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Comment Re: best to do the time in Poland (Score 1) 110

Comparing corruption of Ukraine to Poland's is a huge mistake. In the mids of 2000's there was a huge corruption scandal in Poland (tampering with media law). Central figure went to jail (no suspension) and since the a lot changed in country's minds. Corruption is perceived as something really wrong by most. Mentioned situation with HP was a huge scandal too and to be fair it was unearthed by polish counterpart of FBI (CBA). Comparing Poland's attutude towards corruption to those of Russia or Mexico is really unfair.

Submission + - Scientists Propose Satellite Early Warning System for Forest Fires

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: As firefighters emerge from another record wildfire season in the Western United States, Robert Sanders reports at the UC Berkeley News Center that scientists have designed a satellite using state-of-the-art sensors, that could view the Western US almost continuously, snapping pictures of the ground every few seconds searching for small hot spots (12 m2) that could be newly ignited wildfires. Firefighting resources could then be directed to these spots in hopes of preventing the fires from growing out of control and threatening lives and property. “If we had information on the location of fires when they were smaller, then we could take appropriate actions quicker and more easily, including preparing for evacuation,” says fire expert Scott Stephens. Fire detection today is much like it was 200 years ago, relying primarily on spotters in fire towers or on the ground and on reports from members of the public. This information is augmented by aerial reconnaissance and lightning detectors that steer firefighters to ground strikes, which are one of the most common wildfire sparks. But satellite technology, remote sensing and computing have advanced to the stage where it’s now possible to orbit a geostationary satellite that can reliably distinguish small, but spreading, wildfires with few false alarms. Carl Pennypacker estimates that the satellite, which could be built and operated by the federal government, would cost several hundred million dollars – a fraction of the nation’s $2.5 billion yearly firefighting budget. “With a satellite like this, we will have a good chance of seeing something from orbit before it becomes an Oakland fire,” says Pennypacker. “It could pay for itself in one firefighting season.”

Submission + - How Your Coffee Table Could Pass Your Coffee (

mikejuk writes: 3D input devices like the Kinect have made so many new things possible, but what about output? inForm is a remarkably simple but effective device that has to be seen to be believed.
The mechanism of MIT's new shapeshifting output device is remarkably simple. It is based on the well known pin screen devices that you can use to take a 3D impression of an object. A 2D plate of pins can be moved to create a surface.In the same way, inForm uses a set of rods and actuators to create dynamic surfaces. The big difference is that the actuators are under computer control.
Now you have a computer controlled surface and what is really surprising is how much you can get from this simple idea. With the help of a 3D depth camera and some innovative software, the surface can act as an output device that lets you manipulate real objects remotely. If you use the surface as a table then your computer can bring you real objects such as your mobile phone — see the video to believe it.
While there are many obvious serious applications such as displaying volumetric CT scans, displaying complex data or providing early experience of prototypes there is also the possibility of having fun with the device. After all simple pinscreens are still sold as executive toys. Could there be a new generation of games in this?
What about putting a device at each end of a video phone call?
With a little more engineering to take it to a higher resolution and smoothness, you could have a magic coffee table that automatically handed you your coffee and followed up with a donut.
Perhaps one day all furniture will be alive.

Comment Another sci-fi concept getting real (Score 1) 31

It looks pretty similar to what was depicted in Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga ( Namely - OCTattoos. The difference is that in the book they were worn not only for practical reasons but also as an adjournment. Still waiting for wormholes though...

Comment Keywords: dystopias and social experiments (Score 1) 1021

I would emphasize on authors who write about dystopias and examine carrefuly human nature and social conditioning. To name the one: Janusz Zajdel ( ) Probably there are many other who wrote about it, but give a try someone who really knows how it was when totalitarian regime ruled in his country.

Comment Cost of billing (Score 1) 583

Market driver is one thing, but you have to also take into account the cost of providing per event billing for SMSes. Sending even a kilobyte (while SMS is roughly 160 bytes) of data over ISP link just adds to total volume used this month. But in case of SMS it must be recorded who, when, to whom, etc. and then usually presented on the bill (be it paper or electronic). In the mean time you have to store it somewhere and process it through billing systems. Not to mention enhance the billing interface capacity of SMSC handling the traffic.

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