A Leak Too Far?

GeekSpeak for 2010-04-10

Lyle, Al, Ben, and Miles discuss the news and various decisions by big players in the world of tech and government. Also, what is up with Apple’s new [SDK|Software Development Kit] rules.


ME
Reaction on Military Blogs to the WikiLeaks Video

As much as in the general public, military blogs have reacted with passion to the released [Wikileaks|http://wikileaks.org/] video of a 2007 Apache attack in Iraq. With more expertise than most viewers — as well as more empathy, even among those who felt the pilots acted improperly — they explored a range of issues: Were the people in the video carrying weapons? Is Wikileaks a security risk? Did the military fail in not explaining the video more fully to the media? Should journalists operate so closely to insurgents?

AL
Hunch

Hunch gives customized recommendations and gets smarter the more you use it.

ME
Apple takes aim at Adobe... or Android?

The already strict requirements that must be met for an application to be published on Apple’s App Store are set to take a turn for the worse, as Apple’s NDA-protected license agreement has now updated an already annoying existing clause, Section 3.3.1, to make it even more offensive.

ME
Finding Genes in Milliseconds Instead of Years

Like a magician who says, “Pick a card, any card,” Stanford University computer scientist Debashis Sahoo, PhD, seemed to be offering some kind of trick when he asked researchers at the Stanford Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine to pick any two genes already known to be involved in stem cell development.

AL
Robot: Segway robots train snipers Down Under

How do you make sniper target practice more helpful and more fun? By shooting at Segway robots, of course.

To train its snipers in realistic conditions, the Australian Department of Defence enlisted the help of Marathon Robotics of Sydney, Australia, to set up a course populated by Segways with plastic, 3D, human-size dummies onboard.

The Segways are programmed to wander around a small village aimlessly, with the robots leaning forward to accelerate and backward to stop, making them harder to hit. When a sniper does pick one of them off, the system provides instant visual feedback by stopping and dropping the mannequin. The robots then all scatter automatically.

The Rover system (PDF) uses GPS and a scanning laser rangefinder for navigation, positioning, and obstacle detection and avoidance.

AL
Robot: Robot's aid makes bladder removal easier

The robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery minimizes bleeding, decreases pain and has a shorter recovery period than traditional bladder removal, said Dr. Yair Lotan, associate professor of urology at the medical center.

AL
Robots: Guiding you through Bank

These robots guide visitors through a bank in Spain. Now if only they could guide them through the red tape.

BJ
What is the Best Clock in the Universe?

Today, John Hartnett and Andre Luiten at the University of Western Australia ask whether Earth-bound time pieces have usurped their astrophysical rivals as the best clocks in the Universe.

On the face of it, the answer is pretty clear cut to anybody who has followed the amazing advances in quantum optics in the last few years.

“The accuracy and stability of terrestrial clocks have improved more than an order of magnitude, on average, in each decade over the last 60 years,” say Hartnett and Luiten. Today, the best optical lattice neutral atom clocks and trapped ion clocks have a frequency stability approaching one part in 10^17.

By contrast, as more pulsars have been discovered, their timing stability has improved by less than an order of magnitude in the last 20 years. The best millisecond pulsars have a stability of only one part in 10^15 at best.

BJ
Asteroids Player Smashes 27-Year-Old High Score

On Saturday, John McAllister sat down at a friend’s house near Portland, Oregon to play a game of Asteroids. By Monday, he was still playing.

At 10:18 p.m. Pacific, he scored 41,338,740 points, a new all-time high score. In doing so, he beat a record that has stood for over 27 years.

BJ
Saturn's Strange Hexagon Recreated in the Lab

They placed a 30-liter cylinder of water on a slowly spinning table; the water represented Saturn’s atmosphere spinning with the planet’s rotation. Inside this tank, they placed a small ring that whirled more rapidly than the cylinder. This created a miniature artificial “jet stream” that the researchers tracked with a green dye.

BJ
SuperHappyDevHouse37 Today!

SuperHappyDevHouse 37
 
When: Saturday, April 10th. 1pm to 12pm
Where: Palantir @ 151 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

AL
Crazy USB: No more misplacing your flash drive

Hi, THis is Al Luckow with Geekspeak’s Crazy USB device of the week.

Now, if you’re like me, as soon as the weather starts warming up, you start thinking about new things to do. The first thing I want to do when that sun comes beating down? …Bowling. Yep, there’s nothing like going down to the bowling alley on a hot day, putting on some just used bowling shoes that are still warm, and then grabbing a bowling ball with your sweaty fingers. The way I see it, the only down side is when you have to leave. Well, I ran across a USB device that might help keep your bowling memories alive. Its the USB bowling ball flash drive. Now, this is a do-it-yourself jobber, I saw one on the web by Chris Spurgeon. Basically, you need a 16 pound bowling ball and a usb flash drive. But I tell you, if I had the time and the bucks, I’d be spending it making one of these.