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Christmas Cheer

Gadgets For a Budding Geek? 372

Posted by kdawson
from the better-to-give dept.
fprintf writes "As much as I hate to admit it, it looks like my 13-year-old son is following in my footsteps and preferring interesting, science-based toys. In the past he has been really interested in Lava Lamps, Newton's Cradle, and anything magnetic. It seems the knick-knacks that have generated the most interest were small and relatively inexpensive. For example, a small laser pointer keychain I bought him a couple of years ago still provides tons of entertainment. Yesterday I showed him ThinkGeek and he really liked the Levitron. I wanted to ask the Slashdot crowd what were some other really neat, interesting gadgets? Is there anything cool in the under-$50 range that you would like in your stocking this year?"
Privacy

Google Can Predict the Flu 289

Posted by kdawson
from the sees-you-when-you're-sleeping dept.
An anonymous reader mentions Google Flu Trends, a newly unveiled initiative of Google.org, Google's philanthropic arm. The claim is that this Web service, which aggregates search data to track outbreaks of influenza, can spot disease trends up to 2 weeks before Centers for Disease Control data can. The NYTimes writeup begins: "What if Google knew before anyone else that a fast-spreading flu outbreak was putting you at heightened risk of getting sick? And what if it could alert you, your doctor and your local public health officials before the muscle aches and chills kicked in? That, in essence, is the promise of Google Flu Trends, a new Web tool ... unveiled on Tuesday, right at the start of flu season in the US. Google Flu Trends is based on the simple idea that people who are feeling sick will tend to turn to the Web for information, typing things like 'flu symptoms; or 'muscle aches' into Google. The service tracks such queries and charts their ebb and flow, broken down by regions and states."
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Stallman's Hypocrisy

Submitted by TheAmigo
TheAmigo writes: If Richard Stallman is such a friend of freedom why was he recently in Cuba attending a conference hosted by Ramiro Valdez, Cuba's "spanking new minister of information and technology", as reported by Newsmax. From The Article: "Everyone familiar with Cuban history (this naturally excludes all the MSM Cuba experts) know Ramiro Valdez as the Cuban regime's Lavrenti Beria, with a dash of Heinrich Himmler. This was a position he inherited when his chum Ernesto "Che" Guevara was promoted from Cuba's chief executioner to minister of the economy, where he murdered the Cuban economy as efficiently as he had murdered hundreds of defenseless Cuban men (and boys.)"
My favorite part of the article: "Here's a fanatic for free information flow accepting accolades from a regime that jails the most journalist per capita on planet earth."
Editorial

+ - Prehistoric Men Liked Big Behinds, Researchers Say

Submitted by
acgrissom
acgrissom writes: "Continuing with the trend of presumptuous historical reconstruction, Polish researchers claim that cave men from 15,000 years ago were much more interested in a developed posterior than in any other area of the body. This is based on the unearthing of several figurines which show developed posteriors, and which conspicuously lack heads.

http://www.express.co.uk/news_detail.html?sku=1356 "
Input Devices

+ - Six degree of freedom head tracking

Submitted by pATCheS
pATCheS writes: Imagine what it would be like to be able to use your head to look around in today's PC games. Sound cool? The kids over at Natural Point thought so too, and they set forth to produce TrackIR. While this technology has been around for some years now (and has seen Slashdot fame before), it has the potential to significantly increase immersion in interactive 3D games and applications at a moderate cost. This YouTube video shows off the latest TrackIR's capabilities.
Operating Systems

+ - How to flash motherboard BIOS from Linux?

Submitted by zlatko
zlatko writes: You've finally made the move to a Windows-free computer, you're enjoying your brand new Linux OS, no trojans/viruses, no slowdown, everything's perfect. Suddenly, you need to update the BIOS on your motherboard to support some new piece of hardware, but typically the motherboard vendor is offering only DOS based BIOS flash utilities. You panic! Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve...
The Media

+ - BBC lose all their original footage of 911

Submitted by
Kerago
Kerago writes: "The head of news BBC World, Richard Porter, recently disclosed in the BBC World editors blog http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/02/part _of_the_conspiracy.html, that the BBC has lost all of its original 911 footage. Mr Porters response to questions about how this could happen, who was responsible and when this would be reported to the public can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/03/part _of_the_conspiracy_2.html This has been kept extremely quiet in the UK media so far."

Once it hits the fan, the only rational choice is to sweep it up, package it, and sell it as fertilizer.

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