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Comment Re:Fuel economy (Score 1) 1114

Yes, it is engine braking, and it is good. The same thing happens in a manual, but in a manual you have more flexibility in downshifting (which means you can use more engine breaking, but when done excessively you cause excessive wear).

The engine is meant to slow down the car (and ideally, but in many scenarios not realistically, do most of the slowing down). It is not meant to do it very fast (or come to a complete stop). That's what brakes are for, rather than excessive downshifting.

'Flying Saucers' to Go On Sale Soon 327

gihan_ripper writes "Perhaps the ultimate nerd acquisition, the flying car, is to go on sale in a few months. Speaking to the BBC, the inventor Dr Paul Moller described his creation, dubbed the Flying Saucer, as a VTOL aircraft designed to hover at 10 ft. above the ground. The flying saucer has eight engines and is expected to sell for $90,000. Dr Moller expects to produce a successor within six years, a 'Skycar' capable of a climb rate of 6000 ft./min. and an airspeed of 400 mph."
Education

U.S. Cities Don't Make the Intelligence Cut 350

coondoggie writes "For the second year running, no U.S. city has made the list of the world's top Intelligent Communities of 2007, as selected by global think tank Intelligent Community Forum. The ICF selects the Intelligent Community list based on how advanced the communities are in deploying broadband, building a knowledge-based workforce, combining government and private-sector "digital inclusion," fostering innovation and marketing economic development."
Games

'Over 30' Section For Games Stores? 220

A New York law introduced by Representative Keith Wright seeks just that, a section for gaming stores that keeps 'violent games' under lock and key, and is accessible only to people over 30. The law is one of two poorly-thought pieces of legislation being considered by New York state's legal system. From the 1up article: "The history of the courts striking down such legislation goes just about as far back as politicians who attempt to bolster their own image by capitalizing on the public fear and hysteria over the bogeyman of video gaming. It's interesting to note that recently, courts have begun penalizing entities who purposely waste their time with attempts at passing frivolous and unconstitutional anti-videogame legislation. You'd think might deter motions like [these] somewhat, wouldn't you?" Update: 01/19 04:10 GMT by Z : As ahecht points out in the comments 1up has things wrong here. There is only one bill, and it restricts violent games from being sold to those under 18 only. Line 5 of the bill's text is the section in question.
GNU is Not Unix

2006 - The Year the FSF Reached Out 114

nanday writes "Linux.com is running a story about how the Free Software Foundation has transformed itself into an activist organization in the past year. From the story: 'At the start of 2006, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) was largely inward-looking, focused on the GNU Project and high-level strategic concerns such as licensing. Now, without abandoning these issues, the FSF had transformed into an openly activist organization, reaching out to its supporters and encouraging their participation in civic campaigns often designed to enlist non-hackers in their causes. Yet what happened seems to bemuse even FSF employees.'" Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.
Science

Inhabited Island Vanishes Forever Underwater 408

PhreakOfTime writes "For the first time the rising ocean levels have washed away an inhabited island. Lohachara island was at one point home to some 10,000 people. It, along with several other spits of land near the Indian mainland, is now permanently underwater. From the article: ' As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities. Eight years ago ... the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.'"
Displays

High-Performance Flexible Organic Transistors 25

Roland Piquepaille writes "Organic — or carbon-based — transistors are not new and can be used to design flexible computer displays, RFID tags and sensors. However, these organic single crystals could not be mass-produced because they needed to be individually handpicked. But now, researchers at Stanford University and the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a new method for building flexible organic transistor arrays. Even if the researchers have reached a density of 13 million crystals per square inch (or 2 million per square centimeter), there are still several issues to solve before this method can be used for commercial applications of these fast transistors."
Privacy

Ten Best, Worst, and Craziest Uses of RFID 126

An anonymous reader writes "This top 10 rounds up what it calls 'the best, worst and craziest' uses of RFID out there — including chipped kids at Legoland, smart pub tables that let you order drinks, smartcards for sports fans, and chipped airline passengers. The craziest use of the tech surely has to be RFID chips for Marks & Spencer suits — you couldn't pay most people to wear one of them."

U.S. Classrooms Torn Between Science and Religion 1115

Dystopian Rebel writes "A New Jersey public-school history teacher was recorded telling his students that they 'belong in Hell' if they do not accept Jesus. The teacher, who is also a Baptist Pastor, lied later when he was asked by the school principle what he said to the students. Unfortunately for this dodge, a student recorded the teacher's 'lesson'." From the article: "The student and his parents have requested that the teacher's anti-scientific remarks be corrected in open class, and that the school develop quality control procedures to ensure that future classes are not proselytized and misinformed. They have also referred the matter for disciplinary action. No apology has been forthcoming from the teacher or from the school."

The World's Most-High Tech Urinal 225

Mudzy writes "In an effort to handle its nighttime public urination problem, Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is considering installing high-tech urinals that disappear below street level during the day. Then at night, an operator comes by with a remote and the Urilift hydraulically lifts to sidewalk level in about two minutes. Then the unit is ready to serve all the nighttime party animals who don't mind peeing in a very exposed public urinal. The $75,000 system has been installed across the Netherlands, and have spread to London and Belfast, but Victoria will be the first North American city to try them out."

Ancient Swords Made of Carbon Nanotubes 293

brian0918 writes "Nature reports that researchers at Dresden University believe that sabres from Damascus dating back to 900 AD were formed with help from carbon nanotubes. From the article: 'Sabres from Damascus are made from a type of steel called wootz. But the secret of the swords' manufacture was lost in the eighteenth century.' At high temperatures, impurities in the metal 'could have catalyzed the growth of nanotubes from carbon in the burning wood and leaves used to make the wootz, Paufler suggests. These tubes could then have filled with cementite to produce the wires in the patterned blades, he says.'"

Walkman Creator Leaves Sony 89

Gammu writes "Nobutoshi Kihara, the engineer behind the Walkman, has left Sony. In the late seventies, one of the co-chairman of Sony, Morita, requested the audio division create a portable tape player capable of playing his operas while he was on transpacific flights to the US. After less than a year, the Walkman was released to the public and revolutionized the music industry. Read about the development of the first Walkman at Low End Mac."

Democrats Take House, Senate Undecided 1090

Every news publication on earth is saying mostly the same thing. The Democrats have taken the house picking up a sizable number of seats. But the Senate remains a tossup with a few undecided seats holding the balance. Concerns of voter fraud have been heard from around the nation as well.

Natural Language Processing for State Security 132

Roland Piquepaille writes "Obviously, computers can't have an opinion. What computers are very good at, though, is scanning through text to deduct human opinions from factual information. This branch of natural-language processing (NLP) is called 'information extraction' and is used for sorting facts and opinions for Homeland Security. Right now, a consortium of three universities is for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which doesn't have enough in-house expertise in NLP. Read more for additional references and a diagram showing how information extraction is used."

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