Patented Billboard Shows Skydiving Rats- Live!

GeekSpeak for 2013-03-02

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Billboards collecting water, parachute in poison rats to kill snakes, re-use old phones for video cams, Pandora restrictions, patent lawsuits, thermochromotic fashion, sports gadget, calls, and more with Al Luckow and Lyle Troxell.


AL
A feed of us in the Air Room - KooZoo, What to do with an old smartphone

Tak a look at us real-time!

  • Well, not any more! We went off line after the show.

Broadcast a video snippet so everyone can see what it’s like where you are. Or share a 24/7 view of what’s going on outside your home or office window.

LT
Will Poisoned Mice Solve Guam's Snake Problem?

Before the airdrop, the dead mice will have their bodies stuffed with Tylenol (acetaminophen), which is toxic to the snakes, according to the Guardian. Wait — it gets weirder still. Each mouse will be fitted with a tiny parachute so they’ll be more likely to get snagged in trees where the snakes live. That will also reduce the risk that the dead mice will poison other animals.

LT
Go Learn about new Patent Legislation

The SHIELD Act (H.R. 845), introduced into the House by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), is the first bill of its kind to target nasty patent trolls.

Patent trolls are entities that don’t create anything themselves, but instead buy up patents and use them offensively. Making broad claims of infringement based on patents of questionable validity is the troll’s favorite move. Most defendants choose to settle because patent litigation is risky and expensive—and trolls offer settlement amounts that, although still incredibly burdensome, are far cheaper than a lawsuit. Businesses lose both time and money, and innovation suffers.

AL
Dragon Box - learn algebra by playing a fun game

Teach your kids algebra by them playing this fun game.

LT
Big Dog Tosses Stuff!

Take a look at this amazing Video of Big Dog tossing a Cinder Block.

AL
Billboard converts desert air into drinking water

An advertising agency has created what it’s calling the world’s first billboard that converts air into drinking water.
The billboard—a collaboration between agency Mayo DraftFCB and Peru’s University of Engineering and Technology—was placed in Peru’s rain-starved desert capital, Lima. Lima gets less than an inch of rain per year on average, but since the city’s humidity hovers around 98 percent, generators attached to the structure are able to capture atmospheric moisture, filter it and produce potable water.

AL
Samsung Loses Bid to Block iPad, iPhone in Japan

Samsung came up short in its bid to block sales of Apple’s iPads and iPhones in Japan. The Tokyo District Court ruled Thursday that Apple’s iOS devices do not infringe a Samsung patent on wireless transmission technology, and that the Korean company has no right to seek damages against Apple, let alone a sales ban. Samsung said it was “disappointed that our argument was not accepted by the court.”

AL
Pandora to Introduce 40-Hour Monthly Limit on Free Mobile Listening

bq.Pandora said it will introduce a 40-hours-per-month limit on free mobile listening, as the Internet radio company looks to manage rising royalty costs. The company said that listeners who reach the 40-hour mobile listening limit can pay 99 cents for unlimited listening for the remainder of that month or can listen for free for as many hours as desired on desktop and laptop computers. Users can also subscribe to Pandora One for unlimited listening and no advertising. The company said it will alert listeners that start getting close to the 40 hour limit.

AL
What Happens When You Try to Skydive With an Umbrella

Mary Poppins flew with a magical umbrella, but can you actually soar with one real life? Pretty much—provided you have the right umbrella, which pro skiier Eric Roner did. He captured the crazy feat with a GoPro (Hero 3). Roner cuts loose from the bottom of a hot air balloon holding an insane umbrella contraption, and your stomach drops with him. He didn’t pilot his parasol all the way to the ground, but can you blame him? You ever try landing an umbrella? [GoPro]

AL
Thermochromic Jeans Changes Colors with Heat

Here’s another off the wall pants idea from Naked and Famous Denim, the craziest jeans company in the entire world: Thermo-chromic denim. Jeans that change color depending on the temperature. Meaning if you get hot in certain areas (yeah, that too), the pants get whiter.

Naked and Famous have made its name in being the Willy Wonka of denim. Instead of regular, vanilla indigo, Naked and Famous have done glow in the dark jeans, scratch-n-sniff denim, jeans made with denim so heavy they could stand on their own and more. It’s almost surprising that Naked and Famous didn’t make these thermochromic selvedge jeans sooner. The way the color changing pants work is like those color changing T-shirts from the ‘80s, the jeans are made using “a thermochromic dyestuff that has a molecule inside, which changes color based on its temperature range. The jeans start blue and become white with heat.” It doesn’t just react to body parts either, if the temperature is ridiculously hot, you’ll have a pair of white pants. If it cools down, it’ll revert back to blue. Check out how the jeans can change colors by just placing your hand on someone’s butt:
It’s fun to get hot now. $240 [Barneys, Naked and Famous]

AL
OpenTable now competing with Facebook Graph, releases new Facebook app ‘Places I’ve Eaten’

OpenTable has released a Facebook application to help friends connect around food. Places I’ve Eaten will let diners rate restaurants, see where friends are dining, and find great places for dining out. My question: won’t Facebook Graph support this kind of thing natively? The app is basic and beautiful, providing a gorgeous full-screen window into the restaurants you and your friends visit, with large images, a map view, and simple ratings capability. You can share recommendations, discover new spots, and yes, memorialize your inner gourmet.

AL
Rodent Mind Meld: Scientists Wire Two Rats’ Brains Together

It’s not exactly a Vulcan mind meld, but it’s not far off. Scientists have wired the brains of two rats together and shown that signals from one rat’s brain can help the second rat solve a problem it would otherwise have no clue how to solve.
The rats were in different cages with no way to communicate other than through the electrodes implanted in their brains. The transfer of information from brain to brain even worked with two rats separated by thousands of kilometers, one in a lab in North Carolina and another in a lab in Brazil.
“We basically created a computational unit out of two brains,” says neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University, who led the study.

AL
Football Cam Gives Balls-Eye View

Interesting method of fixing rotating video. Pretty neat device

AL
Robotic Exoskeleton Gets Safety Green Light

A robot suit that can help the elderly or disabled get around was given its global safety certificate in Japan on Wednesday, paving the way for its worldwide roll-out.The Hybrid Assistive Limb, or HAL, is a power-assisted pair of legs developed by Japanese robot maker Cyberdyne, which has also developed similar robot arms.

Quality assurance body issued the certificate based on a draft version of an international safety standard for personal robots that is expected to be approved later this year, the ministry for the economy, trade and industry said.