Friday, October 29, 2010

Electric Car Goes 375 Miles On One 6-Minute Charge

Posted by timothy on Thursday October 28, @10:44PM
from the now-that's-more-like-it dept.
thecarchik writes with this quote from AllCarsElectric:"We all know that battery packs are the weakest link in electric vehicles. Not only are they heavy and expensive, but they take a long time to recharge and on average can only provide around 100 miles per charge. A German-based company has changed all that with a new vehicle capable of driving up to 375 miles at moderate highway speeds. ... It doesn't end there. The company responsible for the battery pack, DBM Energy, claims a battery pack efficiency of 97 percent and a recharge time of around 6 minutes when charged from a direct current source. Unlike the small Daihatsu which was heavily modified by a team in Japan earlier this year that achieved a massive 623 miles on a charge at around 27 mph, the Audi A2 modified by DBM Energy was able to achieve its 375 miles range at an average speed of 55 mph."

Friends With Cognitive Benefits: Mental Function Improves After Certain Kinds of Socializing

ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2010) — Talking with other people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems, a new University of Michigan study shows. But conversations that are competitive in tone, rather than cooperative, have no cognitive benefits.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time To Rethink the School Desk?

Posted by timothy on Thursday October 28, @03:46PM
from the time-to-rethink-school-generally dept.
theodp writes"As part of its reimagine the 21st-century classroom project, Slate asks: Is the best way to fix the American classroom to improve the furniture? While adults park their butts in $700 Aeron chairs, kids still sprawl and slump and fidget and dangle their way through the day in school furniture designed to meet or beat a $40 price point. 'We've seen in adults that if you put them in the right chair, their performance increases,' says Harvard's Jack Dennerlein. 'Is the same true for children? I can't see why not.' For school districts with deep pockets, there are choices — atricked-out Node chair from IDEO and Steelcase can be had for $599."

Ultimate in Flowcharts

The Home-Built Dark Knight Batmobile

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday October 27, @10:49AM
from the taking-the-little-jokers-to-school dept.
ElectricSteve writes"RM Auctions recently declared James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 to be 'the world's most famous car,' but there's no doubt that there is another contender for that title — the Batmobile. One thing that muddies the waters a bit is the fact that the term 'Batmobile' actually describes at least three different vehicles: the modified Lincoln Futura concept car from the 60s TV series, the vaguely Corvette-shaped 1989-and-beyond movie cars and now the car from the most recent two movies, the military-spec Tumbler. Michigan-based movie props artist Bob Dullam really likes the Tumbler, so he did what any of us would do in his position — he built one of his own from scratch."

The First Photograph of a Human

Posted by samzenpus on Wednesday October 27, @07:58PM
from the fist-cheese dept.
wiredog writes"The Atlantic has a brief piece on what is likely to be the first photograph (a daguerreotype) showing a human. From the article: 'In September, Krulwich posted a set of daguerreotypes taken by Charles Fontayne and William Porter in Cincinnati 162 years ago, on September 24, 1848. Krulwich was celebrating the work of the George Eastman House in association with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Using visible-light microscopy, the George Eastman House scanned several plates depicting the Cincinnati Waterfront so that scholars could zoom in and study the never-before-seen details.'"

Emotional Intelligence Predicts Job Performance

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2010) — Emotional intelligence is a strong predictor of job performance, according to a new study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University that helps settle the ongoing debate in a much-disputed area of research.

Food costs over Time

Wireless HDMI At 1080p, Lag-Free WHDI Tested

Posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday October 28, @12:00PM
from the i-got-no-strings-to-hold-me-down dept.
MojoKid writes"Wireless HDMI technologies have finally come of age. Though there are two camps currently in the market (Intel's WiDi and WHDI), the bottom line is lag-free full HD 1080p wireless HDMI video/audio transmission is now a reality. No longer does an HTPC need to be shoehorned into the confines of the entertainment center. Also, that notebook you have perched on the coffee table just got a major display upgrade. This demo of the Asus WiCast and the briteView HDelight wireless HDMI transmitter kits, shows the technology in action and it's impressive actually. Both of these WHDI-based kits utilize the same family of Amimon WHDI transmitter and receiver chipsets. The technology is capable of full 1080p HD video and Dolby Digital surround sound audio transmissions, over distances of up to 30 feet with less than a millisecond of latency."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin carver extrodinair

Be sure to watch the video too.

Microsoft Is a Dying Consumer Brand

Posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday October 27, @11:15AM
from the i-don't-want-to-go-in-the-cart dept.
Taxman415a noted a CNN story on the dying Microsoft Brand where they talk about"The less than stellar performance of, and problems in, nearly every consumer division. It cites StatCounter's data showing IE's market share falling below 50%, and is even smart enough to note that's just one statistic with various problems, though the trend is clear. It also seems that MS doesn't want to compete with Android, so it plans to charge royalty fees to handset makers to discourage them from using it in their products. The conclusion is that MS will just be a commercial, not consumer company."

Robotic Hands Grip Without Fingers

Posted by Soulskill on Monday October 25, @06:28PM
from the please-don't-send-this-to-japan dept.
sciencehabit writes"Physicists have designed a robotic hand that doesn't have fingers, yet can still serve drinks and draw pictures. The hand is a thin, rubber sack filled with coffee grains or small glass spheres. When it comes into contact with an object, a small pipe sucks air from the sack, causing it to contract and mold to the object's shape. As long as the gripper can fold about one-fourth of the object's surface, it can pick up just about any shape thrown in its path. The article includes a video of the hand in action."

Uranium in Groundwater? 'Fracking' Mobilizes Uranium in Marcellus Shale

ScienceDaily (Oct. 25, 2010) — Scientific and political disputes over drilling Marcellus shale for natural gas have focused primarily on the environmental effects of pumping millions of gallons of water and chemicals deep underground to blast through rocks to release the natural gas.

Giant Impact Crater Found In Australia

Posted by timothy on Wednesday October 27, @05:00AM
from the convict-labor-can-fill-it-back-in dept.
An anonymous reader writes"One of the largest meteorite impacts in the world has been discovered in the South Australian outback by geothermal researchers. It may explain one of the many extinction events in the past 600 million years, and may contain rare and exotic minerals. The crater is said to have been 'produced by an asteroid six to 12 km across' — which is really big!"

How Allies Used Math Against German Tanks

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday October 26, @02:56PM
from the tanks-for-the-memories dept.
Pepebuho writes"This an article about how the allies where able to estimate the number of German tanks produced based on the serial numbers of the tanks. Neat! Godwin does not apply."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Global Warming's Silver Lining For the Arctic Rim

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday October 26, @05:09AM
from the inspired-me-to-go-burn-some-tires dept.
Pickens writes"According to Laurence C. Smith, an Arctic scientist who has consistently sounded alarms about the approach of global warming, within 40 years the Arctic rim may be transformed by climate change into a new economic powerhouse. As the Arctic ice recedes, ecosystems extend, and minerals and fossil fuels are discovered and exploited, the Arctic will become a place of 'great human activity, strategic value and economic importance.' Sparsely populated areas like Canada, Scandinavia, Russia and the northern United States — the northern rim countries, or NORCs — will become formidable economic powers and migration magnets. Predictions in Smith's new book The Earth in 2050 include the following: New shipping lanes will open during the summer in the Arctic, allowing Europe to realize its 500-year-old dream of direct trade between the Atlantic and the Far East, and resulting in new economic development in the north; NORCs will be among the few place on Earth where crop production will likely increase due to climate change; and NORCs will become the envy of the world for their reserves of fresh water, which may be sold and transported to other regions."

Xbox 360 Jailbreaker May Need Real Jailbreak

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday October 26, @02:08AM
from the root-root-root-for-the-home-team dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Back in July, the Librarian of Congress officially made it legal to jailbreak your iPhone (or any phone). So why is it that the government is trying to prosecute Matthew Crippen for jailbreaking Xbox 360s? If convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, and lawyers are trying to prevent the author of a book about jailbreaking the original Xbox from testifying in Crippen's defense. What kind of law says it'sokay to jailbreak the phone in your pocket, but not your gaming console?"

You Have Taste Receptors In Your Lungs

Posted by Soulskill on Tuesday October 26, @12:02AM
from the not-the-rest-of-us,-just-you dept.
timothy points out news of a study from the University of Maryland's School of Medicine thatfound bitter taste receptors on the smooth muscle lining airways in the lungs (abstract inNature). Quoting:"The taste receptors in the lungs are the same as those on the tongue. The tongue’s receptors are clustered in taste buds, which send signals to the brain. The researchers say that in the lung, the taste receptors are not clustered in buds and do not send signals to the brain, yet they respond to substances that have a bitter taste. ... 'I initially thought the bitter-taste receptors in the lungs would prompt a "fight or flight" response to a noxious inhalant, causing chest tightness and coughing so you would leave the toxic environment, but that’s not what we found,' says Dr. Liggett. ... The researchers tested a few standard bitter substances known to activate these receptors. 'It turns out that the bitter compounds worked the opposite way from what we thought. They all opened the airway more extensively than any known drug that we have for treatment of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).'"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Colleges May Start Forcing Switch To eTextbooks

Posted by Soulskill on Monday October 25, @03:41PM
from the thousands-of-chiropractors-cry-out-in-dismay dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Here's the new approach under consideration by college leaders and textbook manufacturers: 'Colleges require students to pay a course-materials fee, which would be used to buy e-books for all of them (whatever text the professor recommends, just as in the old model).' That may be 'the best way to control skyrocketing costs and may actually save the textbook industry from digital piracy,' proponents claim."

Windows 8 To Be Released In October 2012

Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday October 25, @10:16AM
from the save-the-date dept.
dkd903 writes"Microsoft has been very secretive about the next version of its Windows operating system. After the success of Windows 7, everyone is very interested in the next iteration – Windows 8. A few leaks have been the only source of news about Windows 8 till now. However, a slip up from Microsoft Netherlands have put therelease date in October 2012."

Falling in Love Only Takes About a Fifth of a Second, Research Reveals

ScienceDaily (Oct. 25, 2010) — A new meta-analysis study conducted by Syracuse University Professor Stephanie Ortigue reveals falling in love can elicit not only the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine, but also affects intellectual areas of the brain. Researchers also found falling in love only takes about a fifth of a second.

Austria's 'Bionic Man' Dies In Car Crash

Posted by timothy on Sunday October 24, @08:08PM
from the sad-to-hear dept.
euphemistic writes"An Austrian man who became the first person outside the US to wear thought-powered 'bionic' arms has died from injuries sustained in a car crash ... Kandlbauer, who would have turned 23 next month, sustained severe head injuries when the specially modified car he was driving swerved off the road in the south east of Austria and crashed into a tree on October 19. The cause of the accident is not yet known, particularly whether the neurally-controlled arm-prostheses he had been fitted with might have played a role."

Researchers Find 70-Year-Olds Are Getting Smarter

Posted by timothy on Sunday October 24, @02:09AM
from the watch-how-they-drive dept.
Pickens writes"AlphaGalileo reports that researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden have found in a forty-year study of 2,000 seniors that today's 70-year-olds do far better in intelligence tests than their predecessors, making it more difficult to detect dementia in its early stages. 'Using the test results, we've tried to identify people who are at risk of developing dementia,' says Dr. Simona Sacuiu. 'While this worked well for the group of 70-year-olds born in 1901-02, the same tests didn't offer any clues about who will develop dementia in the later generation of 70-year-olds born in 1930.' The 70-year-olds born in 1930 and examined in 2000 performed better in the intelligence tests than their predecessors born in 1901-02 and examined in 1971. 'The improvement can partly be explained by better pre- and neonatal care, better nutrition, higher quality of education, better treatment of high blood pressure and other vascular diseases, and not least the higher intellectual requirements of today's society, where access to advanced technology, television and the Internet has become part of everyday life,' says Sacuiu."

Potential 'Avatar' Gas Giant Exoplanet Discovered

Posted by timothy on Monday October 25, @05:11AM
from the ewoks-await-their-moment dept.
Luminary Crush writes"A gas giant of approximately 1.5 Mj (Jupiter Mass) was discovered on October 22ndaround the binary star system HD 176051B. It's not known with certainty which component of the binary system the planet is in orbit around at this point as both stars in HD 176051B are relatively Sol-sized (1.07 and .71 solar masses). Named 176051B b, this new exoplanet orbits within the star system's habitable zone, and if mapped onto our solar system with relative distance from our Sun it would place the large planet between Earth and Mars. While it's unlikely that such a gas giant could host life as we know it (though it'shypothesized), the location of the big planet opens up the intriguing idea of the realization of some of science fiction's famously habitable moons, Pandora and Endor. Look no further than our own solarsystem to see moons with the potential ingredients for life — just add heat."