Saturday, December 24, 2011

Why Cities Grow, Corporations Die, and Life Gets Faster



Summary: As organisms, cities, and companies scale up, they all gain in efficiency, but then they vary. The bigger an organism, the slower. Yet the bigger a city is, the faster it runs. And cities are structurally immortal, while corporations are structurally doomed. Scaling up always creates new problems; cities can innovate faster than the problems indefinitely, while corporations cannot.

IMHO: Its a long video but has some great information about how cities and corporation grow and die.

Will We Ever Understand the Brain?

Summary: "As neuroscientists are learning more and more about our body's hidden frontier, we have gained fleeting insights into our own intuition, habits and seemingly unexplainable preferences. Can we solve those mysteries by creating a complete computer model of our brain? Or, is the brain an unsolvable puzzle? Two leading neuroscientists discuss these question and more as we look into the neurology of the brain."

Friday, December 23, 2011

African Bull Frog Plays Ant Crusher


The video is of an African Bull Frog playing the Ant Crusher game on a smart phone.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Firewall" (Don't Let Our Government Ruin The Internets)



Leah Kauffman wrote this song taking aim at the Stop Online Piracy Act (aka SOPA). She is also the singer/songwriter behind the 2007 song "I Got a Crush on Obama".

Kindness Boomerang - "One Day"



Watch as the camera tracks an act of kindness as its passed from one individual to the next and manages to boomerang back to the person who set it into motion.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

End of the World Parody (CollegeHumor)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Funniest News Report of all Times



What do you get when you have a 48 Ton Dead Whale, and a half ton of dynamite? Watch the video to find out what happens. Not amazingly, there is a web site dediciated to this event (theexplodingwhale.com)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yoav Medan: Ultrasound surgery -- healing without cuts



Imagine having a surgery with no knives involved. At TEDMED, surgeon Yoav Medan shares a technique that uses MRI to find trouble spots and focused ultrasound to treat such issues as brain lesions, uterine fibroids and several kinds of cancerous growths.

Awesome Projects on KickStarter

Below is a list of my favorite projects that I am watching on KickStarter. If you're not familiar with the KickStarter site, its dedicated to crowd funding small projects that could be the next awesome thing by pooling together money contributed by lots of different people.  If a project gets fully funded the project creator gets the money, if the full funding is not reached then the contributors get their money back.

Printrbot: Your First 3D Printer
Excerpt from the project Kickstarter page: "I designed the Printrbot to be the simplest 3D printer yet. There are some great kits out there - the Makerbot, the Ultimaker, the Prusa Mendel, and others - but none as small and simple as the Printrbot. This all-in-one 3D printer kit can be assembled and printing in a couple of hours. Other kits will not only take you many more hours to build, they will also have hundreds more parts, and they will cost more. My design also does away with the finicky calibration and adjustment from which most 3D printers suffer. This is the printer a kid could put together. We assemble the electronics, we assemble the hotend, and we put the connectors on all the motors and components... no soldering required!" (more information)




Multi-Touch Keyboard and Mouse
Excerpt from the project Kickstarter page: "Multi-Touch keyboards and mice are the next generation in computer peripherals. These elegant well made devices are composed of quality tempered glass, a solid metal base, and the finest components. They are designed using simple existing technology and have no moving parts. They have rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries and are completely wireless. The tactile sounds and lighting can be turned on or off per the users' preference plus they are coffee and doughnut resistant!" (more information)



Teagueduino: Learn to Make
Excerpt from the project Kickstarter page: "Teagueduino is an open source electronic board and interface that allows you to realize creative ideas without soldering or knowing how to code, while teaching you the ropes of programming and embedded development (like arduino). Teagueduino is designed to help you discover your inner techno-geek and embrace the awesomeness of making things in realtime — even if you’ve only ever programmed your VCR." (more information)



Twine : Listen to your world, talk to the Internet
Excerpt from the project Kickstarter page: "Want to hook up things to the Web? Maybe you want to get a tweet when your laundry's done, or get an email when the basement floods while you're on vacation. Even if you're good with electronics and programming, these are involved projects. Instead of worrying about wiring or networking code, you can focus on your idea." (more information)



BoardX: The Open Source Miniature Motherboard
Excerpt from the project Kickstarter page: "BoardX is a collection of electronic circuit boards that stack on top of one another to share resources, communicate, and extend the functionality of one another. This system is built on the motherboard that acts as both an electrical and structural foundation." (more information)



Google’s Graphing Calculator (new feature)

Google introduced a new feature recently in the search result page which is the ability to plot mathematical functions and display using an interactive graphing calculator functionality. For example, if you type in a function like sin(x) and you’ll see an interactive graph on the top of the search results page.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Cheryl Hayashi: The magnificence of spider silk



Cheryl Hayashi studies spider silk, one of nature's most high-performance materials. Each species of spider can make up to 7 very different kinds of silk. How do they do it? Hayashi explains at the DNA level -- then shows us how this super-strong, super-flexible material can inspire.

Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration



After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon's new map for war and peace



In this bracingly honest and funny talk, international security strategist Thomas P.M. Barnett outlines a post-Cold War solution for the foundering US military: Break it in two. He suggests the military re-form into two groups: a Leviathan force, a small group of young and fierce soldiers capable of swift and immediate victories; and an internationally supported network of System Administrators, an older, wiser, more diverse organization that actually has the diplomacy and power it takes to build and maintain peace.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Ben Goldacre: Battling Bad Science



Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.

William Shatner's Steps to Unfriending Recovery

Saturday, December 03, 2011

...LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW! (Awesome Video Compilation))



Here is the list of videos used to make this compilation.

Justin Hall-Tipping: Freeing energy from the grid



What would happen if we could generate power from our windowpanes? In this moving talk, entrepreneur Justin Hall-Tipping shows the materials that could make that possible, and how questioning our notion of 'normal' can lead to extraordinary breakthroughs.

Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives



What controls aging? Biochemist Cynthia Kenyon has found a simple genetic mutation that can double the lifespan of a simple worm, C. Elegans. The lessons from that discovery, and others, are pointing to how we might one day significantly extend youthful human life.

Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment (Window Farms)



Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles -- researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. For more information, check out RNDIY.ORG

Friday, November 25, 2011

Phil Plait: How to defend Earth from asteroids



hat's six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid - and there are lots of them out there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The US Stop Online Piracy Act: A primer

Computerworld reports: "The Stop Online Piracy Act, the subject of a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Wednesday, has generated heated debate since lawmakers introduced it on Oct. 26.

The bill, called SOPA, would allow the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to seek court orders requiring online advertising networks, payment processors and other organizations to stop payments to websites and Web-based services accused of copyright infringement." (Read the rest of the article)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Advantages of Thorium Reactors

Motherboard TV has created a documentary called The Thorium Dream, that discusses some the great advantages of Thorium based nuclear reactors. The video points out that Thorium is considered more abundant, safer, has less waste, and can't be utilized as weapons grade material vs uranium.

The problem in the US is that our systems for creating nuclear material are built around uranium because it can be used for both generating power and weapons.

(watch the video here)

The Thorium Dream (Trailer)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Adrien Treuille: Crowdsourcing science



Can gaming cure disease? By creating games like EteRNA for protein folding and nano-engineering, Adrien Treuille and his colleagues are outsourcing research, each week scoring and then actually synthesizing top players' work. By studying players' strategies, scientists can improve their computer modeling while also creating new ways to fight disease.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth -- visualized



Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action



Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Anna Mracek Dietrich: A plane you can drive



A flying car -- it's an iconic image of the future. But after 100 years of flight and automotive engineering, no one has really cracked the problem. Pilot Anna Mracek Dietrich and her team flipped the question, asking: Why not build a plane that you can drive?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Neil Gershenfeld: The beckoning promise of personal fabrication



MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about his Fab Lab -- a low-cost lab that lets people build things they need using digital and analog tools. It's a simple idea with powerful results.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Riley Crane: Crowdsource win



Riley Crane, a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Media Lab, found out about the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge four days before it started (find ten balloons placed in ten different locations around the country). Four days, eight hours, and 52 minutes later his team had won the competition. Watch him talk about how they did it and the challenges they encountered in the process.

Jay Bradner: Open-source cancer research



How does cancer know it's cancer? At Jay Bradner's lab, they found a molecule that might hold the answer, JQ1 -- and instead of patenting JQ1, they published their findings and mailed samples to 40 other labs to work on. An inspiring look at the open-source future of medical research.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world



Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quantum Levitation



Video courtesy of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), representing the science center and museum field worldwide. Tel-Aviv University demos quantum superconductors locked in a magnetic field.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Todd Kuiken: A prosthetic arm that "feels"



Surgeon and engineer Todd Kuiken is building a prosthetic arm that connects with the human nervous system -- improving motion, control and even feeling. Onstage, patient Amanda Kitts helps demonstrate this next-gen robotic arm.

Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement



In Rajasthan, India, an extraordinary school teaches rural women and men -- many of them illiterate -- to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages. It's called the Barefoot College, and its founder, Bunker Roy, explains how it works.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Waste to energy: Green or greenwash?

CNET News reports: "I took a tour of Covanta Energy's waste-to-energy site here yesterday to delve a little deeper into that question. I learned that modern plants like this one are far less polluting than they used to be and that "reduce, reuse, recycle" is clearly the preferred route. For what's left over after recyling, though, waste-to-energy plants can fill a role as an alternative to landfills, assuming air quality standards remain in force." (read the rest of the article)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bill Gates demonstrates his chair jumping skills in front of Connie Chung

Here is something you don't see too often.

Landscapes: Volume Two


This is the second of a three part series. Every frame of this video is a raw still from a Canon 5D2 DSLR and processed with Adobe software. Best watched in full screen with sound.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Playa Time: Dust to Dust" - Burning Man 2011 Time Lapse



From dust to dust, this time lapse covers over 5 weeks including the preparation of the event, from before the trash fence erection and after basically everyone except for DPW trickles out. Other than a few occasional pauses, the main event goest by at a rate of 3 hours every second. Burning Man 2011 Home

For those that don't know about Burning Man, I think this video provides a good brief introduction to what you can expect.  Please note this video may not be suitable for young people.

Monday, October 10, 2011

When Returning from the Moon, Don't Forget to Fill Out Your Customs Form

Gizmodo reports: "Despite the fact that every single facet of NASA's moonwalks were government-controlled expeditions, astronauts were not exempt from the annoying processes involved with foreign travel. Case in point, this customs form, signed by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins." (Read the rest of the article)

IMHO: Please file this under, are you kidding...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Bruce Schneier: The security mirage


The feeling of security and the reality of security don't always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. At TEDxPSU, he explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, like the "security theater" now playing at your local airport, while neglecting more probable risks -- and how we can break this pattern.

In summary: Feeling "Secure" is only a perception. If you want to know more watch the video.

Kevin Kelly: What Technology Wants



Most of us have a love/hate relationship with new inventions, such as the "crackberry," for example. Kevin Kelly declares this conflict as inherent to all technology. But he also argues that technology is not anti-nature, but rather the "seventh kingdom" of life; it now shares with life certain biases, urges, needs and tendencies. By adopting the principles of pro-action and engagement, we can steer technologies into their best roles.

Dan Ariely: The Upside of Irrationality



The 2008 economic crisis taught us that irrationality is an influential player in financial markets. But it is often the case that irrationality also makes it way into our daily lives and decision-making -- in slightly different and vastly more subtle ways. In this enthralling follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely shows how irrationality is an inherent part of the way we function and think, and how it affects our behavior in all areas of our lives, from our romantic relationships to our experiences in the workplace to our temptations to cheat.

The Gaming of Education



Media commentator Peter Williams argues that gaming can actually help kids learn and engage in their environment more deeply. Williams explains how games as varied as Donkey Kong and Fallout may have shaped his son's education and interests for the better.

The Future of Social Gaming Looks a Lot Like the Past



Gabe Zichermann, chair of the Gamification Summit, says that today's most successful social games are those built on the social principles of classic games like bridge and mahjong.

Should the U.S. Default on Its Debt?



International economist Dambisa Moyo examines the notion that the United States should deal with its rapidly escalating debt by simply refusing to pay it off. Although Moyo regards default as an option of last resort, she notes that it wouldn't be one without precedent: "The idea that big countries never default... is something that is not true."

Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic



Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled -- compared to almost 90% of metals -- because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds. Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic.

Social Networks: Is the Novelty Wearing Off?



Panelists at the Churchill Club's annual Top Ten Tech Trends event debate whether or not social networks are beggining to develop an "uncool factor" among early adopters. Futurist Paul Saffo predicts a shift towards "meaningful social networks" and a growing trend towards being disconnected. "The cool thing will be to not be on LinkedIn and to not be on Facebook," says Saffo.

Are You Lurking? The 90-9-1 Principle of Social Media



Social networks like Twitter boast ever-climbing rates of use, but how many account holders are actually participating? A panel of Australian media experts discusses the 90-9-1 principle of social media, which has it that 90 percent of users on any social media platform are lurking, 9 percent are moderate contributors, and 1 percent are super users.

Joshua Foer: Using Memory to Prolong Your (Perceived) Life



"Monotony collapses time. Novelty unfolds it," reads Joshua Foer from his book, Moonwalking With Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, explaining that creating more worthwhile memories can lengthen our perception of time.

In summary, if you create new "exciting" memories more often the your life will seem longer. For example, go try something new or visit a new place (locally or far away). Although, the more mundane your life the shorter it will be perceived by yourself.

'Inside Job' Director Ferguson's Proposal to Reform Wall Street



Charles Ferguson, director of "Inside Job," proposes a strategy to reform the compensation structure of top players in the financial services industry. He explains that rather than capping the salaries of top executives, he would regulate the compensation of any person capable of taking major risks.

In Screen We Trust? The Dangers of Malleable Data



Future Crimes founder Marc Goodman discusses the inherent danger of malleable data in the digital age. In an era where man and machine coexist, Goodman warns it's not wise to always trust the information displayed on the screen of your digital device.

Multiverse Doppelgangers: Do Many Versions of You Exist?



Theoretical astrophysicist Suketu Bhavsar examines the probability that many versions of you exist in a universe that expands infinitely.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution



In this accessible talk from TEDxBoston, Richard Resnick shows how cheap and fast genome sequencing is about to turn health care (and insurance, and politics) upside down.

This is a great talk...

Geoff Mulgan: A short intro to the Studio School



Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, "for real."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NASA Unveils New Space Launch System



NASA has announced a new launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), designed to carry astronauts past the moon to near-Earth asteroids and eventually Mars.

GoPro 2011 Highlights You in HD

What does it feel like to fly over planet Earth?



A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ultrabooks Make Their Appearance at Intel's IDF Show

eWeek.com reports: "Intel's ultrabook concept has been a central theme during this week's Intel Developer Forum here. Intel executives see ultrabooks, which they first introduced at the Computex show in May, as the next step in the evolution of PCs, thin and light devices that marry features found in tablets—such as long battery life, instant-on capabilities and, eventually, touch functionality—with the benefits of traditional notebooks. Ultrabooks, designed to come in at less than 0.8 inches thick and under $1,000 in price, are a key aspect of Intel's larger push in the mobile-computing space, and will help the chip maker bolster a flagging PC market. Several OEMs, including Lenovo, Asus, Acer and Toshiba, are scheduled to roll out the first ultrabooks this fall, with the devices based on the current 2nd Generation "Sandy Bridge" chips." (read the rest of the article)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

World's Greatest Drag Race!



With an empty airstrip and eleven of the best driver's cars in the world, we put on the world's greatest drag race.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Skylar Tibbits: Can we make things that make themselves?



MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly -- the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It's a big concept at early stages; Tibbits shows us three in-the-lab projects that hint at what a self-assembling future might look like.

Edward Tenner: Unintended consequences



Every new invention changes the world -- in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Symphony of Science - the Quantum World!



A musical investigation into the nature of atoms and subatomic particles, the jiggly things that make up everything we see. Featuring Morgan Freeman, Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, Brian Cox, Richard Feynman, and Frank Close.

"The Quantum World" is the eleventh installment in the ongoing Symphony of Science music video series. For more information, check http://symphonyofscience.com.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Technology's Role In the Arab Spring Protests



Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas, elaborates on the role Twitter and other social media tools have played in the Arab Spring demonstrations and protests. "Technology accelerates everything," says Cohen.

Rebecca MacKinnon: Let's take back the Internet!



Rebecca MacKinnon describes the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, and asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control? She believes the internet is headed for a "Magna Carta" moment when citizens around the world demand that their governments protect free speech and their right to connection.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

$25 Incubator Shows Good Design Can Save Lives Affordably (Extreme Affordability)



Stanford's d.school co-founder George Kembel delivers an update on former student projects, including an inexpensive incubator and a solar powered lamp. The Embrace incubator, a low-cost infant warmer, will save an estimated 100,000 lives and improve the quality of life for 800,000 children in the next 3 years.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Philip Zimbardo: The demise of guys?



Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, "Why are boys struggling?" He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons.

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure



Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists -- that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.

Joshua Walters: On being just crazy enough



Comedian Joshua Walters, who's bipolar, walks the line between mental illness and mental "skillness." In this funny, thought-provoking talk, he asks: What's the right balance between medicating craziness away and riding the manic edge of creativity and drive?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Geoengineering Climate Control: Who Gets the Keys?



The title of the video is "Geoengineering Climate Control: Who Gets the Keys?" IMHO: This is a really good question? Personally I think any kind of global geoengineering is very dangerous.

About the video: Jamais Cascio, writer and co-founder of WorldChanging.com, examines various risks involved in the pursuit of mass-scale geoengineering as a response to global warming. Along with unknown scientific considerations, Cascio warns that geoengineering could be fertile ground for international political conflict.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Turning toys into cheap, effective medical gear

CNET reports: Jose Gomez-Marquez is like the MacGyver of medical devices, hacking toys and turning them into gadgets that can be used to diagnose conditions such as diabetes and dengue fever. By taking everyday items like Legos and bike pumps and turning them into replacements for expensive medical devices, he's attempting to save lives on the cheap.
"Most of the devices that get donated to developing countries fail because they were not designed to be used in these environments," Gomez-Marquez said during a visit to CNET this week to show some of his creations. "We need to make the Land Rover version of medical devices for these countries. Right now we are sending the Ferrari versions and they fail." (read the rest of the article)

AES proved vulnerable by Microsoft researchers

ComputerWorld reports: Researchers from Microsoft and Belgian Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have discovered a way to break the widely used Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), the encryption algorithm used to secure most all online transactions and wireless communications.

Their attack can recover an AES secret key from three to five times faster than previously thought possible, reported the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a research university based in Belgium. (read the rest of the article)

LEGO 3D Milling Machine - "3D Printer"

This model was developed by Arthur Sacek for ZOOM Education for Life.

Fora.TV: Flash Mobs



Learn about and see demos of:
  • Kickstarter
    • Helps you get starter funding for small and medium size projects
  • Makerbot
    • An inexpensive printer that allows you print 3D objects
  • Onlive
    • Play Windows-based video games, use 3D animation tools, and more from any device.
Watch the full program.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Food Fashion - Clothes Made Out of Food

Delish.com reports: "Fans of food and fashion will be intrigued by these outrageous clothes, accessories, and shoes made out of food! If you like all things outrageous, check out the weirdest restaurants in the world." (Read the rest of the article.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Internet Backup Solutions

Below is an excerpt from an article on another one of my sites called The Jason Chronicles: "Backing up data on your computer has always been critical. A long time ago floppies were used to backup your data, later it was CDs and then DVDs. Today there is no affordable external removable media capable of keeping up with modern multi-terabyte drives." (read the rest of the article to learn about the various services that are available and the Pro and Cons of using them).

State Of The Internet 2011

Online Schools reports: "The Internet is a strange, huge beast. It is getting bigger, faster and more mobile each day. Ferocious social networks fight each other to be on top and gain more of our attention and personal information. An entire economy is generated from our browsing habits. This is the face of the Internet now."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Face Recognition Software, Social Media Sites Increase Privacy Risks, Says New Carnegie Mellon Study (Press Release)

In a Carnegie Mellon press release entitled "Face Recognition Software, Social Media Sites Increase Privacy Risks, Says New Carnegie Mellon Study". Researchers demonstrated the ability for computers to find public information on the web about people using facial recognition software.

I think the press release over-hypes the ability of this technology, because this software should not be able to find anymore information then someone doing the same search for that person by using their name.

The main advantage that a computer will have is its ability process a lot of information quickly, but unless a computer is programmed on how to interpreted the data properly it would still need a human to make sense of the data.

The idea of maybe pointing your phone's camera at someone face to identify them would be a cool technology. Although, it could be creepy at the same time.

You can already play with some of the basic concepts of this type of technology with your iPhone or Android smartphone using Google's picture search technology.

Press Release
PITTSBURGH—It is possible to identify strangers and gain their personal information — perhaps even their social security numbers — by using face recognition software and social media profiles, according to a new study by Carnegie Mellon University's Alessandro Acquisti and his research team. The results of the study will be presented Aug. 4 at Black Hat, a security conference in Las Vegas.

"A person's face is the veritable link between her offline and online identities," said Acquisti, associate professor of information technology and public policy at the Heinz College and a Carnegie Mellon CyLab researcher. "When we share tagged photos of ourselves online, it becomes possible for others to link our face to our names in situations where we would normally expect anonymity."

Acquisti said his research team, which included CMU postdoctoral fellows Ralph Gross and Fred Stutzman, combined three technologies — an off-the-shelf face recognizer, cloud computing and publicly available information from social network sites — to identify individuals online and offline in the physical world. Since these technologies are also accessible by end-users, the results foreshadow a future when we all may be recognizable on the street — not just by friends or government agencies using sophisticated devices, but by anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection.

The team ran three experiments and developed one mobile phone application.

In one experiment, Acquisti's team identified individuals on a popular online dating site where members protect their privacy through pseudonyms. In a second experiment, they identified students walking on campus — based on their profile photos on Facebook. In a third experiment, the research team predicted personal interests and, in some cases, even the Social Security numbers of the students, beginning with only a photo of their faces.

Carnegie Mellon researchers also built a smartphone application to demonstrate the ability of making the same sensitive inferences in real-time. In an example of "augmented reality," the application uses offline and online data to overlay personal and private information over the target's face on the device's screen.

"The seamless merging of online and offline data that face recognition and social media make possible raises the issue of what privacy will mean in an augmented reality world," Acquisti said.

Cloud computing will continue to improve performance times at cheaper prices, and online people-tagging and face recognition software will continue to provide more means of identification.

"Ultimately, all this access is going to force us to reconsider our notions of privacy," Acquisti said. "It may also affect how we interact with each other. Through natural evolution, human beings have evolved mechanisms to assign and manage trust in face-to-face interactions. Will we rely on our instincts or on our devices, when mobile phones can predict personal and sensitive information about a person?"

Unlimited Detail Real-Time Rendering Technology Preview 2011

I saw the the initial update for the "Unlimited Detail Technology" last year and found it pretty impressive. After their first update, the company Euclideon seem to disappeared from the news for a year. Now they're offering a one year update on how they're doing.

Euclideon claims that their Unlimited Detail Technology (which they say 'floating atoms' to draw object) can offer up 100,000x better graphics display quality over traditional polygon based graphic engines.

Know Your Rights!

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has published a document called Know Your Rights!.  This web page explains what you should know about your personal rights as a citizen when it comes to the electronic privacy of your information, and who is allowed to view it.

'Lab-on-a-chip' offers new hope in disease detection

telegraph Reports: "A cheap, highly portable blood test has proven as accurate as expensive hospital-based analyses in detecting HIV, syphilis and other infectious diseases, according to a study released on Sunday."

(Read the rest of the article)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Microsoft Shares Video Tour of its Cloud Datacenters

Excerpt from the article: "Today our team is releasing a video tour of four of Microsoft’s global datacenters. The video provides an inside look at how the company has invested heavily to rapidly evolve its datacenter IT infrastructure and best practices to deliver greater scalability, reliability, efficiency, security, and sustainability." (Read the rest of the article)





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Future of Grocery Shopping?



Tesco/Homeplus a Korean grocery store chain created a clever marketing campaign by creating a virtual store in the subway so that people can shop with their smart-phones while waiting for the train.

Savulescu: Are We Morally Obligated to Breed Healthier Children?



Excerpt from the video: "Bioethicist Julian Savulescu makes an argument for procreative beneficence, his conviction that parents are morally obligated to breed the healthiest children possible. "Nature has no mind to equality, no mind to health, no mind to happiness in terms of the children that it produces," he explains."

In the movie Gattaca, parents were able to selectively choose their children through gene manipulation. Children that were born without this gene manipulation were known as "God Children". A two class society was created, if you were a God's Child, you were lower class.

I don't believe that modifying the human genome is going to bring the end of humanity. I know that mistakes will be made and damage will be done, but eventually we might get it right. Technology always advances this way.

What worries me, is genetic discrimination. DNA sequencing is getting faster, better, cheaper all the time. What use to cost millions dollars and take a long time, now costs a few thousand and can be completed in a few hours.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Overview of Google+



Rocketboom explains Googles newest entry into the social networking sphere: Google Plus (G+)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice



Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bing grabs market share from Google over past year

CNET News: "Though Google remains firmly on top of the search engine market, it's shed market share to Microsoft over the past year, according to data released last week by research firm Compete.

Looking at the overall search engine market from May 2010 to May 2011, Compete found that Google has lost close to 16 percent of its share, dropping to 63.6 percent from 73.9 percent. At the same time, Microsoft grew its share by 75 percent, jumping to 17 percent from 9.7 percent."

Read the rest of the article.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond



Its shocking to find out how important "play" really is to our fundamental way of life. The advice really goes against what we think or are taught about the correct way to live (e.g. work hard), but I believe he's correct about what he says.

This talk really has a "universal message" that is not just for Bulgaria. Although, like all things, there has to be moderation.

At TEDxBG in Sofia, Steve Keil fights the "serious meme" that has infected his home of Bulgaria -- and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.

TEDTalks : Daniel Kraft: Medicine's future? There's an app for that - Daniel Kraft (2011)



This is an amazing talk about current and future developments in modern medicine. I was amazed by some of the technological advancements that were being discussed.

I have seen some of these technologies discussed before in other podcasts but Daniel does an awesome job of talking about all the technologies. Its like a sampler platter of what is available and what will be available soon.

Talk Description: At TEDxMaastricht, Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient's bedside.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Perform This Way (Parody of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga)



Music video by "Weird Al" Yankovic performing Perform This Way (Parody of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga). (C) 2011 Volcano Entertainment III, LLC, a unit of Sony Music Entertainment

The Oatmeal: How to fix any computer (Humor)

Check out "The Oatmeal: How to fix any computer"

Airbus Unveils Transparent Plane



Airbus' concept of flying in the future has an interactive, virtual cabin with transparent walls.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Porcelain Unicorn (short movie 3 minutes)



Grand prize winner of the Philips Parallel Lines 'Tell It Your Way' international competition.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Inside Google: The Myths, the Culture and the Secret Sauce



Here is an except from the Fora.tv web site: "Steven Levy is a Senior Writer for Wired and Formerly Senior Editor and Chief Technology Writer for Newsweek. Levy is the author of the 2011 book, In the Plex.

Is it the five-star chefs, free laundry and on-site masseuses that are the secret to Google's success? Perhaps its unique management style and innovative team? Either way, the revolutionary search engine has so deeply impacted our work and culture that we have turned the company name into a verb."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Google: Search by Image



Now you can use an image instead of words to start your Google search. To use this feature, go to http://images.google.com/.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook Teardown Reveals Spartan, Efficient Design

eWeek.com reports: "Talk of Google Chromebooks rose to a fever pitch in May following their introduction at Google I/O, with Samsung and Acer planning to sell notebooks based on the Chrome operating system starting June 15 through Amazon.com and Best Buy online. Chromebooks, which boot up in 8 seconds simply by lifting the lid, include a file system that supports documents and a media player for video and music. It also provides integration with Picasa to let users manage their photos on Chrome computers. Recently iFixit tore down the Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook, which eWEEK saw first hand, to discover what was under the hood of these speedy, Web surfing devices. The machine, which weighs 3.3 pounds, is powered by a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 processor. True to Google's word, the Series 5 has very little storage—all of 16GB internal SSD and 2GB of DDR3 RAM, non-upgradeable."

(read the rest of the article and see the slideshow)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Carlo Ratti: Architecture that senses and responds



With his team at SENSEable City Lab, MIT's Carlo Ratti makes cool things by sensing the data we create. He pulls from passive data sets -- like the calls we make, the garbage we throw away -- to create surprising visualizations of city life. And he and his team create dazzling interactive environments from moving water and flying light, powered by simple gestures caught through sensors.

Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes



Designer Suzanne Lee shares her experiments in growing a kombucha-based material that can be used like fabric or vegetable leather to make clothing. The process is fascinating, the results are beautiful (though there's still one minor drawback ...) and the potential is simply stunning.

Aaron Koblin: Artfully visualizing our humanity



Artist Aaron Koblin takes vast amounts of data -- and at times vast numbers of people -- and weaves them into stunning visualizations. From elegant lines tracing airline flights to landscapes of cell phone data, from a Johnny Cash video assembled from crowd-sourced drawings to the "Wilderness Downtown" video that customizes for the user, his works brilliantly explore how modern technology can make us more human.

Dennis Hong: Making a car for blind drivers



Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong is building a car for drivers who are blind. It's not a "self-driving" car, he's careful to note, but a car in which a non-sighted driver can determine speed, proximity and route -- and drive independently.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

inPulse Watch: A fully programmable wireless Smartwatch.

inPulse Smartwatch allows you to wirelessly connect to several different types of host devices, such as: computers, laptops, and smartphones. The watch works with Android, Blackberry, Mac, Windows and Linux. It also offers two way connectivity via Bluetooth , so the watch and host can talk to each other.

There's an SDK and development community that is constantly developing new applications for the watch, or if you want you can write your own applications.

Hardware specifications:

  • ARM7 Microcontroller
  • 96x128 OLED color display
  • CSR BC4 Bluetooth chipset
  • Vibrating motor
  • Single button input
  • Flash memory for image, font and notification storage
Below is a an example of an inPulse Smartwatch application.

Cyber Crime Trends Report: Grim News for Q1 2011

CIO Insight reports: "An uptick in phishing attacks, a lack of domain name service security awareness among IT personnel, and an increase in mobile attacks are among the findings of IID's 'eCrime Trends Report, First Quarter 2011.' IID is a vendor of anti-phishing solutions. Many in the information security industry have been focused on Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) during the past several months, according to the report. The typical “low and slow” approach is often pointed out as a popular tactic for cyber criminals who are targeting systems at large organizations. As a result of the HBGary Federal breach, it has been discovered that enterprises such as Johnson and Johnson and Dow Chemical have been targets of hackers, as was the law firm King & Spalding. Like the attack against HBGary Federal, the breach of RSA’s SecurID Security two-factor Authentication product in March 2011 shows that threats really can penetrate and disrupt even those businesses that focus on IT security, according to the report" (read the rest of the article)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Understanding the Facebook “Find out who views your profile” scam

OpenDNS Blog reports: "Every few weeks there’s a new scam that makes the rounds on Facebook. This week it’s the “Find out who visits your profile,” scam, which we’ve all seen before. The reason it piques my interest this time is the sheer volume of people falling victim. That coupled with the fact that the victims include some of my more tech-savvy Facebook friends made me want to understand better what exactly the virus is trying to do and how we can all protect ourselves.

The virus works first by gaining access to your Facebook account. Unlike other methods for hacking, which involve somehow accessing your login credentials, this scam needs only for you to click a link posted on your wall or someone else’s wall. To entice you into clicking, the scam offers something lots of people would love to know, but Facebook doesn’t allow: a list of people who’ve viewed your profile. You might receive an e-mail notification that tells you a friend has posted a link on your wall with this context:"

(Read the rest of the article)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Einstein for Everyone

For over a decade John Norton has taught an introductory, undergraduate class at the University of Pittsburgh called "Einstein for Everyone". The course is aimed at people who have a strong sense that what Einstein did changed everything. However they do not know enough physics to understand what he did and why it was so important.

Spaceship Two - First "Feather" Flight



May 4, 2011 - This is footage of Spaceship Two's first test flight using the new "feathering" mechanism over Mojave, CA. The way feathering works, is the wings on this craft rotate 90 degrees upward into the "feather" configuration that provides a shuttlecock effect. (more information)

Space Saving Living

As Americans we live like we do less with more. For example, we have big homes full of stuff that we don't use. We drive big cars, that consume lots of gas but can go two times faster then the speed limit.

We have had the luxury of living during a time of abundance. Although as the world is quickly approaching 9 billion people, we have to learn how to do more with less.

Here are some videos of creative geniuses that have converted small living areas into a compact cozy living spaces.

Time Lapse Clouds and Sky Over the Canary Islands



If you like this video, also check the The Mountain.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cotton: The Future of American High Tech?

A Day in the Life of a Kiva Robot



Mick Mountz is founder and CEO of Kiva Systems. Mountz founded Kiva Systems in 2003, after experiencing the inadequacy of existing material-handling technologies for ecommerce at the grocery delivery startup Webvan. Kiva's integrated order-fulfillment solution employs hundreds of mobile robots and distributed intelligence to enable faster, more flexible ecommerce distribution centers for companies like The Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue, Diapers.com, Staples, Walgreens, and Crate and Barrel. Under Mountz's leadership, Kiva was ranked sixth on the 2009 Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing private companies in the US.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling



Ron Gutman reviews a raft of studies about smiling, and reveals some surprising results. Did you know your smile can be a predictor of how long you'll live -- and that a simple smile has a measurable effect on your overall well-being? Prepare to flex a few facial muscles as you learn more about this evolutionarily contagious behavior.

Silk, the ancient material of the future: Fiorenzo Omenetto



Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature’s most elegant materials — in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items made of the versatile stuff.

Google's Johnny Chung Lee: Innovation on the Edge



Innovation on the Edge: How Hackers Turned a Videogame Controller into a Breakthrough Device

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Marketing



Marketing these days is strategic and holistic and involves a whole lot of genuine social media engagement. Renowned venture capitalist Kawasaki is famous for helping to create Apple product evangelism and for his legendary marketing methods. He explains how to develop the highest level of relations with customers, employees and colleagues by affecting their hearts, minds and actions.

Peter Beinart in Conversation with Paul Krugman



Professor and journalist Peter Beinart talks with Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist and a Nobel Laureate in Economics. They discuss the state of US and world economies, US employment, the rise of China, trade and immigration, and more.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism



Via trade and other cultural activities, "ideas have sex," and that drives human history in the direction of inconstant but accumulative improvement over time. The criers of havoc keep being proved wrong. A fundamental optimism about human affairs is deeply rational and can be reliably conjured with.

Trained at Oxford as a zoologist and an editor at The Economist for eight years, Matt Ridley's newest book is The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. His earlier works include Francis Crick; Nature via Nurture; Genome; and The Origins of Virtue.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Intel unveils 3-D transistor breakthrough

Windows for Devices reports: "Intel had been expected to use its May 4 press conference to promote its progress in making computer chips smaller (and, hence, cheaper and more economical on power). Most of the company's offerings still have circuitry that's 45 nanometers apart, but 32nm devices are also in production, and 22nm and 14nm versions have been promised for next year.

Indeed, the chip giant did talk up its 2012 'Ivy Bridge' Core processors (see later in this story), already known to be using a 22nm process. But it also pulled a rabbit out of a hat in the form of its new 3-D 'Tri-Gate' technology, billed as 'a significant breakthrough in the evolution of the transistor.'" (full article)



Excerpt from video: "Intel announces a major technical breakthrough and historic innovation in microprocessors: the world's first 3-D transistors, called Tri-Gate, in a production technology. The transition to 3-D Tri-Gate transistors sustains the pace of technology advancement, fueling Moore's Law for years to come.

An unprecedented combination of performance improvement and power reduction to enable new innovations across a range of future 22nm-based devices from the smallest handhelds to powerful cloud-based servers.

Intel demonstrates a 22nm microprocessor -- codenamed "Ivy Bridge" -- that will be the first high-volume chip to use 3-D Tri-Gate transistors."

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jane McGonigal: How Games Can Make a Better World



Can problems like poverty and climate change by fixed through games? Visionary game designer Jane McGonigal thinks it can. With more than 174 million gamers in the United States, McGonigal explores how we can save the world through the power of gaming. McGonigal is helping pioneer the fasting-growing genre of games that turns gameplay to achieve socially positive outcomes.

Chris Anderson - PopTech



What happens when material things become free? Long Tail author and Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson examines new models of wealth distribution and claims we’re moving from economies of scarcity to an age of abundance.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Donald Ingber: Serendipitous science



Donald Ingber explains how taking an undergraduate sculpture course while learning how to culture cells led to an unexpected breakthrough in understanding cellular construction. He believes an open mind for serendipity correlates to innovations in a diverse range of fields — from the “lung-on-a-chip” to “DNA origami.”

For more information, check out the following web site.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Angela Belcher: Using nature to grow batteries



Inspired by an abalone shell, Angela Belcher programs viruses to make elegant nanoscale structures that humans can use. Selecting for high-performing genes through directed evolution, she's produced viruses that can construct powerful new batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells. At TEDxCaltech, she shows us how it's done.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

MIT's artificial leaf is ten times more efficient than the real thing

Wired UK reports: "Speaking at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in California, MIT professor Daniel Nocera claims to have created an artificial leaf, made from stable and inexpensive materials, which mimics nature's photosynthesis process.

The device is an advanced solar cell, no bigger than a typical playing card, which is left floating in a pool of water. Then, much like a natural leaf, it uses sunlight to split the water into its two core components, oxygen and hydrogen, which are stored in a fuel cell to be used when producing electricity."

Hackers Target Mobile Devices

Baseline.com reports: "Attacks targeting mobile devices are on the rise, and the overall threat environment grew yet more hostile in 2010, says Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 16. “Cell phones are coming into your work environment, and the user may own them, but they’re going to wind up with work data on them,” says Kevin Haley, director at Symantec Security Response. “Businesses really need to think about that because not only will these phone be lost, not only will these folks that work for you leave and go to other companies… the bad guys are going to be attacking these phones and trying to steal from them as well.” What steps can businesses take to mitigate these risks?"

SPARSH - Touch to Copy, Touch to Paste



SPARSH lets you conceptually transfer media from one digital device to your body and pass it to the other digital device by simple touch gestures.

Our digital world -- laptop, TV, smart phone, e-book reader and all are now relying upon the cloud, the cloud of information. SPARSH explores a novel interaction method to seamlessly transfer something between these devices in a real fun way using the underlying cloud. Here it goes. Touch whatever you want to copy. Now it is saved conceptually in you. Next, touch the device you want to paste/pass the saved content.

Reverse Engineered Alien Technology?

Normally I would never post a video like this, but I like it because it challenges you think about the subject and technology.



About the video: "Reverse Engineer an Alien Spacecraft discovering the amazing science behind Invisibility (Metamaterials), Anti-Gravity (Torsion Field Physics), Nano-photo-optical quantum computers(Quasicrystals), and more."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Railgun Update from General Atomics

Don't be a Billy (Funny Security Awareness Video)

Deb Roy: The birth of a word




About the video: MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

Harvey Fineberg: Are we ready for neo-evolution?



Medical ethicist Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally -- or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Neo-evolution is within our grasp. What will we do with it?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Mountain



Excerpt from the video description: "The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide. I have to say this was one of the most exhausting trips I have done. There was a lot of hiking at high altitudes and probably less than 10 hours of sleep in total for the whole week. Having been here 10-11 times before I had a long list of must-see locations I wanted to capture for this movie, but I am still not 100% used to carrying around so much gear required for time-lapse movies."

Dunbar's Number



Molly explains why you won't ever have more than 150 friends. Leave us a comment below telling us how you decide to cut your friends down.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

David Christian: Big history

Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

Open-sourcing the blueprints of civilization: Marcin Jakubowski

Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that’s only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).

Susan Lim: Transplant cells, not organs



Pioneering surgeon Susan Lim performed the first liver transplant in Asia. But a moral concern with transplants (where do donor livers come from ...) led her to look further, and to ask: Could we be transplanting cells, not whole organs? At the INK Conference, she talks through her new research, discovering healing cells in some surprising places.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

L2 Innovation Workshop: Generating a Disruptive Idea



Summary
The rate of change and innovation in digital is staggering. Brands that take an iterative approach to innovation are quickly falling behind and risk destroying significant shareholder value. Exemplar brands are building systems, processes, and cultures that support experimentation and innovation in digital as part of the way in which they conduct business.

Chores Get Gamified: Players Compete to Clean the Toilet



Game designer and author Jane McGonigal recounts how the computer game Chore Wars pitted her and her husband against one another to see who could perform more household chores. "We wound up doing some funny things, like hiding the toilet brush so the other person couldn't do it," she says.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Star Trek's Biggest Fan? Nichelle Nichols Remembers MLK, Jr.



Actress Nichelle Nichols, who played the role of Lieutenant Uhura in the original Star Trek series, recalls a surprise visit from her biggest fan: Martin Luther King, Jr. Nichols describes how Dr. King approached her as she was considering leaving the show and convinced her to change her mind.

Chinese Magical Hard-Drive

Jitbit reports about a Chinese magical hard-drive, here is an excerpt from the article: "He works at a hard-drive repair center in a Russian town right next to the Chinese border. A couple of days ago a customer has brought a broken 500Gb USB-drive that he had bought in a Chinese store across the river, for an insanely low price. But the drive was not working: if you, say, save a movie onto the drive, playing the saved movie back resulted in replaying just the last 5 minutes of the film."

(read the rest of the story and see picture here)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Facebook Open Compute Project Offers Keys to Prineville Data Center Kingdom

eWeek.com reports: "Facebook's Prineville, Ore., data center is almost finished, and to celebrate the ambitious project the social network decided to do something special April 7. As part of the Open Compute Project, Facebook is publishing specs and mechanical designs used to construct the motherboards, power supply, server chassis, and server and battery cabinets for its data center. That's unprecedented enough for a company of Facebook's growing scale, but the social network is also open sourcing specs for its data center's electrical and mechanical construction."

When you work with servers all day, you tend to geek out on this stuff... ;-)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Absolutely the Best Top Gear Episodes

Space Shuttle car
The folks at Top Gear have completely outdone themselves, building their own Space Shuttle out of a Reliant Robin, roughly the British equivalent of a Pinto or a Gremlin (minus a wheel).


Polar Special
Can you travel to the North Pole in a car, or actually a Toyota Hilux pickup truck?

Peel P50
There are a lot of great Top Gear episodes, but this is definitely one of the better of them. Jeremy Clarkson drives Peel P50 literally in and around the BBC Television Center.


Runner up:
Supercar Fuel Challenge
Top Gears Jeremy Clarkson tests out 5 modern Supercars to see how far they well go on a gallon of fuel.

Gmail Motion Turned into Reality (using Kinect)



Google's April fool's gag "Gmail Motion", is turned into reality using a Microsoft Kinect and some special software. Watch the video above to see the technology in action. If you want to know more about the Gmail Motion gag watch the video below.

This project uses OpenNI coupled with FAAST and was made by Evan Suma and the folks at Mark Bolas' MxR Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.

Download FAAST for free and try it at http://projects.ict.usc.edu/mxr/faast/
Learn more about USC ICT at http://ict.usc.edu

GEICO's Rental Car Quiz -

You're probably wondering why I would post a link to GEICO's Rental Car Quiz. Personally I thought this had a lot of good information about renting cars. I know most of this stuff, but I have to admit I did learn a few interesting facts from this quiz.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Top Gear: BBC: Atom (the full clip in high quality!) - Top Gear



Jeremy Clarkson challenges the Atom to prove more fun than a motorbike - with astounding and face melting results!

Quote of the Day...

Any sufficiently advances bureaucracy is indistinguishable from molasses. - Unknown

Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak: The Food of the Future



Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak present "Organically Grown and Genetically Engineered: The Food of the Future" as part of The Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking. They explore how genetic engineering can work with organic growing practices to produce food in a more sustainable way than either of them could alone.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Janine Benyus - Biomimicry



Champion of the Earth honoree and biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus has transformed the way we think about innovation and design. Benyus challenges us to study nature’s best ideas, then imitate its designs and processes to solve some of our greatest human challenges.

Monday, March 28, 2011

IfItWereMyHome.com

IfItWereMyHome.com: "IfItWereMyHome.com is your gateway to understanding life outside your home. Use our country comparison tool to compare living conditions in your own country to those of another. Start by selecting a region to compare on the map to the right, and begin your exploration."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Eythor Bender demos human exoskeletons



Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It's a powerful onstage demo, with implications for human potential of all kinds.