GeekSpeak for 2011-07-09

Rare Earth Space Kindles

Rare Earth minerals discovered on the ocean floor, the Space Shuttle launches its final mission, and more while Ben and Miles take your calls.

Turning Radio Waves into Power

“Researchers at Georgia Tech have found a way to harvest energy from electromagnetic waves in the air. The harvesting devices are produced using an inkjet printer and can collect small amounts of power from a wide band of frequencies—everything from FM radio up to radar.”

Japan Finds Rare Earths in Pacific Seabed

“Japanese researchers say they have discovered vast deposits of rare earth minerals, used in many hi-tech appliances, in the seabed.”

New Facebook Scam Takes Advantage of Video Calling

Facebook scams and viruses grow by the day, so it’s no surprise scammers are taking advantage of the new video calling feature.
Sophos’ Naked Security blog reports that the newest Facebook scam makes Video Chat look like an application called Video Call, as seen in the screenshot below. That, in turn, tricks users to be “easily convinced to approve the application to have more liberal permissions.”

STS-135: Atlantis dodges weather and launches one final time

Following was Atlantis’ last – and rather eventful – final full day at Launch Pad 39A, STS-135 has launched into orbit. After beating the odds on the weather front, a hold at T-31 seconds – related to the GOX Vent Hood retraction – was soon resolved, allowing Atlantis to blast off into the heavens via what appears to be a flawless ascent.

Mashable - The Social Media Guide

Artist Kyle McDonald installed a program on computers in two New York Apple Store locations that automatically takes a photo every minute. Now his personal computers have been confiscated by the U.S. Secret Service.

Google Map downloads Cut the Data Cord

Google Maps has received a new experimental Labs add-on today that may simplify your life in areas with little to no Wi-Fi or data.
The “Download map area” add-on in the new Google Maps 5.7 for Android will store a map for a specific area you’re trying to visit. You’ll have to plan in advance with this tool, and downloading a map will take some time and storage space, but it beats lugging around a guide book, or worrying about getting enough signal in a trouble spot.

Facebook announces video calling, powered by Skype

As rumored and anticipated, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg today announced video calling, powered by Skype. The company also revealed other chat improvements, including an option to see the friends you message most and group chat, plus confirmed that it now has 750 million users. You can watch the whole announcement here.

While Facebook admitted that video chat has been around for years now, the company emphasized that it’s still not an everyday activity for most people. Sometimes it’s too difficult to set up, or the friends you want to talk to are on different services. As a result, a few months ago Facebook started working with Skype to bring video calling to the social network.


! Today’s Geek Bit

Philanthropist [Bill Gates discusses energy production|http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html] on TED.
Google Maps App for Android will [download and cache offline maps|http://news.cnet.com/8301-17939_109-20077714-2/google-map-downloads-cut-the-data-cord/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20].