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An Orchestra at Your Fingertips September 24, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Geek Stuff, Music, Star Trek Technology, Toys, Video.
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Lots of interesting things are happening with the Leap Motion controller.  I got a beta of this sucker and haven’t really had time to play with it (at the level I would like), but plenty of others have developed a lot of interesting software capabilities for it.  GECO here has; watch the video and be in awe.

It only needs to be made even more intuitive.


We are getting there.  Be patient.

Intersection of Anarchy and Capitalism September 24, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Uncategorizable.
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From the NoiseBridge hackerspace mailing list:

Last night (Monday) was a hopping night at Noisebridge, as it often is.  Lots of happy people soldering, learning how to make websites, playing with LED lighting, and lots of other cool things.  And a bunch of people donated cash into our donation box.
When I went home, I grabbed the cash from the donation bin.  Someone had put in a $100 bill, inside of an envelope.
Today, I went to Wells Fargo Bank to deposit all the cash, and the teller looked at the $100 bill kinda funny.  "I hope that is real", I said.  He said, "I don’t think it is.  Let me show it to my manager."  She was on the phone, but in less than a glance, she waved her finger and shook her head.  It was counterfeit!  I wish they didn’t have to keep the bill, otherwise I’d give a photo of it.  The printing was really good!  But it was missing a watermark, and though they added a little strip inside the bill, the strip was not perpendicular to the edges of the bill.
So, the teller deposited the rest of the $53 into the Noisebridge account.  "Thanks for taking this so well.", the teller said.

Another replied:

I just hope nobody "made change" and took $100 worth of twenties when they put that fake bill in there.

Damn, This Guy is Geeky September 23, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Music, Science, Star Trek Technology, Uncategorizable, Video.
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Tim Blaine is the  guy who whomped up the preceding video, which turns out not to have been his first (big surprise.  Nobody gets that good without some practice).  Here’s his first.

Very smooth, yet complex like a good scotch.

Best Parody of Bohemian Rhapsody Possible September 18, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Music, Science, Uncategorizable, Video.
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This would have been incredible for just the singing and editing BY ONE GUY.  But there is also the fantastic lyrics.  Bloody grand stuff.

Demosthenes Would be Proud September 16, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Geek Stuff, Mutants, Toys, Uncategorizable, Video.
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Oratory at its very finest:  a truly motivated speaker gets to the point very quickly indeed, after eating an habanera pepper.

I would pity her, but I’m pretty sure nobody made her do it.

EXCITING UPDATE:  The Danish National Orchestra did this, with the Tango Jalousie:

Monsters September 16, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Mutants, Science.
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That’s an oarfish, and not even a big one.  A benthic buddy, he gets to 35 feet or so at full-sized, deep-diving bigness.

albino humpback whatle

This is not Moby Dick, but Migaloo, an albino humpback whale.


And this is the very rare carnivorous giraffe, dining (as most carnivores do) on the smallest or weakest of the herd.


Seriously, do not underestimate the savage giraffe.

Clever Title Here—No, Really September 14, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Mutants, Video.
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I find it very fitting that a parody of Star Trek should get the JJ Abrams treatment.:

Still the finest parody of ST ever made, or makeable.

And, since we are making trailers of parodies as serious action cinema:

Can’t do anything about Graham Chapman’s delivery, though.

Les Miserables Improved September 13, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Music, Video.
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I may be the only person I know with modest pretensions to culture who has not seen Les Miserables.  Why the honk should I?  I’m (currently) happy.  Anything which translates to “the wretches” probably could be given a pass without ruining my day.  I did hear a smokin’ hot babe of my then acquaintance belt out a song from it (dramatic as all honk) some twenty-five years ago and never forgot the shivers I got from her song.  Hopefully, this little film clip does NOT have the same effect upon you, my beloved readers.  Both of you.

SALT Talks September 12, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brilliant words, Geek Stuff, Science, Star Trek Technology, Uncategorizable.
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Our Solar System is measured in light minutes.  The nearest stars are light years away.  Is that appalling distance humanity’s prison wall forever?
“The 100-year Starship” is the name of a now-culminating project that
mustered a handful of scientists and science fiction writers to contemplate how Earthlings might, over the coming century, realistically develop the ability to escape our Solar System and travel the light years to others. Participants included scientists such as Freeman Dyson and Martin Rees and writers such as Gregory Benford and Neal Stephenson. The professional futurist in the group was Peter Schwartz, who contributed scenarios playing out four futures of starship ambitions. To his surprise, exploring the scenarios suggested that getting effective star travel over the coming century or two is not a long shot. Even by widely divergent paths, it looks like a near certainty. Schwartz’s talk will report on the exciting work by the 19 participants and spell out the logics of his scenarios. The new book from the
project, Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon, will be
available at the event.
"The Starships ARE Coming," Peter Schwartz, SFJAZZ Center, Hayes Valley,
San Francisco, 7pm, Tuesday, September 17.  The show starts promptly at
To be sure of a seat:

  • Long Now Members can use the discount code on the Schwartz Seminar page to reserve 2 free seats.
  • You can purchase tickets for $15 each.
  • Tune into the live audio stream for Long Now Members at 7:30 PST – become a member for just $8 a month.

Share this talk: Peter Schwartz, "The Starships ARE Coming" Long Now talk on 9/17 http://goo.gl/sE2a4Q

State of the Art in Brain-Computer Interfaces September 11, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science, Star Trek Technology, Toys.
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EECS Colloquium: Wednesday, September 11- Michel
Maharbiz "Neural Dust and Neural Interfaces"
Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series Neural Dust and Neural
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
306 Soda Hall (HP Auditorium)
4:00 – 5:00 pm
3:30 – Refreshments will be served
Michel Maharbiz
Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences
UC Berkeley
A major hurdle in brain-machine interfaces (BMI) is the lack of an implantable neural interface system that remains viable for a lifetime. I will discuss Neural Dust, a concept developed with Elad Alon, Jose Carmena and Jan Rabaey, which explores the fundamental system design trade-offs and ultimate size, power, and bandwidth scaling limits of neural recording systems built from low-power CMOS circuitry coupled with ultrasonic power delivery and backscatter communication. In particular, we propose an ultra-miniature as well as extremely compliant system that enables massive scaling in the number of neural recordings from the brain while providing a path towards truly chronic BMI. These goals are achieved via two fundamental technology innovations: 1) thousands of 10 – 100 \mu m scale, free-floating, independent sensor nodes, or neural dust, that detect and report local extracellular electrophysiological data, and 2) a sub-cranial interrogator that establishes power and communication links with the neural dust. I will also touch on other recent findings in our group, including micro-electrocorticography results which challenge commonly held beliefs on the ultimate resolution limits of this recording modality.


Michel M. Maharbiz is an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley under
Professor Roger T. Howe (EECS) and Professor Jay D. Keasling (ChemE); his
work led to the foundation of Microreactor Technologies, Inc. which was
acquired in 2009 by Pall Corporation. From 2003 to 2007, Michel Maharbiz
was an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is
the co-founder of Tweedle Technologies, Cortera Neurotech and served as
vice-president for product development at Quswami, Inc. from July 2010 to
June 2011.
Prof. Maharbiz is a Bakar Fellow and was the recipient of a 2009 NSF Career
Award for research into developing microfabricated interfaces for synthetic
biology. His group is also known for developing the world?s first remotely
radio-controlled cyborg beetles. This was named one of the top ten emerging
technologies of 2009 by MIT?s Technology Review (TR10) and was in Time
Magazeine?s Top 50 Inventions of 2009. Dr. Maharbiz has been a GE Scholar
and an Intel IMAP Fellow. Professor Maharbiz?s current research interests
include building micro/nano interfaces to cells and organisms and exploring
bio-derived fabrication methods. Michel?s long term goal is understanding
developmental mechanisms as a way to engineer and fabricate machines.

Kindle Paperwhite September 11, 2013

Posted by stuffilikenet in Books, Publishing Tools, Toys.
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New Kindle Paperwhites are on sale (kind of permanently, I think) at Amazon for $119. This is the lit-up-easy-to-read-in-bed-or-camping version.

I am not hinting; my old one works quite well. The only thing I would do differently is to make the Kindle easier to browse through the titles, since I have like a thousand books on mine.


EXCITING UPDATE:  Best Buy has ’em for $99 today.  02-10-2014, that is