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  1. Reddit AMA With Female Computer Scientists Becomes All About Their Gender Because Of Course It Does


    Ahhh, the Ask Me Anything subreddit is such a conundrum. Sometimes you get clever and engaging questions that invoke witty and insightful responses from movie stars, writers, scientists, or even your everyday dog groomers and office workers. Then, sometimes you get people haranguing you over a single word in your thread subject line and also asking you your bra size. Guess which happened this time?

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  2. Youtube’s Top Ten List of “Geek Videos” for 2013 Is Much Better Than Their Other Lists

    There aren't even any foxes or anything!

    You've seen the 2013 Top Ten List of overall videos by now, we're guessing, and if you're like us then you found them a bit lacking in stuff like Chris Hadfield singing in space or giant terrifying cheetah robots. Well, never fear! Youtube's weird obsession with "geeks" paid off for us with this awesome Top Ten Trending list.

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  3. Somehow This Happened In Real Life: A Little Girl Befriends a Robot [VIDEO]


    This may be the sweetest video to come from San Diego Comic-Con so far. Watch as a little girl, complete with a superhero cape, cautiously befriends the Stan Winston Studios giant robot that Adam Savage and Wired revealed this year at Comic-Con. The 9 foot tall iron giant, if you will, towers over little Zoe and promises to protect her, making me wish that a movie about such a pair, filled with adventure and engineering, would grace our screens. (via Fashionably Geek) Previously in San Diego Comic-Con

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  4. Philip Pullman to Focus on His Dark Materials Sequel in 2013

    There's really no way for me to properly express my feelings on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials. I read the three books, The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, years ago on a hiking trip in New Mexico. If you ever want to have a truly transcendental experience, read a good book on the top of a mountain where you can see all the stars. Pullman's been teasing the sequel, The Book of Dust, for years. Now it looks like 2013 will be all Dust, all the time.

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  5. Limor Fried on WIRED Cover: “I Get Dressed Up From Time to Time”

    If we got angry about this kind of thing we'd be angry all the time

    The site GOOD recently posted about how Limor Fried's landmark WIRED cover is just absolutely appalling because of its glossy, stylized appearance, making them wonder why they bothered to feature Fried at all if all they were going to do is Photoshop her "beyond recognition." Because a female in a scientific field should not appear to have any regard for her looks at any time ever, not even for a stylized magazine cover? Because only frumpy women are real women? Well, Fried responded to the post in their comments section, assuring them "that is really what I looked like."

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  6. Female Engineer Featured on the Cover of Wired for the First Time

    Wired has a rather infamous track record when it comes to putting women on the cover of their magazine -- and it didn't help much that last year, Wired put a pair of breasts on the cover. (Because they illustrated an article on tissue engineering, of course.) So it's refreshing to see that for the April 2011 issue of Wired, a woman with technical skills gets prominent cover placement. Adafruit Industries' Limor Fried, who was prominent last year in raising the call for an open Kinect driver that arguably helped launch the Kinect hack revolution, is the first female engineer to make the cover of Wired. >>>More at The Mary Sue.

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  7. Wired Finally Puts A Woman With A Tech Oriented Career On Its Cover

    Great Hera!

    Wired has come under criticism before for its depiction of women on its covers. According to Cindy Royal, whose blog post about the lopsided featuring of women on the cover of Wired reached many last fall, the last time a woman on the cover of Wired was actually a luminary from the world of technology it was 1996. As Royal said, Martha Stewart, Sarah Silverman and Uma Thurman don't count. Whether Wired actually listened to Royal's criticism is more than we can say for certain, but we're happy to report that today  Wired tweeted their April cover featuring none other than Limor Fried (who we featured on our PowerGrid, 10 Women Who Secretly Control the Internet), the lady who offered a cash prize to the first person to produce open source drivers for the Microsoft Kinect, and then successfully convinced Microsoft that she had actually done them a favor and they shouldn't sue her. Congratulations, Limor!

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  8. Is Geekdom Really Going Extinct?

    "I’m not a nerd. I used to be one, back 30 years ago when nerd meant something." - Patton Oswalt A question for my fellow geeks: Could you have ever imagined today's pop culture environment? Especially while some of us were subjected to taunts, name-calling, or physical bullying over the weird stuff we liked? Because we were into horror movies, or science fiction, or video games ... we were the different ones who had to be called out for being different. We couldn't fly under the radar enough. But as much as "normal" kids made our lives miserable, we liked feeling like insiders. We were otakus, with our specific but passionate fascinations. But now, there is a place for all of us, all because of the Internet. The geek stuff we held so dear that some thought we had to be ashamed of is part of the mainstream now because - to our horror - it's become trendy. If something has a Facebook fan page, how underground can it be? It's as if it doesn't even belong to us anymore.

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  9. Wi-Fi Thermostat Gives Us Another Reason to Remain Motionless

    Sitting around while moving nothing but your fingers all day can leave you with the shivers. Well, now you can continue your marathon of inactivity by controlling your thermostat from your phone! Oh, America. I shouldn't be quite so flippant about what actually sounds like a pretty useful application. Available for computers as well as iPhones (no word on an Android app), the Filtrete program is designed to set "temperature changes, four times a day, every day of the week. That’s 56 individual data points to configure on a small display with a minimum of input options." Which might be a bit much to deal with on a phone's touch screen. But think of it as a remote start for your car - if you're coming back from the airport in the dead of winter (say from a warm, sunny environment) the least you deserve is coming home to a warm house. So this would allow you to turn up the heat in the cab on the way home or even before that.

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  10. Mysterious Video Surfaces from District 9 Director

    The mysterious little video above, which is credited to District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, appeared in the most recent iPad edition of Wired magazine. Slashfilm did some sleuthing, and they may have found a clue in the form of the stamp on the side of the alien-looking swine, which reads "AGM Heartland."

    Here is what I’ve discovered. 18.12 is the number of the issue of WiReD that this video appears in. I did some searching and found out that a Beverly Hills-based company named Sable Productions Ltd. filed for the trademark “AGM Heartland” on October 18th 2010. The trademark use is labeled as: "Entertainment services by way of an online website with video, audio and textual content and images featuring characters and storylines about a fictional genetic engineering company that produces genetically engineered and altered organisms." The fact that it mentions only online and not theatrical or television makes me think it’s not related to a film project … but you never know.
    Very curious... (Slashfilm via io9)

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  11. Geekolinks: 11/6

    There Will Be Blood for the SNES (Tomfoolery Pictures) Robot Lincoln. Nuff Said. (Disney Parks Blog) How to Make a Wireless Router Out of a NES Cartridge (The Unconventional Hacker) First Tiny Look at the New Muppets Movie (Wired) Google/Facebook Data Throughdown (Reuters) Fossilized Dinosaur Poop, This Year's Go-to Stocking Stuffer? (Flickr) Darth Vader's Hawaiian Vacation (Hawaiian Seamonkey) (Fail Whale Hat via Geeks are Sexy.)

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  12. Neil Gaiman’s The Price Might Become an Animated Short

    The Price is a wonderful ghost story of sorts from Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors collection, about a father who finds that the stray his family has adopted is protecting their home from something terrible and wild, and that somehow his family's happiness is directly dependent on the black cat's ability to defend them from it. Filmmaker Christopher Salmon read the story and was enough enamored by it to want to make an animated film of it. And fortunately for him, Mr. Gaiman was also enough enamored of his concept to give him permission. The project is currently seeking funds through Kickstarter, but you can watch a video spelling out the basic visual style of the eventual movie, featuring many shots from his animatic below.

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  13. Geekolinks: 10/23

    Lion-O Is Ceiling Cat For Some Reason (FashionablyGeek) Square Enix Is Making A Christmas Album (GameInformer) StarCraft II's New Minigames (Kotaku) Marvel Shelves Runaways Movie (Bleeding Cool) ABC, CBS, and NBC Are All Blocked on Google TV (The Wall Street Journal) CALM DOWN: Rumors of Star Wars Sequel Trilogy are Unfounded (Wired) BlizzCon Costumes, Day 1 (WoW Insider) (pic via Guyism.)

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  14. Robot Couple Makes Pancakes

    It's Saturday morning, how about some pancakes? Nono, it's really no trouble. I've been working on my technique. Just let me open the fridge here. No, it's okay, I got it. Yup. I got it. Just another minute or two. There we go. Fridge open. Lemme get the batter out. Won't be long now! (via Wired.)

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  15. Target Inadvisably Mocks Home-Made Halloween Costumes

    Target's name is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy these days. Just to make sure that everyone has beef with them, the retailer has levied a snide, mocking blow at, of all people, moms who take the time to make charming homemade costumes for their kids instead of buying a cheap licensed knock off at some big box store.

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  16. Time Lapse Video of A Rubik’s Cube Mosaic In the Making

    This isn't normally how we make the games are art argument, but... we applaud your commitment to literal thinking. (David Alvarez has two other game supply mosaics that are just as impressive, using good old six-sided dice and playing cards. I chose this one because it is relevant to my interests.) (via Wired.)

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  17. The Primordial “Soup” May Have Been Gas

    A new experiment that simulates the atmosphere of Titan has demonstrated that amino acids and nucleotide bases could be formed in the interactions between ultraviolet rays (like those from the sun) and methane and nitrogen (which make up Titan's atmosphere). Amino acids and nucleotides are the necessary proto-molecules that you need to get DNA and RNA. There are a number of likely ways in which the basic elements of live arose on Earth, like being formed by hydrothermal vents in the ocean, aquifers, lakes, or even brought here by comets. Scientists believe that modern Titan is in a state much like an ancient Earth, and so to say that these compounds are possible on Titan is to say that they may have occurred on Earth, too.

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  18. Busted: The Black Death Was Indeed Bubonic Plague

    We had no idea, but apparently there is some dispute among the historical/scientific community as to whether the Bubonic Plague was actually responsible for the pandemic known as The Black Death, which killed off more than a third of Europe's population in the 1300's. The Black Death occurred long before scientists and doctors would come to understand the existence of bacteria or viruses, and all we have to go on are historical accounts written at a terrifying point in history where one in three people were dropping dead with only a few days warning; and so it makes a kind of sense, actually, that scientists aren't really sure which specific pathogen was at fault. But thanks to some clever DNA testing, scientists now have a better indication of the culprit: Yersinia pestis, more commonly known as the Bubonic Plague.

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  19. Cases Now Break the iPhone 4?

    After Apple has "fixed" the iPhone 4 antenna issue by not actually fixing it at all and offering free cases that quell the issue instead, Ryan Block of gdgt claims that insider Apple sources are telling him that Apple stores are halting the sales of of third-party slide-on iPhone 4 cases because they could lead to scratches, which could then lead to cracked glass and a broken phone.

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  20. Things That Jonathon Keats Has Done

    See, we were going to talk about this Wired article about conceptual artist Jonathon Keats getting some chunks of lunar and martian rock, smashing them up with a hammer and growing cactus and potatoes in them, because it contains all of the following language:
    Like all astronauts, these potatoes and cacti are test pilots. And if you think of the greatest test pilots in history, from Chuck Yeager to Neil Armstrong, you find that they're highly intelligent and also extremely dumb: Intelligent enough to navigate the unknown, and dumb enough to let themselves be launched in the first place. Plants also have these essential traits: The smarts to adapt to novel conditions and the stupidity not to run away... Few people, in my experience, have ever revered a potato, let alone envied one. We tend to eat them, and of course the Irish cursed them during the Great Famine. But now here's the chance for children to look up to potatoes as heroic, just as John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin were once role models... Of course by colonialist standards, potatoes will have territorial claim to Mars since they've beat Homo sapiens, and what's most hospitable to them may be to inhabit it without us around.
    So, yeah, we were going to do a whole post just on that. But then we went to Jonathon Keats' Wikipedia page, and got lost for fifteen minutes. And so, without further ado, we present a list of Things That Jonathon Keats Has Done.

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