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Aquarium Uses Eel Powered Christmas Lights 96

A Japanese aquarium is using the greenest energy possible to power the lights on its Christmas tree, an electric eel. From the article: "Each time the eel moves, two aluminum panels gather enough electricity to light up the 2-meter (6 ft 6 in) tall tree, decked out in white, in glowing intermittent flashes."
Games

Infinite Mario With Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment 103

bgweber writes "There's been a lot of discussion about whether games should adapt to the skills of players. However, most current techniques limit adaptation to parameter adjustment. But if the parameter adaptation is applied to procedural content generation, then new levels can be generated on-line in response to a player's skill. In this adaptation of Infinite Mario (with source [.JAR]), new levels are generated based on the performance of the player. What other gameplay mechanics are open for adaptation when games adapt to the skills of specific players?"
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Man Patents Self-Burying Coffin 159

disco_tracy writes "A California inventor has filed a patent for a coffin that screws into the ground vertically. The reason? It greatly reduces excavation labor and burial costs, decreases land use, and opens up more space for burials in unused areas of a cemetery. Writer Clark Boyd also lists 5 other unconventional burial options, including lye, ecopods, GPS devices that track bodies buried without headstones, cryogenics and — my favorite — getting buried in the sky."
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Stats Show iPhone Owners Get More Sex 397

An anonymous reader writes "According to OK Cupid's survey of 552,000 user pictures iPhone users have more sexual partners than BlackBerry or Android owners. By age 30, the average male iPhone user has had about 10 partners while female iPhone users have had 12. By contrast, BlackBerry users hover around 8 partners and Android users have a mere 6. As the blog's author's wryly observe: 'Finally, statistical proof that iPhone users aren't just getting f*@ked by Apple.'"
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Study Finds Fast-Food Logos Make You Impatient 122

A study conducted by the University of Toronto has found that exposure to fast-food logos can cause people to feel impatient and make them more likely to buy things. Subjects in the study were exposed to nearly imperceptible flashes of images (for 12 to 80 milliseconds) which included fast-food logos for some. The subjects were then asked to read about and choose between two different kinds of skin-care treatments, one of which was a three-in-one. Those who had the logos flashed before them read "significantly faster" and chose the more time-saving skin product. From the article: "The researchers concluded 'fast food, originally designed to save time, can have the unexpected consequence of inducing haste and impatience' and 'preference for time-saving products when there are potentially other important aspects upon which to choose a product.' So, basically, driving past a McDonald's on the highway has the potential to not only make you drive faster, it will make you more likely to buy two-for-one Pantene Pro-V Shampoo and Conditioner the next time you go to Duane Reade. One, it seems, is considerably less ominous than the other." I guess this explains why my nephews will chew on their seat belts and try to get out the windows just to be first into the McDonald's Playland.
Security

What Free Antivirus Do You Install On Windows? 896

Techman83 writes "After years of changing between AVG Free + Avast, it's coming time to find a new free alternative for friends/relatives who run Windows. AVG and Avast have been quite good, but are starting to bloat out in size, and also becoming very misleading. Avast recently auto updated from 4.8 to 5 and now requires you to register (even for the free version) and both are making it harder to actually find the free version. Is this the end of reasonable free antivirus, or is there another product I can entrust to keep the 'my computer's doing weird things' calls to a minimum?"

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