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The Internet

Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide? 291

First time accepted submitter dkatana writes Having some type of fiber or high-speed cable connectivity is normal for many of us, but in most developing countries of the world and many areas of Europe, the US, and other developed countries, access to "super-fast" broadband networks is still a dream. This is creating another "digital divide." Not having the virtually unlimited bandwidth of all-fiber networks means that, for these populations, many activities are simply not possible. For example, broadband provided over all-fiber networks brings education, healthcare, and other social goods into the home through immersive, innovative applications and services that are impossible without it. Alternatives to fiber, such as cable (DOCSYS 3.0), are not enough, and they could be more expensive in the long run. The maximum speed a DOCSYS modem can achieve is 171/122 Mbit/s (using four channels), just a fraction the 273 Gbit/s (per channel) already reached on fiber.

Designer Creates a Water Bottle That You Can Eat 171

Diggester (2492316) writes "Rodrigo García González has been working on the Ooho water bottle for the past few years. The bottle is made out of edible materials, looks like a jellyfish, and has the potential to put an end to the bottled water industry. Inspired by the juice-filled pearls added to bubble tea and the mad-cuisine creations of chef Ferran Adriá, who uses a technique known as sheperification (encasing liquid into edible membranes), García is on his way to revolutionizing the bottled water industry."

Curiosity Rover Sees Solar Eclipse On Mars 46

SchrodingerZ writes "Though solar eclipses are fairly common on Earth (much more in the southern hemisphere), yesterday the Mars Curiosity Rover caught sight of a partial solar eclipse in Gale Crater on the Red planet. The martian moon Phobos took a small bite out of the sun on the 37th day (Sol 37) of the rover's martian mission. The Curiosity Rover was able to take a picture of the rare event through a 'neutral density filter that reduced the sunlight to a thousandth of its natural intensity.' This protects the camera from the intense light rays seen during an eclipse or looking directly at the sun. It is possible a short movie of the event could be compiled from the data in the near future. More solar transits of Mars's moon (including the second moon Deimos) are predicted to happen in the days to come."

Virtual Nanoscopy Allows Scientists To Capture High Res Cell Map 16

hypnosec writes "Researchers have managed to generate ultra-large high resolution electron microscopic maps of cells by developing new tools that can combine thousands of images taken from an electron microscope thus enabling them to view a cell in its entirety. Use of electron microscopes reveals intricate structures of cells, but with a limitation that only a tiny portion of the cell is captured, which misses the bigger picture. If low-res images are captured to view a greater part of the biological structure, intricate details are missed. A team of scientists over at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands has come up with a technique called 'virtual nanoscopy' that enabled them to ultrastructurally map regions of cells and tissue as large as 1 mm^2 at nanometer resolution."

Tesla Reveals Its Model X Gullwing SUV 306

thecarchik writes "The new, all-electric Tesla Model X crossover, which was introduced on stage by Tesla CEO Elon Musk (also the man behind SpaceX), isn't exactly a step toward the mass market. But it does take on premium utility vehicles with three rows of seating for up to seven, better maneuverability than a Mini Cooper, and a 0-60 mph time of just 4.4 seconds—that's faster than a Porsche 911, Musk jeered. But the real oohs and ahs of the evening came when Musk showed the Model X's much-anticipated 'falcon doors' — essentially gullwing rear doors, behind normal hinged front doors." The expected price before tax-credit shenanigans? $60,000-$90,000.

Ron Paul Wants To End the Federal Student Loan Program 1797

On the heels of declaring his intent to axe a few departments from the federal government, Ron Paul has revealed more plans should he become President. The_THOMAS writes "Ron Paul wants to end Federal student loans stating that the Government involvement artificially inflates the cost of a college education and that once the government is out of the situation, students will be able to work their way to a college degree. What do you think?"

Florence Nightingale, Statistical Graphics Pioneer 204

Science News has a fascinating look at an under-appreciated corner of the career of Florence Nightingale — as an innovator in the use of statistical graphics to argue for social change. Nightingale returned from the Crimean War a heroine in the eyes of the British citizenry, for the soldiers' lives she had saved. But she came to appreciate that the way to save far more lives was to reform attitudes in the military about sanitation. Under the tutelage of William Farr, who had just invented the field of medical statistics, she compiled overwhelming evidence (in the form of an 830-page report) of the need for change. "As impressive as her statistics were, Nightingale worried that Queen Victoria's eyes would glaze over as she scanned the tables. So Nightingale devised clever ways of presenting the information in charts. Statistics had been presented using graphics only a few times previously, and perhaps never to persuade people of the need for social change."

Lockheed Gets $485M From NASA To Create MAVEN Craft 94

coondoggie writes to tell us that Lockheed Martin has landed a $485 million contract to create the spacecraft for NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) project. "MAVEN is the second mission in NASA's Mars Scout Program — a series of small, low-cost, principal investigator-led missions to the Red Planet, NASA said. The Phoenix Mars Lander was the first mission under the program. Lockheed Martin is the industry partner on the Phoenix mission. It designed and built the spacecraft, and also provided flight operations and currently surface operations for the lander. The mission has been extended through Sept. 30, 2008."

UK Report Slams EULAs 239

draevil writes "Britain's National Consumer Council has completed an investigation into the practice of software End User License Agreements(EULAs) with the conclusion that many consumers are signing away their legal rights and agreeing to unfair terms, which they could never have scrutinized before purchase. The report also acknowledges that even if the EULA were available prior to purchase, it would be unreasonable to expect an average consumer to understand the terms to which they were agreeing. Here are the full report (PDF) and a summary." The NCC recommends that the European Commission bring softwre licenses under the same consumer protections that apply to other products in the EU.

The 700mhz Spectrum Auction In Perspective 88

YIAAL writes "Writing in Popular Mechanics, Robert X. Cringely looks at the upcoming auction of the 700mbz spectrum, which is currently used for soon-to-be-defunct analog TV. 'Why are all these companies so excited? Because the 60 MHz of spectrum that's about to be auctioned is the last prime real estate for mobile communications that will be available in the U.S. for decades to come ... Some pundits (that would be me) think Google will bid to win its spectrum block, then will trade that block to Sprint/Nextel for some of that company's 2.5-GHz WiMAX licenses that are far better suited for data.' Plus, the prospect of offering unlicensed data service in the 'white space' between existing broadcast channels."

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek