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Submission + - Breakthroughs in HTML Audio & JavaScript (vocamus.net)

jamienk writes: Imagine if you could grab and manipulate audio with JavaScript just like you can images with canvas... Firefox experimental builds let you do just that: crazy audio visualizations, a graphic equalizer, even text-to-speech, all in JavaScript! Work in progress, you need a special build of Firefox (videos available), being worked on via W3C. Weren't people just saying that Firefox doesn't innovate?

Submission + - Facebook to simplify privacy controls (skunkpost.com)

crimeandpunishment writes: Facebook has apparently been listening to all those complaints and all that criticism about privacy issues. The site is simplifying its privacy controls and acknowledging user unrest. CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted "A lot of people are upset with us" at a Wednesday news conference announcing the changes, which will be rolled out in the coming weeks. Whether they will silence the criticism remains to be seen.

Submission + - Art and Mental Illness+ Martín Ramírez g (makeahistory.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Swedish researchers believe they have uncovered a possible explanation for the link between mental health and creativity... Last year, The New York Times called the Mexican artist Martín Ramírez “simply one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.” What is so remarkable about his achievement, beyond the mesmerizing repetition of lines and images in his drawings, is that all of the work was created inside a mental institution.

Submission + - Microsoft Sets Windows 7 Launch For Oct. 22 (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Microsoft will put Windows 7 on store shelves and computer makers will have systems ready to sell with Vista's successor on Oct. 22, the company confirmed today. Microsoft will also offer discounted or free upgrades to Windows 7 to users who buy PCs in the months leading up to the operating system's launch in a program dubbed 'Windows Upgrade Option,' a company spokeswoman said Tuesday. Although the name is new, the program had been reported as early as January, when a usually-reliable Web site leaked information about the deal, including its July 1 kick-off."
United States

Submission + - GM Hummer To Be Sold to China (yahoo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: According to Associated Press, GM has an agreement to sell its Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. of China, said a person briefed on the deal. For now, the deal would save 3000 jobs, but it is expected most of the jobs will be moved to China. Before you worry about soldiers of US army and marines riding on Chinese made jeeps, you should also note that GM China has made recorded sales in China, despite of its parent's woe in the US. I personally did notice quite a lot more Buick's running in the city of Shenzhen than on the streets of California. When I was over there, I owned a Buick myself which was made in China but with US-made engines and transmissions; whereas i own a Japanese car here in California. Strange world.

Submission + - US National Ignition Facility completed

krou writes: The BBC is reporting that, after 12 years, construction has finished on the US National Ignition Facility, which "is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion". It will use 192 laser beams, including the world's most powerful laser (sharks not included), to focus energy "on a ball-bearing-sized pellet of fuel, ablating the surface and compressing the remaining material inwards". Dr. Moses, director of the facility, explains that "This process will create temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures billions of times greater than Earth's atmospheric pressure, forcing the hydrogen nuclei to fuse and release many times more energy than the laser energy required to spark the reaction." There's an interesting video at the link explaining how the facility works, too.

Submission + - Brian Aker: What Happens to MySQL if IBM Buys Sun? (oreilly.com)

blackbearnh writes: "With the industry all abuzz about the possibility of IBM buying Sun Microsystems, its easy to forget that Sun owns MySQL, which means that IBM would end up the owner of the popular Open Source database. O'Reilly was planning to interview him anyway for the upcoming MySQL Conference, but with the breaking news about the IBM buyout, they couldn't resist asking him to speculate on what life would be like under Big Blue's control."

Submission + - Scientists convert body movements to iPod charge

schliz writes: Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a nanogenerator that could replace batteries in five years' time. The generator is based on the piezoelectric properties of zinc oxide nanowires, which can be woven into clothes, shoes and even muscles to charge iPods, cell phones and other portable devices.

The same group of researcher demonstrated harvesting energy from hamsters last month.

Submission + - Want a PC with 192 GB of RAM? Dell makes it so (computerworld.com)

ericatcw writes: Do you love the smooth, silky performance of a multi-core PC loaded to the gills with the fastest RAM? Take a look at Dell's new Precision T7500 desktop. According to Computerworld, the T7500 will come with 12 memory slots that can accommodate 16 GB of PC-106000 (1333 MHz) DDR3 RAM for a total of 192 GB. Dell's not the only one — Lenovo, Cisco (with blade servers reportedly up to 384 GB in memory) and Apple are all bringing out computers that leverage Intel's new Nehalem architecture to enable unprecedented amounts of RAM. But beware! Despite the depressed DRAM market, loading up on memory could see the cost of RAM eclipse the cost of the rest of your PC by 20-fold or more.

Submission + - China's new military space stations coming soon (space.com)

WindBourne writes: China will be launching 2 news space stations this next year. One is for their civil program as ran by the military, while the second is openly for the military. It appears that their will be multiples of the military version to be launched in 2010. It appears that they are developing the same U.S. Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) that was canceled in 1969. In addition, it appears that China is accelerating their timelines on a number of the earlier space announcements.

Submission + - Chimp demonstrates weapon stockpiling

SputnikPanic writes: According to a Washington Post article, a scientific paper being published today describes a chimpanzee that demonstrates a rather interesting capacity: the forethought to stockpile stones to be used as weapons. The chimp, which is at a zoo in Sweden, collects rocks prior to the zoo's opening so that he may have them ready for use later in the day when he becomes agitated by visitors. "Many animals plan. But this is planning for a future psychological state. That is what is so advanced," says Mathias Osvath, a researcher and author of the paper. In another example of sophisticated behavior, "About a year after his storing and throwing began ... the animal began tapping stones against the concrete artificial rocks, listening for a hollow sound that indicates a fissure. He would then hit the concrete harder until a piece chipped off, occasionally then hitting it again to make it fist-sized."

Submission + - New Device Disables Driver's Cell Phone (miller-mccune.com)

Mike Traphagen writes: "Check out this Miller-McCune story on Key2SafeDriving, a new device that wirelessly links a cell phone and car key so your teenager can't call or text while driving. University of Utah professor Xuesong Zhou developed the product. "I use my key every day, and one day, I was thinking about the problem and looking at my own key," he said. "That's when I realized it: We need to have something which can incorporate the key and the phone together — a combination. We needed to seek out a way to communicate wirelessly between the device and the key." http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/the-key-to-safe-driving-1009"
Networking (Apple)

Submission + - Safari 4 Rivals Google Chrome In JavaScript Race (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Contrary to Apple's claims, the newest version of Safari is not the world's fastest browser, benchmark scores show. But it is dramatically faster than rivals being built by Mozilla and Microsoft. According to JavaScript rendering tests run by Computerworld, the public beta of Safari 4 is in a virtual dead heat with the most recent edition of Google's Chrome. However, it is 38% faster than the newest version of Firefox — more than three times faster than the production edition of the open-source browser — and more than five times faster than Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8. Plus, as reviewer Ryan Faas found, the new Safari 4 browser beta is innovative, fast, and fun:

...Changes to tabs and the Top Sites feature will naturally invite comparisons to Google's Chrome, which was introduced last fall and is available only for Windows. Chrome, like the new Safari, also places multiple tabs at the top of a window and offers a similar gallery view of recent sites. But simply seeing Safari's new interface as something cribbed from Chrome is a bit unfair; Apple has provided its own take on both concepts that seems inspired as much by the mobile version of Safari included on the iPhone and iPod Touch as by Google. And for a public beta — one that no one outside Apple knew was coming — Safari 4 seems stable. I've yet to come across any show-stoppers in regular use.


United States

Submission + - House Kills Nuclear Power (house.gov)

tjstork writes: "Buried in the latest 410 billion dollar bill to pass the House of Representatives is an item that zeros out funding for reprocessing spent nuclear rods for re-use. This dramatically increases the amount of nuclear waste that must be stored, and undermines the ability of the country to develop nuclear power plants. So essentially, Democrats are taking the first steps for the United States to bail on nuclear power."

We're living in a golden age. All you need is gold. -- D.W. Robertson.