Thursday, March 31, 2011

Russian scientist will attempt to breed his 5-eared cat with a 4-eared cat to create more multi-eared cats.
Scientific breakdown of a Bloody Mary.
Fighting fire with an electric-field generating "magic wand":
Researchers say they've found a new way to snuff out flames using an electric field-generating wand -- and the seemingly magical technique just might be put to use in future fire rescues...

The technology sounds a bit like the fictional flame-freezing charm or the Aguamenti spell mentioned in J.K. Rowling's series of Harry Potter books, and the fact that it's done with a wand-like electrode makes the story even better. "The best geometry of the electrode is in the form of a thin wire, which journalists creatively labeled a wand," [Harvard researcher] Cademartiri said.
"Real Life Eye Of Sauron Watches Over A Cubicle"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Why are there keyloggers on Samsung laptops?"

Update: This is apparently a false alarm. (Thanks to Eric K for the link.)
Twitter feeds for various world leaders.

The list includes Kim Jong-il (North Korea), Dmitry Medvedev (Russia), and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela).
"Collider Generates Most Massive Antinucleus".

Specifically, for anti-matter Helium-4.
Video of the day: 2 Quadrocopters play air ping pong, no human

(Via R.B.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Who needs a battery? iPod and other gadgets could soon be 'charged by the human heart'"

I'm just glad the gadgets won't ever think to put us in big sleeper pod and live off our biological energy! (Via Instapundit.)
How Google works in gory detail (click on image to see full-sized version):

(Via FOTW.)
"What is stuttering, how is it treated, and The King's Speech"
Time-Lapse Auroras Over Norway:

(Via Doug W.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

"The First Plastic Computer Processor"
TV news screen capture of the day:

"Digging for Riches in the World's Deepest Gold Mine"
Infographic of the day: "iPhone 5 Rumor Roundup".

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Do shadows weigh anything?"
Storing quantum data in flawed diamonds.
"6 Things Our Kids Just Plain Won't Get". (Via @JonHenke.)
Charlie Martin: Understanding radiation.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Was Monopoly originally meant to teach people about the evils of capitalism?"
Improving circuit design by deliberately introducing errors.
Legal debate over search warrants for hard drives.
Transmitting data through steel.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why love is like an App Store (click on image to see full size):

(Via Gizmodo.)
Clever Bat-themed mirror:

"As far as Batman-themed mirrors go, you probably won't find one more suitable for you neo-rococo style mansion than this one. In fact, your snobbish guests might not even notice when they gaze into it to check and see if their gigantic hats are in order."

(Via Arwen M.)
How non-tech people conceptualize computer viruses, malware, etc.

PDF paper, "Folk Models of Home Computer Security".
"Mechanical Engineer Explains the Secrets of the Wiffle Ball"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tricky issues in airplane etiquette.

Here are a few of the questions covered (click through to read the various opinions from the Wall Street Journal consultants:
1. You're in the middle seat, between two strangers. Who gets the armrests?

2. A tall man sits down and his knees jut out wide, encroaching on your space.

3. You're in the window seat and two strangers in the middle and aisle seats are asleep. You have to go to the bathroom.

5. Your seatmate brings a smelly meal on board and loudly starts munching.
(Via BBspot.)
How veterinarians perform elephant vasectomies.
"In-car computing, smartphones, and the future of cars"
"The 55 Best Simpsons Headlines"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How sustainable is Groupon's business model?
"How To Keep Reading the NY Times For Free"
xkcd: "Radiation Dose Chart"
Legal exchange of the day: "When You Say 'Photocopying Machine' What Do You Mean?"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thieves hacking ATM users by glueing down the "Enter", "Clear", and "Cancel" keys:
The thieves glue down the "enter," "cancel" and "clear" buttons on the keypad and wait until the customer goes into the bank for help before withdrawing money from their account.

The robbed customers have already punched in their PINs when they realize the keypad buttons are stuck. The unwitting customers either do not know that they can use the ATM touchscreen to finish their transaction, or become nervous when the keypad isn't working and react by leaving the ATM unattended...
(Via Bruce Schneier.)
"Snake Bites Model in Breast; Dies Of Silicone Poisoning"
Laptop with security feature to snap a picture of the alleged thief. (Via @AriArmstrong.)
The New York Times will put most of its content behind a for-pay firewall.

Interestingly enough, they'll exempt links to their content via social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Mathematicians invent a new way to pour stout"
The future of mobile gadgets.
"Can You Judge a Person by His E-Mail Address?"
[Gmail users are] well-traveled, career-focused, tech-savvy agnostics. The site also found that they're partial to "salty snacks" and lounge around their apartments in T-shirts and jeans.

Yahoo users, on the other hand, tend to be overweight women ages 18 to 49, with high-school diplomas, children and a sweet tooth.

Hotmailers are more likely to be suburban women of average build, aged 18 to 34, according to Hunch. They're more likely childless, not religious and pessimistic.

The @AOL crew -- the oldest of the bunch -- tend to put family first, read magazines and live in the suburbs. They likely haven't traveled internationally, but are considered "optimistic extroverts."
Popular Mechanics: "What Happens To Your Online Data When You Die?" (Via @The_Speculist.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Death Star Cookie Jar:

(Available for purchase at ThinkGeek for $49.95.)
Cool Saturn fly-by video:

5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation

"There is no 3-D CGI involved in this amazing Saturn fly-by's made from thousands of hi-res photographs taken by the Cassini orbiter."
Everything you wanted to know about the Coke-vs.-Pepsi debate. (Via BBspot.)
"Court says you don't need a person's permission to tag them in a Facebook photo"

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Apple's Role in Japan during the Tohoku Earthquake".
What happens when you compare apples to oranges.
"Eight extremes: The biggest things in the universe". (Via BBspot.)
"Classic Lateral Thinking Exercises". (Via Evan Brown.)
US Patent 3962748 for TV remote control device, 1976:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"What Dr. Seuss books were really about". (Via GMSV.)
The official emoticons of Unicode 6.0. (Via @shlevy.)
Michael Williams: "Rooting a Nook Color to Make a Sweet Android Tablet"
"Scientists reverse Doppler Effect":
Being able to reverse the Doppler Effect is a promising sign for the future development of science-fiction inspired technology such as invisibility cloaks. According to Professor Gu this technology, which has already been demonstrated on a micro-scale by US researchers, may be closer to becoming a reality than most people think.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"What's in Spock's Scanner?"

(Via BBspot.)
Imaging the musical brain. (Via Debby Witt.)
Spaceports across America. (Via @Rob_Abiera.)
A brief history of bulletproof.
Infographic of the day: How to spot a liar.

(Note: I'm not sure about the reliability of some of these tips.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Walt Mossberg at the WSJ likes the iPad2.
Infographic of the day: "The Science Behind Traffic Jams".

Yes, we get these once in a while here in Denver...
"DroidDream Autopsy: Anatomy of an Android Malware Attack":
DroidDream is a powerful zombie agent that can silently install any applications and execute code with root privileges at will. According to Lookout, DroidDream is also the first piece of Android malware that uses an exploit to gain root permissions and assume virtually limitless control of the infected smartphone.

The elephant in the room, though, is the fact that DroidDream exploits vulnerabilities that have already been identified and patched, but that 99 percent of Android users are still exposed because their smartphone has not yet been graced with the update to Gingerbread.
UK doctor diagnoses 4-year old boy's leukemia over Facebook.
"Tweets Per Second on New Year's Eve". (Via R.B.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Off topic: The March 2011 issue of Liberty Ink Journal has just published my latest OpEd, "Socialized Medicine: Theory Versus Practice".
What you would have made if you had bought Apple stock instead of Apple products. (Via BBspot.)
Detailed article from The Christian Science Monitor on "The New Cyber Arms Race". (Printable version.)
"How can any nuclear missile crewman know that an order to twist his launch key is lawful, legitimate, and comes from a sane president?"
Excellent combination: Technology plus Girl Scout Cookies!

(Via Adam Mossoff, who quips, "Need Girl Scout cookies? There's an app for that.")
"The 10 weirdest uses for a smartphone"

Monday, March 07, 2011

"Five things you never knew about Pac-Man". Among the tidbits:
...[O]nly Blinky, the red ghost... doggedly pursues you throughout the game. Pinky, the pink ghost (naturally), simply wants to position itself at a point that's 32 pixels in front of Pac-Man's mouth. The blue ghost, Inky, is seeking to position itself at a similar fixed spot. And Clyde, the orange ghost, moves completely at random.
(Via GMSV.)
Using computers to detect cheating on standardized tests. (Via Cosmic Log.)
So how big was that solar flare?
Unexpected medical danger of fake tongue rings. (Via R.L.)

Sunday, March 06, 2011

"A virus so large it gets viruses"
xkcd: The more accurate Nolan chart

Nanotech: Frozen smoke.
"Almost 5% of Americans Report Falling Asleep at the Wheel"

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Is the new iPad2 "Smart Cover" based on a Japanese bathtub cover? (Via MacWorld.)

And an anonymous Apple employee says the iPad 3 is the one to get excited about. (Via GMSV.)
Infographic of the day: The evolution of coins.
"Is the Navy Trying to Start the Robot Apocalypse?"
"Microscope with 50-nanometre resolution demonstrated". (Via David Jilk.)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

"Time travel experiment demonstrates how to avoid the grandfather paradox"
Of course the big news is the iPad2.
"What Were a U.S. Soldier's Odds of Dying In Every War?"

I knew the US Civil War was a bloody affair, but the cited statistics make that especially clear. (Via @ManleyColorado.)
Now this is a solar flare. (Via BBspot.)
"What Economists Know About Open Source Software". (Via MR.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

"How To Turn A Laser Into A Tractor Beam"
"Giant Underground Chamber Discovered On the Moon"
"Congressman Beats Supercomputer At Jeopardy"
Space beer gets a good review.