GeekSpeak for 2009-10-17

iPhone vs Bear and Pledge Drive from DC

A robot cockroach, a USB Telescope, NASA impacts the Moon, iPod can’t race and Lyle hosts the show from [WAMU|http://wamu.org] in Washington DC.

The Fun Theory: Stairs Experiment

This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or something entirely different, just so long as it’s change for the better.

Apple acknowledges Snow Leopard data loss issue

For the past month, some Mac OS X users have been reporting their personal data missing after logging into their guest accounts, and Apple now says it’s working on finding a fix.
“We are aware of the issue, which occurs only in extremely rare cases, and we are working on a fix,” an Apple representative said in a prepared statement Monday.

Microsoft recovers Sidekick data

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Roz Ho says that all data will be restored, beginning with personal contacts.
She believes that only a minority of Sidekick users are still affected.
“The outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back up,” she wrote in an open letter to customers.

NASA'S LCROSS Captures All Phases of Centaur Impact

NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) was a smashing success, returning tantalizing data about the Centaur impact before the spacecraft itself impacted the surface of the moon.

Amazon offers same-day delivery to select cities

Amazon.com on Thursday announced that customers looking to get their packages sooner will have a couple new options available to them.

Amazon customers placing deliveries within the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, Baltimore, Las Vegas, and Seattle, as well as “some surrounding areas,” will now be able to receive shipments on the same day they place an order. The service will be coming to Chicago, Indianapolis, and Phoenix “in the coming months.”

Ninety-foot drop can't stop robot cockroach

Researchers in California are developing a simple robot cockroach that can be assembled in an hour, move quickly, and survive 92-foot falls.

The Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod, or DASH, is a neat example of the insectile robotics from UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab.

Robot cockroaches have been designed before, but DASH seems relatively simple to put together before it can be used to creep everyone out.

Bear ambushes hiker, attacks her iPhone instead

Rowley, who serves as Vermont’s chief information security officer, tells CIO.com: “In a semi-panic, I threw the phone at the bear.”

The bear proceeded to ignore Rowley and started clawing at the iPhone instead, CIO.com explains. Rowley used that as her chance to make a hasty exit. She returned two days later to get her iPhone back—bringing along a baseball bat for defense—and found it still there, but chewed and scratched up to the point where she couldn’t use it anymore.

USB Telescope

Tradtional web cameras always have a weakness that can only focus near object, however, this problem can be overcome with the USB Web Cam With Telescope. With this, you can easily zoom to focus the distant objects clearly and make a high quality photograph.

MIT TechTV – Indoor Autonomous Helicopter

Excellent use of technology for an autonomous vehicle. Especially cool are the maps it generates. Watch the video.

iPod" Gets Marathon Winner Disqualified

“Performance Enhancing iPod” Gets Marathon Winner Disqualified
By Danny Allen, 7:30 AM on Wed Oct 14 2009, 32,285 views (Edit, to draft, Slurp)

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I can’t run a mile without being hyped up by music, so I’m glad I’m not a marathon runner. After being declared the winner of Milwaukee’s 26.2-mile Lakefront marathon, Jennifer Goebel was stripped of the title because she…used an iPod.

Green Shoots Rise from Brownfields

“Steel Wind is one of the first, but President Obama and Congress are pushing to identify thousands of contaminated landfills and abandoned mines that could be repurposed to house wind farms, solar arrays and geothermal power plants.”