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Medicine

Goodbye Bifocals — Electronic Glasses Change Focus 166

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the see-what-i-see dept.
kkleiner writes "Move over Ben Franklin, we finally have a replacement for bifocals. Virginia-based Pixel Optics has developed a composite lens that can change the range of focus electronically. The emPower! glasses were created in cooperation with Panasonic Healthcare, and allow you to switch between long distance and short distance vision in a split second. Rather than having a lens divided into two sections, emPower! uses an LCD overlay that can change the focal length of the glasses via electric current. When the LCD layer is off, your lenses are good for intermediate/long distances. Turn the LCD layer on, and a section of the lens is suddenly magnifying close-up images – perfect for reading."
News

Swedish Firm Proposes City Buildings On Rails 223

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the jesus-does-not-have-wheels-ralph dept.
Lanxon writes "A Swedish architecture firm that came up with a plan to roll buildings through a city on rails has won third prize in a competition to develop the Norwegian city of Åndalsnes. The company, Jagnafalt Milton, suggested that existing and new railroads could be built to provide the base for buildings that could be positioned differently depending on the seasons and on the weather. It proposed designs for rail-mounted single- and double-berth cabins, along with a two-story suite, reports Wired."
Music

MIT Media Lab Researcher Prints Playable Flute 85

Posted by timothy
from the flouting-his-skills dept.
conner_bw writes "What if making an acoustic instrument was a matter of hitting 'print'? MIT Media Lab researcher Amit Zoran did just that. He created a flute using the Objet Geometries Connex500 3D printer. The instrument is playable and the results are surprisingly good for a first attempt. As an aside, rumour has it that Amit has a bumper sticker that reads: My other printer prints food."
Space

Double Eclipse Photographed, Sun, Moon, and ISS 159

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-pretty dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "The exceptionally talented astrophotographer Thierry Legault captured a picture extraordinary even for him: the space station passing in front of the Sun while the Sun was being partially eclipsed by the Moon! He traveled all the way from France to the Sultanate of Oman to take this amazing shot. I have more information about the picture itself on the Bad Astronomy blog, but you should go to Thierry's website to see more amazing pictures he's taken over the years. They're simply jaw-dropping."
Science

Thousands of Blackbirds Fall From Sky Dead 577

Posted by samzenpus
from the silent-spring dept.
Dan East writes "In a fashion worthy of a King or Hitchcock novel, blackbirds began to fall from the sky dead in Arkansas yesterday. Somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 birds rained down on the small town of Beeb, Arkansas, with no visible trauma. Officials are making wild guesses as to what happened — lightning strike, high-altitude hail, or perhaps trauma from the sound of New Year's fireworks killed them."
Space

Rogue Satellite Shuts Down US Weather Services 202

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the ambush-backstab-vanish dept.
radioweather writes "On Sunday, the drifting rogue 'zombie' Galaxy 15 satellite with a stuck transmitter interfered with the satellite data distribution system used by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS), effectively shutting down data sharing between NWS offices nationwide, as well as weather support groups for the US Air force. This left many forecasters without data, imagery, and maps. Interference from Galaxy 15 affected transmissions of the SES-1 Satellite, which not only serves NOAA with data relay services, but also is used to feed TV programming into virtually every cable network in the US. NOAA's Network Control Facility reports that the computer system affected was NOAA's Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) used to issue forecasts and weather bulletins which uses the weather data feed. They also state the problem is likely to recur again this month before the satellite drifts out of range and eventually dies due to battery depletion."
Google

Google Loses Street View Suit, Forced To Pay $1 225

Posted by timothy
from the token-victory dept.
Translation Error writes "Two and a half years ago, the Borings sued Google for invading their privacy by driving onto their private driveway and taking pictures of their house to display on Google Street View. Now, the case has finally come to a close with the judge ruling in favor of the Borings and awarding them the princely sum of $1. While the judge found the Borings to be in the right, she awarded them only nominal damages, as the fact that they had already made images of their home available on a real estate site and didn't bother to seal the lawsuit to minimize publicity indicated the Borings neither valued their privacy nor had it been affected in any great way by Google's actions."
The Military

US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle 782

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-even-have-this-in-video-games dept.
rbrander writes "Don't call it a 'rifle,' call it the 'XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System' and get your $35,000 worth. Much more than a projector of high-speed lead, this device hurls small grenades that automatically detonate in mid-flight with 1-meter accuracy over nearly 800m. The vital field feature is the ability to explode 1m behind the wall you just lazed — the one with the enemy hiding behind it."
Bug

Computer Glitch Leaves Some Australians Without Cash 195

Posted by timothy
from the cascading-promises dept.
An anonymous reader writes "National Australia Bank payments to customers were again delayed today after a computer glitch yesterday morning due to a corrupted file in its mainframe computer. Upset consumers are now demanding compensation for any fees for late mortgage and credit card payments, overdrawn accounts or bounced direct debits charged by any institutions as a result of the mess."
Graphics

Company Seeks To Boost Linux Game Development With 3D Engine Giveaway 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-services-rendered dept.
binstream writes "To support Linux game development, Unigine Corp. announced a competition: it will give a free license for its Unigine engine to a seasoned team willing to work on a native Linux game. The company has been Linux-friendly from the very start; it released advanced GPU benchmarks (Heaven, Tropics, Sanctuary) for Linux before and is working on the OilRush strategy game that supports Linux as well."
Microsoft

New Windows Kernel Vulnerability Bypasses UAC 303

Posted by timothy
from the happy-thanksgiving-everyone dept.
xsee writes "A new vulnerability in the Windows kernel was disclosed Wednesday that could allow malware to attain administrative privileges by bypassing User Account Control (UAC). Combined with the unpatched Internet Explorer vulnerability in the wild this could be a very bad omen for Windows users."
Image

Students Banned From Bringing Pencils To School 426

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-how-you-play dept.
mernilio writes "According to UPI: 'A Massachusetts school district superintendent said a memo banning sixth graders from carrying pencils was written without district approval. North Brookfield School District interim Superintendent Gordon Noseworthy said Wendy Scott, one of two sixth-grade teachers at North Brookfield Elementary School, did not get approval from administrators before sending the memo to all sixth-grade parents, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported Thursday. The memo said students would no longer be allowed to bring writing implements to school. It said pencils would be provided for students in class and any students caught with pencils or pens after Nov. 15 would face disciplinary action for having materials 'to build weapons.'"
Intel

Intel Talks 1000-Core Processors 326

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-heat-sink dept.
angry tapir writes "An experimental Intel chip shows the feasibility of building processors with 1,000 cores, an Intel researcher has asserted. The architecture for the Intel 48-core Single Chip Cloud Computer processor is 'arbitrarily scalable,' according to Timothy Mattson. 'This is an architecture that could, in principle, scale to 1,000 cores,' he said. 'I can just keep adding, adding, adding cores.'"

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