Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 17)

Airplanes Make it Rain

If you've ever been lucky enough to see a hole-punch cloud form in the afternoon sky (above), you'd be forgiven for thinking a UFO landed somewhere near by. But according to a new study, the clouds form when much more pedestrian flying objects -- turboprop and jet airplanes -- fly through and change water droplets into ice crystals.Droplets in many clouds exist in a strange supercooled state; they can be as cold as -34 degrees C (-35 degrees F), well below freezing, and yet remain in liquid form. When airplanes come cruising through, they can cause a quick drop in temperature that freezes the droplets. Suddenly the cloud is populated by ice crystals. Droplets begin condensing around them in a chain reaction and then -- poof! -- a hole of blue sky appears where fluffy white cloud had been.Where does the water and ice go? It falls to Earth, either as snow or rain -- sometimes a fair amount of it.

Enjoy a vuvuzela-free World Cup

The constant background drone of the horns may not deafen TV viewers thousands of miles away, but it has outraged plenty of them. The BBC, hit with several hundred complaints, is already considering the broadcast of a "vuvuzela free" version of the World Cup matches, but geeks who aren't willing to wait can filter the noise today.The easiest method costs EUR2.95. Vuvuzela haters can visit antivuvuzelafilter.com, plunk down their cash, and download a 45-minute MP3 file. This must be played back during each half of a football match, preferably from a speaker right next to the television, and the "specially designed Vuvuzela noise-cancellation sound is a wave with the same amplitude but with inverted phase to the original sound." In other words, you get active noise cancellation.

U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.At WarNotes from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other areas of conflict in the post-9/11 era.Go to the Blog >>MultimediaGraphicMinerals in AfghanistanReaders' Comments Readers shared their thoughts on this article. * Read All Comments (1460) >>The previously unknown deposits -- including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium -- are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

garfield minus garfield

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

amazing pencil art

It's hard to belive but all these picture are not photos but pencil drawings. The author of such unbelievable art is 38-year-old graphic artist from Hong Kong Paul Lung. 0.5 mm technical pencil and A2 paper are the only attributes of these masterpieces. He doesn't use eraser and spends up to 60 hours sketching out his pictures. As he often admits people do not belive him and he has to make videos of his work to prove that these art works are not photographs. Check it by yourself.

Of Course Apple Is Going to Do Search

Well, if marketers are going to find value in AppWorld, they're going to need a proxy for engagement, a trail of breadcrumbs, some signal(s) that show were consumers are, what they are doing, and ideally, predicts what they might do next. And we as consumers also need this trail - we need smart navigation tools to figure out which apps to use, which apps our friends recommend, and how best to navigate the apps we are using. It was easy when there were just a few apps. Now there are hundreds of thousands. Soon there will be millions. Don't tell me a Google like metadata play isn't going to evolve inside such an ecosystem. After all, search did all those things for the web. But so far, we don't have a similar signal for AppWorld.

First human infected with computer virus

A British scientist says he is the first man in the world to become infected with a computer virus.Dr Mark Gasson from the University of Reading contaminated a computer chip which was then inserted into his hand.The device, which enables him to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone, is a sophisticated version of ID chips used to tag pets.In trials, Dr Gasson showed that the chip was able to pass on the computer virus to external control systems.If other implanted chips had then connected to the system they too would have been corrupted, he said.

1st synthetic life form

The new organism is based on an existing bacterium that causes mastitis in goats, but at its core is an entirely synthetic genome that was constructed from chemicals in the laboratory.The single-celled organism has four "watermarks" written into its DNA to identify it as synthetic and help trace its descendants back to their creator, should they go astray."We were ecstatic when the cells booted up with all the watermarks in place," Dr Venter told the Guardian. "It's a living species now, part of our planet's inventory of life."Dr Venter's team developed a new code based on the four letters of the genetic code, G, T, C and A, that allowed them to draw on the whole alphabet, numbers and punctuation marks to write the watermarks. Anyone who cracks the code is invited to email an address written into the DNA.