It’s been a while since the last instalment of this supposedly “regular” feature. I’m not going to bother with tedious excuses, so here are some more interesting and informative tidbits from the past few weeks’ internet/science/offbeat news. Enjoy!
- Don’t Tase Me, Bro! (The New LOLcats) (BoingBoing) | The latest fad (or meme) sweeping the intarweb: BoingBoing shows you how to dress in style while wittily referencing the gradual erosion of civil liberties in the USA. For those who don’t know what I’m going on about, check this out:
- Madonna Dumps Label in $134m Deal (Sydney Morning Herald) | I found this via reddit, but pretty much every news agency is reporting it. In fact, I should have included the subtitle in the reddit story, since it pretty much sums up why this is important: “record industry officially over”.
- Intelligent Grey Parrot Dies: Last Words Were “You Be Good, See You Tomorrow, I Love You” (Guardian Unlimited) | I can’t find the link to story where I originally heard about this, but this Guardian article is as good as any. The point is in the title really, but the article goes into a little more detail on the science of it all.
- ‘Superbugs’ Could Benefit Humans (Washington Post) | Superbugs get a bad press these days. Scientists at Arizona State University want to change all that, reporting on experiments which show how superbugs could eventually help treat cancer and other diseases. This is cool because it’s about blasting bacteria with beams and shooting them into space and stuff.
- Universal Avatars Bestride Worlds (BBC – Technology) | The slightly pompous title belies an innovative idea: instead of creating multiple accounts with different versions of “you” for online games, why not have a single digital representative (avatar) which works across games. IBM and Linden Lab (the people behind Second Life) think it’s possible.
- Can A Thousand People Working Together Beat A Chess Grandmaster? (Read/WriteWeb) | RWW discusses CrowdChess, an attempt to make a socialchessmachinethingy which uses the “wisdom of the crowd” (or crowdsourcing) to beat top players.
- Wikipedia: 2 Million Article Milestone (TechCrunch) | This story is from a few weeks ago, so goodness knows how many articles there are now. Which leads neatly on to…
- The 8 Most Needlessly Detailed Wikipedia Articles (Cracked) | From the list of ancient Jedi which never appear in any Star Wars film (now disappointingly deleted, though it does still have a list of minor Sith characters) to a punishingly comprehensive line of succession to the British throne, going all the way up to 1,287th in line. Ah, you have to love nerds with time on their hands…
WorstWars Trumpet Girl (Neatorama) | Just a Youtube link, really. But yet another Miss Teen America whatever making a complete idiot of herself can’t be bad, can it?
- Look Out: Six New Cities Added to Google Street View (Mashable) | This is a lot of fun, actually: go to Google Maps and you can check out how things look at street level. At least in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, et al.
- ‘Transparent’ Gadget Could Trump iPhone Interface (New Scientist) | Finally, what could be easier to use than Apple’s iPhone/iPod touchscreen interface? A device where you touch behind the screen, according to researchers from Toronto.