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Transportation

Shawn Raymond's Tandem Bike is Shorter Than Yours (Video) 85

Posted by Roblimo
from the get-on-your-mechanical-pony-and-ride dept.
This isn't a "both peddlers are equal" bike. The person sitting in the rear seat is in the "control" position. Because of the wide handlebars, he or she can reach around the person in the front seat to steer. The person in the front seat can't really do much except enjoy the ride, or maybe lean back and whisper a sweet nothing or two if the person in the back seat is someone the front-seater loves. The bike is called the UnaTandem (turn music off in the lower left corner of the page), and Shawn Raymond tried to get Kickstarter funding for it back in 2012 but only raised $1651, which was quite a ways short of his $70,000 goal. So, with Kickstarter in the rear view mirror, Shawn is trying to do his own crowdfunding. Will this work? Can he get enough people to buy into his idea of a tandem bike that gives you the old "riding on the handlebars" feeling to get his company off the ground? Can he use his own money (assuming he has enough) to build and sell his tandem bikes without bringing in outside investors at all? And then there's the price problem. Shawn says he's looking at a retail price in the $850 range. That may not seem like a lot to some, but you can buy 10 Walmart bikes for that much. Or four or five bikes from specialty bicycle or sporting goods stores. Despite the high price, some will undoubtedly buy these short tandem bikes and like them. But will enough people buy enough of them to make this a viable business? Shawn obviously thinks so. (Alternate Video Link)
Games

Interviews: Ask "The King of Kong" Billy Mitchell About Classic Video Games 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.
samzenpus (5) writes Billy Mitchell owns the Rickey's World Famous Restaurant chain, sells his own line of hot sauces, and was called, "probably the greatest arcade-video-game player of all time". He was the first to achieve a perfect score in Pac-Man, and held many record scores in other arcade games. He is probably most famous for the 2007 documentary,"The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters". The film follows a challenger on his quest to surpass Billy's high score in Donkey Kong, which Mitchell had set in 1982. Since the film was made, the Kong crown has been held by a number people including twice by Mitchell. Billy has agreed to put down the quarters and answer any questions you might have. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post.
China

'Web Junkie': Harrowing Documentary On China's Internet Addiction Rehab Clinics 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-are-addicted-to-breathing dept.
cold fjord writes "The Daily Beast reports on Web Junkie, a documentary showing the unsettling efforts undertaken by the Internet Addiction Treatment Center in China to break teenagers of their internet habits. Quoting: 'China was one of the first countries to brand "Internet addiction" as a clinical disorder, and to claim it's the number one threat to its teenagers today. The Chinese government has erected 400 rehabilitation boot camps like this one ... a bizarre hybrid of military barracks and mental hospital. ... Every room in the facility is monitored by cameras. ... Teens spend a minimum of three months at Daxing. ... Wires and nodes will be hooked to their head ... they're administered daily medication (without being told what it is), they have to keep their rooms spotless, partake in individual and group therapy sessions with their parents, and do boot camp-style exercise ... One kid in the film claims to have played World of Warcraft for 300 hours straight, taking only tiny naps in between. ... "Some kids are so hooked on these games they think going to the bathroom will affect their performance. So they wear a diaper. These are the same as heroin addicts. ... That's why we call it electronic heroin."' Wired has further details and a clip from the documentary."
Portables

Samsung Unveils Galaxy Gear Smartwatch 244

Posted by Soulskill
from the quick-everybody-complain-before-trying-it dept.
MojoKid writes "The smartwatch race heated up today, as Samsung showed its Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin. Samsung's take on such a device has been eagerly anticipated. Samsung announced the Galaxy Gear as a companion to the new Galaxy Note 3 (or any Galaxy device). The Gear lets users make and receive calls hands-free with the built-in speaker, and it notifies you of any incoming texts, emails, and alerts and gives you a preview of whatever is coming through. A Smart Relay feature will display the full content on your Galaxy device. The Galaxy Gear sports an 800MHz processor and 1.63-inch display (320x320) AMOLED display with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, a speaker, and two microphones with noise cancellation. There's a 1.9MP camera with a BSI sensor and autofocus, and it connects via Bluetooth 4.0 + BLE. Sensors include an accelerometer and a gyroscope. Samsung plans to launch the smartwatch in October for $300."
Biotech

Dentist Wants To Clone John Lennon Using DNA Extracted From Lennon's Tooth 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the with-a-little-help-from-my-molar dept.
dryriver writes "People fantasizing about a Beatles comeback tour might yet see their dream come true, all thanks to Dr. Michael Zuk. This dentist is the proud owner of one of John Lennon's teeth, and hopes to use it to clone the musician. By the looks of it, Dr. Michael Zuk came in possession of the tooth in 2011. At that time, he purchased the molar at an auction organized in the United Kingdom, and paid about $30,000 (€22,424) for it. According to The Inquisitr, the dentist is now working alongside scientists in the United States, who are helping him figure out a way to extract DNA from the tooth without damaging it in the process. This DNA would serve to bring back John Lennon. Apparently, Dr. Michael Zuk hopes that his project will snowball into a scientific and pop-cultural revolution. 'To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock's greatest stars would be mind-blowing. I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon's DNA, very soon I hope,' the dentist reportedly commented on the importance of his work."
Ruby

The Rails Girls Are Coming to a City Near You (Video) 162

Posted by Roblimo
from the programming-not-trains dept.
So far, the Rails Girls have groups in cities ranging from Warsaw to Wellington, with U.S. gatherings in Washington D.C., Charlotte NC, San Francisco CA, and... let's make it easy: Here's a map. OMG! They're everywhere! Actually, mostly Europe, being as they started in Finland, same as the Leningrad Cowboys and a popular computer operating system. But they're spreading like mad. Would you believe the reason one of the two founders originally got interested in Ruby on Rails was because she wanted to make a fan page for American politician Al Gore? Our interviewee, Magda (from Rails Girls Warsaw), swears this is true. She also tells us about their upcoming Washington D.C. workshop on June 13th, 2013, in conjunction with the June 14-15 RubyNation event. Sounds like fun, doesn't it. Maybe you need more of this kind of fun where you live, eh? If there isn't a Rails Girls group near you, maybe you should start one and help more women and girls get into programming. This is the Rails Girls' goal. Any particular ages? Not really. And their workshops are all free of charge: "You just need to be excited!"
Handhelds

Shape-Shifting Mobile Devices Unveiled 53

Posted by samzenpus
from the fits-anywhere dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about shape-shifting mobile devices unveiled by researchers from the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science. "Prototype mobile devices that can change shape on-demand will be unveiled today and could lay down the foundation for creating high shape resolution devices of the future. The research paper (Pdf), to be presented at one of the world's most important conferences on human-computer interfaces, will introduce the term 'shape resolution' and its ten features, to describe the resolution of an interactive device: in addition to display and touch resolution. The research, led by Dr Anne Roudaut and Professor Sriram Subramanian, from the University of Bristol's Department of Computer Science, have used 'shape resolution' to compare the resolution of six prototypes the team have built using the latest technologies in shape changing material, such as shape memory alloy and electro active polymer."

Comment: Pluto (Score 1) 203

by fuo (#43527145) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Science Books For Middle School Enrichment?
How I Killed Pluto And Why it Had It Coming The story of pluto's deplanetification from the guy who did it... It's non-fiction, but still a very entertaining read. Includes history of planet discoveries and similar demotions that have happened in the past. http://www.amazon.com/How-Killed-Pluto-Why-Coming/dp/0385531109
Space

Inside the Tech of SpaceX's Homegrown Rocket Engine 82

Posted by timothy
from the see-fig-1 dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from a look at the engine behind SpaceX's Falcon rocket, the Merlin: "The rockstar of SpaceX may be Elon Musk, but the lead man behind the fire power is Tom Mueller. He is the Vice President of Propulsion Development and founding employee at SpaceX. Musk sought Mueller out in 2001 when Musk decided to build his own rockets instead of buying some from the Russians. Musk caught wind of a rocket engine Mueller built in his garage and 'apparently had a religious experience' once he saw it. If you didn't know, Elon Musk used $100 million of his Paypal money to start SpaceX. That money was used to build the Merlin engine Mueller had designed. The Merlin engine is the first new American booster engine in ten years and only the second in the last 25 years."
Government

US Metaphor-Recognizing Software System Starts Humming 105

Posted by samzenpus
from the bright-ideas dept.
coondoggie writes "An innovative project, called Autonomous Dynamic Analysis of Metaphor and Analogy, or ADAMA, aims to build a software system that can automatically analyze metaphorical speech in five different languages by analyzing huge quantities of online data got off the ground this week when the U.S. Army Research Laboratory awarded a $1.4 million contract to the team conducting the research. The research is backed by the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), which develops high-risk, reward research projects for the government, and is intended to build a repository of speech metaphors from American/English Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers. ADAMA could have immediate applications in forensics, intelligence analysis, business intelligence, sociological research and communication studies, researchers stated."
AT&T

US Carriers Finally Doing Something About Cellphone Theft 155

Posted by timothy
from the att-still-has-my-resentment dept.
New submitter zarmanto writes "In a move that is so long overdue that it boggles the mind, the FCC and the four largest cellular providers in the U.S. state that they will be joining forces to combat cell phone theft. From the article: 'Over the next six months, each of the four operators is expected to put in place a program to disable phones reported as stolen and within 18 months the FCC plans to help merge them into a central database in order to prevent a phone from being used on another carrier's network.'"
Iphone

World's Creepiest iPhone App Pulled After Outcry 459

Posted by samzenpus
from the was-that-inappropriate? dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Grubb reports that an iPhone app that essentially allowed users to stalk women nearby using a location-based social networking service has been pulled from the iTunes app store by its developer after an outcry of criticism including a comment by Gizmodo labelling the 'Girls Around Me' app as the 'world's creepiest' app and a comment in The New York Times Bits blog, which said it 'definitely' won the prize for being 'too creepy'. The 'Girls Around Me' app utilized publicly available data to show a map with women who had checked-in to locations nearby using Foursquare and let users view Facebook information of those ladies if they had tied their Facebook account to their Foursquare account and if their Facebook account privacy settings were lax enough to allow any user to access it. The promotional website used for marketing the app states that the service 'helps you see where nearby girls are checking in, and shows you what they look like and how to get in touch, adding 'In the mood for love, or just after a one-night stand? Girls Around Me puts you in control! Reveal the hottest nightspots, who's in them, and how to reach them.' Foursquare yanked the Girls Around Me app's access to its data, which in turn led to the app's developer removing it from iTunes as it didn't work properly. In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, the company behind the app defended its creation: 'Since the app's launch till last Friday nobody ever raised a privacy concern because, again, it is clearly stated that Girls Around Me cannot show the user more data than [what Foursqure or Facebook] already does.'"
Cloud

The Pirate Bay Plans Servers In the Sky 329

Posted by samzenpus
from the cloud-pirates dept.
1sockchuck writes "The Pirate Bay says it plans to deploy servers on airborne drones several kilometers above international waters. The site said it was experimenting with servers using Raspberry Pi, a credit-card sized Linux computer. April Fools come early? Torrent Freak says the plan is real. It's apparently a literal approach to cloud computing."
Idle

How Much Stuff Can Timothy Jam Into His New Hoodie's Pockets? (Video) 183 Screenshot-sm

Posted by Roblimo
from the someday-we'll-all-carry-more-than-our-body-weight-in-our-jackets dept.
Timothy Lord is exactly the kind of person for whom the SCOTTEVEST Ultimate Hoodie Microfleece was designed; He's on the go all the time, needs to travel light, and wants to carry lots of stuff on his person to avoid checking luggage when he's flying. Yes, we know; before long half the people waiting to board airliners will be bulked out to double their normal width. Meanwhile, Timothy managed to jam an amazing amount of stuff into his new hoodie. Or jacket, as he prefers to call it.

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY (#7): April 2, 1751 Issac Newton becomes discouraged when he falls up a flight of stairs.

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