Thursday, September 22, 2011

How many layers of bubble wrap do you need to survive jumping out of a building.


Wisconsin library lending out iPads

by Kelly Hodgkins
Sep 22nd 2011 at 11:30AM

The public library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin has launched a program that lets customers borrow iPads instead of books. Each iPad is packed with over 1,000 eBook classics, ten audiobooks and a bunch of apps. The iPads can be rented in the library for four hours at a time or taken home for up to seven days.

The library has 44 iPads that were purchased with a grant. Library director John Stoneberg looked at different tablet and eReader alternatives for this program, but chose the iPad because of "its place as a tablet computer marketplace leader and its flexibility in providing more access to library-related content than an e-reader-only device."

If the library can ensure the tablets are not easily broken or stolen, then this may become a model program that could spread to other libraries.

'Mommy Tummy' simulator takes you from normal to pregnant in two minutes (video)

By   posted Sep 22nd 2011 9:12AM
You can test drive a car before buying it, so why not take the same approach to pregnancy? Such is the idea, apparently, behind the "Mommy Tummy" -- a system that gives women (or men) a taste of what it would feel like to have a bun in the oven, even if they haven't received any lovin'. Developed by researchers at Japan's Kanagawa Institute of Technology, this simulator invites users to don a jacket replete with rubber balloons, vibrators, a water bag and other things you'd expect to find in Buffalo Bill's basement. Once strapped on, the jacket's midsection gradually expands as it swells with warm water funneled in from an adjacent tank, resulting in an immaculately conceived baby bump. A compressor, meanwhile, slowly augments the jacket's chest area, while a separate array of balloons rapidly inflate and deflate, thereby mimicking the kicking and side-to-side movements of a real-life fetus. KIRF mothers can monitor their KIRF baby's vital signs on a monitor, though they'll have to pay close attention. Unlike real pregnancies, the Mommy Tummy's gestation period lasts a merciful two minutes, giving your boyfriend just enough time to formulate a coherent response. Must-see video footage after the break.

[Image courtesy of]

Tax Loopholes No Longer Patentable

Posted by samzenpus  
from the getting-rid-of-stupid dept.
Knowzy writes"A section of the America Invents Act disallows issuing a patent 'on a strategy for reducing, avoiding or postponing taxes,' according to Forbes. The article describes one such strategy in some detail. The USTPO has already issued 161 of these 'business method type' patents. 167 more were pending. The law only applies to future patent applications, leaving enforcement of existing patents an issue for the courts to decide."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Led by Apple’s iPhone and iPad, Mobile Devices Now Dominate Airport Wi-Fi

NASA Looking To Power Spacecraft With Lasers

Posted by Soulskill  
from the everything-is-better-with-lasers dept.
msmoriarty writes"NASA has decided to develop methods for using lasers and/or microwave energy to 'provide external power on demand for aerospace vehicles' as part of its 'Game-Changing' technology development program. According to the announcement, 'The project will attempt to develop a low-cost, modular power beaming capability and explore multiple technologies to function as receiving elements of the beamed power. This combination of technologies could be applied to space propulsion, performance and endurance of unpiloted aerial vehicles or ground-to-ground power beaming applications. Development of such capabilities fulfills NASA's strategic goal of developing high payoff technology and enabling missions otherwise unachievable with today's technology."

Gang Used 3D Printers To Make ATM Skimmers

Posted by Soulskill  
from the bank-error-in-your-favor dept.
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from a post by security researcher Brian Krebs:"An ATM skimmer gang stole more than $400,000 using skimming devices built with the help of high-tech 3D printers, federal prosecutors say. ... Apparently, word is spreading in the cybercrime underworld that 3D printers produce flawless skimmer devices with exacting precision. Last year, i-materialize blogged about receiving a client's order for building a card skimmer. In June, a federal court indicted four men from South Texas whom authorities say had reinvested the profits from skimming scams to purchase a 3D printer."

US Military Moving Closer To Automated Killing

Posted by Soulskill  
from the paging-john-connor dept.
Doofus writes"A recent article in the Washington Post, A future for drones: Automated killing, describes the steady progress the military is making toward fully autonomous networks of targeting and killing machines. Does this (concern|scare|disgust) any of you? Quoting: 'After 20 minutes, one of the aircraft, carrying a computer that processed images from an onboard camera, zeroed in on the tarp and contacted the second plane, which flew nearby and used its own sensors to examine the colorful object. Then one of the aircraft signaled to an unmanned car on the ground so it could take a final, close-up look. Target confirmed. This successful exercise in autonomous robotics could presage the future of the American way of war: a day when drones hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. Imagine aerial "Terminators," minus beefcake and time travel.' The article goes on to discuss the dangers of surrendering to fully autonomous killing, concerns about the potential for 'atrocities,' and the nature of what we call 'common sense.'"

Public Sector Workers More Pro-Socially Motivated Than Their Private Sector Counterparts, Multi-Country Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2011) — New research has found public sector workers are typically more pro-socially motivated than their private sector counterparts. The University of Bristol study, published Sept. 21, examined motivational indicators in workers from both sectors across 51 countries.
Read More

Electrical Stimulation of Brain Boosts Birth of New Cells: Animal Study Suggests Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Memory

ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2011) — Stimulating a specific region of the brain leads to the production of new brain cells that enhance memory, according to an animal study in the September 21 issue ofThe Journal of Neuroscience. The findings show how deep brain stimulation (DBS) -- a clinical intervention that delivers electrical pulses to targeted areas of the brain -- may work to improve cognition.
Read More

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

15 year old Best Buy Flyer

51 things Google Maps won't let you see

Time Is of the Essence When It Comes to Stroke Treatment

ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2011) — Time is of the essence when it comes to stroke treatment. But a new image guided technique could help shift the criterion from one that is determined by how long after the start of symptoms a patient receives medical care, suggests a small US study published online in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.
Read More

MIT's $1,000 House Challenge Yields Results

Posted by Soulskill  
from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.
An anonymous reader writes"MIT's $1k House Project is an extraordinary challenge to provide safe and healthy homes for the world's burgeoning population. The Pinwheel House (PDF), a student project which helped serve as a catalyst for the challenge, has been completed in China by architect Ying chee Chui. Students have come up with a dozen or so designs to meet the challenge and improve living conditions for not just emerging economies but larger nations as well."

Monday, September 19, 2011

RealVNC demos BIOS-based server at IDF 2011 (video)

By   posted Sep 19th 2011 5:16AM
VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is one of the of oldest remote desktop solutions around, and while its RFB (remote framebuffer) protocol can require a little more bandwidth than the competition, it's long been praised for its broad cross-platform support and elegant simplicity. Last year, RealVNC teamed up with Intel to incorporate a bona fide VNC server (using hardware encryption native to vPro chipsets) into the oldest bit of PC firmware -- the BIOS. As such, you can securely control a remote computer's BIOS, mount a disk image, and install an OS from the comfort of your living room halfway across the globe. The future is now -- you're welcome. Take a look at RealVNC's IDF 2011 demo in the gallery below and our hand-on video after the break.

Dante Cesa contributed to this report.

"Subconscious Mode" Could Boost Phone Battery Life

Posted by samzenpus  
from the making-it-last dept.
cylonlover writes"University of Michigan researchers have proposed a new power management system for smartphones that could dramatically improve battery life. The system, known as E-MiLi, or Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening, addresses the energy waste that occurs when 'sleeping' phones are looking for incoming messages and clear communication channels. E-MiLi slows down the clock of a phone's WiFi card by up to 1/16 its normal frequency in order to save power, but then kicks it back up to full speed when information is coming in. The phone uses the header of the incoming message to wake itself up from its 'subconscious mode,' so the clock is at full speed to receive the main message. For users on the busiest networks, it could extend battery life by up to 54 percent."

Gamers Piece Together Retrovirus Enzyme Structure

Posted by samzenpus  
from the all-that-tetris-paying-off dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Gamers have solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade. The gamers achieved their discovery by playing Foldit, an online game that allows players to collaborate and compete in predicting the structure of protein molecules. After scientists repeatedly failed to piece together the structure of a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus, they called in the Foldit players. The scientists challenged the gamers to produce an accurate model of the enzyme. They did it in only three weeks."

Siemens To Exit Nuclear Power Business

Posted by samzenpus  
from the picking-up-my-cooling-rods-and-going-home dept.
jones_supa wrote in with a link about the future of nuclear power in Germany. The story reads:"German industrial giant Siemens is turning the page on nuclear energy, the group's CEO Peter Löscher told the weekly Der Spiegel in an interview published on Sunday. The group's decision to withdraw from the nuclear industry reflects 'the very clear stance taken by Germany's society and political leadership.' Along abandoning nuclear power, Germany wants to boost the share of the country's power needs generated by renewable energies to 35% by 2020 from 17% at present."