GeekSpeak for 2011-03-05

Pledge drives don't bug me..

The Geeks intertwine tech news with the pledge drive. Bugs: causing recalls of Mazdas, Having sex in amber, enhancing their bodies with robotics. Problems with Cisco’s routers not supporting IPV6.

40-Million-Year-Old Sex Act Captured in Amber : Discovery News

Forty million years ago, a female mite met an attractive partner, grabbed him with her clingy rear end and began to mate — just before a blob of tree resin fell on the couple, preserving the moment for eternity.

(Side view of a mating pair of the extinct mite Glaesacarus rhombeus, preserved in amber.
Credit for images: Ekaterina Sidorchuk)

The discovery, reported in the latest issue of the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, proves that some female mites are, or at least were, mightier than their mates.

Working RoboRoach

We’ve been busy in the trenches of our R&D department designing a working prototype of the “RoboRoach,” a remote control system to enable left and right turning in running cockroaches. This began as a University of Michigan Senior Engineering Project we sponsored in Winter 2010, and over the past year we’ve incrementally been working to improve it, especially after getting great feedback from our colleagues at the latest Society for Neuroscience conference (thanks Cindy). By taking the small, lightweight control circuitry out of the toy “HEXBug Inchworm” and modifying it with low-power 555 timer chips to create biphasic pulses, we can deliver 55 Hz stimulation to the antennae nerves of large discoid and fuscia cockroaches.

Spider infestation leads to recall of 65,000 Mazdas

Under the heading of strangest recalls ever, Mazda today is weaving the most bizarre of all: 52,000 Mazda6 in the U.S. are being recalled because of possible spider webs. The fear is that they can lead to blockages that will eventually cause fuel tanks to leak.

No One Was Hurt in This Google Maps Plane Crash

Follow this link to a Google Maps shot of Alameda, California, and you’ll see an arresting site: a downed commercial aircraft spewing debris, with its wings snapped into pieces and its hull cut cleanly in half. It looks like a crash perfect enough for a TV show. And in fact that’s just what it was.

Google Insights for Search

Searches for the popularity of a search word

IPv6 on home routers and DSL/cable modems: FAIL

“When it comes to IPv6 support, consumer home networking gear lags far behind other devices, like enterprise equipment and PC operating systems. Most devices certified as IPv6-compliant by the IPv6 Forum are full of implementation bugs, experts say.”

FuzzyUSB.com - USB Hand Warmers

Another crazy USB doo-hickey.

Apple: you must be at least 17 years old to use Opera

This week, the Opera web browser became the first non-native browser made available in Apple’s Mac App Store. While Apple approved the browser, it still managed to hurt its competitor by putting this ridiculous label on it: “You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.”

Web Video Rivalry Sparks U.S. Probe

“The Justice Department is investigating whether a group representing some top technology firms is unfairly trying to smother a free rival technology for delivering online video that is backed by Google Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.”

Visiting your Facebook profile boosts your self-esteem

“Using Facebook can increase your self-esteem, according to a new study from Cornell University researchers, published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Researchers Amy Gonzales and Jeffrey Hancock conducted the experiment with three groups of 21 students each in the university’s Social Media Lab.”


! GeekBit

[Google Art Project |http://www.googleartproject.com/] is a wonderful museum tour system by Google.