GeekSpeak for 2015-03-07

Git Renders Spock in Holographic Pi

Teaser medium

This pledge show episode: GitLab and Renderman, Spock-ifing CA money, Google Facts ranking, Art-Feminisim Wikipedia edit day and much more.

GitLab Acquires Rival Gitorious

Code hosting and collaboration platform for software developers GitLab has announced its acquisition of Gitorious, the first Git repository management system, launched back in 2007.

Renderman goes free

Pixar has announced that RenderMan will be free for non-commercial usage. Examples of non-commercial use-cases include evaluations, personal learning, experimentation, research, and the development of tools and plug-ins for RenderMan.

Oh, this ol' Spockadoodle? Been doin' it for years...

Leonard Nimoy’s death highlights a classic Canadian $5 parlor trick — doodling on former Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier’s likeness to transform him into a Vulcan. It annoys the Bank of Canada, but this week they confirmed it’s not illiegal, so hosers everywhere will continue to boldly go for the sharpie.

Meanwhile, says guest Meadhbh Hamrick, “still a judgement call in the united states as to whether it’s defacement. So if you’re a minority or poor, you should probably avoid it.”

Google Ranking modified by Facts

Google has released a research paper: Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Sources which shows a way of using a large knowledge vault to check facts on a website and if the site has many “false” facts. It seems that Google plans to use this research to implement ranking modifications based on this fact info.

Happy Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon day!

Today, in 55+ locations around the world, the ladies are fixing Wikipedia for you.

Wikipedia’s problems with gender distribution are legendary, and a 2011 survey by the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 8.5% of contributors were female. This has led (by default) to a paucity of entries on seminal women—especially in the arts. To help rectify this, on March 7th, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will turn the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Education and Research Building into mission control for a vast international effort to help promote, create, and edit articles on female artists and movements.

PI DAY!!!! W0000T!!!!

In our continuing Pi Day coverage, Guest Meadhbh Hamrick says: Celebrate all things raspberry pi-ish at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View

from the yet another star wars hologram technology department

Guest Meadhbh Hamrick says: …but this one is a diffraction grating on top of a LCD, so in theory, it should be inexpensive & work for more than one person at a time.

Mars' poor water retention

NASA says there used to be much, much more there….so much more!

Lockheed Martin Laser Stops Truck in its Tracks

The company used its 30-kilowatt fiber weapon system known as ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset). The ground-based laser prototype burned through the engine manifold of a mounted truck in mere seconds. The vehicle, hoisted onto a test platform, was running its engine and drive train, simulating a real-life military scenario.

Amanda Palmer continues to experiment with how she is funded

Now she is trying out Patreon, in which people volunteer to pay her to make stuff, and in turn she can give it away for free to everyone else. Funny how close that is to the public radio funding model…

from the "i tried to make a joke about a ridiculous situation and discovered truth is stranger than imagination" department

Guest Meadhbh Hamrick says: …so we all know about superfish and the NSA putting spyware on hard drives, right? so i made the joke “NSA p0wns your hard drive, Lenovo laptops p0wn themselves. what next? insecure firmware in light-bulbs?”
— and then someone sent me this link from last year.

and fwiw, here are the academic papers / presentations re: NSA in hard drives.

Death by World of Warcraft

A police spokesman said: “An autopsy will determine the cause of death but there seems little doubt his playing on the computer for 19 hours instead of resting contributed to his death.”

Funding Environment for Biomedical Research suuuucks

Collins warned that these trends would convince a future generation of researchers that their field was inhospitable. Fewer young scientists would mean fewer scientific discoveries, making it more difficult for companies to profit and for public health authorities to guard against diseases.

Angelina - fab your own daughter-board for a raspberry pi.

Guest Meadhbh Hamrick asks,
“Want to gain serious geek cred? Fab your own printed circuit board. Seriously though, from time to time, if you’re building burning man projects or home sprinkler systems it makes a lot of sense to fab your own PCBs. It’s not nearly as toxic as it used to be (still, don’t go mixing ferric chloride into your martinis) and knowing you CAN fab your own board is pretty effing liberating.

“Angelina is a single-sided printed circuit board design (released
under a creative commons license) that adds 4 switches and 4 LEDs to your raspberry pi. You can get everything you need to make it online or from local stores.”

Changing Brown Eyes to Blue Eyes with Lasers

The only way to change your eye color has been to wear colored contact lenses, but now there’s a new procedure that change brown eyes to blue.


And please don’t forget you too can pledge to KUSP