Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Economic Times reports on the first working prototypes of a new technology that would measure blood alcohol content in a driver's fingertips, using sophisticated touch-based sensors situated in steering wheels and door locks and engineers say that unlike court-ordered breath-analyzer ignition locks, which require a driver to blow into a tube and wait a few seconds for the result, their systems will analyze a driver's blood-alcohol content in less than one second. Anti-drunken driving crusaders believe that almost 9,000 road traffic deaths could be prevented every year if alcohol detection devices were used in all vehicles to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from driving their vehicles. 'We believe this might turn the car into the cure for the elimination of drunk driving,' says Laura Dean-Mooney, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. But not everyone is enamored of the device which could be available to automakers in eight to 10 years. 'For ordinary, law-abiding citizens, it's an invasion of their privacy,' says Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party."
nonprofiteer writes "Mark Jensen's home computer revealed Internet searches for botulism, poisoning, pipe bombs and mercury fulminate. A website was visited that explained how to reverse the polarity of a swimming pool — the Jensens had a pool — by switching the wires around, likening the result to the 4th of July. The State pointed out the absence of Internet searches on topics like separation, divorce, child custody or marital property. Julie Jensen died as a result of ethylene glycol in her system, an ingredient found in antifreeze. On the morning of her death, someone attempted to 'double-delete' (apparently unsuccessfully) the computer's browsing history, which included a search for 'ethylene glycol poisoning.'" What if searches for devious, undetectable methods of murder were in everyone's history?
aesoteric writes "Google has revealed that aerial fiber links to its data center in Oregon were 'regularly' shot down by hunters, forcing the company to put its cables underground. Hunters were reportedly trying to hit insulators on electricity distribution poles, which also hosted aerially-deployed fiber connected to Google's $600 million data center in The Dalles. 'I have yet to see them actually hit the insulator, but they regularly shoot down the fiber,' Google's network engineering manager Vijay Gill told a conference in Australia. 'Every November when hunting season starts invariably we know that the fiber will be shot down, so much so that we are now building an underground path [for it].'"
TechkNighT_1337 sends news that surfaced on the Next Big Future blog, concerning research out of the University of Bengal, in India. The report is of a possible superconducting effect at ambient room temperatures. Here is the paper on the ArXiv. (Note that this research has not been peer-reviewed or published yet.) "We report the observation of an exceptionally large room-temperature electrical conductivity in silver and aluminum layers deposited on a lead zirconate titanate (PZT) substrate. The surface resistance of the silver-coated samples also shows a sharp change near 313 K. The results are strongly suggestive of a superconductive interfacial layer, and have been interpreted in the framework of Bose-Einstein condensation of bipolarons as the suggested mechanism for high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates. ... The fact that the results described above have been obtained from very simply-fabricated systems, without the use of any sophisticated set-up and any special attention being given to crystal purity, atomic perfection, lattice matching, etc. suggests that the physical process is a universal one, involving only an interface between a metal and an insulator with a large low-frequency dielectric constant. We note in passing that PZT and the cuprates have similar (perovskite or perovskite-based) crystal structures. This resemblance may provide an added insight into the basic mechanism of high-temperature superconductivity."
Jack Shephard lives!
No, no. He died on the island. That church was just purgatory or something.
An anonymous reader writes "The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico could be stopped with an underground nuclear blast, a Russian newspaper reports. Komsomoloskaya Pravda, the best-selling Russian daily, reports that in Soviet times such leaks were plugged with controlled nuclear blasts underground. The idea is simple, KP writes: 'The underground explosion moves the rock, presses on it, and, in essence, squeezes the well's channel.' It's so simple, in fact, that the Soviet Union used this method five times to deal with petrocalamities, and it only didn't work once."
rueger writes "Over a couple of years I have actually found Facebook pretty useful and/or entertaining. It has certainly allowed me to stay connected with a lot of people with whom I otherwise would have lost track, and for all its weaknesses it was handy for sharing links and such. This week, though, the privacy escapades have pushed me (and a lot of other people) over the edge. If Twitter's 140 characters aren't enough, LinkedIn is too business-oriented, MySpace too ugly, and Buzz — does anyone even use Buzz? What social media options are out there for all of those non-uber-techy folks?"
gollum123 writes "Think we'd all be better off if HTML5 could somehow instantly replace Flash overnight? Not necessarily, according to a set of comparisons from Jan Ozer of the Streaming Learning Center website, which found that while HTML5 did come out ahead in many respects, it wasn't exactly a clear winner. They did find that HTML5 clearly performed better than Flash 10 or 10.1 in Safari on a Mac, although the differences were less clear cut in Google Chrome or Firefox. On the other hand, Flash more than held its own on Windows, and Flash Player 10.1 was actually 58% more efficient than HTML5 in Google Chrome on the Windows system tested. As you may have deduced, one of the big factors accounting for that discrepancy is that Flash is able to take advantage of GPU hardware acceleration in Windows, while Adobe is effectively cut out of the loop on Mac." gollum123 also links to additional tests indicating that Flash "does not perform consistently worse on Mac than on Windows."
Hugh Pickens writes "The Raw Story reports that terrorists who want to overthrow the United States government must now register with South Carolina's Secretary of State and declare their intentions — or face a $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. The 'Subversive Activities Registration Act' passed last year in South Carolina and now officially on the books states that 'every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States ... shall register with the Secretary of State.'"
theodp writes "Speaking at Discovery Forum 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak went off topic and spoke about a 'very scary' problem with his 2010 Toyota Prius. 'I don't get upset and teed off at things in life, except computers that don't work right,' said Woz, who went on to explain he'd been trying to get through to Toyota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for three months, but could not get anyone to explore an alleged software-related acceleration problem. 'I have a new model that didn't get recalled,' Steve said. 'This new model has an accelerator that goes wild but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again — safely.' Toyota said it investigates all complaints. 'We're in the business of investigating complaints, assessing problems and finding remedies,' said Toyota's John Hanson. 'After man-years of exhaustive testing we have not found any evidence of an electronic [software] problem that would have led to unwanted acceleration.'" We recently discussed other problems Toyota has had with electronic acceleration systems.
VonGuard writes "Facebook has gotten fed up with the speed of PHP. The company has been working on a skunkworks project to rewrite the PHP runtime, and on Tuesday of this week, they will be announcing the availability of their new PHP runtime as an open source project. The rumor around this began last week when the Facebook team invited some of the core PHP contributors to their campus to discuss some new open source project. I've written up everything I know about this story on the SD Times Blog."
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports that using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii, astronomers have discovered what may be the coolest sub-stellar body ever found outside our own solar system. Too small to be stars and with insufficient mass to maintain hydrogen-burning nuclear fusion reactions in their cores, 'brown dwarfs' have masses smaller than stars but larger than gas giant planets like Jupiter, with an upper limit in between 75 and 80 Jupiter masses. 'This looks like the fourth time in three years that the UKIRT has made a record breaking discovery of the coolest known brown dwarf, with an estimated temperature not far above 200 degrees Celsius,' says Dr. Philip Lucas at the University of Hertfordshire. Due to their low temperature these objects are very faint in visible light, and are detected by their glow at infrared wavelengths. The object known as SDSS1416+13B is in a wide orbit around a somewhat brighter and warmer brown dwarf, SDSS1416+13A, and the pair is located between 15 and 50 light years from the solar system, which is quite close in astronomical terms."
I'm going as Bill Nye the Science Guy and you know that's gonna drive 'em wild.
What about the pain I would experience not being allowed to eat sweet, delicious crab?
I know that illegal search and seizure, freedom of assembly and all that are pertinent here. If real, face bandana-wearing Anarchists are involved, well... I've seen some Anarchist "protests" in person that were very much not on the legal side of things. They involved destruction of public property and provoking police officers. If that's what these groups were meeting to plan, then there is some level of justification. Something in the realm of Conspiracy to Commit *insert felony here*.