Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

How 3D Printing Actually Works

"How 3D Printing Actually Works"

The Shapes of Stories

Kurt Vonnegut on "The Shapes of Stories"

How to Resuscitate a Drowning Victim in 1916

"How to Resuscitate a Drowning Victim in 1916"

The Internet in 1995

"What the Internet Looked Like in 1995"

Sample lines: "Successful home pages could be seen by twenty or thirty thousand people a week."
And: "The complexity of programming 'links' can be overwhelming."

[Off topic] Hsieh Forbes OpEd: Is Concierge Medicine The Correct Choice For You?

Off topic: Forbes has published my latest OpEd, "Is Concierge Medicine The Correct Choice For You?"

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

UK Government Internet Snooping

The UK government is seeking widespread powers of internet surveillance, including over companies not based in the UK (such as Facebook and Wikipedia).

From the article:
One of the main sticking points will be how the authorities get information from so-called third party service providers based outside British jurisdiction, such as Google's Gmail, Facebook and Microsoft's Skype.

British-based mobile operators have told Reuters they are happy to cooperate with the government, but they insist that the same rules must apply to the likes of Facebook.

"From a security point of view, you need to be able to have access to the full pool of communication otherwise you're fishing in a sub-set of a sub-set," said Ronan Dunne, the chief executive of O2 UK.

If internet groups based outside Britain do not comply, the Home Office envisages forcing the British Internet Service Providers who carry their services to access the data instead, through a process known as deep-packet inspection.

But, it is not clear if this will be technically possible. Google has said it would not allow another service provider to decrypt its information on its Gmail service, and Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has said he would not cooperate.
"If we find that UK ISPs are mandated to keep track of every web page that someone reads on Wikipedia, I am almost certain ... that we would immediately move to a default of encrypting all the connections to the UK," Wales said.

Star Trek on Hulu

"The 10 Star Trek episodes you should watch for free on Hulu this week"

Bitcoin ATM

"World's First Bitcoin ATM Is Announced - First Location: Cyprus"

Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak

"Scientists Create Ultra-Thin Invisibility Cloak"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Tasting the Rainbow

NPR: "Some People Really Can Taste The Rainbow". (Via GMSV.)

Ancient Greek Brain Surgery

"Skeleton reveals ancient Greek brain surgery".

From the article:
Experts believe the operation would have been attempted to repair damage from a blow to the head. "It is likely the patient would have been conscious, and it would certainly have hurt a bit," said Simon Mays, a human skeletal biologist for English Heritage. "Early surgical manuals show patients having brain surgery before anaesthetic would most probably have been pinned down to stop them writhing around."
On one hand, medical techniques were much cruder back then. On the other hand, malpractice insurance premiums were undoubtedly lower.

DNA and T-Rays

"Cameras, DNA and the Technology of T-rays"

Resurgence of Independent Bookstores

"The novel resurgence of independent bookstores"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

xkcd On Cornstarch

"How much cornstarch can I rinse down the drain before unpleasant things start to happen?"

Reinventing the Band-Aid

Cool upgrade on the humble bandage.  Click on image to see full-size. (Via Maximizing Progress.)

Nifty Emergency Phone

The Gadgeteer: "XPAL Power SpareOne Emergency Phone review"

11 Weird Solutions to the Fermi Paradox

"11 of the Weirdest Solutions to the Fermi Paradox"

Monday, March 18, 2013

Today's Urology Paper

The British Journal of Urology Int has an update on the epidemiology of zipper-related genital injuries:
Between 2002 and 2010, an estimated 17,616 patients presented to US EDs with trouser zip injuries to the genitals. The penis was almost always the only genital organ involved. Zip injuries represented nearly one-fifth of all penile injuries. Amongst adults, zips were the most frequent cause of penile injuries. Annual zip-related genital injury incidence remained stable over the study period. 
(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Art Thieves Identified

"FBI says it has identified the thieves in Gardner Museum heist; paintings' location still unknown"

USB Battery Pack Review

"The absolute best USB battery pack for traveling with your mobile devices".

Google Street View Includes Mt. Everest

Google Street View now includes Mt. Everest and Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Export RSS Feeds From Google Reader

Mashable: "How to Export Your RSS Feeds From Google Reader". (Via Doug Mataconis.)

Google Glass Backlash

"Google Glass Ushers in the Next Wave of Cybernetic Hate Crimes"

What Colored Food Does to Your Poop

"What Colored Food Does to Your Poop".

Click through if you really want to see the images. (Via Jeff Patterson.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How Much Should I F-ing Tip?

"How much should I tip?"

There's also an uncensored version.  (Via Custard Tank.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

China's Internet Censors

How China's internet censors work. And what they choose to censor.

How Fast is Spooky Action At A Distance?

"Chinese Physicists Measure Speed of 'Spooky Action At a Distance'".

Short answer: "[M]ore than four orders of magnitude faster than light".

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Unreported Side Effects of Drugs Found Using Internet Data

NYT: "Unreported Side Effects of Drugs Found Using Internet Data". 

From the article:
Using data drawn from queries entered into Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University have for the first time been able to detect evidence of unreported prescription drug side effects before they were found by the Food and Drug Administration's warning system...

Titanium Escape Ring

The Gadgeteer reviews the Titanium Escape Ring.

Light Posting

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual for the rest of this week and next week due to external obligations.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Graphene Micro-supercapacitors

"UCLA researchers develop new technique to scale up production of graphene micro-supercapacitors". (Via Doug K.)

Micro 3-D Printing

"Micro 3-D Printer Creates Tiny Structures in Seconds"

Monday, March 04, 2013

Tank Hobbyists

Fun WSJ article on the subculture of legal tank hobbyists in the US.

From the article:
A tank in the U.S. can have operational guns, if the owner has a federal Destructive Device permit, and state laws don't prohibit it. The permit costs $200, and the applicant must swear he hasn't been a "fugitive from justice," "adjudicated mentally defective" or convicted of "a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence." A local law-enforcement official, usually a sheriff or police chief, has to sign off on the application...

Earlier this month, Mr. Bauer, the Texas banker, took his Chaffee out for a spin in his warehouse parking lot. He had rigged the .50-caliber machine gun on the turret with a propane system that generates the noise and muzzle flash of gunfire, without the bullets. He fired off several bursts.

Minutes later, two Port Lavaca police cruisers pulled up. The first officer rolled down the window and asked dryly: "You know why we're here, right?"

Mr. Bauer assured him that no actual rounds had been fired. Still, the officer said, "we had multiple calls—people get scared."

The second policeman, Jeremy Marshall, got out of his car and eyeballed Mr. Bauer's tank. "Awesome," he said.

What Will Replace the Touchscreen?

"Here Comes the Parade of Computing Interfaces That Want to Replace the Touchscreen"

Stuxnet Update

StrategyPage: "Stuxnet Never Ceases To Amaze"

Remote Proctoring Online Tests

As online education proliferates, so do issues of preventing cheating with online test proctoring. This will be a new growth industry.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Surveillance Stories: DHS, Police, OB/GYN

Three stories that caught my eye yesterday:

Department of Homeland Security built domestic surveillance tech into Predator drones, including ability to detect if a civilian is armed.

Declan McCullagh also asks, "Why is it only 'controversial' when citizens record police, not when police record citizens?"

Johns Hopkins gynecologist kills himself after being caught using "pen camera" to record patient exams without their knowledge.

“Download This Gun”

"'Download this gun': 3D-printed semi-automatic fires over 600 rounds"

Tyranny of the Queen Bee

WSJ: How women undermine other women in the workplace. (Via Ryan Sager.)

What Law Enforcement Can Recover From A Seized iPhone

"Here's What Law Enforcement Can Recover From A Seized iPhone"