Monday, June 6, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

AIs in Your Kitchen

In the future,
Artificial Intelligences will be created.
Pure software entities capable of intelligent thought.

Initially, these sentient will cost billions to develop,
And require vast teams of talented young computer engineers to create.

New methods of logic processing will be created.
Databases will be made to self create as well as maintain.
These brilliant AIs will require powerhouses of mainframes to run.
They will predict our economies,
Find problems and propose solutions in our social structures,
Take a lead role in engineering fields,
And even coordinate military actions with unseen efficiency.

New career fields will be created.
The AIs will need people to create and maintain them.
As they become more sophisticated,
some will require more than just maintainers.
They will need social interaction.

As new AIs become more powerful,
A range of functions and features will become available.
Costs will drop as the once fledgling AI industry finds its feet and gains momentum.
AIs will follow the the path of most other software.
They will become modular.
Other companies will be able license them for various uses.

The same AI can be equipped with software module to fly a plane or drive a car.
As hardware becomes more powerful and less expensive,
The first generations will be able to run on phones.
Smart phones will become truly smart.

It will become cheaper to license and older AI than it will to develop new software to control an appliance.
These AIs will learn to operate their assigned hardware faster than the most talented team of coders could write a dedicated piece of software to control these appliances.

Your toaster will have a personality.
Your home security system might be based on a military defense AI.
Your refrigerator may find it’s roots in a shipping company’s early logistic system.
Your entertainment system will be a stripped down version of a late night show’s line generator.
Your oven will be an early version on the control version of a nuclear power plant.

They will respond to your voice commands,
And give you verbal status updates.
Their personalities will come through.
They will become accustomed to your routines.
They will interact with you on a daily basis.
They will become a part of your daily life.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Android Blogger App

Google made an app for blogger.
I found it yesterday.
Looks cool.
Designed for quick posts.
It lets you attach a location and pictures.

LG DU-42PX12X Plasma TV Fix

An acquaintance of ours was getting rid of their LG DU-42PX12X Plasma TV because it had colored bars down the sides.
I consider myself fairly handy when it comes to fixing things,
So I picked it up before they could thrown it out.
This picture isn't very good,
But it had green and red bars,
Occasionally some blue,
Of varying thicknesses,
But usually an inch or more.
A quick Google for the terms "fix plasma tv", turns up this Youtube.

Don't do this.
That's just stupid.

More googleing lead me to then owners manual.
Further use of my mastery of Google Fu turned up this article.
User kdawg22 talks about how he has fixed this problem on th
is specific model multiple times.
He says the issue faulty soldering on the Main Logic Board.
I eventually found Service Manual.

Through more googleing I pieced together that the Main Logic Board looks like this.
Page 15 of the service Manual identifies part as 201 on the diagram on page 14.
It also gives that part number as 6870QCH003A.

Armed with this knowledge,
I dove into the TV.
First I removed the access panel (401 on the exploded view).
This didn't look like the images I found,
And a closer look at the service manual indicates that the main logic board was under these boards.
It became clear that I had to take the main case off (part 400 on the exploded view).
There were screws lining the edges as well as a few scattered in the middle.
There were four screws holding a panel that had the two boards that were visible from the access panel (parts 402, 420, & 560 on the exploded view).
These boards are the inputs for the TV.
In order to take the panel that holds these boards off,
You have to remove the stand (part 430 on the exploded view)
Lat the TV on its face.
There are four big screws that hold it in.
After taking the stand of I left everything plugged in and flipped the panel upside and screwed it into several other holes.
It then reattached the stand and stood the TV back up.
This allows access to the main logic board (part 201 on the exploded view)
All those small chips in a row at the bottom of the board are the ones that control the screen's X axis.
This is where the solder came lose.
I found that by powering up the TV with all the panels open and pressing on the chips on either end of the row,
I could make the vertical bars disappear.
I tried useing a heat gun to melt the solder,
Hoping that would reset the connections.
This didn't work.
We ended up buying a new board.
Since this TV is beyond it's service life,
Parts are hard to find.
We were able to find the board through Amazon.
From this point everything was just put together in reverse order.

It seems to work just fine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How To Setup Two Step Verification

Google has rolled out a two step verification option for logging into your account.
Here is what you'll need to have ready before you get started.
  • A Google Apps account
  • (obviously)
  • Administrator access to that Google Apps account
  • (unless your admin has already done his part)
  • A phone line of some kind
  • (land line will work)
  • (cell phone with a text plan is better)
  • (smart phone with internet access is the best option)
If you use Google Apps, start here.
If you have a @GMail account, skip the first step.

Start by going to your Google Apps Dashboard.
Click "Advanced Tools".
Make sure the check box labeled "Allow users to turn on two-factor authentication" is checked.
Clink the button that says "Set up 2-step verification".
I have a Nexus One,
So I selected "Android" from the drop down list.
You will have to got download the "Google Authenticator" app.
This app also requires "Barcode Scanner"
If you don't have a smart phone select "Other" and the process will be the same as the backup phone as listed below.
Select the phone that you have and click "Next"
The setup page will generate a QR code.
Open the Google Authenticator app and select the button that says "Scan account barcode".
The app will automatically launch the barcode scanner app.
Point it at your computer screen and fit the QR code in the target area.
Once you phone has captured the QR code,
Click the button on the setup page that says "Next".
The website will now ask you for a number that should appear on the Google Authenticator app.
Enter it in the text box and lick the button that says "Verify".
Once the code from the app has been verified,
Click the button that says "Next".
Your smart phone is now configured.
Click the button that says "Next" to setup a backup.
Now that you smart phone is configured,
You can set up a backup phone.
Do this.
It's just stupid not too.
If something happens to that smart phone and you don't have a backup,
There is no way to get into your account.
Your first set of backups are ten randomly generated codes.
These are one-time use codes.
Print them and keep them with you.
These are incase you can't get cell phone service where you are.
I printed four copies.
One for my wallet, one to keep at home, one to keep in my car, and I gave one to a family member.
I'm not getting locked out of my account if I can help it.
You can clear these codes and generate new ones if a copy happens to get stolen.
Click the button that says "Print codes" (and actually print them),
Click the check box that says "Yes, I have a copy of my backup verification codes.",
And click the button that says "Next".
No you can enter a backup phone number and chose how you want the server to contact you.
I chose "Automated voice message",
But I'll likely change that to "SMS" text message later,
Just because I don't want to get a phone call every time.
I know testing it is optional,
But just do it.
There's no reason not to.
If you're that pressed for time you shouldn't be using a two-step verification process in the first place.
Not testing it just allows for one more thing that could lock you out of your account,
When you're trying to download that super important presentation,
In an area that doesn't have mobile internet.
Murphy's Law people.

Click the button that says "Send code".
Since I had the "Automated voice message" option selected,
I got a phone call.
I have Google Voice with "Call Screening" on.
This meant that the code was played during the time that the call screening asked the caller to state its "name".
So when I answered Google Voice announced "Call from ... (incomplete code) ... to accept press 1 ..."
I pressed one,
But by then the automated voice message was long over.
So I went into Google Voice and looked at my "Received" calls.
I found the number that had just called and labeled it "Verification".
So now when Google Voice announces "Call from ... "Verification" ... to accept press 1 ..." the server still hears the ringing.
I pressed 1 and the automated voice message began reading me my code.
Enter the code in the text box and click the button that says "Verify".
Click the button that says "Next".
At this point Google may tell you that you need to create "application-specific passwords".
This just means that Google will generate a random password so your smart phone can access your mail.
Don't worry about this right now,
We'll deal with this later.
Click the button that says "Next".
All set up.
Now to activate it
You will be logged out of all Google services,
So make sure all you work is saved.
Click the blue button that says "Turn on 2-step verification".
Google just wants too make sure you know that you will be logged off.
Click the button that says "OK".
Go ahead and log into your account.
Enter the code that you get from the Google Authenticator app (or other option) into the text box and click the button that says "Verify".
It's time to create those "application-specific passwords".
Click the button that says "Create passwords".
Enter a device name.
Google will use this to generate a password to be used only with that device.
And now you're done
From this page you can change all you settings.
Use this to update your phone number.
You can also generate new backup codes incase the old ones are lost or stolen.
You should also receive an email with some more information about two-step verification.