Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

"How to Make an ATM Spit Out Money"
Stunning fantasy artwork created using 8-bit color and HTML 5. (Via Michael Williams.)
Garden zombie! (Via Found On The Web.)
The mathematics of locust swarms. (Via BBspot.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"The Science of a Boxing Knockout". (Via SciTechDaily.)
50 Fantastically Clever Logos. The Spartan Golf Club logo is especially impressive:


"Simply beautiful use of negative space. The golfer and his swing double as a soldier's face."
(Via Found On The Web.)
Online Lego building empire.
Apple's projected future revenues. (Via Maximizing Progress.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Video of the day: "The Birth of A Lightning Bolt"
"Technology is Making Life Harder for Spies". (Via Bruce Schneier.)
Do you need a new logo?
Accidental P*n*s. (Images are theoretically SFW.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"US government legalizes iPhone 'jailbreaking'".

Although such jailbreaking may no longer be a violation of criminal law, many have noted that it is still a violation of the contract between Apple and the iPhone purchaser and thus potentially still subject to civil penalties (depending on how the courts choose to interpret the contract):

"The Producer, the Librarian, and the Promise-​​Breaker"
"What the New DMCA Ruling on Copyright Actually Says"

Plus, given that Apple created the iPhone in the first place (thus offering tremendous value to customers), they should be able to set terms of use that prospective customers should be ethically obliged to follow. Anyone who doesn't wish to abide by Apple's terms is free to instead purchase an Android phone, a Blackberry, or any of the other competing smart phones.
Are we living inside another universe's black hole?
"Quantum Time Machine Solves Grandfather Paradox"
How Wells Fargo bank services the sole ATM in Antarctica. (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Why 'iPad Killers' are Already Dead"
"Scenes From the Duct Tape Festival". (Via BBspot.)
"Unlucky Thief Steals iPhone Used in GPS Tracking Tests"
"How Do You Steer The World's Longest Cruise Ship?"

And related story at Wired. (Via KW.)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cow Clicker is a Facebook game about Facebook games:
...It's partly a satire, and partly a playable theory of today's social games, and partly an earnest example of that genre.

You get a cow. You can click on it. In six hours, you can click it again. Clicking earns you clicks. You can buy custom "premium" cows through micropayments (the Cow Clicker currency is called "mooney"), and you can buy your way out of the time delay by spending it. You can publish feed stories about clicking your cow, and you can click friends' cow clicks in their feed stories. Cow Clicker is Facebook games distilled to their essence.
Play it here. (Via @jasoncrawford.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Off-topic: PajamasMedia has just published my latest OpEd, "Donald Berwick, the Pro-Gun Control Lobby, and Paternalism".

Update: Thank you, Instapundit!
College Humor posts its own version of the Apple AntennaGate press conference (mildly NSFW):



(Via CrunchGear.)
Infographic of the day: "Win Rock Paper Scissors Every Time".
A very good reason not to enter!



(Via @mwickens.)
"The Battlefield Internet Sneaks Up On Everyone"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Glenn Reynolds: "Taking Photos In Public Places Is Not A Crime".
Explore Mars in high-resolution 3-D. (Via SciTechDaily.)
New book on voting systems.
"Mythbusting Princess Leia's Hair". (Via BBspot.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Off topic: "Chest Pain in 80-Year Old Woman"
Tasteless quiz of the day: "Rack or Crack?"

Warning: NSFW. (Via A.T.)
Do microwave ovens kill bacteria?
"Amazon Sells More E-Books Than Hardcovers"
"Wi-Fi Available on 1 in 3 U.S. Planes"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slick robotic car parking system.
Is poker a game of skill or chance?

(Related: Update on online gambling.)
"Don't Press That Strange Button In Tom Cruise's House!"
The math (and politics) of turning census data into congressional seats.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The New York Times attempts to argue that Google needs more government regulation in its July 14, 2010 OpEd, "The Google Algorithm".

Danny Sullivan applies those same arguments against the NYT in his half-satirical/half-serious reply, "The New York Times Algorithm & Why It Needs Government Regulation".
"What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain"
Doctors' secret code: What "will discuss with you" and "for completeness" in a medical chart really mean.
Fruit and vegetable MRIs. (Via Hanah Volokh.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Genetic Study Solves Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg". (Via BBspot.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

"The Truth About Cold Water". (Via Found On The Web.)
Breakthrough in high-temperature superconductors?
"The Entrepreneur's Visual Guide to Tech Startups"
"Human Trials Next for Darpa's Mind-Controlled Artificial Arm"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

PajamasMedia has just published my latest OpEd, "Should You Be Allowed to Know What's In Your DNA?"
Hacking The Price Is Right. (Via GMSV.)
"23 Brilliant Logos With Hidden Messages". (Via @internetcases.)
"The Big Lies People Tell In Online Dating".

Lots of interesting data! (Via @laforgetm.)
Some rock stars have aged better than others. (Via @internetcases.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Researchers build artificial rat lung. (Via @M_P_T.)
"Why Our Universe Must Have Been Born Inside a Black Hole"
Jewel sings her own songs at karaoke, while disguised as a mild-mannered businesswoman. (Via @funnyordie and @dianahsieh.)
Review of that implausible History Channel series "World War II".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do more patients die in July because it's the new academic year at teaching hospitals?
Tiny satellites.
Bruce Schneier makes some practical arguments against the proposed "internet kill switch". (Via @shlevy.)
Ten technologies that should be extinct -- but aren't.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Vernor Vinge short video on the Singularity. (Via The Speculist.)
Mouseless mouse:
[R]esearchers at MIT have found a method to let users click and scroll exactly the same way they would with a computer mouse, without the device actually being there.

Cup your palm, move it around on a table and a cursor on the screen hovers. Tap on the table like you would click a real mouse, and the computer responds. It's one step beyond cordless. It's an invisible mouse.

The project, called "Mouseless," uses an infrared laser beam and camera to track the movements of the palm and fingers and translate them into computer commands...
The danger of zombie costumes:
A car full of people dressed as zombies crashed on Interstate 84 near downtown Portland on Friday, causing initial confusion by people who witnessed the crash.

...Sgt. Greg Stewart said people who witnessed the crash initially thought the victims' injuries were much more serious, because of the zombie costumes.

"We're glad that everyone is alive, despite being 'undead'," Sgt. Stewart said, referring to the costumes.
(Via Transterrestrial Musings.)
Liquid armor.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Tweet of the day: "The only 'intuitive' interface is the nipple. After that it's all learned." (Via @mjgardner.)

Update: According to Ted O'Connor, the quote originates with Bruce Ediger.
Spectacular 55-story high rooftop Infinity Pool. (Via Maximizing Progress.)
Improved Minority Report-style graphical interface.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Now that Starbucks is handing out free wifi, here are some ways to keep your computer safe." (Via BBspot.)
T-shirt of the day: "I Reverse Polish Notation [heart]"
"7 Classic Disney Movies Based On R-Rated Stories". (Via Cosmic Log.)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"10 Hilarious Amazon Reviews"
"Behind the scenes with the next-gen $100 bill".
Japanese Spacecraft Deploys First-Ever Solar Sail

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

"Building a Substitute Pancreas for Diabetics"
New model Kindle DX with better E-Ink screen and lower price.
"Did Americans in 1776 have British accents?" (Via Found On The Web.)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Admin note: Blogging may be lighter than usual the rest of the week due to external obligations.
Bruce Schneier: "Data at Rest vs. Data in Motion"
"What kind of car is most likely to get broken into by a hungry bear?"

Sunday, July 04, 2010

In honor of July 4th, here are some "Motivational Posters: Founding Fathers Edition"!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Fireworks laws of the 50 states.

Friday, July 02, 2010

The winners of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton contest for worst opening lines.

Our friend Bryan Olive won the Science Fiction category for this:
t'Bleen and Golxxm squelched their way romantically along the slough beach beneath the three Sommodian moons, their eye-stalks occasionally touching, and tenderly belched sweet nothings like, "I don't think I've ever had such a charming evening," and, "Say, would you like to gnaw that hunk of suppurating tissue off my dorsal appendage -- it really itches."

Bryan Olive
Tustin, CA
Congratulations, Bryan!
How does the earth's rotation affect the path of a bullet?"
Inexpensive, unbreakable displays.
NY Times on the economics of medical marijuana in Colorado. (Via MR.)

Thursday, July 01, 2010

"In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple with veteran engineer Ron Wayne. Ten days later, Wayne signed away his 10% of the company in exchange for $800. Here's what he's up to thirty-four years later, $22 billion poorer."
What your font choice says about you. (Via GMSV.)
"How Wi-Fi Drains Your Cell Phone"
Why Hollywood uses fake "555" phone numbers.

And a related column from the Straight Dope archives. (Via @shlevy.)