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September 09, 2007

Ellis: Second Life Sketches: Why Steampunk Now?

Reuters | Second Life Sketches | Warren Ellis | In...

Chip implants in pets lead to malignant tumors

Chip implants linked to animal tumors - Yahoo! News

So we can probably guess they aren't ready for human trials.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients' medical records almost instantly. The FDA found "reasonable assurance" the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005's top "innovative technologies."

But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.

"The transponders were the cause of the tumors," said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.

September 06, 2007

Electricity from orbiting solar-powered lasers?

Electricity from orbiting solar-powered lasers ::: Pink Tentacle

In a development that brings space-based power generation systems a step closer to reality, researchers from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Osaka University Institute of Laser Engineering have developed groundbreaking new technology for converting sunlight into laser beams.

Relying on plates made from a special ceramic material containing chromium (which absorbs the sunlight) and neodymium (which efficiently converts sunlight to laser light), the newly developed lasers demonstrated an impressive 42% solar-to-laser energy conversion efficiency, outperforming previous technology by a factor of four.

September 05, 2007

Will eye-tracking tech replace the mouse?

Stanford University's EyePoint: Web Surfing With Eye Gaze

August 20, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Increased computing power doesn't just make for better graphics; it opens up new ways to interact with computers. Take, for example, the EyePoint system developed by Stanford University doctoral researcher Manu Kumar.

EyePoint uses a four-step process that incorporates a user's hands and eyes to increase accuracy and eliminate the false positives that come from using eye movements alone. Plus, the technique brings a more natural way of interaction to a broader band of users.

"Using gaze-based interaction techniques makes the system appear to be more intelligent and intuitive to use," says Kumar. "Several users have reported that it often felt like the system was reading their mind."

(via)

Ann Arbor, MI switching entire bus fleet to hybrids

Autoblog Green | Ann Arbor, MI switching entire bus fleet...

Apple releasing wi-fi music store, offering $200 price drop on iPhones

Gizmodo, the Gadget Guide

Click through for more live blog fun.

September 04, 2007

How to: Optimize BitTorrent To Outwit Traffic-Shaping ISPs

Optimize BitTorrent To Outwit Traffic Shaping ISPs / Wired How To's

These days, nothing worries an internet service provider more than peer-to-peer file trading. Depending on where you live, P2P can account for between 50 and 75% of broadband internet traffic. We mostly have the popularity of BitTorrent to thank for this crazy amount of data going to and fro.

This amount of traffic can raise the ISPs daily costs of delivering service, cause congestion either in your neighborhood or on the ISP's network, and force the ISP to buy increased bandwidth capacity.

But if you've been paying close attention to your BitTorrent transfers lately (or if you've simply been reading the news) you'll notice that ISPs have begun to take drastic measures to slow that flood of data currently clogging up their pipes.

Even though many of them deny it, most ISPs actively engage in traffic shaping, bandwidth throttling, connection denial or some such tactic to keep the amount of bandwidth consumed by high traffic applications on their networks to a minimum. While this does often ensure better performance for everyone in the neighborhood, it can mean painfully slow transfer speeds for those dabbling in P2P -- legit or not.

While there are valid arguments for and against shaping, we're not here to debate. We just want the fastest BitTorrent transfers possible.

September 02, 2007

Meet the jackass who invented computer viruses

Prank Starts 25 Years of Security WoesWhat began as a...

Summer news doldrums bring us word of the flying car

Assignment editors are BOOOOOOOOOOOORED. Beeb | Flying saucer 'nears...

September 01, 2007

Earthlink pulls out of Muni WiFi, casts long shadow of doubt

Which makes me wonder a lot about the future of...