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Comment Poll: Would you receive a cyborg implant? (Score 1) 1

a) I'd sign up as one of the earliest testers We already use devices in our everyday life to supplement our senses. For example glasses for correcting eye sight, hearing aids for correcting hearing loss. You could even argue that the automobile is an augmentation that we wear to provide a more efficient method of transporting ourselves. Have these augments internalized is the next natural step in my opinion. Just because something is not biological does not make it wrong to have inside the body if it provides a definite advantage which out ways any detractors.

Submission + - Poll: Would you receive a cyborg implant? 1

oldspewey writes: .

If cranial implants could provide digital communication, enhance memory, afford "super vision" etc.:
a) I'd sign up as one of the earliest testers
b) I'd wait a few years until the bugs are worked out
c) I'd consider some modest enhancement as a "trial"
d) My decision would be based purely on cost/benefit
e) There's no way in hell I'd get one
f) I'll figure out how to hack the system and create my own army of zombies

Comment Re:Could be a half-decent toy, if priced well (Score 1) 112

To quote their PDF "There is also the issue that brain research has advanced but we are not too concerned with the dissection of the signals into specific origins of neuronal / muscular groups, rather, as mentioned above, it is the synergism of all physiological activities that is the critical signal we are trying to read and understand to the point where we can use it." http://www.ocztechnology.com/files/misc_products/NIA_complete_English.pdf also "The new headbands we are using embrace sensors based on carbon nanofibers that are about 100 times more sensitive than older technology. This allows for a much wider dynamic range and also to pick up signals that were completely masked in previous approaches and that makes the use much more intuitive and easier."
Education

Submission + - We Rent Movies, So Why Not Textbooks? 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that using Netflix as a business model, Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra founded Chegg, shorthand for "chicken and egg," to gather books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting — or sometimes selling — them to other students at the start of a new one. Chegg began renting books in 2007 before it owned any, so when an order came in, its employees would surf the Web to find a cheap copy. They would buy the book using Rashid's American Express card and have it shipped to the student. Eventually, Chegg automated the system. "People thought we were crazy," Rashid said. Now, as Chegg prepares for its third academic year in the textbook rental business, the business is growing rapidly. Jim Safka, a former chief executive of Match.com and Ask.com who was recently recruited to run Chegg, said the company's revenue in 2008 was more than $10 million and this year, Chegg surpassed that in January alone. "The model is clever," says Yannis Bakos, associate professor of management at the Stern School of Business at New York University. "If they execute well, it will be an accomplishment." Savings can vary from book to book. A macroeconomics textbook that retails for $122 was available on Chegg for $65 for one semester; an organic chemistry title retailing for $123 was offered for $33. Those kinds of savings are turning students into fans. "Word of mouth," says Safka, "has put wind in the company's sails.""
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Designing a multi-purpose radio scanner

iraubergeek writes: Aight, so I'm not much of a hacker and have a rather limited programing skillset. However, I have this idea for a project and would like some advice on where to begin my learning.

In some US states, it is illegal to employ a radar detector in your car. However, if one were to employ some sort of multi-purpose radio analyzer which just-so-happened to include radar and have a programmable alarm system in it, it may be overlooked or explained away. It would of course have to be able to tune to FM/AM/UHF/VHF/WiFi or something useful in order to be legitimized. Now, I really do want it to be multi-purpose and not just be capable of doing other things. That way, it could be good for wardrivers and real radio analysts who would want to build/buy one for non-radar purposes.

My question is, what kind of device should I be constructing to accomplish this, and what resources can you direct me to to begin learning this myself?
Earth

Submission + - Enigma: from predator to plant and back

SilverEar writes: Imagine a creature that swims and preys on others. But once it eats a certain kind of plant, that plant grows inside it, the predator loses its ability to prey and starts using sunlight to make its food. Its preying mouth is replaced by an eye that is needed to find sunlight. This is the Hatena "enigma" in Japanese. The kicker: when Hatena reproduces, one offspring is a peaceful photosynthesizer with the sun-seeking eye, while the other is yet again a predator with the voracious mouth. Well, at least until it eats the "magic algae". Read about it in Byte Size Biology.
The Military

Northrop Grumman Markets Weaponized Laser System 246

stephencrane writes "Northrop Grumman is making available for sale the FIRESTRIKE weaponized laser system. The solid-state laser unit weighs over 400lbs, sends/receives instructions and data via an RJ-45 jack and can be synchronized with additional units to emit a 100 kW beam. It looks like some piece of stereophonic amplification equipment out of the '50s. Or Fallout 3. The press release suggests that FIRESTRIKE 'will form the backbone of future laser weapon systems.'"
The Internet

The Effects of the Cloud On Business, Education 68

g8orade points out two recent articles in The Economist about the rise of cloud computing. The first discusses how software-as-a-service has come to pervade online interactions. "Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a technology visionary at IBM, compares cloud computing to the Cambrian explosion some 500m years ago when the rate of evolution sped up, in part because the cell had been perfected and standardised, allowing evolution to build more complex organisms." The next article examines how the cloud will force a "trade-off between sovereignty and efficiency." Reader pjones contributes news that the Virtual Computer Lab will be supplementing more traditional computer labs at North Carolina State University, and adds, "NCSU's Virtual Computing Lab and IBM are offering the VCL code as a software 'appliance' for use in schools to link to the program. Downloads are available at ibiblio at UNC-Chapel Hill. The VCL also is partnering with Apache.org to make the software available and to allow further community participation in future development."
Security

New Approach To Malware Modifies Linux Kernel 170

Hugh Pickens writes "Professor Avishai Wool has unveiled a program to watch for malware on servers with a modification to the Linux kernel. 'We modified the kernel in the system's operating system so that it monitors and tracks the behavior of the programs installed on it,' says Wool. Essentially, Wool says, his software team has built a model that predicts how software running on a server should work (pdf). If the kernel senses abnormal activity, it stops the program from working before malicious actions occur. 'When we see a deviation, we know for sure there's something bad going on,' Wool explains. Wool cites problems with costly anti-virus protection. 'Our methods are much more efficient and don't chew up the computer's resources.'"
Medicine

Safe Stem Cells Produced From Adult Cells 207

hackingbear writes "Wired, citing a paper published in Science magazine, reports that Harvard scientists may have found a safer way of giving a flake of skin the biologically alchemical powers of embryonic stem cells by turning adult cells into versatile, embryonic-like cells without causing permanent damage. The technique involves 'adding cell-reprogramming genes to adenoviruses, a type of virus that infects cells without affecting their DNA.' Four-month trials on mice demonstrated that the resulting stem cells are free from unpredictable cancer-inducing mutations. This is definitely a breakthrough in stem cell research." Additional coverage is available at Yahoo, and Science hosts the research paper, although you'll need a subscription to see more than the abstract.
Slashdot.org

Introducing the Slashdot Firehose 320

Logged in users have noticed for some time the request to drink from the Slashdot Firehose. Well now we're ready to start having everybody test it out. It's partially a collaborative news system, partially a redesigned & dynamic next-generation Slashdot index. It's got a lot of really cool features, and a lot of equally annoying new problems for us to find and fix for the next few weeks. I've attached a rough draft of the FAQ to the end of this article. A quick read of it will probably answer most questions from how it works, what all the color codes mean, to what we intend to do with it.
Privacy

ACLU Protests Police Scanning License Plates 821

dustman81 writes "The ACLU is objecting to the practice of police in Springdale, Ohio using an automated license-plate scanner on patrol cars to locate stolen vehicles or those whose owners are wanted on felony warrants. The scanner can read 900 license plates an hour traveling at highway speeds. So far, the scanner has located 95 stolen cars and helped locate 111 wanted felons. The locations of the license plates scanned are tagged with GPS data. All matches are stored (with no expiration date given) and can be brought up later and cross-referenced on a map. If the plate is wanted, the times and locations of where it was scanned can be referenced. The Springdale police department hopes to begin using the system soon to locate misdemeanor suspects. This system is also in use in British Columbia."

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