Courtesy Victor van WerkhoovenWhat are the most popular PIN numbers people use? What are the least? How can you best ensure that your PIN is something crooks would have a lesser chance of figuring out? This is a pretty neat report that talks about what works, and what doesn't, when selecting a personal identification number to use with some financial or electronic devices. You'd be surprised how often people commonly make mistakes that lead to easy uncovering of their PINs.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: who doesn’t love a good temporary tattoo? There’s something glorious in that
Courtesy J. Rogers, University of Illinoissmall square of paper promising instant, kid-appropriate street-cred; in the anticipation that builds with the 60 agonizing seconds it takes to hold a wet washcloth against your upper arm until you can’t stand it anymore and just have to peek.
Now what if, embedded in your two-day skull and crossbones, there was a computer? One that was soft and pliable and thinner than a strand of hair, and gave your doctor data about your heart function, brain waves, and muscle activity?
Well, wonder no longer, because now it’s possible with the help/distribution of a company called mc10. Will the wonders of nanotechnology never cease?:
According to a recent article by the National Science Foundation: “One of the advantages of the newly created epidermal electronic systems is easy on / easy off application. As this video shows, the electronics have the right physical properties--such as stiffness, bending rigidity, thickness and mass density--to perfectly match to the epidermis.
Courtesy J. Rogers, University of Illinois The systems seamlessly integrate and conform to the surface of the skin in a way that is mechanically invisible to the user, and the devices have the potential to provide a range of healthcare and non-healthcare related functions.”
Anyone else’s Hey!-Wait-Just-a-Minute Alarm go off on “non-healthcare related functions?” A temporary
Courtesy J. Rogers, University of Illinoistattoo/computer tasked with non-healthcare related functions like what, exactly? Curious.
On the up-side, it appears that there might be some fascinating future uses. Again, the National Science Foundation: “The researchers are also exploring clinical approaches, particularly for ailments where sensor size is critical, such as sleep apnea and neonatal care.
“Much further into the future, the researchers hope to incorporate microfluidic devices into their technology, opening up a new arena of electronic bandages and enhanced-functioning skin, potentially accelerating wound healing or treating burns and other skin conditions.”
A 1956 computer hard drive. 5 megabytes -- about what you get on a thumb drive -- and weighing one ton.
Check out this very cool demonstration of Liquid Galaxy. Using eight 1080p HD displays, connected to eight powerful quad-core computers, a 3D mouse, and the already remarkable Google Earth, users can take an unprecedented self-guided, simulated tour of our planet. This amazing set-up can transport you from Paris to Google headquarters in California, or from outer space to beneath Earth’s oceans in a matter of seconds. All in three dimensions, and with a nearly 360° view.
Want one for your media room but don't think you can afford it? No problem - you can now build one yourself because Liquid Galaxy has gone open source. Here's a website that will get you started. Want to delve deeper? Go here.
Courtesy Yutaka Tsutano
I have been waiting for the new iPod Touch. I want a display screen so sharp, it looks like a photograph. The "retina display" creates an image out of pixels that are only 78 nanometers. How small is that? Well, more than 300 of these pixels are packed in each inch. Supposedly this is the limit for human perception, or as some fanboys might say, "It doesn't get any better than this!"
University of Michigan researchers can do better, though, Their paper in Nature Communications titled, Plasmonic nanoresonators for high-resolution colour filtering and spectral imaging explains how pixels of only 10 microns can be produced.
Such pixel densities could make the technology useful in projection displays, as well as wearable, bendable or extremely compact displays, according to the researchers.
The resonators are kind of like a light filter. Two nano thin layers of metal selectively allow light to pass through small sets of slits. The slit spacing determines which wavelength of light makes it through the slits.
Red light emanates from slits set around 360 nanometers apart; green from those about 270 nanometers apart, and blue from those approximately 225 nanometers apart. The differently spaced gratings essentially catch different wavelengths of light and resonantly transmit through the stacks. LinuxForDevices.com
These displays are simpler, use fewer parts, are more efficient, and should be cheaper to make. I am not going to wait, though.
Apple is amazing. Just amazing. They make a computer with apposutely no viruses, they are the creaters of the farms iPod, they release a Hans held touch screen computer like iPad, and they are the maker of the best smart phone ever, but they still get critized for every little mistake! For example if you cover up a part of the new 4th genoration iPhone, you get bad reception! People were very angry at them but they didn't deserve it! They had made an awesome phone with TWO cameras!!! All you needed was a little case anyway! Also everyone critizes their macs for being to expensive! They are pretty much perfact so what do you expect? Apple is a great company and they don't deserve the critizsem that they are getting
Graphene is a single atom thick layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb like arrangement (read more about graphene here in ScienceBuzz.org)
Transistors are like valves that can turn the flow of electricity off and on. Computers can use transistors and logic circuits to solve all kinds of problems. These problems can be solved faster if the transistors can turn on and off faster. Transistors made out of graphene now can switch on and off 100 billion times per second (100 GigaHertz). State-of-the-art silicon transistors of the same gate length have a switching frequency of about 40 GigaHertz.
IBM just announced their breakthrough in the magazine Science.
Uniform and high-quality graphene wafers were synthesized by thermal decomposition of a silicon carbide (SiC) substrate. The graphene transistor itself utilized a metal top-gate architecture and a novel gate insulator stack involving a polymer and a high dielectric constant oxide. The gate length was modest, 240 nanometers, leaving plenty of space for further optimization of its performance by scaling down the gate length. ScienceDaily
Courtesy Brother O'MaraOooh, Facebook. You’re like a little invisible community of invisible robot people. You let us know what our worst enemies are up to these days, what our cousins look like when drunk, and who really identifies with Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” (No, like, really. When the sun shines, we’ll shine together, you know?)
And, of course, you’re turning out to be a fun sociological laboratory.
Remember a year and a half ago when you found out that you were a narcissist for having so many Facebook friends? And you were all, “Whatever. That guy I high-fived in the hotel lobby and I are besties, and he’s a vital friend, and so adding him to my friends list doesn’t mean that I’m just trying to accumulate meaningless social capital by presenting to the world how many people are interested in me in some way.”
And I was all, “Yeah, ok, you’re right.” Because your feelings, even if you are a narcissist, are very important to me, and I didn’t want you to be a sad narcissist.
But you know what else is important to me? Being right. And also science. So check this out: All but 150 of your Facebook friendships are… meaningless!
Say what?! My friendship with the Argentinean with a very similar name to mine is meaningless?
Yes, I’m afraid so. If you’re being honest with yourself, you and Juan Gordon aren’t actually that close.
See, evolutionary anthropologists have found out that humans can keep track of about 150 relationships. And that number is nothing to sneeze at; 150 is a lot of relationships, perhaps the most of any animal.
As the new PBS series, The Human Spark, points out, brain size (at least in primates) seems to relate to the number of individuals an animal can keep track of. Chimps, with fairly large brains, can keep track of about 50 individuals. Humans have brains about three times the size of a chimp’s brain, and we can keep track of about three times that number of individuals. It’s part of why we can live in huge cities, and all that. (Read more about it and see clips from The Human Spark at Science Buzz’s Human Spark page.)
And that seems to be the rule: we can have meaningful relationships with only about 150 people. (I don’t mean meaningful in the “we tell each other secrets under the blankets” way, but rather in the “something that can be called a ‘relationship’ in anything by the most inclusive sense of the word” way.)
So what about those other 527 Facebook friends you have? Are they just chopped liver? Yeah, pretty much. Evolutionary anthropologists at Oxford University wanted to see if the 150 relationships rule remained true in online communities, where people seem to have much, much larger networks of “friends,” so they compared the actions of Facebook users with thousands of friends to those with hundreds of friends (or less.) The anthropologists found that there was no difference between the groups’ number of interactions on Facebook. That is, people with thousands of friends didn’t interact with or follow the actions of any more users than people with a couple hundred friends did. Just like in real life, you can have meaningful relationships with only so many people, and the rest are just there to (maybe) make you look cooler.
What do you think? Did you and your giant friend list just get sonned by anthropology, or do you think you and your 2000 friends are proving that online communities and relationships don’t follow the limits of biological evolution? (Because, of course, when the sun shines we—all 2000 of us—shine together.)
Using a desktop computer, a scientist says he's calculated pi to almost 2.7 trillion digits! That's enough information to fill more than a thousand gigabytes (one terrabyte) of hard drive space, and would take more than 49,000 years of around-the-clock counting to count at one number per second. Could this mean more slices for everyone? Let's hope so.