GeekSpeak for 2011-12-10

Fire-Breathing Ponies and Climate Change

The Week in Geek: the rise of the Internet Surveillance state, Unicode for the masses, and more while Jordan, Lindsey, and Miles take your calls and comments.

Impact of hard drive shortage to linger through 2013

Hard disk drive supply shortages in the wake of Thailand flooding will continue to affect consumers, computer system manufacturers and corporate IT shops into 2013, according to market research firm IDC.

Photo tagging with Google+ auto facial recognition

Google has launched another volley directly at Facebook with the announcement of its latest Google+ feature, “Find My Face.”

HP Opens Up webOS Gives The Code To The Open Source Community

HP has announced that webOS will live on as the company plans to “contribute” its fledgling operating system to the open source community.

Is Facebook hiding your messages?

How to find messages filed by Facebook as “Other”.

Shapecatcher.com: Unicode Character Recognition

“This is a tool to help you find Unicode characters. Finding a specific character whose name you don’t know is cumbersome. On shapecatcher.com, all you need to know is the shape of the character!”

Zynga Makes Big Claims With IPO Only a Week Away

“Zynga is making some pretty big promises during its roadshow as it attempts to woo investors ahead of next week’s public offering.”

If The Chinese Censor The Internet, Why Can't The US?

“When the Chinese told Google that they had to block sites or they couldn’t do [business] in their country, they managed to figure out how to block sites.”

Libraries Make Room For High-Tech 'Hackerspaces'

“As information becomes more digital, public libraries are striving to redefine their roles. A small number are working to create ‘hackerspaces,’ where do-it-yourselfers share sophisticated tools and their expertise.”

Kaspersky Dumps Anti-Piracy Group in SOPA Protest

“Security vendor Kaspersky has announced it will withdraw its membership of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) over the group’s support of SOPA. The Russian company, which is famous for its anti-virus products, says the pending legislation will hurt both innovation and consumers. In protest, Kaspersky will end its association with the BSA on January 1st 2012.”

New Approach Gives Same Answer on Climate Change

“The new study, published by researchers from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH in Switzerland, directly examined Earth’s energy balance instead.”

SpaceX poised to make history with space station docking

Hawthorne-based commercial space venture SpaceX is set to send its Dragon space capsule to dock with the $100-billion International Space Station — a feat that’s been accomplished only by the world’s wealthiest nations.

DIY Animatronic Pony

Although this project started life as a FurReal Friends Butterscotch Pony, it was converted into a fire breathing monster by Instructables contributor lvl_joe using, among other things, a flame thrower and some Arduino boards.