Peeling Back the Hidden Pages of History With Hyperspectral Photography
John R. Quain, writing at American Photo:
When the hyperspectral eye was turned on an early draft of the Declaration of Independence written in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, researchers could see that Jefferson had originally written the word “subjects” on one line, which he then scratched out and replaced with the more politically correct “citizens,” exemplifying the egalitarian sensibility of one of the Enlightenment’s greatest minds.
Okay, that is the most fascinating tech I will see this month. Read the whole article. It’s, well, fascinating.
I am Barack Obama, President of the United States — AMA
His most vulnerable answer (in my opinion) was with regard to a question about his most difficult decision so far as President:
The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban’s momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead – so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.
The session may have lasted only thirty minutes, and he may have only answered ten questions, but the President of the United States’ taking questions over Reddit will be seen by history as a bold and positive statement about the importance of the internet and its native communities.
NoWait protects restaurants from the wrath of restless customers
Rebecca Grant, writing at VentureBeat:
Restaurants can use this iPad app to keep track of available tables and alert customers with a text message when their table is ready.
This sounds like technology with the potential to go far beyond restaurant use cases.
Neil Armstrong, First Man on Moon, Dies at 82
Neil Armstrong on Chuck Yeager’s breaking the sound barrier, quoted by his own biographer:
All in all, for someone who was immersed in, fascinated by, and dedicated to flight, I was disappointed by the wrinkle in history that had brought me along one generation late. I had missed all the great times and adventures in flight.
Hardly, Mr. Armstrong, hardly.
Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ Hits Evolution Deniers
Bill Nye, as quoted in an article by Kevin Dolak at ABC News:
And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.
Watch the full clip of Mr. Nye’s thoughts on creationism on YouTube.
Securing the legacy of the world’s greatest geek
New Scientist‘s Jacob Aron interviewed Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal fame, whose latest endeavor is the financing and creation of a museum dedicate to Nikola Tesla’s work.
A random piece of trivia that caught my eye:
He actually built an earthquake machine in his laboratory in New York City, and when he turned it on they had to smash it with a sledgehammer to keep it from taking the whole block down. Not a useful invention, but kind of cool.
Contribute to the project here.
Cloud startup aims to make “dumb” cell phones smart
Sean Gallagher reports at Ars Technica on biNu, a company developing an asynchronous, server-side smartphone emulator in Java. The system’s low-bandwidth, high-security nature makes it a perfect fit for countries where the next iPhone is out of reach.
Read Gallagher’s article for the details. This is far more exciting to me than the next iPhone. Networked mobile computing technology is still in its infancy when it comes to worldwide availability and adoption. Clever technology like biNu’s may help change that.