Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"New systems may allow people to record everything they see and hear -- and even things they cannot sense -- and to store all these data in a personal digital archive." (Via GMSV.)
The SPUI is a far more elegant traffic interchange than these monstrosities from yesterday. Here are even more. (Via Michael Williams.)
Why do pilots say "roger" on the radio?
Can Jimmy Wales make money from Wikia?
Invention of the day: Toilet paper folder and dispenser, made from "made of lego mindstorms, scissors, and some scrap metal". As the inventors note, "It would be the perfect accessory for a fancy, high-tech, Japanese bathroom"... (Via GMSV.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The world's most non-intuitive traffic intersections.
Good overview of heat-beaming weapons. (Via Cosmic Log.)
"What would happen if an astronaut became mentally unstable in space and, say, destroyed the ship's oxygen system or tried to open the hatch and kill everyone aboard?"
It turns out NASA has detailed, written procedures for dealing with a suicidal or psychotic astronaut in space. The documents, obtained this week by The Associated Press, say the astronaut's crewmates should bind his wrists and ankles with duct tape, tie him down with a bungee cord and inject him with tranquilizers if necessary.

...The crew members might have to rely in large part on brute strength to subdue an out-of-control astronaut, since there are no weapons on the space station or the shuttle. A gun would be out of the question; a bullet could pierce a spaceship and kill everyone. There are no stun guns on hand.
(Via DefenseTech.)
Computerized lip reading. (Via Gravity Lens.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

"A Digital Annotated Concept Map of the Fundamentals of U.S. Copyright Law". (Via Boing Boing.)
Why pay for a $20,000 satellite link, when a $10 kitchen wok works just as well? (Via SciTechDaily.)
Election forensics: How to detect voting fraud.
"How to crash an in-flight entertainment system". (Via IPList.)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Evolution of language: There's more evidence that language evolved in response to the need for early humans to coordinate cooperative tasks, based on simulations with (real and virtual) robots and evolutionary algorithms. Here's a popular press article, as well as the academic paper, "Evolutionary Conditions for the Emergence of Communication in Robots" (or PDF version).

Friday, February 23, 2007

"The father of the Internet, Vint Cerf, is overseeing efforts by NASA to build a permanent Internet link to Mars by 2008."
InterPlaNet (IPN) will serve as a backbone for a future inter-planetary system of Internets, said Cerf during a visit to Bangalore, reports Indo Asian News Service.

Google vice president and Internet evangelist, Cerf co-wrote the TCP/IP protocol which underpins the Terran internet in the 1970s and began work on the InterPlaNet in 1998.

A collaboration between NASA and the Advanced Research Project Agency, the InterPlaNet project is underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Houston, Texas. The InterPlaNet protocol is designed to cope with delays caused by the vast distances of space, with data taking up to 20 minutes to travel between the Earth and Mars depending on how far apart the two planets are.
(Via /.)
Interview with Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming movie 300 (and also the 2008 Watchmen.)
Autonomous self-assembling swarm-bots.
"5 Great Ways To Leave A Tip".
"The International Atomic Energy Agency released a new warning symbol to supplement the elegant and traditional but meaningless trefoil radiation warning symbol." The skull-and-crossbones is a nice touch. (Via Dave Hill.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cool stereoscopic pictures. (Via BBspot.)
Sig of the day: "Kids in the back seat cause accidents; accidents in the back seat cause kids." (Via Rand Simberg.)
How Stonehenge might have been built. (Via Howard Roerig.)
"What's Special About This Number?" (Via IPList.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Top 10 Largest Databases in the World". (Via BBspot.)
"How to fight an asteroid."
Divide-and-conquer multiplication.
"How Steve Jobs Played Hardball In iPhone Birth". Interesting behind-the-scenes account of the negotiations between Apple and Cingular, with Cingular making a number of unprecedented concessions in order to become the exclusive network for iPhone. (Via /.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One step closer to commercial terahertz screening systems.
Jimmy Wales answers readers' questions about Wikipedia in this New Scientist interview.
"14 Hewlett-Packard Company Secrets From A Former Employee". (Via GMSV.)
Domain name "tasting" ties up millions of domain names by taking advantage of a little-known loophole in domain name registration.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Admin note: GeekPress will take a hiatus for a few days.

Friday, February 16, 2007

How accurate are internet weather forecasts? (Via Waxy.)
"Top 12 Movies in History That Were Ahead of Their Time"
Hotels of the future. (Via Gravity Lens.)
"Building the Cortex in Silicon". (Via Cosmic Log.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"Iraqis use Google Earth to avoid getting kidnapped or killed."
Haptic gloves for sensing virtual fabrics.
What does "possession is 9/10ths of the law" mean?
What you need to know about the 2007 Daylight Saving Time glitch.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Beware the following Valentine's Day e-mail scams.
In the original Terminator movie, the computer code that flashes past the screen when we take the Terminator's-eye view of the world is the source code for an Apple II checksum program.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Admin note: I've modified the URL for the GeekPress RSS site feed slightly. Here's the updated RSS site feed.
World's worst sound? (Via inkycircus.)
"Online Dating: Why it Fails"
How to justify to your boss/spouse/kids taking an afternoon nap.
Interesting Poll: "If you had to give up two of [internet, TV, radio], which would it be?"

Monday, February 12, 2007

"The Best Place To Hide Money: Conversation With A Burglar". (Via BBspot.)
"Princeton ESP lab to close". As Fark points out, "How did they not see that coming?".
Plastic electronics.
What you wanted to know about key bumping.
Targeted reinervation: "Transferring a lost limb's nerves to other areas of the body might one day permit an amputee to feel the heat of a coffee cup with an artificial hand. Scientists now report progress toward that goal"

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Admin note: GeekPress is current in the process of migrating from one server to another. If you are seeing this message, then you are seeing the new version of GeekPress. You do not need to do anything.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Rosemary Fiore writes:
"These photographs are long exposures taken while playing video war games of the 80's created by Atari, Centuri and Taito. The photographs were shot from video game screens while I played the games. By recording each second of an entire game on one frame of film, I captured complex patterns not normally seen by the eye."
(Via Waxy.)
Printing without ink.
Are repressed memories a recent development?
The idea of repressed memory -- when traumatic events are wiped from a person's conscious memory but resurface years later -- has had a chequered past. Some have cited it as evidence in court, yet others dismiss it as nothing more than psychiatric folklore.

A new study adds a literary layer of evidence to the debate. To see how long the idea of repressed memories have been around, a group of psychologists and literature scholars turned to historical writings.

They could not find a single description of repressed memory, also referred to as dissociative amnesia, in fiction or factual writing before 1800.
Perhaps we've repressed our memories of them prior to 1800...
Why no one knows what Google's stock is really worth.
Fake holograms are "turning up everywhere".

Thursday, February 08, 2007

"Can a brain scan prove you're telling the truth?"

Assuming that this technology gets to the point that it is demonstrably reliable (a very big "if" IMHO), it makes sense that the first commercial applications will be proving that someone is telling the truth (as opposed to proving that someone is lying). Acquiring the fMRI data requires a cooperative subject, and a liar would not have the incentives to hold still in such a fashion that the technology requires. On the other hand, I do agree with the remark made by Joel Huizenga, "If someone is trying to convict you of some heinous crime, we think you should have every means available to defend yourself..."
More problems with the methodology of police lineups.
"New York may ban iPods while crossing street."
The future of 3-D displays.
"What do your tunes say about you?"

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Admin note: GeekPress will be taking a short hiatus for 2-3 days.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Real-life "Maxwell's Demon" (powered by light to avoid violating the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).
"Windows Vista Upgrade Decision Flowchart".
"Make Google Go Crazy":
1. Go to Google.com
2. Remove everything from the address bar, then copy & paste the following into it:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5; DIS.top=Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

3. Hit enter. Enjoy.
(Via Cynical-C.)
"Why are men better chess players than women?"
The new Harry Potter book entitled "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" will be out on July 21, 2007.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Ebay bans virtual booty auctions":
Auctions of virtual gold, armour and other digital booty amassed in online computer games like World of Warcraft have been banned by Ebay.

The internet auction house, based in California, US, announced on Tuesday that it had decided to prohibit the sale of virtual riches, weapons and other items, due to "legal complexities" regarding ownership.

...Ebay will, however, continue to allow auctions of items amassed in virtual worlds such as Second Life. In this world players can build items and buy and sell virtual property and land, but there are no conventional game objectives.

"Right now, Second Life is not considered a game so we are not applying the restriction to it," Durzy explains.
But the IRS is willing to tax these virtual world earnings.
Google defuses some of the more notorious "googlebombs".
"Why can't a person tickle himself?"