Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Is That A Mass-spectrometer In Your Pocket?

Sometimes my mind boggles. Science Fiction is becoming science Fact in ways I never dreamed would really happen. For example – Dick Tracy’s wristwatch. Or James Bond’s gadgets (and bulletproof cars).

Dick Tracy’s wristwatch was pure “Sci Fi”. Yet, when I have described some of the advantages of my Android smart phone to non-techies, I have said, “think Dick Tracy’s wristwatch.”

No, my ‘droid is not a top-secret crime fighting device. But the front-facing camera and Skype Mobile app give me Dick Tracy’s ability to have “2-Way” video conversations anywhere I happen to be. (It’s not strapped on my wrist, though..)

When I was knee high to a grasshopper, my fertile imagination simply was not fertile enough to dream that I might carry a movie theater and several radio stations in my pocket.. yet, my Netflix app and Spotify (et al) means that fiction is reality now too.


And my the tech in my Droid gives me some James Bond (Sci Fi) spy stuff too — with Google Goggles, I can point my phone at documents and signs written in a foreign language, and Presto-Chango! translate them into English (see, Does Your Android Wear Goggles?) – super spy style.

But this is not about Android.. as today’s title suggests, this Sci-Fi Into Reality article is not about smart phones.. it’s about tech evolving, and all that (above) is just the “build up”.

We are about a year away (or so) from having our police having devices – fingerprint readers – that will not only tell them your true ID, record, and BAC, but any substances you’ve handled, or ingested, and who knows what else. “Honest, Officer, I just fertilized my garden. Building bombs? Ridiculous! Not me!
(And as time elapses.. these devices will get cheaper, and be available to more than just Law Enforcement.)

Two new technologies: There are actually two different portable devices I read about. This first one is – literally – a mass spectrometer in your pocket.

Fingerprint Test Tells What a Person Has Touched

With a new analytical technique, a fingerprint can now reveal much more than the identity of a person. It can now also identify what the person has been touching: drugs, explosives or poisons, for example.

.. As it becomes cheaper and more widely available, the Desi technology has potential ethical implications, Dr. Cooks said. Instead of drug tests, a company could surreptitiously check for illegal drug use by its employees by analyzing computer keyboards after the workers have gone home, for instance.Read more..

Source = Wall Street Journal

A second, similar device, uses a different technology.. this one tests the metabolites in your sweat pores..

U.K. Roadside Drug Test a Step Closer

A roadside test for drunk drivers has been available in the U.K. to law-enforcement agencies since the 1960s, but no equivalent screen for drivers under the influence of drugs has been available. A team of scientists hopes to change that. Intelligent Fingerprinting has launched its first prototype of a device that it says will allow police to test reliably for illegal substances within a few minutes.Read more..

Interesting stuff… the world, she is a’changing.


RC Meets RL (RoboCop Meets Real Life)

Big Brother Can Drive – Police Car-Mounted Cameras Scan 10,000 License Plates Per Hour

Britons Wake Up. Too Late.

Big Brother Big Business

For the Uber Geek? Everything You Need to Know About the Dual-, Triple-, and Quad-Channel Memory Architectures

“Let’s take a look at how the dual-, triple-, and quad-channel memory architectures work and how to enable them in order to improve your computer’s performance.Read more..

Today’s quote:We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” ~ Alfred E. Newman

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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November 15, 2011 - Posted by | News, tech | , , , ,


  1. Scotty from Star Trek IV: “The keyboard? How quaint.

    hello computer – YouTube

    BTW I need to learn how to hyperlink a gif..E-warrant? and……..”Ziggy says you need to stop the hackers from pwning the bank servers of the world and flooding the net with fake spammer videos of shows on TV. Then you can leap.”



    Comment by delenn13 | November 15, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      I use the same code I would for any other online image: img src=”URL” / inside the lesser than and greater than signs. Try that..

      (If you find yourself doing enough HTML, you might cheat like I do and use a free WYSIWYG, like Komposer or Windows Live Writer..)


      Comment by techpaul | November 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Dick Tracey’s wrist watch…James Bond’s gadgets… Science Fiction with a bang!
    I’ve lived my life as a Realist… in a no-nonense way…with Science Fiction not being part of my/our world. Ha… here I am smack, dab in the middle of it,

    I’ve also read most of your topics today Paul.. my thoughts on it all is mind boggling…somewhat depressing…too much to mention here. While most of it is NOT new to me… there’s times we see things in a different light…or our brain gets pinged twice as hard where we need to pay more attention…so thanks again.


    Comment by Gaia | November 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      The video in particular, Big Brother Big Business, is one I think every person should know.

      … Depressing? Reality.
      … Scary? Fersher.

      But .. look at how the cell phone as video camera, and Web 2.0 sites like YouTube, have had the unintended consequences of changing how we get our news.. and how that’s made our world smaller..
      There is more than just the obvious here.


      Comment by techpaul | November 15, 2011 | Reply

  3. It was a joke….1:34 any kid that hyperlink a gif(and they pronounced it gif not jif) can be come a webmaster..LOL

    You know, i don’t like any of this at all. I like the tech but how it can be used, scares the Bejesus out of me. I read “1984” and Fahrenheit 451…It’s all cringe worthy. Into the wrong hands or it’s for your protection..I don’t know which is worse.


    Comment by delenn13 | November 15, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,

      Missed that utterly.


      Comment by techpaul | November 15, 2011 | Reply

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