Codebreaker - Most Commented
Retired cop makes awesome robot from appliances
Mark Haygood's humanoid robot HEX was pointed out by Damn Geeky. But Gizmodo gets points for noticing the resemblance to Johnny Five. The robot's hands at least are a dead ringer for those on the best robot from the 1980s. But even if you don't see the similiarities, you have to be impressed by a guy who spent that much time putting together a robot from basic home electronics. It's been a long time since I've seen the film, but this clip holds up pretty well. No dissassemble! No dissassemble!
Canadian astronaut covers David Bowie on International Space Station
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has become a big hit in cyberspace with his Twitter postings from outer space. After five months on the International Space Station, Hadfield will head home to Earth today. Before he left, he made a video commemorating his time in space by covering David Bowie's "Space Oddity." Check it out below.
Japan's brilliant Microsoft Excel artist
It takes an artist to transform the truly mundane into a thing of beauty. From Japan comes the story of Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 73-year-old artist who took Excel, the dreary spreadsheet program, and made gorgeous digital paintings -- cherry blossoms, hummingbirds, and landscapes. Check it out, via Kotaku.
Watch this video animation based on sine waves
Most of us know that sound can be broken down into sine waves. But Daniel Sierra took that knowledge and turned it into a stunning video animation for a thesis project called "Oscillate." He says drew inspiration from the idea that sine waves are the "building blocks of sound." The animation is great to watch, and the music is well done too. H/T Gizmodo.
On Facebook, you are what you like?
Researchers have been playing with Facebook to see if they can figure out personal traits based on what people prefer online. Turns out, their algorithm predicted gender very well, same with Democrat versus Republican, gay or straight -- and smart people, according to the research, tended to like science, curly fries and The Colbert Report.
Researchers allow you to try this at home by linking their algorithm to your Facebook profile. The analysis of mine said I was shy and reserved, calm and relaxed, and well-organized -- zero for five.
Don't teach your kid to use Microsoft Word, huh?
Did Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, really say parents shouldn't teach their children to use Microsoft Word?
At the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio got some quality time with Berners-Lee, who mainly talked about online openness and network neutrality, but he also explained what he really meant about Microsoft Word:
"When you are explaining to a kid, when you are talking to them about a computer and you are teaching them, don't just teach them to use it, teach them that it can be programmed. There are two digital divides today. There is the digital divide between the people who don't have any connectivity and the people who use the web. There is another digital divide between the people who program and the people who can't. They need to learn early on that anything they can imagine the computer doing, they should be able to program."
Michael Dell on his first computer and the dawn of PC's
A photo showed up in my phone the other day. It was an image of a blue screen where I could just make out the letters: “Commodore 64 Basic V2, 64 K Ram System.” The subject line of the accompanying text: “It’s Alive.”
The Commodore 64 was one of earliest mass produced personal computers. My 23-year-old son, Nick, had apparently obtained two broken Commodores from 1982 and put them together to make one working model.
After an interview on more substantive matters with Michael Dell, the chairman and CEO of Dell, on Friday, I asked him about his first computer -- and no, it was not the C64.
What was your first computer? Tell us in a comment below.
#WomenInTech get the hashtag treatment
We're looking at a question that Marketplace Tech will visit regularly: Who is tech? This week we're talking with women in the tech world, learning about the issues they face and the changing landscape of the tech workplace.
Of course, we're far from the first people to start this conversation. Last November, the hashtag #1reasonwhy started an international conversation on Twitter about sexism in the video game industry. Soon after, today's guest on our show, Rhianna Pratchett, a veteran video game writer who has just finished an overhaul of "Tomb Raider", started the hashtag #1reasontobe. And if you're looking for even more inspiration, check out hashtag #1reasonmentors.
Do you work in the tech world? If so, could you distill the issues facing women in your industry into one tweet or one hashtag? Tell us in a comment below.