GeekSpeak for 2009-01-03

Geek Tech for 2009

Predictions are so temporally falsifiable, therefor we are going to share what we are excited about in the upcoming year.

Leap Second Added, Dec 31, 2008

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service announced that a leap second will be added on December 31, 2008 at 23h 59m 60s, meaning that this year will be exactly one second longer. Did you shout “Happy New Year” one second early?

The Zune dies due to a leap year

Microsoft identified the problem as an error in Zune’s handling of the last day of a leap year, like 2008. According to the Zune support page, the problem “should remedy itself” over the next 24 hours as the time flips to Jan. 1. The bug is in the internal clock driver, which was expecting 365 days instead of 366.

The Revolution Will Not Be Texted

Thought text messaging was expensive? You have NO idea! It turns out, it takes no additional network bandwidth for the carriers than not sending the message. That sure is an expensive nothing.

73 Percent of All Wikipedia Edits Are Made by about 1400 people

There are millions of people who browse Wikipedia in any given month, but only 2 percent of them (roughly 1,400) are responsible for editing nearly 75 percent of the information on the entire website.

Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB Hard Drive for $120

Western Digital’s new 1TB Caviar Green hard drive arrived on Newegg at a low price of $119.99 with free shipping. This drive has been reviewed at several sites including The Tech Report where they found good performance despite low spindle speed, and low noise levels. This drive is also the most power-efficient 1TB hard drive they tested.

RAID-1 is NOT a backup system

Journalspace.com is down forever. Don’t make this mistake. (Link updated)

Facebook Just Says No to Breast Feeding

Is breast feeding obscene? Is nudity obscene? Either way, Facebook has drawn their line in the sand. The only question is whether they’ll hold their ground. Seems similar to the issue whether two year olds in a bathtub constitutes child pornography.

Sun reveals that yelling at disk drives causes high latency

An engineer from the Sun Microsystems Fishworks lab proceeded to yell and scream at his high volume JBOD disk array and has given the rest of the world one straight answer to his findings: yelling at your computer isn’t going to make it run any faster.

Bionic eye for the blind

Within the year researchers will start human trials for eye implants linked to glasses warn video cameras.

Windows 7 Beta 1 vs. Windows Vista vs. Windows XP

After Windows 7 beta 1 leaked, many bloggers caught hold of it very soon and started testing/using Windows 7. According to this article, overall results of testing with Windows 7 Beta 1 looks promising when compared to Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Futuristic Security Checkpoints

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is developing a system called Future Attribute Screening Technology, or FAST for short. The system uses cameras to detect slight alterations in pupil sizes, blink rate and even direction of gaze. A laser radar called BioLIDAR measures heart rate and changes between heartbeats. The BioLIDAR can even monitor a persons respiration and track movements in the face, neck, and cheeks.

Biggest Black Hole in Universe Discovered

The biggest black hole in the universe weighs in with a respectable mass of 18 billion Suns, and is about the size of an entire galaxy. By observing the orbit of the smaller black hole, astronomers are able to test Einstein’s theory of general relativity with stronger gravitational fields than ever before.

FireTorrent Adds BitTorrent Powers to Firefox

FireTorrent’s alpha-level release aims at letting anyone using Firefox start downloading torrents from any source, no separate software required.

Survey: Microsoft Holds Top Patent Portfolio for 2008

For the second year in a row, Microsoft has topped the rankings in IEEE Spectrum’s annual patent scorecard.
IEEE’s Patent “Pipeline Power” ranking takes a number of factors into account, including the number of patents held, year-over-year portfolio growth, the variety of technologies influenced and the number of times a company’s patents are cited in the patent applications of other inventors.