World’s Most Useless Machine

Ah, hackers. This machine is designed to turn itself off once turned on . . . Simple enough; but one enterprising hacker took it a bit further and made it so it would have a fit. Enjoy the World’s Most Useless Machine!

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the decade in review . . .

OK, I admit that this is really not a design post, but I am interested in your comments as to what the biggest tech, social and overall story was for the past decade. Let me take you back a while and help jog your mind.

In somewhat chronological order here are some bullet points on what went on in the past decade. Sorry if these are more U.S. Centric, but you get what you pay for. In the end, post comments as to what you think were the top stories of this decade. I am interested in your thoughts, not just politically, but also tech-wise.

  1. Y2K or Bust
  2. Tech stock bubble bursts
  3. USS Cole is attacked
  4. Human genome deciphered
  5. Mad Cow Disease
  6. NEAR spacecraft becomes first to orbit an asteroid
  7. “I Love You” computer virus
  8. 2000 Election (the year of the hanging chad)
  9. 9/11
  10. iPod debuts
  11. 3 megapixel cameras
  12. I.R.A. Disarms
  13. U.S. attacks Afghanistan
  14. Anthrax
  15. Enron
  16. Shoe bomber
  17. U.S. attack Iraq
  18. D.C. Sniper
  19. Saddam Hussein Captured
  20. Space Shuttle Columbia explodes on re-entry
  21. Spain terrorist attack
  22. Google goes public
  23. WiFi
  24. Olympics return to Greece
  25. Water on Mars
  26. SpaceShipOne
  27. Pope John Paul II Dies
  28. Web 2.0
  29. iPhone
  30. Hurricane Katrina
  31. HDTV conversion
  32. Mars rovers land on Mars
  33. Saddam Hussein convicted and hung
  34. Green Movement
  35. Hybrid vehicles
  36. Facebook and Myspace
  37. Bill Gates steps down from Microsoft as CEO
  38. Pluto loses its status as a planet
  39. Cloud computing
  40. HD-DVD vs Blu-ray
  41. Bejing Olympics
  42. Twitter
  43. HDTV conversion 2
  44. Housing bubble-Credit crunch
  45. Barack Obama elected president
  46. Stock market crash, DOW to 6,547
  47. HDTV conversion 3- . . .
  48. M.J. no more
  49. H1N1
  50. Hubble repaired for last time
  51. Water on the moon

Remember to post a comment of your thoughts.

we choose the moon

Lunar landing

In honor of today marking the 40th Anniversary of the first moon landing, the website, wechoosethemoon.org is reliving the journey on the web with maps models, pictures and the audio as it happened. It all is to happen in about six hours from now, so go see it! You can even follow the landing as it happenned using twitter to recieve feeds of what was going on.

elements of video

High school chemistry was fun for me as well as a challenge. I loved how the periodic table of elements was organized by groups of metals to non-metals and those in between. The problem was the hands-on experience was mainly reading a book about protons, neutrons and atomic numbers.

Today, technology brings us the ability to play with and learn more about our world with just the click of our mouse. With the technology of today, some enterprising professors at the University of Nottingham in the UK decided to bring to us The Periodic Table of Videos. By just clicking on an element on the Periodic Table of Elements, up starts a brief video with professors explaining and dare I say “playing” with the element you clicked on. What is even better, is one of the professors has a very remarkable resemblance to Albert Einstein. If I had a say, that is how all scientists should look. Please enjoy the show, and do not attempt many of the experiments they do at home!

The Periodic Table of Videos

let your computer do the folding

Ever wonder if your multi-core processor computer is really being put to good use? A few months ago, I wondered that myself, and decided to donate my cores to some good use. Since much of the time, two or more cores of my quad-core PC are idle, I use Folding@Home software from the genius’ at Stanford University. This ingenuous software gets installed onto your computer, and them when a processor is idle, it uses it to help Standford scientists Fold protein chains virtually.

Now I am not a scientist, but the idea of this is to simulate protein folding, which when gone array, makes for some diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, BSE (Mad Cow disease). Labs all over are using the data our computers simulate to “unfold” the mysteries of these diseases in hopes of finding a cure.

The program is available for download on PC’s, MAC, LINUX, and included on the PS3 game console. I must say some versions are easier to install than others, and wished the MAC version was simple, but since it was not, I installed it on my PC. Currently, there is somewhere in the range of 250,000 individual processors computing at any one time. Imagine if we could take all of the idle office computers at night and have Folding@Home run until the next morning.

Take a look and donate your computer’s downtime to some scientific research that is good for all of humanity!

Learn more about Folding@Home (Folding at Home) at folding.stanford.edu

Also, view this clip about Folding@Home that was on DL.TV

see the universe in all different scales

universe.png

Our friends at Nikon in Japan are always coming up with unique ways of seeing the world in a different light. For all of us that remember the math class and or science class video “Powers of Ten”, this is it in a web sense, but in a little different view. Instead of a narrated video, this flash viewer is a side view comparing items next to each other. A good example is that of a small bug next to a mountain.

The whole site is flash based with some whimsical music and a black-gray silhouette motif. It takes some getting used to, but it is a good time waster for 10-15 minutes.

Visit the video here:
“Powers of Ten”

Visit the Nikon universe site here:
Nikon Universcale