Monday, February 28, 2011

"The Lost Art of Pickpocketing". (Good riddance, I say...)
"Is it possible to freeze your cojones off?"
"How to Transmute Elements with Laser Light"
Google revises its algorithm to combat sketchy SEO, making some people very unhappy.

Related: Google's official announcement.
Global Android Activations: Oct 2008 - Jan 2011



(Via R.B.)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Best. Comment Thread. Ever.
A look at what the Foley artist does for movies:


(Via GMSV.)
Motorola Xoom mini-review. (Via Instapundit.)
"CEOmics: Biotech Executives Share Their Genomes With The World"
"20 Habits That The iPad is Changing". (Via Danny A.)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Super-thin superconducting cables
"Inside the Business of Selling Human Body Parts"
"How to Make a Laser From a Gin and Tonic"
NYT: "New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Awesome tech company office designs"
A retelling of The Lord of The Rings from the perspective of Mordor. (Via ALDaily.)
"A new spot market makes cloud computing a commodity"
"If I were an evil genius, how could I go about melting the ice caps?"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Switchable Metamaterial Makes Itself Invisible"
ST:TNG -- The Angry Birds:



Can Wesley Crusher defeat the dangerously addicting game (Angry Birds) threatening to destroy our way of life?
"Cheating, Incorporated: At Ashley Madison's website for 'dating,' the infidelity economy is alive, well, and profitable"
"Old, Weird Tech: Computer Dating of the 1960s"

Monday, February 21, 2011

Off topic: PajamasMedia has just published my health care latest OpEd, "The Wisconsin Protests and the New Medical Ethics".

Update: Thank you, Instapundit, for the link!
"Largest antimatter trap ever under construction"
"How IBM's Watson will make money"
At the Volokh Conspiracy blog, James Grimmelmann has an interesting 5-part series of guest posts on the history of Sealand and HavenCo.

Lots of good historical and legal analysis. Here's the link to Part 5, which includes links to the prior posts. His full paper, Sealand, HavenCo, and the Rule of Law can be downloaded here at SSRN.
"Why is Barnes & Noble performing well as a business while Borders is near (or has even reached) bankruptcy?"
"Black ops: How HBGary wrote backdoors for the government". (Via K.M.)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ouch! News clip of the day:



Here's the official response from the news station.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Ken Jennings on what it's like to play against a supercomputer."
"Student Rickrolls professor in college computer science paper".

(Look at the first word of each line.)
"Confessions of an Apple Store Employee". (Via Instapundit.)
SuperHarmony: A dating service for superheroes. (Via BBspot.)
Physicists build world's first antilaser:
Less than a year after it was first suggested, the world's first antilaser is here. A team of physicists have built a contraption that, instead of flashing bright beams, utterly extinguishes specific wavelengths of light.

Conventional lasers create intense beams of light by stimulating atoms to spit out a coherent beam of light in which all the light waves march in lockstep. The crests of one wave match the crests of all the others, and troughs match up with troughs.

The antilaser does the reverse: Two perfect beams of laser light go in, and are completely absorbed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Your guide to the seven types of malicious hackers". His breakdown includes:
1. Cyber criminals
2. Spammers and adware spreaders
3. Advanced persistent threat (APT) agents
4. Corporate spies
5. Hactivists
6. Cyber warriors
7. Rogue hackers
(Via Bruce Schneier.)
"Flowchart: Why Hasn't the Person You Texted Responded Yet?"
"The Visual Anatomy of an Apple Email":
The emails sent by Apple to consumers are riddled with trademark characteristics, including multiple 'Calls To Action,' as well as the beloved 'Hero Shot.' Here is a breakdown of each of these characteristics and a summary of their general purpose.

Click on the image to see it full size. Very effective use of design.
Encrypting your text messages might make you more of a target under a dictatorship:
The recent demonstrations in Egypt, which overthrew the government, relied heavily on cell phones, and especially texting, to coordinate the massive rallies. It was suspected, and later admitted, that the secret police had already set up a monitoring system for text messages...

Just using encryption enables the police to identify who is doing so, and which type of encryption you are using. If only a few people in the country are using a certain type of encryption, you are suddenly a "person of interest" for the secret police. But if there is widespread unrest, and lots of people are encrypting their text messages, the cops are screwed.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Android and iPhone: It's a two-horse race"

Nice overview of the pros/cons of the two OSs, and what the future might hold.
"iPhone 5 Gets Bigger Screen, Slideout Keyboard?"
"What Happens to All Those Super Bowl T-Shirts?"

Specifically, to the pre-printed shirts for the team that lost? Perhaps somewhere in Africa, there's a kid with 4 "Buffalo Bills Super Bowl Champions" t-shirts from 1990-1993...
Stopping thieves with synthetic DNA.
A cell phone tower in your pocket.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"What are those symbols on the back of the iPhone?"

"Hands On: Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb Packs a Punch"
"Meet the Company That Records Your Calls for Quality Assurance":
You've probably never heard of eLoyalty, but they've almost certainly heard you -- and quickly pegged your personality by analyzing nothing more than your voice over the phone, parsing your words, pauses and even inflections on the spot.

The company works with call centers that handle the nation's biggest car-insurance firms, banks and health care organizations. They're usually the ears listening in after the automated message promises you, "This call is being recorded for quality assurance."
Here are the 6-main personality types used to classify customers, which then influences the approach the customer service rep should adopt:
1. Spock: Thoughts-based person who approaches every issue rationally with a "just the facts, ma'am" mentality.
2. Princess Diana: Emotions-based person who wants warmth and congeniality.
3. Rush Limbaugh: Opinions-based person, a person for whom strongly held beliefs often trump facts.
4. Robin Williams: Reactions-based person who immediately likes or dislikes something and enjoys playing.
5. Donald Trump: Actions-based person, a person who prefers doing to talking.
6. Yoda: Reflections-based person, someone who likes to think matters through.
Infographic of the day: "What is IPv6? And why should we care?" (Via Arthur Z.)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Arthur C. Clarke's 31-word short story, "siseneG".
Anatomical sleeping bag:

Why so many businesses have 214-748-3647 listed as their phone number. (Via BBspot.)
"Why you should always encrypt your smartphone". (Via Instapundit.)
The Economist has a nice review of 3D-printing technology for custom manufacturing.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"No joke: Ex-mayor's name too suggestive for Indiana center"
A former Indiana mayor who won over voters in the 1930s is proving less popular with modern city leaders trying to choose a name for a new government center.

Harry Baals (bawlz) is the runaway favorite in online voting to name the new building in Fort Wayne. But Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy tells The Journal Gazette that the city probably won't name the center after its longest tenured mayor because of the jokes it could inspire...

His descendants now pronounce their last name "bales."
Sometimes truth is stranger than the fake names in the crank calls on The Simpsons. (Via Evan Brown.)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Internal strife within WikiLeaks:
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost control of his site's submission system in an internal revolt last fall, and has never regained it, according to a tell-all book penned by the organization's top defector, who accuses Assange of routinely exaggerating the security of the secret-spilling website and lying to the public about the size and strength of the organization.
Rumors are already circulating about the iPad3. ("3", not "2")

Related TUAW story.
Today's legal thought experiment: "Suppose you have a right to genetic privacy. You might believe you do. Suppose you have an identical twin. Suppose the identical twin decides to publish his (or her) genetic sequence on the web. Do you have the right to stop this?"
The many bridges of Star Trek. (Via Neatorama.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Update: The apparently "discovery" of Atlantis was debunked in 2009 as boat-mapping lines. (Via Debby W.)
Impressive trick football throws. Holy crap:



(Via HotAir.)
Digital age justice: "Man Accidentally Records Himself Murdering His Wife, Recording Used Against Him At Trial". (Via Volokh.)
"America's prisoners: Should we shoot them with a giant ray gun?"

(I'm sure glad that the government would never use this sort of weapons against honest citizens...)
"Prison Economics: How Fish and Coffee Become Cash"
The coolest locksmith shop in New York City:
From a distance, it looks like a bunch of golden squiggles and spirals have been added, snaking whimsically across the facade. But get a little closer and you’ll find the real magic... The new design is made up entirely of keys, literally thousands, and thousands, and thousands of keys, twisting into wonderful assortment of swoops and twirls.
(Via Metafilter.)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Legal tip of the day: If you're serving on the jury of a criminal case, don't post snarky Facebook comments about the trial as it's happening.

One example from the story, "Can it get any more BORING (than) going over piles and piles of (cell) phone records ... uugggghhhhhh." (Via GMSV.)
"A Central California man who was at a cockfight died after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its own limb". (Via Eugene Volokh.)
"The Internet Just Ran Out of Numbers"

Related story: "What Does the IPv6 Transition Mean to Me?"
Universal flu vaccine.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Password trivia:
Average amount it costs a business to field a phone call requesting a password reset: $10

Proportion of help desk calls that are password-related: 30%

Users who choose a common word or simple key combination for a password: 50%
(Via Gizmodo.)
Interesting background on programming the Jeopardy-playing Watson computer.
"iPad 2.0: What to Expect"
"Google Ocean: Has Atlantis been found off Africa?"

Monday, February 07, 2011

"On Asteroid Defense And The Constitution".

More here.
"Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Done in 60 Seconds":



(Via Neatorama.)
Cool medical technology for treatment of burns: Skin Gun.

(Note: Link includes a video of a burn patient.)
"How Tech Tools Transformed New York's Sex Trade". (Via Instapundit.)
Regional dialects persist on Twitter:
In northern California, something that's cool is "koo" in tweets, while in southern California, it's "coo." In many cities, something is "sumthin," but tweets in New York City favor "suttin." While many of us might complain in tweets of being "very" tired, people in northern California tend to be "hella" tired, New Yorkers "deadass" tired and Angelenos are simply tired "af."
Here's the full academic paper. (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Off-topic: PajamasMedia has published my latest health policy OpEd, "America's Other Drug Problem".

Update: Thank you, Instapundit, for the link!

Friday, February 04, 2011

How this statistician cracked the lottery. (Via Michael Williams.)
The McBain movie:
It turns out that if you arrange all of the McBain clips from old episodes of "The Simpsons," they form a cohesive four-minute excerpt from an action film in which the titular hero "hunts corrupt drug kingpin Senator Mendoza and tries to exact revenge for his murdered partner while battling red tape at police headquarters" (video below).

(Via Neatorama.)
USB battleship. $22 at Amazon. (No, I don't get a percentage):



(Via @bakadesuyo.)
The Xoom is going to be serious competition for the iPad.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Internet-era students fall for the fictitious "tree octopus".

As the old saying goes, "You can find a lot of information on the web -- and some of it is even true!" (Via Rand Simberg.)
"NASA's Kepler spacecraft discovers planets outside solar system". (Via David Jilk.)
Interactive Google Julia map.

More information here. (Via T.C.)
"Color Wheels are wrong? How color vision actually works". (Via Kate Y.)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric struggle to figure out what this "internet" thing is all about. Video clip from 1994:



Gumbel was especially puzzled by the "@" in this e-mail address:



(Via BBspot.)
"Jury Says It's Okay to Record the TSA"
Today's bacon infographic (click on image to see full size):

"If you want to crack someone's skull, should you use a full beer bottle or an empty one?"
All the volcano webcams of the world. (Via @bettina702)

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

100 Best First Lines from Novels. (Via GMSV.)
"$3 Million Prize Offered to Solve Hospital Admissions Puzzle".

Basically, it's the medical equivalent of the Netflix prize, except to help predict which patients in a large population will require an unplanned hospital admission. The goal would be to target these patients with appropriate care prior to the hospital event, thus saving lives, money, and time.
Drinking water from 100,000 year old ice cores.
Axe Cop: The Movie


If you haven't heard of AxeCop, here's some background information. And the original comic for Episode 1. (Via BBspot.)