Let Your Finger Do The Reading With This Great Device From MIT Media Lab
‘Trace a page with your finger and Finger Reader will read it out loud for you. The device, currently in development by the MIT Media Lab, fits on your index finger like a ring. It can be used to assist children, the elderly, visually-impaired people, and second-language learners with reading labels, business cards, menus in a restaurant, prescriptions, or any other type of printed text.
‘Indeed, Finger Reader could make a lot more content instantly accessible to visually impaired people. Currently, only 7% of all books are available in Braille, audio and large print. In a 2009 survey, nearly three quarters (74%, 72%) of blind and partially sighted people reported that they could not read the information provided by their hospital or their GP. In addition, things like letters, menus, reports, magazines, rarely exist in Braille…’
Are Database Administrators Doomed?
‘Traditionally, database administrators (also known as DBAs) have been at the center of the data-management universe: There was always a need to have someone optimize the performance of applications by making sure data was well structured. But with the rise of Hadoop and other Big Data platforms, there’s no longer a premium on structure. In fact, many programmers are choosing to write their applications to Hadoop or other classes of so-called “NoSQL databases” to specifically eliminate the need to rely on having a DBA.
‘The end result has not only been a significant diminishing of the influence of the average DBA; the location where SQL queries within a data warehousing application are processed is beginning to shift…’
What’s Your Favorite Vintage Gadget?
‘…Such progress makes me nostalgic for the gadgets of yesterday that once seemed so cutting edge: the Samsung Rogue SCH-U960 that first put the Internet in my pocket (sort of); the Handspring Visor that let me digitize all my contacts a decade earlier; and the Atari 800XL that introduced me to home computing in the early 1980s. I’m sure that firing up my old 8-bit Atari for a game of Karateka or Hardball! wouldn’t be as much fun as I remember it being when I was in middle school. Still, I think back to all of the hours spent in front of that computer with a certain fondness…’