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The Best Burglar Alarm In History 137

Sportsqs writes "When Nikola Tesla got creative with transformers and driver circuits at the turn of the 20th century he probably had no idea that others would have so much fun with his concepts over a hundred years later. One such guy is an Australian named Peter who runs a website called TeslaDownUnder, which showcases all his wacky Tesla ways, or rather electrickery, as Peter calls it." Very cool stuff, I wish I would have had something like this to protect my comic books from my little brother when I was a kid.
Role Playing (Games)

Editor, DLC Coming To Fallout 3 98

Bethesda has announced that an editor for the Windows version of Fallout 3 will be coming in December. They also said the first additional downloadable content for the Windows and XBox 360 versions will follow in January. MTV's Multiplayer blog got a few more details from Bethesda's Pete Hines, who said additions to Fallout 3 will resemble the Oblivion expansion pack Knights of the Nine in size and scope. MTV then brought up the question of how early publishers should provide DLC, pointing to Fallout 3 and Fable II as examples of games for which the expansions were planned to go live only a few months after launch.
The Almighty Buck

Game Industry Optimistic About Surviving Economic Crisis 52

CNet is running a story about how the gaming industry is looking at the recent economic troubles. Despite their status as luxury items, games and game systems have seen strong sales numbers in recent months, and that trend is expected to continue into the holiday season. Most companies are optimistic, despite the fact that many of their stock values have been hit hard and that analysts' views are divided on whether game-related purchases will be one of the first things cut from consumers' budgets. "'I do think that the video game industry is going to do reasonably well in this time of recession because video games are a pretty damned efficient use of time,' said Bridges. 'That said, the...industry has some other problems that it has been ignoring for awhile and that are creeping up on it.' Essentially, Bridges explained, he thinks that the dominance of giant publishers like EA and their general reliance on physical, in-the-box, units, can't hold up. Instead, he said, new tools, ubiquitous broadband and hungry independent developers are going to all combine to eat away at the continued supremacy of the $60 big-name title. And that could spell big trouble for the industry."
Image

Rocketman Crosses Colorado Gorge 71

nandemoari writes "Remember the 1991 film, 'The Rocketeer,' where a young pilot uses a jetpack prototype to become a masked vigilante and win the heart of Jennifer Connelly? That scenario isn't as far-fetched as it once was, given that an American stuntman recently used a jetpack to soar over Colorado's Royal Gorge. The stuntman in question is one Eric Scott, who recently appeared on CBS' Early Show and a variety of local cable channels after making his daring leap. Scott has been testing jetpack devices for 16 years, and was confident that he wouldn't plummet to his untimely death when he straddled the Gorge above the Arkansas River earlier this week. Despite an enormous gulf between the two sides — 1,500 feet across and 1,000 feet down — Scott made the trip safely."
Communications

The State of UK Broadband — Not So Fast 279

Barence writes "The deplorable speed of British broadband connections has been revealed in the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, which show that 42.3% of broadband connections are slower than 2Mb/sec. More worryingly, the ONS statistics are based on the connection's headline speed, not actual throughput, which means that many more British broadband connections are effectively below the 2Mb/sec barrier. Better still, a separate report issued yesterday by Ofcom revealed that the majority of broadband users had no idea about the speed of their connection anyway."
Music

At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"
The Media

90% of Gaming Addiction Patients Not Addicted 333

phorm writes "BBC is carrying an article which states that 90% of visitors to Europe's 'video game addiction clinic' are not, in fact, addicted. The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue. In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere, or that they fit in better 'in the game' than elsewhere in 'the real world.' This has been discussed before, with arguments ranging from gaming being a good way to socialize, the clinical definition of gaming addiction, and claims than males are wired for video-game addiction."
Databases

Searching DNA For Relatives Raises Concerns 199

An anonymous reader calls our attention to California's familial searching policy, which looks for genetic ties between culprits and kin. The technique has come to the fore in the last few years, after a Colorado prosecutor pushed the FBI to relax its rules on cross-state searches. "Los Angeles Police Department investigators want to search the state's DNA database again — not for exact matches but for any profiles similar enough to belong to a parent or sibling. The hope is that one of those family members might lead detectives to the killer. This strategy, pioneered in Britain, is poised to become an important crime-fighting tool in the United States. The Los Angeles case will mark the first major use of California's newly approved familial searching policy, the most far-reaching in the nation."
Transportation

Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid 388

Mike writes "Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States. The Bay Area will be partnering with Better Place to create an essential electric vehicle infrastructure, marking a huge step towards the acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to those that run on fossil fuels." Inhabitat.com has some conceptual illustrations and a map showing EV infrastructure, such as battery exchange stations, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego — though this is far more extensive than the Bay Area program actually announced, which alone is estimated to cost $1 billion.
Games

Entertainment Software Association Following RIAA? 204

cavis writes "My organization just received an e-mail from the Intellectual Property enforcement division of the Entertainment Software Association. It accuses one particular IP address with 'infringing the copyright rights of one or more ESA members by copying and distributing unauthorized copies of game products (through peer-to-peer or similar software/services).' It goes on to name the filename and the application: Limewire. Has anyone had any contact with this group? Are they following the RIAA's lead and pursuing litigation for peer-to-peer piracy? I'm just trying to evaluate what I am in for as I try to battle P2P within my network." Read on for more details.
Internet Explorer

Triple-Engine Browser Released As Alpha 181

jcasman passes along a heads-up on Lunascape, a Japanese browser company that is releasing its first English version of its Lunascape 5 triple-engine browser. It's for XP and Vista only. There are reviews up at CNET, OStatic (quoted below), and Lifehacker. Both the reviews and comments point out that, in its current alpha state, the browser is buggy and not very fast; but it might be one to watch. "How many web browsers do you run? If you're like me, you regularly use Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari. Each of those browsers, of course, has its own underlying rendering engine: Gecko (in Firefox), Trident (in Internet Explorer), and Webkit (in Chrome and Safari). Today, a Japanese startup called Lunascape has released an alpha version of its Lunascape browser ... that allows you to switch between all three of these prominent rendering engines. The company says that the Japanese version of Lunascape has been downloaded 10 million times and touts it as the fastest browser available."
Robotics

Ethical Killing Machines 785

ubermiester writes "The New York Times reports on research to develop autonomous battlefield robots that would 'behave more ethically in the battlefield than humans.' The researchers claim that these real-life terminators 'can be designed without an instinct for self-preservation and, as a result, no tendency to lash out in fear. They can be built without anger or recklessness ... and they can be made invulnerable to ... "scenario fulfillment," which causes people to absorb new information more easily if it agrees with their pre-existing ideas.' Based on a recent report stating that 'fewer than half of soldiers and marines serving in Iraq said that noncombatants should be treated with dignity and respect, and 17 percent said all civilians should be treated as insurgents,' this might not be all that dumb an idea."
Security

Experts Tell Feds To Sign the DNS Root ASAP 147

alphadogg sends along news that the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration has gotten plenty of feedback on its call for comments on securing the root zone using DNSSEC. The comment period closed yesterday, and more than 30 network and security experts urged the NTIA to implement DNSSEC stat. There were a couple of dissenting voices and a couple of trolls.
The Internet

Inside Safari 3.2's Anti-Phishing Feature 135

MacWorld is running a piece from MacJournals.com's for-pay publication detailing how the Safari browser's anti-phishing works. The article takes Apple to task for not thinking enough of its users to bother telling them when Safari sends data off to a third party on their behalf. For it seems that Safari uses the same Google-based anti-phishing technology that Firefox has incorporated since version 2.0, but, unlike Mozilla, tells its users nothing about it. "Even when phrased as friendly to Apple as we can manage, the fact remains that after installing Safari 3.2, your computer is by default downloading lots of information from Google and sending information related to sites you visit back to Google — without telling you, without Apple disclosing the methods, and without any privacy statement from Apple."

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