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Submission + - science: fuel technology

Anonymous Coward Rides Again writes: "Someone please debunk this (from wykc tv news):

John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame. "Just like that. If that was in a car cylinder you could see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder." The APV Company Laboratory in Akron has checked out John's amazing invention. They were amazed. "That could be a steam engine, a steam turbine. That could be a car engine if you wanted it to be." Imagine the possibilities. Saltwater as the ultimate clean fuel.

i googled this and didn't come up with too much; i hardly look to tv news stations for science... does the 2nd law of thermodynamics not apply because the energy released in salt water is so much greater than that being input by the radio waves and that being used to power the radio wave generator?"

Submission + - Google Maps Street View NOT invasion of privacy (blogspot.com)

airshowfan writes: "Applicable laws say that Google Maps Street View is NOT a violation of privacy. The most relevant law here is probably the one used by Jennifer Aniston to sue a paparazzo! It says that an invasion of privacy only occurs when someone looks into your window while using "enhancing devices" (telephoto lenses, binoculars, etc) and sees/takes a picture that is more detailed than what a passerby could see from the street with the naked eye. So as long as Google's images are not as sharp as what you could see as you walk past, Google should be ok. This article explains these issues of how private your home really is, and goes into issues of surveillance and sousveillance, of how much privacy one can expect while in a public place, and of how the information age is all about organizing the crumbs of information you leave behind. It is no longer reasonable to expect that your information trail cannot be easily organized, interpreted, and broadcast to the world."

Feed Splash, Splash, You're Dead: The Military's Next-Gen Water Gun (wired.com)

The next terrorist threat may come from the deep. In recent years, several homeland security alerts have focused on the danger of scuba-equipped terrorists targeting docked Navy vessels or ocean-side nuclear plants. Now the U.S. military is quietly developing a new generation of underwater weaponry.

The Internet

Submission + - Second Life sued in France for porn, gambling

Submarine writes: A (very) conservative French family union, Familles de France is sueing Second Life for making available to minors many things that should not be, including pornography, advertisements for tobacco and alcohol, and online gambling. The details of the lawsuit were not given in their communiqué ; it is conjectured that, if unsuccessful against Linden Lab, the maker of Second Life, they will seek injunctions against French ISPs, asking for blocks on the Second Life service. Familles de France was one of the groups pushing for the ill-written anti-happy slapping parliamentary amendment, and also for the "deontology commission" for Internet services ; it is also known for protesting against measures such as making it easier for minors to get contraceptive pills. Predictibly, the Odebi League is protesting.

Feed Flaxseed Stunts The Growth Of Prostate Tumors (sciencedaily.com)

Flaxseed, an edible seed that is rich in omega 3-fatty acids and fiber-related compounds known as lignans, is effective in halting prostate tumor growth, according to a new study. The seed, which is similar to a sesame seed, may be able to interrupt the chain of events that leads cells to divide irregularly and become cancerous.
The Internet

Submission + - Untapped Niche Markets (qelix.com)

Zeluse writes: ....services like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, etc. have cornered their niche markets and have rapidly moved from being "startups" to "market leaders", with the power of new 'social' phenomenon.

As Web 2.0 matures further, markets will begin to organize themselves and the leaders will become more obvious. There are, however, pockets of innovation going on beyond the developed markets, as I've stumbled across a few untapped, and essentially unexplored niche markets.

http://qelix.com/blog/index.php/2007/06/04/untappe d-niche-markets/

Wireless Networking

Google et al. Want 700 MHz Auction Opened Up 170

The 700 MHz spectrum could give birth to the much-anticipated third pipe, but phone and cable lobbyists are currently pressuring the FCC to sell companies like AT&T and Verizon our airwaves — in a flawed auction process — so they can hoard this valuable spectrum and stifle competitive alternatives to their networks. Google and other would-be providers are not taking it lying down. They want the FCC to mandate that whoever wins the auction be required to sell access to those airwaves, at wholesale prices, to anyone wanting to provide broadband Internet service. They also want anonymous auctions to prevent the giant incumbents from manipulating the results against small players (as they have done in the past).

Space Elevator Company LiftPort In Trouble 257

TropicalCoder writes "The LiftPort Group, founded four years ago with the lofty dream of building a stairway to heaven, has seemingly reached the end the line. The dream was to develop a ribbon of carbon nanotubes 100,000 km long, anchored to the Earth's surface and with a counterweight in space, providing a permanent bridge to orbit. Elevator cars would be robotic 'lifters' which would climb the ribbon to deliver cargo and eventually people to orbit or beyond. Now LiftPort has all but run out of funds, and the State of Washington's Securities Division has entered a Statement of Charges (PDF) against LiftPort Inc. dba LiftPort Group and founder Michael Laine."

The Man Behind Google's Ranking Algorithm 115

nbauman writes "New York Times interview with Amit Singhal, who is in charge of Google's ranking algorithm. They use 200 "signals" and "classifiers," of which PageRank is only one. "Freshness" defines how many recently changed pages appear in a result. They assumed old pages were better, but when they first introduced Google Finance, the algorithm couldn't find it because it was too new. Some topics are "hot". "When there is a blackout in New York, the first articles appear in 15 minutes; we get queries in two seconds," said Singhal. Classifiers infer information about the type of search, whether it is a product to buy, a place, company or person. One classifier identifies people who aren't famous. Another identifies brand names. A final check encourages "diversity" in the results, for example, a manufacturer's page, a blog review, and a comparison shopping site."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Economic Analysis of Toilet Seat Position 473

Ant writes "The Science Creative Quarterly has published an economic analysis of The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Down, employing game theory. This analysis is more thorough than preceding ones cited (from 2002 and 2005), as it factors in the cost of yelling. Both men and women can take some comfort in the conclusion though neither may in the end be satisfied.

The Big Bang Vs. the Big Rumble 220

WBUR radio in Boston hosts a talk with two physicists, Alan Guth and Neil Turok, who represent, respectively, the consensus theory of the inflationary Big Bang and an upstart theory of the initiation of the universe in the collision of two three-dimensional "branes." Turok and Paul Steinhardt developed their "Ekpyrotic proposal" out of the mathematics behind string theory. In the audio the two physicists are perhaps more respectful of one another's views than the host wishes them to be. If you ignore the "let's you and him fight" framing of the debate, you will hear some interesting physics elucidated.

TiVo Says It Could Suffer Under GPLv3 710

Preedit writes to tell us that those busy folks over at InformationWeek have been scrutinizing yet more SEC filings, and Novell and Microsoft aren't the only ones concerned about certain provisions in the final draft of GPLv3. TiVo worries too. The problem is that TiVo boxes are Linux-based. They're also designed to shut down if the software is hacked by users trying to circumvent DRM features. But GPLv3 would prohibit TiVo's no-tamper setup. "If the currently proposed version of GPLv3 is widely adopted, we may be unable to incorporate future enhancements to the GNU/Linux operating system into our software, which could adversely affect our business," TiVo warns in a regulatory filing cited by InformationWeek."

'Kryptonite' Discovered in Serbian Mine 272

Rubinstien writes "A mineralogist at London's Natural History Museum was contracted to help identify an unknown mineral found in a Serbian mine. While he initially thought the miners had discovered a unique compound, after its crystal structure was analyzed and identified the researcher was shocked to find the material already referenced in literature. Fictional literature. Dr. Chris Stanley, from the BBC article: 'Towards the end of my research I searched the web using the mineral's chemical formula — sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide — and was amazed to discover that same scientific name, written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen by Lex Luthor from a museum in the film Superman Returns ... I'm afraid it's not green and it doesn't glow either — although it will react to ultraviolet light by fluorescing a pinkish-orange.'"

Submission + - The Slashdot effect simulator

Emmanuel Cecchet writes: "Research groups at EPFL in Switzerland are building a Slashdot effect simulator. It reproduces the impact of a Slashdot post on a web site by generating a real distributed load using machines distributed over the planet. This can also replay existing Apache access.log files and extrapolate the workload to evaluate the scalability of web sites.
What about using Slashdot as the next metric for availability: 'How many Slashdots can your web site sustain?'"

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