GeekSpeak for 2012-11-10

Beluga Whale Reports Narwhal Beats Orca

Political problems in tech, friction discussion, New Bowing 787, Apple awarded design patten ridiculous, MPAA wants inside your home, Steam for Linux and more news plus calls from listeners.

Learn to Program at Code School

Code School, a for-profit endeavor, provides fun classes to learn to program. There are some free classes to see if you like it. Try the git class and see why I love git!

7th Avenue Project

Triumph of the stat geeks. Barack Obama wasn’t the only victor in Tuesday’s presidential election. It was also a big win for the polling analysts who precisely predicted the outcome weeks or months in advance. KUSP’s Robert Pollie talks to two of them, Sam Wang [Wong] of the Princeton Election Consortium and Drew Linzer of Votamatic. How math nerds are putting political pundits to shame, 7th avenue project tomorrow at noon [here on KUSP].

'Project ORCA' May Have Cost Romney The Election

“From the very start there were warning signs. After signing up, you were invited to take part in nightly conference calls. The calls were more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. There was a lot of “rah-rahs” and lofty talk about how this would change the ballgame."

A piezoelectric pacemaker that is powered by your heartbeat

“It sounds like the theoretical impossibility of perpetual motion, but engineers at the University of Michigan have created a pacemaker that is powered by the beating of your heart — no batteries required.”

The new and updated games of Windows 8

“The free games that have been included with the various versions of Windows over the years occupy a unique position in the video game landscape. No one would include them on a list of the best or most influential games of all time, and it’s unlikely any of them have ever acted as a “system seller” to influence someone’s choice of OS.”

Copyright Satife or Copyright Dystopia?

“Six years ago, a satire site wrote a story about how the copyright industry wanted more money if you invited friends to watch a movie in your living room. This notion has now been patented in new technology: automated headcounts coming to a living room near you, to enable new forms of restrictions. Apparently, the copyright industry takes six years to catch up with the very worst satire of it.”

Valve opens Steam for Ubuntu to first wave of beta testers

“After receiving over 60,000 beta applications since last week, Valve has begun sending out the first wave of invites for the Steam for Linux beta today.”

Friction Over Time

Have you ever had the impression that heavy items of furniture start to take root – that after years standing in the same place, they’re harder to slide to a new position? Do your best wine glasses, after standing many months unused in the cabinet, seem slightly stuck to the shelf? Has the fine sand in the kids’ play tray set into a lump?

If so, you’re not just imagining it. The friction between two surfaces in contact with each other does slowly increase over time. But why? A paper by two materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA, suggests that the surfaces could actually be slowly chemically bonding together.

We mentioned Asperty – look it up.

United Airlines becomes first in U.S. to fly Boing 787

United Airlines flew into the aviation history books yesterday, becoming the first U.S. carrier to fly paying passengers on Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.

The flight — United Flight 1116 — departed Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport at 7:20 a.m. CT before touching down at 9:47 a.m. CT in Chicago.

Google.com blocked in China... Again

Nov 9, 2012, http://www.google.com and http://www.google.com.hk were blocked in China.

Solar panel breaks "third of a sun" efficiency barrier

Embattled photovoltaic solar power manufacturer Amonix announced on Tuesday that it has broken the solar module efficiency record, becoming the first manufacturer to convert more than a third of incoming light energy into electricity – a goal once branded “one third of a sun” in a Department of Energy initiative. The Amonix module clocked an efficiency rating of 33.5 percent.

During a period of testing by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory back in May, a peak efficiency of 34.2 percent was achieved, which Amonix claims is the highest ever reached by a PV module under real-world conditions.

GeekBit: The Whale that "Talked"

The beluga’s caretakers had heard what sounded like garbled phrases emanating from the enclosure before, and it suddenly dawned on them that the whale might be imitating the voices of his human handlers.

Cyclic Vacuum Cannon - cool coding art project

James Paterson’s new project is so cool! Animation, programing, drawing, use of Git, open source development of digital art. Sweet! #js #danm – I have to remember to make this my Geek Bit this week.