Harry’s Geek Roundup – The # Effect

I’m gonna put down Phineas & Ferb for just long enough to give you all a run-through of the news and references from our series 03 premier yesterday, complete with citations.

The High Court Rules: BT must block Newzbin 2

Newzbin2 (the google of usebin) is a site that contains links to various illegal downloads for copyrighted content: from film to music to games. The idea of Newzbin2 is not to put things up for download like, say, Pirate Bay, but to make it easier for people who want to find such content. You search Newzbin2, you find an arminian gentle man has Megamind. Saves you a short time of googling.

With all that in mind, it is more than understandable as to why the court would want Newzbin2 to be blocked buy internet service providers: it looks like an illegal download site like any other – it breaks copyright and takes money from industries. The reason this news is worth noting though is that Newzbin contains to illegal content in and of itself – it merely links to it.

Because of this, some users of the internet are worried that this ruling may actually be opening the floodgates to internet censorship: if Newzbin2 is illegal for linking to something illegal, then how many websites are breaking the law simply by proxy? It takes, at most, 6 degrees to get from Julian Assange to Kevin Bacon right? But a single series of spambots could link your blog to TorrentReactor in one easy step.

The uncertainty on what rulings may come out of this have caused worry over the internet, due to this bieng the first website blocking in the UK of its type: One of a non black-or-white ‘they uploaded this content’ nature (for those wondering I consider Newzbin2 to be a very dark grey, but I won’t miss it).

Let us know in the comment or @TGS_TheGeekShow what you think about this decision, and what it means for the internet.

 

Northerners have bigger brains (and eyes)

Defiantly one for our “Strange, random and interesting” factbooks (we all have one of those right?)

According to Oxford University Anthropologists who have been collecting and examining skulls for several years: there is a significant positive correlation between eye-socket and brain-volumes, and the distance the skull’s owner lived from the equator. In laymen’s terms – futher from the hotter bit of the earth: the bigger someone’s eyes and brain.

Now remember, its the content and not the size of the brain that is important. Having a larger brain could have been the result of needing a larger vision centre, as one would be required to live in conditions with lower light. If this is true, then we have further evidence of human bodies changing and evolving in small ways to adapt to condition changes as mankind spread out around the globe.

Perhaps we should test the other applications of this brain size difference? Maybe with some form of national Sudoku test?

 

The Robot Revolution 1: Walking on water

The Harbin Institute of Technology in China have created a robot lightweight enough to glide over the surface of water. The thin layer of surface tension is normally far to weak to support anything other than water strider bugs, this microbot – based off of said bugs, weighs about as much as 390 of said bots, and due to its clever design and larger surface area, can glide without issue.

The creators have said they have big plans to use this microbot, namely in water-pollution level detection, quality testing, and military surveillance.

 

The Robot Revolution 2: Jetskis

In the navy~ Where a robotic Jet ski can use sonar, radar and video cameras to find swimming terrorists.

Never fear, your sand castles are safe, when a remote controlled sea craft, cabable of bieng armed and armoured is one the lookout – flying solo using an AI… can’t we just give lifeguard’s tazers or Kung-Fu? This all seems just a little excessive to me…

 

WTF Award 1: The science of stabbing someone with a broken bottle

Engineers at Leicester Uni have discovered a way to determining how much force has been applied when a victim is stabbed with a broken bottle. Sounds like an unusually specific waste of a research grant at first – broken bottles are used as weapons in about 10% of all ER cases caused by assault. So this research could provide a great but of insight to forensics on exactly how much anger and premeditation went into an attack – since they found it requires a lot more force to stab someone with a bottle than a knife.

The team have decided to use their research for other applications: by working with the Materials Knowledge Transfer Network and the Institute of Materials, they are trying to redesign pint glasses to fracture is less damaging ways.

 

WTF Award 2: Electronic tongues and wine tasting

Researchers from the Group of Sensors and Biosensors at the Universtat Autonoma de Barcelona are developing a robotic ‘tongue’ that can act as a wine connoisseur. The tongue works by analysing how much sugar has been added to a sparking wine – as the sugar quantity added during fermentation determines what kind of wine you end up with.

Hopefully this technology will develop enough to tell specific wines apart – and sniff out weather that slightly dodgy restaurant down the corner is giving me the real ‘house red’ or a bottle from Lidl. And if it can, I’d like that effect to come in the form of a Dalek-esque voice saying “CHEAPSKATE! CHEAPSKATE!”

 

Project Overkill: Machine gun mounted lasers 

This new section will have us presenting the most overpowered equipment we see being developed. Things we have to have to fight (or more likely serve) our robot overlords when the time comes.

What better way to start than with Boeing and BAE’s collaborative effort to make an automatic Mk 38 Mod 2 Machine Gun System complete, by adding a laser. Therefore being able to fire photons at your enemy, just in case bullets weren’t enough… that lead is gonna get dangerously hot…

 

Announcements

Go to http://www.humblebundle.com/ because the Humble Indie Bundle 3 is out! You have a limited time to help charity and indie devs by buying 5 (upgraded to 6) games for literally ‘However much you are willing to donate’. On offer this time we have Cogs, Crayon Physics Deluxe, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, And yet it moves and Steel Storm. Oh, and Notch has added 2 weeks of free Minecraft.

So why not help this excellent cause and get yourself 5 awesome games? No reason. There is no reason why you can’t pay however little (or big) you are willing to give, help Child’s Play, and get some awesome games. Go now. DO IT!

Plugs

Other than the Humble Indie Bundle 3 (you still reading!? Stop, go to there site and come back, miser!) we made a few shout-outs and plugs to our friends and stalking-victims on the show.

Charlieissocoollike – you will have heard of him by now, SURELY? He is a fun, awesome dude from England called Charlie McDonnel. He has 1,112,322 subscribers for making videos about things. Anything really so long as its interesting. He’s explained time-travel and the redshift, as well as eaten Fish Fingers & Custard and made Balloon Animals. Oh, and he has an outro by Stephen Fry. Yeah, he is that cool.

Chameleon Circuit – Featuring the aforementioned Charlie, and Alex Day – Chameleon Circuit are the first Trock (Time Lord Rock) band, writing awesome songs about Dr. Who. David Tennant himself has described them as making “Real, proper music”. Why not go buy their awesome new album “Still got legs” from iTunes?

@OKComics – Follow them on twitter, they are a comic book shop in London recommended to me by the comedian @EddieTheFrench (he’s cool too, big geek). They put out some great tweets about what new comics are out, and have fun with their loyal patrons.

Lady Pigeon – An awesome gal we met at Kitacon 3; funny, fangirling and exploding with energy, she won 2 awards, on her first ever attendance to Kitacon. Check out her deviantART for fun Metal Gear Solid fanart, and watch her award-winning AMV.

Well, all that is left to do from here is to thank our super-special guest @lovembro, both for joining us, and for the great work she does promoting worthy causes in Middlesbrough.

Oh, and if you want to know more about the music we used today, all of it can be found under the playlist marked “S01E03” on TheGeekShowRadio – our shiny new youtube channel. Where will also be uploading interviews we do with cool people. Its only new, so we are still uploading our interviews from London MCM Expo and the Terracotta Far East Film Festival, why not subscribe to get ahead of what we upload? 😉

Until next week, I have been Harry Bentley for #TheGeekShow. If you want to talk to us, leave a comment here or go to “The Geek Show” on Facebook and Google+, and TGS_TheGeekShow on twitter. We don’t have a tumblr account, but I do – chat with me there if your a complete hipster, or you just like pictures XD.

– HB

Harry Bentley

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