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Security

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old 1135

Posted by samzenpus
from the security-theater dept.
3-year-old Mandy Simon started crying when her teddy bear had to go through the X-ray machine at airport security in Chattanooga, Tenn. She was so upset that she refused to go calmly through the metal detector, setting it off twice. Agents then informed her parents that she "must be hand-searched." The subsequent TSA employee pat down of the screaming child was captured by her father, who happens to be a reporter, on his cell phone. The video have left some questioning why better procedures for children aren't in place. I, for one, feel much safer knowing the TSA is protecting us from impressionable minds warped by too much Dora the Explorer.

Comment: Re:All the wrong reason (Score 2, Interesting) 443

by Bvardi (#34197600) Attached to: UK Games Retailers Threaten Boycott of Steam Games
Actually I see the chances of being able to replay a game years down the line as INCREASED with things like Steam. No more lost CD's/cd key since its part of your account. Better chance of support for games on new operating systems/Hardware, since if they make even a few bucks now and then from sales a publisher has incentive to keep those old titles compatible. And worrying simultaneously about Steam becoming the de facto monopoly AND then going dark? So it's too successful and yet will die leaving you without access to your games? Doesn't seem likely. Not in any reasonable span of time anyways. Basically I think if Steam dies at this point, it'll be far enough down the line that it'll be like complaining about nobody making stereos with 8-track tape support anymore - so you can't play all those nifty disco beats you picked up back in the 1970's. And thats something you risk just by using almost anything based on technology.
Biotech

Chip Allows Blind People To See 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the bionic-eye dept.
crabel writes "3 blind people have been implanted with a retinal chip that allowed them to see shapes and objects within days of the procedure. From the article: 'One of the patients surprised researchers by identifying and locating objects on a table; he was also able to walk around a room unaided, approach specific people, tell the time from a clock face, and describe seven different shades of gray in front of him.'"
Censorship

Venezuela's Last Opposition TV Owner Arrested 433

Posted by timothy
from the or-in-this-case-on-air dept.
WrongSizeGlass writes "AP is reporting the owner of Venezuela's only remaining TV channel that takes a critical line against President Hugo Chavez was arrested Thursday. 'Guillermo Zuloaga, owner of Globovision, was arrested on a warrant for remarks that were deemed "offensive" to the president,' Attorney General Luisa Ortega said. This comes on the heels of last week's story titled Venezuela's Chavez To Limit Internet Freedom."
Medicine

Child Receives Trachea Grown From Own Stem Cells 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-add-oxygen dept.
kkleiner writes "Doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) along with colleagues at the University College London, the Royal Free Hospital, and Careggi University Hospital in Florence have successfully transplanted a trachea into a 10 year old boy using his own stem cells. A donor trachea was taken, stripped of its cells into a collagen-like scaffold, and then infused with the boy's stem cells. The trachea was surgically placed into the boy and allowed to develop in place. Because his own cells were used, there was little to no risk of rejection. This was the first time a child had received such a stem cell augmented transplant and the first time that a complete trachea had been used."

Comment: Baen does ebooks right (Score 1) 538

by Bvardi (#31034802) Attached to: Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books
No DRM and multiple formats - you can download the book later in a different format if you change devices. I got an ipod touch, set it up so it can access their store using the Stanza e-reader software and download any book I had purchased from my wireless network. Easy. Free library - usually offering the first book in a series (or back catalogue books) And authors have found their sales go UP when they offer the books this way for free. Great price point - most books are 6 bucks, 15 dollar webscription gives you 5-6 books which combines 2-3 new books with 2-3 older ones. Baen's webscriptions is the whole reason I got into ebooks - and I buy their monthly webscription every month and several package deals and individual books every year. I can get books immediately, carry a large amount around with me on a small device, and then read them whenever I get the chance. (30 mins reading when I'm on the subway, 10 minutes reading waiting for the dentist, etc) They've even in the past released hardcover books that came with a CD full of ebooks. Getting some of these books free hasn't stopped me from paying them - it's in some cases gotten me introduced to authors I wouldn't have tried if I had to buy a 19.99 book - and then I've gone and bought all of their books after reading the one free one.
Games

Review Scores the "Least Important Factor" When Buying Games 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the arbitrary-numbers-are-arbitrary dept.
A recent report from a games industry analyst suggests that among a number of factors leading to the purchase of a video game — such as price, graphics and word of mouth — the game's aggregated review score is the least important measure. Analyst Doug Creutz said, "We believe that while Metacritic scores may be correlated to game quality and word of mouth, and thus somewhat predictive of title performance, they are unlikely in and of themselves to drive or undermine the success of a game. We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores. We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by 'grade-grubbing' after the fact."
Games

The Psychology of Achievement In Playing Games 80

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-you-don't-get-points-for-reading-this dept.
A post on Pixel Poppers looks at the psychological underpinnings of the types of challenges offered by different game genres, and the effect those challenges have on determining which players find the games entertaining. Quoting: "To progress in an action game, the player has to improve, which is by no means guaranteed — but to progress in an RPG, the characters have to improve, which is inevitable. ... It turns out there are two different ways people respond to challenges. Some people see them as opportunities to perform — to demonstrate their talent or intellect. Others see them as opportunities to master — to improve their skill or knowledge. Say you take a person with a performance orientation ('Paul') and a person with a mastery orientation ('Matt'). Give them each an easy puzzle, and they will both do well. Paul will complete it quickly and smile proudly at how well he performed. Matt will complete it quickly and be satisfied that he has mastered the skill involved. Now give them each a difficult puzzle. Paul will jump in gamely, but it will soon become clear he cannot overcome it as impressively as he did the last one. The opportunity to show off has disappeared, and Paul will lose interest and give up. Matt, on the other hand, when stymied, will push harder. His early failure means there's still something to be learned here, and he will persevere until he does so and solves the puzzle."
Books

+ - Why Kindle 2's Screen Took 12 Years, $150 Million->

Submitted by
waderoush
waderoush writes "Critics are eating up everything about Amazon's Kindle 2 e-book reader except its $359 price tag. But if you think that's expensive, take a look behind the Kindle at E Ink, the Cambridge, MA, company that has spent $150 million since 1997 developing the electronic paper display that is the Kindle's coolest feature. In the company's first interview since the Kindle 2 came out, E Ink CEO Russ Wilcox says it took far longer than expected to make the microcapsule-based e-paper film not only legible, but durable and manufacturable. Now that the Kindle 2 is finally getting readers to take e-books seriously, however, Wilcox says he sees a profitable future in which many book, magazine, and newspaper publishers will turn to e-paper, if only to save money on printing and delivery. (Silicon Alley Insider recently calculated that the New York Times could save more than $300 million a year by shutting down its presses and buying every subscriber a Kindle). 'What we've got here is a technology that could be saving the world $80 billion a year,' Wilcox says."
Link to Original Source
Announcements

+ - Dracula's Castle for sale in Romania: price $77m

Submitted by galaad2
galaad2 (847861) writes "Want to own the real castle that was the source of all the vampire stories? Want to have your very own vampire castle? Here's your chance!

The Transylvanian castle of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, is on sale for £40 million [timesonline.co.uk] (around 77 million dollars).

Bran Castle [telegraph.co.uk], near the historic city of Brasov, in central Romania, is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations because of its association with 15th-century Prince Vlad Tepes III, also known as the Impaler for his favoured method of executing opponents.

The local town council has preemption rights, they have 30 days to review the offer, and then the property will be put on the market.

Extra info: wikipedia article about Bran Castle"

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