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Cooking With Your USB Ports 188

tekgoblin writes "Wow, I would never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides, but someone did. A standard port provides 5V of power, give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate, but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not, it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly."

Comment nah, send self replicating molecules (Score 1) 662

Whatcha wanna do here is send small self replicating molecules.... accelerate them at the speed of light toward habitable planets in some kind of accelerator gun... let them land on the distant planet and start evolving... wait a billion years or so and voila... they start sending radio signals announcing their arrival.

It will be "us", but perfectly adapted to wherever "we" land.

In fact, that may be how we got here. We may be the aliens finally reporting back to the mother planet right now.

Comment Re:great (Score 1) 155

Forgot sense of humor?

We value sticking together... we value it in our mutual decision (hers, mine, my spouse's) to be next door neighbors with our mother/mother in law... we value it in our hopes to remain near our children when they are adults... and we raise our children under the guidance of the always apt maxim "be nice to your children, they may be picking your nursing home... or deciding whether you can live next door or in their house."

"ignorant", "stupid", "lie" -- seriously, is there an eye rolling icon big enough for this kind of nonsense?

Comment Isn't Google Earth a larger digital picture? (Score 3, Interesting) 207

It seems like Google Earth qualifies as a much larger "picture".... continuously linked pixels creating a visual representation of reality resembling that which you would see if you looked with your eyes.

Define "picture" or "photograph" as you will... many map databases integrate images to create images that are vastly larger and more interactive.

Comment Re:great (Score 3, Insightful) 155

>(1) Yes, families do have the option to look after older members to a certain degree, and it's sad that parents in some societies are encouraged to separate themselves from their children and vice versa;

(2) But not everyone has children. Recall also that children are a huge unearnt burden to the state, while older people have already paid their national insurance / social security / whatever contributions and are just getting the care they paid for. We are all better off because we do not breed out of concern about our frailties; >

My preteen children year old are on firm warning... they can move out of state, but we parents are coming after them and moving into their attics/basements/spare rooms. There is no escape. And we live what we talk, taking care of our mother/mother-in-law next door.

Are we better off if people do not breed for the purposes of old age insurance? I doubt it. We are better off if people do not breed excessively out of fear that disease will utterly deprive them of offspring for old age, but it is probably more sustainable to "entrain" children in the care of parents out of a sense of duty, than it is to free them to maximize their income and then tax that income to pay "someone else" to provide elder care.

We might ask "would it not be more efficient for a lawyer or engineer to earn $200 K and pay someone else $50 K to watch an elder?" but that is probably a rare case. The cost of quality care is the cost of middle class income anyway, roughly, so why should this family service be exogenized into the market as opposed to remaining endogenous to the family?

Well there is ONE very good reason and that is that women are the vastly predominant providers of elder care services. Marketizing those services enables women to have public careers as opposed to be locked into the family care giver role... mother to children, nurse to elders... for their entire life. Families are only "free" if you ignore the lost opportunities they tend to cause for women.

The Military

US Navy Considering Wii Fit and DDR For Boot Camp 104

almehdaaol writes "New military recruits are coming in physically heavier and out of shape, so the US Navy has decided to take an interesting course of action by creating a new training regimen inspired by the fitness-centric Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution." This comes alongside a report confirming some of the BS we told our parents when we were growing up: "Bavelier said playing the kill-or-be-killed games can improve peripheral vision and the ability to see objects at dusk, and the games can even be used to treat amblyopia, or lazy eye, a disorder characterized by indistinct vision in one eye. She said she believes the games can improve math performance and other brain tasks."

Tetris Clones Pulled From Android Market 396

sbrubblesman writes "The Tetris Company, LLC has notified Google to remove all Tetris clones from Android Market. I am one of the developers of FallingBlocks, a game with the same gameplay concepts as Tetris. I have received an email warning that my game was suspended from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. When I received the email, I already imagined that it had something to do with it being a Tetris clone, but besides having the same gameplay as Tetris, which I believe cannot be copyrighted, the game uses its own name, graphics and sounds. There's no reference to 'Tetris' in our game. I have emailed Google asking what is the reason for the application removal. Google promptly answered that The Tetris Company, LLC notified them under the DMCA (PDF) to remove various Tetris clones from Android Market. My app was removed together with 35 other Tetris clones. I checked online at various sources, and all of them say that there's no copyright on gameplay. There could be some sort of patent. But even if they had one, it would last 20 years, so it would have been over in 2005. It's a shame that The Tetris Company, LLC uses its power to stop developers from creating good and free games for Android users. Without resources for a legal fight, our application and many others will cease to exist, even knowing that they are legit. Users will be forced to buy the paid, official version, which is worse than many of the ones available for free on the market. Users from other countries, such as Brazil in my case, won't even be able to play the official Tetris, since Google Checkout doesn't exist in Brazil; you can't buy paid applications from Android Market in these countries."

Comment Re:Obama is LEFT wing?! (Score 1) 913

Sorry, but sometimes the stupid just burns: "They are merely two different brands of corporatism that use different approaches to achieve the same goal of statism."

No, corporatism is its own goal, and the very opposite of statism. In a corporatist reality, our reality, the corporations control the state. It expresses their interests. Any reasonable definition of statism must put corporations in service of a powerful central state, and no sane observer could imagine that we have that or are moving in that direction.

There is only one political party... the left third of the Democratic party... and the rest is just one big corporate funded subsidiary of powerful interests.... 100% of the Republicans and 2/3 of the Democrats, doing corporate bidding.

As for Obama... well he believes in the art of the possible... does what the corporate party requires of him... and lacks the will to attack the paymasters of Congress. When people worry about "statism" I just laugh. They have no idea. We should be so lucky as to have a strong central government, able to see a need and levy a tax to fund an efficient government office to solve the problem. It can be done, but we way too far gone for it to happen.


Son Sues Mother Over Facebook Posts 428

Most kids hate having their parents join in on a discussion on Facebook, but one 16-year-old in Arkansas hates it so much he has filed suit against his mother, charging her with harassment. From the article: "An Arkadelphia mother is charged with harassment for making entries on her son's Facebook page. Denise New's 16-year-old son filed charges against her last month and requested a no-contact order after he claims she posted slanderous entries about him on the social networking site. New says she was just trying to monitor what he was posting." Seems like he could just unfriend her.

Cooling the Planet With a Bubble Bath 219

cremeglace writes "A Harvard University physicist has come up with a new way to cool parts of the planet: pump vast swarms of tiny bubbles into the sea to increase its reflectivity and lower water temperatures. 'Since water covers most of the earth, don't dim the sun,' says the scientist, Russell Seitz, speaking from an international meeting on geoengineering research. 'Brighten the water.' From ScienceNOW: 'Computer simulations show that tiny bubbles could have a profound cooling effect. Using a model that simulates how light, water, and air interact, Seitz found that microbubbles could double the reflectivity of water at a concentration of only one part per million by volume. When Seitz plugged that data into a climate model, he found that the microbubble strategy could cool the planet by up to 3C. He has submitted a paper on the concept he calls “Bright Water" to the journal Climatic Change.'"
Input Devices

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction? 411

SlashD0tter writes "Many older sound cards were shipped with line-out, microphone-in, and a line-in jacks. For years I've used such a line-in jack on an old Windows 2000 dinosaur desktop that I bought in 2000 (600 Mhz PIII) to capture the stereo audio signal from an old Technics receiver. I've used this arrangement to recover the audio from a slew of old vinyl LPs and even a few cassettes using some simple audio manipulating software from a small shop in Australia. I've noticed only recently, unfortunately, that all of the four laptops I've bought since then have omitted a line-in jack, forcing me to continue keeping this old desktop on life support. I've looked around for USB sound cards that include a line-in jack, but I haven't been too impressed by the selection. Is the line-in jack doomed to extinction, possibly due to lobbying from vested interests, or are there better thinking-outside-the-box alternatives available?"

Planned Nuclear Reactors Will Destroy Atomic Waste 344

separsons writes "A group of French scientists are developing a nuclear reactor that burns up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes. They estimate that 'the volume of high-level nuclear waste produced by all of France’s 58 reactors over the past 40 years could fit in one Olympic-size swimming pool.' And they're not the only ones trying to eliminate atomic waste: Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are working on a fusion-fission reactor. The reactor destroys waste by firing streams of neutrons at it, reducing atomic waste by up to 99 percent!"

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