Friday, February 28, 2003

Scientists have gotten their first look at single grains of stardust.
Did you think you just got accepted to Cornell? Well, maybe you didn't. Cornell's admissions office admitted that it sent out hundreds of e-mails to high school applicants that it had rejected that incorrectly welcomed them to the class of 2007.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Michigan scientists have achieved quantum entanglement of three electrons.
Test your reaction time. (Via Madville.)
The new Homeland Security Act may kill the hobby of model rocketry because the propellants used in many solid fuel rocket motors are now classified as explosives.
Ride out the next terrorist attack (or natural disaster) in a high tech shelter from US Bunkers. (Via Metafilter.)
Gulf War Weapons, Version 2.0

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

One of the most difficult challenges for speech recognition software is the Scottish accent -- e.g., "Ma moose dis'nae work" or "Ah cannae shut doon". (Via Fark.)
Soap bubbles in zero-gravity. (Via Boing Boing.)
Top 10 Techno-cars of 2003. (Via Metafilter.)
How many TV screens do you really need in your SUV? (Via BBspot.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

The "Dell Dude" Ben Curtis says the being busted for marijuana possession was a blessing in disguise, because it now frees him to pursue more serious acting opportunities. Um, sure. (Via Obscure Store.)
Many soldiers heading off the the Middle East are making deposits to sperm banks just in case.
"Human Body Version 2.0": Ray Kurzweil has written this thought-provoking essay predicting what human biology will be like in 30 years once nanotechnology kicks into high gear. (Via Nanodot.)
Library Science jargon that sounds dirty. (Via Memepool.)
Repression might be a better coping strategy than previously acknowledged.

Monday, February 24, 2003

Speaking of asteroids, an asteroid came within 60 miles of wiping out Rome in the 5th century. The asteroid landed in Italy approximately A.D. 412 (plus-or-minus 40 years) and released about 15 times as much energy as the atom bomb that hit Hiroshima. (Via Transterrestrial Musings.)
The RAND corporation analyst who had been reported as recommending that impending extinction-class asteroid strikes on Earth be kept secret from the general population to avoid panic has now apparently clarified his position.
Moore's Law: Ars Technica tells you everything you wanted to know in this excellent review article.
Kelly Chessen, psychologist and former suicide hotline crisis counselor, now helps people deal with the psychological trauma of losing all their computer data. (Note: the article spells her name incorrectly.)
Tsering Gyaltsen, grandson of one of the sherpas in the 1953 Everest expedition, will set up the world's highest internet cafe on Mount Everest. He plans to "use radio and satellite links and solar and generator power" to run his cybercafe.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Cleaning up the air with synthetic trees.
What would a bioterror attack on Los Angeles look like? Here's one hypothetical scenario. Very realistic. (Via Metafilter.)
Office Pranks: Don't even think of trying these practical jokes at the office. (Via BBspot.)

Friday, February 21, 2003

Hedy Lamarr: Glamorous film star and co-inventor of a frequency hopping secure wireless communications protocol. (Via Hirshol Pheir.)
"A corrupt banking employee can guess your PIN number in just 15 attempts because of a weakness in banks' computer systems..." Update: Here's the original paper in .pdf format.
Nature vs. Nurture: Who's on which side?
"Evil" SUV's help keep critical medical services going during the recent East Coast blizzard. (Via Madville.)
My next geek toy will probably be this solar-powered water-proof G-Shock digital watch from Casio that automatically calibrates itself with the official US Government atomic time signal generated from Fort Collins, Colorado.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Swiss researchers have found a flaw in the SSL (Secure Socket Layers) encryption protocol. Fortunately, the practical implications are likely to be fairly minimal.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Brainwave receivers "can roughly identify what a person is thinking about, based on his or her mental activity." (Via K5.)
"Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex": Larry Niven's classic essay of the problems Superman would experience if he had sex with Lois Lane. (Via Linkfilter.)
Nuclear powered drone aircraft may be able to stay in the air for months at a time.
More ragging on the French. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)
Genghis Khan was so prolific at spreading his DNA around that geneticists have found that 8% of men living in the region of the former Mongol empire are descended from him. These 16 million men comprise 0.5% of the total male population of the world. Who says war and conquest don't pay off?
Tired of the endless Nigerian scam e-mails? This site will help you generate a fitting response. (Via Linkfilter.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

"Directed Sound" could have all sorts of useful military and commercial applications. Or it could make for really annoying advertising.
The sociology of nerds and freaks.
Green Berets and other special forces troops have special brain chemistry that make them better able to handle extreme stress than most people.
The K-bot robotic head is pretty damned good at mimicking human facial expressions. More pictures are available here.
"Wanted: Traffic Cops for Space"

Monday, February 17, 2003

Prions, the rogue brain proteins associated with "Mad Cow Disease", can be coated with gold and used to make nanocircuitry.
The English-to-12-Year-Old-AOLer Translator. (Via Linkfilter.)
We now have proof of what we've long suspected: that southern accents can transform an ordinary cat into a very annoyed lion.
Is your last name hidden amongst the digits of pi? Click through to find out. (Via Linkfilter.)
The "CSI Effect": The popularity of the television show CSI may lead jurors to have unrealistic high expectations as to how crimes should be solved, a phenomenon known as the "'CSI' Effect". During jury selection, some prosecutors now routinely ask potential jurors, "Do you watch the television show 'CSI'?". (Via Boing Boing.)

Sunday, February 16, 2003

The next generation of atomic clocks will be so accurate that they will only lose a second every few billion years. Current atomic clocks lose a second every 10-20 million years.
A Rand Corporation researcher has proposed that if the government were ever to learn that an extinction-class asteroid was about to strike the Earth, the best course of action would be to keep it a secret and let everyone die in blissful ignorance. Very paternalistic. (Via Transterrestrial Musings.)
Google is buying Blogger.

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Ultrarealistic tatooes. (Via Madville.)
The best Homer Simpson quotes. (Via Linkfilter.)
"How I Joined Teach for America — and Got Sued for $20 Million". Chilling observations on the American public educational system.
This is all wrong: I don't think any of these Chinese actors would be right for Lord of the Rings. (Via Madville.)

Friday, February 14, 2003

More e-mail scams masquerading as PayPal administrative notices.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

The city of Pittsburgh has one of only 19 high-tech Automatic Public Toilets (APTs) in the world. But for $250,000 you get a lot of features. (Via Obscure Store.)
There's ping pong and then there's Table Tennis.
Scientists have found a gene that may be linked with longevity.
Dave Barry asks "What if, for the past year or so, terrorists, working in U.S. factories, have been putting lethal biochemical agents on... duct tape?"
"Brain fingerprinting" -- useful or Orwellian? (Via Metafilter.)
Cartoon of the day: "The Average American's View of the Muslim World" (Via Instapundit.)
Invention of the day: The "smart bra" that "tightens its own straps if an energetic wearer needs extra support". (Via Boing Boing.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Most people kiss the right way.
"My Short Life As An Unintentional Spammer": Our friend Mike Masnick at Techdirt has written a very interesting article about what happened when a porn spammer sent out bulk e-mail using his e-mail address in the "Reply-To:" field. In his words, "Ever wonder what sorts of emails end up in a spammer's email database? Want to know who actually responds to spam and what they say? Want to know the myriads of formats (and languages) a bounced email message can take? I can now tell you all of this. Without my knowledge, I recently became an accidental porn spammer." Click through to read the full story.
There's a surprisingly large secondary market for coupons on eBay.
The Universe will expand forever, at least according to NASA scientists.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Everything you wanted to know about time travel. (Via Linkfilter.)
"What Mars would look like if it still had all of its original water" (Via Three River Tech Review.)
Amusing Professor Quotes. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)
"Raiders of the Lost Ark": The deleted scenes. (Via Linkfilter.)

Monday, February 10, 2003

The next hot game show: Who wants to be a billionaire?
"The World's Smallest Flea Circus": Nanotechnology researcher Steve Tung is "incorporating living bacteria into microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) to form living motors for pumps and valves". (Via Nanodot.)
Dude, You've Been Arrested! "Benjamin Curtis, the 22-year old actor who portrays 'Steven,' the Dell Guy, in those bothersome computer commercials, was arrested late last night (2/9) on a marijuana possession charge... . According to police, Curtis was nabbed after cops spotted him buying a 'small bag of marijuana' from a dealer on Manhattan's Lower East Side..."
Michael Powell, head of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), "die-hard Republican free-marketeer", and son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, is an unabashed gadget freak.
James Gleick has written an excellent overview of the history of spam and the various attempted countermeasures.
Cartoon of the Day: "Bringing Civilization To Its Knees" (Via Linkfilter.)
"Russian scientists said on Wednesday that they have found living cells in a frozen Ice Age mammoth that could provide the DNA needed to resurrect the long extinct tuskers." (Via Metafilter.)

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Mark Maxwell says that he is able to make a living playing online poker. Supposedly he earns $40/hour playing 30 hours a week. Plus he doesn't need to keep a poker face.
Clear Channel Concerts plans on offering instant music CDs of live concerts available for sale to audience members immediately after the show. (Via Metafilter.)

Saturday, February 08, 2003

The latest man-vs.-computer chess match between Gary Kasparov and Deep junior has ended in a draw. They tied 3-3 in their 6 game series.

Friday, February 07, 2003

Scientists have created the blackest black.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

"Public Computer Users Beware" -- someone may be recording your keystrokes.
Admin note: GeekPress postings will be a little sparse for the next few days.
"Sleep Lets Brain File Memories"
Nokia wants you to buy their combination handheld game unit/mobile telephone.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Update on "Transparent clothing": David Lull wrote in with a link to what this high tech "invisibility cloak" looks like. Granted, it doesn't work quite as well as the One Ring of Sauron, but it doesn't turn the wearer into a Nazgul either.
Astronomers want to drop bowling balls from airplanes onto the Bonneville salt flats ine Utah. All in the name of science, of course.
Businesses are starting to outsource rejection. Plus it gets interesting when arrogant middle management job applicants realize in the middle of the phone call that the person they're talking to isn't a "mere" receptionist but the person conducting the job interview...
Stupid Computer Tricks (Via Madville.)

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

"Transparent clothing": This sounds like a form of optical camouflage. (Via Boing Boing.)
Whatever happened to the space shuttle Enterprise? (Via Fark.)
The Simpsons 300th episode is approaching: In commemoration, Entertainment Weekly has compiled their list of the top 25 episodes as well as the worst episode. (Via Metafilter.)

Monday, February 03, 2003

Watch out for this identity theft scam: There's a bogus e-mail circulating in which identity thieves pretend to be from eBay checking on your account status in order to persuade you to divulge some sensitive personal information.
Glenn Reynolds talks about what we should focus on next for the US space program.
Cell phones really can screw up hospital life-support machinery. But the electromagnetic interference disappeared at distance greater than 12 inches.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Computer games that never end.
Using Google to exact revenge against former boyfriends.
Up to 1-10% of DVDs may be subject to a condition known as "DVD rot" which will render them quickly unplayable. (Via Linkfilter.)

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Things were a lot different 100 years ago: Some interesting facts about life in the year 1902. (Via Linkfilter.)
A sad day for the US space program. Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of the lost Columbia space shuttle crew: "Shuttle commander Rick D. Husband, pilot William C. McCool, payload commander Michael P. Anderson, mission specialists David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla and Laurel Clark and Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon." Here's some additional biographical information about these brave men and women, as well as some photographs.