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Submission + - Google Gets Into Car Insurance Comparison Business in US (

mpicpp writes: Google has made it official: It’s getting into car insurance in the U.S.

The tech giant announced Thursday that it’s launching a new feature called “Google Compare for Auto Insurance.”

It’s a comparison shopping site that lets consumers compare rates from different insurance carriers.

The option to compare rates will pop up when a consumer searches on Google for “car insurance.”

At the outset, the service is available to California residents, but Google said it will expand to other states later this year.

Google already offers auto, travel and mortgage quotes in the United Kingdom.

It also operates a credit card comparison service in the U.S. under the “Google Compare” umbrella.

Several major U.S. insurance carriers are reportedly reluctant to work with Google. The tech giant does not list major carriers such as State Farm, GEICO, Progressive and Allstate among its current partners.


Submission + - Voyager Probes Give Us ET's View (

astroengine writes: "For the first time, scientists have been able to measure a type of radiation streaming out from the Milky Way that in other galaxies has been linked to the birthplaces of young, hot stars. There was no way to make our own galaxy's measurement of the radiation, known as Lyman-alpha, until the Voyager probes were about 40 times as far away from the sun as Earth — any closer and the solar system's own emissions drowned out the fainter glow from the galaxy."

Submission + - Diaspora* Finally Launches (

An anonymous reader writes: Diaspora has launched today, though you could join community-supported Diaspora* pods for awhile already. From the article: "Diaspora* sports some Google+ elements, such as the black bar at the top and a stream on the left-hand side with "Aspects" rather than Circles. Unlike other social networks, Diaspora* encourages people to follow hashtags rather than users, though it is possible to search for people. Similar to Google+ and Facebook, you can post publicly or with a select group of people and add your own "Aspects." ... When you join Diaspora*, you are asked to follow tags. In your first post, including #newhere lets others in the Diaspora* community know to give you a warm welcome. Tags include #music with 6K+ followers, #newhere with 1K+ followers and #occupy with 400+ followers, but there is currently no way to see the most popular tags."

Submission + - OpenMoko's FreeRunner rises from the ashes

ChristW writes: Remember OpenMoko's first free and open source phones, the GTA-01 and GTA-02 (also called FreeRunner)? There is a new project called Phoenux. The German company Golden Delicous is building a new main board (called GTA-04) for the GTA01/02 case.

The new hardware features:
- DM3730 (800 MHz)
(and lots more)

Submission + - Lidar finds overgrown Maya pyramids (

AlejoHausner writes: A team of archeologists scanned the jungle of Belize with lidar. Although most of the reflections came from the jungle canopy, some light reflected off the ground surface. Using this, suddenly hidden pyramids, agricultural terraces, and ancient roads are revealed, at 6-inch resolution. The NY Times has the story.
Role Playing (Games)

Can a Video Game Solve Hunger, Disease and Poverty? 72

destinyland writes "Dr. Jane McGonigal of the RAND Corporation's Institute for the Future has created a game described as 'a crash course in changing the world.' Developed for the World Bank's 'capacity development' branch, EVOKE has already gathered more than 10,000 potential solutions from participants, including executives from Procter & Gamble and Kraft. '[Dr. McGonigal] takes threats to human existence — global food shortage, fuel wars, pandemic, refugee crisis, and upended democracy — and asks the gaming public to collaborate on how to avoid these all too possible futures.' And by completing its 10 missions, you too can become a World Bank Institute certified EVOKE social innovator. (The game designer's web site lays out her ambitious philosophy. 'Reality is broken,' but 'game designers can fix it.')"

Submission + - Unmodified Plane Makes Flight using Cooking Oil (

Frequent Flyer writes: "To quote from the SciAm article (, a passenger plane from the Czech Republic has made a 37 minute flight using only converted cooking oil. The plane — in passenger service — was an unmodified L29 "Aero Delphin". The flight was made to prove that biofuels could power aircraft. As an aside, the pilot's name was Captain Sugars. And I don't think it happened in early April."

Submission + - Transparent Aluminum (Almost) (

jemtallon writes: "University of Michigan researchers have apparently created a transparent plastic as hard as steel. From the article: "Engineering professor Nicholas Kotov almost dubbed it "plastic steel," but the new material isn't quite stretchy enough to earn that name. Nevertheless, he says its further development could lead to lighter, stronger armor for soldiers or police and their vehicles. It could also be used in microelectromechanical devices, microfluidics, biomedical sensors and valves and unmanned aircraft.""

Submission + - Space Travel at 50 (

longacre writes: "On the 50th anniversary of mankind's first venture into space with the launch of Sputnik 1, Popular Mechanics takes a look back at where we've gone with an amazing interactive Flash movie detailing every one of the 6,038 launches (through June 2007) since. Plus a look at the future of space travel, including Q&A with a dozen experts, a rundown of the progress being made by private space ventures such as Virgin Galactic, plans for settling the Moon and how we'll get to Mars."

Submission + - Calgary Open Source Systems Festival - 27 Oct 2007 (

sgrover writes: "COSSFEST 07 (Calgary Open Source Systems Festival) will bring together professionals, students and enthusiasts who share a common interest in Open Source software. This one-day conference and expo will be made up of speakers and hourly workshops. Booths featuring hardware vendors, software companies, services companies, and (of course) user groups will be on hand. This event is the largest free technology event in Calgary! COSSFEST is the Calgary LinuxFest grown to include more open source groups."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Hang On...Why Am I Still Using Windows? (

OSAgnostic writes: What keeps people stuck on whatever OS they are using and prevents them from being more experimental than they could be? Windows guy Adrian Kingsley-Hughes offers some interesting insights into why he's still using Windows even though he sees a lot of promise in many of the Linux distros.

Whenever I write about any kind of problem relating to Windows or Microsoft in general, I end up having hundreds of people telling me that I should ditch everything Microsoft and migrate to another platform. The idea that, on a whim, that I can just abandon my entire investment in the Windows platform and somehow wander effortlessly over to Linux or Mac is simply ridiculous, and says more about how little the commentator does with their PC than anything else.

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Wi-Fi sharing network undergoes major expansion (

superglaze writes: "Remember FON, the Spanish startup seeking to create a global "Wi-FI sharing community"? Well, it's just inked a deal with BT in the UK, adding to its existing agreements with Time Warner Cable in the US and Neuf Cegetel in France. This means it's now the world's biggest Wi-Fi community, and there's a very real possibility that it could also spell the end for data roaming charges and, for that matter, voice roaming charges. Viva la revolucion?"

Submission + - Water Powered Car Demonstrated ( 2

Iddo Genuth writes: "Denny Klein, an inventor from Florida, claims he has introduced the world's first water powered car. His own 1994 Ford Escort, labeled "Hydrogen Technology", can run on a combination of water and gasoline, and Klein says it is possible to develop a system powered purely by water. The prototype is a hybrid car, shown to drive 100 miles using 4 ounces of water, without losing power. "You just drive it like a regular car. The infrastructure is already in place to get it serviced so we don't have to reinvent the wheel," Klein said."

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