Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brain Regions Responsible for Optimism Located

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday October 24, @09:59PM
from the I-can-do-this dept.
TaeKwonDood writes "The brain region responsible for believing you can seduce Giselle Bundchen or make a YouTube clone for bobble-head doll movies successful has been located. Surprisingly, it is not in a bottle of Jager, it's in the rostral anterior cingulate and amygdala."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Note To Criminals — Don't Call Tech Support

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday October 23, @04:56PM
from the caught-short dept.
It's funny. Laugh.
Billosaur writes "Darwin Awards, here he comes: Ars Technica has up a story about a would-be identity thief who did himself in by calling tech support about printer drivers. Timothy Short must have thought he'd hit the mother-lode when he stole a PC and a Digimarc printer from the Missouri Department of Revenue, perhaps with dreams of cranking out thousands of fake ids. Problem: he could not unlock the computer he stole and without the necessary drivers, he couldn't use the printer. Ever resourceful, Short called Digimarc tech support a couple of days later (twice), which brought him to the attention of a Secret Service agent, who recognized his voice from a recording of the calls. Short now faces a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison."
[+] crime, !darwinawardunlesshedies, humor, identitytheft, haha (tagging beta)

Vista Vs. Gutsy Gibbon

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday October 23, @06:22PM
from the difference-in-philosophy dept.
Operating Systems Windows Linux
ricegf writes in with the account of one Rupert Goodwins writing in ZDNet UK. Goodwins has 7 computers running various versions of Windows and Linux, and explains why he chooses to do most of his work on the Gibbon. "So here's the funny thing. I've used Windows since 1.0. I've lived through the bad times of Windows/386 and ME, and the good times of NT 3.51 and 2K. I know XP if not backwards, then with a degree of familiarity that only middle-aged co-dependents can afford each other... Then how come I'm so much more at home with Ubuntu than Vista? It boils down to one abiding impression: Ubuntu goes out of its way to get out of your way... Vista goes out of its way to be Vista and enforce the Vista way."
[+] linux, ubuntu, gibbon, windows, os (tagging beta)

Crime Reduction Linked To Lead-Free Gasoline

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday October 23, @02:55PM
from the getting-the-lead-out dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Even low levels of lead can cause brain damage, increasing the likelihood of behavioral and cognitive traits such as impulsivity, aggressiveness, and low IQ that are strongly linked with criminal behavior. The NYTimes has a story on how the phasing out of leaded gasoline starting with the Clean Air Act in 1973 may have led to a 56% drop in violent crime in the US in the 1990s. An economics professor at Amherst College, Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, discovered the connection and wrote a paper comparing the reduction of lead from gasoline between states (PDF) and the reduction of violent crime. She constructed a table linking crime rates in every state to childhood lead exposure in that state 20 or 30 years earlier. If lead poisoning is a factor in the development of criminal behavior, then countries that didn't switch to unleaded fuel until the 1980s, like Britain and Australia, should soon see a dip in crime as the last lead-damaged children outgrow their most violent years."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Treadmill recall stuck in endless, fiery loop

It's not every day a company has to recall their recall, but Cybex International is once again recalling six different treadmill models after first recalling them in 2003 -- because the wire nuts used in the first recall repair are causing the units to overheat and catch fire. Five treadmills have gone up in smoke thus far, and if you own a Cybex 400T or 410T, Trotter 510, 525, or 535, or just the charmingly unbranded CXT+ treadmill, you may want to unplug their rig and pick up the phone ASAP. No word on what this next recall will cause, but we're hoping for sentience with a dash of world domination.

Brazilian Pop Music Scene Thrives on Piracy

Posted by Zonk on Tuesday October 23, @12:14PM
from the arr-they-like-their-piratical-music dept.
langelgjm writes "When people talk about the failing business model of the traditional record company, they often only offer vague suggestions as to how things would work otherwise. But a concrete example of a music scene that thrives on piracy is to be found in Brazil, in the form of tecnobrega. From the article: 'While piracy is the bane of many musicians trying to control the sale of their songs, tecnobrega artists see counterfeiters as key to their success ... Ronaldo Lemos, a law professor at Brazil's respected Getulio Vargas Foundation, an elite Rio de Janeiro think tank and research center, says tecnobrega and other movements like it represent a new business model for the digital era, where music is transformed from a good to a service.'"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Make Your Own Sputnik

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday October 22, @11:21AM
from the because-you-can dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What better way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sputnik than by making one of your own. The BBC says that you can build your own Sputnik satellite from stuff lying around the house. The BBC quotes an electronics hobbyist: "Technology now is way ahead of what was available in 1957, and making your own fully functional Sputnik would now be very simple indeed. I wouldn't be surprised if you could build one in a container smaller than a matchbox, weighing about as much as a wristwatch. The components, including a transmitter, battery and the sensors you'd need would probably cost less than 50 pounds [about 100 US dollars]. It really shouldn't be a problem to build and program the whole thing in under a day." Unfortunately, the BBC article doesn't go into technical details." And of course, actually getting it up into orbit might take a little more work.

Home-made Helicopters in Nigeria

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday October 22, @10:39AM
from the financed-entirely-by-dead-princes dept.
W33dz writes "A 24-year-old undergraduate from Nigeria is building helicopters out of old car and bike parts. Mubarak Muhammed Abdullahi, a physics student, spent eight months building the yellow model seen on yahoo or on Gizmodo using the money he makes from repairing cell phones and computers. While some of the parts have been sourced from a crashed 747, the chopper contains all sorts of surprises."

Very High Tech - Elevator Garages in an NYC Hi-Rise

Posted by Zonk on Monday October 22, @01:29AM
from the moving-on-up dept.
theodp writes "If the hassle of getting groceries from the parking garage to your 12th floor condo has been holding you back from buying a deluxe apartment in the sky, wait no more. Wired reports on the En-Suite Sky Garages at 200 Eleventh Avenue (Flash) in Chelsea, where an 8,000-pound-capacity freight elevator will whisk your Bentley directly into your pad. The convenience doesn't come cheap — a garage-equipped 2BR starts at $4.7M."

Microsoft concedes, complies with EU antitrust ruling

After losing the appeal and suffering daily penalty payments for years, Microsoft has finally conceded to the European commission. This after withdrawing its appeal in the South Korea antitrust case last week. The "substantial changes" to Microsoft's behavior can be boiled down as follows:
  • Rival software developers (including open-source) can now access and use Microsoft interoperability information
  • Royalties for this information will be reduced to a one-off payment of €10,000 / $14,000
  • Royalties for a world-wide license to use Microsoft's product and patents will be reduced from 5.95% to just 0.4%
While Microsoft can technically still appeal the September ruling on the original 2004 decision, it certainly looks like this dog has been beaten into obedient, doe-eyed submission.

Scientist Are Working to 'Steer' Hurricanes

Posted by Zonk on Sunday October 21, @04:45PM
from the just-like-that-episode-of-ds9-on-risa-where-worf-is-a-jerk dept.
Sci-Fi Space Science
E++99 writes "In the wake of Katrina, two teams of climate scientists have been working to steer hurricanes. Both teams are using the technique of removing power and speed from strategic points in the hurricane, effectively refracting its path. The American team is approaching this by warming the areas of the tops of the hurricane clouds, either by dropping ash to absorb heat from the sun, or directly beaming microwaves on those areas from space. The Israeli team is taking the approach of cooling the bottom of the hurricane by releasing dust along its base."
[+] science, scifi, space, weredoomed, cool (tagging beta)

Monster Black Hole Busts Theory

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday October 17, @10:44PM
from the old-bob-and-vincent dept.
Space Science
Genocaust writes "A stellar black hole much more massive than theory predicts is possible has astronomers puzzled. Stellar black holes form when stars with masses around 20 times that of the sun collapse under the weight of their own gravity at the ends of their lives. Most stellar black holes weigh in at around 10 solar masses when the smoke blows away, and computer models of star evolution have difficulty producing black holes more massive than this. The newly weighed black hole is 16 solar masses. It orbits a companion star in the spiral galaxy Messier 33, located 2.7 million light-years from Earth. Together they make up the system known as M33 X-7."
[+] science, space, blackhole, oldnews (tagging beta)