Thursday, October 20, 2011

Entry-Level NAS Storage Servers Compared

Posted by samzenpus  
from the line-them-up dept.
snydeq writes"InfoWorld's Desmond Fuller provides an in-depth comparison of five entry-level NAS storage servers, including cabinets from Iomega, Netgear, QNAP, Synology, and Thecus. 'With so many use cases and potential buyers, the vendors too often try to be everything to everyone. The result is a class of products that suffers from an identity crisis — so-called business storage solutions that are overloaded with consumer features and missing the ease and simplicity that business users require,' Fuller writes. 'Filled with 10TB or 12TB of raw storage, my test systems ranged in price from $1,699 to $3,799. Despite that gap, they all had a great deal in common, from core storage services to performance. However, I found the richest sets of business features — straightforward setup, easy remote access, plentiful backup options — at the higher end of the scale.'"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Verizon's My FiOS app puts your entire living room under one Android roof

By   posted Oct 19th 2011 10:49AM
Leaving home is hard, especially when you've got a backlog of on-demand movies and TV shows staring at you with big puppy dog eyes. Fortunately, however, Verizon has now come out with My FiOS -- a new app for Android users that promises to keep you constantly connected to all your home entertainment systems, and more. Released yesterday, this app allows users to remotely access movies, Flex View TV shows and home automation and monitoring systems directly from their handsets, while managing their accounts and billing via the provider's built-in customer service tools. Verizon clients can also use My FiOS to control their TVs, DVR players or home phones, and can even access some content straight from their devices. For now, the app is only available on Android 2.1 or above, though Verizon says an iOS version should hit the market "before year-end." Skim past the break for more information in the full PR, or hit up the source link below to download My FiOS for yourself.

Coding Games In 48 Hours

Posted by Soulskill  
from the starring-nick-nolte-and-eddie-murphy dept.
The Opposable Thumbs blog covers a 48-hour-long "game jam" at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Twenty teams of game developers — 16 indie and four professional — compete over a weekend to build a functional game based on a few deliberately vague keywords. This article documents the brainstorming sessions and the early prototyping work. Quoting:"The teams become less talkative as midnight draws near and the individual team members all settle down into their jobs. Everybody seems determined to not let sleep take over just yet. I take a tour of some of the other teams. Badgers are being animated, leg movements first with static bodies above them. Other teams have no art yet and just use colored rectangles as they get the mechanics down. Others are still sketching beautiful concept art and coding level editors.'To move around the room is to hear random snippets of creativity and math. 'If we move the z-axis, too, we can do this thing' or 'what if we procedurally generated that object.' In this one spot, sixteen games are coming into being that weren't even concepts eight hours ago."

Value of Bitcoin "Crashes"

Posted by Unknown Lamer  
from the smells-like-real-currency dept.
souravzzz writes with an update on the state of Bitcoin. Quoting the Ars Technica article:"Bitcoin, the world's first peer-to-peer digital currency, fell below $3 on Monday. That represents a 90 percent fall since the currency hit its peak in early June."That's still three times its value in April 2011.

New Vaccine Halves Malaria Risk

Posted by Soulskill  
from the hard-work-paying-off dept.
An anonymous reader writes"According to a report in Reuters, scientists are celebrating the end of a clinical trial which found a malaria vaccine reduces infection risk by half in children. From the article: 'While scientists say it is no "silver bullet" and will not end the mosquito-borne infection on its own, it is being hailed as a crucial weapon in the fight against malaria and one that could speed the path to eventual worldwide eradication. Malaria is caused by a parasite carried in the saliva of mosquitoes. It kills more than 780,000 people per year, most of them babies or very young children in Africa. Cohen's vaccine goes to work at the point when the parasite enters the human bloodstream after a mosquito bite. By stimulating an immune response, it can prevent the parasite from maturing and multiplying in the liver. ... Cohen said that if all goes to plan, RTS,S could be licensed and rolled out by 2015.'"

How Google's Autonomous Vehicles Work

Posted by Soulskill  
from the up-on-the-sidewalk-thump-thump-thump dept.
An anonymous reader writes"IEEE reports that Google's autonomous cars have logged more than 190,000 miles driving in all kinds of traffic, and the company is also testing a fleet of self-driving golf carts on its campus. In a recent talk, Sebastian Thrun and Chris Urmson of Google gave details of the project and showed videos of the robot cars driving themselves and even doing some stunts. The goal is that the technology will help reduce congestion, fuel waste, and accidents."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ultra HDTV technical standards agreed on, more pixels is a good thing

4K is coming!!!!!:)

The high-definition pride of your living room may not want to hear it, but it looks like ultra high-definition TV (or UHDTV) has now taken another step towards reality. While shop-floor products remain years away, experts in the ITU Study Group on Broadcasting Service have made several agreements on technical standards for your (next?) next TV purchase. Increasing pixel count in future sets is also expected to improve viewing angles on glasses-free 3D, which needs more dots to work its lenticular magic. 33 megapixels sounds like it should be enough to work with.

Comet Nearly Hit Earth? Not So Fast

Posted by timothy  
from the leap-from-conclusions dept.
Phil Plait ("The Bad Astronomer") writes with a skeptical take on the recent report that a comet may have narrowly missed earth. According to the linked post from Plait, "When a comet breaks up, it spreads out. Even when intact, the material surrounding a comet can be tens or even hundreds of thousands of kilometers across! Claiming that a comet broke apart, yet managed to constrain its pieces to volume of space less than a few thousand kilometers across strains credulity. Mind you, Bonilla claimed to have seen these objects over the course of two days. That means they would’ve been stretched out along a path that was a million km long at least, yet so narrow that only one observatory on Earth saw them transit the Sun. That is highly unlikely. Worse, the very fact that no one else saw anything makes this claim even less tenable."

CMU Researchers Create Multitouch Surface Anywhere

Posted by Soulskill  
from the but-can-it-talk-like-a-parrot dept.
tekgoblin writes"In a joint effort between Microsoft and the Carnegie Mellon Human Computer Interaction Institute, a new interface has been born. The new interface is usable on any surface, including notebooks, tables, walls and body parts. The UI is completely multitouch and worn on the shoulder, which will turn any surface you are pointing at into a usable workspace by the combination of a projector and a 3D modeling device similar to the Kinect."

The Genetics of Happiness

Posted by Soulskill  
from the double-helix-of-good-times dept.
Hugh Pickens writes"Studies comparing identical twins with non-identical twins have helped to establish the heritability of many aspects of behavior. Recent work suggests that about one third of the variation in people's happiness is heritable. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve has taken the study a step further, picking a popular suspect — the gene that encodes the serotonin-transporter protein, a molecule that shuffles a brain messenger called serotonin through cell membranes — and examined how variants of the 5-HTT gene affect levels of happiness. The serotonin-transporter gene comes in two functional variants—long and short and people have two versions (known as alleles) of each gene, one from each parent. After examining genetic data from more than 2,500 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, De Neve found that people with one long allele were 8% more likely than those with none to describe themselves as very satisfied with life and those with two long alleles were 17% more likely of describing themselves as very satisfied. Interestingly enough, there is a notable variation across races with Asian Americans in the sample having on average 0.69 long genes, white Americans with 1.12, and black Americans with 1.47. 'It has long been suspected that this gene plays a role in mental health but this is the first study to show that it isinstrumental in shaping our individual happiness levels (PDF),' writes De Neve. 'This finding helps to explain why we each have a unique baseline level of happiness and why some people tend to be naturally happier than others, and that's in no small part due to our individual genetic make-up.'"

High Rate of False-Positives With Annual Mammogram

ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2011) — During a decade of receiving mammograms, more than half of cancer-free women will be among those summoned back for more testing because of false-positive results, and about one in 12 will be referred for a biopsy.

UAE Police Claim BlackBerry Outage Made Roads Safer

Posted by Soulskill  
from the keep-your-thumbs-at-ten-and-two dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Road traffic accidents in Abu Dhabi and Dubai plummeted last week — and the local police have a theory as to why: drivers' BlackBerrys weren't working. Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have claimed that last week's worldwide BlackBerry outage, which frustrated business people around the world who were unable to communicate with their colleagues, had one positive result — less texting and reading of emails by people who should have been concentrating on driving instead. There could be other factors at play, however. For instance, popular UAE soccer player Theyab Awana was killed in a high speed crash near Abu Dhabi in September, amid claims that he was sending a message on his BlackBerry when he hit a lorry. The football star's father, Awana Ahmad Al Mosabi, made an emotional plea to people not to use smartphones while driving, and a Facebook campaign against the use of BlackBerry Messenger while driving has grown in popularity."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lithium-Ion Batteries Made Faster With New Process

ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2011) — The latest development by engineers of KIT is inspired by nature. To fill the porous electrodes of lithium-ion batteries more rapidly with liquid electrolyte, they use a physicochemical effect that also provides water transport in trees. The new process increases the throughput of battery production and reduces investment costs. This and other innovations will be presented by KIT at the eCarTec International Electromobility Fair in Munich from October 18 to 20.

Can the Hottest Peppers In the World Kill You?

Posted by samzenpus  
from the dead-man's-chili dept.
Hugh Pickens writes"Katharine Gammon writes that last week, the Kismot Indian restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, held a competition to eat the extra-hot Kismot Killer curry and several ambulances were called after some of the competitive eaters were left writhing on the floor in agony, vomiting and fainting. Paul Bosland, professor of horticulture at New Mexico State University and director of the Chile Pepper Institute, says that chili peppers can indeed cause death — but most people's bodies would falter long before they reached that point. 'Theoretically, one could eat enough really hot chiles to kill you,' says Bosland adding that a research study in 1980 calculated that three pounds of the hottest peppers in the world — something like the Bhut Jolokia — eaten all at once could kill a 150-pound person. Chili peppers cause the eater's insides to rev up, activating the sympathetic nervous system — which helps control most of the body's internal organs — to expend more energy, so the body burns more calories when the same food is eaten with chili peppers. But tissue inflammation could explain why the contestants in the Killer Curry contest said they felt like chainsaws were ripping through their insides. As for the contest, restaurant owner Abdul Aliadmitted the fiery dish may have been too spicy after the Scottish Ambulance Service warned him to review his event. 'I think we'll tone it down, but we'll definitely do it next year.'"

White Children Far More Likely to Receive CT Scans Than Hispanic, African-American Children

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2011) — White children are far more likely to receive cranial computed tomography (CT) scans in an emergency department following minor head trauma than are African-American or Hispanic children, a study by researchers at UC Davis has found.

The study findings do not indicate that CT scans are underused in treating African-American and Hispanic children, the researchers said. Rather, they suggest that white children may receive too many CT scans -- and for that reason may be exposed to unnecessary radiation.

Musical Aptitude Relates to Reading Ability

ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2011) — Auditory working memory and attention, for example the ability to hear and then remember instructions while completing a task, are a necessary part of musical ability. But musical ability is also related to verbal memory and literacy in childhood.

Pi Computed To 10 Trillion Digits

Posted by samzenpus  
from the because-he-can dept.
An anonymous reader writes"A Japanese programmer that goes by the handle JA0HXV announced that he has computed Pi to 10 trillion digits. This breaks the previous world record of 5 trillion digits. Computation began in October of 2010 and finished yesterday after multiple hard disk problems, he said. Details in English are not fully available yet, but the Japanese page gives further details. JA0HXV has held computation records for Pi in the past."

BlackBerry outage victims offered apps not cash

RIM has announced its compensation package for BlackBerry users affected by last week’s outage, and if you were hoping for a refund then you’re going to be disappointed. Instead, RIM is offering a bundle of twelve apps – usually collectively priced at over $100 from the BlackBerry App World – free, including titles such as SIMS 3 and Vlingo Plus, while enterprise customers will also get a month’s free Technical Support.
If enterprise users already have a Technical Support contract, they’ll find an extra month’s service tacked onto the end of it. Those without will be offered a standalone free month of the enhanced services, with no obligation to continue.
Everyone else will have to wait for RIM to begin to roll out the free apps, which the company says will happen “over the coming weeks” and run until the end of the year. “We are grateful to our loyal BlackBerry customers for their patience,” RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said in a statement. “We have apologized to our customers and we will work tirelessly to restore their confidence. We are taking immediate and aggressive steps to help prevent something like this from happening again.”
Whether that will satisfy angry users – or indeed prevent them from jumping ship to Android or iOS – remains to be seen. Analysts estimated the outage – which lasted up to three days, and was blamed on a fault in both server and backup-server systems – may well cost RIM over $100m.
Compensation Apps:
  • SIMS 3 – Electronic Arts
  • Bejeweled – Electronic Arts
  • N.O.V.A. – Gameloft
  • Texas Hold’em Poker 2 – Gameloft
  • Bubble Bash 2 – Gameloft
  • Photo Editor Ultimate – Ice Cold Apps
  • Pro –
  • iSpeech Translator Pro –
  • Drive Enterprise –
  • Nobex Radio™ Premium – Nobex
  • Shazam Encore – Shazam
  • Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant – Vlingo

Australian Malls To Track Shoppers By Their Phones

Posted by samzenpus  
from the dial-S-for-shopping dept.
Fluffeh writes"Australian shopping centers will monitor customers' mobile phones to track how often they visit, which stores they like and how long they stay. One unnamed Queensland shopping center is next month due to become the first in the nation to install receivers that detect unique mobile phone radio frequency codes to pinpoint location within two meters."

What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

Posted by samzenpus  
from the first-century-is-the-best dept.
First time accepted submitter Macgrrl writes"It was reported today in The Age newspaper that scientists believe they will have a drug within the next 5-10 years that will extend the average human lifespan to 150 years. Given the retirement age is 65, that would give you an extra 85 years, meaning you would probably have to extend the average working life to 100 or 120 years to prevent the economy becoming totally unbalanced and pensions running out. That assumes that the life extension is all 'good years', and not a prolonged period of dementia and physical decline. Would you want to live to 150? What do you see as being the most likely issues and what do you think you would do with all the extra years?"