Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best. Sign. Ever. (Via Radley Balko.)
"Time-Reversed Laser to See the Light: Rather than emitting light, a time-reversed laser absorbs it. Perfectly." (Via Futurehead.)
Russia eliminates 2 time zones. (Via MR.)
"Haptic Vest Lets You Feel Bullets and Knives In Video Games"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"How do you force criminals to change their behavior?" (Via SciTechDaily.)
Tweet of the day: @Wolfrum Why even have a Large Hadron Collider if it won't wipe out existence? #science
"Identifying people by their bacteria"
"Spammers Turn to Social Networks"

Monday, March 29, 2010

Doug Mataconis calls this the "Best. Headline. Ever."
Learn the alphabet the geek way. (Via BBspot.)
The highest-ranking military officers in US history.
J.J. Abrams vs. Joss Whedon faceoff. (Via Instapundit.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bruce Schneier notes, "Modern photocopy machines contain hard drives that often have scans of old documents."
My younger brother is still #12 on this list of all-time TV game show winners.
Today's Google autocomplete: "Why..."
4 children's toys that inspired scientific breakthroughs. (Via Gizmodo.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Off-topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest OpEd: "The Real ObamaCare Fraud"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili." (Via Radley Balko.)

Update: Reader RB points out that this may not be as hot as other products already commercially available. The article doesn't say how concentrated the final product is relative to the original peppers.
"Art of the Steal: On the Trail of World's Most Ingenious Thief"
Blog of the day: "My Boss Is Michael Scott". (Via Gus Van Horn.)
"Mars as you've never seen it before: The colossal ice walls that show another side of the Red Planet". (Via @TomRStone.)
Off topic: The March 24, 2010 Denver Post has published my latest health care OpEd, "Turning Medicine Into Political Football".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Tiny Generators Charge Up From Random Vibrations In the Air"
"How much big tech companies have in the bank".
Bruce Schneier points out some interesting "logic" behind the "no-fly list".
Cities and states ranked by penis size. (Via @TreyPeden.)
Video of the day: Neutrophil chasing a bacterium.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Fusion's ups and downs."
"2040 called and they'd like to laugh at your giant MicroSD with their puny storage capacity."
"Lawmakers Eyeing National ID Card"
"Invisibility cloak created in 3-D". (Via GMSV.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Shepherd Book, possibly the most mysterious character on Joss Whedon's ill-fated space-western Firefly is to star in in a comic book that will finally let us in on his past." (Via BBspot.)
Don't you just hate it when your surgeon accidentally removes your kidney rather than your inflamed gallblader? (Via @dianahsieh.)
"Video: This is easily the coolest thing I've seen an iPhone do this week."
Scientists' illegitimate love affair with the concept of "statistical significance".
Off topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest OpEd, "ObamaCare: The Coming Battles".

(Update: Thanks for the Instapundit link!)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The typo we've all been waiting for:
Large Hardon Collider Breaks Energy Record
Flickr version. (Via Joost Bonsen.)
Supersizing quantum mechanics: "A team of scientists has succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving." (Via @JonHenke.)
Kindle apps for tablet computers, including iPad. (Via @mwickens.)
The future of money.
Off topic: If you're interested in evolutionary (aka "paleo") dieting, sous vide cooking, barefoot running, and related issues, check out Diana's new website ModernPaleo and the associated blog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Government report on which schools perform worst in mathematics delayed due to math errors." (Via @samrolken, via @shlevy.)
"MIT teaching chips to assemble themselves"
Off topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest health care OpEd, "ObamaCare vs. the Hippocratic Oath".

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Declan McCullagh: "Why no one cares about privacy anymore". (Via NoodleFood.)
Hardest logic puzzle ever? (Via MR.)
Diana tweets: "Is using TinyURL today like having an e-mail address ten years ago?"
Admin note: Posting may be spotty for the rest of the week due to external obligations.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Anti-aging breakthrough?

Update: Derek Lowe has some reservations.
" has agreed to refund nearly $10 million to users who were told that long-lost school chums were looking at their profiles, only to find, once they'd ponied up a subscription fee, that no one they knew was looking for them at all."

Monday, March 15, 2010

I laughed, I cried at The Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer. I can hardly wait for The Movie Title!

(Via Michael Williams.)
What's hot.
Seven alternatives to the Apple iPad. (Via BBspot.)
Lipstick that changes color when the wearer feels frisky. (Via @ariarmstrong.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

"XBox Saved My Ass":
For over a decade now, the U.S. military has been developing several generations of highly realistic training simulations, using video game and movie special effects technology. This makes the experience real enough to teach the troops life-saving lessons.

...The army simulations that are most impressive are those that put the user (a soldier headed for peacekeeping duty) in a foreign village or city. There (in the arcade like, but very life like, game) the soldier had to deal with local civilians (friendly, hostile and neutral) and various situations that are typical of peacekeeping duty. The troops could interact with local civilians, who spoke the local language and moved realistically. The body language is important, because different cultures have a different set of physical moves. Some such gestures are similar to those Americans use, but have very different meanings. The video game based simulation proved to be very effective in teaching the troops this new "language" before they encountered it for real (and reduced the risks of violent responses to crossed signals).

...[A]n often unspoken reason for this general acceptance of video games is that the current generation of generals are the first to have grown up with video games, the first generation of video games. In the next decade or so, the first generation of generals, who grew up with the Internet, will take over. That should be interesting.
Is exposure to small amounts of radiation beneficial?
US government puts the kibosh on Netflix Prize sequel.
"Swarm of Micro-Helicopters Could Create a Giant 3-D Display". (Via @treypeden.)
Happy Pi Day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Keychain mini-GPS to help you remember where you parked your car:
All you need to do is 'lock in' your starting location, then when you come back, simply follow the ECCO's LCD display back to your car, or hotel.
$86,000 jetpack.
"Obama Supports DNA Sampling Upon Arrest".
Tron: Legacy trailer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two responses to Colorado's terrible new "Amazon Tax":

Ari Armstrong, "Stop the 'Amazon Tax'!"
Diana Hsieh, "Colorado Screws Amazon and Its Affiliates"

(Disclosure: I'm friends with one and married to the other. I'll let you figure out which is which...)
The secret origin of Windows. (Via MeFi.)
Warp speed will kill you.
"How to Build a Superluminal Computer":
...Having created a medium in which the refractive index is less than one, Putz and Svozil's idea is simply to immerse a computer in it. That simple act (and presumably some clever design to create an optical computer in the first place) would allow superluminal computation to take place.

Assuming that this device could actually be built, what could you do with a superluminal computer? That's a good question that Putz and Svozil do not address directly. They say such a device would fall into a class of processing machine known as hypercomputers. These are hypothetical devices more powerful than Turing machines, that allow non-Turing computations. They were first discussed by Alan Turing in the 1930s.

In theory, hypercomputers can compute certain kinds of otherwise noncomputable functions. That sounds handy but even though there are uncountably many non-computable functions, it's actually quite hard to come up with an example of one that might seem useful. If you have any ideas, post them in the comments section.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Coffee-fueled car:
The team calculates the Carpuccino will do three miles per kilo of ground coffee -- the equivalent of about 56 espressos per mile.
"The Big Red Word vs. the Little Green Man: The international war over exit signs." (Via @BBspot.)
"Amazon Is Building a Better Browser for Kindle"
"What if everyone in Canada flushed at once?"

Monday, March 08, 2010

Future neuro-cognitive warfare. (Via Ryan Sager.)
Divorce rates for mixed-race marriages. (Via MR.)
Bed Jumping Photos.
Awesome mathematical art.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Can you be arrested for flipping someone the bird?

Here's the PDF of the legal article: Ira P. Robbins, Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law, 41 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1403 (2008).
Malware can be activated by Internet Explorer users pressing the F1 key.
"The computer that reads your mind". (Via Cosmic Log.)
Ray Kurzweil on Avatar.
"A Very Brief History of the Pocket". (Via Volokh Conspiracy.)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

"The 10 Most Addictive Sounds in the World". (Via BBspot.)
Time waster of the day: "What Do You Suggest?".

For a description, read "Explore Google Search Suggestions Word-By-Word".
Star Trek: "How It Should Have Ended". (Via @SusanWake.)
Off topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest health care OpEd, "Can the Moral 'Narrative' of ObamaCare Be Defeated?"

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The world's largest cruise ship carries 8,600 people, 700 tons of supplies, and 24 restaurants. And one bagpiper.
JFK Airport tower employees allowed a child to direct air traffic.

Here's the news video.
Blogger Qwertz has posted a more detailed objection to the essay "16 Things Your Lawyer Won't Tell You".

(Via GusVanHorn.)
Admin note: Posting may be light for the rest of the week due to external obligations.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

"The 12 Biggest Ripoffs in America". (Via BBspot.)
"10 Reasons to Avoid Talking on the Phone". (Via Kottke.)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Financial Turing Test. (Via MR.)
"Fast Food: Ads vs. Reality". (Via Joost Bonsen.)
1995 article by Cliff Stoll on why the internet will fail. (Via Three Word Chant!)
Because of the earthquake in Chile, each day is now 1.26 microseconds shorter than before.