She also gets heated with another social network -- LinkedIn. We'll collectively discover the perils of stalking your ex-coworkers on the site and why an active profile on LinkedIn is kind of like cheating on your current employer.… Read more
Remember on the first day of grade school when your teachers would ask you to come up to the front of the room and tell your classmates what you did during your summer vacation? Inevitably, there would be tales of frolicking at the beach, camping at national parks, and other cool activities, but we think 9-year-old Caine Monroy just might have the greatest story of all.
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. -- Many great masterpieces reside in museums. There's the "Mona Lisa" at the Louvre. "Nighthawks at the Diner" graces the wall at the Art Institute of Chicago. And the Cray-1 sits at the Bradbury Science Museum here in Los Alamos.
The first Cray-1 was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 at a cost of $8.8 million. It set a new world record speed of 160 million floating-point operations per second and boasted 8MB of main memory. According to the museum, it was the first computer to break the megaflop barrier.
By today's hardware standards, the Cray-1 is a great lumbering beast. The dramatic lighting shining on it at the Bradbury exhibit shows off its curves and hulking size. But by 1976 standards, it was a svelte creation whose circular shape kept the complex wiring compact. … Read more
There are few words to describe people that don't know that the movie "Titanic" was actually based on a real Titanic, and even fewer to describe the bravado in tweeting about that ignorance, but Jeff musters a few adjectives.
On today's episode, we'll cover the $1 billion Instagram buyout and what you can expect to change once Facebook takes over, all four major U.S. wireless carriers joining forces to create a "lost my phone" database, smart touch-screen displays replacing payphones in New York City, and the shaky future of Best Buy and its former CEO.… Read more
Blowing up a balloon yourself is boring. It's always better to spend more than 5,000 hours building a machine that can do it for you in an extremely absurd fashion.
The Purdue Society of Professional Engineers recently broke its own record for creating the most complex Rube Goldberg machine with a 300-step dazzler that goes through many, many motions just to blow up a balloon. And then pop it.
The entry failed to win the latest Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, which honors the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist with a gizmo that accomplishes a simple task in a convoluted way. It did, however, break the Purdue Society of Professional Engineers' own Guinness record, according to Purdue University.
"We did some bold things with this machine that have never even been attempted that probably startled judges, competitors and spectators," a university release quoted team president Zach Umperovitch as saying. "But we were hungry, and we were going to go large or stay home." … Read more
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE -- I recently watched footage of the detonation of the first atomic bomb at Trinity Site in 1945. A black and white mushroom cloud built up in slow motion. Chills and prickles crawled up my spine.
Visiting Trinity Site One week later, I visit ground zero, where a device called "The Gadget" was strapped into a 100-foot-tall steel tower and set off. Two more nuclear explosions took place over Japan after that successful test, harbingers of the end of World War II.
This all happened a long time before I was born, but I feel a strange sadness as I stand here on a hazy spring day in the middle of the Jornada del Muerto, a desert basin full of scrub and pronghorn antelope. That name translates to "day's journey of the dead." … Read more
Richard, our studio engineer, is the inspiration for today's show title that goes along with a story about his old Dumpster-diving days, when he'd raid the Hostess factory at the end of the night to recover "old" Twinkies and Ho Hos.
Jeff faced childhood memories of his own this weekend while cleaning out his old closet, unearthing treasures like Palm Pilots, two Sega Dreamcasts, and a box of old CD jewel cases. If you don't know what those things are, you're too young to be listening to The 404.… Read more
It looks like YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have a new service called "Zeen" -- designed to let users "discover and create beautiful magazines" -- coming soon.
I spent the better part of my twenties pursuing electronic-music rock stardom. Obviously, I failed.
I had some fun along the way, though, which is a rare achievement in a music genre that traditionally splits the duties of creating the music (studio-dwelling producers) and performing the music (fun-loving DJs).
Through trial and error, and many horrible shows, I had a profound realization. The secret to a great show as a DJ or electronic musician is to stop worrying about the audience having fun and focus on entertaining yourself. If an audience can see that you're happy and engaged in something you love, they're more inclined to have fun too.
This same philosophy can be found in the products made by San Francisco-based DJ TechTools. The company made its name by customizing existing DJ products with oversize arcade buttons, letting DJs wail on their gear in a far more expressive way than traditional controls allowed. Since then, the company has evolved its own line of DJ products, which continue to put fun at the forefront of the design. … Read more
Yes, New Mexico is one of the 50 states. No, it's not just a big desert. Yes, it's the birthplace of the atomic bomb. No, our cacti don't have surrender arms (that's Arizona). Yes, Microsoft was founded here.
Over the next two weeks, I'm going to cram all my gadgets into a Prius (unfortunately, the DeSoto is in need of radiator repair) and run around the Land of Enchantment, soaking up all the geeky sights I can find.… Read more