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Social Networks

Foursquare-Style Checking In For Couch Potatoes 86

Posted by Soulskill
from the real-life-achievements-are-getting-out-of-hand dept.
This CNN article discusses a new breed of mobile "check-in" apps for people who aren't particularly mobile. The news apps were borne from the popularity of Foursquare, Gowalla, and Facebook Places, but instead of focusing on locations you've been, they spotlight movies and TV shows you watch, as well as books you read and video games you play. "These apps let users earn virtual rewards and meet fans with similar interests. Users also can push their check-ins to other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, to keep the conversation going. They each have their own benefits on top of that, from giving users recommendations based on the things they already like to letting them unlock videos and other extras when they've become 'super fans' of a show. ... While people in the United States may all have different hobbies and engage in different activities away from home, 'we know most people do three things — they eat, they sleep and they watch TV,' [Miso's CEO, Somrat Niyogi said.] 'We think the market is massive. We think this is going to be a much bigger market' than location-based apps, he added."
Crime

Child Porn As a Weapon 774

Posted by Soulskill
from the guilty-until-proven-innocent dept.
VoiceOfDoom writes "Want to get rid of your boss and move up to his position? Put kiddie porn on his computer then call the cops! This was the cunning plan envisaged by handyman Neil Weiner of east London after falling out with school caretaker Edward Thompson too many times. Thankfully, Weiner didn't cover his tracks quite well enough to avoid being found out — earlier boasts about his plan to friends at a BBQ provided the police with enough evidence to arrest him for trying to pervert the course of justice. Frighteningly, however, between being charged with possession of indecent images and being exonerated, innocent (if 'grumpy') Thompson was abused and ostracized for eight months by neighbors and colleagues. With computer forensics for police work often being performed by 'point 'n click'-trained, nearly-retired cops, or languishing in a 6-month queue for private sector firms to attend to it, the uncomfortable question is raised: how easily might this trick have succeeded if Weiner had been a little more intelligent about it?"
Medicine

3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children 386

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-look-at-me-that-way dept.
SchlimpyChicken writes "Turns out 3D television can be inherently dangerous to developing children, and perhaps to adults as well. There's a malaise in children that can prevent full stereopsis (depth perception) from developing, called strabismus or lazy-eye. It is an abnormal alignment of the eyes in which the eyes do not focus on the same object — kind of like when you watch a 3D movie. As a result, depth perception is compromised. Acting on a hunch, the guys over at Audioholics contacted Mark Pesce, who worked with Sega on its VR Headset over 15 years ago — you know, the headset that never made it to market. As it turns out, back then Sega uncovered serious health risks involved with children consuming 3D and quickly buried the reports, and the project. Unfortunately, the same dangers exist in today's 3D, and the electronics, movie, and gaming industries seem to be ignoring the issue. If fully realized, 3D just might affect the vision of millions of children and, according to the latest research, many adults, across the country." The Audioholics article is a good candidate for perusing with Readability — the pseudo-link popups are blinding.

Comment: Re:No effect on bees (Score 1) 542

by SpudB0y (#32414168) Attached to: Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss

GSM and 3G signals should not have any effect of bees. As the waves are too big to have any effect of them. Wavelength of 900Mhz (and 850Mhz) is about 30 cm. It is slightly less at 1800Mhz and 1900Mhz.

In fact, the waves are bigger then bee in size in most cases.

This study needs to repeated few more times before any results can come from it.

GSM waves are bigger than most cellphone antennas, yet they have a pretty significant and measurable effect on them. What's your point?

Earth

Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss 542

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-hear-me-now-wait-where-am-i dept.
krou passes along word from Telegraph.co.uk that researchers from Chandigarh's Punjab University claim that they have proven mobile phones could explain Colony Collapse Disorder. "They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behavior and productivity of bees in two hives — one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two 15-minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed. After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey. The queen bee in the 'mobile' hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive. They also found a dramatic decline in the number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen." We've talked about the honeybee problem before. Today's article quotes a British bee specialist who dismisses talk of cellphone radiation having anything to do with the problem.
Australia

Ancient Cave Art May Depict Giant Bird Extinct For 40,000 Years 137

Posted by Soulskill
from the was-its-best-friend-a-wooly-mammoth dept.
grrlscientist writes "Recently studied Australian Aboriginal rock art may depict a giant bird that is thought to have become extinct some 40,000 years ago, thereby making it the oldest rock painting on the island continent. The red ochre drawing was first discovered two years ago, but archaeologists were only able to confirm the finding two weeks ago, when they first visited the remote site on the Arnhem Land plateau in north Australia. 'Genyornis was a giant flightless bird that was taller and heavier than either the ostrich or emu. It had powerful legs and tiny wings, and probably closely resembled ducks and geese, its closest living relatives. ... Interestingly, Genyornis bones have been excavated in association with human artifacts in Cuddie Springs in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is likely that humans lived alongside these birds, and some scientists think that humans may have contributed to their extinction." Jamie recalled that in the essay "A Lesson from the Old Masters," in the volume Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms, Stephen Jay Gould thanks our ancestors who drew Irish Elk on cave walls for "providing the only possible evidence for a hump that would otherwise have disappeared into the maw of lost history."
Transportation

"Supertaskers" Can Safely Use Mobile Phones While Driving 388

Posted by timothy
from the all-the-children-are-above-average dept.
nk497 writes "While most of us are dangerous when texting, chatting on a phone or being otherwise distracted while driving, one in 40 are actually just fine with such distractions. In a small study, such 'supertaskers' were just as good at driving when carrying on a conversation over a hands-free phone as they were when fully focused. That said, the researchers warned that most people are much worse at driving while chatting and shouldn't do it, adding: 'Given the number of individuals who routinely talk on the phone while driving, one would have hoped that there would be a greater percentage of supertaskers.'" That 1 in 40 aside, reader crimeandpunishment writes "The US Transportation Department is calling for a permanent ban on texting while driving, for interstate truck and bus drivers. An interim ban has been in place since January. The government says it is doing everything it can to make roads safer by reducing the threat of distracted drivers."

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