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Submission + - Muribot: Bringing university level robotics to consumers of all abilitites! (robohub.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Muribot is an affordable, compact robot kit, designed to make coding and robotics easily accessible to people of all ages and skill levels. It packs in quality hardware, usually seen only at universities, and is intended to grow with the ability of the user. This makes Muribot significantly different from robotic platforms that are created for a specific skill level. By bridging the gap to a high-quality learning experience, Muribot aims to be a major competitor in the STEM market and is looking for crowdfunding to achieve that goal.

Submission + - Brainwave-reading patents spike on increase in commercial mind-reading apps

smaxp writes: Consumer market researcher Nielsen leads the pack, with patents describing ways to detect brain activity with EEG and translate it into what someone truly thinks about, say, a new product, advertising, or packaging. Microsoft Corp. holds patents that assess mental states, with the goal of determining the most effective way to present information.

Submission + - Inaccurate, but powerful CPUs (bbc.co.uk)

totally_mad writes: BBC reports (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10134655.stm) on research from UIUC (http://passat.crhc.illinois.edu/projects.html) that points to scaleable solutions for stochastic CPUs. Higher "performance" at the cost of accuracy at the hardware level. Is there indeed an optimal error-rate for maximizing FLOPS?

Submission + - Segway Robot Made From Legos NXT Mindstorms (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: A robot Segway has been created using only those pieces included with the Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 kit. What’s really cool is that, unlike a traditional Segway, the NXT Segway doesn’t use any gyros to hold itself upright. Instead, the machine keeps its balance using a light sensor (included in the kit) to measure its relative distance from the ground.

Submission + - Saturn moon could be hospitable to life

shmG writes: New detailed images of Saturn's icy moon released this week provide the latest evidence that the surface may be hospitable to life. NASA said on Tuesday that a flyby of planet's Enceladus moon showed jets of water spewing from the southern hemisphere, while infrared mapping of the surface revealed temperatures warmer than previously expected.

"And if true, this makes Enceladus' organic-rich, liquid sub-surface environment the most accessible extraterrestrial watery zone known in the solar system," said Carolyn Porco another NASA specialist.

Submission + - Hungarian electric car splits into 2 smaller cars (wired.co.uk)

Lanxon writes: Hungary's Antro, which is developing a car that splits into two smaller cars, and plans to take it/them to market by 2012, assuming the Mayan phophecies fall through, reports Wired. Futuristic looking in itself, the grander plan for the car is much more audacious: Antro intends to allow users to be able to connect two Antro Solos to form a six-passenger Antro Duo. Or perhaps more interesting still, owners of a Duo could split the car into two smaller Solos should Mom have different weekend plans to Dad. Or if they divorce.

Submission + - Use open source? Then you're a pirate! (computerworlduk.com) 4

superapecommando writes: There's a fantastic little story in the Guardian today that says a US lobby group is trying to get the US government to consider open source as the equivalent to piracy.
The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), an umbrella group for American publishing, software, film, television and music associations, has asked with the US Trade Representative (USTR) to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its "Special 301 watchlist" because they encourage the use of open source software.
A Special 301, according to Guardian's Bobbie Johnson is: "a report that examines the 'adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights' around the planet — effectively the list of countries that the US government considers enemies of capitalism. It often gets wheeled out as a form of trading pressure — often around pharmaceuticals and counterfeited goods — to try and force governments to change their behaviours."
Read more: http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=2811&blogid=10


Submission + - Italian scientist reproduces Shroud of Turin

akahige writes: An Italian scientist says he has reproduced the Shroud of Turin, a feat that he says proves definitively that the linen some Christians revere as Jesus Christ's burial cloth is a medieval fake. Carbon dating tests by laboratories in Oxford, Zurich and Tucson, Arizona in 1988 caused a sensation by dating it from between 1260 and 1390. Sceptics said it was a hoax, possibly made to attract the profitable medieval pilgrimage business. But scientists have thus far been at a loss to explain how the image was left on the cloth. Garlaschelli reproduced the full-sized shroud using materials and techniques that were available in the middle ages.

Submission + - Virtual Autopsy on a Multitouch Table Surface (visualiseringscenter.se)

An anonymous reader writes: Engadget writes about one of the best ways to use a multitouch table surface \link{http://www.engadget.com/2009/10/07/virtual-autopsy-table-brings-multitouch-to-the-morgue/} ever. "Researchers at "NorrkÃping Visualization Centre" and the "Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization" in Sweden have fitted a multitouch table surface \link(http://multitouch.fi/) with stunning volume rendered visualizations of high resolution MRI data. Ever wonder what the insides of a human being really look like but lacked the grit or credentials to watch an autopsy in the flesh, check this video \link{http://www.visualiseringscenter.se/1/}!

Submission + - Comcast makes you subject to Non-US laws (comcast.net) 4

boyfoot_bear writes: I just received an email from Comcast that tells me "we're introducing an updated Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective October 6, 2009." Included in the terms of service (which can be found here http://www.comcast.net/terms/web/2009-10/) is the following:
You specifically agree not to:
* use the Comcast Web Services to undertake or accomplish any unlawful purpose, including but not limited to, posting, storing, transmitting or disseminating information, data or material which is libelous, obscene, unlawful, threatening or defamatory, or which infringes the intellectual property rights of any person or entity, or which in any way constitutes or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, or otherwise violate any local, state, federal, or non-U.S. law, order, or regulation;

It sounds to me like Comcast is making me subject to the laws of, say, China. I don't know about you but I sure don't know all of the non-US laws, orders or regulations that even this post runs afoul of but I am sure that Comcast is overstepping its authority.


Submission + - Green Cement Absorbs Carbon

Peace Corps Online writes: "Concrete accounts for more than 5 percent of human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions annually, mostly because cement, the active ingredient in concrete, is made by baking limestone and clay powders under intense heat that is generally produced by the burning of fossil fuels. Now Scientific American reports that British start-up company Novacem has developed a "carbon-negative" cement that absorbs more carbon dioxide over its life cycle than it emits. The trick is to make cement from magnesium silicates rather than calcium carbonate, or limestone, since this material does not emit CO2 in manufacture and absorbs the greenhouse gas as it ages. "The building and construction industry knows it has got to do radical things to reduce its carbon footprint and cement companies understand there is not a lot they can do without a technology breakthrough," says Novacem Chairman Stuart Evans. Novacem estimates that for every ton of Portland cement replaced by its product, around three-quarters of a ton of CO2 is saved, turning the cement industry into a big emitter to a big absorber of carbon. Major cement makers have been working hard to reduce CO2 emissions by investing in modern kilns and using as little carbon-heavy fuel as possible, but reductions to date have been limited. Novacem has raised $1.7 M to start a pilot plant that should be up and running in northern England in 2011."

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