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Google

Google Airs Super Bowl Ad 315

Posted by kdawson
from the feeling-lucky dept.
theodp writes "CNET's hunch that Google might run a Super Bowl ad entitled 'Parisian Love' proved to be well-founded. The ad just ran (did you know that you can search the Internet using Google?), and Apple certainly doesn't have to worry about losing its claim to having produced the best Super Bowl ad ever. In fact, you might want to check out the spoof 'Parisian Love' apparently inspired — 'Is Tiger Feeling Lucky?' — if you want to see a better pitch for Google."
Power

How Vulnerable Is Our Power Grid? 359

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the dc-is-screwed-but-ac-will-be-fine dept.
coreboarder writes "Recently it was divulged that the Brazilian power infrastructure was compromised by hackers. Then it was announced that it was apparently faulty equipment. A downplay to the global public or an honest clarification? Either way, it raises the question: how vulnerable are we, really? With winter and all its icy glory hurtling towards those of us in the northern hemisphere, how open are we to everything from terrorist threats to simple 'pay me or else' schemes?"
Science

Why Doesn't Exercise Lead To Weight Loss? 978

Posted by timothy
from the that-would-be-too-easy dept.
antdude writes "The New York Times' Well blog reports that 'for some time, researchers have been finding that people who exercise don't necessarily lose weight.' A study published online in September 2009 in The British Journal of Sports Medicine was the latest to report apparently disappointing slimming results. In the study, 58 obese people completed 12 weeks of supervised aerobic training without changing their diets. The group lost an average of a little more than seven pounds, and many lost barely half that. How can that be?"
Robotics

Where's Waldo (the Submarine)? 107

Posted by timothy
from the keep-an-eye-out dept.
stoolpigeon writes "Scientists on Florida's Gulf Coast are trying to find an underwater robot that has mysteriously vanished. The robot from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota has been missing since Monday. The robot, which cost about $100,000, was equipped with a detector to find red tide, a toxic algae bloom. The detector was valued at another $30,000. Scientists aren't sure what happened to the robot, which is nicknamed Waldo."
Power

Chevy Volt Rated At 230 mpg In the City 1006

Posted by kdawson
from the bragging-rights dept.
necro81 writes "General Motors, emerging from bankruptcy, today announced that its upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Volt, will have an EPA rating of 230 mpg for city driving (about 98 km/L). The unprecedented rating, the first in triple digits, is the result of a new (draft) methodology for calculating the 'gas' mileage for vehicles that operate primarily or extensively on electricity. The Volt, due out late next year, can drive approximately 40 miles on its Li-Ion battery pack, after which a gasoline engine kicks in to provide additional electricity to charge the battery. Running off the gasoline engine yields approximately 50 mpg. Of course, the devil's in the details, because the conversion of grid-based electricity to gasoline-mileage is imprecise." Now we know the meaning of the mysterious "230" viral marketing campaign.
Security

'Vanish' Makes Sensitive Data Self-Destruct 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-doesn't-appear-to-be-a-fire-hazard dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports on new software called 'Vanish,' developed by computer scientists at the University of Washington, which makes sensitive electronic messages 'self destruct' after a certain period of time. The researchers say they have struck upon a unique approach that relies on 'shattering' an encryption key that is held by neither party in an e-mail exchange, but is widely scattered across a peer-to-peer file sharing system. 'Our goal was really to come up with a system where, through a property of nature, the message, or the data, disappears,' says Amit Levy, who helped create Vanish. It has been released as a free, open-source tool that works with Firefox. To use Vanish, both the sender and the recipient must have installed the tool. The sender then highlights any sensitive text entered into the browser and presses the 'Vanish' button. The tool encrypts the information with a key unknown even to the sender. That text can be read, for a limited time only, when the recipient highlights the text and presses the 'Vanish' button to unscramble it. After eight hours, the message will be impossible to unscramble and will remain gibberish forever. Tadayoshi Kohno says Vanish makes it possible to control the 'lifetime' of any type of data stored in the cloud, including information on Facebook, Google documents or blogs."

Comment: Re:No Asylum? (Score 1) 778

by liquidsunshine (#28662337) Attached to: British Men Jailed For Online Hate Crimes
I completely agree, but I'd be willing to guess that the reasoning has to do with treaties and/or our relationship with Britain. Offering asylum would imply that we think they are a "bad" nation with unjust laws (which they seem to be), and would hurt our relationship with them. Basically, world governments are a bunch of middle schoolers.

Comment: It worked in Rome (Score 2, Interesting) 313

by liquidsunshine (#28627125) Attached to: Can Urine Rescue Hydrogen-Powered Cars?
The Romans made great use of human urine in their day; why shouldn't we do the same? In ancient Rome, citizens were actually "taxed" their urine; that is, the government required that they give it to them. And then they sold it back to them in more useful forms. Sounds like a great way to get our government out of the financial mess they're in!
The Internet

Malcolm Gladwell Challenges the Idea of "Free" 206

Posted by kdawson
from the crying-out-from-a-world-of-hurt dept.
An anonymous reader brings us another bump on the bumpy road of Chris Anderson's new book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, which we discussed a week ago. Now the Times (UK) is reporting on a dustup between Anderson and Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. Recently Gladwell reviewed, or rather deconstructed, Anderson's book in the New Yorker. Anderson has responded with a blog post that addresses some, but by no means all, of Gladwell's criticisms, and The Times is inclined to award the match to Gladwell on points. Although their reviewer didn't notice that Gladwell, in setting up the idea of "Free" as a straw man, omitted a critical half of Stewart Brand's seminal quote.
Privacy

Crowdsourcing Big Brother In Lancaster, PA 440

Posted by timothy
from the nerd-campers-running-amok-at-the-market dept.
sehlat writes "From the Los Angeles Times comes word that in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 165 public surveillance cameras are being set up to be monitored by a 'non profit coalition' of volunteers. The usual suspects, including 'the innocent have nothing to fear' are being trotted out to justify this, and the following quote at the end of the article deserves mention: 'But Jack Bauer, owner of the city's largest beer and soft drink distributor, calls the network "a great thing." His store hasn't been robbed, he said, since four cameras went up nearby. "There's nothing wrong with instilling fear," he said.'"

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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