificial hippocampus restores and enhances memory

This blows my tiny organic mind:  researchers have proven that if you know enough about how a brain region codes and transmits information, you can completely replace its functionality in real time with an electronic implant.  The device was able to restore long term memory in rats with a damaged hippocampus.  "Flip the switch on, and the rats remember. Flip it off, and the rats forget," said Theodore Berger of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering.  Furthermore, when installed in rats with a normal functioning hippocampus, it enhanced their ability to form and retrieve memories.

Since the hippocampus is the critical component in accessing and forming long term memory, and the first to get fried by Alzheimer’s, this is good news for Alzheimer’s patients, stroke victims, and Guy Pierce (the guy in Memento).  For the rest of us, it means the money we’re saving for our kid’s college fund might actually go towards buying an Ivy League® brand brain implant and the college experience can finally be all about the parties.

Here are some more details: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-06/uosc-rmr061211.php

Here’s the full scientific paper they published in the Journal of Neural Engineering: http://iopscience.iop.org/1741-2552/8/4/046017

Replace cmd with Console2

Scott Hanselman has a great post on how to set up a better cmd, powershell, and vscommand all-in-one console with separate tabs.  The upgraded console lets you copy & paste like a normal person, let’s you set default directories, and even resizes in both directions! Here’s my setup in retro green-on-black. (Notice the cmd, Powershell, and VSCommand icons in the tabs)

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Here’s how you do it:

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© 2017 Robert Corvus