Thursday, August 26, 2010

Air Force Uses Falcons To Protect Falcons

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday August 26, @12:49PM
from the april-already dept.
coondoggie writes"Birds and high-performance jet aircraft don't mix. So at a base in Germany, the Air Force is fighting birds with birds — specifically trained falcons that patrol the base and help eliminate at least some of the feathered threat to the F-16 Fighting Falcons and other aircraft."

Mass Effect's M8 Avenger rifle brought to exquisitely detailed life

By Vlad Savov posted Aug 26th 2010 8:15AM

Harrison Krix understands if you don't remember his name. After all, your mind can't be expected to retain information when you've just seen the spectacular Portal gun and Daft Punk helmet the man has already authored. Latest on his hitlist is a homage to the awesomeness that is Mass Effect. Employing mostly leftover bits from previous projects and $28-worth of new materials, Harrison set about the task of recreating Commander Shepard's trusty assault rifle. The source will delight your eyeballs with a litany of pictures and build details, though our major question remains unanswered -- does it use armor-piercing, incendiary, or shredder rounds?

Electric Beetle on Record-Breaking Cross-Canadian Trek

  • 10:00 am |
  • Categories: EVs and Hybrids

    Students from the University of British Columbia hope to set a record for the fastest coast-to-coast drive across Canada in an electric vehicle, range anxiety be damned. Better yet, they’re making the trip in a slick home-brew electrified classic VW Beetle.

    The students set out from Vancouver last week on their 4,000-mile trek in E-Beetle, a ‘72 Vee Dub the UBC Electric Car Club converted to run on electricity. With a three-phase AC induction motor hooked up to a lithium iron phosphate battery, the car has a range of around 185 miles at 60 mph and over 340 miles at 30 mph. Top speed is around 85 mph, and recharging the pack takes about four hours. The car sports four wheel discs with regenerative braking.

    Those are impressive specs, but Canada’s roads can be unforgiving. From winding mountain passes in the west to deserted stretches of highway across the prairie provinces, driving across Canada requires forethought even in a gas powered vehicle. That’s why the team carefully mapped out places to spend the night and plug in the car. You can follow their progress on the team blog.

    So far, they’ve made it up to the summit of the steep Coquihalla Highway — a challenge for any car — but had to recharge at a convenience store the next day after discovering their remaining range was about half the distance they had left to travel.

    Be sure to say hi if you happen to be in any of the major Canadian cities where they’re stopping, and we’ll be following their journey online. If all goes well on the cross-Canada trip, the team plans to enter the car in the next Zero Race.

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    Electricity Collected from the Air Could Become the Newest Alternative Energy Source

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 25, 2010) — Imagine devices that capture electricity from the air ― much like solar cells capture sunlight ― and using them to light a house or recharge an electric car. Imagine using similar panels on the rooftops of buildings to prevent lightning before it forms. Strange as it may sound, scientists already are in the early stages of developing such devices, according to a report presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Is this where it begins?

    Perhaps China is coming up as a super-power in technology.

    Half-a-Loaf Method Can Improve Magnetic Memories

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 24, 2010) — Chinese scientists have shown that magnetic memory, logic and sensor cells can be made faster and more energy efficient by using an electric, not magnetic, field to flip the magnetization of the sensing layer only about halfway, rather than completely to the opposite direction. They describe the new cell design in theJournal of Applied Physics, which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

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    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Canadian Cannabis Car

    Posted by samzenpus on Tuesday August 24, @10:35AM
    from the Cheech-and-Chong-already-did-it dept.
    sykobabul writes"The CBC is reporting: 'An electric car made of hemp is being developed by a group of Canadian companies in collaboration with an Alberta Crown corporation. The Kestrel will be prototyped and tested later in August by Calgary-based Motive Industries Inc., a vehicle development firm focused on advanced materials and technologies, the company announced.' Leave it to us Canadians to come up with all sorts of uses for cannabis."

    Americans Using Less Energy, More Renewables

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — Americans are using less energy overall and making more use of renewable energy resources.

    Vitamin D Found to Influence Over 200 Genes, Highlighting Links to Disease

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — The extent to which vitamin D deficiency may increase susceptibility to a wide range of diseases is dramatically highlighted in newly published research. Scientists have mapped the points at which vitamin D interacts with our DNA -- and identified over two hundred genes that it directly influences.

    'Leap Seconds' May Be Eliminated From UTC

    Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday August 24, @02:01AM
    from the time-and-time-again dept.
    angry tapir writes"Sparking a fresh round of debate over an ongoing issue in time-keeping circles, the International Telecommunications Union is considering eliminating leap seconds from the time scale used by most computer systems, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Since their introduction in 1971, leap seconds have proved problematic for at least a few software programs. The leap second added on to the end of 2008, for instance, caused Oracle cluster software to reboot unexpectedly in some cases."

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Authors Guild Silent Over iBooks Text-To-Speech

    Posted by Soulskill on Monday August 23, @02:00PM
    from the selective-interest dept.
    Last year we discussed news that the Authors Guild took issue with the Kindle's text-to-speech function, claiming it was illegal for the device to read their books aloud. Amazon disagreed, but said they were willing to disable the feature upon request from rightsholders. Now, jamie notes a recent article by David Pogue at the NY Times in which he points out thatApple's free iBooks app does the same thing, yet the Authors Guild has remained silent. Quoting: "... Now swipe down the page with two fingers to make the iPhone start reading the book to you, out loud, with a synthesized voice. It even turns the pages automatically and keeps going until you tap with two fingers to stop it. Yes, this is exactly the feature that debuted in the Amazon Kindle and was then removed when publishers screamed bloody murder. But somehow, so far, Apple has gotten away with it, maybe because nobody's even realized this feature is in there." That said, the feature was certainlynoticed during the launch of the iPad, so perhaps the Authors Guild has other reasons for holding their peace.

    Bacteria From Beer Lasts 553 Days in Space

    Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday August 23, @01:11PM
    from the i'll-drink-to-that dept.
    An anonymous reader writes"Some specific bacteria colonies from Beer (the place, not the beverage) left for several days outside the ISS actually survived extreme temperatures, UV and other radiations, lack of water and all the like. They were later brought back to Earth for examination: such resistant bacteria may be the base of life support systems or bio-mining on colonies off Earth, and of course for terraforming, eventually. No clue in the article about how dangerous those bacteria might have become after the exposure or when they'll start eating their examiners."

    Rheumatoid Arthritis Signaling Protein Reverses Alzheimer's Disease in Mouse Model

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2010) — A signaling protein released during rheumatoid arthritis dramatically reduced Alzheimer's disease pathology and reversed the memory impairment of mice bred to develop symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease, a new study by the University of South Florida reports. Researchers found that the protein, GM-CSF, likely stimulates the body's natural scavenger cells to attack and remove Alzheimer's amyloid deposits in the brain.

    Young People Identify With an Online Community Almost as Strongly as With Their Own Family

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2010) — Teenage online community users feel part of their online community almost as much as they feel part of their own family.

    China's Nine-Day Traffic Jam Tops 62 Miles

    Posted by samzenpus on Monday August 23, @12:08PM
    from the living-on-the-road dept.
    A traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet expressway has now entered its ninth day and has grown to over 62 miles in length. This mother-of-all delays has even spawned its own micro-economy of local merchants selling water and food at inflated prices to stranded drivers. Can you imagine how infuriating it must be to see someone leave their blinker on for 9 days?

    Ancient Chinese Medicine May Help Chemotherapy Patients

    ScienceDaily (Aug. 18, 2010) — A centuries‑old traditional Chinese medicine may reduce the intestinal side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients by stimulating gut cell division and reducing inflammation, a new study in mice suggests.

    Non-Profit Space Rocket Launching In a Week

    Posted by samzenpus on Monday August 23, @04:09AM
    from the diy-to-the-stars dept.
    Plammox writes"A non-profit suborbital space endeavor lead by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen is trying to put a man in space. The first test of the boosters and space craft in combination with the sea launch platform will take place this week. The catch? All of this is a non-profit project based on voluntary labor and sponsors. How will they get the launch platform out in the middle of the Baltic sea to perform the test? With the founder's home built submarine pushing it, of course."