Showing posts with the label science

Google Ocean now double in size

Google has teamed with the world's leading Oceanographic institutes to makes the searchable seabed twice its previous size.
Google Earth, Columbia University Map Seafloor Area Bigger Than North America

Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) and Google's Rankings

Great article on Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) and how well they are correlated. Excellent read for anyone working with or interested in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Reminds me also of LSI, which we were working with at KPN Research back in 1996-1997

Choose better passwords or "GPU Password Cracking"

GPU Password Cracking on your graphics card it mind-bogglingly easy. Your average ATI Radeon card can accomplish brute-force cracks of most common password in minutes, hours of your get "crazy" and add in symbols (such as &,#,%, etc.) If you don't do that, please change your passwords now!

Also, try not to use things such as "Freddy1946Mercury" and think it's safe. Nor "FreddyMercury1946" or similar. They know that too and checking for it first, to see if you can skip brute-force attack is easily done. Instead consider "Fr3dd7M3rcur71946$". Almost the same, but (almost) infinitely harder to crack and still easy to remember. Even better, if you start with a symbol or put it in the middle of the name or date. But they're still names and variations thereof. Best is to use something like the Mozilla Secure Password guide. You can also solely use generated passwords in combination with a tool such as LastPass or KeyPass.

Lasers prove you can't hold a camera still

Engadget has a great article on photography! We always think we can hold a camera steady enough to get sharp pictures. I used to pride myself that I could take pictures at 1/15th of a second if I steadied myself against a wall and held my breath. 1/60th easily while free-standing.

Well, I'm completely disillusioned now thanks to the article: Lasers prove you can't hold a camera still. They have a video too. Attach a laser pointer to the hotshoe of a camera, point at a wall 20m away with text on it and go up close to see the pointer moving back and forth. Even when using a tripod! Shocker!

List of common misconceptions

Oh and mrvanes pointed me to this wonderful List of common misconceptions on Wikipedia. Brilliant!

Prolonged exposure to cold weather such as rain or winter conditions does not increase the likelihood of catching a cold.

So there... Look it up, it includes references and all! :)


Really everything you've always wondered about The SNEEZE.

Wonderful, clearly writing and illustrated blog on sneezing in humans and (small) animals. :) The elefant baby is too cute!

Solar Eclipse

Today there is a small partial eclipse. A solar eclipse this time. See the NASA Eclipse Web Site. However, I watch a satellite image of the Earth each morning, just to see the clouds and weather patterns, and I noticed a strange anomaly this morning.

Instead of the clouds becoming more and more white from the East, today the Sun rose a little and then fell again. It seems the solar eclipse is causing this morning not to be bright in some areas of the world. :)

Update: having problems uploading the animated GIF

Volcano awake in the Netherlands?

And now something completely different...

The sea water temperature of the Waddenzee in the Netherlands has been on the rise. First they thought perhaps global warming, but nothing could have been simpler: there happens to be a volcano underneath the Waddenzee! And it has "recently" woken up after roughly 100 million years.

The volcano was discovered in the 70s and since then, the temperature has risen 3 degrees. That's a lot! SO who knows, there might be an ash cloud of a different, much closer kind.

Khan Academy

What started out as a remote tutor project for his niece, has turned into a world-wide classroom for the world that wants to learn more about Mathematics. That right! The Khan Academy is about Math, Algebra and Calculus and is the #1 educational resource on YouTube. Over 1600 videos will teach almost all basics so no one has to remain behind for whatever reason. At least not if it's a out Math! :)

How To Make Your Own Glowsticks

How To Make Your Own Glowsticks is a really simple, 8 minute, easy to follow and amazingly effective way to make chemiluminescent liquids. Great for parties, impress the neighborhood kids or just have loads of fun!

The Most Magnetic Material Yet

Scientists have created something that is 18% more magnetic than Iron Cobalt (FeCo). Until now, that was the most magnetic material known to man. The new compound is Iron Nitrogen (FeN) and may disprove our knowledge about how magnetic material can be... :) Coool!

USGS Recent Earthquakes - Last 8-30 Days

Ever since the big quake in Chile, it seems other big earthquake have been circling the Pacific Plate. I remembered having blogged about this before, so I went back and checked that site again.

The USGS has a great quake related site. Check out various reports, details and maps. Interestingly, the Recent Earthquakes of the Last 8-30 Days is littered with quakes. And guess where...

BDXL: Blu-ray Discs expand to 128GB

Someone asked my the other day if I knew what the successor to Blu-Ray would be. I said I'd heard of one candidate but had forgotten who or what.

Then Engadget posted news on the official BDXL spec. By going 3-4 layers deep, they can store up to 128 GB write-once information or 100 GB (rewritable). However, you'll need a new player since your laser probably isn't powerful enough to penetrate those new layers. Unless they have a way of souping them up. Perhaps ask NASA if they can think of something! :) After all, if they can jumpstart a satellite a billion miles away...

Update: Remembered the previously announced technology: HVD

Mystery as spiral blue light display hovers above Norway

A few days ago, there was a mysterious spiral blue light display above Norway. I don't believe it was a hoax. There were too many reports from different places and different sources. Slashdot had a whole slew of possible explanations on it, the most logical to me being one where a Russian rocket might have misfired and exploded. It is still sketchy at best, and I am still not sure. But the video and photos are very cool nonetheless!

Underwater volcano captured on film

Think I posted this on Twitter before, but CNN now runs it too... NOAA managed to capture a deep sea underwater volcano on film in the Pacific ocean. I got the film from NOAA and uploaded it to YouTube.
"Eruption of the West Mata volcano, discovered in May, occurred nearly 4,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, in an area bounded by Fiji, Tonga and Samoa."

First Robot to Across the Atlantic - Scarlet Knight

For the first time, a submersible robot has crossed the Atlantic Ocean: Scarlet Knight had a predecessor disappear. Perhaps due to a shark or maybe a fishing boat. In 221 days, the robot traversed 7409 km! With this knowledge, a new area in ocean surveillance can start. And considering we've only discovered approx 5% of the world's oceans, it is about time!

Flood Could Have Filled Mediterranean In Less Than Two Years

Cool! A new study suggests that a Flood Could Have Filled Mediterranean In Less Than Two Years. It was long thought that a Niagara Falls-like "trickle" filled the basin over eons, but new data resulting from geological drills related to the digging of a tunnel from Spain to Morocco suggests it happened "over night". A torrent of 100 km/hr several miles wide poured into the basin with more m3 than a thousand Amazon rivers. Data suggests water levels around the globe fell by almost 10m after the Mediterranean was full! O_o

How A Virus Invades Your Body

NPR has a cool visualization of a Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body.


Last week, a local version of the US TED conference has held in Amsterdam: TEDxAmsterdam was just as inspiring as the other. Sadly was I was not given an invite this year. My plan for next year is to be begged to come and talk! :) KPN was a sponsor so perhaps I can find a way or I could always sign up with a catering company that delivers food there! :D

Check their YouTube channel for videos as they are made available...

Be A Martian with NASA

I've always wanted to visit Mars and explore. Now I can! NASA and Microsoft launched Be A Martian.
The idea is that you could let 50 researchers investigate and document all the material from Mars for the next 24517 years, or open up the information to the general public and use the fact that most people don't have a life but are perfectly capable of discovering cool facts while surfing the net! :)