Thursday, April 30, 2015

Strong Robots

"Tiny robots climb walls carrying more than 100 times their weight". (Via H.R.)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual for a while, due to external circumstances.

iPad Crashes Grounds American Airline Flights

"Several dozen American Airlines planes are grounded because the pilots’ iPads crashed"

MRI of Knuckle Cracking

Scientists have figured out what makes the sound when you crack your knuckles

Their conclusion:
Our data support the view that tribonucleation is the process which governs joint cracking. This process is characterized by rapid separation of surfaces with subsequent cavity formation, not bubble collapse as has been the prevailing viewpoint for more than a half century.
(Click through to see MRI images and video.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Saturday, April 25, 2015

1 Star Dining

Washington Post sends reporter to see if a restaurant really deserves its 1-star Yelp rating.

Short answer: "Yes".

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bitcoin Hurdles

"It's Still Too Hard to Get Your First Bitcoin"

Police Methods To Get Password

"Drug dealer: Cops leaned me over 18th floor balcony to get my password".

From the article:
[L]ast week, one of the cops who had done the threatening took the witness stand to corroborate Cascioli's account. Jeffrey Walker, who was arrested in an FBI corruption sting back in 2013, admitted that he and another officer had in fact leaned Cascioli over his balcony to elicit the password...

The whole crazy case is a reminder that strong passwords are excellent tools for protecting your information from distant Internet predators. But when the predators have you alone in a room, the real question isn't about the strength of your password but about how much pain and fear you're willing to endure before giving it up.

Force Touch Tips

"How to Use the Apple MacBook's Force Touch Trackpad".

Today, the "Force Touch".  Tomorrow the "Force Choke"!

What You've Googled

"How to see everything you've ever Googled".

Related: "How To Blur Your Search Tracks On Google"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hollywood Too Realistic For Law Enforcement

"Creators of The Wire were asked to remove details that could help criminals avoid wiretaps"

Messaging Services Proliferate

"Messaging services are rapidly growing beyond online chat":
As the number of users has grown, specialised versions of messaging apps have emerged. What made Snapchat popular was the ability to exchange pictures that vanish after a few seconds (and often contain nudity). Secret, Whisper and Yik Yak let users remain anonymous (including bullies, unfortunately). Telegram stands out because of its strong encryption (making intelligence services unhappy). And FireChat works without cellular service: users’ phones communicate directly, which was a popular feature during recent protests in Hong Kong.

How to Beat a Polygraph

NYT: "How to Beat a Polygraph Test"

Gene Therapy For Color Blindness?

"UW scientists, biotech firm may have cure for colorblindness". (Via H.R.)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Artisanal Pencil Sharpening

"Demand the Best: Here's The $15 Artisanal Pencil Sharpening Experience".
That $15 ($2.50 more than he used to charge) buys you "a pencil so sharp you don't want to sleep in the same room with it," a labeled bag of the shavings that fell from the pencil, a plastic tube that protects the pencil's tip from breaking in transit, and a certificate of sharpening, which gives you a sharpness rating and details like whether the pencil was sharpened in natural or artificial light. According to Rees, each pencil takes about 20 minutes to complete. By our estimate, he has made around $10,000 from his pencil sharpening business.

What makes Rees's efforts different from Brooklyn's distressed clothing and $20 egg creams is that he is at once sincere about his craft but not delusional enough to miss its absurdity.
(Via A.S.)

Police Department Pays Bitcoin Ransom

Ars Technica: "A small town police department just outside of Boston finally agreed to pay a $500 ransom to regain access to a police server that it had been locked out of after being infected with CryptoLocker ransomware."

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Posting may be lighter than usual this week due to external obligations.

Interstellar Timeline

"What Year Does Interstellar Take Place?"

And there's the "Honest Trailer" for Interstellar (warning full of spoilers):

The Four McNuggets Shapes

"The Reason McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Come in Four Distinct Shapes"

Nanoneedles For Cells

"Nanoneedles deliver nucleic acids inside cells"

Monday, April 06, 2015

Suspended Animation Update

"How to Turn Your Dog Off"

World Palindrome Champion

"Meet the Reigning World Palindrome Champion"

Scaling Everest

Well-done interactive display: "Hundreds of climbers are gathering in Nepal to begin a months-long odyssey up the world’s highest mountain in hopes of spending a few extraordinary moments on its peak. Scroll along the icy path to see what climbers will experience on Everest's South Col, the most popular route up the mountain"

50 Years of Moore's Law

IEEE Spectrum: "50 Years of Moore's Law". (Via H.R.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Robotic Rescue Snake

"Rattlesnakes inspire search-and-rescue robot design"

Every TV Economics Report

"Every TV news report on the economy in one:

How Musicians Die

How musicians die.  (Click through to see full-sized version of chart.)

Palate-Cleansers For The Mind

"Watch the videos that TED uses to reset your brain"