News Roundup - 3D Modeling, Ghost Towns, Linux Netbooks

What follows is notable news and happenings that I want to purge from my bookmarks folder. It will be a combination of things you already know spiced with things you probably won’t care about. I apologize in advance.

As reported in Slashdot, some students at the University of Cambridge put together software that can construct a 3D model in real time. Using off the shelf hardware (Logitech Quckcam and Core 2 Duo) the software is able to quickly render an accurate model of complex 3D objects. In real time. The video is worth a look.

Google has taken some heat from their map changes last month, with things like towns showing up where there are no towns. They made interesting news on other fronts however, from the introduction of the Go programming language to SPDY, which is a (theoretically) 2x faster protocol for web content delivery than the venerable HTTP. I imagine the first will show up somewhere in Chrome OS and the second on Google servers and the Chrome browser. And in something completely unrelated, this guy wrote software to use Google Street view in conjunction with an exercise bike to “virtually” bike outside. Thanks a lot buddy - like the folks that did the real time 3D thing didn’t make me feel stupid enough this month.

According to ABI research, 32% of all netbook sales in 2009 will be for Linux netbooks, with the remainder running Windows, and they predict Linux will overtake Windows on netbooks by 2013 “largely due to sales in less-developed countries.” Another factor will be ARM based netbooks, which Microsoft doesn’t support. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Linux was stomping Windows on netbooks until Microsoft started basically giving away Windows XP to netbook manufacturers. For the record my netbook is running Linux Mint 8 right now.

And finally, in the here-comes-the-HR-rep category, InfoQ has an article on how one can apply flirting “to interact more effectively in the workplace.” Apparently there’s a German university that requires their IT engineers to take a flirting class. One of the recommended steps is:

Strong relationships are multi-dimensional. To see the more relaxed side of a person and get to know them better, you need to go out and have some fun! We playfully say “dance,” because you’ve had your drink at the bar and shared some experiences, now it’s time to go out on the dance floor. Fun does have a purpose.
Oh boy. I'll probably need to attend another HR class just for reading that article.