20110330

Visualized: Mercury

nicely done NASA, nicely done :D

 
 

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via Engadget by Vlad Savov on 3/29/11

It may look like a spotty, monochromatic water melon, but we're taking NASA's word on this one -- the image above is the very first taken from an orbiting spacecraft of our solar system's innermost planet. Mercury has been snapped by NASA's MESSENGER probe, which is currently preparing itself to start on its elliptical trajectory around the planet and commence collecting data about it in earnest. Hit the links below to learn more about this bold exploration project.

Visualized: Mercury originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 29 Mar 2011 20:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20110329

Quadrocopters juggle balls cooperatively, mesmerize with their lethal accuracy

cool :D

 
 

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via Engadget by Vlad Savov on 3/28/11

You've seen one quadrocopter juggle a ball autonomously while gliding through the air, but how's about a pair of them working cooperatively? Yeah, we've got your attention now. The Zurich-based lab that brought us the piano-playing and ball-bouncing quadrocopter is back with a simply breathtaking display of robotic dexterity and teamwork. Like all mad scientists, they call their Flying Machine Arena research "an experiment," though we see it a lot more as a Pong-inspired dance of our future overlords. We all know how far video games have come since two paddles batted a ball between one another, right?

Continue reading Quadrocopters juggle balls cooperatively, mesmerize with their lethal accuracy (video)

Quadrocopters juggle balls cooperatively, mesmerize with their lethal accuracy (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 19:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20110328

Columbia doctors turn to IBM's Watson for patient diagnosis, clairvoyance

is it a coincidence that Herbert Chase's last name is the same as the name of one of Dr. House's subordinates in the House M.D. TV show? Is he trying to build a robotic House that will give answers to "unusual, head-scratching questions" (Dr. Chase's words, not mine)? :P

 
 

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via Engadget by Darren Murph on 3/24/11

Who says Watson's only good for laying the smack down on former Jeopardy champions? In what can only be described as the natural progression of things, Herbert Chase -- professor of clinical medicine in Columbia's Department of Biomedical Informatics -- is working with IBM in order to retrofit the supercomputer to "help doctors diagnose and treat patients." According to Chase, this level of robot practice has been impossible for the past score or so, and if the experiment works, Watson could serve to provide physicians "immediate, accurate answers to unusual, head-scratching questions that come up in their daily practice and do so based not only on the latest published research, but also the blogosphere." In other words, Watson could rapidly collect and analyze up-to-date published data from a near limitless amount of online sources, and then use that knowledge to recommend suggestions that a seasoned M.D. may never consider. Furthermore, Chase sees tremendous potential for Watson in the realm of personalized medicine; considering that two patients with the same diagnosis won't necessarily react to treatments the same way, Watson could come up with alternatives on the fly. There's no clear indication of when the testing will wrap up, but see how far you get next time you're in the emergency room by inquiring about Dr. Watson's availability.

Columbia doctors turn to IBM's Watson for patient diagnosis, clairvoyance originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 24 Mar 2011 13:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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LOL is Now Officially English

Add WTF to the dictionary now! :D

 
 

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via SlashGear by Kevin Fubar on 3/25/11

The Oxford English Dictionary added a number of networthy initialisms to the ranks of official English words. If you haven't heard of an initialism before, I hadn't, you'll now know that this is a word that is created by making an acronym from the first letters of each word in a longer phrase. The venerable dictionary added and updated a collection of these acronyms to it's rolls of wordiness earlier today.

LOL officially enters the ranks of real words alongside such internet-chat-spawned shorthand as OMG (Oh My God), IMHO(In My Humble/Honest Opinion), and BFF(Best Friend Forever). The Oxford guys also decided to update the entries to the older terms FYI (For Your Information) and TMI (Too Much Information). Apparently the folks over at the OED neglected to include ROFL and LMAO, most likely because they aren't used quite as often verbally or in traditional print.

As such usage indicates, many people would consider these recent coinages, from the last 10 or 20 years, and associate them with a younger generation conversant with all forms of digital communications. As is often the case, OED's research has revealed some unexpected historical perspectives: our first quotation for OMG is from a personal letter from 1917; the letters LOL had a previous life, starting in 1960, denoting an elderly woman (or 'little old lady'; see LOL n./1); and the entry for FYI [FYI phr., adj., and n.], for example, shows it originated in the language of memoranda in 1941 – OED

The dictionary also added the popular usage of ♥ to heart as a colloquial synonym for to love. So now, writing "I ♥ you" to your sweetie is not only sickeningly adorable, it's also grammatically correct! I think you'll all join us in saying, "WTF?"

[via Ars Technica]


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Apple Ditches SAMBA in Favour of Homegrown Replacement

Cool. :P

 
 

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via OSNews by donotreply@osnews.com (Thom Holwerda) on 3/25/11

When you run smbd -V on your Snow Leopard installation, you'll see it's running SAMBA version 3.0.28a-apple. While I'm not sure how much difference the "-apple" makes, version 3.0.28a is old. Very old. In other words, it's riddled with bugs. Apple hasn't updated SAMBA in 3 years, and for Lion, they're dumping it altogether for something homegrown. The reason? SAMBA is now GPLv3.

 
 

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Microsoft launches campaign of epic douchebaggery

 
 

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via SlashGear by Shane McGlaun on 3/28/11

This is just plain crazy and any legislator that votes for Microsoft in this quest deserves to be ousted in the next elections. Microsoft is on a campaign to make it illegal for companies inside the US to buy from overseas firms that use unauthorized software. That might not sound that bad at first glance.

Once you get into the details of what Microsoft wants to do the audacity of the plan comes into plain view. Microsoft wants to be able to sue American firms for buying from these companies. So this is how it would work. If Ford buys a washer from a firm in China that Microsoft establishes is using unauthorized software, Microsoft wants to be able to sue Ford.

The real rub is that the law might actually pass and is in fact already in place in Louisiana and may even be passed in Washington. At the core, this will put the burden of policing pirated software on all companies that buy from overseas or they could face fines. Exactly how a company in the US is supposed to know that a supplier in China uses pirated software isn't made clear.

[via TEchDirt]


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20110324

Smell 'is quantum physics effect'

we have a pretty sophisticated chemical substance detector just under our noses :P
just imagine: the nanowires in our noses (a.k.a. nasal hair) detect the quanta collisions, send a positron 10" back in time, generate an electron. the electron that was transmitted travels through our neurons to give us the sense of smell and the positron collides with the same nanowire 10" before and warns us for imminent trouble (before having smelled anything) by canceling the existence of an electron in a nasal hair (another message to the brain)

 
 

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via BBC News - Home on 3/24/11

A long-standing conjecture that our sense of smell may be due the the effects of quantum physics is gaining ground, thanks to new measurements.

 
 

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Two Fukushima workers in hospital

The final countdown has started :P

 
 

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via BBC News - Home on 3/24/11

Two workers at Japan's stricken Fukushima nuclear plant are taken to hospital after being exposed to high levels of radiation, say officials.

 
 

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US Music Industry Demands $75 Trillion from LimeWire

75.000.000.000.000$ :P

 
 

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via OSNews by donotreply@osnews.com (Thom Holwerda) on 3/23/11

"Does $75 trillion even exist? The thirteen record companies that are suing file-sharing company Lime Wire for copyright infringement certainly thought so. When they won a summary judgment ruling last May they demanded damages that could reach this mind-boggling amount, which is more than five times the national debt. Manhattan federal district court judge Kimba Wood, however, saw things differently. She labeled the record companies' damages request 'absurd' and contrary to copyright laws in a 14-page opinion." Wait, this is only five time the US national debt? Fascinating.

 
 

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20110323

Film Legend Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

 
 

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via NYT > Movies by By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS on 3/23/11

Ms. Taylor, who gained stardom as a child and appeared in more than 50 films, has died in Los Angeles. She was 79.


 
 

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Monirobo measures radiation following nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/23/monirobo-measures-radiation-following-nuclear-crisis-at-japans/

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20110322

HTC EVO 3D first hands-on!

Buy me one :P

 
 

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via Engadget by Chris Ziegler on 3/22/11

We've just put our paws on the EVO 3D for the first time, and what struck us immediately is that it's not as beefy, bulky, or overwhelming as the 4.3-inch display or specs might have you believe -- if you're familiar with the EVO 4G, you'll feel right at home here (and you might even be pleasantly surprised). The screen's stereoscopic 3D effect is about as good as what we've seen on the Optimus 3D in the past -- very good head-on with decreasing effectiveness as you move your head to the side. The 2D / 3D switch along the side is for the camera, not the display; it seems that all management of the screen's capabilities is managed in software alone. Check out the shots in the gallery below; now if you'll excuse us, we're going to go play with this monster some more!

HTC EVO 3D first hands-on! originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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20110320

VNC server on my phone

Hi!

Today I tried the remote desktop server functionality that I've installed on my phone. There's an app for that (this is a registered trademark by Apple) :P


wikileaks: Bulgarian "Criminal Radiation" leaks http://wlcentral.org/node/1495

oh. russian nuclear power plants are bad, mkay?

 
 

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via Twitter / wikileaks on 3/19/11

wikileaks: Bulgarian "Criminal Radiation" leaks http://wlcentral.org/node/1495

 
 

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20110318

Kinect meets a Pufferfish display, produces wonderfully creepy all-seeing ey...

nicely done :D

 
 

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via Engadget by Vlad Savov on 3/18/11

As Kinect hacks go, this one's not going to bowl you over with its technical complexity, but the effect of what it does is quite dramatic. One of Microsoft's sensor-rich, camera-laden Xbox accessories has been repurposed to communicate with a Pufferfish spherical projection display -- via the magic of WPF and openni -- with its motion tracking algorithms serving to control the image on the giant ball. Naturally, the first thing the tweakers behind this mod thought up was a Tolkien-inspired eye that follows people around the room. Sadly, the single Kinect box isn't enough to provide 360-degree coverage, but it's probably just a matter of time until they splice an array of them together and creep us out completely. Video after the break.

Continue reading Kinect meets a Pufferfish display, produces wonderfully creepy all-seeing eye (video)

Kinect meets a Pufferfish display, produces wonderfully creepy all-seeing eye (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 18 Mar 2011 04:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How do LCDs work?

Here's how (in layman's terms):
http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/17/lcd-technology-torn-down-and-explained-in-the-most-lucid-and-acc/

20110317

VIDEO: Water cannons try to cool reactors

thus, a nice strong tsunami would solve the problem :P

 
 

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via BBC News - Home on 3/17/11

Authorities near the tsunami hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are using increasingly desperate measures to get the situation under control

 
 

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Kinect bringing sight to the blind, sorta.

After Windows 95, kinect is the next mainstream paradigm shifter for microsoft :P

 
 

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via SlashGear by Kevin Fubar on 3/16/11

Some graduate students at Universit├Ąt Konstanz in Germany put together a project based on Microsoft's popular Kinect system. Instead of using the system as a gaming controller, they take the Infrared camera's visual data from a helmet mounted Kinect and uses it to relay audio instructions through a wireless headset. This could possibly give the blind warnings about obstructions and directions at a larger distance than the current white cane and/or seeing eye dog system in popular use today. They call it the NAVI, Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired.

The pair of students wanted to do more than just implement that system. They also put together a limited Augmented Reality system utilizing the standard camera mounted alongside the dual IR cameras that allow the Kinect to have stereoscopic vision. The AR system is set up to read various AR bitmap tags like the one pictured below. This allows the system to work with the external world to give the handicapped access to more information. It also works to prove other AR concepts like having bit mapped tags trigger virtual events.

So for example, if you walk towards a door the output will be "Door ahead in 3″, "2″, "1″, "pull the door" where each part of the information depends on the distance to the marker on the door.

These systems put together allow the student to pass blindfolded through a short course with the NAVI working as a guide. The team put together this short demonstration video showing the components and operation of the system. They talk a little bit about the vibro-tactile arduino system in the belt, but I don't quite understand what's going on there. I'll venture a guess that as the user gets closer to walls the belt will begin to vibrate harder as a tactile warning system.

[via HCI Blog @ Universit├Ąt Konstanz]


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wikileaks: Fukushima nuclear plant owner falsified inspection records

 
 

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via Twitter / wikileaks on 3/16/11

wikileaks: Fukushima nuclear plant owner falsified inspection records http://is.gd/CO9ccg

 
 

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20110316

Sun.com, the twelfth oldest domain on the internet, will be decommissioned

:(

 
 

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via Engadget by Vlad Savov on 3/16/11

Sun Microsystems, one of the original gangsters responsible for supplying all the electronics and infrastructure we now know as the internet, ceased to be Sun Microsystems in January of last year. Assimilated into the Oracle juggernaut, its operations no longer carry that familiar logo and soon they'll no longer even be referenced in the same spot on the internet. Yes, after 25 years of answering the call of sun.com, the company that no longer is will be letting go of its former domain name as well. The site has already been redirecting users to Oracle for quite a while, but come June 1st, it'll be like the Sun we knew had never even risen.

[Thanks, Jeroen]

Sun.com, the twelfth oldest domain on the internet, will be decommissioned on June 1st originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 16 Mar 2011 13:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Japan earthquake: Japan warned over nuclear plants, WikiLeaks cables show

Japan earthquake: Japan warned over nuclear plants, WikiLeaks cables show

Telegraph.co.uk

Nintendo 3DS suspicious of beards and glasses

Nice :P

 
 

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via SlashGear by Chris Davies on 3/16/11

Nintendo's 3DS isn't just a 3D portable games console, it's also apparently a style judge. According to the handheld's user guide, players with beards, bangs or even glasses could end up confusing the 3DS' facial recognition system.

Piercings and bangs can also apparently confuse matters, while the environment you play in – what's behind you, how good the lighting is – can also have a big impact. Basically, it sounds like the 3DS would prefer you to follow the same guidelines as for passport photos: clear face, plain background and, whatever you do, no smiling.

Now, we've been confused by beards before ourselves in the past, but we do worry about long-sighted gamers forced to squint at their screens because the 3DS forces them to take off their reading glasses if they want to be recognized properly. Bearded, glasses-wearing and riddled with piercings? Perhaps you should just save your money for an NGP.

[via Kotaku]


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20110315

PlayStation Move, turntable used to track the Earth's rotation

 
 

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via Engadget by Joseph L. Flatley on 2/21/11

The above pictured contraption, called Copernitron, features a PlayStation Move controller, a turntable, and a homebrew Helmholtz coil (you know, for canceling out interference caused by our planet's magnetic field). By sending data to a Linux PC via Bluetooth, this bad boy will measure the Earth's rotation, find geographic north, and determine altitude. Apparently, this is achieved by measuring the controller's subtle movements as it spins around at 45 RPM. And while the PS Move gyros are much more accurate than those of any other controller on the market, they're not too accurate: if they were, the designer points out, "ITAR might classify them as missile components. That's why we can't have nice motion tracking." See it in action after the break.

Continue reading PlayStation Move, turntable used to track the Earth's rotation

PlayStation Move, turntable used to track the Earth's rotation originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 14:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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In lasers we trust: NASA researches 5kW galactic trash disposal system

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/15/in-lasers-we-trust-nasa-researches-5kw-galactic-trash-disposal/
The whole idea is stinking "conspiracy" from miles away :p

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20110314

SG Comics Presents: NYC Apple iPad Lines

Nicely done :D

 
 

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via SlashGear by Rue Liu on 3/14/11

The Apple iPad 2 started selling last Friday, March 11th to massive lines at major flagship Apple Stores. One NYC woman was able to sell her first place spot in line for $900. This could become an interesting trend for future Apple product launches…


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20110311

Android Phone Gets Driver Out of a Ticket

cool :P

 
 

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via SlashGear by Samia Perkins on 2/22/11

College student Sahas Katta was able to beat his speeding ticket in traffic court using…drumroll please…his Android smartphone, and a handy app. Katta was pulled over and charged with going 40mph in a 25mph zone. But he wasn't going 40, only 26mph. His word against the officer's right? Not so much, since he was running My Tracks by Google in the background on his Motorola Droid phone.


The free app records and visualizes GPS data on a map, tracking distance, average speed, average moving speed, and max speed. Katta downloaded this information to Google Docs and brought it with him to the courtroom. He was able to convince the judge that the officer might not have been using his radar gun correctly, introducing enough reasonable doubt that he was declared "not guilty". Nice!

[via Android Community]


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Alien Fossils Found (Maybe) Inside Meteorites

http://feeds.slashgear.com/~r/slashgear/~3/MF3wSMXXYJ8/

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Study Shows One In Five Seniors Is Potential Facebook Gamer

http://feeds.slashgear.com/~r/slashgear/~3/ix2yhSsV7_Y/
A quite interesting study with a quite reasonable outcome :p
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20110308

Human origin 'in southern Africa'

So, we are all essentially black. Most of us have lost our vibrant color though :P

 
 

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via BBC News - Home on 3/8/11

Modern humans could have originated from southern Africa, challenging the "out of Africa" view that they came from the east of the continent, a study suggests.

 
 

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PCIe as a fabric for interconnect clustering

Good times, a really nice article that kept me company during the trip to work:
http://www.eetimes.com/design/embedded/4213842/Using-PCI-Express-as-a-fabric-for-interconnect-clustering?pageNumber=1

20110306

Rack construction 2/3 complete

Hi!

The rack in my basement is now 2/3 complete :D


Ta ta,
--
elias a.k.a. diluted

Antarctic ice built 'bottom-up'

this is just a test

 
 

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via BBC News - Home on 3/3/11

Scientists show how the Antarctic ice sheet is growing from the bottom up in some places, as liquid water freezes on to the bottom of the White Continent's ice covering.

 
 

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Verizon iPhone 4 Gets Dinged By Consumer Reports

The gist of the article: "The only phones who experienced a signal drop were the iPhones"

 
 

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via SlashGear by Rue Liu on 2/25/11

When the iPhone 4 first debuted on AT&T users experienced the famous "death grip" as their reception plummeted after holding the phone in a certain way. Consumer Reports has tested the new Verizon version of the iPhone and the reception problem seems to have followed the device to its new network. While complaints rained down on AT&T and Apple when the iPhone launched, complaints have been far fewer for Verizon's iPhone.

Consumer Reports ran the device through the same series of tests as AT&T's iPhone, as well as five other Verizon smartphones: Motorola Droid 2, HTC Droid Incredible, Samsung Fascinate, Motorola Droid X, and the LG Ally. All tests were done in a radio-frequency isolation chamber which blocks outside signals. Sending a signal to the phones, they were then tested by placing a finger on different parts of the phones to see if there was any signal degradation. The only phones who experienced a signal drop were the iPhones.

The drop in reception comes from the design of the iPhone 4. The sleek and stylish design places the antenna on the outer metal band of the phone, and on the lower left is the antenna where the signal loss happens. If you bridge the gap it will result in signal loss, something easily done while holding the phone normally. The design problem is easily alleviated buy putting a case on the iPhone, which lead Apple to hand out their Bumpers for free when the problem first came up. Consumer Reports concludes their test by not including the Verizon iPhone 4 on their recommended smartphone list, despite receiving high marks on their ratings.

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/electronics/2011/02/verizon-iphone-4-reception-problems-consumer-reports-lab-test.html


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