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‘cool’ Archives

Coin-tosses aren’t fair

Coin-tosses aren’t fair

Many statistics examples start with "assuming a fair coin-toss..." But it turns out that coin-tosses aren't fair; depending on your toss, there's a small-to-alarming bias in the result. 1. If the coin is tossed and caught, it has about a 51% chance of landing on the same face it was launched. (If it starts out as heads, there's a 51% chance it [...]

Daft Punk to score Tron sequel

Daft Punk to score Tron sequel

French electronica duo Daft Punk has been signed to write the original music score for Tron 2.0, Walt Disney's upcoming sequel to the groundbreaking 1982 animation cult hit which was scored by electronic music icon Wendy Carlos. Daft Punk's members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter have been involved in various films before, but [...]

Not your normal road on Google Street View

Not your normal road on Google Street View

Google van's keeping up with the race cars too. Yee-ha! Drive it like it's a rental, StreetView guy. Here's more about the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca racing track. (more…)

Black Hat 2009: Parking meter hacking

Black Hat 2009: Parking meter hacking

For day two of Black Hat, we sat in on on Joe Grand, Jacob Appelbaum, and Chris Tarnovsky's study of the electronic parking meter industry. They decided to study parking meters because they are available everywhere, but rarely considered from a security perspective. They focused on the San Francisco’s MTA implementation of electronic smart [...]

GPS jammer plugs into cigarette lighter

GPS jammer plugs into cigarette lighter

My favorite cheap spy-tech/weird cheap gadget seller, Brando, just announced a GPS jammer that plugs into a cigarette lighter. The description is sparse, but I am guessing it can be used to block navigation/tracking/logging systems that rental cars and company fleet vehicles sometimes use to keep track of drivers. It's $49 and I don't know if they [...]

As expected, Ninja Assassin trailer looks awesome

Ninja Assassin is directed by Australian filmmaker James McTeigue, who previously worked as the first assistant director for all three Matrix movies and Speed Racer and also directed V for Vendetta himself. The screenplay was co-written by newcomer Matthew Sand and comic book veteran J. Michael Straczynski, of the "Babylon 5" TV show and the [...]

Amazing American Psycho Music Video

Miles Fisher makes a nearly perfect mixture of The Talking Heads' "This Must Be the Place" and "American Psycho." It's about to become a personal favorite of mine. (more…)

Gentle safe cracker

Gentle safe cracker

Carlito found a safe in his garage with mystery contents. It shows signs of attempted entry and makes interesting noises when shaken. What is the best solution to find out what is inside? Hack it open? Smash it? Blow it up? No, the best solution is to build a robot to try brute force cracking. The robot, housed in an old power supply case, is [...]

Secrets of the injection moulder

Secrets of the injection moulder

Here's a fascinating post on the IDSA Materials and Processes blog about the things you can learn about injection moulding from studying the "ejection marks" on the surface of plastic objects: So I noticed the marks on the lid of my mother-in-law's trash can and thought about what that says about how this part was made and how this might be [...]

HOWTO: Bake dashboard cookies while you’re working

HOWTO: Bake dashboard cookies while you’re working

Beat the heat this summer by setting a tray of raw cookies on your dashboard to bake in the stifling heat inside your car while you work -- you get a tray of warm, fresh-baked cookies to eat on the return commute! It took about 2 1/2 hours for the cookies to bake completely. I ended up opening the car door shortly before the end of the baking [...]

Rock Band opens track creation to home musicians

Rock Band opens track creation to home musicians

Minorly earth-shattering music/game news this morning from the Rock Band camp as they officially unveil The Rock Band Network, a new program for any musician or band to create their own Rock Band tracks and sell them through the game's online store a new Rock Band Network store. The Network will work alongside the Xbox 360's XNA Creators Club, [...]

Power Supply Calculator figures out what size PSU to buy

Power Supply Calculator figures out what size PSU to buy

When building your own desktop computer from scratch, how do you know what size power supply to get? The Newegg Power Supply Calculator figures it out for you with ease. Simply enter your CPU, motherboard, video card, and the rest of your components into the form, click the Calculate button, and you'll see an estimated wattage for the power [...]

Weather Channel: No more smooth jazz

Weather Channel: No more smooth jazz

The Weather Channel will no longer have a "smooth jazz" soundtrack behind its "Local On the 8s" segments. Instead, they will play rock. Fortunately, you can still turn down the TV volume and crank your CD of "The Weather Channel Presents Smooth Jazz," which actually hit #1 on the Billboard's Current Contemporary Jazz Album Chart. From the Atlanta [...]

Blackest material ever created… Again.

Blackest material ever created… Again.

Eduard Driessen, MSc, and Dr Michiel de Dood's new paper in Applied Physics Letters identifies a new contender for the blackest material that ever existed. No word on whether it's any blacker than the last three Spinal-Tap-joke-inspiring none-more-black materials we've covered here since 2003. Two researchers, Eduard Driessen, MSc, and Dr Michiel [...]

If only my Mac did this…

Clearly the work of computer graphics or God himself (pick one, there are a few), who knows, but if my laptop decided to do that, I’d probably go and check with the doctor to see if I haven’t got a brain tumor eating away at my cerebral cortex.

A Look at Saddam Hussein’s Palaces

A Look at Saddam Hussein’s Palaces

Flavorwire has an interview up with photographer Richard Mosse, who recently returned from Iraq, where he photographed what remains of Saddam Hussein's many palaces, which American soldiers have re-purposed as combat headquarters. Snip: This month, the American army is set to handover the last of the palaces back to the Iraqi army. Mosse, who has [...]

Possible NSFW tag in HTML 5

Possible NSFW tag in HTML 5

A "Not Safe for Work" Tag has been proposed for HTML 5: One of the most common descriptive notes people have to write using text when they post links or images to blogs, comments or anywhere in HTML is to say “this link is not safe for work” or simply “NSFW”. By adding the <NSFW> tag, this could be made much simpler and [...]

WD drops 4TB whopper

WD drops 4TB whopper

Like Burger King, Western Digital believes in whoppers; it's just announced a 4TB capacity My Book external drive. Inside this My Book Studio Edition II is a pair of 2TB SATA drives with four interfaces to a host PC: eSATA and FireWire 800 for maximum performance, with FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 for more pedestrian and wide-ranging connectivity. [...]

Remember Dialup?

Nontoxic metal alloy that is liquid at room temperature

Nontoxic metal alloy that is liquid at room temperature

Mercury is bad for you. If you want to play with a nontoxic metal that melts at low temperatures, you can buy little bottles of it at Scitoys.com. Simon Field, the proprietor, sells two kinds. In the photo above, I am holding two small vials of liquid metal. The vial on the right contains gallium, an element that melts at 29.76° Celsius (85.57° [...]

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