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Posts Tagged ‘google’

Follow Me on Google+!

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m not sure on the grammatical rules associated with an exclamation point following a ‘plus’ sign, but that is a topic perhaps for The Oatmeal.

I’ve just joined Google+!!! I’m enjoying it so far, though I still have to explore a lot that it has to offer.

YOU should add me to one of your Circles, ’cause as you can see on my Google+ counter on the right hand side, I’m currently showing a big fat goose-egg :(

(Note: If you are still on the old website, you won’t see this counter. Just one of the few perks of updating your subscriptions to my new website!)

So check me out. I’ll be posting news stories and stuff that I find interesting. For the full experience, remember to follow me on Twitter as well!

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Remember to update your subscriptions! This site will no longer be supported after September 30, 2011. 

Thanks! 

Ryan

Google Builds a Self-Driving Car

March 4, 2011 1 comment

There seems to be nothing that Google can’t do!

The self-driving car project has been kept quiet for a long time. But it was recently revealed at a TED conference.

So why is Google doing this? (As if, ‘Why not?’ isn’t a good enough answer). From Google’s blog:

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. We believe our technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half.

How does it work?

Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.

So we may not have flying cars yet, but self-driving cars are pretty freakin’ awesome.

Some Nerd News For You Today

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Three pieces of sci-fi news in my Google Reader grabbed my attention this morning.

The first is that John Williams is turning 79 today. Don’t know who John Williams is? Well you’ve heard his music, even if you don’t realize it. He has worked on the soundtracks for Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark and even Harry Potter!

The second is that Jeri Ryan has confirmed that she will reprise her roll as Sonya Blade in the upcoming Mortal Kombat webseries and movie.

And finally, as you have probably seen from the Google homepage, today is Jules Verne’s birthday.

Google Doodle February 8th, 2011. Depicting 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

He is perhaps the most famous science fiction author of all time and deserves all the attention he is getting.

The Science Hall of Fame

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment

There is one for pretty much every sport, a Walk of Fame for Hollywood stars, and one for Rock and Roll stars.

But there has never been a Science Hall of Fame, even though scientists have had a larger impact on our world than all the people in them other Halls of Fame put together!

Until now.

A few weeks ago, a paper was published online (and appears in print this week) in Science entitled “Quantitative Analysis of Culture using Millions of Digitized Books”. What these researchers did was use Google’s effort to digitize books (Google Books) which has currently digitized about 15 million books, roughly 12% of all books ever printed.

They used a subset of these already digitized books, 5.2 million, and were able to create a corpus of data wherein you could search for a particular word or group of words (i.e. “slavery” or “The Great War”) and see how often those words appeared in print as a function of the year. The years available are between 1800 and 2000.

This ability to study how often certain names and subjects appear in print allow researchers to study human history and culture in a new quantitative fashion. The authors of the study call it “culturomics”.

The authors  found some pretty interesting results, including finding that the English language has grown by 70% in the last 50 years; they were able to see the decline in use of certain words (who says “chide” anymore?) and found that the average age of peak prominence for a celebrity is 75.

After this study was published, John Bohannon, writer for Science, and an author of the culturomics paper Adrian Veres, teamed up to find which scientists were most popular in literature, and create this Science Hall of Fame. It is highly quantitative in nature, which is quite poetic for a science hall of fame if you think about it.

Scientific fame is measured in units of milliDarwins, one-thousandth of the average annual frequency that Charles Darwin’s name appears in English-language books from the year he was 30 years old (1839) until 2000. Here are the top 25:

You can go to the site and look up your favourite scientists, or you can also play with the raw data yourself and do your own studies, which has already caused me to be very unproductive at work today.

I’d also like to point out that the first 3 Nobel Prize Winners on that list are all physicists. Just sayin…

Google Celebrates X-Rays!

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

It is the 115th anniversary of the discovery of x-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen.

To celebrate, Google has put up a ‘Google Doodle’ featuring x-ray radiography.

This is awesome! It gives worldwide attention to one of the greatest medical discoveries in history. Hell, it’s one of the greatest scientific discoveries in history!

I’ve written posts about the history of x-rays, as well as their use in radiography and CAT Scans. Check’em out if you want to learn a little more about this awesome form of radiation.