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40 years of icons: the evolution of the modern computer interface

40 years of icons: the evolution of the modern computer interface | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it
Fifty years ago, the word "computer" had a very different meaning. Prior to World War II, the word referred not to machines, but to people (mostly women in order to save costs) hired as human...
darekm's insight:

Much as I always hated history lessons, this is some good stuff. The history of computers has some kind of an irresistible charm... or maybe this is only so for us geeks. :)

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A 3D printer that manufactures new cancer drugs with drag-and-drop DNA

A 3D printer that manufactures new cancer drugs with drag-and-drop DNA | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it
Researchers from Parabon NanoLabs have developed a new drug for combating a lethal brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme.

Via Sakis Koukouvis
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olsen jay nelson's curator insight, December 11, 2012 7:04 PM

Moving ahead...

Christopher Baggett's curator insight, December 12, 2012 12:21 PM

3-D Printing is going to have a dramatic impact on our lives and I find the possibilities very exciting!

Hayley Regalado's curator insight, March 21, 2013 10:49 PM

I feel like this is something out of a science fiction. But it is evident to expect the greatest technology advancements to be in the medical sector. This is an example of integrating medical technology with CAD (Computer Aided Design) styled software.

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Christmas Gifts 2012: the Best Science Fiction

Christmas Gifts 2012: the Best Science Fiction | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

In September, the critic Paul Kincaid reviewed a clutch of science fictionanthologies for the Los Angeles Review of Books. His conclusion – that on the evidence of what SF itself selects as its best, "the genres of the fantastic themselves have reached a state of exhaustion" – provoked a gush of debate in the many online venues through which fandom conducts its conversations with itself.

 

Is it true, as Kincaid suggests, that "science fiction has lost confidence in the future"? Or is the genre still able to do interesting things with its 1950s paradigm of hard science and spaceships zooming between the planets? The galactic defence attorney might point to the fact that three of the year's best SF novels were brilliant variations on familiar genre models: Kim Stanley Robinson's capacious and marvellous future-history 2312 (Harper Voyager), Paul McAuley's scientifically rigorous, beautifully written spacewar novel In the Mouth of the Whale (Gollancz), and Alastair Reynolds's solar-system-spanningBlue Remembered Earth (Gollancz). On the other hand, the galactic prosecutor can certainly call into evidence a great quantity of drearily over-familiar novels and cliché-raddled stories. Contemporary SF is still, predominantly, in dialogue with its own backlist, and there's some truth in Kincaid's diagnosis of "a genre treading water, picking up shiny relics from its own long history as though they were bright new ideas".

 

The least we're entitled to expect is that writers will rework those old tropes in interesting ways. And some do: Madeline Ashby's vN (Angry Robot) manages to take those generic clichés, robots, and make something distinctively 21st century out of them. Hannu Rajaniemi's The Fractal Prince (Gollancz) spins original variations on core science fiction tropes, but does so in a richly decadent prose a parsec away from Asimov and Heinlein's dry pabulum. And John Scalzi's Redshirts (Tor/Gollancz) – one of the year's stand-out books – stirs up our memories of the original Star Trek in ways both funny and clever.

 

There have been innovations too. Proof that SF isn't just rocket-ships and rayguns is found in two sensitive, thought-provoking novels about the ethics of where medical science is taking us: Scottish writer Ken MacLeod's Intrusion(Orbit) and German author Juli Zeh's The Method (translated by Sally-Ann Spencer, Harvill Secker). Then there's Nick Harkaway's Angelmaker(Heinemann/Vintage), a crowded carnivalesque masterpiece that is quite unlike other crowded carnivalesque novels you may have read in being both funnier and more estranging. Lavie Tidhar's Osama (PS Books) addresses questions of contemporary terrorism, politics and culpability through the vigorous hokum of pulp noir and alternate history, to vivid effect. The best short-story collection I read this year was Kij Johnson's At the Mouth of the River of Bees (Small Beer Press). She is a writer who is always fresh, always dazzling.

 

It can be argued that the most significant developments in 2012 were less about content and more about medium. Three examples: Jeff Noon's welcome return to novel-writing after a decade away, Channel SK1N is a powerful satiric phantasmagoria rendered via his brilliantly unsettling prose. But it's not published by a mainstream imprint; instead, it's available as a DRM-free ebook on Noon's own website, metamorphiction.com. Margaret Atwood is currently serialising her new book, Positron, as a series of e-published chapbooks. And then there's Arc, a new online-only SF magazine from the New Scientist stable that launched this year and has been consistently brilliant (arcfinity.org). I could add that the best criticism of genre has been appearing online, rather than in print, for many years now.

 

It's tempting to think that all this online activity is drawing us into an SF-publishing stargate, directing us down disorienting psychedelic corridors to a world in which paper-and-ink books are no more. Nevertheless, my nomination for best SF novel of the year (indeed, for best novel of the year) was published as a hardback by one of the genre's oldest publishers, Gollancz: M John Harrison's extraordinary Empty Space. So perhaps there's life in the old tree book yet.

 

• Adam Roberts's latest novel is Jack Glass (Gollancz).


Via James Keith
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This robotic snake will slither through your body in search of tumors

This robotic snake will slither through your body in search of tumors | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it
This robotic snake will slither through your body in search of tumors — and ...io9Engineers from OC Robotics in Bristol, U.K., have taken us one step closer to a Prometheus-style med pod — and one that might be just as creepy.

Via Kalani Kirk Hausman
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What do animals know of death?

What do animals know of death? | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

"I doubt there’s an organismal biologist alive who hasn’t wondered if some other species of animals know of their own mortality, and if so which ones.  I’ve always thought it was t..."

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CERN director Rolf Heuer backs discovery of `God particle`

CERN director Rolf Heuer backs discovery of `God particle` | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

Now take a long, cold look at yourself and admit it -- you don't really understand how is this whole Higgs Boson thing crucial for modern physics, do you? No, you don't.

 

No you don't!

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The Evolution Of The App Ecosystem

The Evolution Of The App Ecosystem | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

"Another year, another anniversary for the PC. But instead of a cake, balloons, and a nice round of applause, the PC has been relegated to an afterthought."

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3D model of the Ebola virus

3D model of the Ebola virus | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

"The Ebola virus and it’s close relative the Marburg virus are members of the Filoviridae family. These viruses are the causative agents of severe hemorrhagic fever, a disease with a fatality rate of up to 90%. The Ebola virus infects mainly the capillary endothelium and several types of immune cells. The symptoms of Ebola infection include maculopapular rash, petechiae, purpura, ecchymoses, dehydration and hematomas.

 

Since Ebola was first described in 1976, there have been several epidemics of this disease. Hundreds of people have died because of Ebola infections, mainly in Zaire, Sudan, Congo and Uganda. In addition, several fatalities have occurred because of accidents in laboratories working with the virus. Currently, a number of scientists claim that terrorists may use Ebola as a biological weapon.

 

In the 3D model presented in this study, Ebola-encoded structures are shown in maroon, and structures from human cells are shown in grey. The Ebola model is based on X-ray analysis, NMR spectroscopy, and general virology data published in the last two decades. Some protein structures were predicted using computational biology techniques, such as molecular modeling."


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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10 More Classic Mistakes in Science Fiction Movies

10 More Classic Mistakes in Science Fiction Movies | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

 

1. Space is too small. Even with the use of cryosleep, travel is way too fast. Vipers flit through solar systems, landing on worlds and lifting off again, in a few hours at most. The Enterprise gets places in days at most, under most circumstances. Remember Hitchhiker’s Guide, “Space is big. Really big…”

 

2. Relativity is ignored. Sometimes there’s lip service to the need to go into hyperspace or warp, or to open a worm hole, but these craft under impulse power and in normal space never or rarely seem to experience relativistic issues. Causality issues involving faster than light travel are ignored.

 

3. A lot of alien planets have breathable atmospheres. This seems unlikely, especially when the landscapes look weird and unearthlike, without vegetation, and rarely ecosystems. Even if the atmosphere is technically breathable, are there poisons or dangerous microbes in the environment to be avoided at all costs? Avatar was a notable exception here, and to be praised in this respect. I blame budgets and the desire to have actors’ faces visible.

 

4. Exposure to space is badly portrayed. Sometimes people without space suits just explode, as in Outland. Sometimes they freeze immediately, as in Mission to Mars (as do liquids — from decompression/expansive cooling — into crystals not icecycles as in that ridiculous movie).

 

5. Not only are aliens humanoid, they’re often sexy and we can successfully mate with them. Star Trek is a big offender this way. Star Wars might be, but who can tell? Avatar skirts the line here…not sure how the Avatars mix human DNA with alien DNA. I read that the original plan was for the aliens to be more alien, but that was scrapped as too difficult to pull off for human viewers.

 

6. Alien food is edible…and either delicious or disgusting. I’d call this an unlikely and convenient assumption rather than an outright mistake.

 

7. Aliens are too human not just in appearance, but in their cultures and views. While I praised Avatar before, that movies aliens sure felt like Native Americans to me. The Klingons are Mongols, the Romulans are Romans, etc. In Star Wars, so many of the aliens in the prequels were bad, racist stereotypes. I know it’s hard to pull off, but how about some more aliens like Solaris?

 

8. Our heroes can always master alien technology, when necessary to the plot, in mere minutes. I don’t care how smart you are, try operating a Boeing 737, let alone a space shuttle, human-tech, with no training and I’ll count the days before you get them to do anything, or until you kill yourself. Remember learning to drive safely in mere minutes after the first time you sat down in a car? I don’t either. Independence Day is one stinker in regard to this problem, along with a Mac powerbook bringing down the alien enemy.

 

9. Clones are not clones, but copies with memories that grow to adulthood in days, and are usually spies. I hope I’ll never see another movie with a clone that turns out to be a copy, but I’m sure I will.

 

10. Energy sources (AKA batteries or generators) are small, safe, and run indefinitely, except when the plot demands otherwise. The Six-Million Dollar Man’s nuclear power source was rarely taxed, and never gave him cancer. Ray guns blast forever. The dilithium crystals and antimatter (which is the power source exactly?) let you go faster than light in Star Trek, or the beryllium sphere, except when they run out at strange intervals. I don’t know what the frak powers the ships in Star Wars. Robots go forever without eating, and are rarely seen plugging in. The energy needs for so much in science fiction are usually glossed over.

 

See: http://www.dedoimedo.com/physics/sci-fi-mistakes.html


Via James Keith
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'Smart Fingertips' Pave Way for Virtual Sensations

'Smart Fingertips' Pave Way for Virtual Sensations | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

This is one of these things that should have been invented in the early 2000's and should have long ago made us live in some kind of a virtual, cyberpunk, retro-futuristic techno-reality. Where are the VR helmets, where are the flying cars? Well at least THIS is getting invented as we speak. 

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Quantum Teleportation Achieved over Record Distances

Quantum Teleportation Achieved over Record Distances | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

All this entanglement phenomenon  is a clear evidence that there is more to the Universe than simple macro-world logic. 

 

That you can send a message literally instantenously over large distances is mind blowing. Unfortunately, as explained in the linked article, you need information transmitted in a conventional way to read the message... meh. This little catch effectively defeats the purpose of communicating via quantum teleportation. I hope they find a way around this.

 

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5 Reasons Why Augmented Reality is the Future of Social

5 Reasons Why Augmented Reality is the Future of Social | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

I personally can't wait for AR to become ubiquitous.

I certainly hope it will be more like the internet, providing a whole new level of abstraction to the human life, rather than like 3D in movies ('meeeh...').

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Amazingly Cool Real Life Hobbit Pub Opens in New Zealand - News - GeekTyrant

Amazingly Cool Real Life Hobbit Pub Opens in New Zealand - News - GeekTyrant | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it
I've never been to New Zealand but it's a place I've always wanted to visit and hopefully one d...
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So... when does the next train to New Zealand leave??

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Human Evolution Enters an Exciting New Phase - Wired

Human Evolution Enters an Exciting New Phase - Wired | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it
WiredHuman Evolution Enters an Exciting New PhaseWiredIf you could escape the human time scale for a moment, and regard evolution from the perspective of deep time, in which the last 10,000 years are a short chapter in a long story, you'd say:...
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Inside Google's Internal Meme Generator

Inside Google's Internal Meme Generator | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

Some of the memes that leaked from Google's internal network are hilarious, others are so nerdy or so inside, that they're hard to puzzle out...

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No dark matter in the genome anymore. 80%+ has function

No dark matter in the genome anymore. 80%+ has function | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

According to ENCODE’s analysis, 80 percent of the genome has a “biochemical function”. More on exactly what this means later, but the key point is: It’s not “junk”. Scientists have long recognised that some non-coding DNA has a function, and more and more solid examples have come to light [edited for clarity - Ed]. But, many maintained that much of these sequences were, indeed, junk. ENCODE says otherwise. “Almost every nucleotide is associated with a function of some sort or another, and we now know where they are, what binds to them, what their associations are, and more,” says Tom Gingeras, one of the study’s many senior scientists.

 

And what’s in the remaining 20 percent? Possibly not junk either, according to Ewan Birney, the project’s Lead Analysis Coordinator and self-described “cat-herder-in-chief”. He explains that ENCODE only (!) looked at 147 types of cells, and the human body has a few thousand. A given part of the genome might control a gene in one cell type, but not others. If every cell is included, functions may emerge for the phantom proportion. “It’s likely that 80 percent will go to 100 percent,” says Birney. “We don’t really have any large chunks of redundant DNA. This metaphor of junk isn’t that useful.”


That the genome is complex will come as no surprise to scientists, but ENCODE does two fresh things: it catalogues the DNA elements for scientists to pore over; and it reveals just how many there are. “The genome is no longer an empty vastness – it is densely packed with peaks and wiggles of biochemical activity,” says Shyam Prabhakar from the Genome Institute of Singapore. “There are nuggets for everyone here. No matter which piece of the genome we happen to be studying in any particular project, we will benefit from looking up the corresponding ENCODE tracks.”


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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The Internet Map: Revealing the Hidden Structure of the Network - information aesthetics

The Internet Map: Revealing the Hidden Structure of the Network - information aesthetics | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

"(...) Every circle on the map stands for a unique website, with its size determined by website web traffic. Its color depends on the country of origin, with red for Russia, yellow for China, purple for Japan, and light-blue for the US."

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Stargazers Treated To Sighting Of 'Blue Moon'

Stargazers Treated To Sighting Of 'Blue Moon' | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

To be honest, it has nothing to do with the color of the moon, but for those interested its a very rare occasion - it happens once every few years.

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10,000 Years of Evolution

10,000 Years of Evolution | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

While I have really high expectations as to augmented reality and technology, this is one of the dangers it carries.

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Books and JavaScript stored in DNA molecules

Books and JavaScript stored in DNA molecules | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

"(...) DNA is one of the most dense and stable media for storing information known. In theory, DNA can encode two bits per nucleotide. That's 455 exabytes – roughly the capacity of 100 billion DVDs – per gram of single-stranded DNA, making it five or six orders denser than currently available digital media, such as flash memory. Information stored in DNA can also be read thousands of years after it was first laid down.(...)"

 

 

Original article: Science, DOI:10.1126/science.293.5536.1763c


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Why I won't take part in debate with fundamentalists - Richard Dawkins

Why I won't take part in debate with fundamentalists - Richard Dawkins | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

It never ceases to amaze me how certain people are afraid of reason. I'd agree with RD - answers to questions are reasonable and educating. A debate allows for all sorts of discussion fallacies and tricks that are intened to 'win' the audience... and if the audience has a total IQ of a single eggplant...

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Augmented Reality Livens up Museums

Augmented Reality Livens up Museums | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

I was wondering... when AR glasses become as popular as smartphones, will we still physically beautify the world around us? Or maybe we'll build only grey buildings which will come to life when seen through AR? This may sound a bit creepy but look at the bright side: billboards, ad screens etc.. only displayed virtually. And then, some AR-AdBlock app should do the trick...

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'Intellectual Bad-Ass' plots Tolkien universe

'Intellectual Bad-Ass' plots Tolkien universe | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it
A 21-year-old student from Gothenburg has drawn the adulation of Lord of the Rings fans across the world by plotting the entirety of the books' family tree, most recently adding a timeline and map to the “eternal” project.

Via James Keith
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Mars Science Laboratory: Images

Mars Science Laboratory: Images | Geek Porn Digest | Scoop.it

But seriously, how much more awesome can it get? Full color hi res photos from an actual other planet!

 

You can find a whole lot of these at http://www.nasa.gov

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