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OLED Film Could Provide Cheap Night Vision For Cars 120

thecarchik writes "Night vision systems are already available in the higher-end luxury sedans from companies like Toyota, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It's expensive technology that few drivers can afford, and at $4,000 for the system without a display, it's a pricey upgrade. That may all change soon, as DARPA-funded scientists have developed a cheap way to turn any infrared light into visible light with a thin film."

Genetic Disorder Removes Racial Bias and Social Fear 319

People who suffer from a rare genetic disorder called Williams Syndrome have a complete lack of social fear. They experience no anxiety or concerns about meeting new people or being put into any social situation, and a new study by Andreia Santos suggests that they also don't have any racial bias. From the article: "Typically, children start overtly gravitating towards their own ethnic groups from the tender age of three. Groups of people from all over the globe and all sorts of cultures show these biases. Even autistic children, who can have severe difficulties with social relationships, show signs of racial stereotypes. But Santos says that the Williams syndrome kids are the first group of humans devoid of such racial bias, although, as we’ll see, not everyone agrees."

Scientists Discover Booze That Won't Give You a Hangover 334

Kwang-il Kwon and Hye Gwang Jeong of Chungnam National University have discovered that drinking alcohol with oxygen bubbles added leads to fewer hangovers and a shorter sobering up time. People drinking the bubbly booze sobered up 20-30 minutes faster and had less severe and fewer hangovers than people who drank the non-fizzy stuff. Kwon said: "The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage reduces plasma alcohol concentrations faster than a normal dissolved-oxygen alcohol beverage does. This could provide both clinical and real-life significance. The oxygen-enriched alcohol beverage would allow individuals to become sober faster, and reduce the side effects of acetaldehyde without a significant difference in alcohol's effects. Furthermore, the reduced time to a lower BAC may reduce alcohol-related accidents."

Breaking the Squid Barrier 126

An anonymous reader writes "Dr. Steve O'Shea of Auckland, New Zealand is attempting to break the record for keeping deep sea squid alive in captivity, with the goal of being able to raise a giant squid one day. Right now, he's raising the broad squid, sepioteuthis australis, from egg masses found in seaweed. This is a lot harder than it sounds, because the squid he's studying grow rapidly and eat only live prey, making it hard for them to keep the squid from becoming prey themselves. If his research works out, you might one day be able to visit an aquarium and see giant squid."

Comment Re:About time. (Score 5, Informative) 252

I'm going to have to disagree with that analysis (IANAL, but I am a law student who is interested in practicing in copyright, so I have a little knowledge on the subject). (Before we get started, I have to say that I am not licensed to practice law anywhere, and this is not legal advice to anyone who may be reading this)

No, because the actual violation of copyright law is not downloading the song, but allowing someone else to download from you.

Hypothetical example: Charlie and Denise (fictitious names of the "Alice and Bob" variety) both have computers. Charlie rips a song from a CD and makes an MP3 of it (perfectly legal, though the RIAA would like for it not to be).

Contrary to popular opinion, the legality of ripping files is not a given. I don't have the text in front of me, but I recall the legality being hinged on judicial interpretation of several seemingly obvious, but legally fuzzy terms (such as "home audio recording device," and whether or not said term includes computers).

Charlie then places that song in his "Shared Files" folder (still perfectly legal).

Still questionably legal. This is the (untested as far as I know) act that the RIAA is trying to get labeled as inducement or contributory infringement. The idea is that, but for Charlie making it available for Denise to download, no infringement could have occurred.

Denise downloads the song--it's only at that moment that anything illegal was done, but it is Charlie, not Denise, who has broken the law.

Nope, they both have. Charlie and Denise have both infringed the reproduction and distribution rights of both the song writer and the recording artist. The RIAA has been choosing to sue only those who are making the tracks available (probably either because they think it's the cheapest way to get their message across, or because they haven't figured out a way to nail the downloaders without stirring up entrapment charges), but could go after both.

Note: this doesn't mean that I think the RIAA is right, this is just my take on the system as it stands today. Personally, I think a major overhaul is in order. One that doesn't include all of the stupid special interests that bought their way into the current system.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - The Orange Box

gunnaraztek writes: Now the Orange Box will be released within a week, users might be interested to read about it.

The orange box includes:

Half-Life 2 | Half-Life 2 Official Site | On Wikipedia

Half-Life 2: Episode One | Half-Life 2: Episode One Official Site | On Wikipedia

Half-Life 2: Episode Two | Half-Life 2: Episode Two Official Site | On Wikipedia

Portal | Portal Official Site | On Wikipedia

Team Fortress 2 | Team Fortress 2 Official Site | On Wikipedia

Orange Box Official Site

Orange Box Steam Store Page

Countdown to the Orange Box Release

Submission + - Amazon Launches DRM Free Music Service

friedmud writes: As covered by Reuters, Amazon has launched their new DRM Free (all files are 256kbps MP3) music service called (imaginatively): AmazonMP3. They currently have over 2 million songs from both independent and major labels. Most songs are $0.89 with albums mostly falling in the $9 range (but as cheap as $5). The selection appears to be far superior to E-Music while being much less restrictive than most of the music on iTunes. Is this the holy grail of online music stores that we've all been waiting for?
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Five-acre ads coming to your friendly skies (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "UK-based Ad-Air launched a service today that will let companies advertise on five-acre plots near the runways of some of the world's busiest airports. On its Web site, the company proudly proclaims its ads are nearly 4 times the size of the Dallas Cowboys' football field and that "such size leads to an unprecedented audience impact; they are quite simply overwhelmed by the scale of the advertisement." Overwhelmed is indeed the understatement of the week so far. Ad-Air said it had spent five years securing sites around the world's busiest airports including London Heathrow, Paris, Geneva, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/19900"
Data Storage

Submission + - Seagate: Vista requires 250GB to 1TB of storage (computerworld.com) 1

Lucas123 writes: "Seagate is saying the increased demands of the Windows Vista OS and the increasing storage of songs, pictures and videos, means to fully leverage your OS you need 250GB to 1TB of hard drive storage. "And with the need for backup, that becomes 500GB to 2TB," says Pete Steege, a senior marketing manager with Seagate. Not surprisingly, Seagate's just launched an education program for channel partners dubbed "Learn, Market, Sell," to help partners "assess the right storage options based on customer needs.""

Submission + - Folding@Home hits petaflop milestone (lockergnome.com)

knight17 writes: "Folding@Home, the Stanford University's ambitious distributed computing project aimed at unlocking the mysteries of protein folding has hit another great milestone. It is the first to achieve a petaflop mark by a distributed computing initiative. The lions share of the processing power is contributed by Sony's Playstation 3 game consoles. Current statistics on the project's home page show processing capacity at 1P Flops with 804T Flops from the PlayStation 3. A further 163T Flops are from Windows-based computers and 43T Flops from graphics processors."

Submission + - 16 Reasons Why It's Time for a Four Day Work Week (theoildrum.com)

Prof. Goose writes: "The notion of our standard work week here in America has remained largely the same since 1938. That was the year the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed, standardizing the eight hour work day and the 40 hour work week. Each Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday workers all over the country wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast and go to work. But the notion that the majority of the workforce should keep these hours is based on nothing more than an idea put forth but the Federal government almost 70 years ago. To be sure it was an improvement in the lives of many Americans who were at the time forced to work 10+ hours a day, sometimes 6 days of the week. So a 40 hour work week was seen as an upgrade in the lives of many of U.S. citizens. 8 is a nice round number; one third of each 24 hour day. In theory it leaves 8 hours for sleep and 8 hours for other activities like eating, bathing, raising children and enjoying life. But the notion that we should work for 5 of these days in a row before taking 2 for ourselves is, as best I can tell, rather arbitrary.

The idea of a shorter work week is not a new one to anyone old enough to have lived through the energy shocks of the 1970's. It should be fairly obvious to anyone interested in conserving oil that reducing the number of daily commutes per week would reduce the overall demand for oil. There are about 133 million workers in America. Around 80% of them get to work by driving alone in a car. The average commute covers about 16 miles each way.

So let's stop and do some math...and I'll try to argue for 16 reasons why a four day work week is a good idea.


Data Storage

Submission + - Memory a thousand times faster 1

paleshadows writes: Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania developed a memory device that is more energy efficient and a thousand times faster than existing portable memory devices (such as Flash memory and micro-drives) and that can store data for 100,000 years. At the heart of the new device are nanowires that are 30-50 nanometers (100 atoms) in diameter and 10 micrometers in length, fabricated on silicon substrates. With very low per-bit power consumption during data encoding (0.7mW) and data writing/erasing/retrieval at 50 nanoseconds (1000 times faster than conventional memory devices), the announcement made by Penn University says that "this new form of memory has the potential to revolutionize the way we share information, transfer data, and even download entertainment as consumers."

Submission + - Three killed in SpaceShipTwo explosion (vnunet.com)

llZENll writes: VNUNET reports that "An explosion at the factory of Scaled Composites, which made the first private trip into space with SpaceShipOne, has killed three people and injured three more. The explosion occurred during testing of the rocket engine systems for SpaceShipTwo, which will take passengers into low earth orbit with Virgin Galactic."

There is more information at Space.com and ABC news and an image at KOMO TV.

PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Metal gear solid online confirmed (wordpress.com)

buelldm writes: Konami has announced at a convention in Japan, that there will in fact be MGS (Metal Gear Solid) Online game play. The online game-play will have some special features, such as linking your nanomachines for teamwork. Closed beta is expected to start on August 20th and end September 3rd.

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