Cell Phone Tower Mapping

God bless that Google API. People are doing such nifty stuff with marrying database content with Google Maps. These maps show you the registered cell phone towers in your (select) area and who owns ’em. This way, you’ll know where to point your phone to try and maintain a complete conversation without a dropped signal. What a concept. Check out the user comments on coverage in your area too. There are even sat photos showing the tower locations.

Me and Mousey on G4TV

I just had a cool discovery. I was watching an episode of “Attack of the Show” that I’d TiVo’d and saw my name in big-ass letters, a close-up of the cover to my Mousey article from Make, vol. 2. Phillip Torrone was on the show to demo various projects and hacks from the mag, including Mousey.

BTW: Phillip also announced on the show that a full PDF of the project is now available here.

Attention Word Nerds

Street Tech pal Erin McKean of Oxford University Press publishes a cool e-list called “Erin’s Weird and Wonderful Word of the Day.” Today’s word is:

furciferous [fur-SIF-er-us]
an adjective meaning ‘like a rascal’. From a Latin word meaning ‘fork-bearer’, which, by analogy with the forked yoke put on the necks of criminals, also came to mean ‘jailbird’.

OUP also publishes an “American Slang Word of the Day” list. Both are free. Subscribe here.

Top Ten Tech

Top Ten lists are goofy, but we like ’em anyway. So does CNET, who’s running a regular column now called the Power of Ten. The latest is Top Ten Tech We Miss. My current fave on this list is #8) Wire. I’m so sick of crappy WiFi connections in our house, I’m about to run Cat5 everywhere and shout a big “Screw you!” to wireless. And we just bought a swanky new 5.8GHz portable phone system that sacks the signal as soon as you walk a few feet away from the basestation or put your hand over the built-in antenna. During my conversations, I find myself rushing back to my bedroom to use the only remaining wired phone we have, an AT&T Trimline from the ’70s. We’re goin’ retro. Wire rulz!

Palm: A Long and Winding Road

If you’re as confused as we are at this point about Palm Computing/Palm/palmOne/Pam (2.0), Engadget has put together this handy name/logo change/aquisitions timeline. Okay kids, now that that’s done, can we get back to making PDAs that don’t suck? Thank you.

Bullet-proof Playback

More CNC Milling Machine madness, here a Japanese iPod Photo is given the armored car treatment with a thick, beautifully milled hard case.

Given the recent spate of iPod muggings, you might want to interest yourself in a Kevlar batsuit to go along with the Pod armor.

Instant DIY External HDs

I’ve been thinking about buying an external FireWire drive for my G5 iMac. I’ve been researching the build-your-own type with an enclosure kit and a drive.

Turns out there are tons of enclosure kits available, some as cheap as US$30-40. With HDs being so cheap these days (TigerDirect just had 160GB drives on sale for $50 with free shipping), this is a great way to go. CoolDrives (who sells the enclosure seen here for $39) sells an enclosure (Firewire/USB2.0) plus a 200GB HD for $119. Just slap the drive in the case, plug it in, and you’re good to go.

Wendy Meat, Here We Come!

The latest issue of Tissue Engineering magazine has a paper in it on viable ways of growing edible meat in the lab. The researchers say that being able to grow cultured meat could have a profound impact on the environment, animal welfare, and even human health (the meat’s composition could be tweaked to provide better nutrition). The trick is making it palatable and overcoming the likely ick factor.

Here’s the PR.

[Note: In case you missed it, “wendy meat” refers to the vat-grown human meat featured in Rudy Rucker’s Wares series of novels.

London Bombing Coverage

The coverage on Wikipedia of the London bombings this morning is remarkable. Who can look at such a thing (the coverage, not the event) and not be impressed with the power of collaboraive citizen journalism?

Robot Art

Robot folk art seems all the rage these days. This online galley features incredibly cool robot sculptures mainly constructed of ’40s and ’50s techno-junk. I want some of these fellas in my geekosphere!