Cellphones in Tunnels and Brain Implants

GeekSpeak for 2009-12-26

Miles, Ben and Lyle cover the news in tech.

Only half of the show was recorded, sorry folks.


LT
Benford's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Benford’s law, also called the first-digit law, states that in lists of numbers from many (but not all) real-life sources of data, the leading digit is distributed in a specific, non-uniform way

LT
‘Nerd’ and ‘Geek’ Should Be Banned, Professor Says - Bits Blog -

Should we avoid Nerd and Geek to help people take science classes?

Story shared with us by Dom.

BJ
BART expands wireless access to Transbay Tube

BART customers who subscribe to the major mobile phone companies can now use their mobile phones and wireless hotspot devices to make calls or surf the web as they go under the bay between San Francisco and Oakland.  Over the weekend Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile turned on their networks inside the Transbay Tube.  In fact, BART passengers now have a continuous wireless access from the West Oakland BART Station all the way to Balboa Park.

ME
Mind-Reading Brain Implant

“A revolutionary new device that reads a person’s thoughts and turns them into speech could soon change the lives of paralysed patients around the world.”

BJ
Latest HDMI 1.4 specification to add 3D support

HDMI Consortium is preparing to add 3D support to its latest 1.4 specification, which could bring 3D gaming and movie watching to high-definition TVs.

ME
How the IE Ballot Screen Works

“After an 11-month legal face-off, Microsoft and European antitrust officials yesterday signed off on the ballot screen concept that will give Windows users a chance to download rivals’ browsers.”

There is also a version of [this concept for Mac|http://choosyosx.com/] computer systems.

BJ
Google Open Sources Etherpad Code

The Etherpad code was released by Google under the Apache license a few hours ago. Google’s initial plan, after acquiring the service, was to use Etherpad’s tech with its new Wave collaboration platform and to shut down the original service entirely. Soon after the Etherpad code was released, the Swedish Pirate Party launched their instance of the service at piratepad.net.

ME
First Functional Molecular Transistor Comes Alive

“Researchers showed the first functional transistor made from a single molecule. The transistor, which has a benzene molecule attached to gold contacts, could behave just like a silicon transistor.”

BJ
UAP Reporting

Initiated during 2009 and in the framework of the International Year of Astronomy (1), The Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) 2009 Observations Reporting Scheme is a project aiming at facilitating the collection of UAP reports from both amateur and professional astronomers, via a questionnaire to be downloaded from a dedicated website.

ME
The Science of Santa

“How does Santa Claus manage to traverse the entire globe in just a few hours, delivering presents to millions of well-behaved children?”

BJ
'Boat' could explore Saturn moon

A daring proposal to try to put a “boat” down on a sea of Saturn’s moon Titan is about to be submitted to Nasa.
The scientific team behind the idea is targeting Ligeia Mare, a vast body of liquid methane sited in the high north of Saturn’s largest moon.
The concept will be suggested to the US space agency for one of its future mission opportunities that will test a novel power system.
It would be the first exploration of a planetary sea beyond Earth.

LT
Choosy - A smarter default browser for Mac OS X

Forget the default browser, Choosy opens links in the right browser. When you click on a link Choosy will do the right thing, whether that’s something simple (like using whatever browser is already running) or something complex (like prompting you to pick a browser, but only when you hold down the shift key and click on a link to google.com).