Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let's learn judo with Vladamir Putin!

Russia's Prime Minister also just got a tiger cub for his 56th birthday yesterday.

The dude's a badass.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

He tried to find a job in science but failed. So he went to work at the car dealership.

"I got a hard luck story," says Doug Prasher.

He gave away the gene for the protein that, that he discoverd, and later led to the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year by a group of there scientists that didn't include him.

Prasher doesn't have any regrets about giving away the gene. Tsien and Chalfie did great work, he says, which he probably couldn't have done because the National Institutes of Health had rejected his funding proposals.

"At that time, I knew I was going to get out of it; my funding had already run out," Prasher says.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Morph Monkey Spreads Chlamydia On Facebook

"A new app from the American Social Health Association aims to spread Chlamydia on Facebook to raise awareness of the disease."

I always thought spyware was the first unofficial internet STD - It's the "Browser Clap" picked up from shady domains.

read more at Techcrunch (source) | digg it here

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Thoroughbred Germs Make Gas From Garbage

Imagine converting virtually any waste--grass, municipal waste, old tires, wood chips--into fuel for your car. A company called Coskata claims it can do this using a patented bioreactor and anaerobic microbes found in nature.

Unlike corn ethanol refining, Coskata's process essentially vaporizes, or gasifies the feed stock, and their patented colonies of bacteria are fed the gas created, and then emit ethanol as a byproduct. The science behind the process comes from Oklahoma State and the University of Oklahoma, and was developed and perfected at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

Yesterday, the company announced a 40,000 gallon per year "demonstration plant" ethanol facility. It is estimated that they will be able to produce automobile fuel at wholesale sale cost for $1.00 per gallon. (Retail cost would likely be closer to $2.00 per gallon, but that's still an enormous savings from current prices of approx $3.75 per gallon/US.)

By 2011, they plan on having a 50-100 million gallon per year facility.

The smart money is behind them too, including General Motors and Koshla Ventures (Sun Co-founder's VC firm) The long term business plans of Coskata is to license their technology and colonies of "thoroughbred germs" to other companies who can build refineries and produce large amounts of low-cost biofuel.

read more | digg story

Friday, March 21, 2008

Deer Blogging Their location using GPS, cellphones, and free Google Products

A buck named Thor is the latest member of the animal kingdom to take up blogging. He and two other Bambi-bloggers named Laura and Kelsy are part of a deer research project at Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania that is tracking and automatically mapping their location in blogger, Google Maps, and Google Earth.

What's really cool about this project is the researchers ingenious use of email/sms & entirely free Google products-working in concert with one another- to accomplish this.

Every 5 minutes, Thor's GPS location is sent from the cellphone on his collar via SMS to a gmail account. The gmail account auto-forwards these messages as blog posts here. This Blogger account is tied into this Google Spreadsheet, that through some google-hackery and error-checking, automatically feeds Thor's location data to a Google Map (below) AND to a this Google Earth KML file that auto-updates. Detailed and Step-by-step instructions of this new "Mail-to-Map" hack can be found here.

View Larger Map

It's not entirely clear from the College's website what the purpose of the research is, or for how long they will be tracking the deer. As pointed out elsewhere, one wonders for how long the GPS/Cellphone units will hold power, or if the deer will meet their demise from a local hunter.

In any case, there appear to be at least 2 "firsts" here: Non-human members of the animal kingdom blogging and the invention of a free "mail-to-map" hack/application using all Google services. Well Done, "Siberian!"

Digg this Story Here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Data Art: The Sheep Market

"Artist Aaron Koblin's phalanx of 10,000 sheep, all drawn by random strangers through Amazon's labor distribution mechanism, The Mechanical Turk. Koblin's goal was to raise questions about the emergence of new labor systems in the information age"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Techmeme over Time lapse

Digitial Inspiration has a great video up here of Techmeme screen shots animated over 50 hours in 50 seconds. It shows how blog posts move up through the homepage of this memetracker over time.