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Input Devices

Star Trek Tech That Exists Today 207

Esther Schindler writes "When Star Trek hit the air waves, talking computers were just a pipe dream. While teleportation remains elusive, several once-fictional technologies are changing the way people live and work. Here are some ways in which we're approaching the gizmos that Star Trek demonstrated. Speech recognition? Check. Holodeck? Sort of. Replicator? Workin' on it."

Common Traits of the Veteran Unix Admin 592

snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia offers a field guide to understanding your resident Unix veteran, laying out the nine traits common to this grizzled, hardcore set. From not using sudo, to wielding regular expressions like weapons, to generally assuming the problem resides with whomever is asking the question, each trait is key to 'spotting these rare, beautiful creatures in the wild,' Venezia writes. 'If some of these traits seem anti-social or difficult to understand from a lay perspective, that's because they are. Where others may see intractable, overly difficult methods, we see enlightenment, borne from years of learning, experience, and overall, logic.'"
Hardware Hacking

iPhone DSLR Prototype 1.0 172

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt: "Here are Photos/Pictures of my iPhone DSLR Prototype 1.0. This is my first attempt at putting together an iPhone DSLR. You might ask 'Why pair an iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, or iPhone 4 with a DSLR lens?' Why not!" Prototype or not, it's a cool project.

Parasite Correlated With World Cup Success 366

mahiskali writes "A parasite commonly found in cats, Toxoplasma gondii, has an unnerving relation to World Cup victories by country. (This parasite was discussed here twice in 2006.) Toxo can be found in almost every type of mammal, from rats to humans. The overall goal of the parasite is to end up in a feline stomach, which is the only place it can reproduce. In other mammals, humans for example, the parasite heads for the brain. It is estimated that nearly 1/3 of the human population has a latent Toxo infection, with individual countries having infection rates varying from 6% (Korea) to 92% (Ghana). Countries with greater incidence of this parasitic infection in their populations tend to win more World Cups than those without. The article, written by a Stanford University neuroscientist, goes on to try out various rationales for such a correlation, ranging from increased testosterone to increased dissent of authority — all symptoms of a Toxo infection. Now we just need to find a parasite that causes an inability to referee properly, and we'll have this whole World Cup business all sorted out."

Unix Dict/grep Solves Left-Side-of-Keyboard Puzzle 423

destinyland writes "For decades, people have been asking this brain teaser: 'What's the longest word you can type with only the left-hand letters on a keyboard?' The answer is supposed to be 'stewardesses,' but grepping the standard dictionary that ships with Unix reveals a much better answer. There's nearly 2,000 shorter words that can typed with only the left hand — including one word that's even longer. (The article also quotes a failed novel attempt using nothing but words typed on the keyboard's left side.)"

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang