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Interesting Reading #349

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Computer Memory: New Material Could Dramatically Boost Data Storage, Save Energy – “North Carolina State University engineers have created a new material that would allow a fingernail-size computer chip to store the equivalent of 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, far exceeding the storage capacities of today’s computer memory systems…”

High-speed chase ends when OnStar halts stolen SUV – “The 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe roared away with officers in pursuit, but shortly after the suspect made a right turn, operators at General Motors Co.’s OnStar service sent a command that electronically disabled the gas pedal and the SUV gradually came to a halt…”

GPUs: the next frontier in film – “Technology and movie-making have always gone hand in hand but the latest breakthroughs are changing the very nature of the process…”

50 Kick-Ass Websites You Need to Know About – “It’s time to update the entries in your browser’s links toolbar. But with recent estimates putting the size of the internet at well more than 100 million distinct websites, it’s getting harder and harder to get a handle on all the great stuff that’s out there. That’s why we’ve compiled this list…”

AT&T enlists employees to oppose Net neutrality – “But many advocacy groups say that AT&T has crossed the line by suggesting to its employees that they use their personal e-mail addresses to post comments opposing Net neutrality regulation. These groups believe that AT&T is deliberately trying to create the appearance that average citizens oppose the Net neutrality regulations. “AT&T is practiced in spending money on so-called astroturf groups to give the appearance there is widespread support for their agenda,” said Timothy Karr, campaign director for the advocacy group Free Press…”

Next Stop: Ultracapacitor Buses – “Municipal transit agencies have tried to reduce the carbon footprint of their bus fleets using a range of options over the years, from biofuels and hydrogen to batteries and hybrid-electric diesel. Now a Chinese company and its U.S. partner say that ultracapacitors could offer the greenest and most economical way of powering inner-city buses…”

Chinese car maker BYD, is about to release a vehicle capable of revolutionising the world of motoring – “BYD says that its new E6 electric car due out before the end of the year will do 250 miles (400km) on a single charge. This is a very big number. The Tesla electric sports car does almost as much, but has little room for anything else in the car but the battery. The E6 is roomy with space for five passengers and a good-sized boot. The battery tucks under the back seat….”

Skiing robot:

Safety Nets for the Rich – “We’ve spent the last few decades shoveling money at the rich like there was no tomorrow. We abandoned the poor, put an economic stranglehold on the middle class and all but bankrupted the federal government — while giving the banks and megacorporations and the rest of the swells at the top of the economic pyramid just about everything they’ve wanted…”

Embrace the dollar’s downfall – “Banks might suffer if China stopped buying US debt, but the US economy as a whole would be much better off…”

Ten Young Geniuses Shaking Up Science Today – ” Meet PopSci’s annual Brilliant 10–a selection of the brightest young researchers in the country. They’re helping to keep us healthy, prevent disasters, and make green energy cheaper than coal. Lucky for us, our future is in their capable hands…”

In Search of What Everyone’s Clicking – “Later this week, a new “real-time” and “social” search engine called Wowd will open a beta version of its service to the public. The company says that its search results include only pages that have actually been visited by its users, and that its ranking algorithms offer information based on its freshness and popularity…”

Mobile Internet Devices: Surfing the Web Without a PC – “After looking around my office and wrapping up my notes from visits to Marvell and Qualcomm over the last couple of weeks, I noticed a trend. There is a ton of stuff coming, some of which has already arrived, that is focused on doing a few Web-connected activities without the need for a PC…”

Report urges action to preserve journalism – ” In a paper commissioned by the Columbia University Journalism School, Downie and Michael Schudson, a Columbia professor, argue the government, universities and nonprofit foundations should step in as newspapers suffer financially… “

The geography of jobs – “Net Jobs gains/losses by metropolitan statistical area…”

Science to ‘stop age clock at 50′

How to Win an Argument About Vaccines – “The anti-immunization crowd clings to well-worn myths. Arm yourself with facts…”

The 4WD with seats made of whale penis – “If four-wheel-drives weren’t politically incorrect enough, a Russian car maker is offering one with whale penis leather trim…”

Missions to Mars – “Though most of the missions to the red planaet have failed…”

Project Censored: Four Of the Year’s Most Important Environment Stories That You Probably Haven’t Read – “From fast-tracking oil development in the Amazon to privatizing water around the world, these stories have been either overlooked or ignored in the news. Why?”

‘Known Software Bug’ Disrupts Brain-Tumor Zapping – “The maker of a life-saving radiation therapy device has patched a software bug that could cause the system’s emergency stop button to fail to stop, following an incident at a Cleveland hospital in which medical staff had to physically pull a patient from the maw of the machine…”

Secret ACTA treaty can’t be shown to public, just 42 lawyers – “As the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement rolls forward, it’s clear that some kind of Internet “enforcement” will end up in the text; but what kind? Thirty-eight corporate lawyers and 4 public interest lawyers are the only ones with a say…”

Algae and Light Help Injured Mice Walk Again – “One of the students flipped a switch and intense blue light shone through the cable into the mouse’s brain, illuminating it with an eerie glow. Instantly, the mouse began running in counterclockwise circles as though hell-bent on winning a murine Olympics…”

[[[Jump to IR #348]]]

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