Monthly Archives: January 2009

Inauguration Tech Coverage

Yesterday, our country celebrated the inauguration of our 44th President.  During the entire day, a few stories popped up on some of my favorite blogs regarding the technology and security that was showcased during this historic event.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces of technology:

Bomb Containment Truck

It probably goes without saying that many of the agencies and forces assigned to protect Washington D.C. and attendees of the inauguration brought out some serious equipment.  What you see below {Source} is a sphere that can safely transport an explosive device.  What is even cooler is the fact that an explosive can even go off inside the sphere without harming bystanders.

Bomb Containment Truck

Hi-Res Satellite Photo of D.C. During Inauguration

The following image comes from GeoEye, a satellite that takes ultra-high resolution imagery from space.  It currently orbits at 423 miles above the surface of the Earth, taking pictures at astounding resolutions of 41 cm.  The U.S. Government prevents publicly released imagery from being at that high of a resolution, so it is limited to 50 cm or worse.  Click on the image below to get an ultra high resolution version that you can pan around and see the National Mall in extreme detail.  Another interesting factoid is that Google owns the rights to the imagery taken by the high-flying satellite and plans to utilize the photos in their Google Earth and Google Maps applications.

The clumps of people are groups viewing jumbotrons displaying the inaugural events.  You can even see Marine 1 (Presidential Helicopter) immediately to the right of the Capitol Building.

The clumps of people are groups viewing jumbotrons displaying the inaugural events. You can even see Marine 1 (Presidential Helicopter) immediately to the right of the Capitol Building.

Bulletproof (President) Obama

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Posted by on January 22, 2009 in Security, Tech News


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The Best iPod Touch Applications Part I

Hello there.  I’ve had my second generation iPod Touch for a few months now and have been testing out different applications as they come out.  Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t paid for a single application.  The post you are currently reading includes a few paid apps, but the rest that I talk about are free.  You’ll find applications on this list that span multiple categories/genres.  If you have a question, please let me know.  Expect to see a post similar to this periodically when I find good apps.

Facebook (Free)

Like most college students, I’m at least partially addicted to Facebook.  I had originally downloaded an older version of the Facebook app when I first got my Touch.  The original version was terrible and you couldn’t really do anything with it.  Thankfully, Facebook decided to fix the original version and release a new version with a large smattering of new features.  At the time of this post, the Facebook app can do about 75% of what the full browser version can do.  I suspect that in the coming months, we’ll see a nearly feature complete version of the Facebook iPod Touch app.  The only thing that bothers me about this version is that fact that the app reports that every update was 3 hours ago, even though I know it wasn’t.  This is definitely some kind of bug that everyone I know that has this app has problems with.  Nice thing is that it doesn’t take away any functionality.

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Posted by on January 5, 2009 in General


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The Best iPod Touch Applications Part II

This post is my second installment of the best iPod Touch applications category, and it covers all free apps.

Twitter Fon (Free)

I’ve become a big fan of Twitter recently and I have been itching to find the best Twitter app for the iPod Touch.  After using apps like Twitterific and Twittelator, I still wasn’t satisfied.  Thank goodness I found Twitter Fon.  It delivers a simple interface that delivers tweets in an organized fashion.  It breaks your tweets down into your general stream of tweets from people you follow, people that @ reply you, personal messages and a search tool.  Better yet, it loads fast and tells you how many new messages you have gotten since you last updated the software.  Twitter Fon has been slowly climbing in popularity, and I strongly recommend downloading this application.

Urbanspoon (Free)

I don’t really use this app a lot since I’m away at school most of the time.  The point of this application is to help you find a place to eat by selecting a few preferences.  You pick what “genre” of food you want to eat, what price you want to pay and what location is most convenient to you.  The best part is that you are able to lock any or all of these options to completely customize the search.  As I hinted at before, this app is most effective in large cities.  Urbanspoon appears to constantly update their list of major cities and metropolitan areas.  You can even go online and request that you city be included in an future update of Urbanspoon. (Free)

I just downloaded the first mobile version of is a fantastic online tool for tracking your finances.  It takes data from your accounts (bank accounts, investments funds, etc.) and process the information into manageable chunks that are easy to digest.  Mint manages to accrue all of this data in a completely security way.  Unsurprisingly, Mint’s dedication to secure their services carries over to their iPod Touch app.  Although the functionality of this application is somewhat limited, it has incredible potential- especially building upon its security features.  Keep up with future releases of this application to see what great things they come up with.  If you haven’t tried the normal, I certainly encourage you check it out.

Seadragon (Free)

Seadragon is Microsoft’s first iPod Touch application.  I can’t say that it is useful, but it sure is cool.  What Seadragon touts is a substantial image library in which you can zoom into pictures near infinitely.  My favorite photos are the ones of galaxies that I can explore with the tip of my finger.  If nothing else, download Seadragon just for its coolness factor.  I would also recommend using a wi-fi connection rather than 3G since wi-fi is substantially faster.

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Posted by on January 5, 2009 in General


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My Trip To The Rose Bowl

I just got back from my trip to Pasadena, California for the Rose Bowl and I wanted to fill my readers in on how it was.  I am a member of the Penn State Marching Blue Band (herein referred to as the “Blue Band”) and the University paid for the entire Blue Band to fly out for the Rose Bowl.  Below, you’ll get a day-by-day account of my experience.  Spanning from December 28, 2008 to January 3, 2009, my trip to the Tournament of Roses was spectacular in every respect.

Sunday December 28, 2008

Members of the Blue Band had to return to State College, PA the day before we actually departed for California to get some rehearsal time in.  Since we hadn’t met as a group in 3.5 weeks or so, it was pretty important we got a good rehearsal in.  We had rehearsal at Holuba Hall (the football practice facility) at 4:00 PM and again at 7:30.  We were given the finalized itinerary for the trip and went over some guidelines for the trip during these practices.  In between rehearsals, Clem’s Barbecue catered a fantastic, if gassy dinner consisting of pulled pork, grilled chicken, mac n’ cheese and baked beans.  Many of you may not know that Clem’s Barbecue has a strong following in and around Penn State for it’s delicious food.  All I’ll say is that I went to bed that night a happy camper with a full belly.

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Posted by on January 5, 2009 in General, Penn State Events


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