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Science

Israeli Scientists Freeze Water By Warming It 165

Posted by timothy
from the you-must-become-the-frozen-water dept.
ccktech writes "As reported by NPR and Chemistry world, the journal Science has a paper by David Ehre, Etay Lavert, Meir Lahav, and Igor Lubomirsky [note: abstract online; payment required to read the full paper] of Israel's Weizmann Institute, who have figured out a way to freeze pure water by warming it up. The trick is that pure water has different freezing points depending on the electrical charge of the surface it resides on. They found out that a negatively charged surface causes water to freeze at a lower temperature than a positively charged surface. By putting water on the pyroelectric material Lithium Tantalate, which has a negative charge when cooler but a positive change when warmer; water would remain a liquid down to -17 degrees C., and then freeze when the substrate and water were warmed up and the charge changed to positive, where water freezes at -7 degrees C."
Science

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

Posted by timothy
from the more-guns-less-crime dept.
cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."
Businesses

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the inspiring-internet-outrage-is-a-bad-business-model dept.
Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."
Displays

Apple's Mini DisplayPort Officially Adopted By VESA 160

Posted by timothy
from the good-for-tiny-pictures dept.
DJRumpy writes "The Video Electronics Standard Association officially issued its Mini DisplayPort standard Tuesday, based on the technology licensed from Apple. VESA said that all devices using the Mini DisplayPort connector must meet the specifications required by the DisplayPort 1.1a standard, and cables that support the standard must also meet specific electrical specifications. It's a formal confirmation of the news from earlier this year, when VESA announced the Mini DisplayPort connector would be included in the forthcoming DisplayPort 1.2 specification."
Portables (Apple)

Apple Issues Firmware Upgrade For MacBook Pro 52

Posted by timothy
from the there-there-here-you-go dept.
Lucas123 writes "After declining comment on an apparent downgrade to the serial ATA hard drive interface in its new MacBook Pros, from 3Gbps to 1.5Gbps, Apple today issued a firmware upgrade to fix a problem reported by 'a small number of customers' using drives based on the latest SATA specification. Apple warned that it has not shipped drives operating at the higher-speed specification, saying, 'While this update allows drives to use transfer rates greater than 1.5Gbit/sec, Apple has not qualified or offered these drives for Mac notebooks and their use is unsupported.'"
The Media

AP Harasses Own Member Over AP Youtube Videos 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the mine-all-mine dept.
DrEldarion writes "The Associated Press, who has been acting very bipolar lately about Google News (they get paid by Google for their content, and then complain about Google 'stealing' that content), has another issue with not knowing what their association is up to: they set up a channel on Youtube, and then threatened an AP affiliate for embedding that content."
Sci-Fi

Greg Bear To Write Halo Trilogy 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-are-you-doing-you-won-a-hugo-for-god's-sake dept.
SailorSpork writes "Many gaming websites are reporting that Hugo and Nebula award winning sci-fi author Greg Bear will be writing a 100,000-year prequel trilogy to the Halo series, focusing on the Forerunners and presumably the construction of the Larry Niven knock-offs. Will he be able to balance the needs of his hard sci-fi fanbase with the Halo fans' need for a soft introduction to 'chapter books?' Despite my sarcasm, as someone who considers both of them guilty pleasures, I am actually really looking forward to seeing how he handles this."
Data Storage

AnandTech Gives the Skinny On Recent SSD Offerings 96

Posted by timothy
from the they're-small-and-quiet-the-end dept.
omnilynx writes "With capacity on the rise and prices falling, solid state drives are finally starting to compete with traditional hard drives. However, there are still several issues to take into account when moving to an SSD, not to mention choosing between a widening array of offerings. Anand Lal Shimpi of AnandTech does a better job than anyone could expect detailing those issues (especially those related to performance) and reviewing the new offerings in the SSD arena. Intel's X25 series comes out on top for sheer speed, but OCZ makes a surprise turnaround with its Vertex drive giving perhaps the best value."
Censorship

Chinese Subvert Censorship With a Popular Pun 272

Posted by timothy
from the what'dju-say-about-my-mother-horse-hemp-rebuke? dept.
Anonymusing writes "In spoken Chinese, 'grass-mud horse' sounds virtually identical to an obscenity (hint: it begins with "mother-") — and as a cartoon character, it has become an amazing phenomenon. Meant as a subversive attack on censors, the alpaca-like mythical creature has led to a cuddly stuffed animal — selling over 180,000 in a few weeks — and a wildly popular YouTube video with children's voices singing words that are either completely benign or incredibly offensive, depending on how you listen." Update: 03/13 09:29 GMT by T : Since this story was set up, the originally linked video seems to have been pulled. Searching YouTube reveals that there are some alternatives available, at least for now.
Desktops (Apple)

Apple Store Reopens With Many New Products 519

Posted by timothy
from the such-a-world-of-bounty dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After being down for a couple of hours, the Apple store reopened this morning. All of the speculation has turned out to be a reality with Apple dishing out many new products and among them are; iMac 20", three iMac 24" models, two Mac Mini models, and two Mac Pro models — with one including an ATI Radeon HD 4570 graphics card. Also as rumored, there was the new Airport Extreme, and Time Capsule in 1TB. The Mac Pro is the granddaddy of them all. The lower-end Quad Core system includes a 2.66Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor, 3GB of memory, 640GB hard drive, 18x double-layer Superdrive, and a NVIDIA Geforce GT 120 with 512MB of memory priced at $2,499. Finally, we have the 8-core system which includes two 2.26Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors, 6GB of memory, 640GB hard drive, the 18x double-layer Superdrive, and of course the NVIDIA Geforce GT 120 with 512MB of memory priced at $3,299."

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