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US Bans Loud Commercials 289

bs0d3 writes "On Tuesday, the FCC passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM. It's a law that states all commercials must run at the same volume as network newscasts. The same applies to network promos. The responsibility falls on cable providers like Comcast or charter. The law will not take effect until next year which leaves it plenty of time to be challenged in court by cable providers or advertisers."

UK Police Test 'Temporarily Blinding' LASER 398

esocid writes "Called the SMU 100 it costs £25,000 and sends out a three-meter 'wall of light' that leaves anyone caught in it briefly unable to see. Designed by a former Royal Marine Commando, it was originally developed for use against pirates in Somalia. While tasers and CS gas work well over short distances the laser is said to be effective at up to 500 meters (1,640ft). Being targeted by the beam has been compared to staring into the sun before being forced to turn away. Paul Kerr, managing director of Clyde-based Photonic Security Systems, which came up with the design, said 'If you can't look at something you can't attack it.'"

Comment Re:Is this "it" ? (Score 1) 179

Unfortunately, no. Lockheed-Martin is a publicly held corporation. Going through with this would not be approved by their board of directors, vice presidents or stock holders unless it could be shown to be profitable in the long run. This capsule will be paid for, that is if it isn't paid for already. I would assume it's all been taken care of, courtesy of tax payers. I'd bet you everything I have against this being a charitable donation to the government in the name of science.

Comment Early Detection (Score 2, Interesting) 264

The most beneficial thing we could do is build a system to detect such asteroids as early as possible. Once located, it's easy to deflect an asteroid that's far away. A small nudge or impact from a probe or the like would push it out of an intercept course while it's still far away. The closer it gets, the more force is required to push it off at an angle that will keep it out of our way. It may take a few newtons of force to deflect an astroid coming in from as far away as saturn, but much more to deflect an asteroid that's already close to mars.

I guess in simpler terms, if we had a really awesome early detection system, all we need is a small rocket launched from the ISS to impact it, wheras with a crappy system, we need Bruce Willis.

Comment Re:And those who onlyTHINK they would be superhero (Score 4, Interesting) 419

Have you ever read a comic book before, let alone a movie? Almost every issue you've raised is addressed in some story or another from Superman rejecting his power (the world is promptly asked to kneel before Zod). The first thing Peter Parker does is act for self gain and he sees that his family is promptly met with demise. In the watchman, Dr. Manhattan quickly becomes indifferent, while Ozymandias quickly decides that the ends justify the means. Honestly, I think we already know all of the possibilities if we look at all of the alternate universes humanity has scribed that contain such people. In the end it really comes down to the personality of the person wielding the power.

It's really not so much different from becoming a public official. Do you vote to ban cable competitors from your district in return for Comcast financing your re-election? Well, you believe that the health care initiative you're trying to pass is for the greater good so you have to be there to get it through. So you take the money, but then they ask you to sign ACTA. But think of the children without health care. Some people will stick to their virtues and others will fall into corruption. If my both the study and my analogy are correct, then yes, the slide into corruption is slippery indeed.

Comment House did it... (Score 1) 456

There's an episode where House shows a guy how to do the deed and do the least damage to his organs so he can donate them to his son. I forget why there was a sense of urgency. In any case, I forget if and how it all worked out as well. Certainly not something to be replicated in this situation. There's no TV magic to make it all work out IRL.


Hollywood Accounting — How Harry Potter Loses Money 447

An anonymous reader writes "Techdirt has the details on how it was possible for the last Harry Potter movie to lose $167 million while taking in nearly $1 billion in revenue. If you ever wanted to see 'Hollywood Accounting' in action, take a look. The article also notes two recent court decisions that may raise questions about Hollywood's ability to continue with these kinds of tricks. For example, the producers of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' now have to pay $270 million for its attempt to get around paying a partner through similar tricks."

Boltzmann Equation Solved, the New Way 104

xt writes "The Boltzmann equation is old news. What's news is that the 140-year-old equation has been solved, using mathematical techniques from the fields of partial differential equations and harmonic analysis, some as new as five years old. This solution provides a new understanding of the effects due to grazing collisions, when neighboring molecules just glance off one another rather than collide head on. We may not understand the theory, but we'll sure love the applications!"

Virginia Tech Students Build CHARLI, a Human-Sized Robot 82

smackay writes "As CHARLI takes his first steps, anxious onlookers stand ready to catch him if he falls. His stride is short, but upright, as one foot is placed in front of the other in the basement of Virginia Tech's Randolph Hall. But CHARLI is no toddler. He is a 5-foot-tall humanoid robot. Video of this ground-breaking robot included."

Will Smith In For Independence Day 2 & 3 464

bowman9991 writes "If one isn't enough, there are reports that two sequels to Roland Emmerich's 1996 alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day are in the works. Will Smith is back too. Apparently he delayed a sequel earlier by asking for too much money." Other rumors include using an iPad to destroy the alien space ships this time, and letting Obama fly a biplane. Data will have a 5-minute monologue about what it means to be human.

Comment Re:What about men? (Score 1) 175

There actually are places out there where you can get paid a premium on your donation if you fulfill certain characteristics. While SAT scores don't typically fetch higher prices, a man's profession can fetch them higher values particularly if they are a doctor or lawyer. Racial or ethnic background can add to the value as the price paid for the specimen depends on what has a high demand at the bank.

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