Orbiting Gold Artifacts in the Rough

Teaser medium

5 billion-year old gold photo album, brewing beer with cheap tech, purple flare on the iPhone 5, and more in the Week in Geek.

The coming Internet video crash

People are still getting used to the notion that unlimited data plans are dead and gone for their smartphones. The option wasn’t even offered for tablets. Now, we’re beginning to see the eradication of the unlimited data plan in our broadband lines, such as cable and DSL connections. It’s a dangerous trend that will threaten the budding Internet-based video business — whether from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, Windows Store, or Google Play — then jeopardize Internet services of all sorts.

iPhone 5 users complain about purple photos

Some iPhone 5 users are complaining that a burst of purple is showing up in their photos — and Apple seems to be acknowledging it’s just part of how the camera works. Since Apple’s new smartphone was released just over a week ago, some of the millions of users have reported that, when a strong source of light is present in their photographs, the light takes on a purple hue.

Oracle and Nokia strike mapping deal

Nokia and Oracle have joined forces on mapping, with details of the deal to be announced at the Oracle OpenWorld conference on Monday. To differentiate its smartphones from the competition, Nokia is betting big on location as well as imaging technology. Oracle is expected to add Nokia’s mapping technology to its applications.

Artist's project to blast gold-plated artifact disc into orbit

“The problem: You want to send images into space and you want them to last 5 billion years. The solution: A gold-plated disc.”

A tech support scammer dials Ars Technica

“Cold caller from “Windows Technical Support” asks for remote access to my PC."

BrewPi released!

“BrewPi is an open source fermentation controller that runs on an Arduino (for now) and a Raspberry Pi. It can control your beer temperature with 0.1 degree precision, log temperature data in nice graphs and is fully configurable from a web interface.”

Telecom wants Kansas City to give them Google Fiber-style deal

“Incumbents argue that Google got unfair advantages in tax benefits, subsidies.”

Feedback from a Russian Listener

To clarify your concern about launching rockets from Kazakhstan:
I hope yo didn’t think that when Russians launch spacecraft the do it in Moscow (just like launching Shuttle from Washington, D.C.).
The reason for launching from Baikonur, Kazakhstan is the same as launching from Florida (Launch Pad) instead of Texas (Ground Control) – closer to the Equator – allows for greater boost in orbit speed (http://science.howstuffworks.com/satellite2.htm).
Even though Kazakhstan is not a part of USSR (which has fallen apart), Russia still has trade relationships with Kazakhstan to use the infrastructure already in place.
You should check out info on Baikonur – the first manned space flight, all of the ISS Russian missions, etc. – it’s pretty cool – it was built during the cold war scare in record time.


Your devoted Russian listener,

Miles Response

Hi Ilya,

It wasn’t a concern per se. I didn’t intend to imply something nefarious or appear xenophobic. Since Kazakhstan was a breakaway state, I had assumed the Russians—whom the US now turns to for manned space flights and heavy lifting—would launch from their own, still quite vast territory.

It makes sense that they would have infrastructure in other countries and maintain good relations. I just didn’t think of it in the moment.

Thanks for listening and teaching us something new!


Miles Elam