Editor’s Note: Nerd Notes is GeekWire’s roundup of random geekiness from around the globe.
Moths that can drive — You’ve seen a dog skateboard, a cockatoo dance, and a monkey ride a pig, but have you ever seen a moth drive a robot car? That’s what I thought. Three Japanese researchers in Tokyo built a trackball-guided robotic vehicle that moths can pilot toward nearby mating pheromones.
Siri for Xbox — Because it’s really difficult to walk over to your gaming console and press the “on” button, the new Xbox will feature Siri-like capabilities that will allow users to remain on their Cheeto-covered couches and simply utter, “Xbox on” to boot up the device. The console will also have other natural language and speech-to-text controls.
Vancouver is romantic? – Vancouver, Wash., finally gets its moment in the spotlight after many years of being confused with its coastal Canadian counterpart. Who would have thought it would be ranked sixth on Amazon’s “Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the US?” The list was created after compiling sales data about romance books, movies, music and sexual wellness products in cities around the country. Must be that annual sausage festival every September, or something.
Transparent dress — It’s February! You know what that means. It’s time to pay your respects to Saint Valentine, and buy a loved one the “Intimacy Dress 2.0,” a new, rather odd fashion statement. The dress turns transparent when you become sexually aroused.
New largest prime number — 257,885,161 – 1. Take a look, folks. That right there is the largest prime number ever discovered. Curtis Cooper, a researcher at the University of Central Missouri, is not an amateur when it comes to discovering prime numbers. This17,425,170-digit number that he found in late January is the fourth prime number Cooper’s team has discovered.
Facebook rehab — Tired of spending hours on the Internet creeping on strangers, but can’t seem to curb the habit? Your solution is here. The Washington-based Internet addiction recovery program, reSTART, is pretty much Facebook rehab. Want to know if you’re truly addicted? Take the test.
Identify photos to unlock Apple devices — Apple patented a new “Image-Based Authentication System” for unlocking iProducts today. Now, Apple users will have the option of unlocking their devices by identifying the subject in a photo from their iPhoto or iCloud library. This sounds like a recipe for embarrassment, to me, or maybe just a really genius way to prank a friend. Go Apple.
What Big Macs tell us about the economy — Reuters reported yesterday that McDonald’s Big Mac prices are helping economists determine where Europe’s economic reforms are working, and where they’re not. According to the hamburger, Ireland has tightened its belt. Apparently, Germany still has some work to do, though.
Prosthetic limbs and 3D printers — A Bellingham man collaborates with a South African man from across the globe to develop a prosthetic hand for a five-year-old boy. The two used 3D-printers to create the plastic resin “Robohand.”
Diaper app — When you hear someone say, “There’s an app for that,” they’re right. Got diapers? As of today, iPad users can now access the Diapers.com app, which makes shopping for baby products quick and easy for busy parents. This app is the first Amazon-owned Quidsi site 0n the iPad.