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Submission + - Alcohol smoking new fad, still stupid ( 1

ruin20 writes: Apparently people believe that pouring alcohol over dry ice causes alcohol vapors to be released and that inhaling the smoke can get you drunk. I fail to see how this is possible. I can only explain the intoxication as mild CO poisoning and the high experinced from lower O2 in the blood. Perhaps you can explain it...
Input Devices

Submission + - Cellphone like input for text on media center PC (

ruin20 writes: I've been thinking about the control issues surrounding media center pc's for a while now. The big problem I have is that my living room, and most living rooms I come across, don't have sufficient flat surfaces for mousing and keyboards are cumbersome and uncomfortable if not sitting at a desk. I've come to accept the idea of a joystick or motion control embedded in a remote like object for pointing but I have yet to find a controller that has a good solution for text input. Then I realized that if the controller had some form of T9 or Word recognition like cellphones, then the process might not be so bad. It would allow use of something similar to this or even just strait cellphones in a manner that wouldn't painfully unfamiliar. Does anyone know anything that actually works like this? I would love to get rid of my cable subscription and instead rely on video RSS but I have two very non-technical roommates that will pitch a fit if they couldn't do everything with just a remote in a semi-familiar fashion.

Submission + - Pattent suit in haptic feedback...about sex toys

ruin20 writes: Techdirt just posted a story on a haptic feedback lawsuit. The article opens up to discuss:

Joe Mullin has the details of a rather bizarre patent dispute involving a patent covering the user interface of force feedback technology used in "cybersex" or "teledildonics."
Now this is a sticky situation becasue the company pressing the suit doesn't want to the bad pr of being associated in this industry so they licenced the dirty work to a shell patent troll, who now wants a piece of their other settlements with more mainstream products. So it looks like we got a pattent threesome cluster, well you get the idea...

Submission + - Aptra almost comes clean with plug in hybrid (

ruin20 writes: "Aptra has been hyping a 300 mpg hybrid car. After ignoring it, like most plug-in hybrids, I decided to check it out after it had crossed my eyes six or seven times. I was shocked, not because I think it's a good concept, but because their details section was shockingly honest. Not quite completely honest But pretty damn close. From the link:

With the Plug-in Electric Hybrid version of the Aptera(typ-1h) the mileage of the vehicle is difficult to describe with one number. For example, the Typ-1h can drive 40 to 60 miles on electric power alone. Perhaps for such a trip, the engine may only be duty-cycled for a few seconds or minutes. This would produce a fantastic number, an incredible number that, though factually true, would have no useful context, i.e. it's just a point on a graph.
Now although they do go on to continue to crunch MPG numbers further on in the article, at least they cop to the fact that they're not real. This goes forward to my point we need a weighted kilojoule per mile calculation for reporting efficiency of hybrid vehicles. People should have an understanding of how efficiently they use the electric energy, and that it doesn't just run on gas with fantastic efficiency, that the energy used in making that MPG number first came from your wall socket."

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