Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Intel Hits 50 Gbps Throughput With Photonics [Lightspeed]

When we last left the intrepid research scientists at Intel, they had managed to hit 40Gbps throughput using something called the Avalanche Photodetector. It’s been two years since that report (yeah, this has been in development for a while), and the gang at Intel have not been idle, let me tell you. They’ve managed to improve the field of photonics to achieve throughput of 50 Gbps! While not as much of an advance as one might like to see in two years, this is still a respectable achievement.

Here’s an explanatory video showing what exactly is going on.

People are talking about this like it’s some breakthrough that just happened, but it’s been in the works for years now, and is far from hitting the streets. Even Light Peak, Intel’s new high-speed standard aimed at consumers, isn’t ready for use yet.

We’ll let you know when this one is fully baked. Probably about two years from now.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Surf around the internet, or it will revolve on you [Art]

The following site does just what it says (I tested it on Chrome). It revolves the internet around while you surf. At a constant slow pace it will continue even when you're fighting your pointer's way to a link that's turning away from you.

Oh, and there's great soothing music in the background.

the revolving internet, constant dullaart 2010

It's a wonder how everything is working inside each and every page you reach.

Help! Teens Are Using Digital Drugs to Get High [Digital Drugs]

Help! Teens Are Using Digital Drugs to Get High
Kids around the country are getting high on the internet, thanks to MP3s that induce a state of ecstasy. And it could be a gateway drug leading teens to real world narcotics.

At least that's what Kansas News 9 is reporting about a phenomenon called I-dosing, which involves finding an online dealer who can hook you up with 'digital drugs' that get you high through your headphones.

And officials are taking it seriously.

'Kids are going to flock to these sites just to see what it is about and it can lead them to other places,' Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs spokesman Mark Woodward told News 9.

I-dosing involves donning headphones and listening to 'music' - largely a droning noise - which the sites peddling the sounds promise will get you high. Teens are listening to such tracks as 'Gates of Hades,' which is available on YouTube gratis (yes, the first one is always free). Those who want to get addicted to the 'drugs' can purchase tracks that will purportedly bring about the same effects of marijuana, cocaine, opium and peyote. While street drugs rarely come with instruction manuals, potential digital drug users are advised to buy a 40-page guide so that they learn how to properly get high on MP3s.

Kansas' Mustang Public School district isn't taking the threat lightly, and sent out a letter to parents warning them of the new craze. The educators have gone so far as to ban iPods at school, in hopes of preventing honor students from becoming cyber-drug fiends, News 9 reports.

Here's a video of one wholesome kid getting high - startlingly so - on an MP3:

We at Threat Level are stunned and have hundreds of questions.

Will future presidential candidates defend their I-dosing past by saying, 'But I had it on mute'? Are we supposed to declare a war on cyber-drugs or a cyber-war on cyber drugs? How will police know if a teen is with headphones on is I-dosing or just listening to Justin Bieber? Is the iPod the bong of the future? What would happen if some ne'er do well took over the console of the Super Bowl and dosed the entire country? What if kids smoked dried banana peels and listened to these trippy tunes at the same time - could they O.D.? What happens if someone sells a tainted MP3?

Perhaps most importantly, what will happen if the kids move onto harder stuff like Steve Reich, Philip Glass or even Janet Cardiff's The Killing Machine?

Here's a sample of the heavy stuff that some light experimentation with drug drone music could lead to. (Note: The following video is only for informational purposes and should only be viewed by responsible adults.)

Image by doortoriver

Help! Teens Are Using Digital Drugs to Get has been expanding the hive mind with technology, science and geek culture news since 1995.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Boeing's Egg-Shaped Hydrogen Spy Plane Flies for Four Days [Planes]

Boeing's egg-shaped hydrogen spy plane flies for four days
This is Boeing's "Phantom Eye," a hydrogen-powered, unmanned spy plane that flies 65,000 feet above the ground and can fly for four days straight. Boeing hails it as the "first of its kind" — its looks alone set it apart for that honor.


Tiny $9,000 Car Gets an Astounding 74mpg [Cars]

Tiny $9,000 car gets an astounding 74mpg
Leave it to a Formula One race car engineer to create a car that's so cleverly designed it delivers 74 miles per gallon in a package that costs a mere $9,000. Barely big enough for one person, the T.25 is manufactured with a highly efficient process called iStream, lowering costs and simplifying repairs.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

An 80 Mile Long, 4.5 Billion Year Old Asteroid Gets Its Close Up [Asteroid]

An 80 Mile Long, 4.5 Billion Year Old Asteroid Gets Its Close Up
This is an up close picture of Lutetia, an asteroid that hangs out somewhere between Mars and Jupiter. It's the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission came within 2,000 miles of the asteroid and was able to capture images of Lutetia by using an OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) camera. The closest images got down to less than 200 feet in resolution. It's amazing how peaceful the asteroid looks, lumpy craters and all. Then you remember things like this can destroy planets.

Rosetta actually has bigger plans than the Lutetia, with its end destination being the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We can't wait to see those pictures.
[Gizmodo via Wired]

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fantastic European Space Agency photo shows light from the time of the Big Bang [Astronomy]

Oh, the joy this photo brings me. It was taken by the European Space Agency’s Planck telescope over the period of a year, and it shows, among other treasures, some of the oldest light in the universe. We’re talking light from right around the time of the Big Bang, light that’s 13.7 billion years old. I dare you to look at this and not be completely amazed.

A little big of explanation may be necessary.

The center disc-like structure? That’s the Milk Way—that’s us! If you look closely, you can see me collecting flowers in Red Dead Redemption.

Off toward the right are the stars that make up the Orion constellation. To the left, Perseus.

Now, here’s where it gets good. You see the comparatively sparse areas on the top and bottom? That would cosmic background microwave radiation, present since the time of the Big Bang.

Tremendous in every sense of the word.

Back to flower collecting…

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