GeekSpeak for 2008-08-16

Olympic Technology

The Olympics experienced a blue screen of death, the fireworks show was partly computer-generated, and Speedo owns swimming. The Geeks discuss the changes in the Olympic Games since [the early days|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Olympic_Games] where all athletes competed in their birthday suits.

TSA declares some laptop bags 'checkpoint-friendly'

TSA declares some laptop bags ‘checkpoint-friendly’, meaning you can get away without having to completely unpack your laptop from it’s case. This will be happy news for airline travelers, though we still have to take our shoes off.

All Your Hobbies Are Belong To Nintendo

Miyamoto, a Nintendo game visionary, has been forbidden from discussing any of his hobbies for fear of losing control of a potential “billion dollar” brainstorm.

Craving fatty food? Blame it on childhood illness.

Preliminary results from the University of Florida in Gainesville suggest that severe ear infections damage a nerve that transmits signals from the tongue to the brain, which then changes the patient’s perception of tasteso that they prefer fatty foods.

Phone Services

Steve on our forums suggested other phone services after we mentioned [Jott|http://jot.com], so take a look at Steve’s suggestions.

Music Games

Digital Arts and New Media graduate Marc Sciglimpaglia’s thesis project was hacking NES games to control the game with musical instruments.

Has Your Credit Card Number Been Stolen On The Internet?

It has if you filled the information in. The price of identity theft is eternal gullibility.

Ideas are worth Nothing

Derek Sivers has a great write-up on the idea that an idea isn’t worth much without execution. Share your ideas, don’t be scare someone will steel them. Everyone has ideas.


!The Theatricality of the Olympics

The Olympics is Theater. And media is playing a increasingly tremendous role in the production.

Apparently NBC changed the order of the countries as they were announced to put the US further back in the lineup. Makes sense from a ratings perspective. This is a huge feat from an editing perspective. One bad edit, and the game is up.

They used XP instead of Vista on their computers running Windows for live media in the stadium. In theatre, there’s no need to use the latest software if you know the old version is stable. As they say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Go with what you know works.

Despite the choice to use XP, a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appeared on the ceiling during the opening ceremonies. These kinds of events are huge and almost always have glitches. It’s unfortunate that particular glitch was so noticeable and humorous to geeks like us, especially with Bill Gates in the audience.

They had the fireworks show during the opening ceremonies, but because of safety issues with helicopters flying to record this for the worldwide audience, people watching via TV saw a CGI shot of computer generated fireworks. The fireworks show actually happened in real life, but people watching the broadcast saw the fake version. They chose to use a CGI shot on the live broadcast because of potential safety issues for the helicopter pilot.

The most bizarre twist to this story is that the people in the stadium were watching the fake one on the screens in the stadium while the real fireworks exploded above their heads.

It certainly was a tremendous technical accomplishment, and an entertaining opening ceremony.

Here are some links: