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Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared 99

SternisheFan sends a report from scientists who were tracking a group of birds — golden-winged warblers — in the Appalachian mountains. Just a few days after the birds completed their seasonal migration, they did something odd — they picked up and moved again. Shortly thereafter, a series of storms swept through that area of the U.S., which led to a destructive tornado outbreak (abstract). After the storm had blown over, the team recaptured five of the warblers and removed the geolocators. These are tiny devices weighing about half a gram, which measure light levels. Based on the timing and length of the days they record, these gadgets allow scientists to calculate and track the approximate location of migratory birds. In this case, all five indicated that the birds had taken unprecedented evasive action, beginning one to two days ahead of the storm's arrival. "The warblers in our study flew at least 1,500km (932 miles) in total," Dr. Streby said. They escaped just south of the tornadoes' path — and then went straight home again. By 2 May, all five were back in their nesting area."

Comment Re:From TFA... (Score 1) 182

From your own "correcting" link:

In the popular Discworld comic fantasy books by Terry Pratchett, the Discworld is a flat disc that rests on the backs of four huge elephants which are in turn standing on the back of an enormous turtle as it slowly swims through space. In the book Small Gods, the question "what does the turtle stand on?" is asked, and gets the reply "It's a turtle, for heaven's sake. It swims. That's what turtles are for." In his introduction to The Discworld Companion, Pratchett uses the phrase in a different sense, describing the recurrence of the Earth on a turtle in myth as "turtles all the way".

An Older Demographic May Soon Dominate Gaming 234

Reservoir Hill writes "An article from last week runs down the new mass audience for gaming among families, women and older people. The importance of the mass audience in gaming's spectacular growth is seen most clearly in the success of Nintendo's Wii, which is far outselling its more technically advanced hardware competitors, the Xbox 360 from Microsoft and PlayStation 3 from Sony. Wii Play was the No. 2-selling game of last year even though it received an abysmal score of 58 out of 100 at Metacritic, which aggregates reviews. The Times says that as video games become more popular hard-core gamers are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience. 'Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together.'"

Sloshing Cellphones Reveal Their Contents 160

holy_calamity writes "UK researchers have developed software that represents a handset's battery life by using a phone's speaker and vibrator to make a device feel and sound like it contains liquid. You give it a shake to find out how much is left. The same technique can be used to represent new messages by simulating balls rattling around inside a box. It runs on recent Nokias with accelerometers; video from the researchers explains it well." What a bizarrely fun idea.

Gates Successor Says Microsoft Laid Foundation for Google 500

thefickler writes "According to Bill Gates' successor Craig Mundie, there would have been no Google without Microsoft. 'I mean, the fact is: Google's existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers. Now, Microsoft's business is not to control the platform per se, but in fact to allow it to be exploited by the world's developers. The fact that we have it out there gives us a good business, but in some ways it doesn't give us an advantage over any of the other developers in terms of being able to utilize it.' This comment comes from a lengthy interview between Mundie and APC magazine, which talks with the newly installed strategy and R&D head. Other interesting topics discussed include the future of Microsoft and Windows, OOXML, and and the 'rise of Linux' on the desktop."

Will Internet TV Crash the Internet? 267

Stony Stevenson writes "Analyst groups and Cisco have come out saying that the internet is heading for a crash unless it increases its bandwidth capabilities which are being strangled by the increased use of Web TV. Stan Schatt, research director at ABI said: "Uploading bandwidth is going to have to increase, and the cable providers are going to get killed on bandwidth as HD programming becomes more commonplace." He added that the solution to the problem is to change to digital switching and move to IPTV. "They will be brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century," he said. Cisco weighed into the argument, adding that it had found American video websites currently transmit more data per month than the entire amount of traffic sent over the internet in 2000."

Broadcasters Want Cash For Media Shared At Home 426

marcellizot writes "What would you say if I told you that there are people out there that want to make sharing your media between devices over a home network illegal? According to Jim Burger, a Washington, D.C attorney who deals with piracy in the broadcasting industry, certain broadcasters want to do just that. Speaking in a recent podcast, Burger remarked that the broadcasting industry is keen to put controls on sharing media between devices even if those devices are on a home network and even if the sharing is strictly for personal use. When pressed as to why broadcasters would want to do this, Burger replied simply 'because they want you to pay for that right.'"

Five Finger Keyboards 177

Tijaska writes "Mobile devices are becoming more capable all the time, but their small screens and keyboards limit their usefulness. This article shows ways in which five buttons located on the edges of a mobile could be used in combinations to generate 325 or many more different characters, making a full-sized keyboard unnecessary. If that sounds like a tall story, remember the case of the retired 93 year old telegraph operator who used a Morse key to send a text message faster than a teenager could send it via mobile phone (see here)."

Define - /etc? 548

ogar572 asks: "There has been an ongoing and heated debate around the office concerning the definition of what /etc means on *nix operating systems. One side says "et cetera" per Wikipedia. Another side says it means 'extended tool chest' per this gnome mailing list entry or per this Norwegian article. Yet another side says neither, but he doesn't remember exactly what he heard in the past. All he remembers is that he was flamed when he called it 'et cetera', but that 'extended tool chest' didn't sound right either. So, what does it really mean?"
Wireless Networking

Skype Asks FCC to Open Cellular Networks 292

Milwaukee's_Best writes "Skype has just asked the FCC to force wireless phone companies to open their networks to all comers. Skype essentially wants to turn the wireless phone companies into just another network of the kind currently operated on the ground. This would require carriers to allow any phone to be used on their networks, and for any application. Users would simply purchase a voice or data plan (though these could easily converge into a data plan if VoIP calling is used) and then use the device of their choice to access the network of their choice. Think of it as network neutrality for cell networks. Given the competition that exists within the industry, is this needed?"
Wireless Networking

WiFi in Your Rental Car 100

Jezebel writes "Avis is bundling a 3G-to-802.11 bridge with their rental cars that will turn the vehicles into WiFi hotspots. Will we now have to worry about laptop use on the Interstate?" From the article "Autonet Mobile CEO Sterling Pratz told the International Herald Tribune that the In-Car Router will function in around 95 percent of the country, including all major US cities. Pratz claims to have minimized the problem of dropped signals with a technology similar to that used by the space shuttles to maintain an Internet connection."

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.