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Robotics

Submission + - DARPA artificial arm comes with VR training

An anonymous reader writes: The first prototype of an artificial limb commissioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency can reportedly be controlled naturally, provide sensory feedback and allows for eight degrees of freedom — way beyond the current state of the art for prosthetic limbs. Oh yeah, it also has its own VR environement to learn how to use it.
Nintendo

Submission + - Nintendo game sales up 90% and DS hits 40 million

Wowzer writes: "Nintendo today announced they doubled their yearly profit in 2006. The final fiscal year operating profits are US$1.965 billion for the year 2006 ending March 31, 2007. The company's video game sales experienced a record high increase of 90 percent. From the article: "The results are due largely to full-year sales of more than 23 million portable Nintendo DS systems globally, along with 123 million Nintendo DS games. Since introduction, the Nintendo DS has now eclipsed lifetime sales of 40 million systems. Nintendo projects sales of 22 million Nintendo DS Lite hardware units in the coming year." Nintendo's latest DS release, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, sold 1 million copies in the U.S. in the 5 days since their Sunday launch, not surprising as the DS has a game attach rate of nearly 5. This ratio is the same for the Wii that sold 5.84 million units worldwide, instead of the announced production 6 million, within 5 months since launch. Nintendo expects to sell 14 million Wii's in the coming year."

Feed Xbox 360 Elite arrives - unboxing, comparison ensues (engadget.com)

Filed under: Features, Gaming

Well, our Xbox 360 Elite finally arrived! We're not going to spoil the moment with a lot of words, so check out all our photos (including comparison shots to the original, now completely obsolete Xbox 360), and stay tuned for more coverage.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Ken Kutaragi steps down from Sony Entertainment

ringbarer writes: Gamers Reports have the news that Ken Kuntaragi has stepped down from his role as Chairman and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment. In no doubt his influence has been felt across the last fifteen years of gaming, but clearly the lackluster performance of the PS3 is responsible for his departure.
Communications

Submission + - Bering Strait tunnel

igny writes: Russia considers plans to build the world's longest tunnel, a transport and pipeline link under the Bering Strait to Alaska, as part of a $65 billion US project to supply the U.S. with oil, natural gas and electricity from Siberia.

The proposed railroad would stretch about 6,000 kilometers, including 4,000 kilometers in Russia, and the tunnel would be 102 kilometers long. Ultimately, it would be able to carry 70 million tonnes per year. It could take nine to twelve years to build the railroad and 13 to 15 years to receive a return on the project.

However, a number of technical and environmental issues remain unresolved. Also there are risks of strong earthquakes which are relatively frequent in the region.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony To Expand Commercial Uses of PS3 68

Sony is considering proposals from commercial distributed computing concerns, mulling over rolling out more Folding@Home-like clients to their PlayStation 3 consoles. Gamasutra reports on a Financial Times article, discussing the future of the system. Because they would be commercial and not charitable organizations, the company is considering some form of compensation for users who would participate. "Sony Computer Entertainment CTO Masa Chatani indicated in an interview that Sony had already received numerous inquiries. 'A start-up or a pharmaceutical company that lacks a super-computer could utilize this kind of infrastructure. We are discussing various options with companies and exploring commercial applications', he said."
Robotics

Submission + - Hobbyist One-Ups Sandia Labs

An anonymous reader writes: A robotics hobbyist has created what he claims is the world's smallest autonomous robot. The robot is half the volume of the robots produced by Sandia National Labs in 2001, moves quite a bit faster, and was made using techniques and supplies accessible to anyone.

Feed Misclassified For Centuries, Medicinal Leeches Found To Be 3 Distinct Species (sciencedaily.com)

Genetic research has revealed that commercially available medicinal leeches used around the world in biomedical research and postoperative care have been misclassified for centuries. Until now, the leeches were assumed to be the species Hirudo medicinalis, but new research reveals they are actually a closely related but genetically distinct species, Hirudo verbana.

Feed Rapid Oral HIV Test Shows Great Promise (sciencedaily.com)

A convenient, easy to use, and rapid alternative to blood-based HIV testing may become the new standard for field testing according to a new study. The study shows that the oral fluid-based OraQuick HIV1/2 test is 100 per cent accurate and patients' preferred choice.

Feed MGM movies hit iTunes (engadget.com)

Filed under: Home Entertainment, Portable Video

It's a little late to the party, but MGM has finally joined Paramount, Lionsgate, and others in offering a selection of its films for download in the iTunes Store. It's not the first time MGM has served up some of its movies in digital form though, with the studio already having inked a deal with Amazon's competing Unbox service. Those that prefer not to stray too far from iTunes, however, can now snag titles such as Ronin, Dances With Wolves, Mad Max, Rocky, Foxy Brown and, yes, Robocop at the usual "near-DVD quality" resolution for about ten bucks a pop.

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


NASA

Submission + - Did NASA Accidentally "Nuke" Jupiter?

An anonymous reader writes: Title: Did NASA Accidentally "Nuke" Jupiter? Source: Enterprise URL Source: http://www.enterprisemission.com//NukingJupiter.ht ml Published: Apr 11, 2007 NASA's decision to finally terminate Galileo in September 2003 via a fiery plunge into Jupiter, was designed to prevent any possible biological contamination of Europa from a future random collision with the spacecraft, once its fuel was exhausted. An engineer named Jacco van der Worp claimed that, plunging into Jupiter's deep and increasingly dense atmosphere, the on-board Galileo electrical power supply — a set of 144 plutonium-238 fuel pellets — would ultimately "implode"; that the plutonium Galileo carried would ultimately collapse in upon itself under the enormous pressures of Jupiter's overwhelming atmosphere and go critical. Noone listened. One month later ... October 19, 2003 — an amateur astronomer in Belgium, Olivier Meeckers, secured a remarkable image, a dark black "splotch" showing up on the southern edge of Jupiter's well-known "North Equatorial Belt," trailing a fainter "tail" southwest (image center). Richard Hoagland http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?Art Num=183496 has now calculated that, given the slow fall through a highly pressurised atmosphere, it is possible that the splotch is the result of about 50lb of plutonium going critical 700 miles below. Way to go, NASA!

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