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Willow Garage Robot Fetches Beer, Engineers Rejoice 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-perfect-robot dept.
kkleiner writes "Willow Garage has pulled off the ultimate engineering feat: teaching a PR2 robot to fetch you a beer from the fridge. Not only can the PR2 select the correct brew from the fridge, it can deliver, and even open the beer as needed. That's right, all the humans have to do is drink and relax. Prepare yourself for some major robot-envy as you check out the PR2 delivering much-needed refreshment in the video."

Minnesota Introduces World's First Carbon Tariff 303

Posted by timothy
from the hey-cut-that-crap-out dept.
hollywoodb writes "The first carbon tax to reduce the greenhouse gases from imports comes not between two nations, but between two states. Minnesota has passed a measure to stop carbon at its border with North Dakota. To encourage the switch to clean, renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012 ... Minnesota has been generally pushing for cleaner power within its borders, but the utility companies that operate in MN have, over the past decades, sited a lot of coal power plants on the relatively cheap and open land of North Dakota, which is preparing a legal battle against Minnesota over the tariff."

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Posted by samzenpus
from the snack-is-going-to-be-on-the-floor-today dept.
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment: As the author of several tech books... (Score 1) 325

by agshekeloh (#26194423) Attached to: Tools & Surprises For a Tech Book Author?

The most important consideration is the format desired by your publisher. If your publisher wants doc files, you get to use Word.

Any publisher's staff is overworked and underpaid, just like the rest of us. If you make your editor work harder because you won't work to the company's requirements, then they won't work as hard on your book. You want them improving your book, believe me. You don't write as well as you think you do. Nobody does.

Will the publisher try to work with you when you present your manuscript in a bastardized mix of LaTeX and POD? Sure. But you won't make friends. And being friends with your publisher's employees is essential if you want your book to actually appear on bookstore shelves.

Operating Systems

+ - FreeBSD Foundation Auction->

Submitted by
agshekeloh writes "We're auctioning off the very first copy of Absolute FreeBSD off the press as a fundraiser for the FreeBSD Foundation. If you've been waiting for the right opportunity to open up your checkbook and support the Foundation, this is it!

Your generous donation will get you a book before anyone else in the world, signed by the author. The winner will also receive an authentic laser-printed Certificate of Authenticity, suitable for framing or absorbing spilled cola.

The day the book is done the author will drive to the printer and pick up a copy and ship it to the generous winner. This means that you'll get your copy before the other copies arrive at the distributor, let alone in stores.

100% of the auction proceeds go to the FreeBSD Foundation, of course."

Link to Original Source

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