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Transportation

MIT and NASA Designing Silent Aircraft 176

Iddo Genuth writes "Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics recently won a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to design quieter, more energy efficient, and more environmentally friendly commercial airplanes. The two-million-dollar contract from NASA is just an initial step in bringing green technologies to the sky."
Businesses

Submission + - Amazon offers text message shopping (wired.com)

bevoblake writes: Striking fear into the hearts of brick and mortar stores everywhere: Amazon is now offering a text-message shopping system. According to Wired, "Amazon TextBuyIt, which launched late Tuesday, lets people text the name of a product, its description or its UPC or ISBN to 262966 (that's "Amazon" on the keypad) from anywhere their cell phones work — including from inside physical stores. If Amazon stocks matching items, the service returns two results at a time. Shoppers can immediately buy one of the first two the selections by texting back the number '1' or '2,' or they can ask for more by texting the letter 'M.'"

Does this mean I can stop trying to load Amazon's searches from my tiny cell phone browser when I comparison shop?

Education

Scientists' Success Or Failure Correlated With Beer 349

mernil sends in an article from the NYTimes that casts a glance at a study done in the Czech Republic (natch) on what divides the successful scientists from the duffers. "Ever since there have been scientists, there have been those who are wildly successful, publishing one well-received paper after another, and those who are not. And since nearly the same time, there have been scholars arguing over what makes the difference. What is it that turns one scientist into more of a Darwin and another into more of a dud? After years of argument over the roles of factors like genius, sex, and dumb luck, a new study shows that something entirely unexpected and considerably sudsier may be at play in determining the success or failure of scientists — beer."

Reznor Follows Radiohead, Offers Free Album 327

An anonymous reader writes "Convinced the current music business infrastructure (requiring artists to rely on labels) is broken, Nine Inch Nails front man, Trent Reznor, released his band's new album, Ghosts I — IV (Ghosts Volumes One though Four), on Sunday at 6 PM via his official site, marking yet another business experiment for this artist in the changing music market."
NASA

Radio Telescopes on Moon to Study Cosmic Dark Ages 118

The Narrative Fallacy brings news that NASA has awarded a $500,000 grant to develop plans for an array of radio telescopes to be located on the moon. The telescopes would be used to gather data from the earliest stars and galaxies, observations of which are difficult from Earth due to the ionosphere and terrestrial broadcasts. The grant was part of NASA's sponsoring of 19 "Next Generation Astronomy Missions." Quoting: "The Lunar Array for Radio Cosmology (LARC) project ... is planned as a huge array of hundreds of telescope modules designed to pick up very-low-frequency radio emissions. The array will cover an area of up to two square kilometers; the modules would be moved into place on the lunar surface by automated vehicles. The new lunar telescopes would add greatly to the capabilities of a low-frequency radio telescope array now under construction in Western Australia, one of the most radio-quiet areas on Earth."
Data Storage

Submission + - DIY Data recovery. 1

jchillerup writes: "The other day my aunt came up to me, terrified because her hard drive was "not working". I inspected the drive and it was clearly a head crash, and to make matters worse it had been running for quite a while afterwards. I tried a commercial program for Windows, GetDataBack, but it wasn't able to recover anything.

I googled a bit to get tips and tricks on lo-fi data recovery methods and read that if you put the drive in the freezer, your chance of getting data out is hightened, so I did that. After all, nothing *bad* can happen to the drive in the freezer (right?).

I'm considering dd_rescue, but before taking the drive out of the freezer, I figured I'd better "Ask Slashdot". Professional data recovery is beyond the budget, unfortunately."
The Internet

Submission + - iPlayer is getting a "free ride" say UK I (last100.com)

mrspin writes: A story doing the rounds in a number of UK newspapers and blogs is that ISPs are increasingly worried about the BBC's iPlayer, which, were it to catch on, could place an "unacceptable" strain on their networks. The solution, says Tiscali chief executive, Mary Turner, is for the BBC to contribute to bandwidth costs. While other ISPs are talking about implementing 'packet shaping' as a way of penalizing iPlayer traffic so as to maintain speeds across the rest of the network. This result would be that, during peak times at least, the iPlayer could become painfully slow.
The Internet

Submission + - Search engine for reviews?

Custard writes: Is there a good search engine that only indexes review sites? Searching by model number on most engines gives a bazillion places to buy. I'm still making up my mind and Google isn't helping.
The Internet

Submission + - Australian crackdown on "internet predators (abc.net.au)

i-reek writes: The Australian ABC is carrying a story that the Prime Minister, John Howard , has announced his government will be extending its "internet safety scheme" with a view to "to detect, deter and investigate criminal behaviour, especially targeting online predators." The government has committed to provide internet filters to every Australian family through internet service providers who will have to provide a filtered service on request. The program also includes the setup of a family support hotline and internet safety officers to help schools and community groups. An extra $40 million has been pledged to expand the Australian Federal Police team responsible for online crime targeting children, bringing the total amount promised to be spent on the scheme to $189 million. The cynical might note that it is an election year, that no detail has been provided, or is scheduled to be provided, on how ISPs would filter services and that John Howard is noted for successful scaremongering before elections. Shame on the cynical.
United States

Submission + - Exploding-Metal Bombs Are 100% Destruction, 0% Fat (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The US military has developed a bomb that will blow up multiple times. First the warhead's explosive itself; then the shrapnel will detonate on contact with any surface. Each metal shard from the shell will blow up everything they touch instead of just ripping through metal or flesh, as you can see in this image of a recent Navy's test.
Math

Optical Solution For an NP-Complete Problem? 232

6 writes to let us know that two optical researchers have proposed, as a thought experiment, a novel idea for solving the traveling salesman problem. From the abstract: We introduce an optical method based on white light interferometry in order to solve the well-known NP-complete traveling salesman problem. To our knowledge it is the first time that a method for the reduction of non-polynomial time to quadratic time has been proposed. We will show that this achievement is limited by the number of available photons for solving the problem. It will turn out that this number of photons is proportional to NN for a traveling salesman problem with N cities and that for large numbers of cities the method in practice therefore is limited by the signal-to-noise ratio. The proposed method is meant purely as a gedankenexperiment."
Power

Submission + - A pollution indicator on our car dashboard?

Roland Piquepaille writes: "This might soon be possible according to researchers at the University of Manchester. They've designed a near-infrared diode laser sensor able to record levels of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane directly from your car's exhaust. Their device could be one day incorporated into onboard diagnostic systems and be permanently in use while you drive. So you could be warned that your pollution levels are too high. The system would include dashboard warnings telling you to modify the way you're driving. But read more for additional details and a picture of the test bed the researchers used to take their measurements."
Input Devices

Submission + - Tivo your day

ZeroMaker writes: Apparently Apple filed for a patent for "Presentation of audible media in accommodation with external sound". With this system you would be able to hear external sounds while wearing your iPod earbuds but it also offers this tidbit. "...stored external sound can be presented with a full range of media playback features (e.g., forward, backward, pause, replay)". All the parts already exist someone just needs to make it easy to tivo (verb) your day. humm...
Novell

Submission + - Novell wants Linux ISV standard (zdnet.com)

neapolitan writes: Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian calls for Linux to develop a standard for ISV (Independent Software Vendors) to follow, so that their applications may work cross-platform. A quote from the entry, 'In Unix, we fragmented the applications and the No. 1 thing we need is applications. We need customers and the ISVs to have their footprints on the Linux platform.'

Is this certification something that is needed? It seems that an application written for Linux currently can be ported to multiple distributions without excess difficulty. Is this going to supplement the POSIX standard, or is this just a business / certification decision?

Full story at http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=1303

Software

Submission + - Bring ODF to Apple's Office Suite (petitiononline.com)

Pedahzur writes: "The recently released Apple iWork '08 contains does not contain support for ODF (Open Document Format), an ISO standard. There is support, however, for Microsoft's OOXML, which is not yet an ISO standard (and may never be). Hopefully with enough community and customer feedback, Apple could be nudged into including ODF in their next update of iWork. If you'd like to see this happen, add your name to the Apple ODF Petition."

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