Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Writer Automaton

Clever clockwork "Writer" automaton.

Light Blogging Notice

Admin note: Blogging might be light until next week due to external obligations.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe

Spicing up Tic-Tac-Toe by turning it into "Ultimate Tic-Tac-Toe".

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Speed Chess Changed My Brain

Mark Samuelian: "Speed Chess Changed My Brain"

Nanoscopic Data Storage

"Scientists create nanoscopic data storage using graphene 'paper' and electron 'ink'"

In Space, No One Can Hear Your Takeout Order

New Yorker: "In Space, No One Can Hear Your Takeout Order"

From the article:
In April, six people entered a geodesic dome, just thirty-six feet in diameter, perched on the barren, reddish slopes of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa. They will be there until August, simulating that they are living on Mars. Their mission: to eat. 
While humans are decades away from potentially becoming an invasive species on Mars, it’s not too soon for NASA to think about how astronauts will feed themselves when they arrive. A question like “How much water is needed to make a beef tagine?” must be answered by engineers well in advance.

Funded by NASA’s Human Research Program, the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation’s four-month mission is to compare classic astronaut fare of pre-made, prepackaged meals to a new system that allows for combining a limited number of shelf-stable ingredients...
(Via Charlie Martin.)

The Most Famous Brand From Every State

"This Map Shows The Most Famous Brand From Every State".

Click on image to see full size version. Go Coors!  (Via J.A.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

CA Cracks Down on Bitcoin

"California's Department of Financial Institutions decided to issue a cease and desist warning to conference organizer Bitcoin Foundation for allegedly engaging in the business of money transmission without a license or proper authorization."
James Bamford on "Five myths about the National Security Agency" (Washington Post, 6/21/2013).

His list:
1. The NSA is allowed to spy on everyone, everywhere.
2. The courts make sure that what the NSA does is legal.
3. Congress has a lot of oversight over the NSA.
4. NSA agents break into foreign locations to steal codes and plant bugs.
5. Snowden could have aired his concerns internally rather than leaking the documents.

Google Glass in the Operating Room

Google Glass in the operating room.

Monopoly Math

"How To Use Math To Crush Your Friends At Monopoly Like You've Never Done Before"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Predator: The Musical

Predator: "The Musical".

"If it bleeds, we can kill it!" (Via Ari Armstrong.)

Whole Genome Scans Revealing Too Much?

NPR: "Whole Genome Scans Could Reveal Too Much".

I agree there are challenges for both doctors and patients dealing with new information that could change their medical management.  But in the long run, I believe this could be an enormous benefit for patients.

Forbes Thumbs-Up to New MacBook Air

Forbes: "New MacBook Air Is A Winner".

Update: Link was broken before -- now fixed!

American CyberWar?

Wired: "NSA Snooping Was Only the Beginning. Meet the Spy Chief Leading Us Into Cyberwar".

Detailed story by James Bamford.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Bayes And DNA

Slate on DNA math: "If police find a genetic 'match,' that doesn't mean they have the right suspect".

Snowden's Motives?

Forbes has this roundup: "Why NSA IT Guy Edward Snowden Leaked Top Secret Documents".

The Science of Situs Inversus

Intersting NYT article on the science of situs inversus, the unusual medical condition where people develop with total left-right reversal of their internal organs (e.g., heart on the right side, liver on the left side, etc.)

Design Features of iOS 7

Interesting new design features of iOS 7.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Extreme Atoms

"Giant, Heavy and Hollow: Physicists Create Extreme Atoms. Atoms are being stretched, stripped and contorted to new and bizarre limits"

Burner Privacy App for Smartphones

"Burner is a privacy layer for your iPhone or Android, providing disposable phone numbers at the push of a button". (Via Alex Knapp.)

More information on their iTunes page.(Note: I haven't tried this app myself, but I thought I'd pass the link along.)

Human-Scale Invisibility Cloak Unveiled

MIT Technology Review: "Human-Scale Invisibility Cloak Unveiled"

Scientists Hide Communications Using A Hole In Time

Alex Knapp: "Take That, NSA - Scientists Hide Communications Using A Hole In Time"

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

How RSA Protects Your Credit Card Number Online

"What happens when you enter your credit card number online?"

Pretty good popular press writeup RSA algorithm, prime numbers, and Fermat's last theorem.

FDA Launches First Inquiry Into Medical iPhone App

"The FDA launches first inquiry into medical iPhone app".  Get ready for some "chilling effects" amongst medical app developers. (Link via Jared S.)

Related from Wired: "FDA Can't Hold Back Stream of Mobile Health Apps".  (Link via Jared R.)

Black and White Tights Dance

Very clever visual effect:

"A group of young girls in black and white tights perform a trippy dance to the popular tune of German folk-rock polka band Hiss."

More Government DNA Testing

Walter Olson: "Big Brother Invades Your Genes". (Via Instapundit.)

Monday, June 03, 2013