Take a Tour of Mount Everest – From Your Smart Phone


A company called  3D RealityMaps has released a new app that lets you take virtual tours using satellite images, of Mount Everest.

The app “Mount Everest 3D” by 3D Reality Maps offers the world’s highest-resolution 3D map of the highest mountain on earth for smartphones and tablets. The map is based on satellite images from unique satellite WordView2 of DigitalGlobe and is so precise that the mountain is represented absolutely realistic.

There’s a fully immersive free version (for both the Apple iOS or Android OS for smartphones or tablets) but if you are a hard core Everest fan you can buy the pro-version (through the free version) which includes GPS data, virtual tours, waypoints,  and offline maps–in case your provider doesn’t happen to have coverage in the Himalayas.

Then, surf over and take a tour of our Everest (Hey, it’s our blog, right?).  We don’t have a 3D App yet but if you are interested you can contact us and actually touch our Everest, run it through the paces, and see if it could help you get more done–even if your work environment is as rugged as Mount Everest.

And no Sherpa required.

Glacier Technology Tuesday: New Digital Police Sketch Generator

IQ Biometrix has developed a software package called FACES.  It allows almost anyone, without ever having been trained as a forensic artist, to render a near-photo-quality composite sketch of a human face.

The package comes with 4400 different facial features, and an easy to use interface.

With an expanded database of 4,400 facial features, including new Latin, African-American and Asian components, FACES 4.0 lets you create accurate composites of either sex and any race. Selected features are blended together to produce a photo-quality composite image. New to FACES 4.0 is the ability to enhance image accuracy by choosing among three different hair tones: adding facial markings such as scars, moles, piercings, tattoos and earrings: and using hats, headwear and eyeglasses. 


The generated image can be used with facial recognition technology or to compare to images in a mug-shot database.  The software is also able to use video enhancement technology to create a composite from still frame video.  The completed “sketch” an be added to fliers or any print media for distribution.

It runs on Windows 98 or later and needs 1.2 GB of of install space, but the exported images are small.  The program should run easily on any hardware built in this century, and while they only mention Desktops and Laptops, I expect this will find more use on adequately equipped portable devices like rugged tablets that are easier to use in the field.  Used in conjunction with wireless technology sketches of suspects could be generated on site and distributed rapidly, when necessary.

The Law enforcement list price on the vendor Web Site is 599.00


Glacier Technology Tuesday: Quantum Computing

quantum-computing - Image Credit: physicsworld.com
Image credit: physicsworld.com

Quantum computing uses atomic level particles to do the heavy lifting, where speed and power could be significantly greater, superior to any current ‘super computer.’  So the desire to design a full sized quantum computer has kept scientist, engineers, and physicists occupied with the potential.

And there’s progress to report.

From Science World Report

The so-called boson sampling computer utilizes photons, a particular type of bosons. These particles have high mobility, which makes them extremely valuable in a quantum computer. In order to create the boson sampling computer, the researchers inserted photons into a complex optical network where they could propagate along many different paths.

Continue reading

Glacier Technology Tuesday – Using Nanoparticles for Insulin Delivery

Image Credit: ACS Publications at acs.org

US Researchers have come up with a successful way to introduce a nano-particle network into the blood of a diabetes patient that would be able to deliver insulin as needed for up to ten days.

The process, successful in animal trials, hopes to move to human clinical trials, where if it produces similar results could address two pressing problems with insulin delivery.  Patients would not have to inject themselves multiple times a day and, there would be no risk of improper dosing.

From gizmag.com

The injectable nano-network is made up of a mixture that contains nanoparticles with a solid core or insulin, modified dextran (which is commonly used to reduce blood viscosity), and glucose oxidase enzymes. When exposed to high levels of glucose, the enzymes convert glucose into gluconic acid, which breaks down the modified dextran to release the insulin. The gluconic acid and dextran, which are biocompatible, dissolve in the body, while the insulin brings the glucose levels under control.

The nanoparticles are given a positively or negatively charged biocompatible coating so that when they are mixed together, they are attracted to each other to form a “nano-network.” The positively charged coatings are made of chitosan, a material found in shrimp shells that has also found applications in self-healing car paint, while the negatively charged coatings are made of alginate, a material normally found in seaweed.

“This technology effectively creates a ‘closed-loop’ system that mimics the activity of the pancreas in a healthy person, releasing insulin in response to glucose level changes,” says Dr. Zhen Gu, an assistant professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “This has the potential to improve the health and quality of life of diabetes patients.”

If that isn’t technical enough you can read the research paper here.

If the process works as well in humans this will be an impressive development toward normalizing the lives of people who have diabetes by simplifying insulin delivery.

Need to Jump Start A Project? Try This.

Jon Bell over at medium.com has presented an interesting solution to an often vexing problem.   The problem is “getting started.”  Trying to get your team, or just yourself, out of the gate and moving forward.  Whether you are in  search of a new idea, trying to develop a plan, or just deciding where to go to lunch, getting out the door can be a challenge.  To address this mental roadblock, Jon uses what he calls “McDonald’s Theory.”

Jon Explains…

I use a trick with co-workers when we’re trying to decide where to eat for lunch and no one has any ideas. I recommend McDonald’s.

An interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic!

It’s as if we’ve broken the ice with the worst possible idea, and now that the discussion has started, people suddenly get very creative. I call it the McDonald’s Theory: people are inspired to come up with good ideas to ward off bad ones.

I have a warm spot in my stomach for McDonald’s so that might not work for me, and this would never work on a group of high school kids, but in the business world this idea has merit; doing anything to start the process is always better than doing nothing.  And if you have the sense, or even just the courage, to risk coming up with the worst possible idea, just so you can stimulate better ones, then that’s called leadership.

More from Jon..

The next time you have an idea rolling around in your head, find the courage to quiet your inner critic just long enough to get a piece of paper and a pen, then just start sketching it. “But I don’t have a long time for this!” you might think. Or, “The idea is probably stupid,” or, “Maybe I’ll go online and click around for—”

No. Shut up. Stop sabotaging yourself.

The same goes for groups of people at work. The next time a project is being discussed in its early stages, grab a marker, go to the board, and throw something up there. The idea will probably be stupid, but that’s good! McDonald’s Theory teaches us that it will trigger the group into action.

You have to be out in front to lead.  So get out there.  Lead.  Right after you have some lunch.