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Submission + - New Form of Matter Melds Lasers, Superconductors

sterlingda writes: ""Physicists at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a new form of matter that melds the characteristics of lasers with those of the world's best electrical conductors — superconductors. The work introduces a new method of moving energy from one point to another as well as a low-energy means of producing a light beam like that from a laser. The new state is a solid filled with a collection of energy particles known as polaritons that have been trapped and slowed." The work is published in the May 18 issue of Science."
The Internet

Submission + - stolen, sold to highest bidder

hidingintheclosetwithaplatypus writes: Damien & Trisha Buchwald (previously) from have loosed the dogs of war after their registrar, Network Solutions, refused to allow them to renew or transfer their domain name and who have now sold it to another company to be auctioned off. Apparently the name's worth around US$16,000, and the Buchwalds are looking for help from anywhere they can get it.

We are infuriated, upset, and feel like we have had our very souls stolen from us and sold. This is a very disgusting, underhanded act that deserves justification.

Submission + - Hawking Enjoys Zero-G Ride

user24 writes: "TimesOnline reports: "For more than 40 years, Stephen Hawking has studied the mysteries of the universe from his wheelchair. Last night, he broke free of his disability and indulged his passion for gravitational phenomena in a finely stage-managed operation 32,000 feet above the Atlantic.

"It was amazing," he said after he returned from his experience of weightlessness. "The zero-g bit was wonderful . . . I could have gone on and on. Space, here I come."""

Submission + - DoHDR Photos signal the end of traditional images?

okinawa_hdr writes: "With the emergence of High Dynamic Range Photography and the wondrous images it can produce, what does the future hold for the future of digital imaging? Since HDR Photography can capture any amount of dynamic range, does this form of photography finally put the stake in the heart of film versus digital debate?"

Submission + - New Prosthetic Arm Developed By DARPA Team

eldavojohn writes: "An international team lead by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory & funded by DARPA has delivered their first prototype arm that is "the first fully integrated prosthetic arm that can be controlled naturally and provide sensory feedback, and allows for eight degrees of freedom." The big breakthrough here is that the team used residual nerves & Injectable MyoElectric Sensor (IMES) devices which measure muscle activity at the source verses surface electrodes on the skin. So the good news is that whether you lose your arm in a lightsaber duel or from pushing people around at the Mos Eisley Cantina, modern medicine can give you a hand ... er, arm."

Submission + - Open Source alternative to Java/Flash/Silverlight

dgym writes: Having applications that can be deployed on the net and run either in a browser or from a standalone player is an old idea, but still not one that has been done really well.
Java is one solution, but for various reasons hasn't attained ubiquity. Now that it is being open sourced it might find itself on more platforms, but it still may be too big for some devices, and too slow to start up to not be annoying.
Flash is geared towards video and animation, but can also lend itself to RIAs and it is certainly a very popular plugin. However, like any closed standard, it is only available on the platforms Adobe decide to support.
Silverlight might be a better platform for RIAs from a technical perspective, but is otherwise in the same position as Flash (only with even fewer platforms).

So why are there so many poor choices for such a simple problem? After all the requirements for developing applications are rather low:
  • A sand boxed virtual machine for running client side code.
  • A means to display information, i.e. graphics drawing primitives.
  • Event handling for user input.
  • Networking back to the originating server.
Can we not have an open standard for these, and open source plugins implementing it? The "virtual machine" could either be defined in terms of a language (e.g. ECMAScript), or be a true byte code engine such as Parrot or Mono. The graphics are straight forward, and using a cross platform library such as Cairo would help make these plugins extremely portable. Networking is almost trivial, although being able to make HTTP requests using the browser's proxy settings would be an important consideration.

The need is there, where is the open standard?

Submission + - "Women's town" to put men in their place

espamo writes: Chinese tourism authorities are seeking investment to build a novel concept attraction — the world's first "women's town," where men get punished for disobedience, an official said Thursday.
The motto of the new town would be "women never make mistakes, and men can never refuse women's requests," Chinese media have reported....
link: mentown_odd_dc

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