Archive for the ‘Cool’ Category
Richard Balzer’s love affair began about 40 years ago, when he saw his first magic lantern — an early image projector invented in the 1600s. The experience would prove transformative.
“I was just stunned,” he says. “I think I fell in love.”
Balzer, a New York native, was working abroad as a photographer at the time, but the encounter kindled a dormant passion that would persist for decades. He began scouring for magic lanterns at flea markets across London and Paris, and soon expanded his collection as he learned more about early animation technology. Today, he has thousands of illustrations and machines at his Boston-area home, including phenakistoscopes, praxinoscopes, and zoetropes — all “optic toys” that were, in effect, the world’s first GIF-making machines.
The NSA says its hourslong website outage Friday was due to an internal error during a scheduled update, not a denial-of-service attack by hackers, the Associated Press reports.
If that’s true, perhaps the NSA could use a “tech surge” as well.
Original story: As of about 5:45 p.m. Friday, the National Security Agency’s website appeared to be down.
The United States National Laboratory Of Water Drinking And Health (not a real laboratory) recommends that all humans drink lots of water all the time. That’s why H2O-Pal exists – it’s a water bottle that tells you how much you’ve drunk and, more important, when you’ve reached the daily goal of two to five gallons (warning: you could probably drink less) needed to stay alive.
Video games have always had their own language. They follow certain implied rules and structures that can make deciphering even the most basic mechanics (movement, objectives, camera control) seem absolutely alien to anyone who didn’t grow up with games around the house. This is a shame, because it’s prevented a huge swath of the population from having some very exciting times.
The next time you choose to make a reservation and not show up, you may want to think about the consequences at one Beverly Hills restaurant.
Red Medicine, a Vietnamese fusion restaurant off Wilshire Boulevard, used Twitter Saturday to shame at least seven customers who didn’t show up for their reservations.
Chef and owner Noah Ellis started off by posting: “All the nice guests who wonder why restaurants overbook and they sometimes have to wait for their res(ervations) should thank people like those below.”
Below that post, the names of those who did not honor their reservations appear.
“I hope you enjoyed your gf’s(girlfriend’s) bday and the flowers that you didn’t bring when you no-showed for your 8:15 res. Thanks.”
Red Medicine’s revenge tactic received mixed reviews. One Twitter user, @Justin_Ot, responded by supporting Ellis’ actions.
“If more restaurants did this, people might be more respectful. It’s like reverse Yelp.”
Run Silent, Run Deep, a World War II naval drama starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, reportedly inspires Star Trek screenwriter Paul Schneider to mull a space-exploration equivalent to a submarine submerging underwater. What to do…
Dec. 15, 1966
Invisibility technology makes its Star Trek debut in episode 14, “Balance of Terror,” when a Romulan Bird of Prey equipped with a cloaking device attacks the Starship Enterprise.
Sept. 27, 1968
In episode 59, “The Enterprise Incident,” the technology finally gets a name: It’s called a “cloaking device.” The Trekkie trope inevitably becomes a sci-fi staple, appearing (and disappearing?) in everything from Dr. Who to Predator to Stargate.
June 26, 1997
A divorced mother of a young child quietly publishes a children’s book about a young orphan who receives an invisibility cloak as a Christmas present. Only 1,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are printed.
Physicists from Duke University unveil the world’s first-ever invisibility cloak. (Thanks, J.K. Rowling!) The elaborate set-up was created using metamaterials, which are capable of manipulating wavelengths — like light — in ways that aren’t found in nature. The catch? This “cloak” only works on microwaves and in two dimensions.
The British military tests something frightening: An invisible tank, which uses cameras and projectors to beam the surrounding landscape onto the vehicle’s hull. Says one soldier who was apparently at the test trials: “This technology is incredible. If I hadn’t been present I wouldn’t have believed it. I looked across the fields and just saw grass and trees — but in reality I was staring down the barrel of a tank gun.”
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, use metamaterials to change the natural direction of visible and near-infrared light in three dimensions. Developed by Xiang Zhang, a professor at Berkeley’s Nanoscope Science and Engineering Center, the light-bending concept is likened to viewing a distorted straw through a glass of water.
What if you could digitally interact with everything?
The future of augmented reality — think cerebral implants and digital contact lenses — was imagined last year in a short film by graduate students Eran May-raz and Daniel Lazo.
We highly recommend watching the eight-minute film, “Sight” — and also checking out our annotated walk-through.
Sight is an awesome product, but it’s also disturbing in its creation of a world with no off switch, where privacy can be hacked like never before.
With technology like Google Glass set to debut this year and other wearable gadgets on the way, Sight isn’t so implausible.
It’s been a warm winter in Sochi, Russia, and Olympic planners are worried about next year’s Games. So they’re hoarding 450,000 cubic meters of snow in a local mountain range, Reuters reports. “I want to assure all the competitors that there won’t be any shortage of snow next February even if we encounter even warmer temperatures next year,” says Sergei Bachin, the head of a ski resort that will be used in the events.
“We’ve prepared seven separate areas for snow storage high up in the mountains,” and organizers are using a “special thermo seal” to keep it cold, Bachin notes. Some 140,000 cubic meters are likely to “melt away,” he adds, but that leaves more than 300,000 cubic meters. The added storage cost: some $11 million. Typically, the Sochi-area village hosting the Games, Krasnaya Polyana, has too much snow. “This was a very odd winter. Even locals don’t remember when was the last time they had such warm days in the mountains,” Bachin says.