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Interesting Reading #426 – Live to be 100, Mix up your own Oxiclean, death by hot dog, Dell’s new tablet, DARPA’s robot hand, the effects of your cell phone on your brain and much more…

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ATI Eyefinity on six screens: first look review – “ATI’s much-rumoured Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition boasts six DisplayPort outputs – although it’s a standard HD 5870 under the hood – and ATI visited the PC Pro Lab yesterday to demonstrate gaming at a mighty resolution of 5,760 x 2,160…” See also: Radeon HD 5830 Performance Preview

Why Virgin Gallactic is a brilliant idea – “Did you know that the fuel efficiency of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft is 60% greater than a commercial airplane? Or that the cost of launching traditional spacecraft into space is eye-wateringly expensive and uses an incredible amount of energy? The thinking that has gone into the technology to enable Virgin Galactic to be a viable business proposition is revealed in the talk that Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic, gave at Start’s London offices earlier this month. The video reveals the answers to the questions above and gives some fascinating insights into the whole project. Will’s talk is the first in a series entitled Start Talk Tuesdays, where clients, prospective clients and friends of Start are treated to some mental stimulation for an hour or so. We then turn it into a 5 minute video, so that people who weren’t able to make it, can still see the best bits. ..”

Grand Engineering Challenge of Our Era: A Non-Lethal Hot Dog – “If you were to take the best engineers in the world and try to design the perfect plug for a child’s airway, it would be a hot dog,” says statement author Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “I’m a pediatric emergency doctor, and to try to get them out once they’re wedged in, it’s almost impossible.”

Dell’s Tablet Aims to Stick It to Apple’s iPad – “As he sees it, the Mini 5 will offer the apps that are available on smartphones, a set of specialized tools and programs for business users, a strong movies and music experience and web surfing — flash and all included….”

Experts warn of catastrophe from cyberattacks – ” Computer-based network attacks are slowly bleeding U.S. businesses of revenue and market advantage, while the government faces the prospect of losing in an all-out cyberwar, experts told Senators in a hearing on Tuesday…”

How to live to 100 – “How would you fancy living to 100? Research has found that by controlling factors in your life, living to 100 is actually much more possible than previously thought…”

DARPA to Take on Major New Robotics Initiative – “The autonomous robotics manipulation program will take on a new goal, creating an inexpensive hand-like device that is as adaptable as a human appendage…”

Study: Women’s Genes to Blame for Short-Term Relationships – “The scientists studied the DNA of almost 150 university students. They concluded that women with more variety in their genes are likely to have more boyfriends…”

If you have ever wondered what it takes to make a TV commercial:

The Last Four Minutes of Air France Flight 447 – “The crash of Air France flight 447 from Rio to Paris last year is one of the most mysterious accidents in the history of aviation. After months of investigation, a clear picture has emerged of what went wrong. The reconstruction of the horrific final four minutes reveal continuing safety problems in civil aviation…”

Cisco to unveil network boost for Internet – source – ” Cisco said on Wednesday it will unveil technology on March 9 that will “forever change the Internet.” On its website, the network equipment maker said the change would show “what’s possible when networking gets an adrenaline boost.””

Just Like Mombot Used to Make – “The culmination of two years of research and the collective expertise of 17 faculty members, undergraduates and doctoral students in the Human Robot Interaction Group, it is a robot outfitted with a $20,000 laser navigation system, sonar sensors and a Point Grey Bumblebee 2 stereo camera that functions as its eyes, which stare out from its clay-colored plastic, gender-neutral face…”

Dot-Complicated: Measuring Traffic on the Web – “Web-traffic measurement, despite recent advances, remains fraught with conflicting numbers. The Internet’s inherent accountability, stemming from the digital trace left by every Web site visit, has spawned a multitude of measures, but little clarity….”

Six tricks that alien trackers could use – “So far, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence has focused on listening for radio signals deliberately sent our way. But even if alien civilisations are not trying to get our attention, their activities could produce detectable signs. Here are a few things we might detect, most of which are discussed in a recent paper by Richard Carrigan of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois…”

Two objects reported crashed near Mongolian capital: UFO or engine parts? – “The report states that two objects fell near the Mongolian capital on February 19. The first object, according to the report, weighed 10 kg, while the second larger object weighed “approximately 2 tons.””

IP Alliance says that encouraging free/open source makes you an enemy of the USA – ” The US-based International Intellectual Property Alliance has asked the US Trade Rep to add Indonesia to its list of rogue nations that don’t respect copyright. What did Indonesia do to warrant inclusion on this “301 list”? Its government had the temerity to advise its ministries to give preference to free/open source software because it will cost less and reduce the use of pirated proprietary software in government. According to the IPA, this movement to reduce copyright infringement is actually bad for copyright, because “it fails to build respect for intellectual property rights and also limits the ability of government or public-sector customers (e.g., State-owned enterprise) to choose the best solutions.” “

DNA’s Dirty Little Secret – “A forensic tool renowned for exonerating the innocent may actually be putting them in prison…”

Geneva: CLS-previewing Mercedes-Benz F800 Style concept – “Mercedes-Benz will take to the stage at the annual Geneva Motor Show in early March with an innovative hybrid-electric or fuel-cell concept that, at least in its basic design, previews the replacement for its aging CLS. Mercedes says that the car’s unique platform would allow both hybrid-electric and fuel cell variations…”

If your bank doesn’t like your startup’s blog, they may freeze your funds – “Just to be completely clear, we’re not talking about refusing a line of credit here. This is a cash account belonging to a funded company that was blocked….”

TV stations asked to yield 500MHz of spectrum for broadband – “The Chair of the Federal Communications Commission unveiled a key component of the agency’s impending National Broadband Plan on Wednesday: a program to free up 500MHz of spectrum over the next decade for the mobile wireless industry. The agency will propose a “Mobile Future Auction” that will allow television broadcasters in “spectrum starved” markets to “voluntarily relinquish” licenses in exchange for a cut of the auction proceeds…”

Top 10 most expensive video games budgets ever – “Video games are quickly approaching Hollywood movies in terms of budget size, and often surpass then altogether. In the early 90s, video game budgets were around $100,000 — when Doom was released in 1993 it had cost $200,000 and was touted as one of the most expensive games at the time. Today, that barely covers one month worth of production. Here are the top 10 most expensive video game budgets ever…”

Image: Undersea cables – “The vast bulk of international telephone and Internet traffic travels through underwater cables. This map shows the cables that were in use as of the end of 2004 and gives an indication of where traffic is heaviest….”

Nvidia rebrands yet more GPUs – “Instead, Nvidia has merely rebranded some of its older chips with bigger numbers for the benefit of OEMs – and to the detriment of people who’d naturally think that a GT 340 was more capable than the GT 240 or a GTX 295. Presumably, it’s an attempt to eke as much cash out of these older cores before the much-delayed Fermi arrives….”

Things I Won’t Work With: Dioxygen Difluoride – “The latest addition to the long list of chemicals that I never hope to encounter takes us back to the wonderful world of fluorine chemistry. I’m always struck by how much work has taken place in that field, how long ago some of it was first done, and how many violently hideous compounds have been carefully studied…” See also: Fluorine – the gas of Lucifer

Why Europe could prove Google’s undoing – “Even if Google defends itself against allegations of anti-competitive behaviour, a European investigation could spark all sorts of trouble…”

Microsoft Asia prototypes fancy new inductive charging pad – “Microsoft has applied for a neat patent for a smart inductive charger (via Being Manan). Inductive charging, used, for example, in the Palm Pre’s Touchstone, allows for contactless charging of devices in close proximity…”

Scientists Blow Up Super-Hard Rock to Get to Dinosaur Skulls – “Dinosaurs and explosives—science stories don’t get much cooler than this…”

On MicroSD Problems – “So I kicked into forensic mode. The first thing that raised my suspicions is the external markings on the irregular Kingston cards. ..”

What to Do About Inflation — and What Not to Do – “Preparing for inflation requires a look at assets whose value can resist a weakening dollar or rising consumer-good prices. “You want to invest in things with real tangible value,” says Rich Toscano, a financial planner with Pacific Capital Associates. But common inflation hedges are not always safe bets. Here are three of the most common assets investors flock to when fears of inflation are high….”

Lab rats with cellphones? – “For example, in 2008, neuroscientists at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia strapped Nokia phones to subjects’ heads, then turned the phones on and off. On — the brain’s alpha waves spiked. Off — the brain settled. The researchers speculated that the effect was the result of the brain “concentrating to overcome the electrical interference in brain circuits caused by the pulsed microwave radiation.””

Human behavior is 93 percent predictable, research shows – ““Spontaneous individuals are largely absent from the population. Despite the significant differences in travel patterns, we found that most people are equally predictable,” said Barabási, who is also director of Northeastern’s world-leading Center for Complex Network Research. “The predictability represents the probability we can foresee an individual’s future whereabouts in the next hour based on his or her previous trajectory.””

Building quality into cars was easier before they went digital – “LATE one night in a Ginza bar, a veteran executive at Nissan recounted to your correspondent the early days of exporting to America, when his firm’s cars were known abroad as Datsuns. Before being shipped, all export models went through additional inspections because the cost of fixing warranty claims so far from the factory and its supply chain would wipe out any profit made on them. On the rare occasions they did break, the parts had to be shipped in from Japan…”

Science at the Winter Olympics – “There’s more to figure skating than spandex and sequins, specifically physics. Learn more about the science behind curling, speed skating and other Olympic events…”

Secret Microsoft doc leaks, DMCA notice fails to contain it – “It’s no secret that online service providers cooperate with law enforcement agencies and will hand over personal information of various kinds when subpoenaed, subject to court order, or compelled by search warrant. What is secret has been exactly what information these companies store about their users, and what they will hand over to the authorities when required. In recent days a series of these documents have been leaked to whistle-blowing site Cryptome. The policies of (among others) Facebook, AOL, and Skype have all been posted to the site, and several more were posted last December, including those of Verizon, Sprint, and Yahoo…”

The Most Accurate, Highest Resolution Earth View to Date – “This is the most accurate, highest resolution true color image of planet Earth to date. And at 2048 x 2048 pixels, you should put it in your desktop background now. You can get America too…”

How to Make Oxi Clean – “Why spend money on expensive cleaning products like Oxi Clean when you can easily make your own! This easy homemade Oxi Clean recipe works just as well and is cheap to make!”

Captured: Troops Storm Marjah, Afghanistan – “(AP) Thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers stormed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah before dawn Saturday, February 13th, sweeping by air and ground against scattered resistance into the biggest southern town under militant control. The massive offensive was aimed at breaking the Taliban grip over a wide area of their southern heartland…”

A Sticky Little Lizard Inspires a New Adhesive Tape – “KEEP your eye on the shelves of your local hardware store, where in the next few years you may be able to find new tape from an unlikely source: the gecko…”

A Tale of Two Babies – “She was right in the middle of trying to convince the people of Alaska that, despite all appearances, she was indeed pregnant with her fifth child, after surprising even her own staff with the news on March 6th…”

Terror as shark tank cracks – “Horrified holidaymakers were among those left fearing that they were about to be engulfed by 10MILLION gallons of water — holding 33,000 sea creatures…”

18 Upcoming TV Shows That Could Save Small-Screen Scifi – “Is science fiction doomed on television? Hell no! Here are 18 TV series in the pipeline that could recharge your love of the fantastical, including alien invasions, dinosaurs, superheroes, time travel, super-spies, government conspiracies, zombies and changelings. Minor spoilers ahead…”

Case closed: why most of USA lacks 100Mbps ‘Net connections – “But in case you didn’t notice, 100Mbps x 100 million didn’t happen. About 75 to 77 million Americans currently access some kind of broadband, according to the latest data. That’s only assuming, however, that you accept 200Kbps as a flavor of “high speed Internet.” And a huge chunk of the population (over 30 percent) never go online at all—less because they’re retired and not interested; more often because they can’t afford the prices…”

RIP, Rickrolling: YouTube Kills Original Video – “Are you sitting down? I have some horrible news for you. YouTube has removed the original “Rickrolling” video from its site due to a terms-of-use violation. Though there are other avenues in which to get a Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up” fix, the original, the one that captured the nation’s attention, the video that spurned over 30 million hits, is dead…”

Eric Topol: The wireless future of medicine – “Eric Topol says we’ll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine’s future — all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds…”

A way to turn out lighting by the metre – “THE printing of body parts (see article) will probably remain a bespoke industry for ever. Printed lighting, though, might be mass produced. That, at least, is the promise of a technology being developed in Sweden by Ludvig Edman of Umea University and Nathaniel Robinson of Linkoping. Dr Edman and Dr Robinson have taken a promising technique called the organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, and tweaked it in an ingenious way. The result is a sheet similar to wallpaper that can illuminate itself at the flick of a switch…”

[[[Jump to - Interesting Reading #425 – Hypersonic missiles, Why humans must forget, Levitating chairs, Aerial Skiing breakdown, behind google’s algorithm and much more...]]]



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