Friday, February 28, 2014

CA Drivers Can Look At Smartphone Maps

"California court says it's ok for drivers to look at smartphone maps"

De-Extinction Update From NYT

NYT: "The Mammoth Cometh. Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening -- and it's going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

HTTPS Everywhere

"HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure". (Via Brian S.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Errors In Electronic Medical Records

My latest Forbes piece: "Can You Trust What's In Your Electronic Medical Record?"

Here's the opening:
It isn’t often that a doctor is mistaken about how many feet his patient has. But that’s the mistake this young doctor made by relying too heavily on an erroneous electronic medical record...

How to Use Your iPad as Your Only PC

"How to Use Your iPad as Your Only PC"

Photographer's Guide to the First Amendment

"A Photographer's Guide to the First Amendment (and what to do if you get arrested)"

Why Japanese People Wear Surgical Masks

"Why do Japanese people wear surgical masks? It's not always for health reasons." (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Monday, February 24, 2014

iOS 7 Security Patch

Apple has released a major security patch for iOS devices. Here's the Apple announcement.

Slate describes it as follows:
On Friday night (Feb. 21, 2014), Apple announced a major security flaw in their software for mobile devices. And I do mean major—it left users open to a “man in the middle attack”. That’s pretty bad. If you used an insecure WiFi connection (at a coffeehouse, hotel, or airport, etc.), this flaw could allow someone to interject themselves electronically into transactions you make on your iPhone or iPad, allowing them to access a lot of your information you thought was secure (like, say, credit card numbers).
If you haven't updated yet, you should.
Reddit AMA: "By request, I am a (former) TSA officer. Ask me anything about the TSA"

Which States Have the Longest (and Shortest) Sex

"This Map Shows Which States Have the Longest (and Shortest) Sex". New Mexico ?!?!

The Science of Solitary Confinement

"The Science of Solitary Confinement"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pharmacy Innovation

Wired: "A Drug-Dealing Robot That Upends the Pharmacy Model".

1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth

NPR: "1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says"

Human Lung Made in Lab For First Time

"Human lung made in lab for first time"

Economics of Star Trek

"The Economics of Star Trek: The Proto-Post Scarcity Economy".

I thought this was an interesting read. But ultimately, the system of economics as portrayed in Star Trek is not very consistent or coherent.  (Also, I don't necessarily agree with the author's characterizations of capitalism.)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Again, posting may be lighter than usual for a few days due to external obligations.

Fusion Progress

NPR: "Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion".

One caveat:
Strictly speaking, while more energy came from fusion than went into the hydrogen fuel, only about 1 percent of the laser's energy ever reached the fuel. Useful levels of fusion are still a long way off. "They didn't get more fusion power out than they put in with the laser," says Steve Cowley, the head of a huge fusion experiment in the U.K. called the Joint European Torus, or JET.

Medieval Helpdesk

An oldie-but-goodie: "Medieval Helpdesk"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How Much Would an iPhone Have Cost in 1991?

"How Much Would an iPhone Have Cost in 1991?"

Short answer: More than $3.5 million.

Patrick Stewart Plus 20 Years

Doug Mataconis has posted this great pic of actor Patrick Stewart 20 years ago, what he looked like when fictionally aged for an episode of Star Trek: Next Generation and how that compares to the real-life 20-year older actor.

Train Lays Its Own Track

Train lays its own track. (Via C.G.)

How Does an Internet Name Become an Internet Address?

"How does an internet name become an internet address?"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Air Hockey Robot Built From 3D-Printer

Awesome dad Jose Julio builds daughter an air hockey robot out of 3D-printer parts and a PS3 camera.

As TNW notes: "This is an amazing achievement: the robot doesn’t just move in two dimensions. It can also predict the puck’s movements, decide whether to block or shoot, and is adjustable in difficulty (speed, acceleration, and strategy algorithms)."

Lots more details at Julio's blog, including this video:

Life Game Strategy Guide

"Life is a game. This is your strategy guide."
You might not realise, but real life is a game of strategy. There are some fun mini-games – like dancing, driving, running, and sex – but the key to winning is simply managing your resources. Most importantly, successful players put their time into the right things. Later in the game money comes into play, but your top priority should always be mastering where your time goes...
(Via Kottke.)

Silk Road Criminal Case Update

"Alleged Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht Pleads Not Guilty On All Charges"

New TLDs

"Over 1,000 new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) are set to join the 22 existing ones, such as .com and .org, and the 280 country-specific ones..."

Friday, February 07, 2014

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Due to external obligations, posting may be lighter than usual for the next several days.

Markets In Pretending To Be A Harvard Student

I'm not sure if this Craiglist ad (dated 15 Dec 2013) is legit or not. But if you're smart and have no morals, it's a great opportunity!

$40k a year to attend Harvard University as me



You must have either a 4.0 GPA in high school, or a 3.5 or higher GPA from a university to get hired for this.

Your age does not matter, but you must be a male since I have a male name.

I am looking for someone to attend Harvard University pretending to be me for four years, starting August 2014. I will pay for your tuition, books, housing, transportation, and living expenses and pay $40,000 a year with a $10,000 bonus after graduation. All you have to do is attend all classes, pass all tests, and finish all assigned work, while pretending you are me.

You do not need to worry about being accepted, I have already taken care of that.

If interested please email me a little info about yourself, and we can meet in person to discuss further.

When we meet you will be asked to sign a non disclosure agreement, so you can not reveal who I am or any further information, whether you're selected or not.
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • it's ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: $40,000 a year

post id: 4244720190

Print Free Graph Paper

"Print graph paper free from your computer. This site is perfect for science and math homework, craft projects and other graph paper needs. All graph paper files are optimized PDF documents requiring Adobe Reader for viewing." (Via Brian S.)

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Wave Propagation In People

Video: "Amazing Thailand's military parade". Wave propagation in people!