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Hardware Hacking

Home-Built Turing Machine 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.
stronghawk writes "The creator of the Nickel-O-Matic is back at it and has now built a Turing Machine from a Parallax Propeller chip-based controller, motors, a dry-erase marker and a non-infinite supply of shiny 35mm leader film. From his FAQ: 'While thinking about Turing machines I found that no one had ever actually built one, at least not one that looked like Turing's original concept (if someone does know of one, please let me know). There have been a few other physical Turing machines like the Logo of Doom, but none were immediately recognizable as Turing machines. As I am always looking for a new challenge, I set out to build what you see here.'"
Games

Cops Play Wii During Undercover Drug Raid 251

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-250-average-doesn't-just-happen dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Guns drawn, cops busted down the door of a suspected south Florida drug dealer, then proceeded to kick some ass on Wii bowling. A security cam captured some playing video games while others searched for drugs and weapons. Clearly they just misunderstood when they were told to search the house for Weed."
Power

Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City 1006

Posted by kdawson
from the bragging-rights dept.
necro81 writes "General Motors, emerging from bankruptcy, today announced that its upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Volt, will have an EPA rating of 230 mpg for city driving (about 98 km/L). The unprecedented rating, the first in triple digits, is the result of a new (draft) methodology for calculating the 'gas' mileage for vehicles that operate primarily or extensively on electricity. The Volt, due out late next year, can drive approximately 40 miles on its Li-Ion battery pack, after which a gasoline engine kicks in to provide additional electricity to charge the battery. Running off the gasoline engine yields approximately 50 mpg. Of course, the devil's in the details, because the conversion of grid-based electricity to gasoline-mileage is imprecise." Now we know the meaning of the mysterious "230" viral marketing campaign.
Input Devices

The Mice That Didn't Make It 202

Posted by timothy
from the does-anything-beat-a-logitech-marble-mouse? dept.
Harry writes "For every blockbuster of the mouse world (such as Microsoft and Logitech's big sellers) there have been countless mice that flopped, or never made it to market. Mice shaped like pyramids; mice shaped like Mickey; mice that doubled as numeric keypads or phones. Even one that sat on your steering wheel. I've rounded up some evocative patent drawings on twenty notable examples."
Social Networks

Twitter Offline Due To DDoS 398

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the hate-when-that-happens dept.
The elusive Precision dropped a submission in my lap about a DDoS taking down Twitter running on CNet. It's been down for several hours, no doubt wreaking havoc on the latest hawtness in social networking. Won't someone please think of the tweeters? Word is that both Facebook & LiveJournal have been having problems this AM as well.
Microsoft

Bing Search Tainted By Pro-Microsoft Results 582

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the first-be-evil dept.
bdcny7927 writes "Just as Bing is gaining popularity, some disturbingly pro-Microsoft and anti-Apple search results are rearing their ugly heads. Case in point: a search on Bing for the phrase, 'Why is Windows so expensive?' returned this as the top link: 'Why are Macs so expensive.' That's right. You're not hallucinating."
Windows

Windows 7 vs. Windows XP On a Netbook 397

Posted by timothy
from the all-battery-life-claims-are-lies dept.
Justin writes "Many in the industry are counting on Windows 7 to bring the netbook market to the next level. Having netbook manufacturers ship netbooks with 7+ year old Windows XP pre-installed surely deterred some from joining the ranks of households with the small, light and portable netbooks. It seems Microsoft has addressed most of the pitfalls of Windows Vista on a netbook by increasing battery life and performance to be very close to that of the lighter-weight Windows XP. Legit Reviews has the full scoop of battery life and performance tests pitting Windows 7 against Windows XP on the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA Netbook." I'd like to see a follow-up with a few different Netbook-friendly Linux distros, too.
Transportation

Rude Drivers Reduce Traffic Jams 882

Posted by Soulskill
from the earning-that-one-finger-salute dept.
BuzzSkyline writes "Traffic jams are minimized if a significant fraction of drivers break the rules by doing things like passing on the wrong side or changing lanes too close to an intersection. The insight comes from a cellular automata study published this month in the journal Physical Review E. In effect, people who disregard the rules help to break up the groups that form as rule-followers clump together. The risk of jamming is lower if all people obey the rules than if they all disobey them, according to the analysis, but jamming risk is lowest when about 40 percent of people drive like jerks."
Cellphones

Apple Says iPhone Jailbreaking Could Hurt Cell Towers 495

Posted by Soulskill
from the think-of-the-towers dept.
AHuxley writes "Apple suggests that the nation's cellphone networks could be open to 'potentially catastrophic' cyberattacks by iPhone-using hackers at home and abroad if iPhone owners are permitted to legally jailbreak their wireless devices. The Copyright Office is currently considering a request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to legalize the widespread practice of jailbreaking. Apple has responded to the request by saying that if the 'baseband processor' software — which enables a connection to cell phone towers — is exposed, then a user could crash the tower software, or use the Exclusive Chip Identification number to make calls anonymously. Apple also thinks its closed business model is what made the iPhone a success. The Vodafone scandal from a few years back showed how a network could be compromised, but that was from within. So, what do you think? Is Apple playing the 'evil genius' hacker card or can 'anyone' with a smartphone and a genius friend pop a US cell tower?"
Space

Successful Test of Superconducting Plasma Rocket Engine 168

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the to-superconductivity-and-beyond dept.
xp65 writes to mention that Ad Astra has successfully tested their VX-200 plasma engine at full power in superconducting conditions, the first time such an engine has been tested at those power levels. "The VX-200 engine is the first flight-like prototype of the VASIMR® propulsion system, a new high-power plasma-based rocket, initially studied by NASA and now being developed privately by Ad Astra. VASIMR® engines could enable space operations far more efficiently than today's chemical rockets and ultimately they could also greatly speed up robotic and human transit times for missions to Mars and beyond."
Image

Passenger Avoids Delay By Fixing Plane Himself 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the flying-the-diy-skies dept.
It would be a shame if an engineer on a recent Thomas Cook Airlines flight doesn't get a complimentary first class upgrade every time he flies. The engineer was on flight TCX9641 when it was announced that the trip would be delayed eight hours, while a mechanic was flown in to fix a problem. Luckily for the other passengers, the engineer happened to work for Thomsonfly Airlines, which has a reciprocal maintenance agreement with Thomas Cook. After about 35 minutes the man fixed the problem and the flight was on its way. A spokeswoman for Thomas Cook said, "When they announced there was a technical problem he came forward and said who he was. We checked his licence and verified he was who he said he was, and he was able to fix the problem to avoid the delay. We are very grateful that he was on the flight that day."
Medicine

FDA Considers Banning Acetaminophen-Based Pain Killers 631

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the welcome-to-the-nanny-state dept.
Greg George writes "The FDA has determined that Tylenol enhancing pain killers are dangerous enough to potentially be pulled from the market. Drugs including Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Lortab, Maxidone, Norco, Zydone, Tylenol with codeine, Percocet, Endocet, and Darvocet may be permanently banned from the US market, even if the patient has a prescription from a doctor. The problem is the key ingredient — acetaminophen — can easily damage or destroy a patient's liver if more than 2000 mg are used per day. In many cases that means if you take a pain killer and then take two extra strength Tylenol, you may have gone over the maximum dosage per day."
Image

Carnivorous Clock Eats Bugs 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the little-office-of-horrors dept.
Designers James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau have created a clock that is powered by "eating" bugs. The clock traps insects on flypaper stretched across a roller system and then drops them into a vat of bacteria. The insects are then "digested" and the ensuing chemical reaction is transformed into power that keeps the rollers moving and the LCD clock working. The two offer another version that is powered by mice and an even cooler machine that picks insect fuel from spiderwebs with the help of a robotic arm and a video camera.
First Person Shooters (Games)

ZeniMax, Parent Company of Bethesda, Buys id Software 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the elder-scrolls-5-will-have-rocket-launchers dept.
CelticLo writes "ZeniMax Media Inc., parent company of noted game publisher Bethesda Softworks, today announced it has completed the acquisition of legendary game studio id Software, creators of world-renowned games such as Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, and its upcoming title, Rage. In an interview with Kotaku, John Carmack said, 'We're really getting kind of tired competing with our own publishers in terms of how our titles will be featured. And we've really gotten more IPs than we've been able to take advantage of. And working with other companies hasn't been working out as spectacularly as it could. So the idea of actually becoming a publisher and merging Bethesda and ZeniMax on there [is ideal.] It would be hard to imagine a more complementary relationship. They are triple A, top-of-the-line in what they do in the RPGs. And they have no overlap with all the things we do in the FPSes.' The press release confirmed that id's projects will remain under Carmack's control."

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