mbstone writes: According to a study at Université Libre de Bruxelles, different cockroaches react differently to stimuli, leading to their conclusion that some are shy, and some, extroverted. "The study revealed that the cockroaches wouldn't necessarily flee to shelters like researchers expected, but instead took unpredictable intervals of time to seek out shelter, which researchers attributed to individual personality traits within the cockroaches, like braveness or shyness. The shyer cockroaches were more likely to wait and see what their friends did before venturing toward shelter."
mbstone writes: Like most Americans I shop for groceries at a supermarket; at the conclusion of my purchase I receive a long paper receipt. How come there isn't a URL on the receipt whereby I can download my purchase data (UPC code, description, quantity, price) to a spreadsheet or CSV format? Do they not want me to be able to compare prices with those of other stores, or to better recognize pricing changes?
mbstone writes: California motorist and software developer Cecilia Abadie was found not guilty by a San Diego Superior Court commissioner Thursday (16) of charges of both speeding, and of driving with a video monitor visible. The California Highway Patrol had cited her based on her wearing Google Glass when pulled over; however, the commissioner ruled that the prosecution could not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the device was activated.
mbstone writes: The Air Force has a problem: Its drones generate thousands of hours of video (I almost said "footage.") And most of it is miles of endless desert. USAF needs to distill the highlights, if you will, and nobody does it better than ESPN, the TV sports network. Air Force officials have asked ESPN for help in analyzing the 327,384 hours collected just this year.
What we really need in times like these is sportscaster Warner Wolf. 'Let's go to the videotape, pick it up right here, Taliban in the home black.'
mbstone writes: There's three quadrillion gallons of water vapor in the air, but will this still be true after mass production of the self-filling water bottle? The invention is based on the Namib Desert Beetle which gets its moisture (12% of its weight) from water vapor.
mbstone writes: 3 Chicagoland teens were accused of huffing and driving after inhaling an aerosol product, familiar to every techie who cleans keyboards and other electronic assemblies, and causing at least two fatal auto accidents. Signs your kid might be huffing include 'sudden weight loss, changes in mood, changes in friendships, acting confused and rebellious.'
mbstone writes: Arvind Narayanan writes: What if authors can be identified based on nothing but a comparison of the content they publish to other web content they have previously authored? Naryanan has a new paper to be presented at the 33rd IEEE Symposium on Security & Privacy. Just as individual telegraphers could be identified by other telegraphers from their "fists," Naryanan posits that an author's habitual choices of words, such as, for example, the frequency with which the author uses "since" as opposed to "because," can be processed through an algorithm to identify the author's writing. Fortunately, and for now, manually altering one's writing style is effective as a countermeasure.
mbstone writes: In Bonn, Germany, prostitution is legal, but a working girl must now pay for the privilege of soliciting on the Immenburgstrasse. She does so by inserting 6 euros ($8.45) in a hooking-meter made by Siemens and receiving a slip of paper licensing her to practice her trade for the evening.
mbstone writes: You know those big, electromechanical displays that used to grace railroad stations and airports, the ones with the letters that would flip around and around until the correct message appeared? Sadly, none remain in service, but Cary Dunn has done it in ActionScript — how cool is that? — and I bet his emulation makes its way into real airports real soon now.