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Comment: Re:He who fails to learn from history... (Score 1) 209

History? What's that? The world didn't exist before me! But honestly, I think we have to form a true civilization before we can degrade from one, and from what I can tell people have just been making stuff up as they go. Our 'civilization' seems like a patchwork that is wearing thin at the seams (institution on top of institution), I think it's time to design a suit(systemic approach) to present ourselves in, you know, all respectable and stuff. You never know when we'll have visitors. Hell, who cares about the visitors, I just don't want my backyard to be diseased and radioactive, damnit.

Comment: Our leader (Score 1) 209

Harper's doing a great job of dumping anything related to science into the trash. It's a sad thing to see something so fundamental pushed aside like rotten food in favour of short term economic gains. So much power with less than 40% of the vote... how about some proportional representation up here, maybe? It seems somewhat disingenuous to ignore thousands of votes and still claim to be a healthy democracy.
Earth

How Europe Will Lower Emissions — Self Driving Cars 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-they-drive-themselves-to-the-recycling-station dept.
thecarchik writes "Scientists in Europe are working closely with industry and government as part of a new initiative called SARTRE (SAfe Road TRains for the Environment), which hopes to develop self-driving technology that will allow vehicles to drive autonomously in long road trains on the highway. The team behind SARTRE has now conducted its first real world test, using a sole Volvo S60 sedan that followed a lead truck around the automaker's test facility near Gothenburg, Sweden. In the video, the driver is free to take his eyes off the road and his hands off the wheel. In fact, he uses neither his hands nor feet during the test. Subsequent phases of the work will be carried out in 2011, and early 2012 will see the concept demonstrated on a five-vehicle road train with strategies handling interaction with other road users."
Science

The Tipping Point of Humanness 272

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the isn't-that-uncanny dept.
sciencehabit writes "Robert Zemeckis, take note. Using videos that morph the face of a baby or man into a doll, researchers have figured out at what point we stop considering a face human — and start considering it artificial. The ability, the researchers say, is key to our survival, enabling us to quickly determine whether the eyes we're looking at have a mind behind them. It may also explain why so many people hated The Polar Express."
Medicine

Placebos Work -- Even Without Deception 430

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the smoke-and-mirrors dept.
An anonymous reader writes "For most of us, the 'placebo effect' is synonymous with the power of positive thinking; it works because you believe you're taking a real drug. But a new study rattles this assumption. Researchers at Harvard Medical School's Osher Research Center and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have found that placebos work even when administered without the seemingly requisite deception. The study was published on December 22 in PLoS ONE."
Mars

Latest Mars Photos Show Frosty Landscapes, Ancient Lakebeds 60

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wouldn't-wanna-live-there dept.
Phoghat writes "A new batch of images has been released by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissaince Orbiter and as usual they are stunning. In the first image, there is a lot going on! Numerous dust devil tracks have left criss cross marks. The second is an image of what could have been a once habitable lake. There are more, including a possible future landing site."
Government

Electric Cars May Be Made Noisier By Law 620

Posted by timothy
from the this-one-goes-to-11 dept.
msgtomatt writes "The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act would require electric cars and hybrids to make noise, and would fund the Department of Transportation to create a set of rules for automakers, who would be allowed some leeway in how they carry out the guidelines." Downloadable and do-it-yourself car-tones are the future: my own snoring could keep deer and toddlers off the road.
The Internet

Obama FCC Caves On Net Neutrality 853

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lets-go-spelunking dept.
An anonymous reader writes "...the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow's FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet. The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it's become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users."
Cellphones

Thought-Controlled Apps On Android May Not Be Far 72

Posted by timothy
from the add-gps-and-stir dept.
Julie188 writes "A small PC device company wants to bring thought-controlled apps to the Android market. Mind Technologies (once known by the cute name of Jedi Mind) has promised to make it so. Mind Technologies makes PC devices (a game controller and mouse) that work with the strange-but-true Emotiv headset. Emotiv uses brain waves to operate machines. Although it sounds far fetched, electroencephalogram (EEG) controllers do work, but the products on the market so far are not as easy to use, let alone master, as their makers claim."
Music

RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble 367

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "RIAA executives have written a letter to PCMag expressing 'deep disappointment' for publishing an article on Limewire Alternatives. While the article includes a disclaimer from PCMag that it does not condone the download of copyrighted or illegal material, RIAA executives believe that 'PCMag is slyly encouraging people to steal more music.' The letter goes on to ask PCMag to retract the article from their website. PCMag's Editor in Chief has responded to the letter by stating that music industry's charges remain groundless and that it reeks of desperation. He points out that PCMag covers all aspects of technology, which includes the products, services and activities that some groups and individuals might deem objectionable. He defends publishing the article by saying 'We covered these Limewire alternatives because we knew they would be of interest to our readers. We understand that some might use them to illegally download content. We cannot encourage that action, but also cannot stop it. Reporting on the existence of these services does neither.' PCMag has also refused to retract the article."

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