GeekSpeak for 2008-12-13

GeekSpeak Without a Safety Net (Lyle is on vacation)

Miles, Ryder, and Sean attempt to run the show without Lyle, who is on vacation this week. Join the geeks as they discuss the week in news and take calls.

'Oldest human brain' discovered

The team, excavating a York University site, discovered a skull containing a yellow substance which scans showed to be shrunken, but brain-shaped. Brains consist of fatty tissue which microbes in the soil would absorb, so neurologists believe the find could be some kind of fossilised brain.

Netflix to Lay Off 50. Blames Silverlight.

Microsoft’s Silverlight technology is apparently so easy to install and use on PC’s and Mac with the Netflix streaming video services, it no longer has the need for 50 technical support folks.

Playstation Home Beta Opens To the Public

Yesterday Sony launched the open beta for Playstation Home, the virtual world designed for Playstation Network community members.

Restored DVD key to conviction in rape case

The recovery of data from a damaged DVD helped convict a California man of multiple rapes earlier this year.

PCUbisoft Releases Prince of Persia with no DRM

Ubisoft is releasing the retail, boxed version of Prince of Persia on the PC with absolutely digital rights management (DRM), which means no copy protection. However, Ars Technica is doubtful the company is doing this out of the goodness of its heart.

Energy-Generating Floors to Power Tokyo Subways

The East Japan Railway Company (JR East) decided to update their Tokyo Station with a revolutionary new piezoelectric energy generating floor. The system will harvest the kinetic energy generated by crowds to power ticket gates and display systems!

Time Slider: OpenSolaris 2008.11 Killer Feature

Similar to Apple’s TimeMachine feature for Macs, The latest version of OpenSolaris offers easy access to ZFS filesystem snapshots via using their Time Slider feature integrated in the Gnome file manager.

800 Watts pushed 5 meters wirelessly

Technicians at Nevada Lightning Laboratory were able to wirelessly power 800 watts of light bulbs at a distance of 5 meters. By comparison, the MIT/Intel wireless system using magnetic coupling is capable of 60 watts at 2 meters. Intriguing as this might be, they have no plans to pursue intellectual property for this discovery. The concept of using resonant coils to wirelessly couple power was patented by Nikola Tesla over 100 years ago.

Ultrasonic advertising is aiming for you

Holosonics has introduced a directional speaker unit that many retail chains are currently testing for use in their stores. Instead of blasting music and announcements from an omnidirectional public-address system, directional loudspeakers — or Audio Spotlight systems, as Holosonics calls them — make sound audible only in certain designated locations.


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