For a little while now, the elite of the tech journalism world have been behind closed doors, testing the Apple iPad ahead of its release this Saturday. And after sitting down with the device -- which Apple is trumpeting as the future of computing, while critics fear it as foretelling the coming infantilization of user interfaces -- they're actually pretty impressed! Here's what the Important Tech Writers of Our Time have been saying:
Kids educational website BrainPOP have a great animated short celebrating the life of a historical figure who was English nobility, a child of Lord Byron, a friend of Charles Babbage, a mathematician, the first programmer, and a woman.
Pay attention, Computer Engineer Barbie. This is Ada Lovelace. Programmer of the old school. Yeah, back when it took a room of clockwork to add and subtract. Back when using punch cards was the next big innovation. Respect.
Sock it to 'em, Ada!
NASA has an Office of Planetary Protection. It's where the Officer of Planetary Protection works. And that may be the most awesome thing I've heard all week. Goodnight everybody! ...Just kidding. But there really is an Office of Planetary Protection at NASA, and its job is to keep us from irretrievably screwing up interaction between terrestrial life and extra-terrestrial life (or possible extra-terrestrial life). Boing Boing has an article up about the ever-changing job of creating the protocol that we use to avoid horrible science fiction disasters.
As we all know, the internet is 90% cats. Here is one of them. It plays a little drum, and it dances a bit. Mostly it plays a keyboard. We suppose that would make it a keyboard cat. But not the first keyboard cat. A second keyboard cat.
Accompany our exit with a musical selection, piano feline!
Chalk one up for the geeks: while countless music magazines out there would have done anything to get their grubby paws on the cover art for electro-indie band MGMT's upcoming album, Congratulations, they were beaten to the punch -- by geeky curiosity blog Boing Boing. The cover was painted by Trinidad and Tobago-born artist and cartoonist Anthony Ausgang, who told Boing Boing that the band was a pleasure to work with: "A lot of people who commission a painting only know what they don't want; fortunately MGMT knew what they wanted and let me do it my way." Fully sized Congratulations cover art after the jump:
A brief perusal of Wikipedia shows that John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek never fought each other on Celebrity Deathmatch. If this is something over which you might mourn, the you'll be interested to know that Econstories.tv has a really nicely produced video depicting a rap battle between the two titans of economics.
At first we were worried that we didn't understand enough about economics to post this video. Then we remembered that nobody understands enough about economics, and we felt a little better.
We're not joking. Check out the videos after the jump if you don't believe us.
Jonathan Alberico (deviantART alias Macabre151) has built two firing models of steampunk inspired weapons, Doris and Black Betty.
"Doris" is a rifle, or, to be more appropriate, a blunderbuss that can be loaded with either a magazine of four ping-pong balls or a barrel-full of confetti.
Also in Alberico's deviantART gallery is his "Black Betty," a handgun equipped with two 40 caliber balls. If you don't have any projectiles for it, it can also simply ignite flash paper. Which allows it to shoot fire.
The video is after the jump. What are you waiting for?
What's got 24 legs made of hospital oxygen tubes, has 6 compressors that were used in Gulf War nerve gas detecting equipment, and won two first prizes at the Hackers' Conference in 2005? Answer: this incredible robot, designed by roboticist syntience. Video after the jump:
The infographic whizzes at GOOD have once again teamed up with branding and communication design firm Design Language to turn abstract numbers into compelling visuals: This time, by looking at the amount of money different countries, businesses, and NGOs have given to Haiti.