Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Last week a federal appeals court shut down a challenge to Europe's Large Hadron Collider that was based on claims it could destroy the world."
Major scientific fraud at Harvard.
How to cripple the US military? Encourage it to use more PowerPoint.
The Leidenfrost effect: Why you can safely dunk your hand into liquid nitrogen.

Includes video! (Via Maximizing Progress.)
Cool map of science. (Via Howard Roerig.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Interesting NYT article: "Does Your Language Shape How You Think?" (Via multiple friends including SL and HV.)
A story about Colorado, entrepreneuralism, and free beer.

Official website for Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado. (Via @AriArmstrong.)
"Gmail Voice Is About Future Search, Not Free Calls"
Oatmeal comics on buying apps.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Documentary on Andrew Wiles and Fermat's Last Theorem:

(Via Kottke, who notes: "Give it until 1:45 or so and you'll want to watch the whole thing. The film is not really about math; it's about all of those movie trailer cliches -- 'one man!', 'finds the truth!', 'fights the odds!', etc. -- except that this is actually true and poignant.")
Revolving house.
Paul Graham on the Yahoo! death spiral.
It's Monday, and I sure could use one of these coffee cozies. (Via Found on the Web.)
"How To Make Money Developing Mobile Apps"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Scientists create 'dry water'. (Via @radleybalko.)
Nike Patents Marty McFly's Self-Lacing Sneaker
Top 10 Accidental Inventions
Invention of the day: One person camper. (Via BBspot.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Social Steganography: Learning to Hide in Plain Sight
"A foreign spy agency pulled off the most serious breach of Pentagon computer networks ever by inserting a flash drive into a U.S. military laptop"
"The Government's New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS":
Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway -- and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre -- and scary -- rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states...
"Inside a celestial super-volcano".
Off topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest health care OpEd, "Avastin and Your Life".

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Big Brother is Searching You":
Let's say a small town wanted to crack down on swimming pool permit violations. If local police went house to house, telling people they were going to look for swimming pools in everybody's backyards, nobody would accept this because it would clearly violate the 4th Amendment. However, if you do exactly the same thing using cameras in space, it's somehow OK.

The town of Riverhead on Long Island used Google Earth to search all back yards in the town for swimming pool transgressions.

They found about 250 pools built without permits and collected about $75,000 in fines. Critics say they did it for the money, but city officials said they're concerned mainly about safety...
I'm sure it's all about the safety...
A 9-day, 62-mile traffic jam in China. (Via BBspot.)
"How to easily increase the money you get from eBay auctions"
Feynman quote of the day:
No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated. Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literacy or artistic expression. Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines.

Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.

Monday, August 23, 2010

6 Web How-To's That Are Apparently For Supervillains
CarTalk recently asked for listeners' best practical jokes. I especially liked this one:
Back in college, we used to live in these "suites," which were basically four corners of a building with rooms on the outer edge and a living area in the central part. The person who lived in the corner room was going away for the weekend, and the rest of us decided to play a joke on him. We went to the hardware store and bought some drywall, paint, electrical wire, etc. We then proceeded to plaster over the door to his room. We even went so far as to move the lighting fixture near his door to right on top of it. When all was said and done, his room had disappeared.

When he arrived back on Sunday night, we all pretended he didn't live there (to the best of our ability) and despite his confusion we kept up our end of the farce. We made him sleep on the couch in the living area that evening, then the next morning we broke through the wall and let him back into his room.
"The Tragic Death of Practically Everything".

Didn't you get the memo? Macintosh, Linux, E-mail, Facebook are all dead! (Via BBspot.)
Dilbert on group dynamics:

(Via Maximizing Progress.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Video of the day: Glass ball contact juggling

(Via Howard Roerig.)
Skype etiquette.
"The Great Principles of Computing"
"If Historical Events had Facebook Statuses"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Secret Histories of Those @#$%ing Computer Symbols

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Medical Tales Of Strangest Objects Found In Patients". (Via Cosmic Log.)
Can You Really Open A Padlock With A Bullet?
The Speculist has good summaries of the just-completed two day Singularity Summit.
"What Does 'P vs. NP' Mean for the Rest of Us?"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The winner of the 2010 World Yo-Yo Contest:

(Via Nerve and GMSV.)
Probabilistic processors.
Swarm intelligence.
"Do we dare let aliens know we're here?"
Off topic: The August 17, 2010 American Thinker has published my OpEd, "The Real Problem Is Not the Mosque But the Nukes".

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Infographic of the day: "The Rise of Text Messaging"
Some lesser-known truths about programming
Kindle and iPad displays under the microscope
"The next billion internet addresses will be things rather than people"
Off topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest OpEd, "Transparency for Me, but Not For Thee".

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Like it or not, Barcode Hero is your future." And some commentary from TechCrunch.

(Disclaimer: Diana and I are friends with the co-founders of Kima Labs.)
"Kid Receives 26,000 Texts After Justin Bieber Tweets Phone Number".

As the article notes, Bieber's act was in retaliation for something wrong that the kid did first -- but the key issue is whether it was excessive.
"Complicated Mechanisms Explained in Simple Animations". (Via Wired.)
Maps of World Population by Latitude and Longitude:

(Via BBspot.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Best Card Trick Ever":

(Via @CordairGallery)
Three entrepreneurs who launched companies for less than $150.
"How We Drown"
32 would-be "iPad killers".

I'm not betting that any of them will dethrone Apple.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Facial hair trustworthiness scale. (Via K.V.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

We became fully human when we began thinking symbolically.
"Security Analysis of Smudges on Smart Phone Touch Screens"
"Best criminal defense ever". Original story.
The map of the world would change dramatically if the Earth stopped rotating.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How Spammers Use Low-cost Labor to Solve CAPTCHAS.
This guy really doesn't like Farmville.

(I'm a Cow Clicker man, myself.)
Pencil tip microsculptures. (Via @mwickens.)
"How Can You Tell If A CEO Is Lying?"

(One clue, per the WSJ: Look for words like "the team" and "the company" instead of "I" and "we".)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Every position of Rubik's Cube can be solved in twenty moves or less. (Via BBspot.)
Hilarious song about Wikipedia: "It All Makes Sense At The End".

(Via David Rehm and Diana.)
Scientists solve the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle: It's methane explosions.

(Via Neatorama and @AriArmstrong.)
"Top 11 Ways to Get Fired at Apple"

My favorite:
5) Put "you're holding it wrong" stickers over the urinals in the men's room.
How economic policy gets made in the White House -- and by whom.

I can't even begin to imagine what the organizational chart would look like. (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Monday, August 09, 2010

The five-trillionth digit of pi is 2. (Via BBspot.)
"The Greatest and Most Dramatic Wikipedia Edit Wars".
Top 10 Technology Bans
Flowchart of the day: "So You Need a Typeface?". (Via Cool Infographics.)

Related: "So You Want To Watch YouTube"

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Possible proof of P!=NP. Mirrored here.

If true, this would be huge. Some background on the author. (Via @zooko.)
Maslow's Hierarchy of Robot Needs
Quote of the day: "There's the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Handbook of Integer Sequences".
History of listservs.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A Brief History of Computer Icons. (Via BBspot.)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Are you a Sim? (Via Instapundit.)
Turn your bike into a light cycle.
Good riddance to the "Next" button!
"Do brain structures develop differently in different cultures?"

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Computing at the speed of light.
"How fast is the Beacon of Gondor?" (Via BBspot.)
These guys really work late.
"Genetically modified bacteria can produce enough proteins for super-strong spider silk."
Robotic Tentacle Manipulator

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"Google Lets You Sign In to Multiple Accounts at Once"
"Fascinating pictures of the same regions in Europe with WWII photographs overlaid over modern-day ones." (Via @seehafer.)
Reading terrorists minds about imminent attacks?
There sure is a lot of space debris out there. (Via The Speculist.)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sunday, August 01, 2010

"Three Unanswered Questions About Our Moon". (Via Instapundit.)
There sure are a lot of internet users in China. And plenty more to come!
The "anti-laser" absorbs all incoming light.

No, I don't know what it looks like! ;-)
The "Street-Fighting Mathematician" Answers Your Questions