Quick Picks

A few quick picks…

  • Austrian physicists claim ball lighting is an optical illusion induced in the visual center of the brain by the intense magnetic fields of lightning.
  • PatentlyO on the USPTO’s proposal to create a “slow,” “standard,” and “fast” lane for patent applications. Applicants will pay more for a quick examination, less if they’re willing to go to the back of the line. More from the Wall Street Journal.
  • Cheaper data plans from ATT? Maybe it’s finally time to get an iPhone and immolate  my miserable Windows CE phone in suitably epic fashion.
  • An object is approaching the moon’s orbit from deep space – and it appears to be artificial.
  • From the “if you don’t like what someone else is saying, call it hate speech and get someone to suppress it” department, this Ars Technica piece discusses a petition effort to get the FCC to censor “misinformation” and “hate speech.”
  • The always insightful and usually entertaining Sharon Weinberger has an excellent piece over at Nature on the science (or lack thereof) behind the “Screening Passengers by Observation Technique” (SPOT) behavior detection scheme currently deployed by TSA to try to identify security threats. Which reminds me, it’s about time I blogged on the fascinating subject of nuclear hand grenades.

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