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Current Topic: Technology

3% of Twitter’s Servers Dedicated to Justin Bieber
Topic: Technology 10:15 pm EDT, Sep  7, 2010

Would you believe that Justin Bieber and his legion of fans use up 3% of Twitter’s server at any given time — such a large amount of activity that “racks of servers” are dedicated to Bieber mania?

I'd ridicule this, but only if I knew what percentage of Twitter's infrastructure was utilized by spam activity. I'm positive that no measurable percentage of MemeStreams infrastructure is dedicated to Justin Bieber, but I'm not so sure about the spam metrics...

3% of Twitter’s Servers Dedicated to Justin Bieber

Solar Charger, Solar Backpack, Solar Laptop Charger, USB Battery
Topic: Technology 5:16 pm EDT, Aug 26, 2010

I was just talking to someone with one of these:

15 Watt Solar Panel generates power in sunlight. It is waterproof, lightweight and built to withstand abuse.

Power: 15 Watts total peak output at 20 Volts

Charge times: 1 hour in the sun will provide between 12 and 45 minutes of runtime, depending on your laptop. 1 hour in the sun is typically sufficient to charge most cell phones and other handheld electronics.

Pretty neat!

Solar Charger, Solar Backpack, Solar Laptop Charger, USB Battery

BarCampDC3 2009 - RSVP
Topic: Technology 2:45 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2009

BarCamp DC is an ad-hoc unconference and is part of the larger BarCamp movement. While there are topics suggested for discussion, there is no set agenda until everyone gathers. Attendees are required to participate to some degree: either by leading a discussion, showing a demo, or by creating another type of collaborative session.


November 14th, 2009
Registration: 9:30 AM
Agenda Creation: 10:00 AM
Sessions: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Bar hopping afterwards


Martin Luther King Library in Chinatown (MAP)
901 G St NW
Washington, DC 2000

Last year, I made a hire due to BarCampDC. It's a good event. I'm looking forward to it again this year.

BarCampDC3 2009 - RSVP

Company Denies its Robots Feed on the Dead | Danger Room |
Topic: Technology 1:09 pm EDT, Jul 20, 2009

Robots that kill people and generate power from eating their flesh are still a threat...

POMPANO BEACH, Fla.– In response to rumors circulating the internet on sites such as, and CNET News about a “flesh eating” robot project, Cyclone Power Technologies Inc. (Pink Sheets:CYPW) and Robotic Technology Inc. (RTI) would like to set the record straight: This robot is strictly vegetarian.

On July 7, Cyclone announced that it had completed the first stage of development for a beta biomass engine system used to power RTI’s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot (EATR™), a Phase II SBIR project sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Sciences Office. RTI’s EATR is an autonomous robotic platform able to perform long-range, long-endurance missions without the need for manual or conventional re-fueling.

RTI’s patent pending robotic system will be able to find, ingest and extract energy from biomass in the environment. Despite the far-reaching reports that this includes “human bodies,” the public can be assured that the engine Cyclone has developed to power the EATR runs on fuel no scarier than twigs, grass clippings and wood chips – small, plant-based items for which RTI’s robotic technology is designed to forage. Desecration of the dead is a war crime under Article 15 of the Geneva Conventions, and is certainly not something sanctioned by DARPA, Cyclone or RTI.

“We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. “We are focused on demonstrating that our engines can create usable, green power from plentiful, renewable plant matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous.” (emphasis in the original)

Company Denies its Robots Feed on the Dead | Danger Room |

porn - Wolfram|Alpha
Topic: Technology 12:48 pm EDT, May 18, 2009

I'm sure WolframAlpha will save my ass when I'm desperately searching for an obscure formula, but for everything else it appears to be mostly useless.

All the results are images. When you find some bit of information you are looking for, you have to manually copy it, thwarting one of the main reasons we've been working so hard to get reference materials out of books and onto the net.

It doesn't provide information about the authoritative source for any of the information it provides in results. That means that if you are going to use any of the information, you must cite WolframAlpha as the authoritative source. That doesn't fly when there are regularly errors in the results. I wasn't there in 1961, but I'm pretty sure there was porn, and people called it porn..

This is half baked. It could wind up being really helpful if they would at least attribute sources for the information.

porn - Wolfram|Alpha

23andMe slashes price on personal genetics test
Topic: Technology 12:40 pm EDT, Sep 10, 2008

A Google-backed startup that analyzes customers' genetic makeup to predict health risks... has slashed the price on its personal DNA test... from $999 to $399. DNA analysis chips have made the process... significantly cheaper

This could lead to a significant increase in the use of genetic testing and a renewed focus on political questions about its use.

23andMe is also compiling databases of customers' genetic information to make available to researchers seeking new insights into those links.

The price cut will ideally mean an influx of new information that will speed discoveries in the lab...

23andMe slashes price on personal genetics test

Boston Dynamics Big Dog
Topic: Technology 4:12 pm EDT, May  5, 2008

This is truly amazing. Timball showed this to me last night... All I could think of were our future robot masters, who will force us to worship the machine gods, or devour us and turn our flesh into electrical energy. I can make out this fuzzy future with shocking clarity while watching this video.

After you watch this, be sure to watch the spoof. All class-a stuff...

Boston Dynamics Big Dog

DTV2009.GOV TV Converter Box Coupon Program Website
Topic: Technology 12:02 am EDT, Apr  4, 2008

The death of analog television looms near...

DTV2009.GOV TV Converter Box Coupon Program Website

Hackers Publish German Minister's Fingerprint | Threat Level from
Topic: Technology 2:36 pm EDT, Apr  1, 2008

To demonstrate why using fingerprints to secure passports is a bad idea, the German hacker group Chaos Computer Club has published what it says is the fingerprint of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's interior minister.

According to CCC, the print of Schauble's index finger was lifted from a water glass that he used during a panel discussion that he participated in last year at a German university. CCC published the print on a piece of plastic inside 4,000 copies of its magazine Die Datenschleuder that readers can use to impersonate the minister to biometric readers.

Good Job!

Hackers Publish German Minister's Fingerprint | Threat Level from

Cuba lifts ban on computer and DVD sales | Reuters
Topic: Technology 1:59 pm EDT, Mar 13, 2008

Communist Cuba has authorized the unrestricted sale of computers and DVD and video players in the first sign that President Raul Castro is moving to improve Cubans' access to consumer goods.

An internal government memo seen by Reuters on Thursday said the appliances long desired by Cubans can go on sale immediately, although air conditioners will not be available until next year and toasters until 2010 due to limited power supplies.

It listed 19-inch (48-cm) and 24-inch (61-cm) television sets, electric pressure cookers and rice cookers, electric bicycles, car alarms and microwaves.

Many Cubans expect the state to soon allow them to buy cellular telephones. While they will now be able to buy computers, access to the Internet remains controlled by the government.

That's a major step forward for Cuba..

Cuba lifts ban on computer and DVD sales | Reuters

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