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Top Tech Breakthroughs of 2008 116

As we approach the end of the year it's time once again for the never-ending stream of retrospectives and year-in-review discussions. Wired has their version of the best technology breakthroughs of 2008. From phones to shrinking laptops to flexible displays, there is no shortage of interesting advancements when looking back at this year. What other groundbreaking advancements were made this year, and what do we have to look forward to for 2009?

Ants Used For Mind-Controlled Robotic Limbs 82

mr sanjeev writes "Australian researchers are reducing the divide between science fiction and science reality by bringing the development of mind-controlled robotic limbs a few steps closer. Even the most fertile science fiction imagination might not see a link between the behavior of ant colonies and the development of lifelike robotic limbs, but that is the straightforward mathematical reality of research underway at the University of Technology, Sydney. The technology mimics the myoelectric signals used by the central nervous system (CNS) to control muscle activity. Artificial intelligence researchers have long used the complex interactions between ants to construct a pattern recognition formula to identify bioelectric signals. PhD student Rami Khushaba said 'swarm-intelligence' allows scientists to understand the body's electrical signals and use the knowledge to create a robotic prosthetic device that can be operated by human thought."
The Almighty Buck

X Prize For a 100-MPG Car 741

Heinen writes in about the X Prize Foundation, which spurred innovation by offering US $10 million for the first privately built spacecraft. The Foundation now plans to offer millions for the first practical car that increases mileage five-fold. The specs for the competition are out in draft form amd call for cars in two categories that are capable of 100 MPG in tests to be run in 2009. The categories are: 4-passenger/4-wheel; and 2-passenger/unspecified wheels. The cars must be manufacturable, not "science projects. The prize is expected to top $10 million. The X Prize Foundation says that so far it has received more than 1,000 inquiries from possible competitors.

Free Comic Book Day 2006 84

Julio Ojeda-Zapata writes "It's Free Comic Book Day (May 6), and what better way to mark the occasion than a comic about comic books? A reporter and artist at the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press newspaper teamed up to honor the comic-book form -- imitation is the finest form of flattery, as they say. The comic is available online as a slide show, as well as in downloadable PDF form. As a bonus, the paper's 2001 manga-style tribute to manga (by the same artist, but with a dramatically different look and feel) has been reposted." More information is available at the official Free Comic Book Day 2006 site.

It Does Little and Not Very Well 318

wiredog writes "A Washington Post (frryyy) review of the Nokia 770 Internet Tablet, a handheld Linux device. The reviewer complains about the lack of keyboard, poor WiFi implementation, outdated software, non-standard memory card, and almost as many crashes as an unpatched Win98 install."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Xbox 360 for one of my Slashdot friends 3

Hi all.

I have an extra Xbox 360 Core system that I would rather sell to one of my Slashdot friends than some random dude on an auction site.

Email your best offer in the $700 range to me at

I also request that whoever gets it from me sends a pic back of you or your kid playing it so I get some joy out of the hours I stood waiting in line in the cold while sick :)

Comment How can you think about this NOW?! (Score -1, Offtopic) 370

User Journal

Journal Journal: TGIF 2

I hope your Friday is going well!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Damn Slashdot janitors 1

For some reason the janitors have my home IP or subnet blocked from posting comments so I was unable to comment and participate in the MNF pick'em last nite.

Instructions: Post a comment below expressing your disgust with a particular way this site is run

User Journal

Journal Journal: Winner of this week's NFL pick'em & Pick'em for MNF tonite! 1

Work Account (that is me) won this week's NFL pick'em challenge 6-4, besting the 2nd place finisher ShadowWrought.

Pick'em for tonite's Monday Night Football game but be sure to include the total # of points scored. Whoever picks the winning team and has the point total closest to the real total (going over is OK, this is not the Price Is Right) wins.

Monday, October 31, 2005
9:00 pm
Baltimore 2-4
Pittsburgh 4-2

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pick 10 NFL teams to win this weekend 2

Comment below before 1pm Eastern time on Sunday October 30th with 10 teams you think will win.

That is, out of the 13 Sunday games listed below, pick who you think will win in 10 out of the 13 games.

The Slashdotter with the highest % of being correct wins!

I'll announce the winner Monday morning!

All times are US/Eastern

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten