Sunday, March 08, 2009

Shared Google Reader Items, 3/8/2009

Here are my shared items from Google Reader. Enjoy!

Geek Culture:
  • My friend Jon sent me an interesting site, listing "What's Special About This Number" for most numbers from 0 to 9999 (well, at least many of them, I didn't check whether it's more than 50%).
  • A team at Arizona State University, working with E-Ink (the company that makes the digital ink for the Kindle and Sony Reader), have developed bendable, touch-screen e-paper. This is very, very, very interesting to me. Imagine having a reader you can roll up and put in a backpack or briefcase, but then fold out to read that day's newspaper or a new book. Neat.
  • A bionic eye has given a blind man weak sight. It's a big step in an awesome direction.
  • The Kepler space telescope, which will search for Earth-like extra-solar planets, launched successfully Friday night. I thought that was awesome enough, but then I found out (by crossposting my Google Reader links on Facebook) that a childhood friend-of-the-family worked on the launch as a NASA engineer. I'm so jealous.
The Interwebs:
  • PDFVue lets you edit PDF documents online. Convenient.
  • Dropbox is a cool way to synchronize files between computers (for example, I use it to transfer docs from my office computer to home, and vice versa). If you sign up through that link, I get extra storage. It's win-win!
  • Stephen Wolfram claims that he has a site that can answer questions (ie, when you search for "How many bones are in the human body?", it will return an answer, rather than a list of pages that might have the answer). That will be very interesting if it actually works (come May, when the site says it will be available).
As always, leave your comments on these or anything else below.


Die Anyway said...

re: "What's Special About This Number"

42 is the 5th Catalan number.

And here I was thinking there was something way more important about 42. ;-)
Anyway, I read through a half dozen of the items and didn't understand a word of it. Teh maths are not my cup o' tea.

I meant to watch the Keppler launch but got busy with something and forgot to go outside. Glad to hear that that one made it to orbit.

[Jon]"Perhaps we're listening in the wrong spectrum for ET communications..."
I've long wondered about that. I liken it to a South Pacific islander listening for drumbeats from islands he can see on the horizon while radio waves permeate the air around him and he has no clue.

Jon Harmon said...

If gravity waves exist, and they travel faster than light, and they can be manipulated in such a way that they can be transmitted long distances (all of those being very big ifs), we're definitely listening to the wrong part of the spectrum if we want to talk to beings smarter than us.

But it probably doesn't hurt to keep listening for drumbeats, in case there's someone like us only a few islands away. (I *love* that analogy, btw)