GeekSpeak for 2012-05-26

Superhydrophobic or Raspberry Pink Dogs

Tractor Beams, SpaceX to ISS, eyes change, security expert tricks trickers, Real Life Tony Stark, “you are more wrong then you thought you are”, and much more with Miles, Ben and Lyle.

Tractor Beams!

Last year, we looked at three potential “tractor beam” technologies being evaluated by NASA to deliver planetary or atmospheric particles to a robotic rover or orbiting spacecraft. At the time, the third of these, which involved the use of a Bessel beam, only existed on paper. Researchers at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have now proven the theory behind the concept, demonstrating how a tractor beam can be realized in the real world – albeit on a very small scale.

SpaceX Docks With the ISS

Up until now, sending a spacecraft to the space station has been a feat that has only been accomplished by four of the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced governments: the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Union.

MIT creates superhydrophobic coating for condiment bottles

Why do we need a non-slip coating on food packaging? Well, have you ever tried to get the last few drops of ketchup or mayonnaise out of a bottle? It’s impossible without you start scooping the substance out with a spoon, and even then you can’t get all of it. Put a non-stick coating on the inside of the bottle though, and the problem disappears.

Ageing eyes hinder biometric scans

Identifying people by scanning the irises of their eyes may not be as reliable as some governments and the public might think. That’s according to new research suggesting that irises, rather than being stable over a lifetime, are susceptible to ageing effects that steadily change their appearance over time.

Revisiting why incompetents think they’re awesome

“In 1999 a pair of researchers published a paper called ‘Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments (PDF).’ David Dunning and Justin Kruger (both at Cornell University’s Department of Psychology at the time) conducted a series of four studies showing that, in certain cases, people who are very bad at something think they are actually pretty good. They showed that to assess your own expertise at something, you need to have a certain amount of expertise already.”

Real-Life ‘Tony Stark’ Builds Motorcycle From A Broken Car

“Why? Leray turned his broken down car into a working motorcycle to escape the desert of northwest Africa—with only the contents of a simple toolbox and hacksaw.”

Fox, NBCUniversal sue Dish over ad-skipping DVR service

“Fox and NBCUniversal have both separately sued Dish Network in a Los Angeles federal court over its new service that lets consumers skip TV ads. Dish’s AutoHop service, which debuted earlier this month, has ‘irked’ entertainment executives, according to the Associated Press.”

New Jersey mayor, son, arrested for nuked recall website

“The mayor of a small New Jersey hamlet has been arrested, along with his son, on federal charges that they shut down a website advocating the mayor’s recall after breaking into the online accounts of political foes.”

Security Expert Fools, Records Fake Antivirus Scammers

“Phony AV scammers posing as Microsoft dialed the wrong number when they inadvertently phoned a security researcher at home — who exposed their obvious lack of technical know-how.”