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Submission + - Hybrid Cars to Get More Realistic Mileage Ratings

Skidge writes: "Wired is running a piece showing the drastically reduced mileage ratings for hybrids after the upcoming changes in gas mileage calculations by the EPA. While the cars themselves aren't changing, plugging these new numbers in to the equation makes a hybrid much less cost effective: "The two top-selling hybrid vehicles, the Prius and Honda's Civic Hybrid, will lose 12 and 11 miles per gallon respectively from their city driving estimates." The new values come from more realistic testing; the old, over-inflated ratings were higher in part because the cars idled a lot, allowing the hybrids to completely turn off their engines. The new ratings should be more in line with what hybrid drivers are actually seeing."

Submission + - Dangers of Online Ads: Privacy vs. Personalization

Skidge writes: "Wired is running an article on the dangers of online advertising by Jennifer Granick, executive director of the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society. There's a fine balance between providing "useful" personalized advertising and protecting the privacy of internet users. While an anonymous record of a user's browsing history may seem harmless, oftentimes the information that can be pulled from such a source can be pieced together into a not-so-anonymous picture of the user. Online advertising is here to stay; as the article says, "it's time to consider whether current regulations are adequate to protect consumer interests, while still allowing informative and effective online ad campaigns.""
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Six-legged hermaphrodite calf born in Nebraska

Skidge writes: "A calf born several days ago on a central Nebraska farm is just as frisky as the rest of the newborns there, only the farmer say, "He's a real freak." That's because it was born with six legs and two sets of sex organs. Likely a product of the fusion of twin embryos, cows born like this are rare and generally suffering from many internal problems. This one seems to be fine so far, however. "I'm curious to see what happens," the farmer said."

Submission + - Pandora blocked outside of U.S.

Skidge writes: "Pandora, the popular personalized internet radio station, has blocked users outside of the US, UK, & Canada from accessing their music streams. From Pandora blog post, "It's hard to think of anything more anathema to who we are than turning off someone's radio, but the current legal realities leave us no choice. While the DMCA provides us a blanket license in the U.S., there is no equivalent in other countries.""

Submission + - Roboflagger protects road work crews

Skidge writes: "Washington State Department of Transportation has recently deployed a roboflagger to control traffic and protect work crews in conditions that would be unsafe to human traffic flaggers. Says the page: "WSDOT's pioneering use of the automated roboflagger for a Washington State Department of Transportation construction job has wrapped up. Human flaggers working side-by-side with the robotic flaggers give the machines two flags up, a near perfect ten.""

Submission + - Miracle Fruit Hacks Taste Buds, Sour Turn to Sweet

Skidge writes: "The Wall Street Journal has an article about a miracle fruit that hacks the tastes buds and make sour things taste sweet. This fruit contains a protein that binds with the taste buds, making strait lemon juice taste like lemonade. So when life gives you lemons, chew on a miracle fruit first!"

Submission + - CD Sales Tanking Faster Than Ever

Skidge writes: "Wired's Listening Post has an article about how, with the CD nearing its 25th birthday, sales are falling faster than ever in the first few months of 2007. They're at a point now where an album can reach #1 without sell more than 100,000 copies."

Submission + - Help Find Jim Gray

An anonymous reader writes: Jim Grey has been missing for five days, and all attempts to find him so far have failed.
But there is still hope:
"Through a major effort by many people we were able to have the Digital Globe satellite make a run over the area on Thursday morning and have the data made available publicly. We have split these images into smaller tiles that can be easily scanned visually and stored into the Amazon S3 storage service. We then created tasks for reviewing these images and loaded then into the Amazon Mechanical Turk Service.... Now it is your turn, go find Jim Gray." ind_jim_gray.html

Submission + - What Google Giveth, Google Can Taketh Away

Skidge writes: "With the previous story about the power of Google to effectively make your site "cease to exist", here's a story about how Google can direct its gaze to a small site and give a large boost in ad revenue, only to take it away when it decides the site really isn't worth it. From the article, "Google suddenly started sending search traffic to my pages, boosting my ad revenue by a significant amount. Just as suddenly, the search traffic dried up, sending me back into the gutter with the rest of the low-page-rank bums.""

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