Friday, October 31, 2003

"Researchers in Mexico have invented a new type of anti-graffiti paint."
The huge two volume Complete Far Side is now available. Here's a review.
Tech Central Station has a nice review of one of my favorite internet cartoons, Day By Day. Unlike many syndicated cartoonists, Chris Muir is able to create his cartoons 1 hour before press time, rather than several weeks, allowing him to be much more timely. It's now one of my daily "must-reads".
Infrared light may help facilitate wound healing, although no one knows exactly why this works.
The first ultrafast optical computer processor is now available for commercial sale. Here's the corporate website.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Admin note: Blogging will be light today because of the nearby Cherokee Ranch wildfire. The major danger appears to be over for now, but things were a little tense overnight. (We live in Sedalia, which is close to but just outside the mandatory evacuation area, as shown by the map in the article.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Robot rights.
Legal ways to skirt the DMCA.
Dramatic satellite image of the California wildfires. More images here.
Plasma TV screens are the new ultra-expensive art canvases.
Nokia is thinking of new products inspired by Harry Potter.
Herman Miller and Permobil are now offering an Aeron wheelchair. (Via Boing Boing.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"Hackers Get Novel Defense; the Computer Did It". More details on one of the "Trojan" cases are available here.
Physicists have taken the first images of an exciton.
"What If Everyone Could Change Traffic Lights?" (Via Techdirt.)
Extreme pumpkin carving.
Nano-velcro could be 30 times stronger than conventional epoxy adhesives.

Monday, October 27, 2003

"Drunk's eye on the Queer Guys": The unofficial drinking game for the Queer Eye show. (Via BBspot.)
Cellphone signals can be exploited by new passive radar devices. (Via IPList.)
Recursive Polaroids.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Admin note: GeekPress will be taking a brief hiatus for the rest of the week. We'll be back Monday, October 27.
A mere 7 atoms of liquid helium are enough to form a superfluid.
Although the recently proposed "terrorism futures market" got a lot of (IMHO undeserved) bad publicity, various unorthodox futures markets in other domains have done quite well.
Signs of life in Silicon Valley.
Other Unix products. (Via GMSV.)

Monday, October 20, 2003

Bizarre election mathematics. Under some multi-candidate voting systems, if the election officials accidently reverse the preference rankings on the voters' ballots, it can still yield the same final result.
I never saw a purple frog, I never hope to see one. But I can tell you anyhow, I'd rather see than be one... (Link via Ars Technica.)
Twenty great Google secrets.
"A judge sentenced an Arizona woman to 60 days home detention for intercepting her husband's ex-wife's e-mail, saying the penalty is a warning to others who might be tempted to do the same..."
Praise for Colorado from George Will. (Via VodkaPundit.)

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Why "Do-Not-Spam" lists won't work.
"Laser scanning has revealed ancient carvings on the pillars of Stonehenge that are invisible to the naked eye."

Saturday, October 18, 2003

"What's Special About This Number?" (Via BBspot.)

Friday, October 17, 2003

The new 3-D computer displays: How they work.
Random tech support excuse generator. (Via Linkfilter.)
NASA is working on an asteroid tugboat.
"Tennis players are alleged to have thrown matches in order to clean up with internet betting..." (Via Politech.)
"What's Really Visible From Space" (Via Madville.)
Problems with online translation tools.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Crime tip of the day: If you're an identity thief, don't steal the name of a registered sex offender. (Via Boing Boing.)
Ask The Spammer.
Physicists can make pulses of light travel faster than the speed of light (c). But additional experiments have shown that information can't travel faster than c and hence causality can't be violated.
Coffee makes sperm go faster, but marijuana causes them to burn out.
"Getting over Google Grief"

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Self-playing Minesweeper. (Via Quare.)
NanoKids are molecules shaped like people. Scientists have now created "stubby-legged NanoBabies, long-haired NanoTeens and bendy NanoDancers" -- collect them all!
Handy guide to some of the obscure references and allusions in Kill Bill. (Via Linkfilter.)
"Golly, what a big screen you have": One of my coworkers just bought a Palm Tungsten T3 handheld PDA, and he really likes it. Here's the Gadgeteer's review as well as the Register review.
LegoLand is looking for a new master Lego builder. Here's how to apply.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Agent Smith's license plate in Matrix: Reloaded is "IS 5416". Here's Isaiah 54:16. (Via Fark.)
Mathematical LEGO sculptures. (Via Linkfilter.)
Monkey brains can control robotic arms with their thoughts alone.
So you want to buy a multipanel display?
Martial arts robots.

Monday, October 13, 2003

"Sharp Electronics on Monday released the first laptop computer that can display images in three dimensions without those funky glasses. "
Nanotechnology researchers are developing the ultimate non-stick surface coating for submarines.
The Goldbach Conjecture has been established up to 6 x 10^16. Of course, that's still a long way from proving that it's true for all integers.
A prototype airplane that "converts energy from a ground-based laser beam into electricity to power a propeller" has successfully passed its first test flights.
ESPN will be airing the Kasparov-X3D Fritz chess match. If you're lucky enough to live in NYC, you can even sign up to get free tickets. Based on reviews of their previous chess broadcasts, the color commentary should be pretty good, even for those who are chess novices. (Via old friend David Lewis.)

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Update on StealthSurf: Greg Tetrault wrote in to warn that the product probably can't provide the privacy its users like. He pointed out, "People who surf the web improperly from a corporate environment usually get caught because all the web surfing goes through the corporation's Internet server and firewall. All web surfing can be monitored via the server. The fact that cookies, surfing history, and favorite sites are stored on a removable USB device is totally irrelevant. The only exception is when employees have direct Internet access via a dedicated ISDN or modem line and do not go through a corporate server. The only way to surf securely from a corporate site is to use secure tunneling through the corporate server to an anonymous server. However, many companies block access to such sites..." Thanks for the information, Greg.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

"Why Star Trek Sucks" (Via Fark.)

Friday, October 10, 2003

Organized crime is stealing millions from ATM machines in Great Britain, through a variety of high-tech and low-tech methods.
Artificial "agents" are being used to model intelligent behaviour in complex systems. I just hope none of them are named "Smith"...
Protect your privacy while websurfing at work with the StealthSurfer. More information is available at the corporate website.
Astronomers have found the best star system to look for alien life.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Blind people can "see" with sound with this new headset, which crudely mimics the sonar sense of Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil.
"What's the 'Scroll Lock' key on my computer for?" Fortunately, The Straight Dope has the answer.
"A new rechargable miniature (2.9 mm X 13 mm) battery intended for implanted medical appliances is shipping. The battery lasts 10 years, and is recharged when the body part it resides in is placed alongside an electrified pillow, which remotely juices up the cell." (Via Boing Boing.)
My lovely wife Diana has resumed blogging again.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Scientific paper of the day: "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces". (Via GMSV.)
Invention of the day: The suicide resistant toilet, intended for use in prisons. (Via Linkfilter.)
Airbags for your laptop.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Steven Den Beste has a dream in which he and his friends find a way to drastically and permanently reduce the crime rate. Then they travel forward in time to see the horror that results...
"Why Open Source May Be Doomed"
"In seeming violation of one of the laws of physics, a new type of metal microstructure promises to lead to far more efficient incandescent light bulbs and also to boost the development of light-based microcircuits..."
NASA scientists are asking "Did Comets Make Life on Earth Possible?"
The sociology of "urban tribes".

Monday, October 06, 2003

The Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, the two scientists who developed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This technology has absolutely revolutionized the safe and painless diagnosis of diseases of the brain, spine, bones, and joints. One can't listen to a broadcast of ESPN "SportsCenter" without hearing about an athlete who is scheduled to undergo an MRI for one thing or another. Given that my day job is the interpretation of MRI scans on orthopedics and sports medicine patients, this is very gratifying news.
Spying on your teenagers via satellite with tracking units "disguised as watches, mobile phones and belts". (Via Linkfilter.)
Laser nanosurgery: operating within a single cell.
Israeli scientists have developed software that can identify computer users by their typing style.
"The first rule of Google AdSense is, don't talk about Google AdSense"

Saturday, October 04, 2003

"On-line Orgasmic Simulation": Want to find out how the opposite sex experiences an orgasm? (Via Linkfilter.)

Friday, October 03, 2003

Finding Nemo: What really happened. (Via Linkfilter.)
Japanese scientists have created a super-fast quantum computer simulator which will be used to develop and refine quantum computing algorithms.
Why does bending a piece of spaghetti cause it to break into three pieces, not two? (Via Fark.)
The future of Google will be a lot like science-fiction. (Via SciTechDaily.)
Using lasers to find out why cookies crumble.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Best photos of the year: This set of images has been making the e-mail rounds as the best photographs of the year. Some of them are quite striking, although the cynic in me wonders how many of them have been enhanced with Photoshop...
Quiz of the day: What kind of a thinker are you? To no one's suprise, I scored very high as a Logico-Mathematical thinker. But it was especially interesting to see the profiles of the other main thinker subtypes. (Via Linkfilter.)
"Neutral Good in a Lawful Evil World": An essay applying D&D moral alignments to international relations. My only comment is that the author implicitly assumes that the UN has more legal legitimacy than I'm willing to grant; otherwise, it's an interesting analysis.
More goodies from Palm. Some analysts think that the company might even (gasp!) turn a profit by the end of the year.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

"The CIA is set to spend several million dollars to develop a video game aimed at helping its analysts think like terrorists..." (Via Linkfilter.)
"What Software Version Numbers Really Mean" (Via BBspot.)
How biased are random number generators? More than you might think.
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King -- the movie trailer. Or if you prefer to see a different side of Hugo Weaving (Elrond/Agent Smith), here's the trailer for Matrix: Revolutions. "Mr. Anderson, welcome back. We've missed you..."
Schroedinger's Cat comes closer: Scientists have devised a method for creating a bacterium-sized object that exhibits quantum behaviour, such as being in two places at once.