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The Almighty Buck

Sony Bringing RMT To Vanguard 39

Eurogamer reports that Sony Online Entertainment will be adding the ability to do real money trading to at least some of their Vanguard: Saga of Heroes servers. It's the same service they opened for a pair of Everquest II servers a while back. Quoting: "The service, offered by Live Gamer, allows players to sell items, currency and characters for real cash through a secure channel, authorised by the game operator. Most real-money trading in MMOs is a 'grey' market that doesn't have the operator's consent. ... Sony Online Entertainment recently said that it had no intention to bring its other real-money trading initiative — the Station Cash item shop — to Vanguard."
Power

Focused Microwaves Could Enable Wireless Power Transfer 180

esocid alerts us to news out of the University of Michigan, where physics researchers have found a way to focus microwaves to a point 20 times smaller than their wavelength using a new 'superlens'. Such resolution was thought to be impossible until recent years, and it could bring about the capability to transfer power wirelessly. "No matter how powerful a conventional lens, it cannot focus light down to more than about half its wavelength, the 'diffraction limit'. This limits the amount of data that can be stored on a CD, and the size of features on computer chips. The new lens is a 127-micrometer-thick plate of teflon and ceramic with a copper topping. 'The beauty of these is that they're planar,' Grbic says, 'they're easy to fabricate.' The lenses can be made through a single step of photolithography, the process used to etch computer chips."
Security

Researchers Work To Perfect Computerized Lip Reading 117

Iddo Genuth writes "Researchers at the University of East Anglia are working to develop computerized lip-reading systems. Lip-reading is extremely hard for humans to master, but a software-based system has several benefits over even the most highly trained expert. The ultimate goal of the project is to convert lip-read speech into text. 'Apart from being extremely helpful to hearing-disabled individuals, researchers say that such a system could be used to noiselessly dictate commands to electronic devices equipped with a simple camera - like mobile phones, microwaves or even a car's dashboard. England's Home Office Scientific Development Branch ... is currently investigating the feasibility of using lip-reading software as an additional tool for gathering information about criminals or for collecting evidence.'"

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