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Submission + - AA Patrols to 'park & fly' in congested cities (

arkhan_jg writes: The AA, a British breakdown assistance company, are starting a new service for stranded motorists in tricky to reach places in time for the Easter getaway rush. As a follow on to motorcycle patrols threading through congestion and Land Rovers for snow-bound roads, the AA are introducing Project Apollo — a rapid response patrol that will see AA Rocketmen in lightweight jet-packs flitting over traffic jams to reach stranded motorists.

AA future technologies strategist, Dr Raif Lopol, said: "Despite advances in Jet Pack Technology (JPT), it is unlikely at this stage that AA patrols will actually 'patrol the skies' – fuel costs make that impractical.
"It is more likely that the AA patrol will employ the 'park & fly' system, whereby the AA patrol van parks within one mile of the stricken member and the jetpack is then launched from the rear of the van."

The jet-packs, which cost £42,000 each, are made of lightweight carbon fibre, have a top speed of 80mph, can reach a maximum height of 8,000ft and have a flying time of ten minutes.
Most importantly they can hover up to 250ft above gridlocked traffic and drop down to a stricken vehicle in areas where a patrol van may not be able to get through. A parachute is packed for emergencies.

"The initial test flights have gone well," said AA patrolman and test pilot Hugh Grenoble.
"We're working on an ultra-lightweight toolkit that should allow us to do most quick fix repairs. Obviously, we won't be able to do any towing but the benefits more than outweigh this. It will be nice not worrying about potholes for a start.

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Freedomware Gamefest 2007 begins soon (

libervisco writes: "Freedomware Gamefest 2007 has been founded to promote Free Software gaming as well as gaming on Free Operating Systems such as GNU/Linux, to show that the gaming world at large is not limited to proprietary offerings on proprietary platforms such as Microsoft Windows. It is a first international online event featuring a multitude of tournaments as part of a single happening and with games that are only Free Software. It will feature a number of tournaments for games like Nexuiz, OpenArena, Tremulous, Armagetron Advanced and more, depending on community interest. The latest official announcement is available here."

Submission + - A Fourth Universal Field

Ordovico writes: "Here's a contribution that didn't survive in Wikipedia because the subject matter is not (yet) covered in peer-reviewed journals. I'm posting it here just to find out whether it's welcome and will attract comment. In 2006 former NASA researcher Edwin Klingman proposed a fourth and final field, which he dubbed the "C-Field," as a fundamental field of the universe, on a level with the gravitational, magnetic and electrical fields first described mathematically by James Clerk Maxwell. If Klingman's theory is correct, it obviates the need for quantum chromodynamics and for string theory. His theory has explanations for the nuclear structure of protons and electrons, for the inflationary universe and for the existence of dark matter. Unlike string theory, it provides testable predictions — one of which is that the Higgs boson does not exist. After Klingman published his theory in 2007 under the title, The GeneMan Theory (2007, Ekom Publishing) isbn 978-0-0701765-4-8, available at, a reader discovered that Maxwell had in fact proposed the same concept and that it had been ignored by nearly all subsequent researchers. The basic equation of The GeneMan Theory, recognizable as an extension of Maxwell's equation, is F=q(E+vXB)+m(G+vXC)."
The Media

Submission + - Journalists Can't Hide News Anymore 2

Hugh Pickens writes: "Robert Niles at the Online Journalism Review comments on the story about the 13-year-old girl who took her own life after making friends with a boy she'd met on MySpace who turned on her. The boy didn't exist. 'He' was the creation of the mother of one of the girl's former friends. But the newspaper didn't name the woman, citing concerns for *her* teen daughter. Bloggers went nuts, and soon uncovered the woman's name, her address, phone number and business registration records and plastered them all over the Web. "The lessons for journalists? First, we can't restrict access to information anymore. The crowd will work together to find whatever we withhold," wrote Niles. "Second, I wonder if that the decision to withhold the other mother's name didn't help enflame the audience, by frustrating it and provoking it to do the work of discovering her identity." Here are links to the original story on the girl's suicide, to one of the bloggers who uncovered the woman's identity, and to another look at the journalistic issues involved in naming names."

Submission + - Boston police to search homes for guns ( 1

Attila Dimedici writes: Boston police are launching a program that will call upon parents in high-crime neighborhoods to allow detectives into their homes, without a warrant, to search for guns in their children's bedrooms. The program, which is already raising questions about civil liberties, is based on the premise that parents are so fearful of gun violence and the possibility that their own teenagers will be caught up in it that they will turn to police for help, even in their own households. Are parents who are too scared to check up on their own kids really going to let the police search? And sure, the police will just politely go away wen the parents say "No".

Submission + - Japan to Fingerprint, Photograph all Foreigners (

MochaMan writes: "As of this Tuesday, November 20th, Japan will be requiring mandatory fingerprinting and mug shots of all foreigners entering the country, making it one of only two countries in the world to do so. The program goes further than the US program in that it also applies to visa-holders and permanent residents. The prints will be stored and shared with other governments. The Japanese government has produced an explanatory video, and even a promotional PDF poster. Japanese and international civil rights groups have raised concerns that the practice is both an invasion of privacy and discriminatory. An online petition to abolish the program is available. Is the age of privacy over?"

Submission + - Interesting way to forecast video game industry

An anonymous reader writes: Fantasy stock market lets members predict hardware and software sales, and some are performing on par with industry analysts. CNET writes:

A prediction market is a sort of fantasy stock market that is increasingly being used to predict everything from internal sales numbers at Fortune 500 companies to election performances by politicians. They are a manifestation of New Yorker staff writer James Surowiecki's concept of "the wisdom of crowds," in which large numbers of people tend to be better able to assess the outcome of something than individuals.

The SimExchange functions as a stock market, with members trading on the future sales of everything from hardware like the Xbox and PlayStation 3 to software like God of War and Super Paper Mario.

Submission + - Five reasons why Linux hasn't made it big

Flames_o_War writes: An article on ZDNet examines the reasons behind why, after more than a decade, the Linux is still not making any serious inroads into the Windows/Mac market share:

The PC market is extremely cut-throat. It has to be because consumers will go to great lengths to save a few bucks when buying their latest system. But it seems that this thriftiness hasn't resulted in hordes of users choosing to buy PCs without Windows installed and instead choosing to install Linux instead. In fact, there are plenty of users who would rather break the law and install pirated copies of Windows than go the legal route and install a Linux distro. On the whole, most people would rather spend the money on Windows (or Mac) than take the time to experiment with Linux.


The article goes on to list five reasons:

1 — On the whole, users aren't all that dissatisfied with Windows
2 — Too many distros
3 — People want certainty that hardware and software will work
4 — As far as most people are concerned, the command line has gone the way of the dinosaur
5 — Linux is still too geeky

I'm a big Linux fan but after years of listening to the Linux fanboy community promise that the Linux big break is just around the corner, I'm starting to feel that the article is right, the demand for a non-Microsoft OS is not that big outside of geek circles.

Submission + - Prizes vs. Patents: a Nobel laureate's perspective

benesch writes: "Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, points out the flaws of our patent system "The fundamental problem with the patent system is simple: it is based on restricting the use of knowledge. Because there is no extra cost associated with an additional individual enjoying the benefits of any piece of knowledge, restricting knowledge is inefficient." He goes on to suggest prizes as a more efficient alternative "Of course, the patent system is itself a prize system, albeit a peculiar one: the prize is temporary monopoly power, implying high prices and restricted access to the benefits that can be derived from the new knowledge. By contrast, the type of prize system I have in mind would rely on competitive markets to lower prices and make the fruits of the knowledge available as widely as possible. With better-directed incentives (more research dollars spent on more important diseases, less money spent on wasteful and distorted marketing), we could have better health at lower cost.""

Submission + - IT industry has failed in desktop security

wlp1979 writes: "Ivan Krstic, director of security architecture for the One Laptop per Child project, kicked off the AusCert 2007 conference Monday morning with a keynote speech that blasted desktop computer security — including that of Windows, Linux and Macintosh machines — because it is based on a 35-year-old premise where software can run with the same privilege as a user.

"There are a bunch of programs that ship with all major operating systems — including Linux, Mac OS and Windows — that can format your hard drive, spy on your computer, spy on you with your microphone and camera, and turn over control of your computer to third parties," Krstic said."
The Internet

Submission + - Internet Marketing Tips

zaifulzin writes: "One of the important for the bloggers is TRAFFIC!!Im know everyone will agreed with that. Ive read many articles about SEO and this one really caught my mind. A blog without traffic is like a coffee without sugar. IF you are serious to make money with blogging and this research will be benefits for you.

When your page is ranking well either in google, yahoo or others search engines, its will help your site get a lot and huge traffic without spent a many time on your ads. Think yourself a page that ranking top 10 for internet marketing and page that have rank 1000 on same topic, which one will get more traffic?Youresmart enough,is it?"
Linux Business

Submission + - dell installs ubuntu, sells windows

An anonymous reader writes: the fact: dell said they will install ubuntu on their desktops, to give a coiche to the costumers.
real fact: dell still sells you windows, but they just delete it and install ubuntu, or just delete everything. thats right, you still give money to microsoft: dell is basically saying "since we don't know if you will install a pirated copy of windows, we still sell you windows (xp), but we don't give you the licence, since you don't want it" ... O_o

just try asking them what price difference is there between a notebook with windows and the very same notebook without anything.

-sorry, the article i linked below is in italian, and i couldn't find the translation...
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Protect a bridge from quakes - don't tie it down

holy_calamity writes: Bridges can be made more resistant to earthquakes by not tying them down properly, say engineers at Buffalo University. In trials on 'shake tables' 9 metre, 9 tonne, steel towers were allowed to totter to the point their legs left the ground by up to 10cm — dampers prevent them from falling over completely. Letting the towers rock out would isolate the structure from the rapid movements of the quake. Two videos show the tests.

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