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Comment: Another use for the Rockbox recorder (Score 5, Interesting) 66

by StealthSock (#41511187) Attached to: RockBox + Refurbished MP3 Players = Crowdsourced Audio Capture
My ears got plugged up while swimming and I could barely hear the next day. Rockbox's recorder function outputs the microphone to headphones even when it is not recording. That $30 Clip+ worked reasonably well as a makeshift hearing aid, as long as I was facing the person I was trying to hear.
Network

MIT Researchers Make Advance Toward Photonic Circuits 55

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the look-into-the-light dept.
MrSeb writes with this excerpt from an article in Extreme Tech: "Light-emitting diodes are a cornerstone of consumer tech. They make thin-and-light TVs and smartphones possible, provide efficient household, handheld, and automobile illumination, and, of course, without LEDs your router would not have blinkenlights. Thanks to some engineers from MIT, though, a new diode looks set to steal the humble LED's thunder. Dubbed a diode for light, and crafted using standard silicon chip fabrication techniques, this is a key discovery that will pave the path to photonic (as opposed to electronic) pathways on computer chips and circuit boards. The diode for light — which is made from a thin layer of garnet — is transparent in one direction, but opaque in the other. Garnet is usually hard to deposit on a silicon wafer, but the MIT researchers found a way to do it."
Medicine

Why Some People Don't Have Fingerprints 159

Posted by Soulskill
from the are-they-diabolical-masterminds dept.
sciencehabit writes "A small number of people in the world don't have fingerprints. The condition is known as adermatoglyphia, and one scientist has dubbed it the 'immigration delay disease' because sufferers have such a hard time entering foreign countries. In addition to smooth fingertips, they also produce less hand sweat than the average person. Now researchers have identified the genetic mutation behind the condition (abstract)."

Comment: Misleading title (Score 2) 642

by StealthSock (#36494128) Attached to: Bitcoin Price Crashes
If you check a competing exchange, you will find that the price of bitcoins has gone from $17 to $13. How does that constitute a crash when the price of a BTC had fluctuated down to around $13 within 48 hours before the breach? This is a security breach that only affected people using MtGox to trade their bitcoins for USD, so the trust in MtGox has been undermined, not the trust in the entire BTC economy. Most traders will likely move over to tradehill.com or some other competing exchange who have hopefully learned some lessons from MtGox's failures. The thing about currency is that if it is not properly secured, it can be stolen. When someone robs a bank or steals a wallet, do we stop trusting paper money or do we just work that much harder to keep it secure?
Earth

High-Tech Gas Drilling Is Fouling Drinking Water 390

Posted by Soulskill
from the sometimes-you-have-to-roll-a-hard-six dept.
sciencehabit writes "Drilling for natural gas locked deep in a shale formation — a process known as fracking — has seriously contaminated shallow groundwater supplies beneath far northeastern Pennsylvania with flammable methane. That's the conclusion of a new study, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The analysis gives few clues, however, to how pervasive such contamination might be across the wide areas of the Northeast United States, Texas, and other states where drilling for shale gas has taken off in recent years."

Comment: Re:Are we finally using the term "pirates" correct (Score 1) 63

by StealthSock (#34446508) Attached to: Doorways Sneak To Non-Default Ports of Hacked Servers
First sentence in TFA: "A year ago I blogged about how hackers managed to hijack hundreds of high-profile websites to make them promote online stores that sold pirated software at about 5-10% of a real cost." When they say pirates, they are referring to the fact that these web sites were built to sell pirated software. Even a profession that was not in the tech black market category would have fit in the summary. For example "To drive traffic to their web sites full of illegal and potentially poisonous recipes, rogue chefs hack reputable legitimate websites injecting hidden spammy links and creating doorway pages."
Power

UAV Helicopter Flies 12 Hours Charged By Laser 83

Posted by timothy
from the shine-on-harvest-moon dept.
garymortimer writes "LaserMotive (who last year won $900,000 in the NASA Power Beaming Challenge, one of the levels of the 'Space Elevator Games') have teamed up with Germany's Ascending Technologies to create an indoor flight record for electrically powered multicopters. The flight took place at the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Mukilteo, WA. LaserMotive is a Seattle-based company developing laser power beaming systems to transmit electricity without wires, for applications where wires are either cost prohibitive or physically impractical."
Image

British Pizza Chain To Install Cones of Silence 122 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the sound-of-silence dept.
itwbennett writes "British pizza chain Pizza Express is installing iPod docks and soundproof domes in booths of their new iPizzeria stores. 'The idea is that you can plug in your iPod and play whatever music you like without disturbing other diners,' says blogger Peter Smith. 'But I'm sure it'd work for talking about government secrets and other spy stuff, too.'"
Input Devices

Modded Nintendo Lets You Play Mario With Your Eyes 112

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the ever-more-lazy dept.
hasanabbas1987 writes "A group of engineers going by Waterloo Labs in Austin, Texas created a way of controlling an original NES by simply moving your eyes. By using electrodes placed around the eyes to track the movement of a players eyeballs, they were able to jury rig a Nintendo to accept eye movement as controller input." Quite the production on the video (attached below) too.

Comment: Cost control (Score 2, Funny) 565

by StealthSock (#30433444) Attached to: Broadband Rights & the Killer App of 1900
Before and during FDR's administration, the free market electric company shills argued that providing "socialized electricity" would be a disaster financially since generating electricity was supposedly so expensive that there was no way the government could provide cheaper service. To back up their claims, they pointed to a few mismanaged municipal electric programs as proof that it could never work. In reality, many of the electric companies were enjoying fat monopolies and wanted to keep their operations small scale so they could keep prices high. The government finally stepped in during the 1930's and proved that electricity did not have to be so expensive if the provider did not have profit as their only motivation. This sounds so familiar to another debate over other services that should or should not be "socialized" come to think of it...
Power

Generating Power From Ocean Buoys and Kites 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-see-my-house-from-here dept.
cheezitmike writes "Researchers at Oregon State University are testing a new type of wave-energy converter to generate electricity from ocean waves: 'Even when the ocean seems calm, swells are moving water up and down sufficiently to generate electricity. ... For decades the challenge has been to build a device that can withstand monster waves and gale-force winds, not to mention corrosive saltwater, seaweed, floating debris and curious marine mammals. ... In the most recent prototypes, a thick coil of copper wire is inside the first component, which is anchored to the seafloor. The second component is a magnet attached to a float that moves up and down freely with the waves. As the magnet is heaved by the waves, its magnetic field moves along the stationary coil of copper wire. This motion induces a current in the wire — electricity.'" Meanwhile, researchers at Stanford are working to design "turbine kites" that operate at 30,000 feet, where air currents flow much faster than they do close to the ground. Ken Caldeira, a Stanford associate professor, said, "If you tapped into 1% of the power in high-altitude winds, that would be enough to continuously power all civilization."
Displays

Is the Kindle DX Worth the Money? 263

Posted by timothy
from the wouldn't-turn-it-down-in-a-gift-basket dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Now that some little time has passed, and the hype has died down a bit, I'm wondering if anyone has taken the $500 plunge and gotten a Kindle DX. From the academic-paper-reading-geek perspective, is it worth the money? How well does it work with PDFs, and is it easy to get them on and off? I haven't been able to find any good reviews on the interweb that address its usability as I would like to use it."

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