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Submission + - U.S. Gasoline Usage Peaked In 2006 ( 1

thecarchik writes: Even if you may not have heard of the Peak Oil theory, everyone knows that we'll continue to use more and more gasoline in years to come. Right? Well, errrrr, no. Maybe not. At least, that's the conclusion of both industry analysts and the oil companies themselves. The peak year for U.S. gasoline consumption to date was 2006, when we collectively used 374 million gallons every single day.Even with as many as 27 million more vehicles on the road in 10 years and a resumption of economic growth, says the experts, gasoline consumption will never again hit that 2006 high. In fact, 20 years hence, it may have fallen as much as 20 percent from today's levels. Since then, a combination of factors has cut demand and will continue to do so in future years. Even with as many as 27 million more vehicles on the road in 10 years and a resumption of economic growth, says the experts, gasoline consumption will never again hit that 2006 high. In fact, 20 years hence, it may have fallen as much as 20 percent from today's levels.

Submission + - Photos: The engineering work behind FTTP broadband (

nk497 writes: UK ISP BT has offered a behind the scenes look at its fibre-to-the-premise trial in Milton Keynes, showing the work required by engineers to get fibre to homes in that city. There’s 600km of cables as well as 4,000 manifolds and 1,000 distribution points to install — all to bring fibre broadband to 11,500 homes. All that cable must be pulled through ducts by hand. After that, fibre is blown through the tubes using pressurised air and spliced together to link up homes to the network. Getting fibre the last several yards from the main network infrastructure to homes takes seven hours per home, BT said.

Submission + - Laser powered UAV heli flight record (

garymortimer writes: LaserMotive, an independent R&D company specializing in laser power beaming and winner of the 2009 NASA-sponsored Power Beaming Competition, today announced it will attempt to break its own world record for laser-powered helicopter flight at the Future of Flight Aviation Center located at 8415 Paine Field Blvd. in Mukilteo, Wash., starting Wednesday, October 27.

Submission + - 80,000 and Counting, Brain Implants on the Rise (

kkleiner writes: According to Medtronic, the largest manufacturer of deep brain stimulation devices, over 80,000 people around the world have a brain implant. Eighty thousand! Did the age of mental cybernetics arrive while I wasn’t looking? Since 1997, deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants have slowly been gaining US FDA approval for use in patients (2002 for Parkinson’s, 2003 for dystonia). These ‘brain-pacers’ are surgically implanted in the chest but have long lead wires that reach up through the neck and deep into the brain.

Submission + - 500K Text Messages Reveal Nation's Mood on 9/11 (

tcd004 writes: The PBS NewsHour reports that German researchers analyzed 500,000 text messages sent on Sept. 11, 2001, and created an hour-by-hour psychological profile Americans on that day. The pager text messages, which were posted to Wikileaks in 2009, were analyzed for words that correlated to sadness, anxiety and anger. The results show that words related to anger dominated communications as the day wore on. The study was published in the Journal of Psychological Science.

Submission + - Full-Body Scanners Deployed In Street-Roving Vans (

pickens writes: Forbes reports that the same technology used at airport check points, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on US streets where law enforcement agencies have deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs. "It's no surprise that governments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans]," says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "But from a privacy perspective, it's one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable." Rotenberg adds that the scans, like those in the airport, potentially violate the fourth amendment. "Without a warrant, the government doesn't have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause," Rotenberg says. "If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make."

IBM Claims Breakthrough In Analysis of Encrypted Data 199

An anonymous reader writes "An IBM researcher has solved a thorny mathematical problem that has confounded scientists since the invention of public-key encryption several decades ago. The breakthrough, called 'privacy homomorphism,' or 'fully homomorphic encryption,' makes possible the deep and unlimited analysis of encrypted information — data that has been intentionally scrambled — without sacrificing confidentiality." Reader ElasticVapor writes that the solution IBM claims "might better enable a cloud computing vendor to perform computations on clients' data at their request, such as analyzing sales patterns, without exposing the original data. Other potential applications include enabling filters to identify spam, even in encrypted email, or protecting information contained in electronic medical records."

Amazon & TuneCore To Cut Out the RIAA Middleman 291

eldavojohn writes "So you're an aspiring band and you haven't signed with a record label. Maybe you've got a fan base interested in purchasing your stuff but you're not really into accounting? Enter Amazon's partnership with TuneCore, a CD printing and music distribution service. You want to sell a full album on Amazon of you brushing your teeth? $31. And you get about 40% back on sales, so selling nine digital copies of your CD will put you back in the black. There you have it, public availability on one of the largest online commerce sites for $31 — no RIAA involved!" TuneCore's CEO put it this way: "As an artist, you have unlimited physical inventory, made on demand, with no [sic] upfront costs and worldwide distribution to anyone who orders it at"

MediaDefender Buys MediaSentry For $136,000 (Not $20M) 141

newtley writes "SafeNet paid $20 million for MediaSentry in 2005, but has just sold it to rival MediaDefender for a paltry $136,000, with a promise of more later. MediaSentry's new owner says the combination will allow it to 'dramatically expand its effectiveness.' Is it time for an official government inquiry into MediaSentry and the RIAA? A Chicago student said she was planning on killing herself because the RIAA promised her she'd land in court unless she paid almost $10,000 to 'settle' an alleged copyright infringement. She 'couldn't sleep, couldn't study, couldn't live a normal life because of the worry.' The RIAA 'evidence' came from MediaSentry, accused of operating illegally."

Lunar Oxygen and Water Production Tech Tested 56

savuporo writes "NASA and its industry partners organized a two-week lunar in-situ resource utilization field test in Hawaii. The tested machines included a few different rovers and prototype plants for generating oxygen and water from lunar regolith. Astrotoday has a picture gallery and a video report. This follows on the heels of the recent ESA lunar robotics challenge event held on Tenerife, which tasked student teams to build a lunar robot that would be able to search for water ice in lunar polar craters."

Researchers Calculate Capacity of a Steganographic Channel 114

KentuckyFC writes "Steganography is the art of hiding a message in such a way that only the sender and receiver realize it is there. (By contrast, cryptography disguises the content of a message but makes no attempt to hide it.) The central problem for steganographers is how much data can be hidden without being detected. But the complexity of this problem has meant it has been largely ignored. Now two computer scientists (one working for Google) have made a major theoretical breakthrough by tackling the problem in the same way that the electrical engineer Claude Shannon calculated the capacity of an ordinary communications channel in the 1940s. In Shannon's theory, a transmission is considered successful if the decoder properly determines which message the encoder has sent. In the stego-channel, a transmission is successful if the decoder properly determines the sent message without anybody else detecting its presence (abstract). Studying a stego-channel in this way leads to some counter-intuitive results: for example, in certain circumstances, doubling the number of algorithms looking for hidden data can increase the capacity of the steganographic channel"

Underground Lab To Probe Ratio of Matter To Antimatter 82

Wired reports on the Enriched Xenon Observatory 200, a particle detector scientists hope will answer the question of why there is significantly more matter than antimatter in the universe. Quoting: "The new detector will try to fill in the picture, determining basic features of [neutrinos], like their mass and whether or not they, unlike almost all other particles, are their own antiparticles. That quirk is why some scientists believe neutrinos could be the mechanism for the creation of our matter-filled universe. Almost all other particles have an antiparticle twin that, if it comes into contact with the particle, immediately annihilates it. But if neutrinos are their own antiparticles they could conceivably be knocked onto matter's 'team,' thereby causing the cascading win for matter over antimatter that we know occurred. As the Indian theoretical physicist G. Rajasekaran put it in a speech [PDF] earlier this year, neutrinos that are their own antiparticles would explain 'how, after [the] annihilation of most of the particles with antiparticles, a finite but small residue of particles was left to make up the present Universe.'"

Buckypaper — Out of the Lab, Into the Market 125

doomsdaywire writes "Buckypaper isn't exactly news to anyone here. However, this article quotes Ben Wang, director of Florida State's High-Performance Materials Institute, saying, 'Our plan is perhaps in the next 12 months we'll begin maybe to have some commercial products.' The article continues: '"If this thing goes into production, this very well could be a very, very game-changing or revolutionary technology to the aerospace business," said Les Kramer, chief technologist for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, which is helping fund the Florida State research. ... The long-range goal is to build planes, automobiles and other things with buckypaper composites. The military also is looking at it for use in armor plating and stealth technology.'"

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