GeekSpeak for 2010-06-12

Made by Hand, Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder (Editer of [Make Magazine|http://makezine.com/] and founder of [Boing Boing|http://boingboing.net/]) explores the [DIY|Do It Yourself] revolution with his own hands in his first person account book [Made by Hand, Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World|http://www.boingboing.net/madebyhand/] .

Skype 5.0 beta brings five-way video chat

Video chatting is on the rise. Yesterday, we got to take a look at Qik’s mobile video chat client for the Sprint EVO 4G, and today, we get to take a look at Skype’s latest development: five-way video chat.

Measuring The Smallest Forces - Science News

A blob of cold beryllium ions has measured the smallest force yet. The charged atoms registered the minuscule tug of an electric field to be 174 yoctonewtons. That’s about equal to the force of Earth’s gravity on a 70-kilogram human divided by a million, then by a billion, then by a billion again, then by four.

“The forces measured are astonishingly small,” comments quantum physicist Dick Slusher of the Georgia Tech Quantum Institute in Atlanta. Slusher, who was not affiliated with the study, calls the research “wonderful work.”

i-Fairy Robot officially wed a couple in Japan

Robot Gives Away the Bride: VIdeo

Eyes flashing, robot conducts wedding in Tokyo

TOKYO (AP) – Almost everyone stood when the bride walked down the aisle in her white gown, but not the wedding conductor, because she was bolted to her chair.

The nuptials at this ceremony were led by “I-Fairy,” a 4-foot (1.5-meter) tall seated robot with flashing eyes and plastic pigtails. Sunday’s wedding was the first time a marriage had been led by a robot, according to manufacturer Kokoro Co.

Crazy USB Device: EasyBloom Plant Sensor

Want to know what to grow?
Want to help a sick plant?

  • Can I grow tomatoes on my patio and parsley in my windowsill?
  • How can I get my hibiscus to bloom and my ficus to stop drooping?
  • How can I find new flowers for my yard this year?
  • How can I stop killing plants and wasting money on landscaping that dies?
  • How can I end gardening by trial and error?

iPhone-Playing YouTube Star Applegirl Gets Record Deal

Kim Yeo-hee has been blowing up the tubes lately — the YouTubes, that is — with her iPhone-playing, singing, viral music videos, which have garnered millions of views over the past two months.

Her efforts have paid off in spades; the Wall Street Journal reports that this young lady just signed a record deal.

The 22-year old song stylist uses iPhone music apps running on several different iPhones simultaneously as her accompaniment. She is signed to Dreamhigh-Ent, based in Seoul, and will be releasing an album of her own music later this month

Japanese Spacecraft Successfully Deploys Solar Sail in Space

“The Japanese spacecraft IKAROS created centrifugal force by spinning, allowing it to launch the .0003-inch-thick sail. While deployment is a challenge in a zero gravity environment, spacecraft — unlike airplanes — don’t have to contend with drag, so with each photon of light that hits the sail, the spacecraft could gather speed.”

Measuring The Weakest Of Forces - Science News

Measuring the weakest of forces
Cold atoms detect a 174-yoctonewton force
By Laura Sanders
May 22nd, 2010; Vol.177 #11 (p. 11)
font_down font_up Text Size

A blob of cold beryllium ions has measured the smallest force yet. The charged atoms registered the minuscule tug of an electric field to be 174 yoctonewtons. That’s about equal to the force of Earth’s gravity on a 70-kilogram human divided by a million, then by a billion, then by a billion again, then by four.

Judge Limits DHS Laptop Border Searches

“A federal judge has ruled that border agents cannot seize a traveler’s laptop, keep it locked up for months, and examine it for contraband files without a warrant half a year later.”

Kanji for Common Use Count Increasing to Meet Digital Age

“On June 7th, the Cultural Council, under the Agency for Cultural Affairs, formally submitted their proposal for the revision of the official list of kanji for common use, increasing the character count by nearly ten percent in order to match the Japanese language with the digital age, Japanese media reports have indicated.”

World's smallest 'Star Trek' Enterprise

Two Japanese scientists have constructed a model of the USS Enterprise at one-billionth scale.

The award-winning model, dubbed “Nano Trek,” is so small, it can only be seen with an electron microscope. The model was constructed with a focused ion beam using phenanthrene gas, a process called “chemical vapor deposition.” The ship is 8.8 micometers in length.

Nothing quite like taking the world’s most advanced nanotechnology and using it to express classic sci-fi geekdom.