Friday, May 21, 2010

School bus takes wrong students on field trip

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. - Officials say a mix-up led a school bus driver in northern New Jersey to start to take students to an amusement park instead of school.

About 30 Ridgefield Park High School students boarded the bus around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, thinking it was the bus they ride every day. But the driver had shown up early to take seventh- and eighth-graders to Six Flags Great Adventure at 9 a.m.

The students became worried when the bus reached the New Jersey Turnpike and called their parents and the school when the driver wouldn't stop.

Homeless woman lived in man's closet for year

TOKYO - A homeless woman who sneaked into a man’s house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man’s closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.

The resident of the home installed securitycameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.

Toyota Partners With Tesla To Make Electric Cars

Posted by timothy on Friday May 21, @08:12AM
from the is-a-new-tesla-greener-than-an-existing-hummer? dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Toyota just announced that it will invest $50 million in Tesla Motors and the two companies will partner to manufacture electric vehicles to meet California's growing demand for greener cars. Bay Area residents should be especially excited, as this venture is expected to create thousands of new jobs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is sure to be a boon to California's flagging economy. Tesla fans as well should rejoice as the new partnership will allow the EV start-up to bring its highly coveted, iconic design to into more affordable electric vehicles like the Model S sedan, which will sell for $49,900 and gets 300 miles on a 3-5 hour charge."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Washington establishing timeline for sales of 'loud' EVs

By Joseph L. Flatley posted May 20th 2010 3:19PM

Whenever we test drive an EV, we try to bring along a passenger who screams things out the window like "Beware! Silent car!" and "Electric vehicle! Don't get hit!" But we understand that for some of you this might not be an option. Luckily, it looks like initiatives to outfit electric vehicles with warning sounds have been picking up steam, from the Pedestrian Safety Act last year to a new bill that would have the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration establish a three year timeline for auto manufacturers. According to Autoblog, "there's no word as to how loud the noise would be or what it will sound like," although drivers would not be able to turn it off, and it would likely be variable, depending on your speed -- not unlike the system Brabus uses in its Smart High Voltage EV. As for your car-lovin' Engadget editors, we're already looking for one that emulates the growl of the '68 Ford Mustang that Steve McQueen drove in Bullitt.

National Academy of Science Urges Carbon Tax

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday May 19, @08:04PM
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
eldavojohn writes"Moving for the first time from a cautious message to a message of urgency, the National Academy of Science has advised the United States government to either adopt a carbon tax or cap and tradelegislation. This follows their most comprehensive study in three parts released today from the National Academies that, for the first time, urges required action from the government to curb climate change."

SSD power consumption reduced by 86 percent, speeds of 9.5GBps achieved by Japanese researchers

By Vladislav Savov posted May 20th 2010 6:53AM

You know, the thing about the future is, it'll probably come from Japan. Only yesterday we saw mammoth 50TB magnetic tapes, and today we're hearing the home of Nikon has come up with a new writing method for NAND flash memory that dramatically reduces the already humble power requirements of SSDs. Using their hot new single-cell self-boost technique, University of Tokyo researchers have been able to lower operational voltages down to 1V and thereby facilitate parallel writing to over 100 NAND chips at a time, resulting in the bombastic 9.5GBps writing speed claim. The whole thing has only just been announced, so don't go raiding your local tech store just yet, but we can at least start preparing ourselves for this madness whenever it does show up.

10,000 Cows Can Power 1,000 Servers

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday May 20, @03:37AM
from the cattle-computing dept.
CWmike writes"Reducing energy consumption in data centers, particularly with the prospect of a federal carbon tax, is pushing vendors to explore an ever-growing range of ideas. HP engineers say that biogas may offer a fresh alternative energy approach for IT managers. Researchers at HP Labs presented a paper (download PDF) on using cow manure from dairy farms and cattle feedlots and other 'digested farm waste' to generate electricity to an American Society of Mechanical Engineers conference, held this week. In it, the research team calculates that 'a hypothetical farm of 10,000 dairy cows' could power a 1 MW data center — or on the order of 1,000 servers. One trend that makes the idea of turning organic waste into usable power for data centers is the moves by several firms to build facilities in rural locations, where high-speed networks allow them to take advantage of the cost advantages of such areas. But there are some practical problems, not the least of which is connecting a data center to the cows. If it does happen, the move could call for a new take on plug and play: plug and poo."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Marine Mammals Used to Fight Terrorism

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday May 19, @11:11AM
from the jones-the-enhanced-dolphin dept.
pinkstuff writes"The Navy unveiled its terror-fighting marine mammals at a two-day homeland security and disaster preparedness exercise in California this week. From the article: 'A Navy seal — actually a sea lion — took less than a minute to find a fake mine under a pier near San Francisco's AT&T Park. A dolphin quickly located a terrorist lurking in the black water before another sea lion, using a device carried in its mouth, cuffed the pretend saboteur's ankle so authorities could reel him in.' Queue the 'frickin lasers' jokes."

Students accelerate cubicle arms race with PlayStation Eye-tracked, iPhone-guided coilgun (video)

By Sean Hollister posted May 19th 2010 7:37AM

DIY weaponry gets more lethal with each passing year; where once we were content with a simple foam missile launcher, technology has progressed such that our automated turrets now spew screwdriver bits,airsoft and paintballs. As progress forges ahead, two engineering students at the University of Arkansas have added injury to insult with this four-stage DIY coilgun. Using an Arduino microcontroller to actuate the firing mechanism and steer the monstrous wooden frame, they nimbly control the badass kit with an iDevice over WiFi, and line up targets using a repurposed PlayStation Eye webcam. While we'd of course prefer to have our phone SSH into the gun over 3G, we're not going to argue with success. We'd like to keep our lungs un-perforated, thank you very much. See it in action after the break.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Onion: Google 'whisper ads' detect keywords in phone calls (video)

By Thomas Ricker posted May 18th 2010 3:53AM

Oh man, The Onion really outdid itself this time. Its latest tech parody takes on ad-supported phones from Google meant to drive down the device's cost. Funny, because it's true. Users won't even remember a time when they didn't have a second voice whispered in their ear.

P.S. The Yahoo dig at the end is classic.