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Showing posts from July, 2009

Engineer Honoris Causa

We always think of an engineer as a guy who has a college degree. But, in the case o William Kamkwamba, who build an windmill from scrap in his village on Malawi (Africa) we just got back to what really powers engineering: Inspiration, Motivation, Information and Dedication.
He had the Information available at a library, on how a windmill works, he had the Inspiration to see the windmill would fulfill the necessity of electric power his village had and those factors gave him the Motivation and with Dedication he did accomplish his windmill.

William Kamkwamba spoke at TED

And has a blog now.

This is a good example of a talented engineer.

College degrees give us Information, but if we don't have the Inspiration, Motivation and Dedication, we will never be a real engineer. The College degree also legitimates the engineer but in William's case, his windmill legitimates his engineering skills.


Military Projects and Second Life for Med training

I have to remember to take a look at, etc. the military seems to be getting on board with free and open source software.
A number of OSS projects are worth to check: Delta 3D, OpenCPI, FalconView, OSSIM
(more at:

And on simulation, has a cool post on the use of Second Life for Med training:
"... medical schools like Imperial College London are starting to use virtual hospitals in Second Life so students can learn their way around an O.R. before they enter the real thing. ... SL can also expose students to situations that a standard academic program can't duplicate: 'You can take risks that aren't safe in the real world and teach more complex subjects in three dimensions,' says Colleen Lin. ... "
(full article at:

Healthcare systems

Last year, Google has launched the Google Health. A service to concentrate the user medical records.

There are other posts on this topic at Google Blog.

This can give us lots of ideas on uses for this, like updating medical records trough a cell phone, interaction with hospital systems, etc. This looks very promising.

The prefuse visualization toolkit

Navigating on the silk icons web site, I've found an interesting use of the Prefuse Visualization Tool Kit.
“Prefuse is a set of software tools for creating rich interactive data visualizations. The original prefuse toolkit provides a visualization framework for the Java programming language. The prefuse flare toolkit provides visualization and animation tools for ActionScript and the Adobe Flash Player.”They have some nice visualizations on their gallery. I hope to soon use this tool kit on some projects on my job.
Bellow is the screenshot of one of the projects which had used Prefuse:
This particular screenshot is from the project:Voyagers and Voyeurs: Supporting Asynchronous Collaborative Information Visualization by (Jeffrey Heer, Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg) . Following Fernanda B. Viégas and Martin Wattenberg web sites, I've discovered that both worked on the Many Eyes project for IBM. Perhaps, Prefuse is the ancestral of Many Eyes... ;-)

As is in Fernanda's w…

The icons I was looking for...

A friend had posted on twitter, about a cool tool for project management, called No Kahuna. As an engineer, I have a significant interest in project management, so I had created an account on that site. The system creates a sample project, which I liked, and had cool features. The overall looking of the system seams clean and efficient (I had not tested enough). But what had called my attention most was the nice small (16-by-16 pixels) icons this system has. Looking down at the site footer, It has a note telling it uses silk icons. I imediatly follow that link. They have over 700 icons on that format, which I was looking for my personal systems (web or not).

The icons had a really nice look and I will certanlly use then on my projects.

More on Peter Sunde, Stallman and Lula

Pablo Lorenzoni on his blog, Nardol, has two good posts on Brazilian President's visit to FISL.

The first, explaining the preparatives for the presidential visit on
FISL10 day 21
And the second telling about the visit itself, on:
FISL10 day3 - the day I met the Presidento
This one, specially, had two good parts which deserves note, the first is the picture which shows what I had told on "Stallman and Pirate meet Brazilian President":

At the front layer, you can clearly see, from left to rigth, Peter Sunde (green jacket), Richard Stallman (red shirt) and Mr. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian President.

And the second part from Nardol, is the transcription of part of the President's speech, which I do reproduce here:
“I remember the first meeting we had at Granja do Torto [which is the presidential country residence – similar to Camp David, but less aristocratic], in which I understood absolutely nothing about what these people were discussing, and there was an enormous…