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Submission + - Wii Have a Problem

GuyMannDude writes: Reuters is reporting that there is an increasing number of stories of injuries and accidents resulting from use of the new remote controller for the Wii video game console. Stories include remote controllers flying out of sweaty hands and into $3500 plasma TVs, foreheads, and the family dog.
United States

Scientists Decry Political Interference 248

RamblingMan writes "According to the BBC, the American Union of Concerned Scientists has put out a statement about the misrepresentation of date and a list of such interference by the U.S. government in scientific research. Besides the usual slew of Nobel Laureate signatories, they provide a number of examples besides the well-known example of the EPA's Global Warming Report." From the BBC article: "'It's very difficult to make good public policy without good science, and it's even harder to make good public policy with bad science,' said Dr Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. 'In the last several years, we've seen an increase in both the misuse of science and I would say an increase of bad science in a number of very important issues; for example, in global climate change, international peace and security, and water resources.'"

DARPA Starts Ultimate Language Translation Project 123

An anonymous reader writes "Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched the ultimate speech translation engine project that would be capable of real-time interpretation of television and radio programs as well as printed or online textual information in order to be summarized, abstracted, and presented to human analysts emphasizing points of particular interest." If combined with the tower of babel project we discussed earlier, it could only lead to awesomeness.

U.S. Publishes Guide To Building Atom Bombs To Web 310

Jeff writes "The New York Times is reporting that the feds have shut down the 'Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal' due to concerns from weapons experts that the 'papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.' One diplomat is quoted as saying, 'If you had this, it would short-circuit a lot of things.' Indexes to older (less sensitive) documents (and some html from pdfs) are still cached at Google today. Rep. Pete Hoekstra pushed for the public release of the archive to help determine 'whether Saddam Hussein destroyed Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or hid or transferred them'. Critics have said the archive was created to perpetuate misinformation about WMDs."

North Korea Returns To The Table 315

EmperorKagato writes, "North Korea has agreed to rejoin the Six Party Talks on its nuclear weapons program. The sanctions placed against North Korea on October 9, 2006 will remain in place; however, financial sanctions will be addressed by the group of the six nations: North Korea, China, Japan, United States, Russia, and South Korea."

Mapping Interior Spaces With Robots And GIS 47

Roland Piquepaille writes "In an article about GIS and Robotics, Directions Magazine reports that architects and other professionals can now use spatially intelligent robots to collect interior space data. With such mapping robots, it's possible to capture accurate data for over 10,000 square meters per day and to easily integrate it with existing software. The article doesn't mention the sources for its illustrations about these robotic systems, so I thought I'd point them out: a company in Maine called Penobscot Bay Media. You'll find more details and pictures about these mapping robots at ZDNet."
Education

Submission + - Students Prosper with Montessori Method

GuyMannDude writes: A new study by two psychologists appearing in the latest issue of Science suggests that the Montessori method of teaching — which includes an individualized curriculum and no grades — delivers significant benefits over traditional public schools for the youngest students. The study compared the performance of children who "won" a lottery to study at a Montessori public school against those from a traditional public school in Milwaukee, WI and found the Montessori students performed better on standard tests, dealing with social issues, and the ability to adapt to changing rules that increase in complexity. Interestingly, the gains showed by five-year old students did not seem to translate directly to an older cohort of 12-year-olds that the researchers also tested.

Charge in 5 minutes, Drive 500 miles? 319

ctroutwi writes "In the wake of rising gasoline costs there have been plenty of alternatives seen on the horizon. Including Hybrids, Biofuels, fuel cells and battery powered all electric cars. CNN has recently posted a story about a company (EEStor) that plans on offering Ultra-Capacitor storage products. The claim being that you charge the ultra-capacitor in 5 minutes, with approximately 9$ (~$.45 a gallon) of electricity and then drive 500 miles."

'Destroyed' Hard Drive Found At Flea Market 424

Billosaur writes "From Yahoo News comes this tidbit about a couple who got a very shocking phone call. Henry and Roma Gerbus received a phone call from a man named Ed claiming he had purchased their old hard drive at a flea market. They had previously taken their computer to Best Buy to have the hard drive replaced and were told that the store would destroy it. Now it has turned up at a flea market, still containing their personal information, such as bank account numbers and Social Security numbers. The Gerbus' are a little perplexed and are very worried about identity theft."

Slashdot CSS Redesign Contest Update 577

A few weeks back I announced that Slashdot was throwing open its design to the readers. An individual will win a Laptop, and hopefully we'll all win a Slashdot design that looks good. My Journal Entries have chronicled dozens of entries since the contest began, commenting on many of them. Today I share with you 3 of my favorites. These aren't necessarily "Finalists" but I think these are some of the strongest entries. First up is Michael Johnson's design, second is Jason Porritt's entry, and third is a design from Peter Lada. The contest will end around the middle of next week. Entries can be sent to redesign at CmdrTaco.net. Read my journal for extensive commentary on the many entries, to see what stuff has been working and what stuff hasn't.

Day of the Robotic Tentacle 199

holy_calamity writes "New Scientist is reporting on a robotic tentacle developed thanks to funding from military agency DARPA. From the video it looks to have a lot of potential, I can almost feel it fastening around my ankle right now."
Japan

Wisdom From The Last Ninja 539

I Could Tell You But... writes "The AP has a story about ninjutsu master Masaaki Hatsumi, last living student of Japan's last 'fighting ninja.' He offers advice from the heart of Ninjadom, like 'always be able to kill your students,' and describes the current popular ninja image as 'pathetic.' At age 76, students are speculating on his successor, who may for the first time be non-Japanese." From the article: "As I cautiously raise the sword with a taut two-handed samurai grip, my sparring partner gingerly points to Hatsumi. I avert my eyes for a split second - and WHAM! The next thing I know, I'm staring at the rafters. Keeping your focus is just one of the lessons thumped out on the mats of the Bujinkan Dojo, a cramped school outside Tokyo that is a pilgrimage site for 100,000 worldwide followers. They revere Hatsumi as the last living master of ninjutsu - the mysterious Japanese art of war practiced by black-masked assassins of yesteryear."

Wisconsin Could Ban Mandatory Microchip Implants 395

01101101 writes "The Duluth News Tribune is reporting that Wisconsin could be the first state to ban mandatory microchip implants in humans. The plan was authored by Rep. Marlin Schneider, D-Wisconsin Rapids and Gov. Jim Doyle plans to sign the bill. The bill still leaves an opening for voluntary chipping." Slashdot covered one instance of mandatory microchip implants back in February.

French Town Tests Cashless Society 302

SamiousHaze writes to mention a Silicon.com article about an attempt in a French tourist town, Caen, to do away with cash in some locales. From the article: "Among [the locations in the trial] is an underground car park; the town hall; a bus stop which can transmit timetable information; a cinema poster which downloads video trailers to users' mobiles; a local supermarket, where people can pay for their groceries with a mobile phone, and a tourist information sign outside the historic Abbaye des Hommes. By touching the mobile against the 'Flytag' logo at each of these locations, users can pay for services or receive information straight to their phone."

A New Workhorse For DARPA 111

Roland Piquepaille writes "Later this month, Carnegie Mellon University and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will unveil the successor of the Spinner, a 7-ton unmanned robotic vehicle. Dubbed Crusher, this new 6.5-ton robot will be able to carry payloads of up to 2 tons on very complex terrains. Crusher will rely on surrounding sensors to keep its balance and learn about its environment. After intensive testings, it should start to perform its duties in 2008. Read more for additional details and pictures of Spinner and Crusher in action." However, I can see they have not yet performed the test of having Sigourney Weaver fight a hitchhiking alien with it, which is obviously crucial to our national defense.

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