Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Space Archeology" Uncovers Lost Pyramids

Posted by samzenpus  

from the goodbye-mr.-jones dept.
krou writes"A new technique dubbed 'space archeology' using satellites and infra-red imaging has helped uncover 17 new pyramids in Egypt, as well as some 1,000 tombs, and 3,000 ancient settlements. The mud bricks used to build Egyptian structures means it has a different density to the surrounding soil, and thus shows up in the images. Dr Sarah Parcak, who pioneered the technique, said that 'Indiana Jones is old school, we've moved on from Indy, sorry Harrison Ford.'"

China Alleged To Use Prisoners In Lucrative Internet Gaming

Posted by samzenpus  

from the farm-for-freedom dept.
SoyQueSoy pointed out an article that reveals it's not all fun, but forced games for some Chinese prisoners. It is alleged that after a day of hard labor some inmates are forced to work through the night as gold farmers. "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labor," [prisoner] Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

Job Stress in Teachers Linked to Student Achievement

ScienceDaily (May 25, 2011) — After 17 years of researching traumatic stress with war-afflicted populations (veterans and civilians) and job stress in the medical profession, Teresa McIntyre, a research professor in the department of psychology and the Texas Institute for Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics (TIMES), at the University of Houston (UH), decided to study another high risk occupation, middle school teachers in seventh and eighth grade.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Upscaling Retro 8-Bit Pixel Art To Vector Graphics

Posted by timothy  

from the awesomeness-defined dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Two researchers — Johannes Kopf from Microsoft, and Dani Lischinski from The Hebrew University — have successfully created an algorithm that depixelizes and upscales low-resolution 8-bit 'pixel art' into lush vector graphics. The algorithm identifies pixel-level details (original paper — PDF) to accurately shade the new image — but more importantly, the algorithm can create smooth, curved contour lines from only-connected-on-the-diagonal single pixels. At long last, we might be able to play Super Mario Bros. on a big screen without stretching our beloved plumber's pixels to breaking point. You really must look at the sample images."Scroll down in the paper to see how their technique stacks up against some others, including Adobe's Live Trace.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Draft Horses Used To Lay Fiber-Optic Cable

Posted by samzenpus  

from the doing-it-the-old-fashioned-way dept.
mysqlrocks writes"In Vermont, FairPoint Communications has enlisted draft horses to help lay fiber-optic cable in remote locations. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has pledged to bring bring broadband to every last mile by 2013, including many remote areas that have been neglected in the past. Private companies have been unwilling to invest in the expensive infrastructure needed to reach these areas. However, Vermont's congressional delegation helped to secure $410 million in federal money earmarked for broadband development and Vermont has partnered with private companies, like FairPoint, to bring high-speed Internet access to all Vermonters. From the article: 'The difficulty of getting cable to "every last mile," is where Fred, the cable-carrying draft horse, comes in. "Hopefully it pays off," says Hastings. "We could maybe get a four-wheeler in here," he continues, gesturing to the cleared swath of boggy, fern-studded terrain that he's working in today. But definitely not a truck, and Fred's impact is nearly invisible. Residents rarely complain about a draft horse tromping through their yards.'"

Poorer Reading Skills Following Changed Computer Habits of Children

ScienceDaily (May 23, 2011) — Sweden and the US are two countries in which increased leisure use of computers by children leads to poorer reading ability. This is the conclusion from research carried out at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Under Soviet Satellites, How Area 51 Hid (And Invented) Secret Craft

Posted by timothy  

from the watchful-loving-eye-of-sauron dept.
An anonymous reader writes"No word yet on alien starships, but now that many Cold War-era Area 51 documents have been declassified, veterans of the secret US base are revealing some of the clever — and surprisingly low-tech — ways they hid futuristic prototypes from prying eyes."

Cooperative Cars Battle It Out In Holland

Posted by timothy  

from the chill-guys-what's-with-the-aggression dept.
An anonymous reader writes"The first cooperative platooning competition, where vehicles use radio communication in addition to sensors, was held in Helmond, Holland a week ago. By using wireless communication the awareness range of each vehicle is extended, enabling vehicles to travel closer together which increases road capacity while at the same time avoiding the shockwave effects responsible for traffic jams. The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge distinguishes itself from earlier platooning demos (e.g. the PATH project) by having a completely heterogeneous mix of vehicles and systems built by multiple researcher and student teams. Using wireless communication to coordinate vehicles raises concerns about the safety of such systems, would you trust WiFi to drive your car?"

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dark Energy Confirmed By Australian WiggleZ Sky Scan

Posted by Roblimo  

from the peering-deep-into-the-cosmos dept.
Phoghat writes"An Australian team of researchers scanned the sky using WiggleZ Dark Energy survey and found confirming evidence of Dark Energy. Einstein is correct, as so far, usual."Meanwhile, the International Space Station is looking for dark *matter* .