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Robotic Audi To Brave Pikes Peak Without a Driver 197

Scifi83 writes "A team of researchers at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) has filled the trunk of an Audi TTS with computers and GPS receivers, transforming it into a vehicle that drives itself. The car will attempt Pikes Peak without a driver at race speeds, something that's never been done."

Comcast Launches Broadband Meter 199

nlawalker writes "Beginning on Tuesday, January 12, Comcast high-speed internet users in Washington state will have access to an online tool that displays their bandwidth usage for the most recent three calendar (not billing) months of usage, including the current month. Washington is the second market to receive access to the tool, following its introduction in Portland. 'For the fraction of less than 1 percent of our customers who are concerned about exceeding our excessive use threshold, we believe this meter will help them monitor and calibrate their usage,' said spokesman Steve Kipp. Perhaps those who aren't using 250GB a month should take it as a challenge."

Comment Re:got my gvoice number this week (Score 2, Informative) 86

The problem is that Google has made themselves into a phone company, [emph. added] but don't want to play by phone company rules.

This is fundamentally wrong. There is no way to place or receive phone calls without an existing phone service.

(SMS messages are slightly different because with Google Voice you can send and receive SMS without another phone service. However, no landline phone services (that I know of) support SMS, so I don't believe that's relevent.)

Comment Re:lim-0 (Score 1) 495

As long as the data is being transmitted, it doesn't really weight anything.

However, since E=mc^2, the photons traveling in this transmission have a non-zero equivalent mass:

Assuming a distance of 1.861 AU from Earth to Mars (according to Wolfram|Alpha), light takes 15.48 minutes to travel from Earth to Mars. Assuming a bandwidth of 5 times dial up speed, 35 kB/s, this gives us only 32 MB of transient storage. This 5x dial-up speed is achieved with a radio transmitting at, say, 500 kilowatts (this number is completely, utterly pulled out of my ass).

Using E= mc^2, (500kW * 15.48 minutes)/(c^2) = 5.17 micrograms. So, thats 5.17 micrograms / 32 MB * 1 PB giving 173.35 grams for a petabyte!

Comment Re:As usual with new Firefox releases... (Score 1) 436

Yeah, I thought the same, a convenient way to browse. And being able to close FF and open it later on with all my tabs intact, that's even better.

Have they fixed the annoying "bug" where having the Downloads window open causes Firefox not to ask you to save the tabs for later? The Downloads window shouldn't count as an open FF window.

Comment Re:Eh (Score 4, Insightful) 519

Amazingly, that now pretty much describes the bottom end Mac Pro...

...Except for the price tag.

Except for the price tag and the use of overpriced server-class components, yes. The really screwy thing, of course, is that the 24" iMacs all have 4GB of RAM, whereas the hideously expensive quad-core Mac Pro has only 3GB (and you can bet Apple will charge through the nose for more).

And you can bet that it has 3GB because it's using triple-channel DDR3, which is required with the latest Core i7 processors and boards.

Comment Re:So....what about TV? (Score 2, Interesting) 1079

Do I need to download my library again, (and thereby lose the totally pointless play count next to my songs? What will I do? That's how I keep score damnit!)

iTunes separates the metadata from the data somewhat: a song entry in the iTunes database has a pointer to a file.
I updated my library to iTunes Plus when it first was released, and I didn't lose anything (play counts, ratings, and playlists!)


Microsoft To Open Source Some of Silverlight 204

Kurtz writes with word that Microsoft is about to follow in Adobe's footsteps by releasing the source code to part of its Silverlight technology. The news comes less than a week after Adobe announced plans to open source the Flex SDK. Microsoft is hungry to build the developer base for its rich Internet app tools, if it can.

Public Iris Scanning Device In the Works 154

Nonfinity writes "A public iris scanning device has been proposed in a patent application from Sarnoff Labs in New Jersey. The device is able to scan the iris of the eye without the knowledge or consent of the person being scanned. The device uses multiple cameras, captures multiple images, and then selects the best image to process."

Novell "Forking" 370

l2718 writes to mention that In the wake of their recent deal with Microsoft, Novell has announced a new version of which will support Microsoft's planned Office formal, Open XML. From the article: "The translators will be made available as plug-ins to Novell's product. Novell will release the code to integrate the Open XML format into its product as open source and submit it for inclusion in the project. As a result, end users will be able to more easily share files between Microsoft Office and, as documents will better maintain consistent formats, formulas and style templates across the two office productivity suites."

Viral Fossil Brought Back To Life 320

hey hey hey writes "In a controversial study, researchers have resurrected a retrovirus that infected our ancestors millions of years ago and now sits frozen in the human genome. Published online by Genome Research this week, the study may shed new light on the history of these genomic intruders, as well as their role in tumors. Although this particular virus, dubbed Phoenix, is a wimpy one, some argue that resuscitating any ancient virus is inherently risky and that the study should have undergone stricter reviews."

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle