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Science

Submission + - Thought controlled arm for amputees (yahoo.com)

a302b writes: An Italian who lost his left forearm in a car crash has been successfully linked to a robotic hand, allowing him to feel sensations in the artificial limb and control it with his thoughts.

Submission + - Electric MINI Cooper has rough start (bloomberg.com) 2

TopSpin writes: BMW's limited roll out of the electric version of its MINI has met with complaints from early adopters including less than advertised range, cold weather charging problems, bulky batteries and connection issues. Richard Steinburg, BMW's manager of electric vehicle operations, assures everyone that the manufacturer is "learning quite a bit as we go." Drivers are paying $850/month for the privilege of helping BMW learn how to build EVs, while also helping BMW meet alternative fuel mandates so that other models can continue to be sold in select markets.
Government

Submission + - FCC Preparing Transition to VoIP Telephone Network (fcc.gov)

mantis2009 writes: The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published a request for public comment on an upcoming transition from the decades-old circuit-based Public Switched Telephone Network to a new system run entirely with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. This is perhaps the most serious indication to date that the legacy telephone system will, in the near future, reach the end of its life. This public commenting phase represents a very early stage in what will undoubtedly be a very complex transition that makes this year's bumpy switch from analog to digital television look relatively easy.
Science

Submission + - Interview with Emotiv co-founder Nam Do (pcauthority.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: Controlling computers with our minds may sound like science fiction, but one Australian company claims to be able to let you do just that. The Emotiv device has been garnering attention at trade shows and conferences for several years, and now the company says it is set to launch the Emotiv EPOC headset on December 21. So what exactly is Emotiv's vision for the groundbreaking device, and does it live up to the hype? PC Authority spoke to co-founder Nam Do about the Emotiv technology and its potential as a mainstream gaming interface.

Submission + - Standard, Interesting Books for IT

Voulnet writes: Hello Slashdot, I am a Computer Engineer, fresh off graduation, and I would like to educate myself on a broad range of technological fields and aspects. I am the kind of person who is easily distracted while reading from a screen, and so I would like to ask fellow slashdotters about the best books for computer related topics. I consider my level to be intermediate in some fields, and beginner in others.
Some books are de facto standards in a certain technology field, others can be classified as Hidden Gems, while others are Interesting Reads (like GUI Bloopers). Therefore, I would love to hear what is everybody's book recommendation in the following fields:

- Programming (C++, C# and Java)
- Secure coding
- Networking
- Electronics (design and simulation)
- Security (attacks and countermeasures)
- Web development (especially Ruby and Perl)
- Unix systems
- Win32 development
- Databases
- Computer Architecture
- Infrastructure (Think national level)
- Computer industry business management

These are my desired topics for the next 8 months or so, and I would like to immerse myself into said topics in different methods.
So what do you think is the best book for aforementioned categories in terms of being a (de facto standard/ Hidden Gem/ Interesting Read)?

Hopefully this submission passes through, being so useful to me and young engineers & developers. Thanks in advance!
Intel

Submission + - Chinese DVD piracy boosting Intel notebook sales? (shanzai.com) 1

clonewriter writes: Since most Chinese consumers don't have the internet, netbooks and their cloud computing ways are not attractive options. Unlike in the West where people download movies, in China, people buy ultra cheap DVD rips. What good is a netbook if there's no DVD drive? Perhaps this is why the more robust Intel CULV based notebooks are taking off in the streets of Shenzen.
Image

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Re:Does add cost though (Score 2, Informative) 222

To be perfectly honest, why use LuLu in the first place? There are plenty of cheaper "Print on Demand" (POD) publishers, including Amazon's Booksurge, which lists books on Amazon. I can't see why authors would accept traditional publisher & distributor markups (typically >40% of the retail price) and then add a retailer markup, all for the privilege of selling a book electronically or via POD on LuLu! Find a cheaper POD publisher and sell it yourself, or if a sales page and distributor access are vital, then use Booksurge or an equivalent, not Lulu.
Medicine

Enzyme Found To Help Formation of New Axons 88

Greg George writes "Researchers at Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology have announced that they have found an enzyme that helps nerves to grow in areas damaged after trauma. In typical injuries, scar tissue forms around the damage point and the body removes the tissue so that new muscle and nerves can regrow in the damaged area. In spinal cord injuries, scar tissue forms and that is the end of the story. Special chemicals form that stop the body's cells from moving in and removing the scar tissue and then allowing the healing process to start. Studies have been done attempting to bypass the scar tissue, but none has been successful in large-scale repair of injured muscle and nerves in the spinal column. The researchers for this paper have found that sugar proteins near the damage point stop the healing and that an enzyme can be used to break down these proteins so that the body can then begin repairs. The enzyme, chondroitinase ABC (chABC), is sensitive to heat, and breaks down quickly in a human body. To stop that process they found that by replacing the ABC with another sugar called trehalose, they were able to stabilize the ABC, allowing it to break down scar tissue over a large area. The gel formed by these sugars is stable for up to six weeks in the bodies of test animals, allowing the research team to inject growth factors that increased the healing, to the point that the animals started to use their limbs again. The work is still in the beginning stages." Reuters reporting adds a few more details: "...many other approaches will be needed to repair spinal cord injuries in humans, including controlling inflammation, which can cause additional injury, stimulating nerve fiber growth, and getting nerves to reconnect and communicate with the brain."
Technology

Submission + - Commercial green fuel from algae still years away (reuters.com)

chrnb writes: "SAN DIEGO (Reuters) — Filling your vehicle's tank with fuel made from algae is still as much as a decade away, as the emerging industry faces a series of hurdles to find an economical way to make the biofuel commercially.
Estimates on a timeline for a commercial product, and profits, vary from two to 10 years or more."

Education

All-You-Can-Eat College For $99-a-Month 272

theodp writes "Writing in Washington Monthly, Kevin Carey has seen the future of college education. It costs $99-a-month, and there's no limit on the number of courses you can take. Tiny online education firm StraighterLine is out to challenge the seeming permanency of traditional colleges and universities. How? Like Craigslist, StraighterLine threatens the most profitable piece of its competitors' business: freshman lectures, higher education's equivalent of the classified section. It's no surprise, then, that as StraighterLine tried to buck the system, the system began to push back, challenging deals the company struck with accredited traditional and for-profit institutions to allow StraighterLine courses to be transferred for credit. But even if StraighterLine doesn't succeed in bringing extremely cheap college courses to the masses, it's likely that another player eventually will."

Comment POD printing (Score 1) 178

What about "Print on Demand" (POD) books? Just offer a PDF on your website and have a link for a POD book for those students that prefer a physical book. There are many, many POD publishers out there. and most are pretty good/indistinguishable from "regular" printing. And if you use Amazon's POD publisher, Booksurge, you automatically get listed with them. To me this seems like a "no fail" system that provides both free (ebook) and physical (POD) versions of your book while side-stepping an outdated publishing industry.
Image

Bamboo Taxis In Philippines 1

19061969 writes "Bucking the trend for heavy-weight SUVs, a mayor in the Philippines has commissioned a range of bamboo vehicles. According to the blurb, the taxis also run on coconut biodiesel, even have a stereo sound system and help the local economy by being largely locally produced. Is this the future of mass transportation?"
Power

Switching To Solar Power, One Year Later 541

ThinSkin writes "Slashdot readers may recall Loyd Case's series of articles illustrating his experiences after switching to solar power for his family home. Loyd shared his one month update, a six month update, and now finally concludes his series after one year of solar power. Despite the $38,000 initial cost for the setup, Loyd is very optimistic after a $3,000 savings in one year, meaning that in about 12 years he will break even — though he suspects ten years is a better estimate considering other factors. Other reasons such as feeling 'green,' increasing the property value of his house, and the 'spousal acceptance factor' all support Loyd's decision on why he'd do it all over again if he had to." The article is spread annoyingly over multiple pages, like everything at the site, and the print version omits the graphs.

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