GeekSpeak for 2014-12-27

Stressed Lizards are all Thumbs

Teaser medium

Amazon shares some interesting numbers, XBox and PS4 networks saved by Kim.com and more weekly geeky news.

XBox and PS4 networks taken down by Lizard Squad on Christmas Day

On the day after Christmas — when millions wanted to test drive new video game systems or games — service remained spotty on Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network. Kim Dot Com offers lifetime vouchers for MegaPrivacy to Lizard Squad in exchange for the group stopping it’s DDOS attack.

We also chatted about great indie-games:

Stress makes us work harder for pleasurable rewards, but doesn't make us appreciate them more - Boing Boing

A new study from researchers at the University of Geneva suggests that while stress can cause us to work very, very hard to achieve rewards, being stressed out doesn’t help us enjoy those rewards.

Amazon Sales Update

The gift-giving season was very good to Amazon, judging by the e-commerce giant’s holiday tallies. It boasted some eye-opening wins, and a revealing look at what and how we shopped during the holidays.
Chromebooks Were The Best-Selling Computers On Amazon For The Second Holiday In A Row
 

Facebook's “Your Year In Review”

It may not be possible to reliably pre-detect whether a person wants to see their year in review, but it’s not at all hard to ask politely—empathetically—if it’s something they want.  That’s an easily-solvable problem.  Had the app been designed with worst-case scenarios in mind, it probably would have been.

Google Algorithmic House Numbers

Google can identify and transcribe all the views it has of street numbers in France in less than an hour, thanks to a neural network that’s just as good as human operators. In January, its engineers revealed how they developed it.

NASA 'Emails' a Socket Wrench To the ISS

Sarah LeTrent reports at CNN that NASA just emailed the design of a socket wrench to astronauts so that they could print it out in the orbit.

Thumb Typing Is Changing Our Brains

Smartphones are changing us, at least according to researchers at the Institute of Neuroinformatics of the University of Zurich. It seems that as we moved from phones with buttons – Blackberrys and even feature phones – the parts of our brain associated with the thumbs are changing thanks to increased screen typing activity.

The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won’t look like little green men, or spiny insectoids. It’s likely they won’t be biological creatures at all, but rather, advanced robots that outstrip our intelligence in every conceivable way.

Illusion Coating Hides Objects

Researchers have developed a new ‘illusion coating’ that could hide things by making them look like something else or even completely disappear.


The geeks welcome intern Chandler Moeller