Word of the Day: “Erg” (aka Mosquito pushups)

Erg derives from the Greek word ‘ergon’ meaning “work” and so an erg is the unit of energy and mechanical work.

It’s equivalent to 1 micro joule, or put another way 1 million ergs equals a joule.

Well it’s about this point that you interject:

“come on Andy, what is a joule then?”

And as I open my mouth you immediately cut in with:

“and don’t try to say one joule is the work done or energy required to exert a force of one newton for a distance of one meter where a newton is the amount of force required to accelerate a mass of one kilogram at a rate of one meter per second squared because I’ll just get lost”.

OK, no problemo, i think i can further simplify this for you. On one of my submarines many years ago I asked our Engineer if he could define ‘erg’ for me and he said:

“An erg is the amount of work done by a mosquito doing a pushup”

Hmmm. Now *that* it is something you can relate to! So now you know that a joule is equal to 1 million mosquito pushups (aka ergs).

BTW, try searching google or live.com for ‘mosquito erg pushup’ and you will see that my engineer at the time was clearly not making it up at the time as i had originally suspected since there are others in the physics world propagating this analogy.

Happy word geeking.

References:

Word Geek

Skype 3.0.0.214 Released

Skype 3.0.0.214 

Skype is the next phenomenon from the people who brought you KaZaA. Just like KaZaA, this uses P2P (peer-to-peer) technology to connect you to other users – not to share files this time, but to talk for free with your friends. The technology is extremely advanced – but super simple to use. You’ll be making perfect quality free phone calls to your friends in no time.

Latest changes:

  • Bug fix: SkypePM.exe crashes on first start after installation
  • Bug fix: Russian language display problems in updater
  • Bug fix: Groups panel stayed open when user was changed
  • Bug fix: Contact list focus was lost when using some toolbar buttons

Hit this bad boy for a experience you won’t believe!  If enough interest is generated, perhaps we’ll start a Geeknews channel :)

Entertainment, Misc.

Build Your New Vista PC Without Breaking The Bank

Vista is now released to the world and “The Tech Report” has a decent article on how to build your PC for Windows Vista.

They try to stick to $500, $1000 and $1500 budgets, make most if not all of their purchases from newegg.com (my personal favorite as well) and they go for the most bang for the buck so they’re not getting cheap here.

Not surprising here, in their detailed descriptions of the 3 systems, is that the Intel Core 2 Duo system was the most expensive compared to the Athlon alternatives.

I’m an Intel snob myself and have already resigned myself to the fact that i’m going to have to pony up a few bucks to build my new system.

Computers

Information With Attitude

Data served with a kung fu chop!  That’s right, Ninja.com (the deadly accurate search) exudes stealth and mysticism with their stark black website powered by the Google engine.  They also offer a unique “@ninja.net” email address in a first come, first serve basis when public registration opens in two weeks.

Ninja Search Engine

Magellan, Yahoo, Open Text, and Google (among others) have been and are the major players up to now.  Does Ninja stand a chance?  Being powered by Google doesn’t give it that much originality, but I have to admit getting the cool “@ninja.net” email might be worth playing with it for a few weeks :)

Just geeky

What is this?

Hello again, everyone!  Last week I premiered a new facet of Geeknews, where readers had to guess what was pictured below.  I’d like to thank everyone for their answers, and as promised the first correct answer was submitted by ‘tmrafi’ who identified the picture as a standard ball mouse inner workings.  Good job!

Here is this weeks photo:

What is this?

Good luck on the guesses! Please submit all answers in the comments section.

Entertainment