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NASA Tests Flying Airbag 118

Posted by samzenpus
from the drop-the-cloud-anchor dept.
coondoggie writes "NASA is looking to reduce the deadly impact of helicopter crashes on their pilots and passengers with what the agency calls a high-tech honeycomb airbag known as a deployable energy absorber. So in order to test out its technology NASA dropped a small helicopter from a height of 35 feet to see whether its deployable energy absorber, made up of an expandable honeycomb cushion, could handle the stress. The test crash hit the ground at about 54MPH at a 33 degree angle, what NASA called a relatively severe helicopter crash."
Medicine

Depression May Provide Cognitive Advantages 512

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the see-it's-an-advantage dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Paul W. Andrews and J. Anderson Thomson, Jr. argue in Scientific American that although depression is considered a mental disorder, depression may in fact be a mental adaptation which provides real benefits. This is not to say that depression is not a problem. Depressed people often have trouble performing everyday activities, they can't concentrate on their work, they tend to socially isolate themselves, they are lethargic, and they often lose the ability to take pleasure from such activities such as eating and sex. So what could be so useful about depression? 'Depressed people often think intensely about their problems,' write the authors. 'These thoughts are called ruminations; they are persistent and depressed people have difficulty thinking about anything else. Numerous studies have also shown that this thinking style is often highly analytical. They dwell on a complex problem, breaking it down into smaller components, which are considered one at a time.' Various studies have found that people in depressed mood states are better at solving social dilemmas and there is evidence that people who get more depressed while they are working on complex problems in an intelligence test tend to score higher on the test (PDF). 'When one considers all the evidence, depression seems less like a disorder where the brain is operating in a haphazard way, or malfunctioning. Instead, depression seems more like the vertebrate eye — an intricate, highly organized piece of machinery that performs a specific function.'"

Comment: Re:Pleo? Ugobe? (Score 1) 79

by Spleen (#27707261) Attached to: Ugobe, Maker of Pleo, Files For Bankruptcy

I believe there are many in this community that are willing to spend $200 on a toy. If I were to purchase a new video card for ~$200 to play games on my computer, I would consider that a toy. All the current generation gaming consoles are also in that range or above. Some may not consider them toys, but I do.. and so does dictionary.com

Comment: Re:Confusion (Score 1) 334

by Spleen (#26732515) Attached to: US Digital TV Switchover Delayed Until June

Don't get my wrong, I love my TiVo box, but TiVo isn't prompt with keeping up with listings changes. I own 2 units and everytime my cable provider has added/removed or shuffled channels, I have to enter a ticket. It takes about a week after the ticket is entered for it to be updated.

So while I agree that this isn't going to eliminate confusion, I have no sympathy for any hardship bestowed on TiVo's update department.

Comment: Re:Ex-Gateway customer. (Score 1) 137

by Spleen (#26306829) Attached to: MPC Computers Shutting Down

We left Gateway 3 years ago. We felt this coming, and wanted to get out before our warranties were up. We got close.

We went to Dell for a year.. then they jacked up prices. We've been buying dc5750's for 2 years. Now are moving to dc5850's. The dc5750 has been pretty solid, so far HP has been good to us. It's been nice to have a model last so long.

Google

+ - Google is starting to act like monopoly 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Fortune Magazine) — What was good for our country was good for General Motors, and vice versa. — Charles E. Wilson, president of GM, 1953 What is it about powerful companies that makes them conflate their own selfish interests with those of their customers, their industry, and even the world at large? This is especially true in high tech. You could plug the name of any prominent Fortune 500 tech company into Charles Wilson's famous quote, and the result would sound like a mission statement for some of our most notorious corporate bullies. "What's good for Microsoft is good for the Internet." Oops, that's how Gates & Co. ran afoul of federal trustbusters as they trampled Netscape underfoot Seriously, when a company attains extreme market domination, hubris and a sense of infallibility can't be far behind. It's only a matter of time before said market dominator tries to tell everyone else how to run their businesses. The latest example is Google (Charts, Fortune 500), which lobbied hard in Washington to dictate the terms of an upcoming FCC auction of radio spectrum. The frequencies, currently used for UHF television, are to be sold next January. In 2009 the winning bidders will take their swaths of spectrum and unleash a new and (they hope) profitable era of data-intensive wireless devices — smartphones, media players, car computers and gizmos no one's thought of yet. Why would the Google guys bother themselves with this auction? After all, the company isn't even in the big-time telecom biz ... yet. The answer is simple. Google wants to take its breathtakingly profitable targeted advertising beyond PCs and inject it into any other medium it can find, whether it be radio or TV or even newspapers and magazines. But the biggest prize of all may be cellphones. Why? Because there are so damn many of them, and they're behaving more and more like pocket-sized, full-blown computers (e.g. the iPhone). Now we come to the hubris part. Google promised the FCC it would bid at least $4.6 billion to purchase spectrum rights — but only if the FCC met all of Google's terms. Specifically, the FCC must ensure that all networks using the new parcels of spectrum be "open platforms." That means four things: (1) The new networks must allow consumers to use any device they desire; (2) they would support standard software like Internet browsers and e-mail; (3) network operators would be required to lease some capacity to other providers; and (4) the new networks would all have to be mutually compatible. In other words, Google wants this spectrum to behave a lot like the Internet. Sounds reasonable. Wouldn't it be nice to use your cellphone on any network you wanted? But traditional telecom powers like Verizon (Charts, Fortune 500) and AT&T (Charts, Fortune 500), which run tightly controlled wireless networks, felt blindsided when they first heard of Google's demands. Allow any old device to plug into their new networks to run any old software? That's giving away the store! Even more galling was the notion of being forced to lease out capacity to all comers. If they pay billions for spectrum, shouldn't they be entitled to use it as they see fit? What are we, communists? http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/06/technology/google_ schlender.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2007080706 "
Music

Store Says DRM Causes 3 of 4 Support Calls 155

Posted by kdawson
from the cost-shifting dept.
Carter writes "Ars Technica is reporting that Musicload, one of Europe's largest movie stores, has found that 75% of its customer support problems are caused by DRM. Users have frequent problems using the music that they have purchased, which has led Musicload to try selling independent label music without DRM. Artists choosing to abandon DRM in favor of good old-fashioned MP3 have seen 40% growth in sales since December. Good to see someone in the business both 'gets it' and is willing to do something about it."
Businesses

+ - Phone Companies Blocking Numbers

Submitted by ePhil_One
ePhil_One (634771) writes "The major phone companies; Cingular/AT&T, Sprint, and Qwest; have begun blocking access to a free conferencing service. The service is FreeConference.com and their FAQ has details (Read #4, "I received an email recently concerning number blocking by some major phone carriers. Is this a legitimate issue from your company?"). This seems to be a pretty egregious offense. Now, I'm not beyond seeing this as a publicity stunt (I've used them often and have AT&T as my Long Distance carrier without incident), and I have seen no replies posted from any of the cariers either way. But its a potentially important issue that should get out there as soon as possible if true, and if not the "dot com" needs to see this stunt backfire in a very loud way."

"The geeks shall inherit the earth." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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