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Robotics

Giving Avatars Real Bodies 88

Posted by Zonk
from the not-sponsored-by-ubisoft dept.
trogador writes "Researchers are working to associate online avatars with physical bodies, connecting virtual reality robots with steel and software counterparts. The unification of software and mobility like this results in the so-called 'Ubibot' (ubiquitous robot), which the researchers predict is the future of interactive robotics. In the future, avatars on your pc/cell/pda screen may be able to bring you your tea or scratch your back. 'Two key components of the interface involve the sensor mapper and behavior mapper. The sensor mapper helps Rity get physical (ultrasound) sensor information from Mybot, enabling the virtual avatar to use physical information. The behavior mapper helps Rity actually perform physical behaviors using Mybot in a real environment, enabling the avatar to interact physically with human beings in real environments.'"
Movies

NYT Confirms Movie Studios Paid to Support HD DVD 441

Posted by Zonk
from the money-makes-the-world-go-round dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times has confirmed the story that Paramount and DreamWorks Animation were paid $150 million for an exclusive HD-DVD deal that will last 18 months. 'Paramount and DreamWorks Animation declined to comment. Microsoft, the most prominent technology company supporting HD DVDs, said it could not rule out payment but said it wrote no checks. "We provided no financial incentives to Paramount or DreamWorks whatsoever," said Amir Majidimehr, the head of Microsoft's consumer media technology group.'" We discussed Paramount's defection on Monday.
Book Reviews

The Art and Science of CSS 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
nateklaiber writes "The Art and Science of CSS was a quick read (208 pages) and packed full of valuable code examples. Unlike other CSS books that teach you the specifics of CSS with vague examples (not vague in a bad way), this book teaches you specific examples and gives you extra resources. This book is somewhat of a cookbook of commonly used CSS methods. Each author brings their unique writing style to the table, and each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of design and its CSS and styling methods." Read below for the rest of Nate's review.
Space

+ - Enormous amount of water ice found on Mars

Submitted by schweini
schweini (607711) writes "Space.com is reporting that the Mars Express probe's MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) experiment has detected and measured an enormous amount of water ice near mars' south pole, which would be sufficient to submerge the whole planet's surface underneath aprox. 10m of water on average."
Privacy

+ - RIAA sues paralyzed stroke victim

Submitted by Stangger
Stangger (666) writes "Just when you thought they couldn't do any worse, the RIAA is suing a paralyzed Stroke victim for alleged copyright infringment in Michigan. Of course, he lives in Florida, but that shouldn't be more than a minor glitch in the lawsuit. Article: http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/riaa-boycott/riaa-tires -of-suing-babies-and-elderly-moves-on-to-paralyzed -stroke-victims-244108.php"
Microsoft

Bill Gates Speaks Out Against Immigration Policies 722

Posted by samzenpus
from the losing-our-skillz dept.
Jeian writes "None other than Bill Gates has spoken out against tighter immigration policies in the US. According to Gates, the US is losing skilled immigrants to other countries that are easier to immigrate to. Among his comments: "I personally witness the ill effects of these policies on an almost daily basis at Microsoft.""
Entertainment

Captain America Dead at 66 327

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-bad-for-a-66-year-old dept.
jas_public writes to mention ABC news is reporting that comic book super hero Captain America has apparently tackled his last mission. "It ends a long run for the stars-and-stripes-wearing character, created in 1941 to incarnate patriotic feeling during World War II. Over the years, an estimated 210 million copies of "Captain America" comic books, published by New York-based Marvel Entertainment Inc., have been sold in a total of 75 countries. But resurrections are not unknown in the world of comics, and Marvel Entertainment editor in chief Joe Quesada said a Captain America comeback wasn't impossible."
PC Games (Games)

+ - GameTap's New Indie Games Label, IGF Award

Submitted by
nz17
nz17 writes "Gamasutra is carrying the story about GameTap's new indie games program. From the article:

By enlisting in the program, GameTap assumes non-exclusive responsibility for the digital distribution of each selected game. In addition to being promoted alongside GameTap titles, GameTap Indies will be showcased in a special Independent Games content area within the service.
GameTap also plans to give out its own award at the Independent Games Festival to three recipients. These selected three will receive $5000 — $10000 for a non-exclusive five-year distribution contract through the GameTap service."
Businesses

+ - Stock Market Drop Blamed on Computer Error

Submitted by
WebHostingGuy
WebHostingGuy writes "Today the Dow Jones Industrial Index dropped a little over 3% in value. Stock market swings come and go but it is interesting that the sudden drop in the stock market is the result of a computer glitch. According to MSNBC, the computers running were not properly calculating trades. This led to the switch to a backup system which led to several seconds delay which impacted the Dow. Even now after the close of the market spokesmen for the NYSE Group Inc. could not confirm if all closing share prices were even valid."
Microsoft

Dark Cloud Over Good Works of Gates Foundation 325

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the behind-every-fortune dept.
theodp writes "Justice Eta, a Nigerian infant, has an ink spot on his tiny thumb to show he was immunized against polio and measles thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But Justice still faces respiratory trouble, which locals call 'the cough' and blame on fumes and soot spewing from 300-foot flames at a nearby oil plant owned by Itallian energy giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Part one of an L.A. Times investigation reports that the world's largest philanthropy pours money into investments that are hurting many of the people its grants aim to help. With the exception of tobacco companies, the foundation's asset managers do not avoid investments in firms whose activities conflict with the mission to do good."

Has Productivity Peaked? 291

Posted by Hemos
from the tomorrow-will-bring-more-change dept.
Putney Barnes writes "A columnist on silicon.com is arguing that computing can no longer offer the kind of tenfold per decade productivity increases that have been the norm up to now as the limits of human capacity have been reached. From the article: 'Any amount of basic machine upgrading, and it continues apace, won't make a jot of difference, as I am now the fundamental slowdown agent. I just can't work any faster'. Peter Cochrane, the ex-CTO of BT, argues that "machine intelligence" is the answer to this unwelcome stasis. "What we need is a cognitive approach with search material retreated and presented in some context relative to our current end-objectives at the time." Perhaps he should consider a nice cup of tea and a biccie instead?"

Neutrino Mass Confirmed 318

Posted by Zonk
from the they-do-exist dept.
biohack writes "BBC News reports that results from the MINOS experiment have confirmed that neutrinos have mass. To look for neutrino oscillations, scientists created muon neutrinos in a particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). After passing through a particle detector at Fermilab, a high intensity beam of neutrinos travelled to another particle detector 724km (450 miles) away in a disused mine in Soudan, US. The set up established that fewer particles were being detected at the Soudan site than had been sent from Fermilab, which confirmed that some neutrinos changed their flavor on the way - an effect called neutrino flavor oscillation, which requires them to have mass. 'To put it simply, if they are heavy, it means that there is a lot more mass in the Universe than we thought there was,' said Professor Jenny Thomas from University College London."

The State of Digital Music in 2006 127

Posted by Zonk
from the iknew-that dept.
wh0pper writes "Designtechnica has an excellent article on the state of digital music in 2006. Digital music accounted for only six percent of total music sales in 2005. Yet even that is a massive increase over the year before, a whopping 194 percent, which is fiscally valuable as the sales of CDs continue to decrease (although even with digital sales, the record labels experienced another downturn in 2005). While the young, usually the first to adopt and adapt to new technology, have been downloading and swapping music for quite some time, there's been a ripple effect into the older, warier area of the population, one that will only increase. Thank--or blame--Apple and its iPod, or any of the many other makes selling like hotcakes in the stores.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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