Thursday, September 29, 2016

Don't Do This To Your iPhone 7

Satirical video explains how to drill a hole in your iPhone 7 to make a headphone jack. Some users take it seriously and become upset that their new iPhones don't work anymore.

I especially liked this comment:

Direct link to video:


"Napoleon Harris III — entrepreneur, state senator and former NFL linebacker — delivers pizza, fights off bad guys, helps solve a murder".

Related story.

Clever NYC AirBnB

NYT: "Where to Stay for $39 a Night in New York City? In a Yellow Cab"

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

3-Parent Baby

"World's first baby born with new '3 parent' technique"

Bionic Spine

Ars Technica: "Building a bionic spine". (Via H.R.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Light Posting Notice

Admin note: Due to external obligations, posting may be lighter than usual this week and next week.

The Invention Of The Arnold Palmer

"How Arnold Palmer Hit A Hole In One With His Signature Drink"

21st Century Warning Sign

Spotted at a trailhead in Boulder, CO:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Welcome Home Apollo 12

AetherCzar: "Welcome Home Apollo 12"

Deblurring Update

"None of your pixelated or blurred information will stay safe on the internet"

MacOS Sierra Review

"MacOS 10.12 Sierra: The Ars Technica review". (Via H.R.)

Eko Core Digital Stethoscope

"Review: Eko Core Digital Stethoscope".

I wish I had had one of these back when I was in medical school!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Train

"New York Public Library installs high-tech, wall-climbing book-train"

Bad Forensic Science

"Forensic techniques sending people to prison may not be scientifically valid"

Fighting Wikipedia Bots

"The Growing Problem of Bots That Fight Online":
In particular, [Oxford researcher Taha] Yasseri and co focus on whether bots disagree with one another. One way to measure this on Wikipedia is by reverts—edits that change an article back to the way it was before a previous change.

Over a 10-year period, humans reverted each other about three times on average. But bots were much more active. “Over the 10-year period, bots on English Wikipedia reverted another bot on average 105 times,” say Yasseri and co...

Cataloging Smells

"Meet the Woman Who Is Preserving the Smell of History"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Robopolicing Update

"Los Angeles police use a robot to take away a murder suspect's gun"

Smart Candle

"The World's First Smart Candle Can Be Lit and Extinguished From Your Smartphone".

Note: This is a real flame, not an LED light. (Via H.R.)

Long Trail

"At almost 15,000 miles, the world's longest trail goes all across Canada — and can be enjoyed by cyclists, hikers, skiers and more."

To be completed in 2017. (Via GMSV.)

Apple AirPods Strategy

AirPods: "Few have realized that Apple just unveiled its second wearables platform"

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Garmin's Recovery

Alex Knapp: "How Garmin Mapped Out A New Direction With Fitness Wearables"

In Praise Of American Cheese

"American Cheese Is Perfect"

Schneier: Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet

Bruce Schneier: "Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet"
Over the past year or two, someone has been probing the defenses of the companies that run critical pieces of the Internet. These probes take the form of precisely calibrated attacks designed to determine exactly how well these companies can defend themselves, and what would be required to take them down. We don't know who is doing this, but it feels like a large a large nation state. China or Russia would be my first guesses...

Kids Getting To School

"How Kids Around the World Get to School"

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Shakespeare Flowchart

"Which Shakespeare Play Should I See? An Illustrated Flowchart"

Ars Technica Likes iOS 10

Ars Technica: "iOS 10 reviewed: There’s no reason not to update". (Via H.R.)

Negative Blood Types

"Why are there so many crazy theories about negative blood types?"

Robot Car Update

"Uber’s Pittsburgh Project Is a Crucial Test for Self-Driving Cars":
Uber will offer customers rides in robotic taxis within a matter of weeks or days. The company has been developing the technology for the past year and has been testing it on the streets of Pittsburgh. It will launch with about a dozen taxis, with the expectation of having 100 on the road by the end of the year. The taxis will have drivers who can take control in an emergency.

Pittsburgh was chosen as the location for Uber’s automated driving project because of its proximity to the renowned robotics research hub at CMU. The city also offers challenging roads and environmental conditions.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Relative Pain of Beestings

"Which body part hurts the most when stung by a bee? A scientist put himself through a torturous experiment to find out".

Short answer:
Perhaps surprisingly — unless you've been stung in one of these spots — the nostril and upper lip beat out even those locations especially painful for men. (Smith is the only one who has conducted such an experiment, so we don't have data for women. Any volunteers?) 

(Via Marginal Revolution.)

Self-Driving Cars Can Learn a Lot by Playing Grand Theft Auto

"Self-Driving Cars Can Learn a Lot by Playing Grand Theft Auto".

What could possibly go wrong?

Optimizing Supermarket Line Choice

NYT: "How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket". (Via D.M.)

Bezos And Space

"Why Bezos' rocket is unprecedented -- and worth taking seriously". (Via H.R.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Amazing Triple Spiral Of Dominoes

"The Amazing Triple Spiral".  Spectacular arrangement of 15,000 dominoes!

5 Second Rule Debunked

"It’s official: The five-second rule is down for the count". (Via H.R.)

Launching The Nukes

"To Launch a Nuclear Strike, Clinton or Trump Would Follow These Steps"


"No Waves? No Problem, If You're Dronesurfing". (H.R.)

Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Science of Hiccups

"Here's What's Happening When You Hiccup":
Cameron explains that the hiccups are caused when your diaphragm contracts—initiating an intake of air—while, at the same time, your vocal cords close, stopping the air from getting to your lungs. The closure of your vocal cords is, according to Cameron, what’s causing that annoying hiccup sound. Cameron also notes that scientists have diverging theories on why humans hiccup: Some believe it helps nursing babies keep milk out of their lungs, while others think hiccups got their start millions of years ago, before animals even made the transition from water to land. Whatever the cause, Cameron makes one thing very clear: There’s still no known cure.
Direct link to video:

Eight Unusual Libraries

"Every book lover will want to visit these unusual libraries from around the world".

Love the Biblioburros!

Teenager Repellent

"New Zealand library uses 'mosquito' noise device to keep youths away"

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

In Favor Of The Headphone Jack

"No, really, the headphone jack is more useful than you think!"

Schrödinger Crossword Puzzle

Schrödinger crossword puzzle.
Tausig’s crossword is a so-called Schrödinger puzzle, named for the physicist’s hypothetical cat that is at once both alive and dead. In a Schrödinger puzzle, select squares have more than one correct letter answer: They exist in two states at once. “Black Halloween animal,” for example, could be both BAT or CAT, yielding two different but perfectly correct puzzles. Only 10 such puzzles have now been published in Times history.

Fair Cake Cutting

"How Do Mathematicians Cut Cake?"

Monday, September 05, 2016

Faking Everest

"Couple Banned From Climbing in Nepal After Faking Everest Ascent"

Soft Robot

"SEAS Engineers 3D Print the First Autonomous, Entirely Soft Robot". (Via H.R.)

Less Bouncy Droplets

"MIT Researchers Help Reduce Runoff Pollution by Making Spray Droplets Less Bouncy". (Via H.R.)

Predicting A Bestseller

WSJ: "An Algorithm to Predict a Bestseller"

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Light Posting Notice

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

How Sea Urchins Reproduce

"Weirder Than Science Fiction: How Sea Urchins Reproduce".

Short answer: They turn themselves inside out.

History Of Chairs

"A brief history of chairs"

Film Disclaimers

"The Strange Reason Nearly Every Film Ends by Saying It’s Fiction (You Guessed It: Rasputin!)"

Thursday, September 01, 2016

How To Hold A Coffee Mug

Um, no: "Scientists Have Found The Most Efficient Way to Hold a Coffee Mug"
Holding a mug by the top may not make it the easiest to drink from and could result in burns from the steam, but it does keep the mug’s center of gravity relatively stable in a normal walking motion. [Physicist Jiwon] Han also found a similar stabilizing effect came when he had his subjects walk backwards while holding the mug by the handle.

“Since the magnitude of acceleration in the claw-hand model is significantly smaller, the claw-hand posture is less likely to spill coffee,” Han writes. “Since we are not accustomed to backwards walking, our motion in the walking direction becomes irregular, and our body starts to heavily rely on sideways swinging motion in order to keep balance.”

Jobs For 2030

"5 strange jobs that could exist by 2030"

New Tor?

"Building a new Tor that can resist next-generation state surveillance". (Via H.R.)