Saturday, May 29, 2010

Off topic: The New York Times has published my LTE on former University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein, a leading advocate of so-called "libertarian paternalism".

My LTE (2nd one down) was in response to a May 16, 2010 article in the NYT Sunday Magazine section, "Cass Sunstein Wants to Nudge Us", praising Sunstein's work as President Obama's director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to promote behaviours the government deems desirable.

It will also appear tomorrow in the May 30, 2010 print edition, in the Sunday Magazine section (as opposed to the regular letters section.)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Unforgivable geek behaviours. (Via BBspot.)
Today's timewaster is this animated GIF machine:

"First US Patient to Go Home With Artificial Heart"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fusion update.
Rollable OLED displays.
Parody infographic about infographics.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Admin note: Blogging may be spotty for the next few days due to external obligations.
"Quantum teleportation achieved over ten miles of free space." (Via Instapundit.)
US Army Forces Cyber Command.
"Astronaut takes stunning self-portrait with Earth reflected in his visor."
How well did Bill Gates do with his predictions from 15 years ago? (Via BBspot.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top Gun, then and now.

Val Kilmer sure has seen better days!...
"How to remove the new sidebar in Google Search"
Is cell phone tower radiation medically dangerous? Short answer, "probably not."
"The Tragic Cost of Google Pac-Man: 4.82 million hours". (Via @DianaHsieh.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nice overview of the synthetic biology breakthrough at the Venter Institute, including discussion of future directions, alternative approaches, and implications.

And some related commentary from The Economist.
Nine-year old Marco Calasan has four Microsoft certificates and is the youngest Microsoft systems engineer in the world.
What if The Empire Strikes back had been made in the 1950s? Here's the parody/tribute trailer:



(Via BBspot.)
16 Items They Only Sell At Chinese Walmarts. (Via @shlevy.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"13-year-old American climbs Mt. Everest, calls his mom"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Internet cafes for deployed troops.
How the Internet Porn Business Works.
Poem of the day: "The Geek Alphabet". (Via Neatorama.)
Video of the day: Computer solves 1000 x 1000 x 1000 Rubik's cube.

Ignore the annoying music. (Via BBspot.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"LifeLock CEO's Identity Stolen 13 Times"
Bad Twitter joke leads to criminal record.
How to sell a dollar for more than a dollar:



And why this kind of all-pay auction is like political lobbying. (Via bakadesuyo and Marginal Revolution.)
Who else is creeped out the newly-unveiled London Olympic mascots?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why iPad owners still need a Kindle.
Update on legal admissibility of fMRI "lie detector" brain scan evidence.
"How much flatulence would it take to become airborne?"
All present-day life arose from a single ancestor.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another story on the Mountain West as a desirable place for the tech industry, this time from The Economist: "In Praise of Boise".
How to Quit Facebook Without Actually Quitting Facebook
"Can a robot perform a valid marriage ceremony?"
Real-life laser weapons?

Monday, May 17, 2010

"Weird Clouds Look Even Better From Space". (Via BBspot.)
"Optical devices are finally going inside computers".

And a related story from IEEE, "Optical Transistor Is a Step Toward the Quantum Internet".
"The siblings of a man who died more than a year ago must exhume his body so his head can be cut off and cryogenically frozen, the Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled":
The court sided this week with Alcor Life Extension Foundation, which sought to dig up the remains of 81-year-old Orville Richardson of Burlington. Richardson had signed a contract with Alcor in 2004 and paid $53,500 to have his head placed in cryonic suspension after his death.

When he died in February 2009, Richardson's brother and sister buried him instead, having told him earlier that they would have nothing to do with his plan, court records show.
Rand Simberg comments:
Yes, it's pointless, as far as that patient went (as far as I'm concerned, his family murdered him), but Alcor had to do this, to ensure their other customers that it would do whatever was necessary to fight for them, and fulfill its contractual responsibilities.
"26% of Web video is now iPad-ready".

This is up from 10% four months ago. (Via TUAW.)
Astronaut Mike Massimino and NASA mission specialists explain in detail how to use the space toilet.

Just remember, "Alignment is important":



(Via @kim_mcneill.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

How to prevent sex-related injuries. (Via Instapundit.)
"A Translation Guide to the Obama Space Program"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Off topic: The May 15, 2010 edition of American Thinker has just published my latest OpEd, "The Health Insurers' Faustian Bargain".
100 Fake and Sometimes Disturbing Twitter Accounts.

(Unfortunately, the list omits my personal favorite, @DRUNKHULK.)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Two recent stories praising Boulder, CO, as the next tech startup hub:
"Rocky Mountain High-Tech", New York Times, 5/13/2010
"To Nurture Boulder, Back-to-Basics Venture Capital", New York Times, 5/13/2010
From the first story:
A long list of communities around the country have tried to become "the next Silicon Valley." But very few have the mix of money, universities, a high-tech talent pool and appealing lifestyle needed to hatch tech start-ups. Boulder, however, has been luring tech industry veterans and young entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Manhattan with promises of a tech community that allows for lunch-break hikes in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
(Via @Rob_Abiera.)
Dirty UNIX joke makes it into the New York Times. (Via GMSV.)
Update on the science behind the placebo effect. (Via GusVanHorn.)
8 Websites You Can Stop Building Now. (Via @JonHenke.)
Life after Facebook?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jason Crawford: "Words you're probably using wrong"
"Deconstructing Wikipedia". A detailed discussion of Wikipedia history and philosophy with the focus on co-founder Larry Sanger.

And a related thread on the article.
"'The Cat Hid My Car Keys': Excuses Workers Make".

One classic:
Two years ago, one of Mr. Palmer's employees called out from work, citing a painful break-up with a boyfriend as a reason. While he says he approved of her taking the day off, the employee didn't show up for work the next day, explaining that she needed to spend some time vacationing with her new boyfriend in Santa Barbara to get over the old one. The woman no longer works for K Hotels due to a mutual parting, Mr. Palmer says.
Fanboy visual field guide. (Via Cool Infographics.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Outsource your online dating.
How accurate are police sketches of suspected criminals?

Update: Reader KellyV points out that some police sketch artists are pretty damned good.
Selecting an asteroid to land on.
"Relativity To Be Tested With Three Spaceships and Lasers"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How Facebook privacy defaults have weakened over the years.
Rust particles can reveal the data on your credit-card's magnetic strip.
The world's largest beaver dam can be seen from space.
"How an unfixed Net glitch could strand you offline"

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Spell It Out: 16 Abbreviated Company Names Explained". (Via BBspot.)
"The Substance Found in Pencils will Speed Up our Computers One Thousand Fold". (Via Transterrestrial Musings.)
One of the best shapes for random packing is the tetrahedron.
Cool tour of the International Space Station:



(Via J.S.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Why you shouldn't celebrate too early:



(Via Gus Van Horn.)
Inkless metal pen.
Blobs of silicone.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

"Will Quantum Money Breed Quantum Crime?"
"Your Office Chair Is Killing You". (Via Radley Balko.)
"Stephen Hawking: How to build a time machine". (Via Instapundit.)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

"Lie-Detection Brain Scan Could Be Used in Court for First Time"
"The most highlighted non-fiction passage on Kindle." Full list here.
"Electoral dysfunction: Why democracy is always unfair". Good introductory discussion of Arrow's theorem and voting. (Via Rand Simberg.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Disturbing jokes from North Korea. (Via BBspot.)
Great spy deception from WWII. Usual great writing from Malcolm Gladwell.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Admin note: Blogging may be irregular for the next few days due to external obligations.
"Instructional diagrams for people who suck at everyday life". (Via Gus Van Horn.)
The five stages of data-loss grief.