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Transportation

Should Cities Install Moving Sidewalks? 698

Posted by timothy
from the that-and-bicycle-elevators dept.
theodp writes "The real problem nowadays is how to move crowds,' said the manager of the failed Trottoir Roulant Rapide high-speed (9 km/h) people mover project. 'They can travel fast over long distances with the TGV (high-speed train) or airplanes, but not over short distances (under 1 km).' Slate's Tom Vanderbilt explores whether moving walkways might be viable for urban transportation. The first moving sidewalks were unveiled at Chicago's 1893 Columbian Exposition, and at one point seemed destined to supplant some subways, but never took root in cities for a variety of reasons. Vanderbilt turns to science fiction for inspiration, where 30 mph walkways put today's tortoise-like speed ranges of .5-.83 m/s to shame. In the meantime, Jerry Seinfeld will just have to learn to live with 'the people who get onto the moving walkway and just stand there. Like it's a ride.'"
Earth

"Argonaut" Octopus Sucks Air Into Shell As Ballast 72

Posted by timothy
from the 8-legs-good dept.
audiovideodisco writes "Even among octopuses, the Argonaut must be one of the coolest. It gets its nickname — 'paper nautilus' — from the fragile shell the female assembles around herself after mating with the tiny male (whose tentacle/penis breaks off and remains in the female). For millennia, people have wondered what the shell was for; Aristotle thought the octopus used it as a boat and its tentacles as oars and sails. Now scientists who managed to study Argonauts in the wild confirm a different hypothesis: that the octopus sucks air into its shell and uses it for ballast as it weaves its way through the ocean like a tiny submarine. The researchers' beautiful video and photographs show just how the Argonaut pulls off this trick. The regular (non-paper) nautilus also uses its shell for ballast, but the distant relationship between it and all octopuses suggests this is a case of convergent evolution."
Hardware

+ - Make your own open source retro arcade syle clock->

Submitted by
ptorrone
ptorrone writes "Hardware hacker "Ladyada" has released an open source retro arcade style table tennis for two clock called the MONOCHRON. According to MONCHRON project page they "wanted to make a clock that was ultra-hackable, from adding a separate battery-backed RTC to designing the enclosure so you could program the clock once its assembled." It includes a ATmega328 processor (with'Arduino' stk500 bootloader for easy hacking). It's completely open source hardware, all firmware, layout and CAD files are yours to mess with."
Link to Original Source
Power

Is RCA's Airnergy Snake Oil? 271

Posted by kdawson
from the deepness-in-the-sky dept.
Ben Newman writes "Of all the tech that's come out of CES this week, nothing has gotten the blogosphere more excited then the RCA Airnergy. A lot of people love the thought of an ever-recharging cell phone, and the Airnergy promises to constantly charge its internal battery through 2.4GHz wireless signals. Neat idea, but as some commenters have pointed out the energy just isn't there to make this work — BOTECs for a full charge range from 100 days to 32 years. Plus, don't let the RCA brand fool you into thinking this must be from a legitimate company: RCA hasn't existed as anything more then a licensed brand name for a couple of decades. So what do Slashdotters think — real deal or 21st century hokum?"

Comment: Re:Virtualization (Score 2, Informative) 328

by AdmiralXyz (#29879555) Attached to: Psystar's Rebel EFI Hackintosh Tool Reviewed, Found Wanting
Don't count on it. The problem with virtualization is that it requires the virtualized OS to be as cooperative to the whole affair as possible, since it needs to be fooled into thinking it has unfettered access to the system, which in many ways is much harder than just getting the OS to run natively on the hardware. Windows and Linux are becoming more virtualization-friendly every day since their developers have realized that their operating systems are being virtualized on a regular basis, but since there is no Apple-approved way to virtualize OS X, it would be a fairly trivial matter for them to make it as unfriendly to virtualize as possible. If that doesn't sound like such a big deal, consider how many strange bugs there are in VMs where the virtualized operating system is TRYING to make it as easier on the VM.

Is Apple doing this at the moment? Probably not. Would they if they saw OS X virtualization becoming widespread against their will? Of course no one can say for sure, but I don't think anyone would put it past them either.

Comment: Re:Hardware hacker extraordinares?? (Score 2, Funny) 282

by ladyada (#29583789) Attached to: Hardware Hackers Create a Cheaper Bedazzler
Wow you are really paranoid! Adam helped me pick out the best amplifier and looked over the RF gain stage layout to make sure it was nice and clean, since he did this for a living. Sure I could have done everything without any extra eyes but then the jammer might not have been as effective and that would be so sad :~( If you check back, next week, I'll have project on how to build your own 4 layer boards with popsicle sticks and glitter!

Comment: Re:It's probably not bright enough. (Score 5, Informative) 282

by ladyada (#29582039) Attached to: Hardware Hackers Create a Cheaper Bedazzler
Don't worry, its plenty bright! Its bigger only because it has more LEDs, and nice 6 degree lenses. If you RTFA you'll see we suggest going with green LEDs for best effectiveness but this has an RGB rave mode for going to parties. That way we can take it out to raves! Also, please note that LEDs are not driven "continuous current" not sure where you got that from

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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