The Null Device
Neologism of the day: "Crash blossoms" is apparently the word for amusingly ambiguous newspaper headlines (of the form of "British Left Waffles On Falklands", "Eighth Army Push Bottles Up Germans" or "Drunk Gets Nine Months In Violin Case"). The term comes from the headline of a story about an Anglo-Japanese violinist whose parents died in a plane crash.
If former Microsoft executive Nathan Myrhvold (now involved in malaria-eradication programmes funded by Bill Gates) has his way, we may soon have miniature mosquito-killing laser turrets:
Now the fun stuff: Shoot mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers. ("A pinkie-suck idea.") It can be built with consumer electronics -- a Blu-ray player has a blue laser, a laser printer has fast-moving mirror. You can use them around clinics. The shoot 100% organic photons. You can measure wingbeat frequency and size the of flying insect and decide whether it is worth killing. Moore's law makes technology so cheap we can decide whether or not to kill a bug.
They have one here, built from parts purchased on eBay. They are using a green laser pointer instead of a killing laser, for safety reasons. We see a box of skeeters being tracked and zapped. We hear the mosquito wingbeat.There are also ultra-slow-motion videos of mosquitoes being zapped with a live laser here. Isn't technology awesome?
(via Boing Boing)
The Iranian government, boldly pushing the boundaries in how to make totalitarianism work in the age of the internet, has announced that it will block Google's Gmail permanently. Instead, Iranians will be provided with "a national email service", intended to "boost local development of internet technology" and "build trust between people and the government".
Australian communications minister Senator Conroy is said to be watching developments carefully.