Friday, September 5, 2008

Got the e-mail that my copy of Spore shipped!

Me sooo excited even though the EULA has some problems IMHO.

News from the Japanese banking world

Following last week's news that Origami Bank had folded, we are hearing that
Sumo Bank has gone belly up, and Bonsai Bank plans to cut back some of its branches.
Karaoke Bank is up for sale, and it is (you guessed it!) going for a song.

Meanwhile, shares in Kamikaze Bank have nose-dived, and 500 back-office staff at
Karate Bank got the chop. Analysts report that there is something fishy going on at
Sushi Bank, and staff there fear they may get a raw deal.

Drunk Animals

Every Satellite Tracked In Realtime Via Google Earth

Posted by kdawson on Friday September 05, @09:12AM

from the bejeweled-coterie dept.
Matt Amato writes"With the recent discussion of the ISS having to dodge some space junk, many people's attention has once again focused on the amount of stuff in orbit around our planet. What many people don't know is that USSTRATCOM tracks and publishes a list of over 13,000 objects that they currently monitor, including active/retired satellites and debris. This data is meaningless to most people, but thanks to Analytical Graphics, it has now been made accessible free of charge to anyone with a copy of Google Earth. By grabbing the KMZ, you can not only view all objects tracked in real-time, but you can also click on them to get more information on the specific satellite, including viewing it's orbit trajectory. It's an excellent educational tool for the space-curious. Disclaimer: I not only work for Analytical Graphics, but I'm the one that wrote this tool as a demo."

Pittsburg Alzimers reaserch Center

I have meant to write this for a while, sorry it took me soo long.  Apperently Pittsburg has a well respected Alzimers facility.  Here is the link:  Here is a link to an Alzimers Blog:  This has a link to a study that I saw on a PBS show about a dye test for Alzimers, here is the link to the Article:

Seinfeld and Gates pair up for intense shoe-fitting session, cryptic advertisement

by Paul Miller, posted Sep 4th 2008 at 9:51PM

As promised, Gates and Seinfeld made their television pair-up debut tonight, in an advertisement for something or other. We were sad to see Seinfeld sans-bee suit, and Gates is lacking in Costanza-isms, but we might just be looking at a beautiful friendship here. Video is after the break.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Bisphenol-A: Maybe not-so-safe after all

Two weeks ago, the FDA declared bisphenol-A, a plasticizer used in some hard plastic food containers, including some baby bottles, safe, at least in the small amounts that leak out during use.

However, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) begs to differ. The National Toxicology Program is a division of the National Institutes of Health. The National Toxicology Program has rated the chemical as a "three" or of "some concern" on a five-point scale, with five representing "very concerned."

The NTP panel looked at the chemical's effects on reproduction and development, including looking at lab animal studies. While the FDA is the regulator of chemicals in food, it says it will take the NTP findings into account when it meets again this month to discuss bisphenol-A.

What to do? Again, it's up to you. While bisphenol-A is found in many places, baby bottles might be the most disturbing. If you do need to use a baby bottle, there are plenty of bisphenol-A- free options out there. The choice is yours, for now.

[Via Daily Green]

Brain Cells Observed Summoning a Memory

Posted by timothy on Friday September 05, @01:29AM

from the can-we-say-frickin'-amazing? dept.
Anti-Globalism writes"Scientists have for the first time recorded individual brain cells in the act of summoning a spontaneous memory, revealing not only where a remembered experience is registered but also, in part, how the brain is able to recreate it."

The Electronic Bastille

Posted by timothy on Friday September 05, @04:19AM

from the panoptiquonnes dept.
smooth wombat writes"Imagine a database whose aim is to centralize and analyze data on people aged 13 or above who are active in politics or labor unions, who play a significant institutional, economic, social or religious role, or who are 'likely to breach public order.' At first glance one might think the country in question is Russia or Zimbabwe but the truth is, it's a democratic nation which is implementing this database. Specifically, France. Now, with the summer break over and as the people of France return to work, there is a small but growing movement to storm this electronic Bastille. Michel Pezet, a lawyer and former member of a body charged with protecting French citizens from electronic prying, had this to say about this new data-gathering law: 'The Edvige database has no place in a democracy. There is nothing in the decree that sets limits or a framework. Whether the database is used with or without moderation depends only on orders from up high. The electronic Bastille is upon us.'"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Redesigned, Bulkier Honda Insight to Challenge Prius

Journal written by u-bend (1095729) and posted by timothy on Thursday September 04, @10:36PM

from the identical-cousins dept.
TransportationPowerUser Journal
In what probably amounts to good news for consumers eyeing a hybrid for their next vehicle purchase, Honda is resurrecting the "Insight" name, this time in the form of a five-seat, Prius-like hatchback. The automaker's announcement included the tantalizing statement that the cost would be "significantly below [that of] hybrids available today," but provided no further details on pricing. Although Honda may have some trouble unseating Toyota's dominance of this particular hybrid market, hopefully the Insight's reintroduction will help to make hybrid cars even more affordable to consumers. This is also welcome news to folks like myself who, after the initial flurry of excitement when the now-retired original Insight was introduced in '99, were left scratching their heads at Honda's hybrid strategy as Toyota picked up their dropped ball and ran with it.

School bus driver circles Brooklyn for 5 hours

Next to getting stuck in bumper to bumper traffic -- which is definitely one of the most rage-provoking ways to waste gas and spew CO2 -- the second most annoying way to burn up all of your fuel is to get lost. Not only do you feel like an idiot for not consulting a map before you set out, but you have to watch that needle on your gas gauge count down towards 'E.' Now, imagine the pressure you'd feel if you were lost for 5 hours and you were driving a bus load of school children

That's right, after picking up about a dozen first graders and kindergartners from the Achievement First Brownsville Charter School, a Brooklyn bus driver 'got lost' and circled the borough for a grand total of 5 hours. When police finally apprehended the wayward driver, they arrested him. Not for wasting tons of diesel fuel -- though that might please some of us -- but for just being dangerously weird. 

I guess we may never know what he was thinking, or why he refused to stop and get directions, but I have a well thought-out theory: he's one of these energy-waster activists, here to destroy the planet.

What Michael Jackson Should Look Like

by Mangesh - August 28, 2008 - 11:54 AM

mjackson.jpgI think this is genius. The Daily Mail has printed pics of what the Thriller-star should look like if he hadn’t taken a surgical knife to the face. Apparently, they took old pics of the famous moonwalker and used PC’s to age Michael’s mug appropriately.

Of course, my only question is why stop there when there are so many other stars to expose. If I had access to this wonderfultechnology (and enough cash on hand), I’d be commissioning a whole slew of  un-botoxed, un-plastic surgeried, and definitely un-Toupeed celeb pics, and then use them to create a giant matching quiz. Link via the ever-addictive Gawker.

Secret Wii recovery mode discovered, allows backup disks to run

by Nilay Patel, posted Sep 4th 2008 at 12:24PM

Getting the Wii to run backup disks has never been quite as easy as running homebrew, but that might be about to change -- there's apparently a secret recovery mode that can be accessed with a special GameCube memory card. Not much is being revealed yet, but apparently if a "device" with a unique ID signature is present in the slot at boot, the Wii will drop into recovery mode and happily run whatever you throw at it, from backup disks to homebrew code. Hopefully we'll find out more soon -- video after the break.

[Thanks, brakken]

The Netherlands readies for rising sea levels

In a country where 60% of the population lives below today's sea level, the prospect of rising seas has to give everyone the cold shivers. Literally translated, the Netherlands means the "low countries" and much of its land area -- about 20% -- was reclaimed by an elaborate system of dikes, levees, and those famous windmills. Now, after finally taming much of the flood dangers that have plagued its low-lying cities, global warming has to come muck it all up.

New studies show that the Netherlands are facing a 1.3 meter rising in sea level over the next century. That means the Dutch have to both build up their 350km of coastline while at the same time dredge out canals and build up dikes. In financial terms, that means they need to invest about $2.9B annually for the next few decades to have a fighting chance of keeping their cities -- which produce 65% of the nation's income -- above water. 

Authorities have recommended a long term independent "Delta Fund" -- feed by natural gas income and state bonds -- to pay for the seemingly endless building project.

Should IT Unionize?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday September 04, @10:19AM

from the working-great-in-detroit dept.
The Almighty Buck
snydeq writes"Sixty-hour work weeks with no overtime or comp time, a BlackBerry hitched to your belt 24/7, mandates from managers who have no clue what you actually do — all for a job that could be outsourced tomorrow. 'Is it finally time for technology workers to form a union and demand better working conditions?' InfoWorld's Dan Tynan asks. To some, the odds against IT unions are long, in large part because the 'lone gunman' culture is pervasive. Diversity of skills and job objectives is another hurdle for rallying around common goals. But that has not dissuaded several union-minded groups from cropping up across the industry as of late, Tynan reports. In the end, the best bet for IT may be a professional organization modeled after the American Bar Association or the American Medical Association, one that could give IT professionals a single voice for speaking out on issues that affects everyone — such as H-1B visa limits or tax incentives to keep IT jobs onshore."

Dolphin Inspired Mini-sub

What do you get the millionaire in your life who has everything? How about the Seabreacher mini-sub. Described as a dolphin-inspired cross between a jet ski and a submarine, the Seabreacher has a top speed of 45mph above the waves and 20mph below them. The two-man £30,000 craft is 15' long and its design makes it self-righting. Strangely, this doesn't come with a laser package.

Read more of this story  at Slashdot.

Japan's solar ships

cargo shipThe open ocean seems like a good place to harvest solar power - no buildings or trees to get in the way, just lots of open sky. Nippon Yusen KK and Nippon Oil, both of Japan, are planning to do just that on top of Toyota toting cargo ships

The companies plan to put a solar panel capable of generating 40 kilowatts of power on the 60,000 ton ship. A solar panel placed on a house generates something like 3.5 kilowatts. The panel could help to conserve 6.5% of the fuel oil the ship uses to power its diesel engines. 

Developers have to work to find solutions for potential damage from salt and vibrations on board the ship. They hope to have the first panels in place by December and commercial solution available in the next three to five years. 

The 6.5% savings doesn't seem like a lot, until you consider the scale of the operation. On a ship that large, a 6.5% savings on fuel oil is probably enough to run a fleet of the Toyotas it is carrying. 

[Via CleanTechnica]


by Thomas Ricker, posted Sep 4th 2008 at 8:05AM

As the root of our name implies, desktop browsers aren't really our thing in Engadget-land. Still, we're pretty sure that you've managed to learn about Google's new Chrome browser even without our assistance. However, when we hear Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin discussing Chrome on Android, well, we're all in. Even though neither has been released out of beta yet, Brin said that the Webkit-based Chrome browser is expected to soon supplant the Webkit-based browser in Android. "Probably a subsequent version of Android is going to pick up a lot of the Chrome stack," Brin said before adding, "My guess is we'll have 'Chrome-like' or something similar," when asked about the brand name. While we have lingering doubts about the likely stability of the initial 1.0 Android OS release, version 2.0 with Chrome is likely to be killer in every sense of the word to SymbianNokia, Microsoft, and Apple. Of course, we'll be first in line for the HTC Dream regardless.

[Thanks, Coral]

Emu on the PA turnpike

This story is TOOO funny.  The emu was running around on the turnpike.  They tased it to get it off the road and it kept coming back.  The emu died later of exhaustion  from the chase.  No one knows where it came from or why it was trying to cross the road.  Poor, Poor emu.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Virtual Telescope Zooms In On Milky Way Black Hole

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday September 04, @03:04AM

from the old-bob dept.
FiReaNGeL writes"An international team has obtained the closest views ever of what is believed to be a super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The astronomers used radio dishes in Hawaii, Arizona and California to create a virtual telescope more than 2,800 miles across that is capable of seeing details more than 1,000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope. The target of the observations was the source known as Sagittarius A* ("A-star"), long thought to mark the position of a black hole whose mass is 4 million times greater than the sun. Though Sagittarius A* was discovered 30 years ago, the new observations for the first time have an angular resolution, or ability to observe small details, that is matched to the size of the event horizon."


by Darren Murph, posted Sep 3rd 2008 at 11:22AM

Some pretty extreme methods for waking up are out there, but for those of you who'd prefer something a bit more natural, have a passing glance at Philips' Wake-up Light. This admittedly brilliant device simulates the rising of the sun by gradually getting brighter as your desired required wake-up time draws near. If that's not enough, your windowless apartment can become the middle of Central Park with the inclusion of bird sounds, babbling brooks and millions of citizens yapping on mobiles. Okay, so maybe that last bit will come with a future firmware update, but if the current iteration is good enough for you, it can be acquired now for around $120.

[Via UberReview]

Update: Seems this has been around for at least a bit in some parts of Europe. Share the love!

Google's new browser "Chrome" Beta

It seems to be faster than the competition and starts a new process for every tab which has a number of bennies.  You can DL it here:

Nearly Half Of US Adults Will Develop Painful Knee Osteoarthritis By Age 85: Study

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Almost half of all U.S. adults and nearly two-thirds of obese adults will develop painful osteoarthritis of the knee by age 85, a study based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests.

Read More

Substance Found In Fruits And Vegetables Reduces Likelihood Of The Flu

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Mice given quercetin, a naturally occurring substance found in fruits and vegetables, were less likely to contract the flu, according to a study published by The American Physiological Society. The study also found that stressful exercise increased the susceptibility of mice to the flu, but quercetin canceled out that negative effect.

Read More

Zombie Network Explosion

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday September 03, @08:50AM
from the want-braaains dept.
anti-globalism writes "The number of compromised zombie PCs in botnet networks has quadrupled over the last three months. Shadowserver tracks botnet activity and the number of command and control servers. It uses a variety of metrics to slice and dice its figures based in part on the entropy of botnet infections. The clear trend within these figures is upwards, with a rise in botnet numbers of 100,000 to 400,000 (if 30 day entropy is factored into equations) or from 20,000 to 60,000 (for five day entropy)."

User Charged With Taking ISP Tech Hostage

Posted by samzenpus on Tuesday September 02, @11:55PM
from the to-kidnap-or-not-to-kidnap dept.
User AttheCoalFac pointed us to a interesting tech support story from Canada. Halifax actress and playwright Carol Sinclair was arrested and is now facing criminal charges after a repairman says she threatened to hold him hostage until he fixed her Internet connection. Mrs. Sinclair denies the allegations and says that she merely stated, 'I don't want to hold you hostage, but would you mind hanging around until the other technician arrives so that the two of you can sort it out.' She was arraigned in Halifax Provincial Court Friday and is now free on conditions including that she have no contact with the repairman or any employee from her ISP. Having a lot of experience on both sides of this issue, I'm not sure who I'm cheering for.

More Daytime Sleeping Predicts Less Recovery During Rehabilitation For Older Adults

ScienceDaily (Sep. 2, 2008) — A new study shows that daytime sleeping during a rehabilitation stay predicts less functional recovery for older adults, with effects lasting as long as three months.

Read More

Dashing Computer Interface To Control Your Car

ScienceDaily (Sep. 2, 2008) — European researchers have developed a special dashboard computer to act as a single conduit for all devices emerging in modern cars – GPS, mobile, PDAs, intelligent car technologies. It should mean a better, more relaxed and even safer driving experience.

Read More

All Types Of Antipsychotic Drugs Increase The Risk Of Stroke, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Sep. 2, 2008) — All drugs used to treat psychosis are linked to an increased risk of stroke, and dementia sufferers are at double the risk, according to a study published on the British Medical Journal website.

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New Sensory Devices To Aid Parkinson’s And Stroke Patients Under Development

ScienceDaily (Sep. 2, 2008) — People who have suffered a stroke or who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, could benefit from new research at Queen’s University Belfast.

Read More

Reading Google Chrome's Fine Print

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday September 03, @05:03AM
from the here-be-tygers dept.
Much ink and many electrons are being spilled over Google's Chrome browser (discussed here twice in recent days): from deep backgrounders to performance benchmarks to its vulnerability to a carpet-bombing flaw. The latest angle to be explored is Chrome's end-user license agreement. It does not look consumer-friendly. "By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."

Playing, And Even Watching, Sports Improves Brain Function

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Being an athlete or merely a fan improves language skills when it comes to discussing their sport because parts of the brain usually involved in playing sports are instead used to understand sport language, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

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Heavy Trucks: Safety Research Identifies Factors That Lead To Loss Of Control, Accidents

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Research carried out in Sweden suggests that there are three critical manoeuvres that lead to loss of control of heavy trucks and subsequent accidents. Writing in the International Journal of Vehicle Safety, the researchers explain that negotiating a bend is the main cause of loss of control, closely followed by avoidance manoeuvres, and road-edge recovery.

Read More

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Battling Diabetes With Beta Cells

ScienceDaily (Sep. 3, 2008) — Scientists replicate insulin-producing cells, providing new hope for diabetics. Affecting eight percent of America’s population, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, strokes and heart disease. Thanks to Tel Aviv University researchers, a new cure -- based on advances in cell therapy -- may be within reach.

Read More