Monday, April 30, 2012

Make McDonald's-style French Fries at Home

"How to Make Perfect McDonald's-style French Fries at Home":
[Chef David Myers] says the key to making a perfect, consistent, McDonald's-style fry is in the advance preparation. The cut potatoes need to be soaked for at least two hours before cooking which pulls out excess starch and ensures the crispiest product. Also, Myers recommends that, "you have plenty of paper towels, a lined sheet pan, and have your oil ready to go."
(Via Neatorama.)

In 15 Years, 90% of News Stories Will Be Written by Algorithms

"In 15 Years, 90% of News Stories Will Be Written by Algorithms"

How To Report Text Message Spam to AT&T

iPhone owners might find this useful: "Report Text Message Spam to AT&T".

Interview With Watson Creator David Ferrucci

Interview: "One-on-One With Watson Creator David Ferrucci"

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Can Future Actions Influence Past Events?

Quantum entanglement mindbender: "Can Future Actions Influence Past Events?" (Via Vik R.)

500 New Fairytales Discovered in Germany

"Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany".

(Via Trey Peden, who asks "I wonder if these 'new' ones are as gruesome as the old ones.")

17 Equations That Changed the World

"How 17 Equations Changed the World"

Engineering In Action

Engineering in action:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

News Anchor Fail Compilation 2012

News Anchor Fail Compilation 2012:



(Some of the bloopers might be mildly NSFW.)

How To Delete Yourself From The Internet

"How to delete yourself from the Internet".

Warning: As the article warns, you have to be both tenacious and polite. (Via Declan McCullagh.)

Artificial "Alien" Genetic Material

Scientists Create "Alien" Genetic Material Capable of Evolution

Viewing Magnetic Fields

"This Bubble Wrap Lets You See Magnetic Fields"

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Real Life Game Theory

I liked this game show contestant's clever solution to the Prisoner's Dilemma variant of "Split or Steal". Here's the video excerpt:




In contrast, this is the sort of outcome that one might more commonly expect. Not a pretty sight:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Asteroid Mining Project?

"Mystery company backed by James Cameron and Google executives may be an asteroid mining project".

Whoa... (Via David Jilk.)

Expert Apple Peeling

Expert apple peeling. You probably don't want to try this at home unless you're very good with a knife:



(Via Cynical-C.)

How Blind People Use the iPhone 4S

"How Blind People Use the iPhone 4S"

12 Ways To Spot A Liar At Work

"12 Ways To Spot A Liar At Work"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Portraits of the Sun

"Portraits of the Sun". (Via @SupaTrey.)

Mobile Hangover Treatments

Who says American innovation is dead? "Mobile Hangover Treatment"

Forbes Fictional Interview With Tony Stark

"The Forbes Fictional Interview: Tony Stark"

Cosmic-Ray Tomography

"How to detect smuggled uranium and plutonium using muons"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Visualizing WiFi Signals with Light

"Visualizing WiFi Signals with Light":

Lost Son Finds Mother Using Google Earth

"Little boy lost finds his mother using Google Earth". (Via Alex Knapp.)

Quantum Network

"First Universal Quantum Network Prototype Links 2 Separate Labs"

The Power of Music

"Old Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Hearing Music From His Era":

Monday, April 16, 2012

[Off topic] RCM OpEd: The Best Congress Money Can Buy?

Off topic:: The 4/16/2012 edition of Real Clear Markets has published my latest OpEd, "The Best Congress Money Can Buy?"

Why Netflix Never Implemented The $1 Million Algorithm

"Why Netflix Never Implemented The Algorithm That Won The Netflix $1 Million Challenge".

From the post:
It wasn't just that the improvement was marginal, but that Netflix's business had shifted and the way customers used its product, and the kinds of recommendations the company had done, had shifted too. Suddenly, the prize winning solution just wasn't that useful -- in part because many people were streaming videos rather than renting DVDs -- and it turns out that the recommendation for streaming videos is different than for rental viewing a few days later.
(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Flying Cars Update

"Could You be Flying Cars in a Few Years?

Stopping Text Spam

"Why cellphone text spam is on the rise and what you can do about it"

The Stable Boy and the iPad

"Think about this. Steve Jobs has designed a powerful computer that an illiterate 6-year-old can use without instruction..."

Friday, April 13, 2012

How Recruiters See Your Resume

"What Recruiters Look At During The 6 Seconds They Spend On Your Resume". (Via Tom L.)

The Insane Asylum Experiment

"What happens when a sane person checks themself into an asylum?"

Basically, the staff can't tell the difference. And they make the mistake in both direction. (Via Eric Barker.)

Even Spies Have Worries About High Tech ID Checks

"CIA's Secret Fear: High-Tech Border Checks Will Blow Spies' Cover"

Artificial Intelligence and Diagnostic Radiology

"Artificial intelligence and diagnostic radiology: Not quite ready to welcome our computer overlords"

Interesting article from one of my trade journals. One excerpt:
For those of you who are wondering whether radiologists will soon be replaced by artificial intelligence systems, such as Watson or Siri, there is encouraging news. It turns out that while these systems can do a fairly good job with extraction and analysis of structured and even unstructured text-based data, they still are at a surprisingly primitive level in their evaluation of images.

Koch and Tononi published an article in Scientific American, suggesting that the ultimate test of "conscious awareness" was not the famous Turing test, which assesses whether a computer can fool a human into thinking it is another human, but rather the ability to determine what is wrong with an “ordinary” photograph.

They use an example of an elephant sitting on top of the Eiffel Tower, which might be used in a Highlight's magazine quiz for 5-year-olds as an example of the difficulty computers have with analyzing what is wrong with a given image. The current state-of-the-art in computer science is still many years away from being able to solve these types of challenges, which suggests that radiology may be one of the last specialties to be vulnerable to being replaced...
I suspect computers will eventually take over much of what current radiologists do. It may happen sooner in some domains (e.g., mammography) than others (complex body and brain MRI scans). But it's likely only a matter of time before computers can function more reliably and more accurately than human radiologists in all domains.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lake and Ocean Depths

Awesome xkcd graphic showing the relative depths of various noteworthy lakes and ocean formations. (Click here for large version.)

Engagement Ring Economics

"The Strange (and Formerly Sexist) Economics of Engagement Rings".

Basically, they were a form of "virginity insurance".

How Much Do College Professors Make?

Interesting table of university professor salaries. (Via Marginal Revolution.)

Kids With Cell Phones

According to The Atlantic, "Almost 20% of 3rd Graders Have Cell Phones".

By fifth grade, 39% of the kids have cell phones. By middle school, more than 83% of the students have a cell phones.

Friday, April 06, 2012

7 Rules for Recording Police

"7 Rules for Recording Police". (Via Radley Balko.)

Harry Potter For Kindle!

The complete Harry Potter series is now available on Kindle. (Via Instapundit.)

Tsunami 'Ghost Ship'

"Tsunami 'ghost ship' to be sunk by US Coast Guard"

'Cyber-illusionist' Marco Tempest

"'Cyber-illusionist' Marco Tempest reveals his tricks"

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Lost Cellphone Experiment

What do people do when they find a "lost" cellphone?

From the article:
Symantec researchers intentionally lost 50 smartphones in cities around the U.S. and in Canada. They were left on newspaper boxes, park benches, elevators and other places that passers-by would quickly spot them. But these weren't just any phones -- they were loaded with tracking and logging software so Symantec employees could physically track them and keep track of everything the finders did with the gadgets.

To spice up the test, the phones had an obvious file named "contacts," making it easy for any finder to connect with the phone's rightful owner. But the phones also offered tempting files, with names like "banking information," and "HR files."

Some 43 percent of finders clicked on an app labeled "online banking." And 53 percent clicked on a filed named "HR salaries." A file named "saved passwords" was opened by 57 percent of finders. Social networking tools and personal e-mail were checked by 60 percent. And a folder labeled "private photos" tempted 72 percent...
(Via Bruce Schneier.)

Wiretap Prices

"These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps"

Can A Machine Tell When You're Lying?

"Can a machine tell when you're lying?"

From the article:
In a study of 40 videotaped conversations, an automated system that analyzed eye movements correctly identified whether interview subjects were lying or telling the truth 82.5 percent of the time.

That's a better accuracy rate than expert human interrogators typically achieve in lie-detection judgment experiments...

Stop-Motion Film About Light and Shadow

"A Beautifully Choreographed Stop-Motion Film About Light and Shadow"

Luminaris from Juan Pablo Zaramella on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Destroying Mercury?

Should we destroy the planet Mercury? Alex Knapp takes the "con" side vs. the "pro" side.

Can Static Electricity Kill You?

"Can static electricity kill you?"

Canada Ditches The Penny

Canada is getting rid of the penny.

Obligatory snarky CGP Grey video:

Ballet Dancers in Super Slow Motion

"Ballet dancers in super slow motion":

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

New Casino Design Strategies

The new psychological approach to designing casinos. (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Self-Sculpting Sand

"Self-sculpting sand could allow spontaneous formation of new tools, duplication of broken mechanical parts". (Via Instapundit.)

Private Property In Outer Space

Rand Simberg discusses benefits and possible approaches to securing private property rights in outer space: "Homesteading the Final Frontier".

Transparent Memory Chips

Transparent memory chips.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Which Languages Work Best For Microblogs?

"Chinese is so succinct that most messages never reach the 140-character limit imposed by most micro-blogs".

How Squid Hear

How squid hear. (Via TGV.)

Space Junk Dangers

Space Junk: "Small, Fast, Unpredictable And Deadly"

Flexible E-Paper Display

"LG Begins Mass Production Of World's First Flexible E-Paper Display"

Sunday, April 01, 2012