GeekSpeak for 2010-09-04

Geek Birthdays All Around

It’s a full house with Alex, Lindsey, Ben, Al, Miles, and Lyle. It’s also a birthday for Al, Alex, and GeekSpeak!

We visited the [The Penny Ice Creamery – Santa Cruz, CA|http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-penny-ice-creamery-santa-cruz] after the show and they gave away some ice cream and we gave away a bunch of cool GeekSpeak T-shirts, thanks to [ImageQuest|http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imagequest/id354602525?mt=8] for the shirts!

Burning Man's open source cell phone system

“Today I bring you a story that has it all: a solar-powered, low-cost, open source cellular network that’s revolutionizing coverage in underprivileged and off-grid spots. It uses VoIP yet works with existing cell phones. It has pedigreed founders. Best of all, it is part of the sex, drugs and art collectively known as Burning Man. Where do you want me to begin?”

Tandy Beal's "HereAfterHere" Ticket Giveaway

HereAfterHere is a multi-media experience that asks the perennial question, “What happens after we die?” GeekSpeak’s Ben Jaffe is doing the media design.

India now wants access to Google, Skype, VPN data

“A day after giving the maker of BlackBerry two months to open its data to authorities, Indian regulators have put all telecom firms on notice that they have “lawful access” to their data. That puts a bull’s-eye on Google’s Gmail, Skype’s VoIP calls and corporate virtual privacy networks."

USB robot

MIDbot is an ultra low cost tele-present and an easy to use Internet Remote Monitoring Robot with interactive robot arm, allows one to control the robot remotely and globally, with real time video through the common video chatting software Skype or others. Users can see the video, control the movement and robot arm by another computer in network/internet.

Bacteria swarm builds tiny pyramid

The bacteria, of a type known as magnetotactic, contain structures called magnetosomes, which function as a compass. In the presence of a magnetic field, the magnetosomes induce a torque on the bacteria, making them swim according to the direction of the field. Place a magnetic field pointing right and the bacteria will move right. Switch the field to point left and the bacteria will follow suit.

JOIN US for an Ice Cream Social, Saturday 9/4

That’s today! We’re giving away free T-shirts and ice cream! Come visit!

Pooping Robot Needs More Fiber : Discovery News

Self-sustaining robots can do just about anything on their own for days at a time. They can even ingest biomass for energy. The problem is that until now, they couldn’t do anything with the waste from that energy.

That’s why researchers at the Bristol Robotics Lab in England developed an artificial gut for self-sustaining robots to excrete those biomass wastes. Called the Ecobot III, this system allows it to survive for up to seven days, feeding and “watering” itself without human intervention. It even expels its waste into a litter tray once every 24 hours.

To boost security, Facebook adds remote logout

“The social-networking company is rolling out a new security feature that lets users see which computers and devices are logged into their Facebook accounts, and then removing the ones that they don’t want to have access.”

Google Wave becomes Wave in a Box

Google Wave, the social networking service canceled by Google, will morph into an application bundle for real-time collaboration, a Google engineer said this week.

In a blog post, Google Software Engineer Alex North, from the Google Wave Team, said the company had received many inquiries about the future of the open source code and Wave federation protocol. The company has cited a lack of adoption as the reason for Google Wave’s discontinuation last month.

An Internet Kill Switch?

While proponents say an Internet Kill Switch is needed to protect the nation’s power, water and banking grids, what it really is is a way to control the flow of information. Experts have said that the nation’s power and water grids are not connected directly to the Internet.

Facebook Testing New “Subscribe To” User Feature

Facebook is in the process of testing a new feature which lets you subscribe to all the actions of a specific user. In other words, you can receive notifications anytime a specific user takes an action on Facebook. It also appears to be Facebook’s answer to Twitter’s follow feature.

Toshiba recalls 41,000 computers

Toshiba has announced the voluntary recall of about 41,000 notebook computers worldwide at risk of overheating and burning users.
The recalled models are the Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130 notebook computers, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Oxford English Dictionary Could Go Out Of Print; Thanks Internet

It weighs in at more than 130 pounds, but the authoritative guide to the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, may eventually slim down to nothing. Oxford University Press, the publisher, said Sunday so many people prefer to look up words using its online product that it’s uncertain whether the 126-year-old dictionary’s next edition will be printed on paper at all.

iPhone Jailbreaking - The Firmware Umbrella

Although it may be tempting to update to iOS 4.1 when it comes out, make sure you pay heed to the Dev Team warnings.

Canon develops world's largest CMOS sensor

Canon has announced it has developed the world’s largest CMOS sensor measuring 202 × 205mm. Approximately 40 times the size of Canon’s largest commercial CMOS sensor, it captures images with 1/100th the amount of light required by an SLR camera. Its advanced circuitry allows video recording at 60 frames per second with 0.3 lux illumination that according to the company is roughly one-half the brightness of a moonlit night. There is currently no information about the sensor’s resolution. This follows last week’s development announcement of Canon’s 120 megapixel 29.2 × 20.2mm APS-H CMOS sensor.

Canon unveils 120-megapixel camera sensor

Canon claims to have developed a digital camera sensor with a staggering 120-megapixel resolution. The APS-H sensor – which is the same type that is used in Canon’s professional EOS-1D cameras – boasts a ridiculous resolution of 13,280 × 9,184 pixels. The CMOS sensor is so densely packed with pixels that it can capture full HD video on just one-sixtieth of the total surface area.