Apr 222008

In 2005, fiction author Scott Sigler announced the release of EarthCore as “the world’s first Podcast-only novel.” He released an hour of audio each week, creating a format similar to weekly drama TV shows with continuing storylines. The free Podcast feed ran for 24 episodes and one might even credit him with the boom in podiocast’ing of novels today (go to podiobooks.com and marvel at what’s available for free or with a small paypal donation).

In his press release at the time, Sigler said:

EarthCore is the first Podcast novel because it is not available in any other format. Listeners can’t buy the book and peek at the last page, they have to wait each week for a new episode. You can listen to them on your iPod or MP3 player, letting you enjoy the story while driving, at the gym, walking — anywhere you want to listen. Listeners don’t have to be in a specific place at a specific time. You listen whenever you want.

I’m just sorry I missed out on it 3 years ago, in the past week and a half I’ve been addicted to it. If you read Geeknews via a feed then you didn’t see the update to my sidebar this weekend calling attention to Earthcore, I like it that much. If you enjoy sci-fi/suspense/blood ‘n guts, you owe it to yourself to listen, give it 4 or 5 episodes and you’ll be hooked.

Reviewers say:

– “This audio book has everything: cutting-edge science; a perfectly-realized setting; terror both plausible and profoundly unsettling.”

– “EarthCore is in-your-face, steel-tipped boot on your throat, speed-metal fiction!”

Here’s the synopsis:

Deep below a desolate Utah mountain lays the largest platinum deposit ever discovered. A billion-dollar find, it waits for any company that can drill a world’s record, three-mile-deep mine shaft.

EarthCore is the company with the technology, the resources and the guts to go after the mother lode. Young executive Connell Kirkland is the company’s driving force, pushing himself and those around him to uncover the massive treasure.

But Kirkland and EarthCore are not the first to find this treasure. The mountain’s history reveals two centuries of disappearances, murder, and insanity.

The discovery of ancient platinum knives, razor-sharp despite lying untouched for 1,000 years, reveals evidence of an ancient culture. If the artifacts are genuine, they show a pre-historic empire that once spanned from the Southern tip of South America all the way up through the American Southwest.
Wealth and fame lie under that Utah mountain, but at three miles below the surface, where the rocks are so hot they burn bare skin, something has been waiting for centuries. Waiting … and guarding. Kirkland and EarthCore are about to find out first-hand why this treasure has never been unearthed.

Highly recommended!

 Posted by at 12:20 am
Apr 222008


In a recent paternity test, a DNA sample was taken from a suspected father in the case. For quite a few years now, samples are usually taken from mouth to collect saliva cells to conduct the DNA analysis.

In the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Dr José Antonio Lorente Acosta (director of the Laboratory of Genetic Identification of the University of Granada) explains how saliva samples were collected from the subject’s mouth using the standard swabbing method you’ve probably seen on CSI dozens of times.

However, the saliva analysis (epithelial cells from the interior of mouth) taken from the person gave an incongruous result, a DNA which could not come from the man who had carried out the test.

After repeating the analysis, there was an only one possible conclusion: In the mouth of that man there was DNA from two different persons.

After dismissing other possibilities, the question was: how was it possible? The analysts met with the person in question and showed him the results and explained that they thought he was purposely trying to manipulate the samples which could get him in serious trouble with the judge in the case.

Faced with the evidence, he admitted that shortly before the mouth swab he put someone else’s saliva in his mouth, saliva that he had kept in a little container for the moment. This will cause a change in the protocol for the process moving forward; it will be compulsory for the donor to wash his mouth out before a witness.

The University of Granada Science News has more detailed information.

 Posted by at 12:05 am
Apr 222008

This hack will put some elevator cars into an express mode, sending you directly to your desired floor, bypassing any requests from patrons at floors in between your originating and destination floors.

[youtube vr6YKXlhXbY]

Youtube is chock full of other geeks demonstrating this same hack.

 Posted by at 12:02 am