GeekSpeak for 2014-02-08

The Game of Tech Life

Teaser medium

A contestant uses game theory to win at jeopardy. Also, boost your tech literacy to keep companies from gaming you.

Speech Recognition in Linux

Here is the wikipedia article on speech recognition in linux.

Atlas of US Historical Geography Digitized

“Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright’s Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932, has been digitized by The Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond. From the website: ‘Here you will find one of the greatest historical atlases: Charles O. Paullin and John K. Wright’s Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, first published in 1932. This digital edition reproduces all of the atlas’s nearly 700 maps. Many of these beautiful maps are enhanced here in ways impossible in print, animated to show change over time or made clickable to view the underlying data—remarkable maps produced eight decades ago with the functionality of the twenty-first century.’”

Water is Cool

Ben’s notes on how cool water is!

Evaporation
gas phase – water vapor
water vapor is lighter than air, and makes convection currents

The clouds are made of water! Then sometimes, like today it condenses back into a liquid, and falls from the sky.

And it has all these cool properties about it
It’s a really good solvent – you can dissolve most things in it
it occupies more space as a solid than as a liquid – ice floats

Pure water is necessary to most animals (drinking)

But water is everywhere
covers 70% of the planet
makes up 55-78% of the human body
from low to high, women-men-children-babies

Heavy water
Only known chemical substance that messes with circadian oscillations, from plants, insects, birds, small mammals
Deuterium (1 neutron) isotope of Hydrogen
free neutron from deuterium in the heavy water molecule breaks off, when the neutrino hits it. That neutron is absorbed by the chlorine in the NaCl (salt), which then emits a gamma ray, which we then detect. Cool!

This Insanely Loud Sound System Can Actually Kill You

Being shot into space puts spacecraft under extreme stress—but did you know that the sound of the rocket launch can damage a craft? Inside the Large European Acoustic Facility, engineers recreate the incredible noise of a launch to make sure satellites can survive it. According to the ESA, “no human could survive” the sound.

Lightning bolts love wind turbines a little too much

“The engineers and operators who run wind turbines are acutely aware that one can easily have too much of a good thing. Windy days mean lots of generation, but the turbines can be severely damaged if the wind velocity is too great, so they must be carefully managed. That’s not the only thing a wind turbine has to look out for, though. Being such tall objects, they stick their heads high above their surroundings, and in doing so they are likely targets for lightning strikes. Most of the time, that electrical energy is safely carried to the ground with the turbine no worse for the experience, but certain types of powerful lightning strikes can result in costly damage.”

Caller Jerry from Marina

Are older laptops that are damaged worth repairing?

We suggested Ubuntu or Windows 7 – and using an external CD drive (USB) if your laptop’s drive is bad.

Republicans Using Fake Websites To Trick Donors Is Just The Start

“He was then notified that his donation had actually gone to her opponent – as he explained to Tampa Bay Times, he had been the victim of an elaborate scheme by National Republican Congressional Committee to trick voters into donating money to the wrong party.”

Kentucky Senate passes bill to let computer programming satisfy foreign-language requirement

“The Kentucky Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would count computer programming classes toward fulfilling foreign-language requirements in public schools.”

New bill demands that smartphones have “kill switch” in case of theft

“A California state legislator has introduced SB 962, a bill that would require smartphones sold in the state to include a ‘kill switch’ that would ‘render inoperable’ the phone if it’s not in the possession of the rightful owner.”

Audience Jeers Contestant Who Uses Game Theory To Win At 'Jeopardy'

“His playing strategy—jumping around the board instead of running categories straight down, betting odd amounts on Daily Doubles and doing a final wager to tie—has fans calling him a ‘villain’ and ‘smug.’ Other fans are hailing him as a ‘hero’ and ‘swag lord.’”

Astrology Information

This link explains the gravitational affect of the moon and the planets, and the differences between them.