the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma." One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."
Not. The iPhone data usage stats has reduced by 6% last month and 2.8% the month before. The lost share being taken by Android primarily and Symbian (5800, N97, Samsung HD). Looking at the shape of the graphs, Apple better do something.
bsharma writes to let us know about a little goodie that we will be able to buy starting May 17: a battery-powered, rechargeable, cellular, Wi-Fi hot spot that you can put in your pocket. "What if you had a personal Wi-Fi bubble, a private hot spot, that followed you everywhere you go? Incredibly, there is such a thing. It's the Novatel MiFi 2200, available from Verizon starting in mid-May ($100 with two-year contract, after rebate). It's a little wisp of a thing, like a triple-thick credit card. It has one power button, one status light and a swappable battery that looks like the one in a cellphone. When you turn on your MiFi and wait 30 seconds, it provides a personal, portable, powerful, password-protected wireless hot spot. ... If you just want to do e-mail and the Web, you pay $40 a month for the service (250 megabytes of data transfer, 10 cents a megabyte above that). If you watch videos and shuttle a lot of big files, opt for the $60 plan (5 gigabytes). And if you don't travel incessantly, the best deal may be the one-day pass: $15 for 24 hours, only when you need it. In that case, the MiFi itself costs $270." The device has its Wi-Fi password printed on the bottom, so you can invite someone to join your network simply by showing it to them.
T-1000, appropriately enough, lets us know about a California initiative to compile open source science and math textbooks for the state, in the hopes of saving money. The effort is spearheaded by Gov. Schwarzenegger. "The effort seems very promising, but the state's complex standards and arduous textbook evaluation process will pose major challenges. ... The governator will surely be able to stop the digital textbooks from gaining sentience and subjugating humanity, but there are trickier challenges that will be even tougher to defeat than the impending Skynet apocalypse. Textbooks are a surprisingly controversial issue in California and there is a lot of political baggage and bureaucratic red tape that will make an open source textbook plan especially troublesome. ... [T]he traditional wiki approach is untenable for California teaching material. Individual changes to textbooks can become a source of fierce debate and there are a multitude of special interest groups battling over what the textbooks should say and how they should say it. It would take the concept of Wikipedia edit wars to a whole new level."
Being a stutterer all my life, it's pretty heartening to know that some positive research is being done in this oft neglected field.
ClimateCrisis writes to tell us that internet bandwidth could become a global currency under a new model of e-commerce developed by researchers from Delft University of Technology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "The application, available for free download at http://TV.seas.harvard.edu, is an enhanced version of a program called Tribler, originally created by the Dutch collaborators to study video file sharing. 'Successful peer-to-peer systems rely on designing rules that promote fair sharing of resources amongst users. Thus, they are both efficient and powerful computational and economic systems,' David Parkes, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences at Harvard said. 'Peer-to-peer has received a bad rap, however, because of its frequent association with illegal music or software downloads.' The researchers were inspired to use a version of the Tribler video sharing software as a model for an e-commerce system because of such flexibility, speed, and reliability."
Adambomb writes "The International Herald and others have reported that Russia has tested a new ICBM specifically designed to trump anti-missile systems. Perspectives may vary depending on individual political experience, but definitely food for thought."
kaliphonia writes "Over the past few years guitar tab sites have been shutting down after receiving cease-and-desist letters asserting they are violating copyright law. MXTabs.net is coming back this summer as the first licensed tab site and has posted a letter from a New York copyright attorney explaining why guitar tabs require licenses to be posted online, and do not fall under "fair use." The full letter is available here. Why Guitar Tabs Don't Fall Under Fair Use""
Nybble's Byte writes "This summer Hewlett Packard will introduce the HP 35s scientific calculator, featuring a choice of RPN or algebraic entry-system logic, 31 KB of memory and 800+ independent storage registers, keystroke programming, a 2-line display, HP Solve equation solver, statistics, fractions, number base conversions and calculations, and complex numbers. The Enter key is where old time RPN fans want it, in the middle of the keyboard. It appears to use the same basic processor as the HP 33S, a Sunplus SPLB31A, discussed here."