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Cellphones

Submission + - Hands-on look at the BlackBerry Storm 2->

Barence writes: PC Pro has had time to play with the new BlackBerry Storm 2, and came away impressed. The new touch system garners the most praise, doing away with the mechanical click screen of the original Storm — the new screen gives a kind of localised haptic feedback which "feels just like clicking a button". The phone, announced today, also includes Wi-Fi, BlackBerry OS 5 and increased storage, so it's looking an enticing prospect. After the disappointment of the Palm Pre, could this be the smartphone to beat?
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Submission + - UK copyright group tells cinemas: ban laptops->

Sockatume writes: According to a recent blog post, cinema chain Cineworld now has a policy banning anyone from carrying a laptop into a theatre, even if it is not used. The management claims that this is an anti-piracy move on the advice of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the much-mocked source of all kinds of dubious anti-piracy statements. When it was pointed out that the laptop had no camera, the management made a temporary exception. For customers, the message is clear: leave your laptop in the car. For pirates, the message is clear: there is more money to be made slinking around cinema car parks looking for laptop bags.
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Comment Meds in the drinking water (Score 1) 458

I don't remember which site had the story (I didn't see it in a quick search of /.), but in some cities drinking water contains trace elements of various pharmaceuticals. Since our waste water is processed and used again for drinking water, it's not being filtered out.

So we don't need to add in the meds....everyone else is already on so many meds that it's finding its way into the drinking water on its own.

Comment What's the actual problem? (Score 4, Interesting) 224

Unless I missed it, TFA left out the technical details of the problem and was filled with FUD language instead.

From what I saw on wiki, it's a quasi-DC current. Why can't we just install massive inductors that give high impedance to 60hz and pass DC? Wouldn't that cost less than $45k? Don't we already have static drain chokes? How does this affect current lightning protection shunts (or when they say the protection circuits pop, is that to what they're referring)?

Linemen chime in!

Comment Up, up and away (Score 5, Insightful) 58

What would be really neat is an ATV downlink on UHF so we could watch it. I've always wanted to see the transition where the blue sky disappears.

FYI, APRS is pretty much text messaging for amateur radio. The most popular use is reporting your position (which is what the balloon does), but it's an easy way to pass short digital messages....or even send an email if you're near one of the gateways.

Off topic, but semi-related because of APRS: AT Golden Packet Event. An APRS packet is relayed up the entire Appalachian Trail.

Disclaimer: IAAH (I Am A Ham). dit-dit.

Comment Antenna size (Score 1) 135

It's important to recognize that the size of the antenna is bigger at 700mhz. Remember the old phones with the antenna you extend? 1/4 wave at 700mhz is 4.2 inches. Compared to the 1.2 inches at 2.4ghz, I don't think manufacturers would be able to conceal it within the device and still get good performance.

Privacy

Submission + - Get Out the Tin Hats; dust-speck sized RFID

MedicinalMan writes: According to Pink Tentacle, http://www.pinktentacle.com/2007/02/hitachi-develo ps-rfid-powder/ very tiny RFID chips 0.05mm x 0.05mm will be markted by Hitachi in the next couple of years. The many harmless uses generally involve embedding them in paper (money, gift certificates, admission tickets, etc.). The main specs are: "128-bit ROM for storing a unique 38-digit ID number.The new chips are also 9 times smaller than the prototype chips Hitachi unveiled last year, which measure 0.15 x 0.15 mm." Telescreen: There will be absolutely no uses that involve privacy invasion nor should paranoia increase. Carry on...War is peace...
Space

Submission + - Whistle While You Work? Not in Space.

Ant writes: "ABC News report that astronauts on spacewalks will never, ever be able to whistle while they work in space. Former NASA astronaut, Dan Barry has seven hours of spacewalking time to his credit. He tried whistling during his spacewalk on STS-96 in May 1999. "It wasn't something I hadn't planned — I thought of it on the fly. It turned out that it didn't work." he said. "You can't whistle because the air pressure in the suit is only 4.3 [pounds per square inch], and normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi, so there are not enough air molecules blowing by your lips to make a sound," he said. Seen on Blue's News."

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