Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that astronomers are puzzled by a strange bright spot which has appeared in the clouds of Venus, first identified by US amateur astronomer Frank Melillo on 19 July and later confirmed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft. 'I have seen bright spots before but this one is an exceptionally bright and quite intense area,' says Melillo. The bright spot has started to expand since its first appearance, being spread by winds in Venus' thick atmosphere. Scientists are unsure as to what is causing the spot. 'An eruption would have to be quite energetic to get a cloud this high,' said Dr. Sanjay Limaye of the University of Wisconsin. Furthermore, at a latitude of 50 degrees south, the spot lies outside the region of known volcanoes on Venus. Another potential source for the bright spot are charged particles from the Sun interacting with Venus' atmosphere. It's also possible that atmospheric turbulence may have caused bright material to become concentrated in one area. 'Right now, I think it's anybody's guess,' adds Limaye."
GalaticGrub writes "A pair of paralyzed monkeys regained the ability to move their arms after researchers wired individual neurons to the monkeys' arm muscles. A team of researchers at the University of Washington temporarily paralyzed each monkey's arm, then rerouted brain signals from a single neuron in the motor cortex around the blocked nerve pathway via a computer. When the neuron fired above a certain rate, the computer translated the signal into a jolt of electricity to the arm muscle, causing it to contract. The monkeys practiced moving their arms by playing a video game."
Disney has been using this technology for decades in their theme park theaters. Walt Disney World has Muppetvision, Honey I Shrunk the Audience, Philharmagic, It's Tough to be a Bug. They all use the polarized filters to give the 3D effect, although they differ slightly in their method of delivering the video. All this is is commercialization of an existing product.
An anonymous reader writes, "Novell has published additional details about its agreements with Microsoft concerning Windows and Linux interoperability and patents. It seems the company is receiving an up-front payment of $348 million from Microsoft, for SLES subscription certificates and for patent cross-licensing. Microsoft will make an upfront payment to Novell of $240 million for SLES subscription 'certificates' that Microsoft can use, resell, or distribute over the term of the agreement. Regarding the patent cooperation agreement, Microsoft will make an up-front net payment to Novell of $108 million, and Novell will make ongoing payments totaling at least $40 million over five years to Microsoft."
Roland Piquepaille writes "These days, most competitive swimmers wear some type of body suit to reduce high skin-friction drag from water. And makers of swimwear are already busy working on new models for the Olympics 2008. According to Textile & Apparel, Speedo is even using a supercomputer to refine its designs. Its engineers run Fluent Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) program on an SGI Altix system."
An anonymous reader writes "Ruby on Rails seems to be the new hotness in the world of web development, right up there with Ajax. IBM DeveloperWorks has a helpful howto on how to bring the worlds of Ruby on Rails and your DB2 framework together. From the article: 'Because Rails emerged from the open source world, until recently you had to use MySQL or PostgreSQL to work with it. Now that IBM has released a DB2 adapter for Rails, it's possible to write efficient Web applications on top of your existing DB2 database investment.'"
ticketmaster41 writes "Informit is running an article that takes a look at what's inside a Scooba. As the write up indicates, adding water to a robotic cleaner not only means more parts, but also more fail safes to frustrate the end user. The site also has posted an interview with Helen Greiner, one of the founders of iRobot."
anaesthetica writes "The Financial Times is reporting that Viviane Reding, the EU media commissioner, wants to spur a pan-European market through which companies could buy and sell cross-border access to the European spectrum regime, including frequencies used by TV, radio, mobile telephone and broadband services. Large European media companies are skeptical about the spectrum trading plan, saying both that there is no logic behind a pan-European telecom model, and that such a plan could interfere with satellite radio. Ms. Reding believes that the change would spur harmonization of the fragmented European telecom band allocation. This change is set to coincide with the 2012 switch from analog to digital TV broadcasting, when a significant portion of the spectrum will be freed up."
minitrue writes "Pearl Jam released their first music video in quite a while under a Creative Commons license allowing anyone to "legally copy, distribute and share the clip" for noncommercial purposes. Creative Commons thinks this may be the first video produced by a major label ever to be CC-licensed. So although the file is only available as a free download via Google Video through May 24, fans can continue sharing it online themselves in perpetuity."
An anonymous reader writes "According to New Scientist, Philips has filed a patent for technology to force viewers to watch the ads in a program. Basically they plan to add extra flags to the Multimedia Home Platform that would stop controls from working until the ads are finished." From the article: "Philips' patent acknowledges that this may be 'greatly resented by viewers' who could initially think their equipment has gone wrong. So it suggests the new system could throw up a warning on screen when it is enforcing advert viewing. The patent also suggests that the system could offer viewers the chance to pay a fee interactively to go back to skipping adverts."
microbee writes "The register is reporting that AMD is researching a new CPU technology called 'reverse multithreading', which essentially does the opposite of hyperthreading in that it presents multiple cores to the OS as a single-core processor." From the article: "The technology is aimed at the next architecture after K8, according to a purported company mole cited by French-language site x86 Secret. It's well known that two CPUs - whether two separate processors or two cores on the same die - don't generate, clock for clock, double the performance of a single CPU. However, by making the CPU once again appear as a single logical processor, AMD is claimed to believe it may be able to double the single-chip performance with a two-core chip or provide quadruple the performance with a quad-core processor."