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Transportation

Progress On Electric Cars 594

Mike sends along a couple of items of interest to those anxiously awaiting the era of production electric vehicles. First, there's the upcoming Aero EV, which Shelby Supercars claims will charge in just 10 minutes and will be able to produce over 1,000 horsepower, powering the vehicle from 0-60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds. Then there's the announcement by Aptera of the first pre-production model of the Aptera 2e, which will have a top speed of 90 mph and go around 100 miles on a charge. This EV also features a strong and aerodynamic body, a lithium-based battery, front-wheel drive, and an improved door design. Release is planned by October of 2009.
Medicine

Athletes' Brains Reveal Concussion Damage 328

jamie found a story on research about what concussions do to athletes, with the insights coming mostly from the study of the donated brains of dead athletes. The NFL has the biggest profile in the piece, but other sports make an appearance too. Turns out that repeated concussions can result in depression, insomnia, and the beginnings of something that looks a lot like Alzheimer's. "The idea that you can whack your head hundreds of times in your life and knock yourself out and get up and be fine is gone," said [retired wrestler] Nowinski. "We know we can't do that anymore. This causes long-term damage."
Data Storage

Four X25-E Extreme SSDs Combined In Hardware RAID 228

theraindog writes "Intel's X25-E Extreme SSD is easily the fastest flash drive on the market, and contrary to what one might expect, it actually delivers compelling value if you're looking at performance per dollar rather than gigabytes. That, combined with a rackmount-friendly 2.5" form factor and low power consumption make the drive particularly appealing for enterprise RAID. So just how fast are four of them in a striped array hanging off a hardware RAID controller? The Tech Report finds out, with mixed but at times staggeringly impressive results."
Medicine

Marijuana Could Prevent Alzheimer's, New Study 807

Chickan writes "'A puff a day might keep Alzheimer's away, according to marijuana research by professor Gary Wenk and associate professor Yannic Marchalant of the Ohio State Department of Psychology. Wenk's studies show that a low dosage in the morning of a certain canavanoid, a component in marijuana, reversed memory loss in older rats' brains. In his study, an experimental group of old rats received a dosage, and a control group of rats did not. The old rats that received the drugs performed better on memory tests, and the drug slowed and prevented brain cell death.' My fine university's dollars at work!" Maybe it works even better in combination with brain-preserving sips of coffee.
Earth

Global Warming Irreversible, NOAA Scientist Finds 1061

Tibor the Hun writes "NPR reports that Susan Solomon, one of the world's top climate scientists, finds in her new study that global warming is now irreversible. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that even if we could immediately cease our impact on pollution and greenhouse gasses emissions, global climate change would continue for more than a thousand years. The reason is the saturation of oceans with carbon dioxide. Her study looked at the consequences of long-term effect in terms of sea-level rise and drought."
Patents

Apple Awarded Patent For iPhone Interface 449

Toe, The writes "Apple's 358-page patent application for their iPhone interface entitled Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics has been approved after more than two years of review by the US Patent Office. Apple's claims include: 'A computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a computing device with a touch screen display comprises: detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display, applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device, and processing the command. The one or more heuristics comprise: a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command, a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a two-dimensional screen translation command, and a heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.' As Apple seems eager to defend their intellectual property, what will this mean to other touch developers?"
The Internet

We're In Danger of Losing Our Memories 398

Hugh Pickens writes "The chief executive of the British Library, Lynne Brindley, says that our cultural heritage is at risk as the Internet evolves and technologies become obsolete, and that historians and citizens face a 'black hole' in the knowledge base of the 21st century unless urgent action is taken to preserve websites and other digital records. For example, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as US president last week, all traces of George W. Bush disappeared from the White House website. There were more than 150 websites relating to the 2000 Olympics in Sydney that vanished instantly at the end of the games and are now stored only by the National Library of Australia. 'If websites continue to disappear in the same way as those on President Bush and the Sydney Olympics... the memory of the nation disappears too,' says Brindley. The library plans to create a comprehensive archive of material from the 8M .uk domain websites, and also is organizing a collecting and archiving project for the London 2012 Olympics. 'The task of capturing our online intellectual heritage and preserving it for the long term falls, quite rightly, to the same libraries and archives that have over centuries systematically collected books, periodicals, newspapers, and recordings...'" Over the years we've discussed various aspects of this archiving problem.
Microsoft

Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 8 RC1 319

mikemuch writes "IE8 has left beta as of noon Pacific time today. The development team now considers the browser platform- and feature-complete, but won't say how long until it goes gold. PCMag.com got an early look and has posted a full review of Internet Explorer 8 RC1. The release candidate differs only slightly from Beta 2, most notably in tweaks to its InPrivate Browsing feature, aka porn mode. That feature has been decoupled with InPrivate Filtering, which blocks third-party content providers from creating profile of your browsing habits. RC1 also improves on performance, especially in startup time, but still trails Firefox and Chrome in JavaScript speed. Protection against the relatively new threat of 'clickjacking,' where a site tries to get you to press buttons underneath a sham frame page, has also been added — the first browser to include such protections. Versions for 32-bit and 64-bit Vista, as well as for 32-bit XP are available, but Windows 7, which will ship with IE8, is stuck with an older beta for now."
Privacy

New Law Will Require Camera Phones To "Click" 1235

An anonymous reader writes "A new bill is being introduced called the Camera Phone Predator Alert Act, which would require any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken with the phone's camera. It would also prohibit such a phone from being equipped with a means of disabling or silencing the tone."
Intel

Intel Develops Micro-Refrigerator To Cool Chips 94

Spacedonkey writes "Researchers at Intel, RTI International of North Carolina, and Arizona State University have made ultra-thin 'micro-refrigerators' for computer chips. The device uses a thermoelectric cooler made from nanostructured thin-film superlattice that can reduce the temperature by 55C when a current passes through it. In testing, it reduced the temperature on part of a chip by 15C without impairing its performance. The researchers say the component could be particularly useful for cooling hot spots that frequently occur on multi-core chips."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Bill Gates' Plan To Destroy Music, Note By Note 659

theodp writes "Remember Mr. Microphone? If you thought music couldn't get worse, think again. Perhaps with the help of R&D tax credits, Microsoft Research has spawned Songsmith, software that automatically creates a tinny, childish background track for your singing. And as bad as the pseudo-infomercial was, the use of the product in the wild is likely to be even scarier, as evidenced by these Songsmith'ed remakes of music by The Beatles, The Police, and The Notorious B.I.G.."
Input Devices

Quantum Camera On a Silicon Chip 42

stefanparvu14 writes "Physicists in Switzerland and California have developed a new type of camera capable of imaging quantum correlations between pairs of photons. The details are presented in the current issue of the open-access publication New Journal of Physics. Unlike a conventional camera with a CCD imager, this camera is composed of Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) pixels implemented on a high-performance CMOS chip. One of the authors has provided more background for the non-physicist. Apparently, it could be used to verify the existence of Bose-Einstein condensates that are now starting to be produced in new ways."
The Media

Edit-Approval System Proposed For English-Language Wikipedia 439

An anonymous reader writes "A group of powerful Wikipedia insiders are pushing for FlaggedRevisions which will require a 'trusted user' to approve of edits before they go live on the online encyclopedia. There is also opposition but with support of founder Jimbo Wales it is likely to go through. The German version has tried the system, leading to three-week delays between edit and publication. The English wiki with its higher number of anonymous editors per trusted user is expected to suffer longer queues if FlaggedRevisions is implemented on all articles. This comes just a few days after Britannica announced that readers will be allowed to suggest edits and have them reviewed within 20 minutes. Will we see the day when Britannica can be edited almost instantly while editing Wikipedia requires fighting bureaucracy, patience and the right contacts?" Note that, according to the quote from Jimmy Wales in the linked article, this system would only be used "on a subset of articles, the boundaries of which can be adjusted over time to manage the backlog."
Hardware Hacking

"Nuclear Archaeology" Inspires Replica of Hiroshima's Little Boy 298

James Cho writes "Through a decade of painstaking reverse engineering, trucker John Coster-Mullen built the first accurate replica of the Hiroshima bomb. His work yielded a new history of the first nukes, 'Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man,' with historian Robert Norris saying, 'Nothing else in the Manhattan Project literature comes close.' Philip Morrison, one of the physicists who helped invent the bomb, deemed it 'a remarkable job.'"
Social Networks

Social Networking Spurs Activism Against Repression 303

The New York Times Magazine is running a story about the rise in political activism in Egypt through sites like Facebook, which allow citizens to gather and share ideas in ways they otherwise aren't allowed. A state-of-emergency law has been active in Egypt since 1981, which, among other things, "allows the government to ban political organizations and makes it illegal for more than five people to gather without a license from the government." As affordable internet access has spread throughout the country, the government is having a much harder time keeping wraps on the ideas of dissidents. Blocking access to the sites isn't a good solution for the government, because many non-dissidents use it for mundane communications. As Harvard's Ethan Zuckerman puts it, "...doing so would alert a large group of people who they can't afford to radicalize."

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