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Submission + - Engineers Invent Acoustic Equivalent of One-Way Glass

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Up until now, acoustic waves traveling between two points in space always exhibited a basic symmetry summed up with the phrase, “if you can hear, you can also be heard.” Not anymore as Tia Ghose reports at Live Science that a team at UT Austin has created a “nonreciprocal acoustic circulator," the first step that could lead to the sound equivalent of a one-way mirror.” All waves — whether visible light, sound, radio or otherwise — have a physical property known as time reversal symmetry so a wave sent one way can always be sent back. For radio waves, researchers figured out how to break this rule using magnetic materials that set electrons spinning in one direction. The resulting radio waves detect the difference in the material in one direction versus the other, preventing reverse transmission. To accomplish the feat with sound waves, the team created a cavity loaded with tiny CPU fans that spin the air with a specific velocity. The air is spinning in one direction, so the flow of air "feels" different to the wave in one direction versus the other, preventing backward transmission. As a result, sound waves can go in, but they can't go the other way. The result is one-directional sound. With such a device, people can hear someone talking, but they themselves cannot be heard.The findings will likely lead to many useful applications, says Sebastien Guenneau "I would be surprised if sound industries do not pick up this idea. This could have great applications in sound insulation of motorways, music studios, submarines and airplanes."

Submission + - Judge rules BitTorrent cases must be tried separately (

PhrostyMcByte writes: TorrentFreak reports that Iowa Judge Stephanie Rose recently put a thorn in the plans of copyright holders hoping to file cheap mass-doe lawsuits against alleged pirates. Rejecting all but one Doe for such a lawsuit, Rose's order mentions that the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate the five Does in the case were a part of the same "transaction" needed to be tried together, with an uncommon understanding of BitTorrent showing that "...even in all five cases where Doe defendants allegedly have “hit dates” on the same day and close in time, there is no showing that the earlier defendants were still connected to the Internet and actively distributing data through the BitTorrent client at the same time as the later defendants."

Review: Halo: Reach Screenshot-sm 191

The launch of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 vaulted Bungie to the top of the game development industry and helped provide a stable foundation for the success of the original Xbox. Nine years later, having completed a trilogy and a standalone expansion for the Halo universe, Bungie has returned to the IP one last time for a prequel called Halo: Reach. They clearly wanted to do right by the fans and the franchise with their final sendoff, and the effort they put into the game reflects that. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.

Review: Mass Effect 2 Screenshot-sm 331

Mass Effect debuted a little over two years ago to almost universal praise, getting high marks for the rich story, endless exploration options, and entertaining gameplay. Despite the game's success, BioWare listened closely to player feedback, promising to revamp the parts of the game that needed improvement while developing the sequel. They didn't hesitate to refine the elements they wanted to keep and do away with the ones they didn't. The result is a familiar, but much more streamlined experience. Rather than being a shooter with a great story added in, Mass Effect 2 a great story that often has you shoot things. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.

Comment Re:google wave? come on now... (Score 1) 266

A post above outlined that there are three types of communication: synchronous (two-way), asynchronous (one-way) and broadcasted. Google Wave is a combination of the three, in that you can utilize all of them at the same time within one system (except for email, which can interact with other systems as usual).

Because it is restricted to one system, namely Google's, it won't reach critical mass until either other current systems can work with it somehow or Wavelets become an open standard and can be added onto current systems as-is. I hope that Google's pushing for the latter direction, as it's quite an interesting technology...

Comment Re:A few problems and some solutions (Score 1) 344

Yes, both four and five finger pinches would use your thumb.

But try it - it's really awkward to hold your pinky (or any other single finger) up for any length of time (at least I find it so). Perhaps it's not for some people, the way some people can easily do the vulcan thing and others not (I can't at all).

If you are going to totally redefine user input, you have to take into account something a large number of people cannot do.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito