Friday, September 9, 2011

Early Motor Experiences Give Infants a Social Jump Start

ScienceDaily (Sep. 9, 2011) — In a new study published September 9 in the journalDevelopmental Science, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Vanderbilt University found that early motor experiences can shape infants' preferences for objects and faces. The study findings demonstrate that providing infants with "sticky mittens" to manipulate toys increases their subsequent interest in faces, suggesting advanced social development.
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Google Details and Defends Its Use of Electricity

Posted by Soulskill  
from the it's-not-easy-being-green dept.
theodp writes"On Thursday, Google finally provided information on its energy usage, revealing that it continuously uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes. Still, the search giant contends that by using more power than Salt Lake City, Google actually makes the world a greener place. Google says people should consider things like the amount of gasoline saved when someone conducts a Google search rather than, say, driving to the library. As Police Chief Martin Brody might say, 'Google's going to need a bigger windmill!'"

Study Suggests Magnets Can Force You to Tell the Truth

Posted by samzenpus  
from the refrigerator-of-truth dept.
Estonian researchers claim that magnets can either force you to lie or make it impossible. Subjects in the study had magnets placed at either the left or the right side of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the results suggest that the individual was either unable to tell the truth or unable to lie depending on which side was stimulated. From the article: "Last year, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology also used powerful magnets to disrupt the area said to be the brain's 'moral compass,' situated behind the right ear, making people temporarily less moral."

Muppets Sing...

Muppets Sing...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

After Firing CEO, Yahoo Puts Itself Up For Sale

Posted by samzenpus  
from the make-me-an-offer dept.
Reeses writes"Fare thee well, Yahoo: In addition to firing CEO Carol BartzYahoo's board has now put the company up for sale. From the article: 'It was once the world's leading search engine, its founders held talks about a merger with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation – and it even managed to fend off a $44bn takeover bid by Microsoft. But Yahoo has put itself up for sale, after firing its chief executive of 18 months Carol Bartz by phone.'"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Microsoft 'Ribbonizes' Windows 8 File Manager

Posted by Soulskill  
from the statistically-driven-interface dept.
CWmike writes"Microsoft said today it will 'ribbonize' the file manager in next year's Windows 8, adding Explorer to the short list of integrated applications that already sport the interface in Windows 7. Microsoft's Alex Simons, director of program management, released screenshots of the new ribbon interface planned for Explorer (scroll way down). 'We evaluated several different UI command affordances including expanded versions of the Vista/Windows 7 command bar, Windows 95/Windows XP style toolbars and menus, several entirely new UI approaches, and the Office style ribbon,' explained Simons. 'Of these, the ribbon approach offered benefits in line with our goals.' Plans by Microsoft and others to ribbonize applications have often met resistance. 'We knew that using a ribbon for Explorer would likely be met with skepticism by a set of power users, but there are clear benefits,' Simons said."

Wacom Inkling smart pen does drawing the old-fashioned way -- sort of (video)

By   posted Aug 30th 2011 5:46AM
The latest product from Wacom trades the whole tablet motif we've come to know and love from the company, in favor of some good, old-fashioned pen-on-paper action. The Inkling is a ballpoint that transfers layered sketches to a PC or Mac via a USB connected receiver, which can then be edited with the included Sketch Manager software. The Livescribe-esque pen has pressure sensing technology with 1,024 levels of sensitivity. It will be available mid-September for $199. Video of the device after the break.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Why Men's Ring Fingers Are Longer Than Their Index Fingers: Male-Female Ring Finger Proportions Tied to Sex Hormones in Embryo

ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2011) — Biologists at the University of Florida have found a reason why men's ring fingers are generally longer than their index fingers -- and why the reverse usually holds true for women.
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Tanks Test Infrared Camouflage Cloak

Posted by Soulskill  
from the progress-in-our-war-against-the-deaf dept.
LibRT writes with this excerpt from the BBC:"Tanks could soon get night-time invisibility thanks to a cloaking device that masks their infrared signature. Developed by BAE Systems, the Adaptiv technology allows vehicles to mimic the temperature of their surroundings. It can also make a tank look like other objects, such as a cow or car, when seen through heat-sensitive 'scopes. The hi-tech camouflage uses hexagonal panels, or pixels, made of a material that can change temperature very quickly. About 1,000 pixel panels, each of which is 14cm across, are needed to cover a small tank. The panels are driven by on-board thermal cameras that constantly image the ambient temperature of the tank's surroundings. This is projected on to the panels to make it harder to spot. The cameras can also work when the tank is moving."

Couch Potatoes Explained? Missing Key Genes May Be Cause for Lack of Resolve to Exercise, Researchers Find

ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2011) — You may think your lack of resolve to get off the couch to exercise is because you're lazy, but McMaster University researchers have discovered it may be you are missing key genes.
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USPS Losing Battle Against the E-mail Age Posted

USPS Losing Battle Against the E-mail Age

Posted by Soulskill  
from the think-of-the-circulars dept.
An anonymous reader writes"An article in the NY Times explains how the United States Postal Service is in dire financial straits, and will need emergency action from Congress to forestall a shutdown later this year. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said simply, 'If Congress doesn't act, we will default.' Labor agreements prohibiting layoffs are preventing one avenue for reducing costs, and laws forbidding postage rates from surpassing inflation rates keep income down. On top of that, the proliferation of e-mail and online bill-paying services have contributed to a 22% reduction in snail-mail volume since 2006. They're currently hoping for legislation that would relax their economic requirements and considering an end to Saturday delivery."

Was the VA Earthquake an underground nuclear test?

I have seen several articles supposing it was, perhaps even related to HAARP.  This guy is an obvious conspiratorial theorist but I think has a few compelling points, the main ones being that the seismography does not look typical and the timing before Irene seems to be perfect to allow people to cope and the news to cover but not dwell on the earthquake too deeply.  IMO it is worth at least passing consideration.

This was interesting though not entirely accurate:

This seems to say that his understanding of P and S-waves is a little off but I don’t think nullifies his premise entirely:

Wicked Lasers Introduces Handheld One-Watt Green Laser

Posted by timothy  
from the I-want-a-dozen-mounted-on-my-car dept.
First time accepted submitter (and Slashdot coder) cogent writes"Wicked Lasers, famous for last year's 1000mW handheld blue laser, and infamous for its handling of six-month-long backorders, is nowselling a green version. There are three power levels, each priced at $1/mW (300mW, 500mW, 1000mW). Since the eye is far more sensitive to green than to blue, this is pretty much the state of the art in putting-dots-on-stuff technology. Wicked Lasers sent out an emailpromising to handle backorders much better this time."Adds reader whitedsepdivine: "There is currently no disclaimer that this is not a lightsaber on their site, so we can only assume that this version is."

BMW working on laser headlamps

"LED Headlamps are only just trickling onto the market — mostly on high-end cars — but now it seems a certain German automaker has plans for laser headlamps. 'Laser light is the next logical step in car light development ... for series production within a few years in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid,' says BMW. Lasers have the potential to be simultaneously more powerful, more efficient, and smaller than other headlamp types. Before you get too excited, though: the output of laser headlights will be modulated for safety."

Why the Fax Machine Refuses To Die

Posted by Soulskill  
from the pull-the-plug dept.
snydeq writes"Deep End's Paul Venezia waxes befuddled on the ongoing existence of the fax machine. 'Consider what a fax machine actually is: a little device with a sheet feeder, a terrible scanning element, and an ancient modem. Most faxes run at 14,400bps. That's just over 1KB per second — and people are still using faxes to send 52 poorly scanned pages of some contract to one another. Over analog phone lines. Sometimes while paying long-distance charges! The mind boggles,' Venezia writes. 'If something as appallingly stupid as the fax machine can live on, it makes you wonder how we make progress at all. Old habits die hard. It just goes to show you: Bad technology generally isn't the problem; it's the people who persist in using that technology rather than embracing far superior alternatives.'"