Dog owners can sleep easy tonight because physicists have discovered how rapidly a wet dog should oscillate its body to dry its fur. Presumably, dogs already know. From the article: "Today we have an answer thanks to the pioneering work of Andrew Dickerson at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and a few buddies. But more than that, their work generates an interesting new conundrum about the nature of shaken fur dynamics. Dickerson and co filmed a number of dogs shaking their fur and used the images to measure the period of oscillation of the dogs' skin. For a labrador retriever, this turns out to be 4.3 Hz."
The Moving Pixels blog has brief discussion of how gimmicky game mechanics often break a player's sense of immersion, making it painfully obvious that he's simply jumping through carefully planned hoops set up by the developers. The author takes an example from Singularity, which has a weapon that can time-shift objects between a pristine, functional state and a broken, decayed state. Quoting: "The core issue with this time control device is that it's just not grand and sweeping enough. It doesn't feel like it's part of a world gone mad. Instead it's just a gameplay tool. You can only use it on certain things in certain places. You can 'un-decay' this chalkboard but not that desk. You can dissolve that piece of cover but not most of the walls in the game. The ultimate failure of such cheap tricks is that they make the game world less immersive rather than more compelling. The world gets divided into those few things that I can time shift, that different set of things I can levitate, and that majority of things that I can't interact with at all. ... I'm painfully aware that all that I'm really doing is pushing the right button at the right place and time. Sure, that's what many games are when you get down to it, but part of the artistry of game design comes from trying to hide this fact."
swandives writes "The Australian Grand Prix F1 event is being held in Melbourne this weekend (27-28 March) and Computerworld Australia has interviewed the technology teams for BMW Sauber, McLaren Racing, Red Bull Racing, and Renault about how they run their IT systems and how technology has changed the sport. Each car has about 100 sensors which capture data and send anywhere up to 20GB back to the pits during a race. The tech guys arrive a week before a race to set everything up — the kit for BMW Sauber weighs close to 3200 kilograms — and when it's all over, they pack it all up and move on to the next event. Good pics too."
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "The file-hosting service Rapidshare is seeking major entertainment industry partners for an online store [to which links containing infringing material will redirect]. The plan is an attempt to bridge the gap between copyright holders and users of the site who distribute infringing material. Similar to many other companies that operate in the file-sharing business, Rapidshare often finds itself caught between two fires. On the one hand it wants to optimize the user experience, but by doing so they have to respect the rights holders to avoid being continuously dragged to court. To ease the minds of some major executives in the entertainment industry, Rapidshare's General Manager Bobby Chang has revealed an ambitious plan through which copyright holders could benefit from the file-hosting service. At the same time, Chang says that his company will target uploaders of copyrighted material — whom he refers to as criminals — more aggressively."