Snakes on a Plane
Posted by AB in current events 8 years ago
Two Kuwaitis have been arrested in Indonesia for attempting to smuggle 40 pythons on board an aircraft in their luggage, airport officials say.
Elfoid: Humanoid mobile phone
Posted by AB in gadgets 8 years ago
Robotics researchers from Osaka University have teamed up with NTT Docomo and Qualcomm to develop a handheld humanoid phone that brings a new dimension to mobile communications.  
Equipped with a camera and motion-capture system, the Elfoid phone will be able to watch the user's face and transmit motion data to another Elfoid phone, which can then reproduce the face and head movements in real-time.
Posted by AB in Woodgie Woodgie Woodgie 8 years ago
A quick and simple service for getting pictures of kittens for use as placeholders in your designs or code.  
Horked from Abstruse Goose #345.
A single protein found on the surface of squid egg capsules will instantly transform a placid cephalopod into an eight-armed undersea terror, scientists discover.  
Future research might investigate whether comparable human semen proteins have similar effects, investigators added.
An award-winning website containing detailed biographies on many historical and contemporary mathematicians, as well as information on notable curves and various topics in the history of mathematics.  
[cc: history]
THE next time you gaze deep into someone's eyes, you might be shocked at what you see: tiny circuits ringing their irises, their pupils dancing with pinpricks of light. These smart contact lenses aren't intended to improve vision. Instead, they will monitor blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or look for signs of glaucoma.  
The lenses could also map images directly onto the field of view, creating head-up displays for the ultimate augmented reality experience, without wearing glasses or a headset.
Lego Antikythera Mechanism
Posted by AB in fun & games 8 years ago
The Antikythera Mechanism is the oldest known scientific computer, built in Greece at around 100 BCE. Lost for 2000 years, it was recovered from a shipwreck in 1901. But not until a century later was its purpose understood: an astronomical clock that determines the positions of celestial bodies with extraordinary precision. In 2010, we built a fully-functional replica out of Lego.  
YouTube - 2:57  
[cc: blinded by science]  
[cc: history]
The Biology of Sloppy Code
Posted by AB in the wired 8 years ago
I'm watching the Future of Programming Languages panel and a point came up that really resonated with me. To the question, "what is the next big trend in programming", Guy Steele said, "Maybe it's sloppy programming."  
It's hard not to recoil from that and either deny it, or at least wish it weren't true. I believe it is true. I think it's inevitable, and, unlike probably most of my peers, I don't think it's a bad thing.  
[cc: blinded by science]  
[cc: the good ol' days]
A team of UCSF researchers has engineered E. coli with the key molecular circuitry that will enable genetic engineers to program cells to communicate and perform computations.  
The referenced Nature article (pdf)
A robber follows home and then holds up the owners of a Staten Island pizzeria. He steals a bag he thinks contains money, but which actually contains pizza dough.  
[cc: just add bacon]
...Acting Like A Search Engine  
I did a search at Google today for "cars" and was shocked. Rather than list links allowing me to search for “cars” on Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Voila, Naver and Yandex, Google instead favored its own search results. I’m glad the EU will be investigating whether this favoritism violates anti-trust laws.  
[cc: government]
Once, while boating off the coast of Jamaica in 2001, marine biologist Silvia Maciá and her husband caught a glimpse of an oddly familiar creature leaping from the waves, soaring with ease over the surface of the ocean. As the animal propelled itself for some 30 feet, Maciá realized she was witnessing the most unusual sight -- a flying squid. So intrigued by what she saw that day, Maciá would go on to co-author a paper examining similar observations, though essential photographic evidence of the incredible phenomenon remained elusive. That is, until now.  
Horked from Dinosaur Comics
"Whisker Wars"  
A non-fiction series set in the world of competitive facial hair growing which profiles a group of men from the National Beard and Mustache Championship in Bend, Oregon to the World Competition in Norway. Produced by Original Productions, a FremantleMedia Company; executive produced by Thom Beers and Philip D. Segal, co-executive produced by Jeff Conroy.  
Horked from Fleeble!
A Diary of Numbers
Posted by AB in blogs & zines 8 years ago
From the blog's first post:  
So what’s A Diary of Numbers?  
It’s a blog featuring various calculations I’ve done. They’ll be similar to the types of calculations you’ll find in How Many Licks? Things like:  
* How many calories are in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?  
* How many times can you wash your favorite t-shirt before it turns entirely into dryer lint?  
* How much would it cost to run the entire U.S. with solar energy?  
Physics blogger Aaron Santos occasionally holds contests in which he asks the readers to come up with an estimate for something. The contestant with the answer closest to his wins a copy of his book, How Many Licks?  
[cc: blinded by science]
Posted by AB in fun & games 8 years ago
Lose/Lose is a video-game with real life consequences. Each alien in the game is created based on a random file on the players computer. If the player kills the alien, the file it is based on is deleted. If the players ship is destroyed, the application itself is deleted.  
Although touching aliens will cause the player to lose the game, and killing aliens awards points, the aliens will never actually fire at the player. This calls into question the player's mission, which is never explicitly stated, only hinted at through classic game mechanics. Is the player supposed to be an aggressor? Or merely an observer, traversing through a dangerous land?  
Why do we assume that because we are given a weapon an awarded for using it, that doing so is right?  
By way of exploring what it means to kill in a video-game, Lose/Lose broaches bigger questions. As technology grows, our understanding of it diminishes, yet, at the same time, it becomes increasingly important in our lives. At what point does our virtual data become as important to us as physical possessions? If we have reached that point already, what real objects do we value less than our data? What implications does trusting something so important to something we understand so poorly have?  
Also, don't be an idiot and complain if you lose important files after playing it, like this guy does.