Featured Gadgets Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Liquid Breathing and Sand Tiger Sharks

Hope everybody had a great week.  I came home from Virginia Beach, and the weather followed me (in the 90s here in sunny Buffalo).  Of course, it’ll be in the 70s in a few days…anyway, here are last week’s posts:

Other things that caught my eye:

Bake your video card to fix it, which sounds really strange but it CAN work.

The Navy is testing a remotely controlled watercraft to patrol bases and harbors.  No weapons…YET.

A fascinating look at language, word sounds and the way the brain works.

 Thanks to a mention of it at Dinosaur Comics, here’s a link to perfluorohexane, a molecule that can let you breathe liquid by adding oxygen to it.  The fact that it feels like you are drowning is a minor bump in the road.  In all seriousness, there are some great uses for it, including breathing help for premies, and treating the lungs of burn victims.  If you’ve seen the move The Abyss, you saw a real rat really doing this.

Speaking of Dinosaur Comics…sand tiger shark babies might be nature’s ultimate baby badasses.

Via Gizmodo, from NASA,  an image of the Shuttle’s last landing, taken from the ISS:

Gadgets Media

Friday Finds – The Original BFG

It’s a light week since I was gone and not posting, due to my Grandmother’s funeral.  One post last week:

Other cool stuff:

Gizmodo has links about the original Big F***ing Gun, the Nazi superweapon ‘Gustav’.  Relevant stats:

The Gustav had a bore diameter of 800 mm (just under a yard) and used 3000 pounds, more than a ton, of smokeless powder charge to fire its two primary shell types: a 10,584 lb. high explosive (HE) shell and a 16,540 lb. concrete-piercing shell—roughly the weight of an unladen 71-passenger school bus, travelling at 2700ft/s.

The HE shell would leave a crater 30 ft deep up to 29 miles away, and the concrete-piercing shell could plow through 264 ft of concrete up to 23 miles away.

How to Stream Your Media from Home to Your Phone Anywhere You Go with Plex next up, from Lifehacker.  If I can replace TVersity with this, AND get streaming to my phone, outstanding.

Truck Crash Releases 14 Million Angry Bees, And Honey, On Highway via NPR and numerous other reports.  The fact that bees are valued at approximately $.03 had internet friends on Twitter trying to come up with ways to pay with your bills with bees.  And bee puns.  Lots of bee puns.

Gadgets Sci/Tech

Friday Finds – Coronal Mass Ejection!

First, here are my posts from this week:

And a few new things you might find interesting:

Wired’s GeekDad column tells parents what they need to know about Cars 2.  Sounds better than what I’m expecting to be honest, and I’m from a place that worships at the altar of NASCAR.

Also at Wired, the Sun has sent a Coronal Mass Ejection towards Earth.  The phrase ‘Coronal Mass Ejection’ just sounds awesome to me.

Netflix is now on a few select Android devices, with more to come.

Lifehacker has a whole series of Night School posts – they take a subject and give a layman the basics to improve themselves at it.  The current series is about photography, including how best to use the automated and manual settings on a camera, helping to understand ISO and aperture settings, and the like.  They’ve also covered video editing.

New trend in movie posters – Diagonal!

Finally, looking back on old posts here I found this:  the Ultra-fast, Ultra-intense Laser.  The applications they are looking at for this tech are awesome, whether it’s bonding replacement joints to bone, killing cancer cells, or, you know, creating Wolverine.

Firefox 3: Full Page Zoom, and How To Get Rid Of It

Like many of you, Firefox 3 is my go-to browser for normal use, but v3 has one annoyance I helped someone fix today: they switched up the standard zoom (Ctrl + + or -) to enlarge everything, including pictures, and not just text. If you don’t like it, here’s how to put it back they way it was:

  1. In the address bar, type about:config.
  2. You will get a warning about changing things, read it and make the promise.
  3. You will see a loooong list of variables. To make things easier, type zoom on the Filter line.
  4. First item will most likely be browser.zoom.full, set to true. Double-clicking that will set it back to false. You can also undo the one that makes it remember the zoom based on specific sites, while you are at it.
  5. Close that tab and you are done. Your normal zoom is back.

There you have it. Curious about what other things can change? Check out this Lifehacker article. Or this one from GHacks. Of course, any change you make is at your own risk, but most changes are easy enough to put back the way they were.

You could just go to View | Zoom | Zoom Text Only, but by changing things this way, you get your feet wet with about:config, one of the things that sets FF apart from crappy IE6/7.

Life Media

Show Your Desktop


Click the thumbnail for the full effect – I use Rainmeter for customizations, and the background comes from Orioto’s ‘Videogame Remakes’ gallery at deviantART. The skins used for Rainmeter are Urban, Enigma and HUD.Vision (for the weather and picture viewer). H/T to Lifehacker that got me started with Rainmeter.

I know Ryan has evicted Big Papi from his desktop…what do you guys have?

percy jackson & the olympians: the lightning thief full movie

Gadgets Wacky

Everything Old Is New Again

Here’s a head-scratch inducing addition to your desktop PC setup – an old VHS tape modded to act as a USB flash drive, complete with LED light and spinning reels. I don’t have the skills for this, but if I pass this along to the right person (MacGyver-esque dude in front of me) I can make this happen. Funny stuff. H/T to Make and Lifehacker. the chronicles of narnia: the voyage of the dawn treader movie download sites

Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex

Lifehacker has 5+ tweaks for the latest Ubuntu linux release (Intrepid Ibex), which I have downloaded and will be making use of myself. If you’ve always wanted to try Ubuntu, but didn’t want to format one of your PCs or try and shrink your existing drive partitions, try Wubi. Wubi allows you to install Ubuntu from within windows to a preset block of drive space (no need to resize or get a new hard drive) and can be uninstalled from within Windows just the same as any application, easing the transition. One good usage of it would be to turn your Windows PC into another Mythbuntu frontend for an existing Mythbuntu server.

What, you were expecting a dissection of the Sabres lineup or a post dedicated to a Thomas Vanek mancrush? Well, no guarantees that won’t happen later today…


xkcd – Change You Can Believe In!

You can now get an audio preview of your comment before you post it to Youtube. There was a recent xkcd comic on something similar to this, although Randall wanted a mandatory dramatic reading. Unfortunately, this will not stem the tide of idiotic Youtube comments. This might still be more useful for that. ;)

Boring site stuff Media


Wordle is a site that’s making the blog-rounds. The site has a Java applet where you can put in a bunch of text (or your tags) and makes tag clouds out of them, with multiple font/color options. I made on of the headers on my site with it, and there are some really interesting ones on their site (you can save them to a gallery there). Here’s Barack Obama’s ‘Race Speech’ as interpreted by Wordle, for instance. Saw it at Lifehacker but it’s all over the place.

Gadgets Life

Live Search Cashback

I read about this at Lifehacker earlier today. The next time you are looking for products online, take a spin over to MS’s Live Search Cashback page and give it a try. It’s a product search similar to Froogle or CNET’s Shopper, with a clean interface. The difference being that all of the particpating merchants have a percentage cashback when you search and make the purchase through this page. There are many popular merchants involved (including Newegg), and you only have to accumulate $5 for them to pay you out (Paypal, Direct Deposit or a mailed check). So far, I haven’t found many warts other than MS’s Live pages not working well in Firefox 3 RC1.

Firefox 3 – Fastest Web Browser?

That’s what Lifehacker asserts, especially in JavaScript performance. Gmail is improved as well. Click the link for full details. I’m running Firefox 3 RC1 right now, and this post in and of itself is part of my testing. So far, so good.

Ubuntu Cheat Sheet

I’m an occasional user of Ubuntu (had a DVR running with MythTV when I had an extra system), and with the release of Hardy Heron coming up, FOSSwire has created a new Ubuntu cheat sheet for non-Linux folks who want to try it out. Many of these things have Windows-style GUIs you can use, but if you want to learn more about the command-line, it’s a great reference. Spotted at Lifehacker.