What is your beef with gentoo? (ducks the responses).
Agreed, having worked with a lab that certifies products sold in the US (21 cfr) and internationally (60825-1 and -2), lasers have gotten more powerful and compact than most folks realize. Class 4 lasers are easily integrated into the handheld green pointers that most of us have seen. What isnt realized is that the 150mw pointers that will blind you like a thief in the night. I have posted blue 445nm and green 532nm lasers to youtube that I have made burning through objects in close proximity, remember these are handheld pointers. Its all about your collimation, and focus on the desired target. These things are dangerous, and used by kids in third world countries for fun. Oh, btw green lasers emit 3 distinct wavelengths, 808 (almost invisible, therby bypassing your blink aversion), 1064nm (same deal), and 532nm which happens to be the peak wavelength for the cones in your eyeball which appears very intense.
An article at Gamasutra takes an in-depth look at how Zynga's new browser-based social game CityVille managed to accumulate tens of millions of players in the relatively short time since its launch early this month. Quoting: "The Facebook interface induces a high degree of user blindness. It does not do a great job of exposing new games and applications, and lacks a directory or a 'Featured in the App Store' style of editorial (as Apple does for the iPhone), which means that for most developers there are huge problems in getting their games in front of users' eyeballs. With all of the free advertising channels on the platform now constrained or dead, this has meant that the Facebook economy has been acquiring an increasingly Darwinian shape. Where it used to be an egalitarian environment in which any developer could strike it big, over the last year it has become top-heavy with larger developers accruing exponential success, and cutting off oxygen to smaller companies by default."
pryoplasm writes "To help deal with some of the hygiene issues on the battlefield, the US Army worked on a gum to take the place of brushing your teeth. This might be eventually released and marketed to the public. While there are many gums out there that aren't so detrimental to your teeth, this one promises actually to help them out."
ElectricSteve writes "RM Auctions recently declared James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 to be 'the world's most famous car,' but there's no doubt that there is another contender for that title — the Batmobile. One thing that muddies the waters a bit is the fact that the term 'Batmobile' actually describes at least three different vehicles: the modified Lincoln Futura concept car from the '60s TV series, the vaguely Corvette-shaped 1989-and-beyond movie cars, and now the car from the most recent two movies, the military-spec Tumbler. Michigan-based movie props artist Bob Dullam really likes the Tumbler, so he did what any of us would do in his position — he built one of his own from scratch."
tekgoblin writes "Wow, I would never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides, but someone did. A standard port provides 5V of power, give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate, but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not, it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly."
One of England's oldest graveyards is under siege by badgers. Rev Simon Shouler now regularly patrols the grounds of St. Remigius Church looking for bones that the badgers have dug up. The badger is a protected species in England so they can not be killed, and attempts to have them relocated have been blocked by English Nature. From the article: "At least four graves have been disturbed so far; in one instance a child found a leg bone and took it home to his parents. ... Rev. Simon Shouler has been forced to carry out regular patrols to pick up stray bones, store them and re-inter them all in a new grave."
sinij writes "An EA insider has aired dirty laundry over what went wrong with Warhammer and what could this mean for the upcoming Bioware Star Wars MMORPG. Quoting: 'We shouldn't have released when we did, everyone knows it. The game wasn't done, but EA gave us a deadline and threatened the leaders of Mythic with pink slips. We slipped so many times, it had to go out. We sold more than a million boxes, and only had 300k subs a month later. Going down ever since. It's 'stable' now, but guess what? Even Dark Age and Ultima have more subs than we have. How great is that? Games almost a decade [old] make more money than our biggest project." The (unverified) insider, who calls himself EA Louse (named after the EA Spouse who brought to light the company's excessive crunchtime practices) says similar trouble is ahead for the development of Star Wars: The Old Republic. EA has not commented yet. God of War creator David Jaffe has criticized the insider for having unrealistic expectations of working in the games industry.
jamax writes "According to the BBC: 'The Russian military has come up with an inventive way to deceive the enemy and save money at the same time: inflatable weapons. They look just like real ones: they are easy to transport and quick to deploy. You name it, the Russian army is blowing it up: from pretend tanks to entire radar stations.' But the interesting thing is these decoys are not dumb - actually they appear to be highly advanced for what I thought was a WWII-grade aerial photography countermeasures. Apparently they have heat signatures comparable with the military tech they represent, as well as the same radar signature."
Zothecula writes "The first complete microwave image of the Moon taken by Chinese lunar satellite Chang'E-1 has been revealed. Chang'E-1 is China's first scientific mission to explore planetary bodies beyond Earth and the on-board Lunar Microwave Radiometer has made it possible for the first time to globally map the Moon in microwave frequencies. Radar observations of the Moon are unable to provide thermal information, and microwave observations taken from Earth cannot reach the far side of the moon. So Chang'E-1's (CE-1) orbit was conducted at an altitude of 200km (124 miles) and allowed it to observe every location of the moon with a nadir view and at high spatial resolution."