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Wireless Networking

MIT Researchers Can See Through Walls Using Wi-Fi 75

Posted by timothy
from the upgrade-your-router dept.
itwbennett writes "MIT Professor Dina Katabi and graduate student Fadel Adib have developed a system they call Wi-Vi that uses Wi-Fi signals to visualize moving forms behind walls. How it works: 'Wi-Vi transmits two Wi-Fi signals, one of which is the inverse of the other. When one signal hits a stationary object, the other cancels it out. But because of the way the signals are encoded, they don't cancel each other out for moving objects. That makes the reflections from a moving person visible despite the wall between that person and the Wi-Vi device. Wi-Vi can translate those faint reflections into a real-time display of the person's movements.'"
Cellphones

Taxes On Cell Phones Hit All-Time High 171

Posted by timothy
from the what-the-tax-market-will-bear dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "As a breakdown of the top ten states with the highest and lowest taxes shows, the wireless consumers in Nebraska, Washington, and New York pay more than 20 percent of their wireless bills in taxes and fees, mostly due to the proliferation of archaic or duplicated surcharges. Experts from KSE Partners spent five years monitoring the federal, state, and local taxes imposed on wireless consumers. According to their analysis, wireless taxes grew three times faster than the retail sales rate between 2007 and 2010. The reason behind this is that legislators and Congressmen are targeting the wireless industry for tax money to relieve the burden from more recession-starved industries. In fact, a few states even tax wireless consumers for non wireless-related projects; for instance, Utah funds its poison-control centers with a poison-control surcharge found on wireless bills, and in 2009 Wisconsin imposed a police and fire protection fee to subsidize local departments."
Businesses

Amazon Pulling Out of Texas Over $269 Million Tax Bill 811

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-a-reliable-method dept.
ralphart writes with this excerpt from the Dallas Morning News: "As a result of an ongoing tax dispute with Texas, Amazon.com has decided to take its ball and go home. The online retailer said Thursday that it would shutter its Irving distribution facility April 12 and cancel plans to hire as many as 1,000 additional workers rather than pay Texas what the state says is owed in uncollected sales tax. Texas wants $269 million from Seattle-based Amazon in past-due sales tax. It sent the bill to the company last October." We've discussed the online retailer's tax battles with other states in the past.
Education

Magnetic Brain Stimulation Makes Learning Easier 208

Posted by timothy
from the it-also-causes-love dept.
cylonlover writes "Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a technology that temporarily activates – or inactivates – parts of the brain using magnetic stimulation. Its ability to selectively turn areas of the brain on or off allows the functions and interconnections of the brain to by studied in a noninvasive and painless manner. Now researchers have shown that the technology can be used to enable rats to learn more easily. While smarter rats probably aren't high on anyone's wish list, the technology shows potential for allowing TMS to better treat a variety of brain disorders and diseases in humans, such as severe depression and schizophrenia."
Earth

Greenland Ice Sheet Melts At Record Rate In 2010 654

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-calls-for-a-celebratory-bonfire dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "A study using satellite and ground-based data is showing the Greenland ice sheets are setting a record for the areas exposed to melting and the rate at which they are doing so. NASA says 2010 was a record warm year, and temperatures in the Arctic were a good 3 degrees C over normal."
Biotech

New Tech Promises Cheap Gene Sequencing In Minutes 121

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-i-want-it-now dept.
Zothecula writes "Sequencing an entire genome is currently a highly complex, time-consuming process – the DNA must be broken down into segments and replicated, utilizing chemicals that destroy the original sample. Scientists from Imperial College London, however, have just announced the development of a prototype device that could lead to technology capable of sequencing a human genome within minutes, at a cost of just a few dollars. By contrast, when sequencing of the genome of Dr. James Watson (co-discoverer of the structure of DNA) was completed in 2007, it had taken two years and cost US$1 million."
Science

Scientists Create Mice From 2 Fathers 435

Posted by samzenpus
from the heather-has-two-mommies dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas, led by Dr. Richard R. Behringer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, have produced male and female mice from two fathers. The study was posted Wednesday at the online site of the journal Biology of Reproduction. The achievement of two-father offspring in a species of mammal could be a step toward preserving endangered species, improving livestock breeds, and advancing human assisted reproductive technology. It also opens the provocative possibility of same-sex couples having their own genetic children, the researchers note."
Earth

Life Found In Deepest Layer of Earth's Crust 335

Posted by Soulskill
from the gabbroic-added-to-spellchecker dept.
michaelmarshall writes "For the first time, life has been found in the gabbroic layer of the crust. The new biosphere is all bacteria, as you might expect, but they are different from the bacteria in the layers above; they mostly feed on hydrocarbons that are produced by abiotic reactions deep in the crust. It could mean that similar microbes are living even deeper, perhaps even in the mantle."
Government

Income Tax Quashed, Ballmer To Cash In Billions 650

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
theodp writes "Washington's proposed state income tax not only prompted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to spend $425,000 of his own money to help crush the measure at the polls, it also inspired Microsoft to launch a FUD campaign aimed at torpedoing the initiative. 'As an employer, we're concerned that I-1098 will make it harder to attract talent and create additional jobs in Washington state,' explained Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith. 'We strongly support public education, but we're concerned by key details in I-1098. This initiative would give Washington one of the top five highest state income tax rates in the country. I-1098 would apply this tax rate to all income, including capital gains and dividends, and would not permit any deductions for charitable contributions.' Nice to see a company take a principled stand, backed by a CEO who's not afraid to put his money where his company's mouth is, right? Well, maybe not. Just three days after the measure went down in flames, Ballmer said in a statement that he plans to sell up to 75 million of his Microsoft shares by the end of the year to 'gain financial diversification and to assist in tax planning.' Based on Friday's closing price of $26.85, the 75M shares would be valued at approximately $2 billion. All of which might make a cynic question what was really important to Microsoft — public education, or a $2B state income tax-free payday for its CEO?"

Comment: Re:CITE PLEASE (Score 1) 372

by AlexCorn (#33619942) Attached to: US Couple Arrested For Transmitting Nuclear Secrets In Sting Operation
Everyone should not be required to own a gun, but everyone should *be able to* own a gun. The right to bear arms is protected by the Constitution, and the Constitution applies to all US citizens on US territory, not just non-felons. We don't strip perjurers of their right to free speech, so why do so many people think it is okay to strip arms rights from violent felons? Both have demonstrated irresponsibility with a particular tool, but why the double standard? They get convicted, serve their time, and should be released as free men, not as sub-citizens who lose part of their constitutional protection.

I don't know* whether the Constitution applies to illegal aliens or not, but if it does I think it should apply 100% - not just partially. The document was not designed to allow rulers to pick and choose which sections apply and which do not.


* I suppose the question of whether it applies is based on which conditions you must meet for it to apply. Obviously the Constitution only applies on US territory. So given that a person is on US territory, does that person have to be a US citizen to be protected by the constitution, or does just occupying a spot on US land afford a person constitutional protection?
Science

Morphing Metals 121

Posted by samzenpus
from the forge-ahead dept.
aarondubrow writes "Imagine a metal that 'remembers' its original, cold-forged shape, and can return to that shape when exposed to heat or a magnetic pulse. Like magic out of a Harry Potter novel, such a metal could contract on command, or swing back and forth like a pendulum. Believe it or not, such metals already exist. First discovered in 1931, they belong to a class of materials called 'shape memory alloys (SMA),' whose unique atomic make-up allows them to return to their initial form, or alternate between forms through a phase change."
The Internet

Why Broadband Prices Haven't Decreased 336

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the someone-owns-boardwalk-and-parkplace dept.
pdragon04 writes "After a new technology is introduced to the market, there is usually a predictable decrease in price as it becomes more common. Laptops experienced precipitous price drops during the past decade. Digital cameras, personal computers, and computer chips all followed similar steep declines in price. Has the price of broadband Internet followed the same model? Shane Greenstein decided to look into it. "
Earth

Geocentrists Convene To Discuss How Galileo Was Wrong 1027

Posted by timothy
from the when-did-britain-pull-ahead dept.
rollcall writes "'Galileo Was Wrong' is an inaugural conference to discuss the 'detailed and comprehensive treatment of the scientific evidence supporting Geocentrism, the academic belief that the Earth is immobile in the center of the universe.' The geocentrists argue that 'Scientific evidence available to us within the last 100 years that was not available during Galileo's confrontation shows that the [Catholic] Church's position on the immobility of the Earth is not only scientifically supportable, but it is the most stable model of the universe and the one which best answers all the evidence we see in the cosmos.' I, like many of you, am scratching my head wondering how people still think this way. Unfortunately, there is still a significant minority of Western people who believe that the Earth is the center of the universe: 18% of Americans, 16% of Germans, and 19% of Britons." I hope there is live blogging from the conference.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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