Saturday, April 9, 2011

A funny kiddie vid that explains a nuclear meltdown through poops and farts.

The Dying DVR Box and Woz Wisdom 200

The Dying DVR Box and Woz Wisdom 200

Posted by Soulskill on Friday April 08, @03:47PM

from the wozdom-should-totally-be-a-word dept.

Lucas123 writes

"At SNW in Santa Clara this past week, a diverse group of techies shared insights into their industries, such as the DVR market. TiVo's senior director of IT, Richard Rothschild, for instance, explained how those set-top boxes track everything you watch for advertising and marketing and then combine the information with supermarket membership card data to determine how effective ad campaigns are. Oh, and TiVo's planning to integrate its box with your flatscreen, so no more set-top device. And Steve Wozniak attacked the American education system, saying students should be graded on a single, long-term project rather than a short learning/testing cycle. 'In school, intelligence is a measurement,' he said. 'If you have the same answer as everyone else in math or science, you're intelligent.'"

Star Falls Into Black Hole

Posted by Soulskill on Friday April 08, @05:12PM

from the fascinating-from-a-great-distance dept.

thodelu writes with news that astronomers recently got a look at what they believe is a star falling into a black hole. Phil Plait explains:

"As the star approached this bottomless pit, the side of the star facing the black hole was pulled far harder than the other side of the star, which may have been a million or more kilometers farther away from the black hole. This change in pull stretched the star — this stretching is called a 'tide,' and is essentially the same thing that causes tides on the Earth from the Moon’s gravity and when the star wandered too close to the black hole, the strength of that pull became irresistible, overcoming the star’s own internal gravity. In a flash, the star was torn apart, and octillions of tons of ionized gas burst outward! This material whipped around the black hole, forming a disk of plasma called an accretion disk. Magnetic fields, friction, and turbulence superheated the plasma, and also focused twin beams of matter and energy which blasted out from the poles of the disk, away from the black hole itself. The energy stored in these beams is incredible, crushing our imagination into dust: for a time, they shone with the light of a trillion Suns!"

Gaming Is the Most Popular Use For Tablets

Posted by Soulskill on Friday April 08, @11:50PM

from the only-because-nobody-admitted-to-tablet-porn dept.

The Guardian's Games blog reports on a survey from Google's Admob, which found that more people use tablets for gaming than for any other purpose, even viewing news or email. Quoting:

"According to the survey (PDF), 84% of tablet owners play games, ahead of even searching for information (78%), emailing (74%) and reading the news (61%). 56% of tablet owners use social networking services on their device, while 51% consume music and/or videos, and 46% read ebooks. ... The survey found that 38% of respondents spend more than two hours a day using their tablets, while another 30% spend 1-2 hours. It appears that tablets are predominantly domestic devices, with 82% of people primarily using their tablets at home, versus 11% who say they are used primarily on the go, and 7% who said at work. 28% of respondents say their tablet is now their primary computer, while 43% say they spend more time using their tablet than they do their desktop or laptop computer."

All Star Trek TV Coming To Netflix Instant

Posted by timothy on Saturday April 09, @05:18AM

from the hulu-minus dept.

tekgoblin writes

"This is great news for all the Star Trek fans out there. Starting in July, every episode from every Star Trek series will be available for Instant Watch over Netflix. Right now Star Trek TOS is available for Instant Watch, and the movies, but that's all. Soon it will all be here for our viewing pleasure."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

Posted by CmdrTaco  

from the you-can't-test-faith dept.
Hugh Pickens writes"Pastabagel writes that the actual scientific answers to the questions of the origins of the universe, the evolution of man, and the fundamental nature of the cosmos involve things like wave equations and quantum electrodynamics and molecular biology that very few non-scientists can ever hope to understand and that if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we accept the incredibly complex scientific phenomena in physics, astronomy, and biology through the process of belief, not through reason. When Richard Fenyman wrote "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics," he was including himself which is disconcerting given how many books he wrote on that very subject. The fact is that it takes years of dedicated study before scientific truth in its truest, mathematical and symbolic forms can be understood. The rest of us rely on experts to explain it, someone who has seen and understood the truth and can dumb it down for us in a language we can understand. And therein lies the big problem for science and scientists. For most people, science is really a matter of trusting the expert who tells it to us and believing what they tell us. Trust and belief. Faith. Not understanding. How can we understand science, if we can't understand the language of science? "We don't learn science by doing science, we learn science by reading and memorizing. The same way we learn history. Do you really know what an atom is, or that a Higgs boson is a rather important thing, or did you simply accept they were what someone told you they were?""

Pandora App Sends Private Data To Advertisers

Posted by CmdrTaco  

from the of-course-it-does dept.
Trailrunner7 writes"An analysis of the popular free mobile application from online music service that is the subject of a grand jury investigation into loose data privacy practices in the mobile application market confirms that the application silently sends reams of sensitive data to advertisers. The analysis was conducted by application security firm Veracode and found that Pandora's free mobile application for Android phones tracked and submitted a range of data, including the user's gender, geographic location and the unique ID of their phone, according to an entry on Veracode's blog."

Gartner: Android grabbing over 38 percent of smartphone market in 2011 on Symbian's demise

By Thomas Ricker  posted Apr 7th 2011 6:40AM

We like, ok, love poking fun at analysts' long term forecasts given the volatility of the smartphone market. Nobody, neither Gartner nor IDC, predicted the meteoric rise of Android and iOS, thus making their four-year projections (measured to a decimal point) laughable, to say the least. Shorten that timeline to the end of the year, however, and the accuracy of these forecasts tends to increase dramatically.

Gartner just released its smartphone projections that align very closely with the numbers released by IDC a few weeks ago. Both research firms see Nokia hemorrhaging its smartphone dominance in 2011 after announcing plans to adopt the Windows Phone platform. Gartner sees Symbian pulling in a remarkably low 19.2 percent (down from 37.6 percent in 2010 or an impressive 46.9 percent share held back in 2009) regardless of Nokia's insistence that it still has some 150 million Symbian handsets to ship -- IDC, as you'll recall, was a bit more gracious with a 20.9 percent projection for Symbian in 2011. Like IDC, Gartner sees Microsoft making a dramatic comeback just as soon as Nokia can flood its global channels with mid-tier handsets by the end of 2012 with the Windows Phone operating system ultimately rising to the number two spot in global marketshare (Gartner says 19.5 percent to IDC's 20.9 percent) by, eh hem, 2015. Gartner expects the iOS smartphone slice to peak with a 19.4 percent share (to IDC's 15.7 percent) in 2011 before dipping a bit under the strain of an Android juggernaut and Apple's reluctance to sacrifice margins (and profits) for market share. Gartner expects Android to increase the 22.7 market share it enjoyed in 2010 to 38.5 percent in 2011 (compared to the IDC's slightly more aggressive 39.5 percent share) on the way to dominating the competition with a 49.2 percent share in 2012. Bringing up the rear then is RIM with an estimated chunk of just 13.4 percent in 2011 (compared to 16 percent in 2010) with further declines through 2015 even after the BlackBerry maker migrates to QNX in 2012. Ouch.

As for WebOS: sorry HP, you're in the "other" category along with Bada.

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Indian Public Water Supply

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2011) — Disease-causing bacteria carrying the new genetic resistance to antibiotics, NDM-1, have been discovered in New Delhi's drinking water supply.

Progression of Smell Loss Offers Clues to the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2011) — Loss of smell is a characteristic early symptom among people with Alzheimer's disease, but the relationship between olfactory dysfunction and the progression of the disease is still relatively unknown.

GameStop To Build Its Own Gaming Tablet?

Posted by Soulskill  

from the company-destroying-optimism dept.
itwbennett writes"GameStop has been on a roll lately, purchasing both Impulse and Spawn Labs in the past week. Now it's ready to go after those casual gaming dollars, but first it needs to put a gaming tablet in your hands. GameStop President Tony Bartel told CNBC that his chain is going to start selling tablets later this year: 'If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a bluetooth controller, then there's no need to go out and develop our own. But if we can't find one that's great for gaming, then we will create our own.'"

Dearth of New Nintendo Games Could Indicate Wii 2

Posted by Soulskill  

from the could-also-indicate-laziness dept.
A speculative piece at Kotaku looks at the release cycle of Nintendo games over the past 10 years, pointing out a current lull that's quite similar to the one near the launch of the Gamecube. They suggest this could be because first-party developers are busily working on games for the Wii 2. Quoting:"The spring of 2002 was the longest Nintendo game drought on record, and has a number of characteristics in common with the season we're entering now. Nintendo has launched a major piece of technology (the 3DS) and is initiating the gradual retirement of a console with a large and reliable installed base. While we entered into this data mining project with the presumption that we could recognize a pattern that presaged a new console release—the Wii 2, obviously—the last time there was a Nintendo game drought this pronounced was after the release of the Gamecube. Still, you can neatly overlay the release history of the Gamecube overtop the current release history of the Wii—they match that closely."

Elderly Georgian Woman Cuts Armenian Internet

Posted by samzenpus  

from the no-net-for-you dept.
welcher writes"An elderly Georgian woman was scavenging for copper with a spade when she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and cut off internet services to nearly all of neighboring Armenia. The fibre-optic cable near Tiblisi, Georgia, supplies about 90% of Armenia's internet so the woman's unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours. Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected. Dubbed 'the spade-hacker' by local media, the woman is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property. She faces up to three years in prison if charged and convicted."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

10,000 Shipping Containers Lost At Sea Each Year

Posted by timothy  

from the shades-of-spook-country dept.
kkleiner writes"Right now, as you read this, there are five or six million shipping containers on enormous cargo ships sailing across the world's oceans. And about every hour, on average, one is falling overboard never to be seen again. It's estimated that 10,000 of these large containers are lost at sea each year. This month the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) sent a robotic sub to investigate a shipping container that was lost in the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 2004. What's happened to the sunken shipment in the past seven years? It's become a warren for a variety of aquatic life on the ocean floor, providing a new habitat for species that might otherwise not be attracted to the area."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Verizon Net Neutrality Case Rejected

Posted by Soulskill  

from the sit-down-and-shut-up dept.
Back in January, we discussed news that Verizon had filed an appeal to the FCC's net neutrality rules, saying the regulatory agency did not have the legal authority to enforce the mandate. Now, reader olsmeister follows up with this quote from PC World:"An appeals court Monday dismissed Verizon's challenge of the US Federal Communications Commission's December net neutrality ruling, calling it premature. A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia noted in its decision that the FCC's net neutrality order is a rule-making document subject to judicial review once it is published in the Federal Register. The panel said that the appeal's 'prematurity is incurable.'"

Arizona Governor Proposes Flab Tax

Posted by Soulskill  

from the to-be-spent-on-pork dept.
Hugh Pickens writes"The WSJ reports that Arizona governor Jan Brewer has proposed levying a $50 fee on some enrollees in the state's cash-starved Medicaid program, including obese people who don't follow a doctor-supervised slimming regimen and smokers. Brewer says the proposal is a way to reward good behavior and raise awareness that certain conditions, including obesity, raise costs throughout the system. 'If you want to smoke, go for it,' says Monica Coury, spokeswoman for Arizona's Medicaid program. 'But understand you're going to have to contribute something for the cost of the care of your smoking.' Coury says Arizona officials hadn't yet finalized how they would determine whether a person was obese or had sufficiently followed a wellness plan, but that measures such as body-mass index could provide some guidance. Estimates for the costs of obesity in America range from about $150 billion to $270 billion a year. According to the latest CDC statistics, from 2009, 25.5% of Arizonans are obese, about 1.7 million people."

Monday, April 4, 2011

2 funny vids

Don't give Lily the vid cam:)

Vitamin D Levels Linked With Health of Blood Vessels

ScienceDaily (Apr. 3, 2011) — A lack of vitamin D, even in generally healthy people, is linked with stiffer arteries and an inability of blood vessels to relax, research from the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute has found.

Kinect used to make teleconferencing actually kind of cool (video)

By Vlad Savov  posted Apr 4th 2011 3:26AM

No matter how hard Skype and others try to convince us otherwise, we still do most of our web communications via text or, if entirely unavoidable, by voice. Maybe we're ludittes or maybe video calling has yet to prove its value. Hoping to reverse such archaic views, researchers at the MIT Media Lab have harnessed a Kinect's powers of depth and human perception to provide some newfangled videoconferencing functionality. First up, you can blur out everything on screen but the speaker to keep focus where it needs to be. Then, if you want to get fancier, you can freeze a frame of yourself in the still-moving video feed for when you need to do something off-camera, and to finish things off, you can even drop some 3D-aware augmented reality on your viewers. It's all a little unrefined at the moment, but the ideas are there and well worth seeing. Jump past the break to do just that.