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Girl Seeks Help On Facebook During Assault 417

Posted by samzenpus
from the emergency-status-update dept.
A 12-year-old girl who was being assaulted by her mother's ex-boyfriend used some quick thinking by sending a message on her iPod to a friend's Facebook account for help. The friend was able to contact the girl's mother who then contacted the police. 42-year-old Raymond Ernest Cesmat was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He is being held at the Dakota County Jail on $175,000 bail.
Biotech

Doubled Yield For Bio-Fuel From Waste 97

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-the-oil-from-anything-guy? dept.
hankwang writes "Dutch chemical company DSM announced a new process for production of ethanol from agricultural waste. Most bio-fuel ethanol now is produced from food crops such as corn and sugar cane. Ethanol produced from cellulose would use waste products such as wood chips, citrus peel, and straw. The new process is claimed to increase the yield by a factor of two compared to existing processes, thanks to new enzymes and special yeast strains."
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The "King of All Computer Mice" Finally Ships 207

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-a-button-for-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The much-anticipated, much-mocked 18-button joystick mouse from WarMouse is now shipping. The press release features an impressive set of user quotes from game designer Chris Taylor, new SFWA president John Scalzi, and a doctor who runs a medical software company. Crazy or not, it's obviously more than just a gaming mouse."
Movies

Why Are Video Game Movies So Awful? 385

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-just-uwe dept.
An article at CNN discusses why big screen interpretations of video games, even successful ones, often fail to succeed at the box office. Quoting: "The problem with successfully adapting video games into hit Hollywood spin-offs may lie in the way in which stories for both mediums are designed and implemented. Game makers chasing the dream of playing George Lucas or Steven Spielberg will always strive to coax human emotion and convincing drama from increasingly photorealistic virtual elements. The Hollywood machine, in its endless chase for big bucks, can't help but exploit the latest hit interactive outing, often failing to realize it's often a specific gameplay mechanic, psychological meme or technical feature that makes the title so compelling. Both sides may very well continue to look down in disdain on the work that the opposite is doing, which can doom any collaborative efforts. But where the two roads truly diverge is in the way stories are fundamentally told. Films offer a single, linear tale that's open to individual interpretation, whereas games are meant to be experienced differently and in a multitude of ways by every player." On a related note, reader OrangeMonkey11 points out that an 8-minute short has showed up online that appears part of a pitch for a potential Mortal Kombat reboot movie. Hit the link below to take a look.
Science

Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Protein ... and Now Fat 210

Posted by timothy
from the visit-the-chiba-clinic-for-an-upgrade dept.
ral writes "The human tongue can taste more than sweet, sour, salty, bitter and protein. Researchers have added fat to that list. Dr. Russell Keast, an exercise and nutrition sciences professor at Deakin University in Melbourne, told Slashfood, 'This makes logical sense. We have sweet to identify carbohydrate/sugars, and umami to identify protein/amino acids, so we could expect a taste to identify the other macronutrient: fat.' In the Deakin study, which appears in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, Dr. Keast and his team gave a group of 33 people fatty acids found in common foods, mixed in with nonfat milk to disguise the telltale fat texture. All 33 could detect the fatty acids to at least a small degree."
Idle

Directed Energy Weapon Downs Mosquitos 428

Posted by samzenpus
from the two-pound-hammer-and-ten-penny-nail dept.
wisebabo writes "Nathan Myhrvol demonstrated at TED a laser, built from parts scrounged from eBay, capable of shooting down not one but 50 to 100 mosquitos a second. The system is 'so precise that it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted.' Currently, for the sake of efficiency, it leaves the males alone because only females are bloodsuckers. Best of all the system could cost as little as $50. Maybe that's too expensive for use in preventing malaria in Africa but I'd buy one in a second!" We ran a story about this last year. It looks like the company has added a bit more polish, and burning mosquito footage to their marketing.
Image

Own Your Own Fighter Jet 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the only-one-on-the-block dept.
gimmebeer writes "The Russian Sukhoi SU-27 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (more than 1,300 mph) and has a thrust to weight ratio greater than 1 to 1. That means it can accelerate while climbing straight up. It was designed to fight against the best the US had to offer, and now it can be yours for the price of a mediocre used business jet."

Comment: Re:heating element (Score 1) 839

by tg2k (#30595182) Attached to: Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

The downer, of course, is that in all likelihood, the makers of the traffic lights did not design in any kind of solution (neither the heating elements nor any logic to intelligently activate them), and so upgrading will cost tons more money.

Mind you, I'm sure that half the people on Slashdot thought about this sort of thing years ago and expected (if on a subconscious level) this snafu to occur.

Comment: Re:heating element (Score 1) 839

by tg2k (#30593670) Attached to: Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights
If the lights are networked, you could just send a signal to all or a group of them to turn on the heating elements whenever it is snowing.

Or, if you can somehow detect the snow, you could fully automate it. But doing it purely based on temperature would be wasteful because a lot of the time you have cold without snow.

Lots of lights have nearby cameras (whether for catching people running red lights or for traffic control, I'm not always sure) and perhaps you could use these to detect the snow.

Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Posted by samzenpus
from the snack-is-going-to-be-on-the-floor-today dept.
Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment: Re:What's the benefit exactly? (Score 1) 423

by tg2k (#28572557) Attached to: Enthusiasts Convene To Say No To SQL, Hash Out New DB Breed
Seriously. If your database is of any decent size you should find a good ORM tool so you can keep to what you do best: the business logic. Having written data access layers with minimal help, and used a good ORM, I find there is no substitute for the ORM, especially if it allows you some additional flexibility for corner cases.
The Almighty Buck

Console Port of The Witcher On Hold 23

Posted by Soulskill
from the all-about-the-benjamins dept.
Several sources are reporting that work on The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, a console port of the popular PC game, has officially been suspended. CD Projekt, makers of the original game, were working with WideScreen Games on the new version. WideScreen says that CD Projekt missed a significant payment for their role in the development, leading them to stop work on the game. They are emphatic that development won't continue until CD Projekt makes good on the debt, but CD Projekt says, "All payments were done on time according to milestone plan. ... Truth is that payments were later than originally planned but this was solely due to delays in production. The delays were growing in the project due to WSG [continuing] to miss the deadlines." The game's future is uncertain.

Comment: Re:I don't see this happening any time soon (Score 1) 170

by tg2k (#27712245) Attached to: Senate Bill Calls For Open Source Electronic Health Records

I can't speak for other companies, but my company takes HIPAA very seriously. And I think audits over HIPAA concerns are being taken more seriously across the industry as well.

At the same time, we have millions of lines of code, many dating to well before the days of HIPAA, and if we exposed it all to public scrutiny I'm sure it would make it easier to hack...particularly anywhere a developer was thoughtful enough to mention that in a comment.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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