Wednesday, April 30, 2003

"You're In Control": The MIT Media Lab has developed a new series of games controlled by the player's urine stream, hence the name "You're In Control (Urine Control)". The picture of the woman play-testing the system is worth a visit to the site. Here's their paper on the subject. (Via Boing Boing.)
Eric Drexler talks about the future of nanotechnology.
How valid is the Rorschach inkblot test? According to a recent psychology book, not very. One author claims that tarot card readings would be just as accurate. If you want to see the official Rorschach figures as well as the supposedly "correct" answers, click here and decide for yourself. (Via Plastic.)
Where the hell does all this spam come from anyways? The Center for Democracy and Technology did a little study and found out.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Anthrax update: US officials are apparently dismissing claims that the Egyptian courier died of anthrax, although their reasons for doing so aren't clear. I don't think we've heard the end of this story. (Via Command Post.)
Did we just dodge a huge anthrax attack? Steve Den Beste has his own theory on the source of this suitcase full of anthrax intercepted on its way to Canada. Other comments can be found on Winds of Change and Little Green Footballs.
Humor piece of the day: This parody commentary from Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn on Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring is hilarious. Here are Part 1 and Part 2. (Via Instapundit and Neoflux.)
"Rich internet applications" are coming.
Happy Spammiversary :-( Spam turns 25 this week. The first spam was a cheesy announcement sent on May 1, 1978 about an open house for the hot new DEC-20 minicomputer sent to everyone on the West Coast Arpanet, although the term "spam" wasn't coined until 1993. Since then, the problem has gotten worse, and even the recently proposed Lawrence Lessig solution has several problems. As Brad Templeton observes:
Spam fascinates me because it sits at the intersection of three important rights -- free speech, private property and privacy. It's also the first major internet governance issue (possibly in tandem with DNS) that the members of the internet community have been so deeply concerned with.
Excellent article. Templeton has more thoughts on the spam issue here. (Via Boing Boing.)
The DNA double helix is now a cultural icon.

Monday, April 28, 2003

"A battalion of 120 military robots is to be fitted with swarm intelligence software to enable them to mimic the organised behaviour of insects."
The first American Open robot soccer tournament will begin this week. The AIBO tournament promises to be especially popular.
The mathematical topology of the recycling symbol.
Anti-spam strategies. Unfortunately, none of them sound all that effective. On the other hand, this spam bounty hunter idea might work -- plus you could make $$$ while working from home! (Via Ars Technica.)
Star Trek and the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

"Computer circuits made of genes may soon program bacteria"

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Veterinary ingenuity: A goldfish sling.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Albinos are tired of being portrayed as evil in recent movies.
Astronomers debate MACHOs vs. WIMPs.
Because of the SARS outbreak, Hong Kong school children are learning via virtual classrooms.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Modern Cellular Automata. And don't forget to look at some of these classic Life patterns. (Via Madville.)
A fast-talking telemarketer reveals the tricks of the trade.
The FCC will look into the feasibility of supplying broadband over the power lines.
"How to Make Money on the Net"
Jumbo nanotubes: no, not an oxymoron. Duke scientists have grown carbon nanotubules over 2mm long.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

New titanium alloys are close to "magic" in strength.
A mathematical model of marriage conflicts. (Via A&LD.)
Dick Rutan's new private spaceship has been unveiled.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Nuclear powered space probes.
Using the roots of a polynomial equation to create art.
The latest beer fad among young 20-somethings is Pabst Blue Ribbon. No, really. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)
More and more hikers who are trying to "get back to nature" are also packing a slew of high tech gadgets with them, such as GPS locators, MP3 players, PDAs, wristwatch altimeters, etc. (Via Techdirt.)

Monday, April 21, 2003

This is the best car ad ever. And it was shot with no computer graphics, only live action -- requiring over 600 takes. (Via GMSV.)
Quiz: Do you know your countries of the Middle East? (Via The Weigh In.)
Astronomers have successfully predicted an upcoming supernova explosion to within a day.
Stretching a nanotube can alter its electrical properties, a fact that could be used to create ultratiny switches.
9 out of 10 office workers will give away their passwords for a cheap pen. (Via Techdirt.)

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Does handwriting analysis really work?

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Electronic shield against artillery? (Via Right Wing News.)

Friday, April 18, 2003

The Iraq War has been a boon for video game makers.
Recycling turkey guts into fuel. Warning - the photograph is disgusting. (Via Svapan Makadia.)
Hacking into voicemail is easy.
Everything you ever wanted to know about synesthesia.
CopLink is like Google, but for cops.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Secret photographs of Disney's new Forbidden Mountain ride.
Name that phobia! (Via Madville.)
Police evaluations of doughnuts. According to one veteran office quoted the article, "Powdered doughnuts, that’s a rookie mistake!... The powdered ones show up on the uniform too much. They leave trace evidence behind." (Via Obscure Store.)
Diabetics may be able to noninvasively monitor their blood sugar levels with a special colored contact lens, rather than having to subject themselves to multiple daily needle sticks. Here's more information.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

LED technology continues to advance.
Did this Russian mathematician prove the Poincare Conjecture?
The Great Wall of China is causing plant species on opposite sides to diverge genetically.
"Automated Denial-of-Service Attack Using the U.S. Post Office". This is a very clever method of attack. Interested readers can also download the original paper, Defending Against an Internet-based Attack on the Physical World (.pdf format).

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Dave Barry reminds us of the joys of tax time. (Via Virginia Postrel.)
Canadian scientists have published the DNA sequence for the deadly SARS virus.
The physics of parallel universes.
The contest for walking on water.
Computer modelling of the entire human body.

Monday, April 14, 2003

How Mosaic changed the world.
Fake voice recordings are easy to make, but hard to detect
Too tired to write your daily blog entry? This handy Apathetic Online Journal Entry Generator will create a content-free posting for you, freeing you up for more important tasks.
This cool picture isn't a new star formation as seen from the Hubble Space telescope. It's London at night.
Physicists can levitate a gold coin with magnetic fields.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

The new issue of The Lemon is out.
If the (former) Iraqi Information Minister worked for Apple Computers:
"Do not believe the lies of the PC infidels. The PC chips have not reached 3GHz. It is Apple that is at 3GHz. Our initial assessment is that the PC is still at 250MHz, and we will slaughter Microsoft in the server market and in the home. Our market share is at 90%."

"We are in control. The PC users are in a state of hysteria. They do not even have control over themselves! Do not believe them! Losers, they think that by building fabs and plants and chips and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win. I think they will not win, those bastards."

"NO! We have retaken the education market! The infidels attacked the education market but we have killed them all with bullets and shoes. There are NO PCs there. I will take you there to the public schools and show you. IN ONE HOUR!"

(Via Ars Technica.)
Software to turn your Nokia mobile phone into a sex toy.

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Why is text messaging so popular in Europe and Asia, but not in America?

Friday, April 11, 2003

Drinkin' tea in zero-G. The video shows deft use of chopsticks to drink globs of tea on the International Space Station. (Via Boing Boing.)
Singapore's government will be making aggressive use of webcams to enforce its SARS quarantines. Their Ministry of Health, states that the hundreds of home quarantine patients "will be called at random intervals daily and requested to turn on the camera and present themselves in front of the camera to show their presence".
Bad advertising decision. (Via Instapundit.)
Quantum Saddam.
Iraqi currency with Saddam Hussein's picture on it is now a hot collector's item on eBay.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Why the preliminary tests for chemical weapons in Iraq don't always pan out.
"The Fine Art of Sucking Up".
A comparison of national styles in pulling down statues. (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)
The upcoming Matrix Reloaded movie is going to be awesome.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

The technology behind modern urban combat. And the tactics.
"All Your Base Are Belong To Us": The Iraq version. Most excellent. (Via Instapundit.)
Your puny supernovas are nothing compared to my hypernova. (Via Bottomquark.)
Protons aren't always shaped like a basketball. Sometimes they can be shaped like bagels or peanuts.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

California physicists have discovered a new phenomenon known as "electrostatic rotation" in which electrostatic forces induce spin, not just a mere push or pull. According to the report, this phenomenon "was not expected and could not be explained by available theory" and may "impact fields as diverse as atomic physics, chemistry and nanotechnology". (Via BottomQuark.)
Tomorrow's kitchen may include this "refrigerated microwave that can be controlled over the net or by mobile phone." Or not.
Nanotech battle suits for soldiers.
Having a hard time visualizing 4-dimensional space? Playing with this interactive tesseract (the 4-D analog of a cube) may help. (Via Kuro5hin.)
Survival tips for black hole travellers. Here's a related article.

Monday, April 07, 2003

The warblogging site The Agonist admits to plagiarizing material without attribution from the for-fee subscription news/analysis source Stratfor.com. Diana has more information and commentary. Update: At least Sean Paul Kelley appears to be accepting full responsibility for his actions.
Stefano Bettelli is devising an object-oriented programming language for quantum computers.
Gulf War 2 has seen some noteworthy medical advances.
Scientists have found 6 more moons orbiting the planet Jupiter, bringing the grand total up to 58.
The science fiction novel Ender's Game has had a lot of influence on the simulations training programs used by the US military. (Via Linkfilter.)

Sunday, April 06, 2003

"How to Keep Your Perspective When the Media Lose Theirs": Writer Orson Scott Card describes what media coverage of a football game would be like if written by some of the uninformed war correspondents:
"The Redskins seem to be worried about getting the ball. They're all huddled up, apparently planning something. Now they're coming out and lining up -- but they don't match up with the Cowboys' men! What is going on here? What kind of plan is this? And look at that cowardly quarterback, he gets the ball and goes backward! All those Cowboys that weren't matched up are coming right at him and -- oh, look at that, who would have guessed it, he threw the ball and there just happened to be a Redskin right under it!".
(Via Heretical Ideas.)
How we'll know if Saddam Hussein is really dead. (Via Instapundit.)

Saturday, April 05, 2003

President Bush has signed an executive order authorizing government quarantines for people suspected of SARS.
The anti-war protestor and the old woman.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Nanotech lasers can be grown like snowflakes.
The FBI is having a hard time trying to listen in on phone calls made using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology. Darn.
Sean-Paul Kelley has been so busy with his warblog The Agonist, the only way his wife can get his attention is by sending him an e-mail.
Pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope are too sharp and clear, which means that scientists may have to revise quantum theory.
Terrific story about the Iraqi man who risked his life to help save Pfc. Jessica Lynch. (Via The Command Post.)

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Scientists have found the neurological basis for the sensation of "being of two minds" about a controversial issue.
Bill Gates will be funding research on the "invisible condom" to protect against HIV. (Via Madville.)
Amazingly detailed satellite photos of Baghdad showing the results of Coalition bombing. (Via Instapundit.)
Genetically modified blood cells (T-cells) can kill cancer.
The old Nigerian e-mail scam has now mutated into an Iraq war version. (Via Techdirt.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Rand Simberg notes, "Japanese videogame makers are staging a futile effort to prevent hackers from coming up with patches to remove the clothing from CGI-generated female beach volleyball players. Apparently there are already such things for a nude version of Tomb Raider, with Lara Croft in the buff. Seems like an oxymoronic use of the word 'patch.'" (Via Transterrestrial Musings.)
For the war in Iraq, gasoline costs the US military approximately $150 per gallon, after factoring in all the transportation costs. Quite ironic, given the location of the war. (Via Command Post.)
The world's largest virus has been found, and it is large enough to be seen with an optical microscope.
The psychology of programming. (Via Linkfilter.)
The event horizon of a black hole cannot be seen directly, but it does leave a characteristic x-ray signature.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Microsoft enters the war with the Red, White, and Blue Screen of Death.
One of the more bizarre youth fads is tongue splitting. Here are some pictures. (Via Obscure Store.)
The screen is the speaker. (Via Netizen News.)
Things Other People Accomplished When They Were Your Age (Via Dave Barry.)