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Submission + - Stamp of Approval For New Living Cell Printing Technique ( 1

Zothecula writes: Researchers in Houston have developed a cost effective method for printing living cells, claiming almost a 100 percent survival rate. The method, which is akin to a modern version of ancient Chinese wood block printing, allow cells to be printed on any surface and in virtually any two dimensional shape. And while current inkjet printers adapted to print living cells can cost upwards of US$10,000 with a cell survival rate of around 50 percent, this simple new technique could see the cell stamps produced for around $1.

Submission + - Google Wants to Develop $50 Modular Smartphones For Next Year (

An anonymous reader writes: Google‘s Motorola announced the Project Ara in October last year as company’s open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones. How much will a modular smartphone set you back? To start, if Google gets its way, about $50. The key phrase there is “to start,” however, as this smartphone with swappable components could get a lot pricier, very quickly.

Submission + - First Outdoor Flocks of Autonomous Flying Robots

KentuckyFC writes: Aerial flocking has been a long standing goal for roboticists but the technical demands for autonomous outdoor flocking has always been too great. Now a European team has successfully demonstrated autonomous outdoor flocking for the first time with up to 10 flyers in the air simultaneously for up to 20 minutes. The flyer of choice is the MK Basicset L4-ME made by the German company MikroKopter. They modified this by attaching an extension board carrying a variety of navigational devices such as a gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS receiver and so on as well as a wireless communications unit and a minicomputer to calculate trajectories. To simplify these calculations, all the quadcopters fly at the same altitude to make the flocking problem two-dimensional. The team say the quadcopters can fly autonomously in lines and circles and even demonstrate self-organising behaviour when confined to specific volumes of space. Crucially, the flock does not rely on any centralised control for its behaviour.The potential applications are numerous. The researchers imagine using them for large-scale, redundant observations over wide areas, perhaps for farming, traffic monitoring and, of course, military purposes. They might even put on aerial displays for entertainment purposes.

Comment Re:The home of 1984? Really? (Score 1) 137

You write: "Short of actually bringing down the government and replacing the system, hopefully in a non-violent way, this seems unlikely to change any time soon." Looks to me like the Arab/Ukraine/Etc Spring has shown that _bringing down a government_ is almost a guarantee that what replaces it will be nondemocratic.

Comment Re:Get Ready (Score 1) 383

You've been reading The Circle too much. I'm sure they don't do that. (Heavy sarcasm).

I can't figure out how to explain to my 16 year old that one day, she will find an issue she cares about passionately, and will want to support that issue with her heart and soul. And if the government doesn't like her supporting that issue, they can find every and anything in her past to intimidate her, as has happened already to many. (And they can make stuff up of course). I'm glad these Congressmen are not cowed yet.

Comment Re:This stuff is so stupid (and so is Forbes) (Score 1) 169

Trademark is the simplest and cheapest way to burn copycat apps. If a business that is not a copycat app uses "Candy" in its title, it has an excellent countersuit, so "Candy Crush" will be careful whom it sues (especially as the court could order the loser to pay the winner's attorneys fees). However, if "Candy Crush" only goes after "Candy Slots" and people selling "Candy Crush" pants, the infringers don't have much of a defense and I don't have much of a problem with it.

Comment Re:Most likely exists to prevent over-grazing.. (Score 3, Interesting) 169

Yes, this is the point of the article. Your ability to look into the future may make you change your current preferences. You know the dark chocolate won't run out, so to maximize your chocolate intake, you eat the milk chocolate first. If your wife were visiting her sister for an extended period of time, you'd probably eat the dark chocolate first, because you like it better.

This is, of course, not nice (wife "I bought the dark for you and the milk for me"), but is probably rational.

Submission + - Record wind power levels trigger energy price fall across Europe ( 1

Forty Two Tenfold writes: Electricity prices across Europe dropped last month as mild temperatures, strong winds and stormy weather produced wind power records in Germany, France and the UK, according to data released by Platts.

The price decline was more marked in Germany, where the average day-ahead baseload price in December fell 10% month over month to €35.71/MWh. On a daily basis, December was a month of extremes for Germany, with day-ahead base prices closing on December 10 and 11 at less than €60/MWh – the highest over-the-counter levels seen all year – only to fall to its lowest level December 24 to €0.50/MWh.

Let's talk about climate change weather and how it makes renewables more and more viable.

Submission + - Hackers Steal Card Data from Neiman Marcus (

Fnord666 writes: Another day another data breach. Apparently high end retailer Neiman Marcus has also suffered a breach of credit card data. Krebs on Security has the news:.
"Responding to inquiries about a possible data breach involving customer credit and debit card information, upscale retailer Neiman Marcus acknowledged today that it is working with the U.S. Secret Service to investigate a hacker break-in that has exposed an unknown number of customer cards."

Comment Re:A block buster? (Score 1) 146

We know the formula for a blockbuster movie, it's been published in a book called Save the Cat (and reviewed here).

The great thing about books, especially now, is that there is very low cost to publishing them compared with movies so you can be more experimental. Hopefully, no one will figure out the complete secret to their success in the same way movies are known.

Comment Re:Let me know how that works for ya (Score 1) 314

Yelp know who I am. Yelp is installed on my Android phone and I can't take it off (without hacking the phone), so Yelp surely knows everything about me. Yelp could hand over that information. I don't see a problem with the judge seeing the information, or even the carpet-cleaner that receives the complaints, but I can understand not wanting the whole world knowing where I get my carpets cleaned, or where I go on vacation etc.

Limited disclosure seems a fair tradeoff, and Yelp (or any other site that publishes reviews) should set their systems accordingly so people who do submit reviews know ahead of time who will be able to identify them and for what reason - and this in turn keeps reviewers honest.

Comment Re:Less than 50 incidents for the whole country? (Score 1) 360

OK but there are ten times as many reported challenges (where someone, usually a parent, seeks to get a book banned from a school or library), and maybe four or five times as many total challenges. Actual book banning only succeeded 49 times, but that doesn't mean many many more people tried to ban books. ALA website discussion here

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