Thursday, July 15, 2010

Software Now Un-Patentable In New Zealand

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday July 15, @11:09AM
from the make-up-your-mind-people dept.
A few weeks ago New Zealand Software decided to grant software patents. But now"Despite what appears to be a big-budget lobbying effort by the pro-patent fraternity, Hon Simon Power announced today that he wouldn't be modifying the proposed Patents Bill hence software will be un-patentable once the Bill passes into law. This is significant. As we've previously pointed out software patents aren't black and white, and there are certainly pros and cons. However on balance, we believe they represent a far greater risk to smaller NZ-based software providers than opportunity, and there are many cases where they have significantly stifled innovation. We believe it's near impossible for software to be developed without breaching some of the hundreds of thousands of software patents awarded around the world, hence many software companies in New Zealand, creating outstanding and innovative software, live a constant risk that their entire business will be wound up overnight due to litigious action by a patent holder. This has led to many a 'patent troll' company, primarily in the US. These are non-software companies who exist only to buy up old patents with the sole intention of suing innovative software companies for apparent breach of these patents. The effects of this have been chilling."

I hate this

funny car photos - My Thoughts Exactly

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lego Urban Art

epic win photos  - Partially Excavated Ancient Lego Monolith

Lego Portal

epic win photos - When Lego And Valve Combine!

Gimme Cookie

awesome photos - Give Him His Cookie!


awesome photos - Up Yours Skittles!

Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday July 14, @09:31AM
from the don't-let-the-truth-get-in-your-way dept.
SharpFang writes"In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that misinformed people, particularly political partisans, rarely changed their minds when exposed to corrected facts in news stories. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."


awesome photos AHHHHHHHHhhhhhh...quick breath...AHHHHHHH

Snake Game engineer frat style

Toyota Sudden Acceleration Is Driver Error

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday July 14, @08:12AM
from the fed-findings-fault-fat-feet dept.
phantomfive writes"The NHTSA has investigated data recorders from Toyota cars whose owners claimed to have crashed due to an accelerator error. They found that the throttles were wide open and the brakes weren't being pressed. The investigation looked at a sample of the cars, selected by the NHTSA."Jamie found this article with a superior headline at Balloon Juice.

Nuclear Power Could See a Revival

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday July 14, @03:34AM
from the comforting-bremsstrahlung-glow dept.
shmG writes"As the U.S. moves to reduce dependence on oil, the nuclear industry is looking to expand, with new designs making their way through the regulatory process. No less than three new configurations for nuclear power are being considered for licensing by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The first of them could be generating power in Georgia by 2016."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Great Pumpkin Carving

awesome photos -This Pumpkin Could Kill You

Jet Pack

Neat Jymnastics

Amazing Spare


I have a scooter, who has the Marry-Go-Round

Flying Lawnmower?

Incredible game music compilation

Cool hammer juggling

Stupid Duck Hunt dog!

Kung Fu Bear

Lego Printer

The new math

South Korea Deploys Killer Robot In DMZ

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday July 13, @09:25AM
from the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction dept.
shikaisi writes"Not content with just killing people in computer games, South Korea has gone one better and is deploying remotely controlled sentry robots on the border with the north. According to the article 'If the command centre operator cannot identify possible intruders through the robot's audio or video communications system, the operator can order it to fire its gun or 40mm automatic grenade launcher.'"

Larger Head Size May Protect Against Alzheimer's Symptoms

ScienceDaily (July 12, 2010) — New research shows that people with Alzheimer's disease who have large heads have better memory and thinking skills than those with the disease who have smaller heads, even when they have the same amount of brain cell death due to the disease.

Do Home Computers Help Or Hinder Education?

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday July 13, @08:10AM
from the yes dept.
theodp writes"The NY Times reports on economists' efforts to measure a home computer's educational impact on schoolchildren in low-income households. Taking widely varying routes, they are arriving at similar conclusions: little or no educational benefit is found. Worse, computers seem to have further separated children in low-income households, whose test scores often decline after the machine arrives, from their more privileged counterparts. Abroad, researchers found that children in Romanian households who won a $300 voucher to help them buy computers received significantly lower school grades in math, English and Romanian. Stateside, students in a North Carolina study posted significantly lower math test scores after the first broadband provider showed up in their neighborhood, and significantly lower reading scores as well when the number of broadband providers increased. And a Texas study found that 'there was no evidence linking technology immersion with student self-directed learning or their general satisfaction with schoolwork.'"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stats image for Michael

Student Opinion Survey Results

Amid the Murk of 'Gut Flora,' Vitamin D Receptor Emerges as a Key Player

ScienceDaily (July 8, 2010) — Within the human digestive tract is a teeming mass of hundreds of types of bacteria, a potpourri of microbes numbering in the trillions that help us digest food and keep bad bacteria in check.

Free Clock Democratizes Atomic Accuracy

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday July 08, @08:43AM
from the free-time dept.
schliz writes"A new, trial network of software-based clocks could give data centers and networks the accuracy of an atomic clock for free. The so-called RADclock analyses information from multiple computers across the internet by collecting the time from each machine's internal quartz clock, the time it takes for this information to be transmitted across the network, and comparing all the information collected to determine a time that is most likely to be accurate, so machines are calibrated across the network with up to microsecond accuracy — as good as that provided by a $50,000 atomic clock, researchers say."

Concrete That Purifies the Air

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday July 08, @09:57AM
from the clean-roads dept.
fergus07 writes"Although much of the focus of pollution from automobiles centers on carbon emissions, there are other airborne nasties spewing from the tailpipes of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. These include nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the form of nitrogen dioxide it reacts with chemicals produced by sunlight to form nitric acid – a major constituent of acid rain – and also reacts with sunlight, leading to the formation of ozone and smog. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of nitrogen oxides in ambient air, but exposure to higher amounts, in areas of heavy traffic for example, can damage respiratory airways. Testing has shown that surfacing roads with air purifying concrete could make a big contribution to local air purity by reducing the concentration of nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent."

The Proton Just Got Smaller

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday July 08, @12:00PM
from the size-does-matter dept.
inflame writes"A new paper published in Nature has said that the proton may be smaller than we previously thought. The article states 'The difference is so infinitesimal that it might defy belief that anyone, even physicists, would care. But the new measurements could mean that there is a gap in existing theories of quantum mechanics. "It's a very serious discrepancy," says Ingo Sick, a physicist at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who has tried to reconcile the finding with four decades of previous measurements. "There is really something seriously wrong someplace."' Would this indicate new physics if proven?"

Doctor Invents 'Zero Gravity' Radiation Suit

Posted by samzenpus on Thursday July 08, @11:12AM
from the baron-harkonnen-approved dept.
DrFrasierCrane writes"You think you feel weighed down when your dentist lays that lead apron on you to take X-rays: how about the doctors who deal with radiation treatments and have to wear those aprons all day long? A Dallas, Texas, doctor has created a 'zero gravity' radiation suit for just that problem. From the article: 'Physicians are supposed to wear a lead apron during those procedures. It is back-breakingly heavy and doesn't cover the body completely. The zero gravity suit eliminates the weight and the exposed openings.'"

Honey as an Antibiotic: Scientists Identify a Secret Ingredient in Honey That Kills Bacteria

ScienceDaily (June 30, 2010) — Sweet news for those looking for new antibiotics: A new research published in the July 2010 print edition of the FASEB Journal explains for the first time how honey kills bacteria. Specifically, the research shows that bees make a protein that they add to the honey, called defensin-1, which could one day be used to treat burns and skin infections and to develop new drugs that could combat antibiotic-resistant infections.

Stanford cuts down on clutter by removing 70,000 books from its Engineering Library

By Vlad Savov posted Jul 12th 2010 5:09AM

Guess this is one way to tighten your belt. Stanford University has opted to drastically reduce the catalog of physical volumes within its Engineering Library down from its original 80,000 to a svelte 10,000 copies. Before you cry foul and analogize between this and the prep school that threw out all its paper books, note that we're mostly talking about periodicals here, which tend to be used for quick references -- something that the newly digitized and searchable copies will probably make a lot easier. This action was prompted when the University noticed a large proportion of its leafy volumes hadn't left their shelves for over five years, and now the librarians are all aflutter with excitement about using the freed up space and resources for more productive causes. Such as educating us on the unappreciated benefits of indexing.

The Search For the Mount Everest of Caves

Posted by kdawson on Sunday July 11, @07:40PM
from the drop-a-rock-and-it-goes-spee-lunk dept.
NoMeansYes writes"An interview with James Tabor, author of the new best-selling book Blind Descent, introduces a pair of accomplished scientists — American Bill Stone and Ukranian geologist Alexander Klimchouk — who are the two most prominent figures in extreme caving. Both have figured prominently in the ongoing quest to discover the deepest cave on earth. Tabor describes what conditions are like inside supercaves like Cheve (-4,869 feet) and Krubera (-7,188 feet), before discussing Stone and his far-reaching technological innovations. These include the Posideon Discovery Rebreather and NASA's ENDURANCE. Extreme caving probably won't remain underground (so to speak) much longer, however. The article notes that James Cameron is planning to release a 3D film next year about extreme cave divers."

Eye Movements and Sight Distance Reveal How Drivers Negotiate Winding Roads

ScienceDaily (July 6, 2010) — It is well-documented that when negotiating winding roads, drivers tend to look at a specific, well-defined point on the lane marking -- referred to as the tangent point. New research finds that the further drivers can look ahead, generally in left-hand curves, wide curves and when leaving a curve, the less they have to look at the tangent point.

Michael's team won second in the bot-ball tournament!

He said they would have had first if not for a software glitch in the last face off. Congrats Michael!

Some pics and the Blog: