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+ - How to Control Internet Forums->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""The Gentleperson's Guide To Forum Spies". The article was written by an ex-COINTELPRO spy, and describes in explicit detail how agents control and manipulate Internet forums."
Link to Original Source

The Walking House 304 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the baba-yaga-eat-your-heart-out dept.
What is 10' tall, has six hydraulic legs, and is powered by the wind and solar panels? The prototype pod house built by art collective N55 in Copenhagen, Denmark. With the help of MIT, N55 built the pod over a two-year period at a cost of £30,000. Designers say it provides a solution to the problem of rising water levels as the house can simply walk away from floods. One of the designers says, "This house is not just for travellers but also for anyone interested in a more general way of nomadic living." It won't be long now until the Japanese make Howl's Moving Castle.

Robert Heinlein's Pre-Internet Fan Mail FAQ 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the tanstaafl dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Kevin Kelly has an interesting post about a letter he found amongst correspondence from his days editing the Whole Earth Catalog. The letter is Robert Heinlein's own nerdy solution to a problem common to famous authors: to deal with fan mail. In the days before the internet, Heinlein's solution was to create a list of frequently asked questions, answer them, and remove the questions. Then he, or rather his wife Ginny, checked off the appropriate answer(s) and mailed it back. Some of the entries in Heinlein's answer sheet are quite illuminating and amusing. Our personal favorite: 'You say that you have enjoyed my stories for years. Why did you wait until you disliked one story before writing to me?'"
The Courts

University of Michigan Student Wants SafeNet Prosecuted 393

Posted by Soulskill
from the right-back-at-you dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "An anonymous University of Michigan student, targeted by the RIAA as a 'John Doe,' is asking for the RIAA's investigator, SafeNet (formerly MediaSentry), to be prosecuted criminally for a pattern of felonies in Michigan. Known to Michigan's Department of Labor and Economic Growth — the agency regulating private investigators in that state — only as 'Case Number 162983070,' the student has pointed out that the law has been clear in Michigan for years that computer forensics activities of the type practiced by Safenet require an investigator's license. This follows the submissions by other 'John Does' establishing that SafeNet's changing and inconsistent excuses fail to justify its conduct, and that Michigan's legislature and governor have backed the agency's position that an investigator's license was required." SafeNet/MediaSentry defended their actions by claiming their company simply "records public information available to millions of users. If private investigator licenses were required to do what MediaSentry does, every user on Limewire and other illegal p2p networks would be required to have a license. Indeed, every search engine and Internet user would be required to have a private investigator license if MediaSentry needs one."

Learning the Scientific Method From Games 67

Posted by Soulskill
from the theorycrafting-101 dept.
Wired is running a story about a research paper out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison which discusses how some games get players to do scientific research without them explicitly realizing it. The paper itself is also available. Quoting: "... we examine the scientific habits of mind and dispositions that characterize online discussion forums of the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft. Eighty-six percent of the forum discussions were posts engaged in 'social knowledge construction' rather than social banter. Over half of the posts evidenced systems based on reason, one in ten evidenced model-based reasoning, and 65% displayed an evaluative epistemology in which knowledge is treated as an open-ended process of evaluation and argument."

Polar Robots to Explore the Arctic 98

Posted by timothy
from the robot-siberia dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "It's now almost certain that the world's ice shelves are melting. And while satellites provide lots of data about their evolution, ground-based weather stations could be even more useful. But if scientists can no longer stay on fragile and volatile ice sheets, what can they do? They can use specially designed robots called SnoMotes developed by U.S. researchers. 'The SnoMotes work as a team, autonomously collaborating among themselves to cover all the necessary ground to gather assigned scientific measurements.' More importantly, a SnoMote is an 'expendable rover that wouldn't break a research team's bank if it were lost during an experiment,' according to the lead researcher." Reader coondoggie adds a link to another story on these robots at Network World.

The Texas Petawatt Laser 174

Posted by kdawson
from the you-can-pet-a-dog-or-you-can-pet-a-cat dept.
Roland Piquepaille notes the hype surrounding what the University of Texas at Austin is calling the world's most powerful laser. During a tenth of a femtosecond this laser is 2,000 times more powerful than all the power plants in the US, and is brighter than sunlight on the surface of the Sun. On his own blog Roland points out that UT's is not the first petawatt laser; that distinction belongs to a system installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1996.

Birds Give a Lesson to Plane Designers 250

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-a-bird-it's-a-plane-no-really dept.
Roland Piquepaille points out a news release from the University of Michigan where researchers are looking to birds and bats for insights into aerospace engineering. Wei Shyy and his colleagues are learning from solutions developed by nature and applying them to the technology of flight. A presentation on this topic was also given at the 2005 TED conference. From the news release: "The roll rate of the aerobatic A-4 Skyhawk plane is about 720 degrees per second. The roll rate of a barn swallow exceeds 5,000 degrees per second. Select military aircraft can withstand gravitational forces of 8-10 G. Many birds routinely experience positive G-forces greater than 10 G and up to 14 G. Flapping flight is inherently unsteady, but that's why it works so well. Birds, bats and insects fly in a messy environment full of gusts traveling at speeds similar to their own. Yet they can react almost instantaneously and adapt with their flexible wings."
United States

Copy That Floppy, Lose Your Computer 766

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the god-bless-america-land-of-the-super-corporation dept.
Over the weekend we posted a story about a new copyright bill that creates a new govt. agency in charge of copyright enforcement. Kevin Way writes "In particular, the bill grants this new agency the right to seize any computer or network hardware used to "facilitate" a copyright crime and auction it off. You would not need to be found guilty at trial to face this penalty. You may want to read a justification of it, and criticism presented by Declan McCullagh and Public Knowledge." Lots of good followup there on a really crazy development.

+ - The first image taken with an ultra low field MRI->

Submitted by
KentuckyFC writes "MRI machines are about to get smaller, much smaller. Most of their bulk is taken up by the huge superconducting magnets required to generate fields of about a Tesla. Now a team at the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico has built a machine that can produce images using a field of only a few microTesla. So giant superconducting magnets aren't necessary, a development that has the potential to make MRI machines much smaller, perhaps even suitcase sized. Today, the team has posted sections of the first 3D brain image taken with the device (abstract, pdf)."
Link to Original Source

+ - MIT researchers develop color changing gel 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The researchers at MIT have created a new structured gel that can rapidly change color in response to a variety of stimuli, including temperature, pressure, salt concentration and humidity. Apparently the structured gel can be used as a fast and inexpensive chemical sensor, says Edwin Thomas, a professor of materials Science and engineering at MIT. The gel will be most useful in a food processing plant, where the sensor will be able to indicate whether food that must remain dry has been overly exposed to humidity."
Operating Systems

+ - Vista vs. the Gibbon 4

Submitted by ricegf
ricegf (1059658) writes "If you had 7 computers running various versions of Windows and Linux, on which machine would you choose to do most of your work? Rupert Goodwins describes his experience thus: 'So here's the funny thing. I've used Windows since 1.0. I've lived through the bad times of Windows/386 and ME, and the good times of NT 3.51 and 2K. I know XP if not backwards, then with a degree of familiarity that only middle-aged co-dependents can afford each other. Then how come I'm so much more at home with Ubuntu than Vista?'"

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.