August 19, 2012
Is your website DOA?
Gravity-Stabilized Cream & Sugar Set
When you pour the cream, the sugar bowl remains level.
4.75"H x 3"Ø.
Broccoli Treehouse — Episode 2: Spotted in Portland
Word gets around.
EX-CON Embroidered Key Ring Banner
It's not what you think.
Remember late, great Continental Airlines?
Many long-time employees were, shall we say, not the happiest campers when United bought their company and promptly began a "race to the bottom"-like cleansing of everything that made Continental a distinctive company.
For those nostalgic dead-enders, this key ring would be just the thing to both make them laugh bitterly and feel solidarity with others sporting an EX-CON/REMOVED FROM FLIGHT 2011 LinkedIn entry.
[via Alan Fick]
Quantum Random Number Generator
"Quantum random numbers now live in your browser."
From the September issue of Wired magazine: "Now scientists at the Australian National University [ANU] have introduced a technique for generating 5.7 billion truly random values per second. They do it by harnessing the fundamental uncertainty of the universe. Their technique measures quantum phenomena in a box completely devoid of photons, where ghostly virtual particles randomly burble in and out of existence 24/7."
From the ANU website : "Reliable and unbiased random numbers are needed for a range of applications spanning from numerical modeling to cryptographic communications. While there are algorithms that can generate pseudo random numbers, they can never be perfectly random nor indeterministic."
"Researchers at the ANU are generating true random numbers from a physical quantum source. We do this by splitting a beam of light into two beams and then measuring the power in each beam. Because light is quantized, the light intensity in each beam fluctuates about the mean. Those fluctuations, due ultimately to the quantum vacuum, can be converted into a source of random numbers. Every number is randomly generated in real time and cannot be predicted beforehand."
Below, the abstract of the ANU paper, published in June 2011 in Applied Physics Letters.
Real time demonstration of high bitrate quantum random number generation with coherent laser light
We present a random number generation scheme that uses broadband measurements of the vacuum field contained in the radio-frequency sidebands of a single-mode laser. Even though the measurements may contain technical noise, we show that suitable algorithms can transform the digitized photocurrents into a string of random numbers that can be made arbitrarily correlated with a subset of the quantum fluctuations (high quantum correlation regime) or arbitrarily immune to environmental fluctuations (high environmental immunity). We demonstrate up to 2 Gbps of real time random number generation that were verified using standard randomness tests.
POV Video: Curiosity Lander Package Final Descent to Mars Impact
The YouTube caption:
This video shows the final descent of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Descent Vehicle from Heat Shield Jettison through Touchdown as captured by the Mars Descent Imager that was provided by Malin Space Science Systems.
Raw, unprocessed images were used for this video.
Spacecraft UTC: Start: 5:15:21 - End: 5:18:11 -- 666 Frames
The video is playing at 4 frames per second, actual average rate of the MARDI Images is about 3.95 fps.
There are still 25 pre-landing Full-Resolution Frames that have yet to be downlinked by Curiosity. In the video, available thumbnail images were used.
Heat Shield Impact is at 1:38 in the Video.
MSL EDL Reconstruction: http://bit.ly/NecYFk
MARDI Still Imagery: http://bit.ly/OXmtsY
MSL Section with Mission Coverage and extensive background Information: http://bit.ly/msl101
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
Video Compiled by Spaceflight101.com (Patrick Blau)
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Emily Mortimer's favorite dry shampoo
Asked to name her three* essential beauty products, the actress told the Wall Street Journal that they "... hail from drugstore shelves. I use a cheap dry shampoo called Batiste. It makes your hair white at first but then you don't need to wash your hair for a few days."
*She added, "I use Pond's Cold Cream to take off makeup and L'Oreal mascara."
Portable Photo Booth — Snap & Print
Long story short from Michael Hsu's review in yesterday's Wall Street Journal: "The Polaroid Z2300 — a digital camera that prints 2x3-inch photographs — reminds you how instantly gratifying it can be to hold an actual snapshot in your hand."
Excerpts from the review below.
The Z2300, which goes on sale Saturday, looks like a digital camera circa 1998. It's thicker (1.4 inches) and wider (4.6 inches) than most models these days, and it weighs a relatively hefty 10 ounces. But while the Z2300 may be chunky for a 10-megapixel camera, it's tiny for a portable printer. (The Z2300 can print photos that it's taken, of course, but also those that you load onto an SD memory card.)
Like earlier generation Polaroids, the Z2300 has no ink cartridges to replace, and it offers the option of printing with the iconic white Polaroid border that somehow makes everything more charming. It can render black-and-white or color-tinted photos for the vintage effect that's all the rage online these days. And it even records video, with sound to boot.
The digital side of the Z2300 also offers a few handy conveniences that older instant cameras lacked: You can review and crop a photo before printing it (helpful, since the paper for each print costs about 50 cents). It's possible to print multiple copies (one for everyone in a group shot, for example).
But the Z2300's neatest trick is how easy it makes letting memories, which might otherwise languish on a hard drive, see the light of day. A peel-off back turns each print into a photo-sticker.
White or Black: $159.99.