GeekSpeak for 2010-05-29

Cloud Bacteria & Human Computer Virus

A fun episode stuffed full of weekly geek news with Al, Alex, Lindsey and Lyle.

Edting Large images: Mac Pro - Performance

For our listener who asked about this.

Gary Coleman Tribute » EuroDroid

Show your sadness at the passing of the troubled 1980s child star well before his time by… installing an Android tribute app which streams a varied selection of images of Gary Coleman onto your phone. What will they think of next?

The app’s Android Market description simply says…

Jupiter loses a stripe - space - 11 May 2010 - New Scientist

Jupiter has lost one of its prominent stripes, leaving its southern half looking unusually blank. Scientists are not sure what triggered the disappearance of the band.

Jupiter’s appearance is usually dominated by two dark bands in its atmosphere – one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere.

But recent images taken by amateur astronomers show that the southern band – called the south equatorial belt – has disappeared.

The band was present at the end of 2009, right before Jupiter moved too close to the sun in the sky to be observed from Earth. When the planet emerged from the sun’s glare again in early April, its south equatorial belt was nowhere to be seen.

China Rips Off The iPad With The iPed

The iPad finally goes on sale in Japan today. The country’s TV news have been covering the launch as well as another product on sale in nearby China: the iPed.

HP kicks Windows 7 to the curb, will use webOS in Slate

HP has been widely expected to release a tablet product based on the newly acquired webOS operating system once the Palm deal closes in July. Now, Digitimes has confirmation from HP Taiwan that the HP Slate tablet will indeed run webOS.

Microsoft has clearly and very publicly gotten the boot from HP’s upcoming tablet, which is why HP CEO Mark Hurd tried to reassure analysts on the most recent HP earnings call that the software maker is still an important HP partner. Still, no amount of damage control can obscure the simple fact that the company that gave us Surface—a pioneering and by all accounts magical multitouch interface—does not have a real multitouch OS. Sure, Microsoft has the multitouch-enabled Windows 7, but the company doesn’t have a viable competitor for the iPhone OS or webOS in the tablet space. The reason for this gap in Microsoft’s product line is an enduring mystery, and we would welcome clarification in the comments if anyone can provide it.

Top 1000 sites - Facebook Number 1

The 1000 most-visited sites on the web

Apple stock rise could have meant $4.5 billion for Microsoft

In Apple’s 2003 10-K filing with the SEC, the company revealed that Microsoft’s $150 million investment bought the company 150,000 shares of Series A nonvoting convertible preferred stock at $1,000 per share. Microsoft had the option after August 5, 2000 to convert those preferred shares, for $8.25 per share, into common stock. In 2000, Microsoft converted a little under half its shares into 9 million shares of common stock. It then converted the remainder in 2001 into another 9.2 million shares.

All told, Microsoft spent a little over $151 million to acquire 18.2 million shares of Apple stock, for roughly $8.31 per share. Microsoft confirmed that it sold all of its AAPL holdings some time ago, and likely did so at a healthy profit—after all, AAPL has traded significantly higher than $8 for many years. But what if Microsoft had held on to that investment just a little longer?

As of approximately noon CDT Thursday, AAPL was trading at $250.99. That translates to a value of $4.57 billion, which would represent a staggering 3,000 percent ROI had Microsoft held on to those 18.2 million shares.

At its recent record peak at the end of April, AAPL was trading even higher, at $272 per share. Had Microsoft cashed out then, it would have had an extra $4.95 billion in its pocket—a nearly 3,200 percent ROI.

Saving Coral Reefs With the Google Earth

In 1998 The world Resources Institute – Working with the UN and several other organizations – performed the original Reefs at Risk study which found that human activity was putting nearly 60 percent of all coral reefs at risk.

10 years later in 2008, WRI decided to revisit the study using advanced technology. Namely – Google Earth.

A non-profit partner called reef Check trains volunteer divers to take detailed measurements for an impressive global map of coral reef health worldwide. The final report is estimated to be ready in Septenber.

First human 'infected' with a computer virus

Dr. Mark Gasson says that the infected RFID chip in his hand was indeed able to pass on the virus to an external control device in his trials, and he warns that the eventual real world implications could be far more dire. Gasson is particularly concerned when it comes to medical implants, which he says could potentially become infected by other implants in the body, and even pass on the “infection” to other people.

Heads Up, Citizen Scientists: The Moon Needs You!

We’re seeing the most detailed images of the moon’s surface ever captured from afar — thanks to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. The space probe carries a super-powerful camera, which photographs every bit of the moon’s surface for scientists to examine. Only one problem: The LRO is doing such a good job that the scientists can’t keep up.

At-Home Genetic Testing Kits

At-home genetic testing kits may soon join the ranks of home pregnancy tests and at-home drug tests on your neighborhood drug store shelves. These ‘do-it-yourself’ genetic screening tests claim to determine your genetic risk of several different conditions and diseases, cancer included. Sounds like a great idea, but many experts are concerned with the effectiveness of the tests and how the results will be interpreted by the consumer.

Sony's New Flexible OLED is Thinner Than a Strand of Hair

Flexible gadgets are undeniably sexy – but Japanese electronics giant Sony wasn’t content stopping there. For their newest display, they decided to also throw in ultra-thinness (just 80μm or a bit thinner than a human hair) and the energy-saving power of OLEDs into the mix. The new prototype is so bendy that it can be wrapped around a pencil. From electronic newspapers to LED garments, just think about the applications such a display could be used for!

Data Center Building Boom in Silicon Valley

Data center developer Digital Realty Trust continues to amass real estate in Silicon Valley to convert into data centers to meet the strong demand from corporate users. Today the company said it has acquired two additional buildings in Santa Clara, Calif., one of the nation’s most active markets for data center development.