"A 384-bit key I can factor on my laptop in 24 hours,” he says. “The 512-bit keys I can factor in about 72 hours using Amazon Web Services for $75. And I did do a number of those. Then there are the 768-bit keys. Those are not factorable by a normal person like me with my resources alone. But the government of Iran probably could, or a large group with sufficient computing resources could pull it off."
— Wired.com - How a Google Headhunter’s E-Mail Unraveled a Massive Net Security Hole
"Data centers consume up to 1.5 percent of all the world’s electricity."
— Wired.com - Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center
"[…] the dispenser can produce as many grades as it wants from as few as two underground tanks, as long as one tank contains the highest grade of octane available at that station and the other contains the lowest. The grades are blended together at the pump — not unlike the way you’d blend gin and vermouth to make a martini — producing a kind of octane cocktail. The precise proportion in which the grades are blended determines the octane of the gas that enters the customer’s tank."
— How Stuff Works - How Gas Pumps Work - The Blend Valve
"Scientists were soon hurling fortified tumblers off their nine-story facility and bombarding the glass, known internally as 0317, with frozen chickens. It could be bent and twisted to an extraordinary degree before fracturing, and it could withstand 100,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. (Normal glass can weather about 7,000.)"
— Wired.com > Glass Works: How Corning Created the Ultrathin, Ultrastrong Material of the Future
Inexpensive ice pops like Otter Pops and Fla-Vor-Ice — made from water, corn syrup, and a little fruit juice and packed in thin plastic tubes — became a staple of working- and middle-class American freezers in the 1960s and 70s. They came in a variety of flavors and the number of red fruits that ice pop makers had to contend with often led to confusion. Cherry, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon all lend themselves to the color red, and if any two of those flavors were in the same pack, they had to be distinguishable by color.
At first, the problem was solved by making cherry and strawberry slightly different shades of red. Watermelon pops were often made a lighter pink-red, and raspberry ones a dark wine-red. Scientists soon found out, though, that the most inexpensive and widely available dye for this deep red, Amaranth (aka E123 and FD&C Red No. 2), provoked severe reactions, and was deemed a possible carcinogen and banned by the FDA.
What Now, Raspberry?
The ice pop barons had access to blue dye, but no flavors that needed it.
It was just an extra color sitting around, so they started to marry the
flavor of *Rubus leucodermis*, known as the “Whitebark Raspberry” or “Blue Raspberry,” with the bright blue synthetic food coloring Brilliant Blue (FD&C Blue No. 1). The dye’s color wasn’t anywhere close to the real-life color of the fruit, but it solved the raspberry conundrum and led to blue-tongued kids across the country.
Read the full text here:
Harold E. Edgerton, Bullet through Apple
one million frames per second
Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look “around” corners or see inside the body without X-rays.
TED Talk Video
"According to the UK car site Recombu, drivers can switch the radio on and off with a wink of an eye, turn the volume of the stereo up or down with a tilt of the head to the left or right and tap the steering wheel to skip to the next song or radio station. The system will also increase or decrease the temperature of the climate control when the driver raises or lowers a hand above the gear-shift knob, and even place a phone call on a connected Bluetooth phone when the driver simply makes the universal pinky-and-thumb “on the phone” gesture while saying the name of a contact in the phone’s address book."
— Wired.com - Harman Unveils Kinect-Style Gesture-Recognition Concept for Cars
"There’s no better way to understand LinkedIn’s quiet savvy, in the midst of Facebook’s noisy clatter, than to compare the two sites’ financial efficiency. With ComScore Web-usage data and public financial filings, it’s now possible to figure out how much revenue the two rivals collect for every hour that each user spends on the site. LinkedIn’s tally: $1.30. Facebook’s: a measly 6.2 cents. One could argue that it’s better to have a small slice of something massive than a big slice of something smaller. But the numbers above are further skewed by a simple fact: Facebook, which derives 85% of its revenue from advertising, makes money only when you’re on Facebook. Once you sign up for LinkedIn, the social network monetizes your information, not your time. Mark Zuckerberg can crow about how his users spend, on average, 6.35 hours per month on Facebook versus 18 minutes for LinkedIn. But Facebook users may click on only one of every 2,000 ads. Ask yourself which model seems more sustainable."
— How LinkedIn Has Turned Your Resume Into A Cash Machine - Forbes