GeekSpeak for 2011-04-09

Black Hole Submarine Not Worth Saving

One trillion sun star death, submarine [DARPA|Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] game, Film history of UIs, the new Commodore 64, more news and calls from our listeners about their computer woes.

The $100 USB Stick Your Boss Can Use To Find Your Porn

The $100 USB Stick Your Boss Can Use To Find Your Porn
Apr. 7 2011 – 1:43 pm | 20,476 views | 1 recommendation | 2 comments
By MARC WEBER TOBIAS

The Paraben Porn Stick detected this test image on my computer after scanning for pornography employing a sophisticated program embedded on a USB drive.

If you are among the growing legion of porn addicts that spend your employer’s time or resources viewing and downloading graphic images, be very afraid. There is a new tool your boss (or spouse) can use to catch you. It’s a $100 USB stick that plugs into your PC and unmasks abuses and exposes your addictions without leaving a trace it was there.

Play This Submarine Strategy Game and Help the U.S. Navy

Owen Good — Play This Submarine Strategy Game and Help the U.S. NavyThe U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which some may recognize as a founding father of the Internet, is developing antisubmarine warfare drones and has released a video game hoping to crowdsource some of the tactical AI behind them.

The ACTUV Tactics Simulator, released by DARPA just a few days ago, is a simulator challenging players to “keep track of elusive submarines” in ways that have “never been thought of before.”

DARPA | DARPA ACTUV

The DARPA ACTUV program is developing a fundamentally new tool for the Navy’s ASW toolkit. Before we can develop the autonomous software that will run on ACTUV’s computers, we need to understand what approaches and methods are the most effective. We have made arrangements for ACTUV to be integrated into the Sonalysts Combat Simulations Dangerous WatersTM game, and we’re offering this new ACTUV Tactics Simulator here for free public download and this is where you can play an import role!

A History of UIs in Film

A visual study of computer GUI in cinema. Examples of computer screens in movies over the years.

The New Commodore 64

“Now, nearly 30 years later, the Commodore brand has taken on new management and is re-releasing its flagship computer, this time with all the amenities of a modern-day computer packed inside.”

The oddest places to find Linux

Linux fanfare

Open source isn’t just a license or a coding methodology, to many it’s a religion. And the central prayer of that religion is an ode to Linux. In the spirit of such love, Linux has begun to sprout up everywhere. Here’s a compilation of some of the more surprising places you’ll find this beloved operating system.

Star Torn Apart by a Black Hole

“The event was labeled GRB 110328A –a gamma-ray burst seen in 2011, third month (March) on the 28th day (in other words, last week). Normal gamma-ray bursts are when supermassive stars collapse (or ultra-dense neutron stars merge) to form a black hole. This releases a titanic amount of energy, which can be seen clear across the Universe.”

Tenure Awarded Based in Part on Wikipedia Contributions

“Michel Aaij’s Wikipedia resume is impressive — more than 60,000 edits, a couple of Good Articles, a Featured List, almost 150 Did You Knows. But there’s one credit he’s most proud of: tenure.”

Hairy-nosed Wombat May Not Be Worth Saving

“Researchers have created a new tool to prioritise the conservation of endangered species and say it is likely to fire debate over which species to bring back from the brink and which to cut loose.”

The 65 mpg Ford the U.S. Can't Have - BusinessWeek

If ever there was a car made for the times, this would seem to be it: a sporty subcompact that seats five, offers a navigation system, and gets a whopping 65 miles to the gallon. Oh yes, and the car is made by Ford Motor (F), known widely for lumbering gas hogs.

Ford’s 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic goes on sale in November. But here’s the catch: Despite the car’s potential to transform Ford’s image and help it compete with Toyota Motor™ and Honda Motor (HMC) in its home market, the company will sell the little fuel sipper only in Europe. “We know it’s an awesome vehicle,” says Ford America President Mark Fields. “But there are business reasons why we can’t sell it in the U.S.” The main one: The Fiesta ECOnetic runs on diesel.

Silent Film App Can Make You a Techie Charlie Chaplin

Nothing adds nostalgia to a just-taken iPhone video like retro visual effects and silent film-inspired title cards.

The Silent Film Director app for iPhones can transform any video you take into a ’60s-style home movie or a 1920s-esque silent film, taking that Instagram effect and amping it up a few notches.

The app is available in Standard and Pro versions. With the Standard version, you can record or upload video and render it with a variety of video effects (including Black & White, ’70s Home Video and Sepia), add a soundtrack (default, or your own), and adjust the playing speed and quality of the video. With the Pro version, you get additional advanced features like title cards and transitions, and the ability to mix photos and video with separate effects.

Iconic 1980s Commodore 64 computer lives

LOS ANGELES, April 8 (UPI) — The iconic Commodore 64 computer from the early 1980s is back, looking the same but with all-new up-to-date technology under the hood, company officials say.

It’s still beige, still looks like a giant keyboard with fully-functional computer sitting underneath, but the technological heart beating inside is all new, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.