Tuesday, December 31, 2002

A new unpublished Tolkien book has been discovered by an American scholar working in Oxford. According to the article, "The 2000 handwritten pages include Tolkien's translation and appraisal of Beowulf, the epic 8th century Anglo-Saxon poem of bravery, friendship and monster-slaying that is thought to have inspired The Lord of the Rings."
"Man Allegedly Uses GPS To Stalk Ex-Girlfriend" (Via Techdirt.)
Humorist Dave Barry has written the best "2002 Year In Review". (Via Fark.)
Top Ten Web-Design Mistakes of 2002

Monday, December 30, 2002

One problem with face transplantation is that lots of people want to receive a new face, but very few people are willing to become donors.
View cosmic ray tracks from the comfort of your own home.
Personalized billboard advertising: "In an advertising ploy right out of Steven Spielberg's 'Minority Report,' electronic billboards in the Bay Area and Sacramento are being equipped to profile commuters as they whiz by -- and then instantly personalize freeway ads based on the wealth and habits of those drivers."
More valuable than gold: Some drugs are more valuable than gold ounce-for-ounce. Find out which ones. (Via Linkfilter.)
Some Tolkien fans are upset at the plot changes between the book and movie versions of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. They might find this interview with Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens interesting, because it discusses their reasons for making these changes.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Christmas in the year 2050.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Why the hell is there an eBay Board Game? (Via Linkfilter.)
Online course notes on criminal profiling. There's also a link on how to perform an autopsy. (Via Linkfilter.)

Friday, December 27, 2002

Kevin Mitnick will be allowed to resume surfing the internet in January 2003.
"Woman shot in chest but saved by silicone implants"
Glenn Reynolds writes about "The Year of the Blog". He also links to the excellent Samizdata blog glossary.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

For sale: A town in Northern California. Here'e the eBay listing. Hurry -- the auction closes tomorrow!
Who's making money from the internet?
"Beware: The moon is full tonight. People will party. Dogs will bite. Robbers will steal. Murderers will kill." But no more so than any other time of the month.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Scientific explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. Feel free to pick your favorite. Merry Christmas from GeekPress!

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Watch out, Christmas travellers: Airlines lose someone's luggage every 90 seconds.
The police can learn an awful lot about you from your mobile phone.
A look behind the scenes of The Matrix: Reloaded. As the article says, "It’s going to make 'The Fast and the Furious' look like 'The Slow and the Dimwitted'."

Monday, December 23, 2002

"Scientists grow human kidneys in mice"
Last minute Christmas shoppers are buying online from the office.
Internet Law: The year in review.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Steven Den Beste has written an excellent essay on North Korea. The best line is probably this comment from one of his readers:
"It's Mordor! It's a technological Mordor!" A real-life Mordor with a million orcs with AK-47s. And forging a nuclear 'Ring of Power'.
Yikes.
Lots of juicy information about Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

The internet pornography catburglar has apparently been caught.

Friday, December 20, 2002

To sleep, perchance to dream: The Economist warns that we're not getting enough sleep.
The proposals for the World Trade Center reconstruction project are now available online. I must confess that I'm not particularly enthused by any of the finalists.
Top ten spam subject lines of the year. Yup, I've seen them all. (Via Techdirt.)
The Terminator 3 movie trailer. "She'll be back..." (Via Madville.)
It's easy for bloggers to get sued.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

The US military is conducting research on ways to allow soldiers to function for 7 days straight without sleep. Methods being studied include both pharmacological and non-pharmacological.
Rat-Bot: The robot that runs on rat brain cells. (Via Boing Boing.)
"Guns and Freedom": A terrific blog post from Rachel Lucas.
High tech toilet sends elderly aunt to the ER. (Via Obscure Store.)
The arms race between telemarketers and anti-telemarketing technology continues to escalate.
Senate TV network shows porno movie.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The NY Times talks nanotech.
"Virtual world will run on real cash"
If you want to become a fake psychic, you need to master the art of "cold reading". (Via Linkfilter.)
"High school student earns an 'A' in hacking". With the school's permission. By lowering his GPA from 4.0 to 1.9.
Can Google prosper and still maintain their moral principles?

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Still doing your Christmas shopping? Here are more geek toys.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Administrative note: Posting may be a bit light for the next couple of days.
Eric Raymond has written a terrific essay on courage.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Only in America... (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Man survives for a week on Taco Bell sauce. (Via Aberrant News.)

Friday, December 13, 2002

HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) is ambivalent about being portrayed on television as a cash cow for the Mafia (ala The Sopranos).
Float like a butterfly.
The Bermuda Triangle is a dangerous place but no more so than the New Jersey Turnpike.
The virtual aging simulator suit helps young people experience the aches, pains, and creaks of getting old.
Segway owners love their scooters.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Unique tech support call: "Hello my computer was making a strange hissing noise last night and this morning when I turned it on there was a crackling noise and some smoke then nothing, if I bring it in can you fix it?" (Via GMSV.)
Physics trick of the day: A curtain wire can be made to defy gravity and stand upside down if subjected to rapid vibrations because of a phenomenon caused parametric oscillations.
Neuromarketing: "A company in Atlanta is scanning people's brains with MRIs, in an effort to record our subconscious thoughts about products and ads." Interesting (some would say diabolical) twist on using functional MRI as a lie detector. (Via Boing Boing.)
Star Trek updates: William Shatner doesn't mind being eternally typecast as Captain Kirk. Leonard Nimoy, on the other hand, has decided to quit acting to pursue photography.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Be careful when you upgrade your CD-ROM drive: According to laboratory tests, "At 52x CD-ROM speeds (27,500rpm) disks shatter in a 'rain of plastic particles', shooting out long, sharp, knife-like shrapnel at half the speed of sound..." Update: Matt Hartman wrote in with a cool picture showing how this happened to him a few months ago.
Take the Turing challenge: "As chief scientist of the Internet portal Yahoo, Dr. Udi Manber had a profound problem: how to differentiate human intelligence from that of a machine"
Marvel Comics will be introducing the first openly gay comic book title character hero in one of its comics -- the Rawhide Kid. Slap leather!
The science behind city-swallowing sand dunes.
Turkish Star Trek

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The hot new Christmas "toy" is kiddie cell phones.
Classic Winston Churchill quotes.
The Google economy: A lot of people depend on Google for the bulk of their income.
IBM has created the world's tiniest transistor, which is a tenth the size of those used in current microprocessors.
The swords and armor of "The Lord of the Rings" (Via BBspot.)
Best Excel games. (Via Madville.)

Monday, December 09, 2002

A funny letter supposedly from a little boy to some sailors in the Navy. (Via Linkfilter.)
Mathematicians have calculated pi out to 1.2411 trillion digits, exceeding the old record of 206 billion digits by a factor of six.
"TiVo" is turning from a brand name into a common everyday verb, just like "to xerox" did before it.
Is this an example of real-life optical camouflage?
"The World According to Google"

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Nine Things Strom Thurmond is Older Than (Via RWN.)
The 10 Best Mars Images Ever.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

"Visitors to a off-beat Berlin arts center thought a dead woman on the ground was a performance art act rather than a suicide..."

Friday, December 06, 2002

Update on the "telco powered products": A couple of readers have pointed out that this might just all be a hoax or a joke since the referenced patent number at the bottom of the page has nothing to do with the products.
Poetic justice: Spammer gets taste of his own medicine. (Via BBspot.)
Remote control for bacteria.
Eugene Volokh has an interesting analysis of the legal status of internet speech and weblogs in libel cases.
Middle Earth gangsta rap. (Via Metafilter.)
A patient who had been undergoing treatment with radioactive iodine for thyroid disease has been setting off anti-terrorism sensors in the NYC subways, resulting in two strip searches by police. Here's the case report.

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Haiku Enterprise. (Via BBspot.)
The telephone company provides free, unmetered electricity to houses through the telephone jacks. Here's how you can take advantage of that. (Via Boing Boing.)
An Australian mathematician has figured out the optimal way to lace one's shoes.
Weapon of the Week: The microwave phaser. (Via Linkfilter.)

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Sean Kreck takes some pretty awesome photographs of the Colorado landscape and other parts of the country. (His commercial website is available here.)
In the 1980's, the BBC recorded a nearly-indestructible "digital archive" showing daily life of the times. But then the reading technology became obsolete, and only now have researchers been able to recover the lost data..
Speaking of criminals, police in Wyoming are looking for a burglar who's been breaking into other people's houses and using their computers to surf for porn. He apparently doesn't steal anything from the houses, but just uses the computers to sign up for membership on porno sites, then surfs for a while before making his escape. (Via Techdirt.)
Are criminals using "out of office" e-mail responses to figure out when to break into houses left empty by people going on holiday vacation?
During the Thanksgiving travel rush, airport security personnel across the country seized a number of contraband items, including a total of 15,982 pocket knives, 98 boxcutters, 6 guns and a brick.
Microscopic diamond fragments (aka "diamondoids") found in crude oil may be very helpful in nanotechnology development.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Wearable computing displays are getting slicker and sleeker.
"An Austrian electrician has invented the world's first tattooing robot."
Immobotic robots utilize a rudimentary form of "self-awareness" to help them solve problems. The key is that they "have a commonsense model of the physics of their internal components and can reason from that model to determine what is wrong and to know how to act".
"Toddler swallows transponder that is required to start car. Mother can't start car. Mother holds todder up to steering wheel and starts car. This is the BBC." (Via the Daily Rotten.)
The Flip-Pad Voyager laptop folds into 4 quarters. When unfolded, the display surface consists of two 13.3" screens yielding a total resolution of 1536 x 1024, but when folded it's only a little bit larger than a big notebook computer. Cool!
The NY Times has a nice article on night vision devices, and the tremendous advantage it gives to the US military.
The biggest battle in the online game EverQuest is not between players and monsters but between Sony and cheating hackers.

Monday, December 02, 2002

A Canadian biologist has found a huge 60-acre spiderweb in British Columbia containing "tens of millions of spiders". (Via Linkfilter.)
Mike Langenberg makes his 2002 predictions on what life in be like in year 2012. (His report card on his 1992 predictions of life in 2002 is here.)
Math question of the day: "Suppose you are limited to figures bounded by straight lines (polygons) and you are allowed only one straight cut. Using a fold-and-cut process, what shapes can you produce?"

The surprising answer: "[A]fter an appropriate sequence of folds, any polygonal shape can be cut out of one sheet of paper by a single straight cut. In other words, one cut suffices -- whether the drawing consists of a single polygon, adjoining polygons, nested polygons, or an array of disjoint polygons." More information about this remarkable theorem is available here.
The Einstein Papers Project is revealing a lot of interesting personal information about the man.
The Onion's guide to chatroom shorthand.
Molecular storage: "An image composed of over 1000 of bits of information can be stored in the atoms of a single molecule".

Sunday, December 01, 2002

No professional courtesy: Shark bites California lawyer. (Via Transterrestrial Musings.)
Quantum computing continues to advance.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

Google's Live Query lets their employees keep their fingers on the pulse of the internet.

Friday, November 29, 2002

A leading British plastic surgeon believes that face transplants will be feasible within the next year.

Thursday, November 28, 2002

An unfortunate font choice. (Via GMSV.)

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

What can you do if your TiVo mistakenly thinks you're gay? Or a neo-Nazi?
The first cloned human baby is supposedly due to be born in January 2003.
The Ark of the Covenant (aka "The Lost Ark") might be in Ethiopia. (Via K5.)
How reliable are our recollections of so-called "repressed memories"? According to noted psychologist Elizabeth Loftus, not very.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Domino Artwork creates portrait mosaics from dominoes. What makes their work particularly challenging is that they always use complete sets, utilizing a mathematical technique called "integer programming" to help them determine how to optimally position the dominoes. (Via Boing Boing.)
"Physicist Fotini Markopoulou Kalamara has developed a way to connect relativity with quantum theory -- while making sure that cause still precedes effect"
"Intuition: Its Powers and Perils" Psychologist David Myers has written an interesting book about the phenomenon of intuition. More information is available at the author's web page and in this book review.
Afterlife Telegrams: "For a fee of $10 per word (5 word minimum), our customers can have a telegram delivered to someone who has passed away. This is done with the help of terminally ill volunteers who memorize the telegrams before passing away, and then deliver the telegrams after they have passed away." Diana observed that one flaw with this method is that it assumes that everyone's all going to the same place, a point that the company acknowledges in their FAQ. (Via Metafilter.)

Monday, November 25, 2002

Back in 1992, technology writer Mike Langenberg wrote an article on what life would be like in 2002. How accurate was he? Let's find out. (Via Techdirt.)
The NY Times has discovered the Sims.
Brewster Kahle, my old MIT housemate, talks about what he hopes to accomplish with the Wayback Machine. Great interview!
A new mobile phone keypad will give direct access to all letters and numerals.
Ellen Feiss admits that she was on drugs during her infamous Macintosh "Switch" commercial -- her allergy medication Benadryl. But her stoner fans still love her nevertheless.
In Hong Kong, many people no longer carry pocket change. Instead, they make small purchases with anonymous cash cards.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Important computing safety tip: Don't burn your penis with your laptop.
Game of the Day: Can you make the you-know-what hit the fan?

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Can you tell the difference between real photographs and Photoshop fakes? Take this quiz. (Via BBspot.)
A public library's filtering software causes it to ban its own website.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Asteroid strikes are not as frequent as previously thought.
A clever new approach to throttling computer viruses.
Baby Boomers: This interesting study compares what they thought in the 1970's with what they think in 2002. (Via Metafilter.)
Origin of dogs: Scientists believe that they can trace the ancestry of all dogs to "a handful of wolves tamed by humans living in or near China less than 15,000 years ago."
Glenn Reynolds has written an excellent paper on nanotech regulatory policy. There's both full length .pdf version as well as a concise summary on TechCentralStation.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Gulf Wars: Episode II (Via BBspot.)
Scientists are planning to create a new form of life. (Via Right Wing News.)
"Engineers are working on software to load every photo you take, every letter you write - in fact your every memory and experience - into a surrogate brain that never forgets anything..."
HighLift is making slow but steady progress on its commercial space elevator project.
What ever happened to chess genius Bobby Fischer? The Atlantic has the rest of his bizarre story. (Via Plastic.)
An eloquent 14-year old boy describes what it's like to be autistic. Amazing stuff.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit) gives some practical advice as what we as individuals can do to respond to/prevent terrorism.
Consumers are getting sick of excess tech.
"Mark Allen, a gay man living in New York, conducted an online relationship with a man living in Austin, Texas. But as the relationship matured, Allen realized it wasn't his cyberboyfriend he was falling in love with, it was his PowerMac G3."
The Onion has an interview with Wil Wheaton.
Technology Review talks about virtual keyboards.
I never knew that one in four men faked their orgasms.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Time magazine picks the best inventions of 2002. (Via Linkfilter.)
Now this is consumer product testing: "We are running a washing machine permanently until it breaks. If you guess when, you win $1500".
"IBM starts work on computer to rival the human brain" (Via Neuroprosthesis News.)
This past weekend, "Master Pete" Lovering won the World Rock Paper Scissors championship. Here's the official announcement. Interestingly enough, there's a fair amount of academic study of this subject (see some of the links at the bottom of this page), including a discussion of how some microbes play the equivalent of RPS. (Via Kent Manning.)
Fossil will be selling a Palm OS PDA/wristwatch. The company website has more product info and specifications. (Via Techdirt.)

Monday, November 18, 2002

Casinos like to use mechanical card shufflers to speed up game play. But according to Stanford mathematicians Persi Diaconis and Susan Holmes, these machines are not very good at randomizing the cards.
Watch out for the flying cell phone tower!
Feed your pets over the internet.
Chocolate pizza?

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Busy commuters will love the minicopter.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

Help the economy -- have more sex.

Friday, November 15, 2002

This month's Crypto-Gram has an interesting story on the defense tactics of the Japanese honeybee.
"Scientists have created what is claimed to be the world's first radiation-proof fabric which provides as much protection as a lead vest but at a fraction of the weight."
I never knew that there was such a big business in counterfeit batteries. (Via Fark.)
Boston College researchers have created a new high density optical storage medium by combining "epoxy glue sold at hardware stores and a glass-like substance". This new material is very stable and can store 19 times more data than a DVD. (Via Ars Technica.)
Attention Unix enthusiasts: "Under the Hood of OS X"
Instant Messenger chat slang is invading (some would say corrupting) high school English classes. (Thanks to Kent Manning for the link.)

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Sunspots: The latest high-resolution images of sunspots are astounding.
Eugene Volokh, Supreme Court justice?
The Human Swiss Army Knife: "An eccentric Frenchman who goes by the name of Crazy Eric has entered the record books for the unusual feat of carrying permanently about his body more than 1,000 useful objects." He has apparently designed a clever set of clothes with multiple pockets enabling him to carry all of his gear. (Via Techdirt.)
Game of the day: Radial Pong. (Via Madville.)
"Marxists' Apartment A Microcosm Of Why Marxism Doesn't Work" (From The Onion.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Mirror matter?: "Two Australian scientists believe they have found evidence of a parallel universe of strange matter within our own Solar System." This "mirror matter" is different from anti-matter and "weirder".
Mad magazine has a parody of The Onion. (Via Metafilter.)
Why settle for a mere robotic guard dog when you can have a robotic guard dragon? (Via BBspot.)
Game of the day: Miniputt2 miniature golf. That 17th hole is a killer!
If weapons inspectors return to Iraq, they'll have some new technology at their disposal.
Even elementary school kids are using PowerPoint for their school presentations. (Via Techdirt.)
Who has been struck by a meteorite? (Here's some of the relevant physics.)
The Top 11 Lies that computer science students tell themselves.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The US Marines want you to read science fiction. Their recommended reading list for privates includes Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers and for corporals/sergeants includes Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. The rest of the reading list for the various ranks is pretty interesting also. (Via Boing Boing.)
The Chinese Restaurant random name generator. (Via Madville.)
There are not enough real military buglers to play "Taps" at veterans' funerals. And many military families didn't like their loved ones buried to the sound of a CD. The Pentagon's solution? "[A] real bugle with a computerized insert. Now, a soldier only needs to push a button, wait five seconds and pretend to play." Apparently, very few people can tell the difference between the simulated playing and the real thing.
Quantum encryption is coming.

Monday, November 11, 2002

Two customers at the Alaska Experience Theater were sitting through the earthquake simulation tour when a real 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit. They merely thought it was part of an exceptionally realistic simulation. According to the article, "Even afterward, as they viewed displays in an adjoining gallery and aftershocks made the ground shake again, the Wortleys didn't catch on. Susan Wortley thought her wobbly legs were a residual effect of the simulator - something like a seaman getting his land legs back. 'We thought, 'This was really good.'"
"An assistant professor at MIT is working to embroider soldier's uniforms with polymer threads that silently flash an optical bar code."
The Colossal Colon is coming to a city near you: "As part of March's National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2003, the Cancer Research Foundation of America will lead a nationwide, 20-city Colossal Colon Tour from March 2003 to October 2003... The Colossal Colon is a 40-foot long, four-foot high replica of a human colon. Visitors who crawl through the colon, or look through the viewing windows, will see healthy colon tissue, colon disease, polyps and various stages of colon cancer." (Via Metafilter.)
More geek toys: The Amazing Magnets Superball kit.
A nice photograph of the "green flash". When I used to live in a beachside apartment in La Jolla, California, I was lucky enough to see it three times in a two year period. There's even a seafood restaurant on the San Diego waterfront called the "Green Flash" where customers can regularly see this phenomenon.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Eric Harshbarger has created a Lego mosaic of the New York City skyline. It's obviously a pre-9/11 image, given the presence of the WTC twin towers. (Via Memepool.)

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Nanotech version of Tetris: "A real-life implementation of the evergreen arcade game Tetris was obtained by optically trapping 42 glass microspheres (1 ìm diameter) in a 25 ìm x 20 ìm sized field under a microscope. Their positions are then steered with a computer. The generation of multiple traps, as well as the computer-steering, is accomplished by the use of acousto-optic deflectors: devices that tune the deflection of a laser beam that have very fast response. This page contains real-time videos and images of a micro-Tetris game, played live from the computer keyboard." (Via Boing Boing.)
Own the elements: For a mere $900, you can own a box containing all 92 of the naturally occurring elements in the periodic table from hydrogen to uranium. (Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, November 08, 2002

The FAA has denied the Sioux City Airport's request to change its 3-letter designation to something other than SUX. (Via BBspot.)
European soccer officials will field test a system of real-time tracking sensors placed within the soccer balls and players' shin pads which should in theory allow referees to immediately know if a player is offsides or if a player has scored a legal goal.
These are some of the most amazing Etch-A-Sketch drawings I've ever seen. (Via Metafilter.) Update: Rick Meyer pointed me to these astounding Etch-A-Sketch drawings by George Vlosich.
The city of Taipei has suspended its instant lottery after a contestant cracked the barcode system on the lotto tickets, and started winning more money than random chance would allow. (Via Linkfilter.)
A rock from Mars strikes the Earth about once a month.
"UC Irvine physicist Gregory Benford will announce plans for the first known attempt to push a spacecraft into the Earth's orbit with energy beamed up from the ground." More information on similar projects is available here.
Vending machines are getting huge.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

An antimatter-based space drive.
The return of the Black Death: Two people in New York City have been diagnosed with the bubonic plague, although they probably contracted it in New Mexico. (Via Fark.)
Couples that meet online still don't usually admit the truth to their families and friends. (Via Plastic.)
Making "ghosts" in a machine: British scientists are hoping to build a neutrino factory.
A pair of (very nonscientific) personality tests: "Which Founding Father Are You?" and "Which Pulp Fiction Character Are You?" (Via Linkfilter.)
Overclocker Cafe has a good review of caffeinated soap from Xoxide. In their "Pros and Cons" section, one of the "Cons" they list is, "Say a four letter word near your mother and you will be sorry if you have this soap handy". (Via Ars Technica.)

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

A real-life "superhero" going by the name Terrifica has been patrolling the streets of NYC saving young women from would-be seducers. From the article, "'I protect the single girl living in the big city,' says Terrifica, sporting blond Brunhild wig with a golden mask and a matching Valkyrie bra. 'I do this because women are weak. They are easily manipulated, and they need to be protected from themselves and most certainly from men and their ill intentions toward them.'" She even has an arch-nemesis, a man named "Fantastico" who likes to dress in velvet. According to Fantastico, "over the years, Terrifica has thwarted his attempts on numerous occasions to get to know women a little better." (Via Boing Boing.)
"The U.S. Army used a high-energy laser to shoot down an artillery shell in mid-flight..."
Some Russian scientists are theorizing that a particular species of radiation-resistant microbes may have evolved on Mars, then travelled to Earth. Other scientists are skeptical, to say the least.
This might catch your eye. (Via Memepool.)
The German secret service has been bugging the mobile phones of some of their citizens, then billing them for the "service". (Via BBspot.)
Why does so much high-tech gear glow blue?

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Who has the biggest collection of spam? Why, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), of course. The FTC has been requesting that annoyed spam recipients send them copies for several years now, so their current spam data base contains over 20 million entries and is considered the most extensive in the world.
These are some pretty wild optical illusions. As the warning note states, "Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately."
Chameleon Tanks: The US Army is developing a "smart tank" with a nanotechnology-based coating that will allow it to detect and heal surface damage. Plus the coating will be able to "turn chameleon, creating instant camouflage and making themselves virtually invisible on the battlefield."
It's Election Day, and many people are excited about new high-tech touch screen voting machines. Unfortunately, some tech experts warn that they may have some serious drawbacks.
Slower download speeds makes websurfers more likely to click on hyperlinks, a someone counterintuitive result. Plus it also increases the degree of arousal caused by erotic images. (Via WonkoSlice.)
Net Vegas: The proliferation of computing power in Las Vegas casinos has led to an incredible economic boom as customers flock to the gaming tables. But it has also meant an explosive growth in high-tech cheaters and high-tech countermeasures.

Monday, November 04, 2002

A Russian MIG 21 supersonic jet fighter is available for sale on eBay. Be the first on your block to own one. (Via Linkfilter.)
I hate it when my cordless keyboard sends messages to my neighbor's computer. (Via Madville.)
Danish researchers have invented "[a]n interactive pool table with a laser that points out exactly where the best shots lie..."
Crime Scene Investigators (CSI): Television vs. reality.
An intrepid researcher looks into the mysterious packets of silica gel labelled "Do Not Eat". (Via BBspot.)
Psychologist Nick Kanas studies how to select astronauts who can live together in orbit for 6 months at a time without killing each other.
GeekPress returns: Diana and I are back early from our trip, so posting will resume today.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Administrative note: GeekPress will take a one week break. We'll be back on November 8th!
Recharge your computer and mobile phone batteries with a wireless charging station.
Google Sets will try to predict other elements in a set if you provide just a few examples.
"Before There Was E-mail: Forwarding Jokes Through History"
Why does Antarctica use Daylight Savings Time? (Via MemeMachineGo.)
Icelandic scientists have invented a nonpolluting device which generates electricity from hot water.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Bulletproof cars for sale here. (Via Aberrant News.)
Celebrate your next birthday with a bioluminescent birthday cake. (Via Boing Boing.)
Rather than actually surfing the web, you can try the Realistic Internet Simulator.
"Iraq Denies Having Nuquler Weapons Program"
Top Ten Mac OS X Tips for Unix Geeks. (Via Linkfilter.)
Indian scientists say they may have found evidence of microscopic extraterrestrial life.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Shaking hands over the internet.
The weakest link in computer security is, of course, always the people. (This is just one article in the excellent Economist overview of computer security.)
A special cooling glove may help improve the performance of long distance runners.
Spammers vs bloggers.
Mathematicians in India have found a new algorithm for detecting prime numbers that is much more efficient than previous methods. Plus one variant of the new algorithm lends itself quite well to distributed computing.
More time wasters: Online pinball games. (Via Linkfilter.)

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Fake fireplaces are now hip. Or at least they're no longer considered tacky. (Via Techdirt.)
Scientists are working on "gait recognition systems" to identify people by their unique walks.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

If it's Halloween, then it's time for Virtual Pumpkin Carving. (Via Linkfilter.)
Tetris is hard.

Friday, October 25, 2002

"Indecent Proposal": This is the funniest Mastercard "Priceless" parody I've ever seen. Excellent production values, BTW. (Via Metafilter.)
Airlines are working on ways to get passengers in-flight high speed internet access at prices considerably cheaper than the $4 per minute charged by the current Airfone service. One reason they are doing this is to provide an alternative for their passengers who are BlackBerry addicts. Apparently, BlackBerries still work quite well even in mid-air, and their surreptitious use is nearly impossible to detect because they only require being connected to the internet for a burst of a few seconds.
"Is there a 'geek' syndrome?" (Via Mike O'Ronain)
More cool BMW short films coming. (Via Techdirt.)
IBM researchers have built a computer circuit made of carbon monoxide molecules. The best part is that the system works like a miniature set of cascading dominoes.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Why so-called "ballistic fingerprinting" is a bad idea.
Googlism: What does Google think of you?
Quantum computation researchers have implemented their first digital logic operation -- a NOT gate.
Two companies are developing cell phones that can be used on airplanes without disrupting the flight control electronics.
You can send your stuff to the Moon for as little as $2500. TransOrbital, the first private company granted permission to land on and explore the Moon, will let you "send a lock of your hair up on the ship, or a business card, for $2500. The launch vehicle has room for corporate logos on the side (think NASCAR, but faster) for $25,000 and up". Interested customers can find more details here. (Via Boing Boing.)
Potential new legal nightmare: A technique known as "phylogenetic analysis" could in theory let people trace who gave them the flu. Let the lawsuits fly! (Via Metafilter.)
Dogs prefer Bach to Britney Spears or Metallica.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Online fraud is one of the top 5 industries in Nigeria.
In a sensible legal ruling, a Federal judge has decided that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply to websites, but only physical spaces. This means that commercial websites will not have to design their interfaces to accomodate the blind, deaf, etc. websurfers -- something that could have cost companies enormous sums of money.
Japanese researchers have created a prototype transparent computer processor on a sheet of glass.
Unknown parties attempted to cripple the Internet on Monday in a massive distributed denial-of-service attack against the 13 root servers that make up the Internet Domain Name System. Fortunately, the attack was unsuccessful.
Here's a good way to avoid a speeding ticket, but it probably won't work for everyone.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to destroy the Internet. (Via Linkfilter.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

A brain tumor has been shown to be the cause of pedophilia in a 40-year old married man. The man displayed no predisposition toward pedophilia until he developed an "egg sized tumor" in the right lobe of his orbifrontal cortex, a part of the brain which affects judgement and impulse control. After the tumor was removed, the pedophilia went away.
Build your own lie detector. All you need is "a set of Atari paddles, some insulated wire, a phillips screwdriver a pair of needle-nosed pliers, two pieces of aluminum foil, two rubber bands, four alligator clips, any Atari computer and your favorite pathological liar" plus the BASIC program listed in the article. (Via Linkfilter.)
"What European Tribes Think About One Another"
The last thing we need is this diabolical combination of popup ads and spam.
Wired houses of the rich and famous.

Monday, October 21, 2002

"Saddam Hussein Invited to Virginia Gas Stations"
All Look the Same? Can you tell Chinese, Japanese, and Korean people apart? Take this online quiz to find out. (Via Linkfilter.)
More Inventions of the Day: Office desks that can help you exercise or take a nap while at work. (Personally, the napping desk "that converts into a giant pillow at the push of a button" sounds a lot more cool...)
John Hawkins of RightWingNews posts his favorite Simpsons quotes.
Japanese Invention of the Day: A giant photocopier designed to copy the entire human body in one sweep. (Babelfish link via Boing Boing.)
The last online vestige of the now-defunct Soviet Union, the ".su" domain, will be revoked next year.
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, talks about how things have changed in the economic downturn. Bottom line -- "when things are bad, it's good for Dilbert".

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Another anti-telemarking script (via David Lewis.)
Radical animal rights-activists from PETA had to be rescued by police after they attempted an anti-milk protest at a Scottish school. The two men, one dressed in a cow suit, were passing out leaflets condemning milk-drinking when about 100 schoolchildren started a counter-protest around the PETA activists, shouting "milk for the masses" and drenching the PETA men in milk.
A man has been cleared of sexual assault charges by proving to the court that he could not have committed the crime because he has an embarassingly small micropenis. (Hey, it also worked on South Park in their "Chinpoko Mon" episode.)
Oops, never mind: Back in June 2000, open source software guru Eric Raymond boldly predicted the death of Microsoft within a year. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he predicted that a confluence of business factors would "topple Microsoft by first quarter, or early second quarter of 2001". Of course, it's now the fourth quarter of 2002 and Microsoft is still going strong. Although I have a lot of respect for Eric Raymond, it's clear that his predictions were seriously off target.
"Wallace & Grommit" short films are now available online.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

The man-vs-machine chess match between the world human chess champion Vladimir Kramnik and the Deep Fritz computer program has ended in a draw.
Canadian game of the day: For all you curling addicts that couldn't get enough during the Winter Olympics, here's virtual curling. (Via Madville.)
A snake has survived for a year preserved in a bottle of alcohol. (Via Fark.)

Friday, October 18, 2002

Earth Erotica: Nature photographs that look an awful lot like porn. (Via Metafilter.)
Google Poetry. (Via Linkfilter.)
What happens when you shine a light straight into a black hole? You get a bunch of concentric rings reflecting back. Interestingly enough, "for perfect alignment of the lens, source, and observer, the rings are of infinite brightness" -- whatever that means. (Via Solsberg.)
Top 11 Reasons that Steve the Dell "Dude" should be fired. (Via BBspot.)
Important safety tip: Don't ever mix dry ice with the mysterious blue toilet liquid when on an airplane flight.
The chess match between Vladimir Kramnik, the world human chess champion, and the Deep Fritz computer program is all tied up with one game to go.
A 14-year-old girl in south-eastern Brazil has given birth to a baby boy with two heads. According to the article, "doctors found the boy had one heart, one liver and one set of lungs, but two heads, two spines, two brains and two oesophagi..." The personal identity philosophy scholars will like the next sentence: "'I believe there are two children, because there are two heads and two separate brains', Dr Jose Sabino de Oliveira, director of the hospital's paediatric intensive care unit, said in a televised interview." According to physicians, "The child is healthy and can survive."

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Puzzle of the day: I found this on the PostPolitics website, taken from the most recent issue of Scientific American.
You have a bunch of spies ready to go into enemy territory. When they return to cross the frontier into your country, you want to avoid getting them shot, while at the same time preventing enemy spies from entering. So each must present a password to the guards, which the guards will verify. Whereas you trust your spies, and your guards are loyal, you believe the guards may loosen their tongues in bars at night. What information should the guards receive, and how should the spies present their passwords, so that only your spies get through and nobody else, even if the guards go out for a couple?
(My own proposed solution is here.)
Computer technology is advancing so rapidly that we're running out of Greek superlatives to describe memory capacities. "Kilobyte", "megabyte" and "gigabyte" are now commonplace terms, and many people are familiar with "terabyte". After "giga-" and "tera-", we still have "peta-" and "exa-", but then we run out of Greek prefixes. As corporations start archiving more and more data, this could become an interesting problem. (Via Techdirt.) Update: Christepher McKenney was kind enough to point out that the SI system includes additional prefixes beyond "exa-" including "zetta-" and "yotta-". Reminds me of the imaginary letters past "Z" in my favorite Dr. Seuss book, On Beyond Zebra.
Astronomers have now confirmed that there is a giant black hole in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. According to the article, the black hole "has a mass 3.7 million times that of our Sun, but is just 17 light hours across".
A British company will start placing coin-operated mobile phone charging kiosks throughout London for frustrated users caught with dead batteries. Users can pay 50p to get 20 minutes of fresh battery life (which takes 5 minutes to charge) or 1 pound for 45 minutes of fresh battery charge (requiring a wait of 10 minutes). More information is available at the Charge Me website.
Now your AIBO robotic dog can have his own skateboard. You can also teach him to do tricks "with voice commands such as 'turn left' and 'super slalom'". (Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The passage of time as shown in this terrific series of family portraits taken over 27 years. (Via Metafilter.)
For the Japanese, mobile phone text messaging is now passe. The "in" thing is mobile phone picture messaging. Among other applications, young Japanese women use this to check out what their potential dates look like before going out with them.
What a great idea: A telemarketing counterscript. (Via BBspot.)
For less than $6000, two companies will let you briefly experience zero-gravity by taking you on a commercial version of the "vomit comet" that NASA astronauts use to train. These are jets which take a high parabolic arc such that for approximately 30 seconds, passengers are in a free fall that simulates zero-gravity. And you don't have to share the ride with any damned flying crabs.
A Spanish engineer has invented a device which he claims will translate the meaning of babies' cries for adults with 98% accuracy.
Now this is the way to ensure airline security: "FAA Considering Passenger Ban".

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Redheads apparently feel pain more intensely.
If you're going to insult someone, make sure you use the correct derogatory term. Warning -- this is so not politically correct. (Via Linkfilter.)
Fetuses can see light from outside the mother's body.
3-D glasses are back.
"Dead Grandmother/Exam Syndrome": An alarmed biologist has noticed an ominous trend -- namely that a college student's grandmother is far more likely to die suddenly just before the student takes an exam than at any other time of year. He hypothesizes that this is because students' grandmothers are worrying themselves sick over their grandchildren's academic performance and proposes some solutions to protect our elderly population. (Via GMSV.)

Monday, October 14, 2002

"Spacewoman Stuck in Orbit With Too Much Shrimp": Astronaut Peggy Whitson is on her 130th day in orbit, and she said, "Sometimes, when you come to space, your tastes change. One of my favorite foods on the ground is shrimp, and up here I can't stand it..." Apparently, she had planned over 40 shrimp meals for herself during her stay.
Do we really need an $8000 refrigerator with its own internet browser built in? (Via Plastic.)
Jetson chic: Personal hovercrafts and other toys you can blow your discretionary income on.
The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less. (Via Linkfilter.)
Law geeks can now play "Fantasy Supreme Court League". In this league, players will attempt to predict how the US Supreme Court will rule on 9 cases during the 2002-2003 session. Points will be awarded for predicting the rulings successfully as well as predicting the split in the votes (e.g. 9-0 or 7-2). The winner will receive a $500 prize and will be named "Armchair Jurist of the Year". (Via RightWingNews.)

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Is the Washington, DC sniper a former US military special forces operative? Here's one article that makes that claim. And if you type "special forces sniper death card" into Google, here's what you get. Or is this just paranoia? (Via Linkfilter.)
Some features you may need on your computer. (Via Madville.)

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Alternative lifestyle Barbie. (Via Linkfilter.)
"Zookeepers suspended for eating animals": Two zookeepers in a German zoo have been suspended and are currently under police investigation for eating the zoo's animals. The men were caretakers in the children's "petting zoo" section and are accused of having "slaughtered and barbecued five Tibetan mountain chickens and two Cameroonian sheep".

Friday, October 11, 2002

PhysicsWeb has an interesting article on the application of quantum mechanics to game theory -- two fields that I would have thought would be quite disconnected. (Via Techdirt.)
Obligatory non-geeky political link: Since I don't read political blogs very frequently, I hadn't heard of the term "Transnational Progressivism" until today. But when I read Steve DenBeste's review of this thought-provoking John Fonte essay, it really struck a chord. It pulls together a lot of data points and trends in international politics that have developed over the past several years. Well worth reading for any libertarian.
Nobel Prize winner graduated at the bottom of his college class: "Masatoshi Koshiba, one of the three winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics, on Wednesday provided evidence of his earlier claim he was the worst student in his university class by making public a copy of a transcript issued by his alma mater, Tokyo University."
Driver assistance automobile computers could eliminate traffic jams.
This Lego harpsicord is playable.
Yet another computer interface based on hand motions. More details at the FingerWorks website.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Tivo a Dinosaur? This piece in Slate suggests that TiVo is going to die. As I am one of the many fanatical TiVo fans, I find this alarming, of course. Personally, I think that TiVo is missing out on a prime network externality by not setting up a mechanism whereby I could send automatic recommendations to friends.

Imagine that I'm scheduling something on my TiVo, and I think, gee, Paul and Diana would like this. I could flag the selection to be forwarded to them at the next phone call, and then if their recorder wasn't doing anything, they'd record it. This type of system leads pretty obviously to network externalities, as I'd want to influence all my friends to buy TiVo brand instead of any upstart.

French automotive Big Brother: "France is preparing to test satellite technology that will automatically slow speeding cars by overriding driver control... Drivers breaking the speed limit will find the accelerator pedal becomes inoperable because the fuel injection will be regulated by an on-board computer, which itself will be connected to a global positioning system."
The Japanese high-tech toilet wars "started in February, when Matsushita engineers here unveiled a toilet seat equipped with electrodes that send a mild electric charge through the user's buttocks, yielding a digital measurement of body-fat ratio. Unimpressed, engineers from a rival company, Inax, counterattacked in April with a toilet that glows in the dark and whirs up its lid after an infrared sensor detects a human being. When in use, the toilet plays any of six soundtracks, including chirping birds, rushing water, tinkling wind chimes, or the strumming of a traditional Japanese harp." That was just the beginning.
Googling your e-mail.
The Internet Bookmobile is coming.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Dick Ruttan's latest airplane for the X-Prize competition looks a lot like a Klingon warship.
How to zap surveillance cameras with a laser pointer. (Via Boing Boing.)
Resistance is futile: Apparently, it is possible to kill yourself with a 9-volt battery.
Geeks need both tools and toys.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Life imitates The Onion:
The Onion 8/3/2000 - "Hershey's Ordered to Pay Obese Americans $135 Billion".
Orange County Register 10/8/2002 - "New Legal Target: Chocolate".

(Via Best of the Web.)
Astronomers have discovered a new world circling the Sun beyond Pluto. The object is called Quaoar, although it has not been designated a "planet" yet.
Carbon nanotubules may be the key to building a space elevator.
The next political trend may be the SouthPark Republicans. (Radley Balko points out that they sound an awful lot like "libertarians".)
More robots: Self-reconfiguring robots.
Robots aren't (yet) intelligent, self-aware beings. But if/when they do achieve sentience, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Robots (ASPCR) will be there to protect their rights. (Via Neuroprosthesis News.)

Monday, October 07, 2002

Escher Lego. (Via BBspot.)
Online magazine subscription services like Zinio and NewsStand will allow users to download copies of their favorite magazines and newspapers while duplicating the "look-and-feel" of handling paper copies as much as possible on their laptops.
Robotic home appliances may become more widespread as the prices continue to drop. One example is the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner. According to this article, "The $199 robot independently vacuums carpets, tiles and hardwood floors, scooting beneath chairs and couches in search of dirt, but promising never to crash into freshly painted walls or accidentally suck up the family pet. Roomba has the smarts not only to navigate, but also to find its way out of tight spots when it gets stuck."
"The Shape of the Internet": The Economist explains that the internet as a whole (as well as the World Wide Web) has a scale-free topology and what that means. As a way of illustrating this concept in everyday terms they note, "Research has shown that the network of human sexual partners seems to be scale-free, too. In other words, some people have all the luck, while others have none."
Biology students can now perform a virtual frog dissection online.
Scientific American has a great review article on quantum information theory.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

More computer chess news: On the other hand, world human chess champion Victor Kramnik is beating the computer "Deep Fritz" in his match.
"US chess champion Larry Christiansen has been trounced by the Chessmaster 9000 program in a four game match." More details here. Seems like the machines are gaining on us humans...
Gosh, I had no idea that the Sun was going to explode and destroy all life on Earth in the next 6 years.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Italian families are turning into clones of "The Simpsons" according to alarmed Italian health care experts. The article states, "Parents Homer and Marge and children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie from the cult American series have become real-life role models for Italians, say Dr. Loris Moroni and colleagues. The trend is so widespread that linguists, nutritionists, psychologists and sociologists have set up a 'City of Simpsons' conference to look at similarities". I wonder how many of these Italian families also had fathers that were astronauts and won Grammy Awards? (Via Linkfilter.)
"Microsoft Announces Ads for BSOD" (satire)

Friday, October 04, 2002

Time for a good old-fashioned GoogleFight!
The Ig Nobel Prize winners have been announced.
Timewaster of the Day: Bookworm. (Via Madville.)
Secure communications with quantum encryption can now be transmitted via a photon stream for a distance of over 14 miles. Scientists hope to be able to use this technique with communications satellite transmissions within the next decade.
Building a better Moonbase for fun and profit.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

These are the world's funniest jokes?
The "Mouse Gesture" and other "kinetic mouse commands" are starting to catch on with interface designers. Could this be the beginning of a real-life version of the fictional user interface featured in the recent science-fiction movie Minority Report?
An automotive "Easter egg" for the BMW M3 allows the driver to activate automated 4000-rpm clutch-drop, clutch-slip "racing start" and "burnout" modes for the manual transmission. (Via GMSV.)
"British scientists have developed a Star Trek style device which measures vital health signs without the need for skin contact." American scientists are also working on a similar device. (Via Techhead News.)
The Internet Weather Report: Animated maps of the current internet lag. (Via Linkfilter.)
The computer game company Acclaim Entertainment has offered to pay the speeding tickets for anyone caught speeding on camera in the UK on October 11, as part of its marketing campaign for its new game Burnout 2: Point of Impact. The British government is not amused. (Via Wonkoslice.)

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

MIT's Open Courseware is now online.
The French have decided that the iPod is illegal because it is too loud. The current iPods can generate sounds of up to 104 dB through their headphones, which exceeds the French maximum of 100 dB. Legal versions should be available soon. (Via Boing Boing.)
Psychologists say that online dating is good, in part because participants are more likely to reveal their true selves to others online than in conventional dating. Yeah, right. (Via Techdirt.)
Blondes apparently won't become extinct after all. (Via Fark.)
Geeky frame-by-frame analysis of the trailer for upcoming Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers movie. Here's the trailer, as well. This is going to be a great film. (Via Metafilter.)
One more reason to wear contact lenses: According to a recent study performed in a British nightclub, "Swapping glasses for contact lenses can dramatically increase success with the opposite sex"...
Scientists have developed atomic-scale memories allowing extremely dense storage. The current implementation uses a mere 20 atoms to store one bit of information.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Administrative note: Due to internet connection problems at home, GeekPress updates may be sparse for the next few days until Diana can sort things out.
How to make money from the upcoming war with Iraq.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Yakima County in Washington will now let you e-mail your excuses to the judge as to why you shouldn't have to pay your traffic ticket.
If you're an unethical auto mechanic who likes to go joy-riding in customers' cars, don't post about it on the internet. The owner might read about it and get pissed off. (A lengthy discussion on this saga is available here on Kuro5hin.)
Quiz: How geeky are you?
Some unusual materials shrink when heated, rather than expand. Scientists hope to be able to do interesting things with them.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

I sure hope that Saddam Hussein doesn't do this.
It doesn't matter if you're in outer space -- you still have to fill out the damned census form. According to this article, "A Russian spaceship carrying census forms is on its way to two cosmonauts so they can take part in Russia's first post-Soviet population head-count... Russia's Valery Korzun and Sergei Treshchev on the orbiting International Space Station will fill out the questionnaires and send them back to Earth, joining millions of their land-based compatriots in the exercise planned for October 9-16."

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Sharp has invented an LCD display that shows 3-dimensional images. Unfortunately, only one person at a time can experience the full effect.

Friday, September 27, 2002

German scientists predict that natural blondes are "endangered" and will die out within 200 years.
Take a look at this astounding optical illusion. Here's why it works. The Koffka Ring version is also pretty damned impressive. More Flash demos are available here. (Via Metafilter.)
Michael Malone muses about life, the universe, feedback loops, and the Segway scooter.
The newest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary will include numerous science fiction terms including Jedi, Klingon, and dilithium. The word "wedgie" will also make its first appearance in the OED.

Thursday, September 26, 2002

"Lorenzo's Oil" has been proven to work, at least according to this article. Other physicians are more skeptical.
The first big commercial nanotechnology product may be nano-pants. (Via Plastic.)
Michael Malone argues that we're virtually guaranteed to experience another big economic boom in the next decade. Why? Because of rising chip speeds.
How not to do cybersex. (Via Linkfilter.)
Now this is ironic: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says that he can't get cable or DSL service to his Seattle house, despite personally begging the heads of AT&T and Qwest. (Via BBspot.)

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Science fiction writer David Brin makes "The Case for a Cheerful Libertarianism". In this thought-provoking speech, he skewers a number of libertarian sacred cows, yet reaches a very optimistic conclusion. Well worth reading. (Thanks to Andrew Breese for this excellent link.)
Beer in space. (Via Linkfilter.)
The "Laura Bush" parody of the Nigerian money laundering spams. (Via Boing Boing.)
Would you like to get a copy of your genetic code on a CD? An American company will offer that service for only $600,000. A British company hopes to be able to lower that price to a mere $1000.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

I didn't know you could plagiarize silence, but a lawsuit alleging exactly that has been settled for a six-figure amount. (Via Fark.)
Nanotechnology researchers can now weld together individual carbon nanotubules.
Now you can create your own virtual sandart on your computer without the mess. (Via Metafilter.)
Young people are unconsciously slipping into "Instant Messenger English" in their formal school writing assignments.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Everyone on eBay is sniping.
Invention of the day: Self-cleaning glass. (Via Boing Boing.)
Future US soldiers may be able to utilize robotic eyes, ears, and noses.
MirCorp says we need more advertising in outer space, not less. They point to this ad as an example.
Forget the risk of cellphones causing cancer. This poor cellphone user reportedly attracted a bat attack, supposedly because of the "cellphone signal interfering with the bats' sonar sensory system". At least cellphones are helpful in scaring away ghosts.

Sunday, September 22, 2002

Forbes lists the Top 15 Richest Fictional Characters of all time. The first four are:
1. Santa Claus $Infinity
2. Richie Rich $24.7 billion
3. Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks $10 billion
4. Scrooge McDuck $8.2 billion
(Link via Boing Boing.)
ObNonGeekPoliticalPost: Victor Hanson answers questions about Iraq. Well worth reading. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)
Are you colorblind? (Via Madville.)