Geni.com is an online service, not open source software per se, but it's free to use, useful, and there's a lot of data there already. I found my ancestors going back to the 17th century after matching up my own tree back to my grandparents. http://www.geni.com/
Chinobi writes "Di Gao, an assistant professor at the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, has developed a method of separating oil from water within just seconds using a cotton cloth coated in a chemical polymer that makes it both hydrophilic (it bonds with the hydrogen atoms in water) and oleophobic (oil-repelling), making it absolutely perfect for blocking oil and letting water pass through. Gao tested his filter successfully on Gulf Oil water and oil and has an impressive video to demonstrate the results." This is a laboratory demonstration; the technology hasn't been tested at scale.
An anonymous reader writes "How about typing on a computer just by thinking about it? The downside is you have to wear a skull cap with electrodes that capture your brain waves like an EEG machine. According to this EE Times story, a team of researchers from Belgium and the Netherlands has presented Mind Speller, a thought-to-text device intended to help people with movement disabilities. The system does rely on a lot of processing on a remote computer, but it is a wireless system. And these thought-to-computer systems have wider applicability than medical support. One of the research groups involved in this development has already looked at wireless electroencephalography (EEG) to enable measures of emotion to be fed back into computer games."
An anonymous reader writes "Recently, the Oracle/Sun conglomerate has denied public download access to all service packs for Solaris unless you have a support contract. Now, paying a premium for gold-class service is nothing new in the industry, but withholding critical security updates smacks of extortion. While this pay-for-play model may be de rigueur for enterprise database systems, it is certainly not the norm for OS manufactures. What may be more interesting is how Oracle/Sun is able to sidestep GNU licensing requirements since several of the Solaris cluster packs contain patches to GNU utilities and applications."
cyberfringe writes "Professor of Materials Science Dawn Bonnell and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered a way to turn optical radiation into electrical current that could lead to self-powering molecular circuits and efficient data storage. They create surface plasmons that ride the surface of gold nanoparticles on a glass substrate. Surface plasmons were found to increase the efficiency of current production by a factor of four to 20, and with many independent parameters to optimize, enhancement factors could reach into the thousands. 'If the efficiency of the system could be scaled up without any additional, unforeseen limitations, we could conceivably manufacture a 1A, 1V sample the diameter of a human hair and an inch long,' Prof. Bonnell explained. The academic paper was published in the current issue of ACS Nano. (Abstract available for free.) The significance? This may allow the creation of nano-sized circuits that can power themselves through sunlight (or another directed light source). Delivery of power to nanodevices is one of the big challenges in the field."
well-- the 10th amendment seems pretty clear: unless it's spelled out in the constitution, leave it to the states or the people. So, the real question is your own: Could you please explain to me where the feds get the right to do this? Which part of the constitution allows this?
Researchers at Fudan University in Shanghai, China are proposing a method which could lead to the first soft, tunable metamaterial, the key ingredient in building an invisibility device. "The fluid proposed by Ji-Ping Huang of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and colleagues, contains magnetite balls 10 nanometers in diameter, coated with a 5-nanometer-thick layer of silver, possibly with polymer chains attached to keep them from clumping. In the absence of a magnetic field, such nanoparticles would simply float around in the water, but if a field were introduced, the particles would self-assemble into chains whose lengths depend on the strength of the field, and which can also attract one another to form thicker columns. The chains and columns would lie along the direction of the magnetic field. If they were oriented vertically in a pool of water, light striking the surface would refract negatively – bent in way that no natural material can manage."
An anonymous reader writes "An interesting article yesterday about the unmasking of the recent creator of the controversial and iconic Obama/Joker image that has been popping up around Los Angeles with the word Socialism under it. The Los Angeles Times has identified the images' creator as Firas Alkhateeb. Even more interesting though is the fact that after getting over 20,000 hits on the image at Flickr, Flickr removed the image from Alkateeb's photostream, citing 'copyright' concerns. The image in question is clearly both an independent derivative work and unquestionably a parody of the President and Time Magazine which would be covered under fair use. It has appeared on many other sites without issue on the Internet." According to the same reader, "Flickr also recently nuked a user's entire photostream over negative comments on President Obama's official photostream."
I was trying to make a joke about the 'splitting hairs' concerning the word 'spelling', not the actual spelling-- but it doesn't seem to have worked. I know how romaji is used. As to your other question concerning "why" Japanease substitute the 'c' for 'k', I have no idea, except to perhaps invoke some sort of unique branding or maybe "frenchiness" as you postulate. As I said, I notice this with bars and clothing shops mostly-- not "all". yoroshiku.
Okay, you want to split hairs? Japanese words are not "spelled", they are written using a mix of Chinese and phonetic symbols. As noted above æ"å- is how one should write the Japanese word for "improvement". Unfortunately, many people outside East Asia has no idea how to read or pronounce that, so we "romanize" words based on a commonly accepted latin alphabet equivalent. The usual Latin alphabet equivalent is kaizen with a k. Lately, a lot of bars and brands in Japan are trying to use the 'c' instead of the 'k'-- the most common example is the NTT wireless provider Docomo (meaning "anywhere"). Here endeth the lesson.
Jos Poortvliet writes "After another 6 months of hard work by over 700 people, after fixing over 10,000 bugs and granting 2,000 wishes, KDE 4.3, or 'Caizen,' is here (the release takes its nickname from the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement). The KDE Desktop Workspace introduces, besides the usual stability and speed improvements, new widgets, the ability to 'peek' in a folder with folderview, and activities tied to virtual desktops. The KDE Application Suites feature improvements in the utilities like a more formats supported in Ark and the return of the Linux Infrared Remote Control system. Instant messenger Kopete introduces an improved contact list and KOrganizer can sync with Google Calendar. Kmail supports inserting inline images into email and the Alarm notifier has gained export functionality, drag and drop, and has an improved configuration. The KDE Application Development platform has seen work on integrating the Social Desktop and the new system tray protocol from Freedesktop.org. You can watch a screencast of the Desktop Workspace here."
They're just anticipating the coming legalization of pot. It will allow them to move into a generalized convenience store model, sort of a "smarter" quik-e-mart: soldering irons, robot toys, pot,and munchies.
Al writes "A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute for Technology say they have developed a way to catch spam before it even arrives on the mail server. Instead of bothering to analyze the contents of a spam message, their software, called SNARE (Spatio-temporal Network-level Automatic Reputation Engine), examines key aspects of individual packets of data to determine whether it might be spam. The team, led by assistant professor Nick Feamster, analyzed 2.5 million emails collected by McAfee in order to determine the key packet characteristics of spam. These include the geodesic proximity of end mail servers and the number of ports open on the sending machine. The approach catches spam 70 percent of the time, with a 0.3 false positive rate. Of course, revealing these characteristics could also allow spammers to fake their packets to avoid filtering."