This week: Google's driverless cars, futuristic dildos and hacking government sites with Nyan Cat
TUMBLR OF THE WEEK: Ten Hundred Words of Science
So this week many readers had a chortle at the expense of opaque art speak (talk about picking a soft target). Those whose schadenfreude has been sated should check out the challenge posed by the above Tumblr: explain an important concept using the 1000 most frequent words in English. Right now there are an ardent amount of contributors are trying to the measure up Richard Feymens edict: "If you can't explain it to a six year-old, you don't really understand it."
This toe-curling explanation of the semantic web is eye-catching for all the wrong reasons, while Ben Goldacre's attempt at elucidating evidence based medicine fares somewhat better.
GIF OF THE WEEK: Manuel Fernandez - Recognition
Manuel Fernandez is exploring the machine vision aesthetic in a compelling way in his ongoing series of GIFs. His GIFs trace the futile attempt of a facial recognition to detect a friendly face in a variety of contrary subject, like a pigeon and futuristic dildo (pictured).
SCIENTIFIC DISCOVER(IES!) OF THE WEEK
Some people are baffled when they hear that science is considered closer to mysticism than reality in many quarters of the world. Those people have clearly never heard of the fringe realms of theoretical physics: this week an experiment successfully demonstrated the existence of multiverses! To top that, scientists have made ray tracing recordings of a hypothetical universe where time travel is possible, and so can claim to have made the first videos of time travel. For now only subscribers can glimpse the videos.
Bonus report that just missed last week's Hacked & Burned. To better understand how the brain processes visual input scientists built a Matrix for zebrafish. No foolin' the test subject (a 4 day-old fish to you and I) is paralyzed and watches a video which it mistakes for river.
CYBERCRIME OF THE WEEK: A tale of two hackers
So China has been dedicatedly hacking the New York Times for four months, in reprisal for a story the Times ran on Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. It's definitely a new precedent in the soft power games which China is proving adept at.
Against such formidible intent the sabre rattling of Anonymous earlier this week should raise little less than a derisory eyebrow. But I cannot help but bow to the splendour of their latest spectacle: hacking the US Sentencing Commission & miep.uscourts.gov websites and putting the Konami code in place. When entered, Nyan Cat was summoned and a game of classic Asteroid was enabled for gaming on site!
HARDWARE OF THE WEEK: Electronics dissolved by droplet of liquid
DARPA's 'transient electonics' shows of computer building blocks that are built for espionage (as well as the ostensible health applications!). Once exposted to water drops the self destructing chips do their best wicked witch impression and dissolve to nothingness.
GEEK OF THE WEEK: David S. Gallant
In solidarity with David S. Gallant who last year released a succssful indie game inspired by his own mudane day-job (I get this call ever day). His employers have somehow caught wind of the whole thing and unceremoniously fired his ass!
WETWARE OF THE WEEK: Bacteria on a new, electrons only, diet
Genetically engineered bacteria can survive off electricity. Gobsmacking as this sounds this week's refinement is an improvement of existing methods in conning iron-loving bacteria into metabolising electrical current rather than iron. Nand.io were way ahead of the curve thinking about how these bacteria could fit into our homes – check their Kreb's Faraday structure.
TECHNONOMY OF THE WEEK: Google driverless cars = $$$
What's that sound? Why, it's the silence of a suburb absent of screeching tires. We all know there is cash money in automation, and we now have an idea of how valuable Google's cybernetic highways will be: trillions of dollars!
A great week for Google actually, as they made significant inroads in winning the hearts and minds of the British School Kids by giving away 15'000 Raspberry Pis. Should come in handy for the new many new Computer Science Baccalaureate attendees.