Thursday, January 22, 2009

Britannica Goes After Wikipedia and Google

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday January 22, @09:15AM

from the let-us-know-how-that-works-out-for-ya dept.
The Internet
kzieli writes"Britannica is going to allow viewers to edit articles. with changes to be editorial reviewed within 20 minutes. There is also a bit of a rant against Google for ranking Wikipedia above Britannica on most search terms."

School Performance And Body Weight Affects Kids' Self-esteem, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2009) — National statistics show one in four children in Canada are obese, yet very little research has been done to find out what effects, if any, being overweight has on their self esteem and well-being.

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A few inappropriate funnies

One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift.
The next year, he didn't buy her a gift.
When she asked him why, he replied,  "Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"


And that's how the fight started.....
 My wife walked into the den and asked  "What's on the TV?"
I replied "Dust."
And that's how the fight started......
A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror.
She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'
The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's damn near perfect.'
And that's how the fight started.....
 My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary.
She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 200 in about 3 seconds.
I bought her a scale.
And that's how the fight started.....
I asked my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?'
It warmed my heart to see her face melt; in sweet appreciation.
'Somewhere I haven't been in a long  time!' she said.
So I suggested, 'How about the kitchen?'
And that's when the fight started....
My wife and I are watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?'
'No,' she answered.
I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'
She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying 'Yes.'

So I said, 'Then I'd like to phone a friend.'
And that's when the fight started....
I tried to talk my wife into buying a case of Miller Light for $14.95.
Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95.  I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.
And that's when the fight started.....

I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.
'I' ll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.'
 He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?'
'Nah, she can order for herself.'
 And that's when the fight started.

Hybrids Makings Some Noise

Hybrids are some of the quietest cars around. Their electric motors barely make a peep, and when a hybrid roles to a stop, the engine shuts off. Surprisingly, this has become a problem. 

Earlier this year an 8-year old boy was riding his bike in the street when he was hit by a Prius.
 The boy went through an intersection without looking because he didn't hear any cars. The Prius in question was operating in its EV mode, and ran right into the boy. He was fine. But he's not the only one concerned about being struck by a stealthy hybrid. 

Blind organizations around the country are pushing for minimum noise standards, and a bill was introduced into the House of Representatives last year that would require hybrids to emit a sound while they are operating. 

One scientist is already on the case. Patrick Nyeste at North Carolina State University has tested 24 sounds for the hybrid. So far, the hum and white noise are the most popular. Lotus engineering is also looking at making an adjustable car sound for hybrids. When the vehicle was operating the hum of a gas engine would be emitted, but that noise could be turned down in quieter settings. 

[via Environment Report]

Nano-motors For Microbots

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday January 22, @01:54AM

from the big-things-in-micro-packages dept.
Smivs writes"The BBC are reporting on the development of tiny motors the size of a grain of salt which could power surgical Microbots. Some surgical procedures are hindered by the size or inflexibility of current instruments. For example, the labyrinthine network of blood vessels in the brain prevents the use of catheters threaded through larger blood vessels. Researchers have long envisioned that trends of miniaturisation would lead to tiny robots that could get around easily in the body. The problem until now has been powering them. Conventional electric motors do not perform as well as they are scaled down in size. As they approach millimetre dimensions, they barely have the power to overcome the resistance in their bearings. Now, research reported in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering has demonstrated a motor about 1/4mm wide, about the width of two human hairs."

The State of Video Game Regulation

Posted by Soulskill on Thursday January 22, @05:01AM

from the rather-overstated,-to-state-the-obvious dept.
The CourtsGames
Gamasutra is running an in-depth look at the regulation of video games in the US and other countries. They discuss the reasons for such legislation, such as child protection and intellectual property restrictions, as well as what gamers can expect to see in the coming years."Fairfield also points out combinations of laws, which, when put together make for strange outcomes. The biggest of these, for video games, is the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In short, gaining unauthorized access to someone's computer and doing $500 in damages opens you up for criminal charges. It's good for prosecuting hackers, but it makes for a strange fit with social networking websites and user-generated content. That fit was especially strange when prosecutors weren't quite sure how to approach the widely publicized case of Megan Meier. The 13-year-old Meier committed suicide after being deceived and bullied by another girl and her mother, Lori Drew. Unable to find a good way to approach the issue, prosecutors charged Drew under MySpace's End User License Agreement, effectively giving MySpace the power to dictate criminal law."

Doomsday Called Off: Part 1 of 5

Skeptics of man made global warming are getting a stronger foothold if the number of articles I've seen in the last week can be considered proof. Of course, it's hard to make a case for global warming in the dead of winter but what this video shows is some interesting work that's being done in Greenland.

Scientists have built a research station on ice several three kilometers thick and are carving out tubes of ice to study the temperature. Apparently, by extracting a sample, you can learn what the climate was in Greenland 100 or even 2,000 years ago.

The results? The coldest Greenland has ever been in the last 8,000 years was in 1875, just about when we started documenting temperature. The temperature has risen since but not nearly as high as to what it's been in the past. Samples taken from the viking age (around 1000 A.D.) show that temperatures were on average 1.5 Celsius degrees warmer than today. Is the melting ice in Greenland due to man's influence or are we merely coming out of a mini ice age?

[via: Ecology Newspaper]