Monday, January 31, 2005

mPhase Technologies and Bell Labs Successfully Demonstrate First Battery Based on 'Nanograss'

"mPhase and Lucent announced an agreement in March 2004, under which mPhase plans to commercialize the nanobattery under license from Lucent. mPhase projects its nanobattery to be commercially available in 12-15 months, and plans to produce the technology packaged in various configurations. A primary development goal is to create a battery that could have a shelf life lasting decades, yet can be activated instantaneously."

hackdiary: Stemming tags, and one website to the tune of another

"By creating a symbiotic relationship between the two sites in your browser, you gain an overlaid cross-site navigation that doesn't exist in the site as it currently stands"

Developing a URL structure for broadcast radio sites...

"One of the most common questions I've had about the Radio 3 redesign work that we've been doing has been about the URL structures that we have used to identify individual episodes of individual programmes."

Thursday, January 27, 2005

With a Little Boy in the back

"In today's security-obsessed, post-9/11 era, one might think that it would be difficult to haul a convincing replica of an atomic bomb across the country. Not so, as John Coster-Mullen inadvertently proved in October 2004.

'We drove a full-scale WMD 800 miles across the United States and no one stopped or questioned us,' Coster-Mullen told me. 'In fact, it was quite easy!'"

Vanderpool Technology - Intel Corporation

"Virtualization enhanced by Vanderpool will allow a platform to run multiple operating systems and applications in independent partitions."

Google beta video search

The Winchester Mystery House

" a window built into the floor, staircases leading to nowhere, a chimney that rises four floors, doors that open onto blank walls,"

Sarah Winchester kept the carpenters' hammers pounding 24 hours a day for 38 years. It is believed that after the untimely deaths of her baby daughter and husband, son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer, Mrs. Winchester was convinced by a medium that continuous building would appease the evil spirits of those killed by the famous "Gun that Won the West" and help her attain eternal life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

US plans 'robot troops' for Iraq

"The US military is planning to deploy robots armed with machine-guns to wage war against insurgents in Iraq."

Sunday, January 23, 2005

M. Schumacher & R. Barrichello
As so often, Ferrari's top drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are celebrating on the winners' podium. The set includes Ferrari flags, a silver cup, and mini-figure versions of the drivers. The mini-figures can also be used with Ferrari F1 Racer 1:24 (8362) and Ferrari F1 Pit Set (8375).

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Police targeting 'slap' attackers

"Police say they are targeting young people involved in a new trend of assaults in which they "slap" commuters in the face for no apparent reason.

Gangs are said to record pictures of the assaults on their mobile phones and then text them to their friends."

The Human Clock - A Photo for Every Minute of the Day

"On a side note, if there was some sort of JavaScript that could detect if the user was actually looking at the computer screen, it wouldn't work right anyway. Netscape's implementation would only return TRUE if both eyeballs were on the screen, IE's would return FALSE if both eyeballs were not looking at the same spot, Opera would return TRUE if the user was even thinking of looking at the screen, and it wouldn't even work on WebTV."

Best-Kept Secrets

Quantum cryptography has marched from theory to laboratory to real products.

TouchGraph GoogleBrowser V1.01

Ernst Haeckel:
Kunstformen der Natur

Hubble rescue 'will be scrapped'

"The future of the Hubble Space Telescope is in doubt after the White House refused money for a rescue plan, US media has reported."

Firepaste Video

Can a material discovered by an inventor in North Bay, Ontario be the next great advance in heat-resistent material?

The End Of Time

"BARBOUR: My basic idea is that time as such does not exist. There is no invisible river of time. But there are things that you could call instants of time, or 'Nows'. As we live, we seem to move through a succession of Nows, and the question is, what are they? They are arrangements of everything in the universe relative to each other in any moment, for example, now."

Julian Barbour

Thursday, January 20, 2005

ASL Browser

Quicktime movies showing words in American Sign Language

Real World Doesn't Use a Joystick

After a recent three-day binge of playing the Japanese cult hit video game Katamari Damacy, Los Angeles artist Kozy Kitchens discovered that walking away from the game was not as easy as putting down her joystick.

In the game, players push around what amounts to a giant tape ball, attempting to make the ball bigger by picking up any and all objects in its path. Kitchens found that her urge to keep picking things up was not so easy to shake.

"'I was driving down Venice Boulevard,' recalled her husband, Dan Kitchens, 'and Kozy reached over and grabbed the steering wheel and for a moment was trying to yank it to the right.... (Then) she let go, but kept staring out her window, and then looked back at me kind of stunned and said, 'Sorry. I thought we could pick up that mailbox we just passed.''"

Ready, Aim, ID Check: In Wrong Hands, Gun Won't Fire

"The computer circuits that control hand-held music players, cellphones and organizers may soon be in a new location: inside electronically controlled guns.

Researchers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark are building a handgun designed to fire only when its circuitry and software recognize the grip of an authorized shooter."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Linux Kernel To Be Re-Written To Counter Microsoft FUD

"IBM, Intel, the Open Source Development Labs, and other industry lights are supposedly planning to announce that a consortium has been created that will rewrite the components in the Linux kernel that, it has been alleged, tread on other people's IP - or at least the 27 Microsoft patents that Linux supposedly infringes." The aim? To rob Microsoft of the ability to scare customers off of Linux by saying that the operating system is a patent infringer, informed sources say. O'Gara adds that "Operation Open Gates" as they are calling it is reportedly going to be unveiled on January 25.

Do You Want to Live Forever?

Wandering through the quadrangles and medieval bastions of learning at the University of Cambridge one overcast Sunday afternoon a few months ago, I found myself ruminating on how this venerable place had been a crucible for the scientific revolution that changed humankind’s perceptions of itself and of the world. The notion of Cambridge as a source of grand transformative concepts was very much on my mind that day, because I had traveled to England to meet a contemporary Cantabrigian who aspires to a historical role similar to those enjoyed by Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and William Harvey. Aubrey David Nicholas Jasper de Grey is convinced that he has formulated the theoretical means by which human beings might live thousands of years—indefinitely, in fact.

Aubrey de Grey Responds

Could a hole in space save man from extinction?

In the next decade, powerful satellites will help us to understand life, the fate of our universe and the 'theory of everything', says Michio Kaku.

The only possible way to avoid the death of the universe is to leave.

IBM Marvel MPEG-7 Video Search Engine

Clusty the Clustering Engine

Another search engine this time with some kind of context for the results just like Kartoo. The engine is provided by Vivisimo which gives different results to Clusty.

Meditation Gives Brain a Charge, Study Finds

"Brain research is beginning to produce concrete evidence for something that Buddhist practitioners of meditation have maintained for centuries: Mental discipline and meditative practice can change the workings of the brain and allow people to achieve different levels of awareness."

Natural selection acts on the quantum world

Objective reality may owe its existence to a 'darwinian' process that advertises certain quantum states.

If, as quantum mechanics says, observing the world tends to change it, how is it that we can agree on anything at all? Why doesn't each person leave a slightly different version of the world for the next person to find?

Because, say the researchers, certain special states of a system are promoted above others by a quantum form of natural selection, which they call quantum darwinism. Information about these states proliferates and gets imprinted on the environment. So observers coming along and looking at the environment in order to get a picture of the world tend to see the same 'preferred' states.

Stem-Cell Method May Cheat Death

"The approach would involve removing one cell from a very early embryo that has developed to about eight cells (called a morula), and deriving stem cells from that single cell. The embryo would still have the potential to develop into a human if implanted into a womb. The only thing preventing the scientists from trying the process is money"

Monday, January 17, 2005

Turn a Mobile Phone Into a Mobile Studio

Syntrax is a music package created for the mobile phone. Syntrax runs on Symbian phones as well as the PocketPC. Even though mobile phones have limited resources, Syntrax is designed to deliver all the features the modern musician expects from a mobile pocket studio.

Other people's studios

Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy Film Poster

Phoenix Mars Lander Website Launched

"The mission is to land in the northern polar region of Mars (about 70 N latitude) in May 2008 and to expose the upper few feet of surface material using a robotic arm to find the ice that was discovered by the Odyssey mission in 2002. The history of this ice and its interaction with the martian atmosphere will be studied throughout the 3-month primary mission."

Get Ready for the Largest Demolition Derby on the Planet

Scientists say Slow-Motion Collision Near Antarctic Research Station Imminent: "It is an event so large that the best seat in the house is in space: a massive iceberg is on a collision course with a floating glacier near the McMurdo Research Station in Antarctica."

Enthusiast compositions of the Huygens images

Since the images of the Huygens probe -- descending to Titan (moon of Saturn) -- have been published on the net, the people in IRC channel #space on started to play with these raw images and made some mosaics of these images.

The following is a second attempt, with a better, more realistic color scheme (added Jan 17 2004 00:06 CET)

Mike Zawistowski has created a 3D rendering of Titan to provide us with an approximate rendering of what Titan might look like, based on the actual data, created with Terragen. Note that the coloring in the following image is a complete guess, the 3D terrain is based on the Titan data. (added Jan 16 2004 13:52 CET)

Marco Papi created a rendering of the delta structure. (added Jan 16 2004 14:23 CET)

Ricardo Nunes sent in a big mosaic (partly based on the images below) of the area where Huygens has landed (added Jan 16 2004 15:30 CET)

Christian Waldvogel created full panoramas of the Titan surface, one normal and a polar view. This submission is really awesome! (added Jan 15 2004 22:05 CET, colored version added Jan 16 2004 18:54)

Composite of a 360-degrees view during descent, using 11 of the raw images. the raw images were corrected in brightness, scale and perspective and then stitched together. Missing areas on dark bottom and sky were completed with two-color-gradients. No information was added. Colors in the colored version were adjusted according to the ESA's colored surface view.

The Digitial Sundial

Electron Band Structure In Germanium, My Ass

"Abstract: The exponential dependence of resistivity on temperature in germanium is found to be a great big lie. My careful theoretical modeling and painstaking experimentation reveal 1) that my equipment is crap, as are all the available texts on the subject and 2) that this whole exercise was a complete waste of my time.""

The $1.5M lie detector

"Because we need the government peering in our brains to make sure we're telling the truth, the study authors are hoping to secure funding from the CIA, Department of Homeland Security, or the National Security Agency, Let's hope the IRS doesn't get a hold of one."

Random Personal Picture Finder

Light Blue Optics

"Light Blue Optics has developed ground-breaking holographic technology, which will power a new generation of pocket-sized digital video projectors."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Message from the future

"If nanobots and skycars sound more like sci-fi than a sane view of the future, then you may need to reprogram your mindset. Helene Zampetakis reports on the technology that will shape our lives in the decades to come."

Toyota announce an overview of the project to develop partner robots designed to function as personal assistants for humans.

Immigration Minister Quits in Pizza Scandal

"Canadian Immigration Minister Judy Sgro, already embroiled in a scandal over favors given to a Romanian stripper, resigned on Friday after a pizza shop owner said she had reneged on a promise to help him avoid deportation in exchange for free pizza."

Flower Power

In the midst of 2 recently announced games involving cultivating vegetables in Japan or your own garden in France, In-duce/De-duce want to try to put together the recent ideas of a massively multiplayer GPS mobile phone green game.
A community of players working together to compensate the real pollution and eyesores of a city by planting and taking care of virtual flowers and other plants on a virtual data layer superimposed on the city.

Wikipedia: Shirky / (Tufte x Wattenburg) = ?

"More ding-dong on the authority of Wikipedia recently, with much of the debate swirling around Many-2-Many."
History Flow
Theme River

Joyfully surfing the waves of confusion

Joanna Kavenna reviews On Literature by Umberto Eco

"He doesn't quite part the sea of confusion in his writings; he rather surfs the waves, performing spectacular turns to an audience of deconstructionist beach bums and sunbathing postmodernists."

Creationists lose round in textbook sticker fight

"Creationism versus Evolution. If ever there was a topic that managed to inflame everyone from pointy haired scientists, to teachers, to ministers, to the so-called Common People, this has got to be near the top of the list. It most certainly has been a common topic at school board meetings throughout some segments of the United States in recent years, and in 2002, the school board in Cobb County, Georgia decided to take a stand." Don't get me wrong, I really like BBC News Online

"News Online doesn't engage with its users, it doesn't provide tools that allow me, the licence payer, to slice and dice their stories, and by refusing to link from its body text, it fails to understand how hypertext works."

The News Online Wikiproxy

"It's a proxy for the site, that does the following things:
  • retrieves a page from News Online, and regexes out "Capitalised Phrases" and acronyms. It then tests these against a database of wikipedia topic titles. If the phrase is a topic in wikipedia, then it's turned into a hyperlink
  • uses the technorati API to add a sidebar of links to blogs referencing the story. Now you can see who's talking about the story from the story itself
  • as a bonus, my code breaks that bloody awful ticker. I'm not fixing it.
  • because that's how links should be, my links are underlined.
  • reduces page bloat by about 10% by stripping acres of whitespace."
  • Making Delphi 2005 independent from .NET

    "Despite what Borland says, Delphi 2005 doesn't require .NET."

    Did Fluid Once Flow on Titan?

    With the latest Titan images showing channels and fluid-like branching, scientists have begun the debate anew whether fluid might have shaped the Earth-like moon. Imaging science team leader for Cassini, Carolyn Porco, describes the initial surprise and excitement of seeing Titan up close.

    Lakefront Landing in Crème Brulé

    For the first time, humans have gotten a close-up look at Titan, the planet-sized moon. Huygens, scientists say, has landed in soil with the consistency of wet sand or clay. The scenery surrounding the landing site resembles a postcard panorama of undeveloped lakefront property, hand-tinted in pastel shades of orange.

    Saturday, January 15, 2005

    Sneak preview of the 2005 BAR Honda 007

    Despite being 36 hours away from the launch of the new BAR Honda 007, BAR have released a sneak preview image of the new car, revealing an intriguing design nose.

    NASA Salutes Successful Huygens Probe

    "NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today offered congratulations to the European Space Agency (ESA) on the successful touchdown of its Huygens probe on Saturn's moon Titan."

    Friday, January 14, 2005

    Power of Nightmares re-awakened

    "As the films showed, wherever one looks for this "al-Qaeda" organisation - from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America - the British and Americans are pursuing a fantasy."

    Huygens begins its Titan descent

    "The Huygens spacecraft has sent back its first signal on its historic descent to Saturn's moon Titan."

    Opportunity Spots Curious Object On Mars

    NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has come across an interesting object -- perhaps a meteorite sitting out in the open at Meridiani Planum. Initial data taken by the robot’s Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) is suggestive that the odd-looking “rock” is made of metal.

    An open source Google - without the ads

    "With the hope of returning at least one corner of the web to its non-commercial roots, Google watcher Daniel Brandt, who curates the NameBase archive, has released the source code to a Google scraper. Brandt has been making an ad-free proxy available for two years using Google's little known minimal 'ie' interface. By using this proxy, users bypass both Google's notorious '2038' cookie (that's when it expires) and the text ads.

    Brandt fully expects Google to throw legal and technical resources at him, but says he welcomes the challenge if only to clarify copyright issues. Google took people's free stuff and made a $50 billion business from it, he argues."

    NASA - RSS Feeds

    RSS feeds available at Nasa including "Image of the Day"

    That's fast TCP!

    Data has been sent across a wide-area optical network at 101Gbit/sec., the fastest-ever sustained data transmission speed, equivalent to downloading three full DVD movies per second, or transmitting all of the content of the Library of Congress in 15 minutes.

    Bill Gates calls free culture advocates communists

    In an interview on, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates described free culture advocates as a "modern-day sort of communists.

    Mappr is an interactive environment for exploring place,
    based on the photos people take.

    Scientists Unravel How Geckos Keep Their Sticky Feet Clean

    "The super sticky feet of geckos allow the animals to cling easily to nearly any surface. In fact, a single toe contains enough foot hairs, known as setae, to support the animal's entire body weight. Researchers are thus hoping to employ the gecko's secrets to manufacture adhesives with similar properties. Now scientists can add another impressive characteristic to the list: setae are self-cleaning."

    Giant robot helps prevent landslides

    "The 3800 kg Roboclimber robot can secure slopes without endangering human lives, thanks to innovations from Europe's space programmes. It was tested in the beautiful valley of Alta Val Torre, 25 km north of Udine in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy."

    Feral Cities

    "Imagine a great metropolis covering hundreds of square miles. Once a vital component in a national economy, this sprawling urban environment is now a vast collection of blighted buildings, an immense petri dish of both ancient and new diseases, a territory where the rule of law has long been replaced by near anarchy in which the only security available is that which is attained through brute power."

    :::::: MOOG MUSIC ::::::

    The Minimoog Voyager Anniversary Edition is a limited edition of the award-winning Minimoog Voyager analog synthesizer housed in a black lacquered wooden cabinet with an amazing blue backlit front panel

    Google exposes web surveillance cams

    "Blogs and message forums buzzed this week with the discovery that a pair of simple Google searches permits access to well over 1,000 unprotected surveillance cameras around the world - apparently without their owners' knowledge."

    Deja View Announces New Weapons For War Against Terrorism

    "Deja View, Inc., the first company to introduce a wearable digital mini-camcorder with unique 'after-the-fact' recording technology for the consumer market, today announced two new counter-terrorism products to help in homeland security efforts."

    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Iapetus moon bulges at equator

    Nasa/JPL/Space Science Institute

    Why the Sun seems to be 'dimming'

    "We are all seeing rather less of the Sun, according to scientists who have been looking at five decades of sunlight measurements.

    They have reached the disturbing conclusion that the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface has been gradually falling."

    Huygens set for Titan encounter

    "The Huygens spacecraft is ready to make history as it heads for its rendezvous on 14 January with Saturn's smog-shrouded moon Titan."

    US tackles plane 'laser tracking'

    "The US government has issued new guidance to airline pilots after dozens reported lasers being shone into their cockpit during take-off or landing."

    Monday, January 10, 2005

    Nanny Bans Park Rangers

    "Seemingly, in Nanny's opinion, her targets for social inclusion are not being met by the Lake District National Park. Namely, not enough people from minorities and other groups are visiting the parks.
    Anyhoo, Nanny is determined to address this issue. Therefore in a splendidly daft solution, even by Nanny's halfwitted standards, she has decided to ban the free guided walks carried out by over 100 volunteer rangers."

    Saturday, January 08, 2005

    NASA Swift Mission Turns On And Sees A Blast Of Bursts

    First-light image from the Swift X-ray Telescope of the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant

    Swift catches first cosmic blasts

    The Swift space telescope, launched in November, has seen its first gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) - the massive cosmic explosions it was built to study.

    Greenland Glacier Speeds Up

    Scientists have used satellite photographs to track the movements of a relatively fast moving glacier in Greenland, and found that it's picking up speed, doubling its velocity in the last few years. While the glacier is speeding up, it's also thinning, losing ice at a rate of 15 metres (16.4 yards) in thickness each year. The amount of ice melting into the ocean is more than double the output that traditional climate models were predicting, and demonstrates that the world's ice caps and glaciers are much more sensitive to rising temperatures than previously believed.

    Friday, January 07, 2005

    Nick Bradbury: Depressing piracy statistic

    This week, 90% of the attempts to activate FeedDemon have been with cracked serial numbers.

    Probe passes 'moon of two halves'

    The Cassini spacecraft has made a close pass of Saturn's moon Iapetus, a striking world of two halves.

    Nasa/JPL/Space Science Institute

    Nano-propellers sent for a spin

    "Metallic rods about 500 times smaller than the width of a human hair have been turned into tiny 'propellers' by a Canadian research team."

    Wednesday, January 05, 2005

    Essex, home of Britain's first boy racers

    Historians are being asked to prove that Essex, the home of girls in white leather mini-skirts, also gave rise to the boy racer.

    Sync or Swim?

    "Exactly how difficult is it to synchronise basic, textual information between two different computers? Take contact information, calendar appointments and to-do tasks. No formatting, no images, just plain text, in clearly defined fields. A child could do the job."

    F1's Fortune Cookie

    With FIAT draining money on a daily basis, Luca Montezemolo knows that he has to recoup as much as he can from Bernie Ecclestone.

    Tuesday, January 04, 2005

    Need-to-know is now right-to-know

    January 4 is the first working day of the Freedom of Information Act. And it marks the end of the old need-to-know culture of British government, argues the Cabinet minister overseeing the changes.

    Looming pitfalls of work blogs

    This year, "blog" was included for the first time in the US Merriam-Webster dictionary. It entered the Oxford English dictionary last year, reflecting its entry into mainstream language.

    The Policeman's Blog

    "Well some of you didn’t have a good Christmas did you? All those of you who woke up on Christmas Days in the cells at Newtown police station, I bet you weren’t too happy. You weren’t happy were you? No, I know because I heard you banging on the cell door. I started early with some paperwork and went to a couple of burglaries but then spent most of the shift playing Simpson’s Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit (British policing at it’s best, and for once I don’t think you can blame us). By the miracle of modern bureaucracy I managed to file three detected (solved) crimes without leaving the police station.

    Some things will not change in the new year."

    Monday, January 03, 2005

    Child's Play Part II from 1UP.COM

    Dillon: I'm just pressing random buttons here....
    Garret: That's probably how you beat the game.

    www. is deprecated.

    "Class B means that all of the traffic to is politely and silently redirected to This is currently the preferred no-www classification as it does not inconvenience your users, but it does assert the deprecated nature of the www subdomain."


    GeneMusik departs from previous experiments in that it is an entirely ‘wet’ process, which employs chemical and biological means to achieve musical transformations. Rather than taking given DNA structures and rendering them as musical code, GeneMusik takes fragments of conventional Western melody and sequences them as DNA that is subsequently ‘bred’ and ‘mixed’ within bacterial cultures.

    DNA extracted from these cultures may then be re-sequenced, translated to musical notation and interpreted as new musical forms

    Deepnet Explorer - Web P2P News Browser

    Not only Deepnet Explorer is the world’s first browser with P2P and RSS integration, it is also the first browser to foil phishers

    Japan's cloak of almost invisibility

    At Tokyo University, researchers have moved the ideas of science fiction one step closer to reality by developing an optical camouflage system.

    Sunday, January 02, 2005

    Steam engines could be eco hope

    Think of steam engines and hazy, romantic images of chugging great beasts of old fill the mind.

    Cassini targets 'two-faced' moon

    Image: Nasa/JPL/Space Science Institute
    The Cassini spacecraft is set to make a close pass of Saturn's moon Iapetus, a striking world of two halves.

    Earthquake 'redraws the map'

    The devastating earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean probably caused some islands to move by several metres.
    The massive thrust of the tectonic plates may have heaved the Indian Ocean floor towards Indonesia by about 15 metres, seismologists think.
    The force of the earthquake was probably also so great that it made the Earth wobble on its axis and cut our day length by fractions of a second.