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Submission + - Car Tech: Building The Zero-Fatality Car (

CWmike writes: In the future, new cars might include an appealing sticker: This car is rated for zero fatalities. John Brandon reports that Volvo, for instance, has launched a program called Vision 2020, which states, 'By 2020, nobody shall be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo.' It includes not just new protective measures in the car, but technology for communicating dangers to and from the car. Other car companies have similar, less formalized programs. As ambitious as it seems, Ed Kim, an analyst at automotive research firm AutoPacific, says the zero-fatality goal is achievable. In the next 10 years, there will be a confluence of safety technologies — such as road-sign recognition, pedestrian detection and autonomous car controls — that lead to safer cars, says Kim. Will your next car look something like this?

Submission + - Model describes universe with no big bang (

JustABlitheringIdiot writes: From the article:

By suggesting that mass, time, and length can be converted into one another as the universe evolves, Wun-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological models that may fit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model. What this means specifically is that the new models might explain the increasing acceleration of the universe without relying on a cosmological constant such as dark energy, as well as solve or eliminate other cosmological dilemmas such as the flatness problem and the horizon problem.

Submission + - You Are Sexually Attracted to Your Parents, Yourse (

An anonymous reader writes: In a series of experiments where subjects viewed photographs of their opposite-sex parent or a photo morphed with their own face, researchers found that people are turned on by photographs of people who resemble their close genetic counterparts.

“People appear to be drawn to others who resemble their kin or themselves,” said psychologist R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois, lead author of the study published July 20 in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. “It is possible, therefore, as Freud suggested, that incest taboos exist to counter this primitive tendency.”

n the first experiment, people were shown a series of faces of strangers and asked to rank their sexual attractiveness. Before each of the faces were shown, half the subjects were subliminally exposed to photographs of their opposite-sex parent, by flashing the images so quickly that they couldn’t be processed consciously. The other half of the participants was shown photos of unrelated parents.

People who were primed with images of their own mom or dad were more likely to find the faces in the subsequent photo attractive than did people primed with a random image.

In the second experiment, participants were asked to rank the sexual attractiveness of another set of faces, but this time the faces were morphed to be composites of two different faces. Unaware that their own faces were part of the morph, half of the subjects were shown faces that were up to 45 percent their own, like an artificial sibling. The other half were shown morphs of faces that were not their own.

The people who saw faces morphed with their own found the images more sexually appealing.

Submission + - SCiB. Is this THE battery? 1

relliker writes: 6,000+ charge/deep-discharge cycles with minor capacity loss, safe rapid charging to 90% in 5 mins. Toshiba recently announced what looks like THE battery that could finally really revolutionize the electric car industry. Will it happen? (actual Toshiba reference here)

Submission + - 1-in-1,000 Chance of Asteroid Impact in... 2182? (

astroengine writes: "Sure, we're looking 172 years into the future, but an international collaboration of scientists have developed two mathematical models to help predict when a potentially hazardous asteroid (or PHA) may hit us, not in this century, but the next. The rationale is that to stand any hope in deflecting a civilization-ending or extinction-level impact, we need as much time as possible to deal with the threatening space rock. (Asteroid deflection can be a time-consuming venture, after all.) Enter "(101955) 1999 RQ36" — an Apollo class, Earth-crossing, 500 meter-wide space rock. The prediction is that 1999 RQ36 has a 1-in-1,000 chance of hitting us in the future, and according to one of the study's scientists María Eugenia Sansaturio, half of those odds fall squarely on the year 2182. But will mankind bother getting too flustered about it? Probably not."
The Courts

Submission + - 16 Years Jail For Videotaping Police? (

krou writes: The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber, who potentially faces sixteen years in prison if found guilty of violating state wiretap laws because he recorded video of an officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop. ... Once [the Maryland State Police] learned of the video on YouTube, Graber's parents house was raided, searched, and four of his computers were confiscated. Graber was arrested, booked and jailed. Their actions are a calculated method of intimidation. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. The wiretap law being used to charge Anthony Graber is intended to protect private communication between two parties. According to David Rocah, the ACLU attorney handling Mr. Graber's case, "To charge Graber with violating the law, you would have to conclude that a police officer on a public road, wearing a badge and a uniform, performing his official duty, pulling someone over, somehow has a right to privacy when it comes to the conversation he has with the motorist."

Submission + - Scientist: 'Galaxy is Rich in Earth-Like Planets' (

astroengine writes: "In a recent presentation, Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov unexpectedly announced news that the Kepler Space Telescope has discovered dozens of candidate Earth-like exoplanets. Not waiting for the official NASA press release to announce the discovery, Sasselov went into some detail at the TEDGlobal talk in Oxford, UK, earlier this month. This surprise announcement comes hot on the heels of controversy that erupted last month when the Kepler team said they were withholding data on 400 exoplanet candidates until February 2011. In light of this, Sasselov's unofficial announcement has already caused a stir. Keith Cowing, of, has commented on this surprise turn of events saying it is really annoying "that the Kepler folks were complaining about releasing information since they wanted more time to analyze it before making any announcements. And then the project's Co-I goes off and spills the beans before an exclusive audience — offshore." Although Sasselov could have handled the announcement better (and waited until NASA made the official announcement), this has the potential to be one of the biggest astronomical discoveries of our time — so long as these Earth-like "candidates" are confirmed by further study."

Submission + - Samsung Gives Free Phones to iPhone Users (

billsayswow writes: CNN has a story from Wired about how many iPhone 4 users who voiced their complaints on Twitter were contacted by Samsung, and offered a free Samsung Galaxy S, a new phone that runs Android 2.1, if possible with their carrier and contract. Samsung themselves have confirmed that this is a legitimate offer, and not a scam.

A spokesperson for Samsung: "Recently there has been a real increase in online activity from consumers dissatisfied with some of our competitors' products. We decided to contact a cross section of individuals to offer them a free Samsung Galaxy S as a replacement, as we're confident that once people have the phone in their hands, they'll see how impressive it is for themselves."


Submission + - The Age of Fanboyism Comes Crashing Down 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes at ZdNet that there are obvious fanboy camps, such as Mac and Linux, even cellphone fanboys, web hosting fanboys, and CD/DVD disc maker fanboys who hold a vehement, unwavering belief that their particular choice in life is without a shadow of a doubt the best possible choice anyone could make, and anyone making a different choice is some sort of sad loser. But the age of the fanboy (a term, by the way, whose first recorded use was in 1919) is "coming to an end because the walls between platforms and technologies are crumbling, and the boundaries between products and services has blurred to the point of almost being transparent" and because the ultimate apotheosis to fanboyism is the mainstream market. Take Apple for example. "You can’t sell millions of iPods, iPhones and iPads, not to mention millions of Mac every quarter to first-time [users] without diluting, and then terminally polluting, the whole fanboy fanbase," writes Kingsley-Hughes "Only the most blinkered person can maintain the illusion of exclusivity in the face of millions of people walking around with the same product." Kingsley-Hughes isn't suggesting that fanboys will disappear either overnight or completely but their era of influence, at least in areas where they’ve existed before, is coming to an end. "In an era where anyone with a web connection can have a say, the old fanboy favorite of drowning out the opposition no longer works," writes Kingsley-Hughes. "The fanboys have been disarmed.""

Submission + - New monument discovered near Stonehenge (

An anonymous reader writes: They are among the true monsters of space — colossal stars whose size and brightness go well beyond what many scientists thought was even possible. Planets take longer to form than these stars take to live and die.

One of the objects, known simply as R136a1, is the most massive ever found.

The star is seen to have a mass about 265 times that of our own Sun; but the latest modelling work suggests at birth it could have been even bigger. Perhaps as much as 320 times that of the Sun, says Professor Paul Crowther from Sheffield University, UK.

"If it replaced the Sun in our Solar System, it would outshine by as much as the Sun currently outshines the full Moon," the astronomer told BBC News.


Submission + - Robot Runs For Days On Garbage, But Needs Walks (

RedEaredSlider writes: Robots need power, but picture powering your Roomba with the household garbage that it could eat

The Ecobot III is a creation of the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Dr. Ioannis A. Ieropoulos, research fellow at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, says the robot can sustain itself for a week without human assistance... ...At the end of each 24-hour cycle, a pump eliminates the waste that's accumulated at the bottom of the artificial stomach after the microbes get done with the "food." The Ecobot pushes out the dispensed waste in the form of what Ieropoulos calls a "liquid droplet" — basically a combination of the breakdown products from the garbage. What those chemicals are will depend on what you fed it at the beginning. So while having a robot that needs no electricity is convenient, it would need to be walked.


Submission + - Apple starts free case program for iPhone 4 owners (

CWmike writes: As promised last week, Apple launched on Friday its free case program for iPhone 4 owners with reception problems. The iPhone 4 Case Program applies to iPhone 4s bought before Sept. 30, and it requires iPhone 4 users to download a special app from Apple's App Store to get a free case. In addition to enabling users to select rubber bumpers, the app also offers users a choice of several plastic cases from third-party vendors. iPhone 4 owners must sign in with an Apple ID to get access to the case selection, and once a case or bumper has been chosen, the app no longer allows you to look at the cases. In other words, buyers must choose wisely, since it doesn't looke like they'll have a chance to change the order after they make a decision. For those who already bought Apple-branded iPhone 4 Bumpers — which originally sold for $29.99 — Apple says it is already refunding the purchase price, plus taxes and shipping fees. Customers who bought bumpers from an AT&T store must fill out a rebate form (PDF) to get a reimbursement.

Submission + - Managing the Most Remote Data Center in the World (

blackbearnh writes: Imagine that your data center was in the most geographically remote location in the world. Now imagine that you can only get to it 4 months of the year. Just for fun, add in some of the most extreme weather conditions in the world. That's the challenge that faces John Jacobsen, one of the people responsible for making sure that the data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory makes it all the way from the South Pole to researchers across the world. In an interview recorded at OSCON, Jacobsen talks about the problems that he has to face, which includes (surprisingly) keeping the data center cool. If you're ever gripped because you had to haul yourself across town in the middle of the night to fix a server crash, this interview should put things in perspective...

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