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Submission + - Cooling Your House With Solar Heat

An anonymous reader writes: The German Fraunhofer research institute has created the spin-off company SorTech, which plans to produce air conditioning systems that are run by solar heat. This mind-boggling feat is achieved by a thermo-chemical process called sorption. The technology could help to satisfy the increasing energy consumption used for air conditioning. It seems to be a perfect application for using solar energy: Good efficiency is possible by avoiding a conversion from heat into electricity and back to cooling energy. It also does not need a long term energy storage system, because the energy needed for cooling spikes exactly at the time, when most solar energy is available.

Submission + - "Brain Pacemaker" wakes man from vegetativ (

Kram_Gunderson writes: Reuters is reporting that medical researchers have awakened a man from a six-year near-vegetative state using a pacemaker-like device tied to electrodes implanted in the man's brain. The man, who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead in 1999, can now chew his own food, speak with a limited vocabulary, and play cards with his family. The treatment was begun in 2005, and gives hope for recovery to patients in minimally-conscious states.

Submission + - MS Works Adware (

ericrost writes: "Microsoft Corp. said on Wednesday it will offer a free, advertising-supported version of its basic productivity software, Microsoft Works, as part of a test program with computers manufacturers." N0121019020070802

Well, we all knew it was coming. How do we feel about our Free applications competing with adware?


Submission + - 5 New File-Exchange Services Reviewed (

mikemuch writes: "Huge email attachments should become a thing of the past if these new online file sharing services take hold. A couple, FileCrunch and YouSendit resemble nothing more than online storage with a sharing component. Microsoft's early beta Windows Live Folders is entering the fray, offering a shared folder metaphor, while Tubes is a file-syncing service from mobile platform developer Adesso Systems that keeps files synchronized on the individual sharers' machines. Pando leverages the BitTorrent protocol, but making it private so you can share media with a chosen network of friends and colleagues rather than the whole world. The services all have free levels for file sizes ranging from 50MB to 1GB."

Submission + - Forget your PIN? Use your face (

coondoggie writes: "Face recognition as a unique biometric is growing slowly in certain corporate and consumer applications, but researchers at the University of Houston (UH) are trying to make the technology far more ubiquitous and secure: they want it to replace the dozens of personal identification numbers (PIN), passwords and credit card numbers everyone uses every day. University researchers developed the URxD face recognition software that uses a three-dimensional snapshot of a person's face to create a unique biometric identifier. The UH designed and built a prototype field-deployable 3D face recognition system that consists of a 3dMDTM optical scanner using a 1-pod configuration, which is connected to a PC. A webcam captures a continuous video stream which is used to detect whether a person is facing the 3D camera. When the subject is facing the camera and remains relatively still for more than two seconds, the system triggers the optical scanner and the 3D data of the individual's face are captured. The system can either enroll the subject into the database, or perform a scenario-specific task. In an identification scenario, the system will display the closest 5 datasets to the operator. In a verification scenario, the system will determine whether the subject is who they claim to be, based on a preset distance threshold, UH says."

Submission + - How do I become a business?

TheGreatOrangePeel writes: "So, back at the end of January, I took a friend up on his offer to grab some of his unused bandwidth and started up my very first real website. It's been slow going with a false start or two and one incident where I had the joy of being hacked. All that is said and done with; I've plugged my security hole and things have been running smoothly (on my part, at least) for a few months now. Smoothly enough, in fact, I'm about to turn my first, albeit small, profit and my growth continues to exceed my minimum goals. As long as this trend continues, the idea of registering as a business next tax season becomes more and more enticing. But this drops a lot of questions out in front of me. What kind of business is appropriate for a single owner/operator? An LLC sounds like a likely choice to offer myself legal protection, but I'm really not certain what else might be more appropriate for me. There also are a lot of companies and websites out there ready to set me up as business complete with logos, trademarks and copyrights and while, to my own surprise, I feel comfortable with one of them, It wouldn't surprise me if they're some kind of scam and I'm wondering if I wouldn't do better to flip to someplace in the yellow pages. I guess my overall questions are these: At what point does it make the most sense to become a registered business, what kind of business should I be, what kind of legal service should I seek to become a business and handle any future trademarks and copyrights, how much should I be ready to spend on such services, and what am I overlooking?"

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb