Science & Technology

08 Jan

Happy Birthday Prof. Hawking!

in Celebrities, Science & Technology

Click image for his amazing and continuing story.

Stephen Hawking
Created by:

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11 Jan

Microsoft cashing in on poverty, Patents ‘Avoid Ghetto’ Feature For GPS Devices

in Class Divide, Science & Technology, WTF?!

Image by woody1778a via Flickr


ghet·to (gt)

n. pl. ghet·tos or ghet·toes

1. A usually poor section of a city inhabited primarily by people of the same race, religion, or social background, often because of discrimination.

2. An often walled quarter in a European city to which Jews were restricted beginning in the Middle Ages.

3. Something that resembles the restriction or isolation of a city ghetto: "trapped in ethnic or pink-collar managerial job ghettoes" (Diane Weathers).

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06 Jan

Time-Cloaking becomes a reality

in Science & Technology
English: Illustration of how a cloaking device...

Image via Wikipedia

So guess what haters, that time I soiled my drawers in the 2nd grade – never happened!

Physicists from Cornell University have made another step towards turning science fiction into reality when they successfully implemented a time masker, which works by altering the flow of light. This feat is based on a basic principle: humans see things happening around us via the light that reaches our eyes. By speeding up one part of the light and slowing down another part, the physicists were able to make it appear as if an event didn’t happen!

Kudos to the author for the Robert Jordan reference to Balefire!

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22 Jun

Wednesday Wish List – Super Spy Glasses!!

in Products, Science & Technology, Surveillance Society, Wednesday Wish List

The Eyez project is developing a pair of stylish specs with a hidden 720p video camera, mic and 8GB of memory.  But wait, that’s not all!  These badboys are also Bluetooth-enabled so, when coupled with a mobile phone, can stream live video out to the web.  Take that dirty cops!

Our engineering team at ZionEyez is currently developing Eyez, the latest innovation in personal video recording technology. Eyez embeds a 720p HD video camera within a pair of eyeglasses designed to record live video data. The recorded data can be stored on the 8GB of flash memory within the Eyez glasses, transferred via Bluetooth or Micro USB to a computer, or wirelessly transferred to most iPhone or Android devices. After a one-time download of the "Eyez" smartphone and tablet app, users can wirelessly broadcast the video in real time to their preferred social networking website.

07 Jun

It’s Techie Tuesday and I am A-Ga-Ga over this concept phone from Mozilla Labs

in Inventions, Products, Science & Technology, Techie Tuesday

Holy Guacamole, can you say ‘Want’?!  This video, produced by Billy May of Mozilla Labs, is a crowd-sourced wishlist of technological ambrosia based entirely on existing technology.  The Mozilla Seabird is envisaged as an Andoid-based operating system running “an 8 megapixel camera, dual side pico projectors, wireless charging, and an embedded Bluetooth dongle,” this phone has everything you need to finally shed your laptop and impress people who are impressed by this kind of tom-geekery.  Mozilla is clear that the phone is concept-only – something they have no plans to develop – but it definitely raises the bar for the next big iPhone killer.  Warning: this video will forever ruin any love-affair you might have with your phone – which might not be a bad thing you sicko-pervert.

h/t GAS

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06 Jun

Movie Monday – A Universe Not Made for Us is a Tribute Both To and From Carl Sagan

in Movie Monday, Science & Technology, Video

I normally post shorts of the more artistic variety, but am making an exception for this nine-minute tribute to Carl Sagan produced by callumCGLP for Milky Way Musings.  Narrated by Sagan himself, the clip features excerpts from Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Sagan was a true gem – a man of vast intelligence tempered by an unsurpassed wonderment of both the art and mystery of life, he effortlessly traverses and unifies the topologies of science, philosophy and religion while remaining both captivating and entertaining.  In nine short minutes, he manages to illustrate our overwhelming insignificance while conversely asserting a nearly limitless power to expand our destiny.  The first of a series of 13 (so far), the video is set against an engaging visual foreground from Discovery's Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking and the BBC's Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox alongside a musical score from the Lost Soundtrack (yup, you heard me) and is sure to both entertain and illuminate your week.  Enjoy!

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26 May

Throwaway Thursday–Copyfighting Edition

in Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Internet, Piracy, Politics, Privacy, Science & Technology, Throwaway Thursday
Banner @ Copyfight

Image by David Domingo via Flickr

In the latest outbreak of pure douchiness, BMI - those happy, benevolent little elves who run the collection cartel on broadcast radio stations – is alleging that listening to your own music via cloud services amounts to a '”public performance” subject to licensing fees. 

Presumably trying to get back in the good graces of open-standards proponents, Google has signaled that it is prepared to fight both houses of congress and the president of the United States if the entertainment mafia successfully pushes through Leahy’s Orwellian Protect IP Act – a wish-list of anti-piracy measures that threaten to undermine the open internet.

HarperCollins has announced their intention to cripple e-books after 26 rentals forcing public libraries to cough up additional annual licensing fees.  Which is really not a big deal since libraries and their patrons are so flush with cash anyway.  For the moment, HC is the only publisher to have done so, though if the trend continues it could spell the end of digital modernization in public systems.

Finally, the award this week goes to Nintendo whose 3DS EULA mandates ongoing centralized updates during which they will brick (deactivate) your system if it contains unapproved software or peripherals.   But at least Nintendo claims a perpetual, worldwide copyright to all photos and videos taken with your camera. 

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24 May

Techie Tuesday–Robot Overlords One Step Closer to Finishing Manifesto

in Inventions, Science & Technology, Techie Tuesday
A picture of Katniss from the Hunger Games and...

Image via Wikipedia

Researchers in Australia – where everyone knows the robocalypse will begin – are helping robots to invent their own language. 

To understand the concept behind the project, consider a simplified case of how language might have developed. Let's say that all of a sudden you wake up somewhere with your memory completely wiped, not knowing English, Klingon, or any other language. And then you meet some other person who's in the exact same situation as you. What do you do?

What might very well end up happening is that you invent some random word to describe where you are right now, and then point at the ground and tell the word to the other person, establishing a connection between this new word and a place. And this is exactly what the Lingodroids do. If one of the robots finds itself in an unfamiliar area, it'll make up a word to describe it, choosing a random combination from a set of syllables. It then communicates that word to other robots that it meets, thereby defining the name of a place.

First of all, I don’t care how big a bump on the head I received, I would never, NEVER forget how to speak Klingon.  That said, while I agree the project is fairly interesting, I have to wonder about the merit of these kinds of experiments that pre-suppose the outcome – in other words, the process relies on the very assumptions of how languages develop that it purports to address.

Either way, when I’m in a badass swordfight with our robotic overlords, I want to be able to understand the smack talk!

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