GeekSpeak for 2010-02-06

Worms in Space welcome Dave Portera and Atari Videos

Definitely a show of nostalgia, Dave Portera [Por-Ter-a] talks with us about his involvement and roles in the earlier Atari video games.

Crystals in Meteorite Harder Than Diamonds

Researchers using a diamond paste to polish a slice of meteorite stumbled onto something remarkable: crystals in the rock that are harder than diamonds.

A closer look with an array of instruments revealed two totally new kinds of naturally occurring carbon, which are harder than the diamonds formed inside the Earth.

“The discovery was accidental but we were sure that looking in these meteorites would lead to new findings on the carbon system,” said Tristan Ferroir of the Universite de Lyon in France.

Worms in Space

In what seemed designed as a display of technological advance, Iran said on Wednesday that it had fired a rocket into space carrying living organisms — a rat, two turtles and worms, according to the official Press TV broadcast.

Is Nikon Camera Feature Racist? - cbs5.com

Is Nikon Camera Feature Racist?
Kiet Do, Reporting.
SAN JOSE (CBS 5) ―

Some people of Asian descent complain the “Blink Proof” feature is activated when their eyes are open.

When Nikon released its Coolpix S630 camera last year, it came with a feature called “Blink Proof,” which should warn if the person in the photo has their eyes closed. But one woman and others who are of Asian descent say they have triggered the warning with their eyes open.

Joz Wang made headlines with a blog post about the camera titled, “Racist Camera! No, I didn’t blink…I’m just Asian!” CBS 5 tested the Japanese-made device and it gave blink warnings on four out of six subjects, most of whom were Asian. Nikon said they haven’t received any complaints and suggested turning off the feature if it is not working.

youme - real world characters

Youme offers subscribers the ability to control real world characters. Each character is a person somewhere else in the world, the user gets to pick their character based on several demographic fields such as age, location, sex, height, weight and so fourth.

Users who subscribe to control a character are known as a ‘you’, whilst the users being controlled are named a ‘me’. Every ‘me’ is equipped with a camera to record and stream their movements live to their ‘you’, as well as a bluetooth headset for receiving instructions. Instructions may also be sent directly to the ‘me’ via text on their handheld device.

Users must subscribe, which gives them a set period of time controlling their chosen ‘me’.

The Milky Way Transit Authority

Assuming you had an interstellar spaceship, how would you navigate around the galaxy? For starters, you’d probably need a map. But there’s billions of stars out there, how could you orientate a map to find the quickest route from Earth to the exoplanet called Gliese 777 b (in the constellation of Cygnus) for example?

You could just plot a route directly to your planned destination, but that would mean traversing the badlands between the Milky Way’s spiral arms that contain few stars (and, presumably, few interstellar gas stations) than if you followed the curving arms.

In the style of London’s famous Tube Map, Samuel Arbesman, research fellow at Harvard Medical School, has re-imagined the Milky Way, simplifying our cosmic home. Although the Milky Way Transit Authority (MWTA) was created for fun and pure curiosity, it does provide an an accurate insight to the scale and locations of various nebulae, clusters and the solar system’s location (Sol) in our galaxy.

Podcast: Stuff Mom Never Told You

When it comes to deodorant, what should you look for? Do birth control pills kill a woman’s libido? For discussions of gender-related topics like these, tune in to Stuff Mom Never Told You, a podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

X2 launches new iTablet

Fresh off the heels of Apple’s iPad launch, UK manufacturer X2 today announced the launch of a new tablet computer that they have dubbed the iTablet, according to several UK sites. A slick marketing move, though Apple might not think so.

Japanese's USB Noodle Strainer

Noodle is an important part of Japanese diet, but it’s difficult to imagine a company would go so far to develop a USB-powered cookware that actually makes soumen – a type of Japanese cold noodle.

Preparing soumen with this “USB cookware” is quite a unique experience. Simply add cold or iced water to the oval-shaped plastic bowl, connect this strainer to a USB port, and the machine will create a water flow. Next, place the pre-cooked noodles into the water channel, and they will be carried along with the circulation of the water.

Bamboo and bioplastic small appliances

At Maison & Objet this week, Lexon announced its new range of renewably-powered small appliances, encased in corn bio-plastic with bamboo trim (and not at all shy about it’s eco-chic aesthetic). The collection, designed by Elium Studio, the brains behind Lexon’s all foam radio from 2007 and the waterproof Tykho radio from 1998, refines the finish qualities of bio-plastic, pairing its matte, unchanging finish with the “artisan touch” and “elegant patina” of bamboo.

The press release includes only the cute crank-up radio pictured top (which you can plug an iPod into, by the way), but I dug around a little bit on Lexon’s site and found pictures/renderings of the rest, including a cell-phone-like pocket flashlight, calculator, wall clock and travel clock, all powered by the sun.

More after the jump.

External Hard Drive VHS

This is a 320 GB external hard drive fabricated from VHS “Star Wars. A New Hope.” A must have for the dedicated
Star Wars fanatic who’s looking for the coolest external hard drive around along with the added security of a great disguise. This external case contains a Samsung 2.5” hard drive and is also available in 500GB and 640GB.