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Mars

NASA Mars Rover Spirit May Move Forward By Spinning Its Wheels 175

coondoggie writes "As NASA celebrates its Mars rover Spirit's sixth anniversary exploring the red planet, it is hunting for a way to keep the machine, which is mired in a sand trap, alive to see a seventh year. On its Web site, the space agency this week noted there may indeed be such an option. That option would be spinning the wheels on the north side of Spirit, letting it dig in deeper in the Martian sand but at the same time improving the tilt of the rover's solar panels toward the Sun."
Biotech

Is Neurostim Becoming a Reality? 249

destinyland writes "There is a current mass market for 'cognitive enhancement' products — and arguments about the black market potential for neurostim. 'The same neurostim device that uses electric impulses from a brain implant to treat people with Parkinson's Disease can be tweaked by a few millimeters and pulse rates to make cocaine addicts feel like they are high all the time... Mix the glamour of surgical self-improvement with the geekiness of high-tech gadget fetishism and you have a niche cosmetic neurostim market waiting to be tapped...'"
Sci-Fi

Alien Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, Dead At 63 139

Dave Knott writes "The notable science fiction screenwriter and director Dan O'Bannon has died at the age of 63. O'Bannon's career began with a writing credit for John Carpenter's Dark Star and he went on the write many enduring science fiction and horror films such as Blue Thunder, Lifeforce, Screamers and Total Recall. He was also an occasional director, whose credits include The Return Of The Living Dead, the campy horror film that made popular the zombie chant of 'braaiiiinnnsss.' However, he will be best remembered as the writer of Alien, one of the all-time classics of both the science fiction and horror genres. O'Bannon died after a 30 year battle with Crohn's disease and is survived by his wife, Diane, and son, Adam."
Input Devices

Christmas Light Hero 4

klwood911 writes "What do you get when you combine a former Disney imagineer, Guitar Hero, a house and 21,268 Christmas Lights? Probably one of the coolest light displays you will see. Ric Turner turned his house into an interactive Guitar Hero Display. As he explains: 'Christmas Light Hero is using 7 light controllers from Light-O-Rama built from kits to control 21,268 lights and LEDs. Each controller has 16 outputs and 2-3 TTL level control inputs that are used by the game system to fire different programmed light sequences depending on what happens in the game. It relies on the fact that the game sequence is very consistent. If the game and the lighting sequences start together, they will stay in very good sync through the length of the song. The light program allows branching and overlays for fail, star power and "ready." I have some ideas to automate the initial show/game sync, but for now you have to push doorbell buttons at the right moments.'"
Science

LHC Has First Collisions After Years of Waiting 324

An anonymous reader writes "Only four days after the first attempt to send a particle beam around the LHC, we have arrived at the point when all four experiments got their first real collisions from the machine. This was met by celebrations and champagne, as people have been waiting years and years for this moment. It is a testament to the engineering of the machine that collisions were reached already, so few days after restarting. The LHC had already demonstrated ca 10h stable beams, and now also stable beams in both directions at the same time. In the coming weeks, we need only wait for increased intensity and the first attempts at acceleration."
GUI

Simple, Free Web Remote PC Control? 454

MeatballCB writes "Hey folks. Being the 'technical' guy of the family, I often get calls from friends and family members when they're having PC issues. Most of these folks are not technical, so trying to troubleshoot problems over the phone can often be a challenge. Anyone know of a simple-to-use and (preferably) free service that would allow for remote viewing/control of their PCs? I know there's WebEx and GoToMyPC, but I hate to pay for something I'd use once every two months. I also know about VNC, but trying to walk someone through opening up ports on their router that thinks their Internet is broken when their homepage gets changed is not realistic. Anyone know of anything that would be easy to set up and use?"

Comment What kind of Vampire though? (Score 1) 481

Are we talking old school bloodsucker that stalks the night (Bram Stoker) or the metrosexuals with sharp teeth we seem to get today? (Twilight) That would factor heavily in my "Want" factor. Otherwise just have to go with Werewolf. I hear they are in twilight too, but in general haven't been hit with the pussification stick too hard.
Role Playing (Games)

Dragon Age: Origins To Get Paid DLC Expansion — On Launch Day 241

BioWare's upcoming RPG, Dragon Age: Origins, is set to launch on November 3rd. Today they announced details about some of the downloadable content they have planned for the game. In fact, it's scheduled to become available on the same day the game launches, at a cost of $7. (The PS3 version will be slightly delayed). "Called the Warden's Keep, the DLC will add a dungeon-based quest to the game along with six new abilities, a variety of items, and a base where players can trade with merchants. It will feature a supernatural storyline set in an ancient — and possibly haunted — fortress once used as a redoubt by the Grey Wardens, the ancient order at the center of Origins' main storyline." There will be two additional bits of DLC that are available for free to people who have purchased the game new. One "adds a stone golem character to the player's party from the beginning of the game, unlocking numerous story options," and the other increases a character's defense against some attacks in-game.

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