Friday, October 3, 2008

A Lamborghini hybrid?!

Can you say tipping point? When I was hoping to someday be able to trade in my Prius in for something sexier, the big goal was a Mercedes convertible that didn't run on french fry grease (although I'll take one of those!) 

Now I can really dream big. Lamborghini showed their latest concept car, the Estoque, at the Paris Car Show this week. Since it's still an idea, rather than a real car, they discussed the different types of engine that could go in the four-door, four-seater. The first two options were diesel/million horses/V-infinity, but the third possibility got my attention: a V8 with a hybrid module.

Wow. If the existing technology is good enough for an iconic Italian sportscar maker to bandying about potential hybrid V8s, then can Joe Six-pack and his pickup truck far behind?

Bullying Common In Cyberspace

ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2008) — A new study in the Journal of School Health reveals that cyberbullying is common among teens who are frequent internet users, with 72 percent of respondents reporting at least one incident during the past year.

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Brain Pathway Responsible For Obesity Found: Too Many Calories Send Brain Off Kilter

ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2008) — An overload of calories throws critical portions of the brain out of whack, reveals a study in the October 3rd issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication. That response in the brain's hypothalamus—the "headquarters" for maintaining energy balance—can happen even in the absence of any weight gain, according to the new studies in mice.

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Microsoft Surface made pressure-sensitive with Wii Balance Board

by Stephanie Patterson, posted Oct 3rd 2008 at 4:03AM

So you've got a spare Microsoft Surface and Wii Balance Board laying around, whaddya do? Well, you could try stacking them on top of each other and hope that big-ass table doesn't crush your little plastic Nintendo toy, and with some code slapped on what you'd end up with is pressure-sensitive surface computing. This clever little concept was cooked up by Josh Santangelo from "Stimulant." In his demo, featured after the break, he rocks Surface from side to side while colored spots roll back and forth, using a physics engine he developed for MS Silverlight. It's a great start and we would love to see this resourceful hack put to good use -- beyond that of a totally awesome yet ridiculously expensive tilt-a-maze game, minus the maze.

Weird Al To Release Songs As He Records Them

Posted by timothy on Friday October 03, @04:59AM

from the pitch-perfect-parodies-piecemeal dept.
slapout writes"Weird Al has announced that with the Internet he can now release his songs for sale as he records each one rather than waiting for a whole album to be produced."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

MS Reportedly Adds 6 Months of Vista Downgrade

Posted by kdawson on Friday October 03, @09:07AM

from the charting-a-course-to-windows-7 dept.
LiteralKa sends in a poorly sourced Reg story claiming that Microsoft has granted OEMs six more months to sell PCs using Windows Vista with the support to downgrade to Windows XP. OEMs can now offer such arrangements until July 31, 2009 — the previous deadline was January 31, 2009. The article claims as source "a Reg reader" without further details. Neither Microsoft nor any OEM has confirmed the rumor, and only a few scattered bloggers have picked it up.

Cheaper Car Insurance For Gamers

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday October 02, @10:11AM

from the hand-eye-coordination dept.
I know your first reaction is that this story is gonna be an ad, but SpuriousLogic's story is actually about insurers considering giving a discount to elderly gamers. The question is: does gaming improve mental agility and make you a safer driver? And if so, I'll have to add gaming to mowing the lawn for my weekly chores.

By the way, this is available for 100,000 PA drivers ages 50-75.

This is One Giant Rabbit!

Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert, an 8.5kg giant gray who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house in Eberswalde, Germany in 2006. Szmolinsky sold eight giant grays to a delegation from North Korea that wanted to raise the breed as a source of meat for the North Korean population. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.).
(Getty photo by Sean Gallup / January 15, 2006)
Karl Szmolinsky, who raises a breed of rabbits called giant grays, shows Robert, an 8.5kg giant gray who is 74cm long and has ears 25.5cm long, in the backyard of his house in Eberswalde, Germany in 2006. Szmolinsky sold eight giant grays to a delegation from North Korea that wanted to raise the breed as a source of meat for the North Korean population. Szmolinsky said his rabbits reach a maximum weight of 10.5 kg (23.1lbs.).

Schneier On Scareware Vendor Lawsuits

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday October 02, @09:25AM

from the now-what-about-the-car-warranty-robot-who-calls-every-day dept.
Bruce Schneier's blog says"This is good: Microsoft Corp. and the state of Washington this week filed lawsuits against a slew of 'scareware' purveyors, scam artists who use fake security alerts to frighten consumers into paying for worthless computer security software. "

Toxic Fumes From Mac Pros?

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday October 02, @08:41AM

from the that-might-explain-john-hodgmen dept.
Technology (Apple)
Fanboi Killa writes"Apple is investigating damning claims, published in a leading French newspaper, that its computers emit a toxic odour containing chemicals including the cancer-causing benzene. Apple has not denied the accusations. Its spokesman, Bill Evans, told Macworld the company had not found any evidence to support the claim but Apple would continue to investigate. Posts on Apple's own discussion boards suggest the Mac maker knew about potentially toxic odors being linked to its computers as early as December last year."

Compact Fluorescent Lighting: Are We Trading Energy Conservation For Toxic Mercury Emissions?

ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2008) — A team of Yale scientists has found that certain countries and some U.S. states stand to benefit from the use of compact fluorescent lighting more than others in the fight against global warming. Some places may even produce more mercury emissions by switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent lighting.

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Changes In Sex Steroids Associated With Menopause

ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2008) — A study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that the increased rate of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) change that occurs during menopause is associated with increased objective sleep duration but poor subjective sleep quality.

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New Mathematical Model Can Measure Political Party Power

ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2008) — A new algorithm developed by a computer scientist at the University of Southampton can be used to predict political power balances.

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Acupressure Calms Children Before Surgery

ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2008) — An acupressure treatment applied to children undergoing anesthesia noticeably lowers their anxiety levels and makes the stress of surgery more calming for them and their families, UC Irvine anesthesiologists have learned.

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by Stephanie Patterson, posted Oct 2nd 2008 at 7:06AM

Sure we've seen glorified dehumidifiers like this before, but we're a sucker for any aquatic wonder which claims to solve the world's drinking water shortage. The wall-mounted Watermill from Element Four is the latest "water from thin air" contraption and produces up to 3.2 gallons of water a day, pumped through a trusty ultraviolet sterilizer. But more importantly, it offers to hydrate your family of 6 for a mere thirty-five cents a day in power, not including whatever price Element Four decides to sell it for. Or you could just stick a bucket on your roof and be done with it -- we hear it rains occasionally.

[Via Gadget Review]

Sysadmin Steals Almost 20,000 Pieces Of Computer Equipment

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday October 02, @07:57AM

from the was-that-wrong dept.
The CourtsThe MilitaryNews
coondoggie writes"Now this is some serious computer theft. We're talking 19,709 pieces of stolen computer equipment from the US Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. The theft included everything from PCs and printer toner to hard drives, software and other office equipment amounting to over $120,000, according to court documents and published reports."

Man Uses Remote Logon To Help Find Laptop Thief

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday October 02, @12:48AM
from the cyber-bloodhound dept.
After his computer was stolen, Jose Caceres used a remote access program to log on every day and watch it being used. The laptop was stolen on Sept. 4, when he left it on top of his car while carrying other things into his home. "It was kind of frustrating because he was mostly using it to watch porn," Caceres said. "I couldn't get any information about him." Last week the thief messed up and registered on a web site with his name and address. Jose alerted the police, who arrested a suspect a few hours later. The moral of the story: never go to a porn site where you have to register.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hackers Clone Elvis' Passport

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday October 02, @05:30AM

from the don't-mess-with-the-king dept.
Barence writes"Hackers have released source code that allows the 'backup' of RFID-protected passports, although the tool can potentially be used to create fake or cloned documents. The Hacker's Choice, a non-commercial group of computer security experts, has released a video showing a cloned passport being approved by a security scanner at a Dutch airport. When the reader scans the passport, it is revealed to belong to one Elvis Aaron Presley, complete with picture. Reports of the hackers serenading security staff with 'Are You Clonesome Tonight' are unconfirmed."


by Darren Murph, posted Oct 1st 2008 at 1:33AM

We'd swear this had to be some sort of spoof on the impeccable James Bond, but sadly enough, the whole thing is true. A secondhand Nikon Coolpix camera which sold on eBay for a mere £17 ($30) turned out to be a real bargain once its new 28-year old owner completed his first image dump. Along with decidedly decent snaps from his US vacation, he also found a number of "top secret" images, diagrams and sketches that have since been confirmed as MI6 material. We're talking photos of rocket launchers, hand-drawn graphics of terrorist links and all sorts of other information not at all intended for civilian eyes. 'Course, the whole thing could just be the act of one talented Photoshopper, but we highly doubt the agency would be so fortunate.

[Via Digg, image courtesy of WWII Airplane Model]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Removing CO2 From the Air Efficiently

Journal written by houbou (1097327) and posted by kdawson on Wednesday October 01, @02:55AM

from the install-anywhere dept.
Canadian scientists have created a device that efficiently removes CO2 from the atmosphere."The proposed air capture system differs from existing carbon capture and storage technology ... while CCS involves installing equipment at, say, a coal-fired power plant to capture CO2 produced during the coal-burning process, ... air capture machines will be able to literally remove the CO2 present in ambient air everywhere. [The team used] ... a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide."

Rob Lowe kills bird - gives up golfing forever

For me, golf represents the world's most frustrating sport and a hugedrain on local water resources. For many devoted fans, however, the sport represents the source of some of purest emotional highs -- and lows-- available in life. Take Rob Lowe for example, at a recent celebrity tournament, one of his famous sand wedge shots managed to strike a goldfinch in mid air and kill it. Things spiraled downhill from there. 

Not only had Rob accidentally killed the bird, but it turns out that the goldfinch happens to be Iowa's state bird -- and his birdicide was punishable with prison time. According to Lowe: "By the time that the state police had found out, they (golf officials) had sequestered me away into the clubhouse, and I sort of made my escape. I was completely traumatized so I've given up the game." Wow, we always figured that Rob was a lover not a fighter, but giving up the game? It was an accident, after all. 

Was this mother nature's way of telling Rob to give up the water-intensive sport? Or just a reminder of the fragility of nature?

[via Ecorazzi}

Black Hurricanes?

Thi s a few years old now but true and too funny not to share:)

This is an excertp from an e-mail I recieved.

A black congresswoman (this would be Sheila Jackson Lee, of Houston ), reportedly complained that the names of hurricanes are all Caucasian sounding names.  She would prefer some names that reflect African-American culture such as Chamiqua, Tanisha, Woeisha, Shaqueal, and Jamal. (I am NOT making this up!)   She would also like the weather reports to be broadcast in 'language' that street people can understand because one of the problems that happened in New Orleans was, that black people couldn't understand the seriousness of the situation, due to the racially biased language of the weather report.   I guess if the weather person says that the winds are going to blow at 140+ MPH, that's too hard to understand.

I can hear it now: A weatherman says.. Wazzup, mutha-fukkas! Hehr-i-cane Chamiqua be headin' fo' yo ass like Leroy on a crotch rocket! Bitch be a category fo'! So, turn off dem chitlins, grab yo' chirren, leave yo crib, and head fo' de nearest FEMA office fo yo FREE shit! 

We need a more important cause to care about.  I am sure that after the storms are names African American names, they would be upset like the woman's movent was in the 70's that having storms named after women only somehow refelcts poorly on women.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tweezers Trap Nanotubes By Color

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2008) — Singled-walled carbon nanotubes are graphene sheets wrapped into tubes, and are typically made up of various sizes and with different amounts of twist (also known as chiralities). Each type of nanotube has its own electronic and optical properties.

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Tsunami Invisibility Cloak Could Make Structures 'Disappear'

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2008) — Rather than building stronger ocean-based structures to withstand tsunamis, it might be easier to simply make the structures disappear.

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Pistachio Nuts May Improve Heart Health

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2008) — Going green may be heart healthy if the green you choose is pistachio nuts, according to researchers at Penn State who conducted the first study to investigate the way pistachios lower cholesterol.

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Dark Energy: Is It Merely An Illusion?

ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2008) — Dark energy is at the heart of one of the greatest mysteries of modern physics, but it may be nothing more than an illusion, according physicists at Oxford University.

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