In today's Remainders: video! And in many cases, things caught on video for the first time, like Samsung's E6 and E101 ebook readers, Apple's $US1 billion data centre, Big Bloom's "miraculous" fuel cell, and a modern day Superman.
Stylish Stylus We got a look at Samsung's ebook readers - the E6 and the E101 - back at CES, but now you can check them out on video. Their claim to fame: electromagnetic resonance stylii that let you doodle on the screen and annotate your digital texts. Sure, that seems like it'd be useful for a particular set of ebookworms, but now that we're in the era of the iPad, watching and waiting for that E-Ink display to refresh is even more gruelling. Still, the hardware looks pretty sleek, and might be a good fit for those who remain committed to their marginalia. [Engadget]
Pickleback At the beginning of February, Nickelback had 1,380,820 fans on their Facebook page. Facebook user Coral Anne wondered if a Pickle could get more fans. So she started the group, "Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback?" The answer was yes, yes it could; on Friday, the Pickleback surpassed Nickelback in terms of Facebook fandom. The little stunt apparently did not sit well with Chad Kroeger, Nickelback's frontman, who fired off this snooty little message to Pickelback's creator. No matter - I think she got her point across. [The Daily What]
Hype Machine This morning, everyone was abuzz over a little cube called the Bloom Box. The publicity stemmed from a 60 Minutes segment in which the Bloom Box was described as a "power plant-in-a-box", and posited as a "miraculous" solution to our energy crisis. Well that'd be great, wouldn't it? BoingBoing, however, was quick to cut through the hype and peg the Bloom Box for what it really is: a gussied-up fuel cell. Here's how it works:
[The creator, Sridhar]said he bakes sand and cuts it into little squares that are turned into a ceramic. Then he coats it with green and black "inks" that he developed.
Sridhar told Stahl there is a secret formula. "And you take that and you apply that. You paint that on either side of this white ceramic to get a green layer and a black layer. And...that's it."
Big Bloom Boxes are currently powering some buildings owned by Ebay and Google and the results are indeed promising. Sridhar says that he hopes to shrink the Bloom Box down to be cheap enough for consumers sometime in the next five to 10 years, which usually translates roughly to 10 to never years. So, all in all, is the Bloom Box miraculous? No. Is it revolutionary? Probably not. Is it a viable option for cheap, renewable energy going forward? Maybe. [BoingBoing]
Safe! Neatorama deems him a "real-life Superman". I don't know about that, but this guy, who dashed in front of an oncoming train to push a truck off the tracks, definitely has some super cajones. I like how he and his buddy celebrate so ecstatically right after his daring feat. And rightfully so. I'd imagine the "I just saved a car full of people" high five is the best high five of all. [Neatorama]
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley - nappers that they are - have determined that a 60- to 90-minute nap in the middle of the day can increase your brain's ability to retain facts that you learn later in the day. Which is great, because I totally have an hour and a half in the middle of the day when I'm just sitting around trying to figure out how to replenish my brainpower. Oh wait no I don't. There have been many studies like this that show how the mind benefits from naps, but they never seem to make it any easier for me to find time to do so. [PhysOrg]
That Data Centre Is Fully Operational! You know that tingle up your spine you got when you first caught a glimpse of the Death Star II? Watch this fly-by video of Apple's new $US1 billion iDataCenter in Maiden, North Carolina and tell me if you get the same feeling. Still, you'll probably learn to love it - in the iCloud future, this is where all of your data will be stored. (Unless it's stored on a Bloom Box-fuelled Google data centre, that is). [Data Center Knowledge]
Can You Hear Me Now? Fast Company has a piece about the 10 most addictive sounds that are currently nestling their way into our brains (largely without us even realising it). The study, conducted by Buyology Inc and Elias Arts, ranked the top 10 branded sounds and the top 10 non-branded sounds. The most addicting sound for each, respectively: the Intel jingle and a baby giggling. The article touches on how advertisers have begun to understand our brains' addictions to these noises, and how soundbites are playing an increasingly large role in branding. All Intel needs to do is get a baby giggling "bumBUM bum BUM" and they're unstoppable. [Fast Company]