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Communications

Twisted Radio Beams Could Untangle the Airwaves 183

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the only-the-flying-spaghetti-monster-would-know-for-sure dept.
Urchin writes "The radio frequency spectrum available for wireless communication is becoming increasingly crowded thanks to new wireless technology. A solution to the shrinking space might be to put a spin on radio beams during their transmission, to produce a twisted beam, according to Swedish physicists. In theory, huge amounts of data could be sent in the pitch of the twist, which is distinct from the amplitude and frequency of radio waves — the features used at the moment to send information."

Comment: Re:Motorcycle (Score 1) 887

by Eagle7 (#26413181) Attached to: How do you get to work?

Absolutely - I ride a "push bike" to work for at least half of my commutes. And for those of us on bicycles, the "local smog" element of the motorcycle is disturbing, since we are breathing in everything they are putting out. When even a fairly modern motorcycle or scooter goes by, the amount of pollutants coming out of the tailpipe is clearly more than a car, based upon the nose & lung test.

Comment: Re:Motorcycle (Score 2, Interesting) 887

by Eagle7 (#26412151) Attached to: How do you get to work?

It's a shame that his motorcycle most likely puts out more emissions than that SUV.

"Are motorcycles a less-polluting alternative to cars? No, in fact, motorcycles produce more harmful emissions per mile than a car or even a large SUV. The current federal motorcycle standard for hydrocarbon emissions is about 90 times the hydrocarbon standard for today's passenger cars."

From: http://www.epa.gov/OMS/regs/roadbike/420f03046.pdf

Comment: Re:They got a refund (Score -1) 1002

by Zonekeeper (#26328035) Attached to: Overzealous AirTran Boots 9 Passengers Off

As far as the other side goes, the FBI terrorism experts cleared them and the airline still banned them from flying.

The airline owns the plane, not the FBI. The airline broke no laws. They can kick you off for chewing the wrong flavor of gum. As far as the plane goes, the pilot is GOD as long as you are on that plane. Don't like it? Toooo bad. Suck it up.

Transportation

Volvo Introduces a Collision-Proof Car 743

Posted by kdawson
from the whoa-nellie dept.
carazoo.com sends along a story on Volvo's upcoming crash-proof car. The company will introduce a concept car based on the S60 this month at the Detroit Auto Show, looking ahead a few years to the goal that by 2020 "no one should be killed or injured in a Volvo car." The concept car will have forward-looking radar as a proximity sensor, and the ability to brake if a collision is imminent. When the car senses a collision, a light flashes on the windscreen display along with an audible warning. If the driver doesn't act, the car will brake automatically.
Security

+ - Protecting IM from the NSA, a Canadian's view 3

Submitted by
holden
holden writes "Ian Goldberg, leading security researcher, professor at the university of waterloo, cypherpunk and co-creator of the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol recently gave a talk on protecting your IM conversations. He discusses OTR and its importance in today's world with warrant-less wire tapping and all that bad stuff. With OTR users benefit from being able to have truly private conversations over IM, by using encryption to obtain authentication, deniability, and perfect forward secrecy, while working within their existing IM infrastructure. With the recent NSA wiretapping activities and increasing Big Brother presence, security and OTR are increasingly important. An avi of the talk is available by http as well as by bittorrent and a bunch of other formats."
Television

+ - LCD and Plasma TVs Found Highly Reliable->

Submitted by
Ant
Ant writes "Yahoo! News report that liquid crystal displa (LCD) and plasma televisions (TVs) require few repairs during the first three years of use, and buyers would be wasting their money during the holiday shopping season if they bought extended warranties on the highly reliable devices, Consumer Reports found in a study released Friday. The consumer review firm's Annual Product Reliability Survey, featured in the upcoming December 2007 issue, found that the flat panel sets overall had a 3% repair rate. Rear-projection TVs, on the other hand, were found to be much more repair prone than its two rivals... Seen on Gizmodo and Blue's News."
Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Muslims and the digital divide->

Submitted by
catherine odonnell
catherine odonnell writes "Aug. 1, 2007 | Politics and Government
Muslim political parties grow online but digital divide continues to widen
Catherine O'Donnell cath2@u.washington.edu

    World Information Access Report 2007
The WIA Project investigates causes and consequences of the global digital divide.

  Political life in Muslim countries is surprisingly wired, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

In 2000, fewer than 50 political parties from Muslim countries had Web sites. By 2007, there were more than 200 parties represented online, the majority of them secular. The expansion of online politics in the Muslim world outpaces that of the rest of the developing world.

Also in 2000, 40 percent of the world's political parties were online, and 28 percent of parties in developing countries were online, but only 16 percent of parties in Muslim countries were online. Political parties in the Muslim world have quickly caught up, and today 38 percent of the political parties in Muslim and other developing countries are online. These figures likely reflect overall growth of political content in blogs, chat groups and listservs, said Philip Howard, an assistant professor of communication at the University of Washington who with his students prepared the World Information Access Report.

"We only looked for Web sites produced by an official party organization," said Howard.

"It is probably now safe to say that there is a political blogging community in every country, and that in some countries the Internet is the only infrastructure for political debate.

"No dictator has been toppled because of the Internet," Howard added, "but today, no democratic movement can topple a dictator without the Internet."

World Information Access researchers, who review trends in the global digital divide, studied data on political party Web sites from 2000, 2005 and 2007. They covered 212 countries and thousands of political parties — 3,217 parties in 2007 alone.

This boom in online political life in Muslim countries is surprising given the digital divide between rich and poor countries. Wealthier ones have more high-speed broadband service, which means citizens get more information more quickly. In contrast, many citizens in poorer countries continue using dial-up services, which are slower but less expensive.

Other findings from the report:

Many poor governments depend on Web site hosting services in wealthy countries such as Canada and the United States. One-third of all nations maintain some of their government Web sites on servers in the U.S., and one-fourth maintain all of their government Web sites on servers in the U.S.

Three-fourths of national libraries have Web sites but only 54 percent load in the country's national language. For example, Tajikistan's national library offers online access in Russian, but not Tajik. Sixty-nine percent of national libraries load in English but only 20 to 25 percent of the world's people speak English.

Almost every city in the world offers cybercafes or other commercial Internet access, but they cost average people in a developing city twice as much of their daily income as people in a developed city. In wealthiest cities between 2000 and 2005, cost of an hour of Internet access for average people dropped significantly, from 26 percent of daily income to 7 percent. The cost of going online fell as average income rose. In many developing cities, however, cost of going online didn't fall as dramatically, nor did incomes rise as fast. People in those cities spent 40 percent of their daily income to use the Internet in 2000 compared with 14 percent in 2005.

African nations are reforming their telecommunications policies, but surprisingly, the number of Internet hosts in Africa has declined. For several decades, African governments have been encouraged to reform their telecommunications by de-regulating the industry, privatizing telecommunications companies and introducing competition. The number of Internet hosts around the world has grown significantly since 1990, but the portion in Africa has declined because the governments have difficulty creating national infrastructure. In 1990, only 1.6 percent of the world's Internet hosts resided in Africa; by 2005, that number declined to 0.7 percent.
###

For more information, contact Howard at (206) 612-9911 (cell) or (206) 221-6532 or pnhoward@u.washington.edu.

A briefing booklet is available at www.wiareport.org

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Link to Original Source
The Internet

+ - Geeks against Jihad->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Thomas X. Hammes is a retired Marine colonel and the author of a well-regarded work on modern war: The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century . He is also a fellow participant in an online discussion forum on military affairs called the Warlord Loop. (I) was so taken with one of his recent postings on how to battle jihadists on the Internet (a major venue for Islamist organizing and proselytizing) that I asked him if he would adapt it for contentions readers. He kindly agreed."
Link to Original Source

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