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Submission + - Memory alloy bounces back into shape 10 million times (

wrp103 writes: Engineers have produced an alloy that springs back into shape even after it is bent more than 10 million times.
"Memory shape alloys" like this have many potential uses, but present incarnations are prone to wearing out.
The new material — made from nickel, titanium and copper — shatters previous records and is so resilient it could be useful in artificial heart valves, aircraft components or a new generation of solid-state refrigerators.
The work appears in Science Magazine.

Submission + - LA building's lights interfere with cellular network, FCC says ( 5

alphadogg writes: When a certain Los Angeles office building lights up, it's a dark day for nearby cellphone users, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Fluorescent lights at Ernst & Young Plaza, a 41-story tower near the heart of downtown, emit frequencies that interfere with the Verizon Wireless 700MHz network, the agency said in a citation issued against the building owner. The FCC's message comes through loud and clear in the filing: the building owner could be fined up to $16,000 a day if it keeps using the interfering lights, up to a total of $112,500. The alleged violation could also lead to "criminal sanctions, including imprisonment," the citation says.

Comment Re:It's pretty simple (Score 4, Insightful) 371

It's pretty simple: if you have a device with a camera, just cover the camera with a little black tape and tada, no more spying

I use a Post-It, with the non-sticky part over the camera hole.

That way, when I actually do want to use the camera, I simply bend the paper back and expose the camera. When I am done, I fold it back. Replacements are pretty simple. One pad should last you a long time. ;^)


Biological Computer Created at Stanford 89

sciencehabit writes "For the first time, synthetic biologists have created a genetic device that mimics one of the widgets on which all of modern electronics is based, the three-terminal transistor. Like standard electronic transistors, the new biological transistor is expected to work in many different biological circuit designs. This should make it easier for scientists to program cells to do everything from monitor pollutants and the progression of disease to turning on the output of medicines and biofuels."

Did the Spamhaus DDoS Really Slow Down Global Internet Access? 70

CowboyRobot writes "Despite the headlines, the big denial of service attack may not have slowed the Internet after all. The argument against the original claim include the fact that reports of Internet users seeing slowdowns came not from service providers, but the DDoS mitigation service CloudFlare, which signed up Spamhaus as a customer last week. Also, multiple service providers and Internet watchers have now publicly stated that while the DDoS attacks against Spamhaus could theoretically have led to slowdowns, they've seen no evidence that this occurred for general Internet users. And while some users may have noticed a slowdown, the undersea cable cuts discovered by Egyptian sailors had more of an impact than the DDoS."

Solar Impulse Airplane To Launch First Sun-Powered Flight Across America 89

First time accepted submitter markboyer writes "The Solar Impulse just landed at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California to announce a journey that will take it from San Francisco to New York without using a single drop of fuel. The 'Across America' tour will kick off this May when founders Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg take off from San Francisco. From there the plane will visit four cities across the states before landing in New York."

Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

mdsolar writes in with news that Goolge has released Street View pictures from inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima disaster. "Google Inc. (GOOG) today released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Google, operator of the world's biggest Web search engine, entered Namie this month at the invitation of the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, and produced the 360-degree imagery for the Google Maps and Google Earth services, it said in an e-mailed statement. All of Namie's 21,000 residents were forced to flee after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town, causing the world's worst nuclear accident after Chernobyl. Baba asked Mountain View, California-based Google to map the town to create a permanent record of its state two years after the evacuation, he said in a Google blog post."

Comment Re:Infinite (Score 2) 181

Ok, so how do you create an infinite world with procedural generation? You can't limit yourself to, say, a 64-bit int, cause that's not infinite. You could, presumably, use linked lists, but then you'd run into speed issues.

You seem to be assume the use of integers to identify the rooms. And there are many alternatives to linked lists.

A simple method would be to generate a pair of unique strings for each entrance/exit of a room. The first string would identify the current room / board, and the second string could represent the destination room. If you want to get really interesting, you can have one-way doorways, or even a different destination based on various factors. A simple hash table or an indexed database table could be used to locate the rooms. If the target string doesn't have a room associated with it, then you create a new room, save it, and then load the new room.

Just because an exit from one room takes you to a previously visited room doesn't mean the world repeats. In fact, if that never happened, the game would be boringly linear.

There is no reason that the entire world has to be in memory at one time, only the rooms where players are located. When memory gets tight, you can page out any rooms that are now empty, or perhaps where there has been no recent activity. When a new room is loaded, you can control its contents based on if the player has been there before, or if this is the first time that any player has been there within some time period. That would allow some one-time objects, others to be regenerated periodically, other items to be limited to one per party, etc.

Comment Sounds familiar (Score 2) 163

I remember reading similar concerns when PBS came out with a radical new TV program called "Sesame Street." ;^)

It is much easier asking these questions than doing actual research and coming up with some answers. I think a lot depends on what they are doing with technology: if they are reading and learning or just goofing around and wasting time.

I taught college classes for a number of years. Eventually, it became very common for students to bring their laptops with them to class. Some of them followed my lecture notes and tried sample problems. Others read email, web sites, or played games with the sound turned off. As long as they weren't disruptive, I didn't try to stop them.

Of course, K-12 is very different than college, but when I was in high school, I carried a book with me to read when a class got boring. These days I carry several books on my phone in case I get some extra time. My grades were pretty good, so I didn't seem to suffer from not paying attention.

Essentially, the question seems to be: "Does the teacher have to keep the students entertained?" Perhaps it should be phrased: "Does the teacher have to keep the students involved?" Teachers that drone on endlessly, sometimes reading their lecture notes, will have problems. Those that interact with their students and have activities that involve the students will do much better. As always, anything that changes the current situation is suspect.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin