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Interesting Reading #517 – DIY Nuke, Flying car, “horrible” iOS4, Wubi, Illusion, Marijuana, Masturbation and more…

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Extreme DIY: Building a homemade nuclear reactor in NYC – “Many might be alarmed to learn of a homemade nuclear reactor being built next door. But what if this form of extreme DIY could help solve the world’s energy crisis? “

Huge blimp: Hybrid Airship for Afghan ISR Takes Shape – “The plan to deploy an autonomous, free-flying, surveillance airship to Afghanistan is gaining, er, buoyancy. A consortium led by the US Army’s Space & Missile Defense Command is scheduled to be established by October 1 and a contract awarded for the Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) demonstration by the end of December…”

FAA Says Flying Car Can Gain a Little Weight – “The team over at Terrafugia, the company developing the Transition Roadable Aircraft (aka the Flying Car) has been given permission to gain some extra pounds. The company has been working hard to overcome the persistent issue of how to build a safe enough car, that can still be light enough to compete with the other aircraft in its class. But the ambitious design still came in too heavy to qualify as a Light Sport Aircraft…”

New iPhone Arrives; Rivals, Beware – “Despite the strong initial, positive reaction, this must still be a nerve-racking time to be Apple; the iPhone is no longer the only worthy contender. Phones running Google’s Android software are gaining rave reviews and packing in features that iPhone owners can only envy. The Android app store is ballooning, multiple phone makers are competing, and Google updates the software several times a year. Apple releases only one new model a year, so the new iPhone had better be pretty amazing to compete. It is…”

John Glenn talks U.S. space program: Keep the Shuttles – “Former U.S. congressman and astronaut John Glenn says that our future space exploration can’t be “done on the cheap” and we “must do it right.” He recommends keeping the NASA Space Shuttle fleet…”

Why Dawn Is The Bird Cleaner Of Choice In Oil Spills – “Dawn dishwashing detergent is used to clean up just about anything covered with oil — from birds to sea turtles to human skin. But what makes Dawn so effective?”

Multitasking With iOS 4 is Horrible: Apple Blew It – “Alright Apple, you win. You don’t really want multitasking on the iPhone, and iOS4′s halfhearted attempt proves it. iOS4′s multitasking is a mess of a feature. Yes, it lets you listen to Pandora while using other apps. Yes, it lets you freeze games that support multitasking, such as Plants vs. Zombies, while you take care of more important tasks. But in exchange for those perks, some of the iPhone’s elegance is lost, and the advantages you’d gain from true multitasking aren’t there either…”

Steve Jobs: Why iOS4 Won’t let 3G Owners Set Backgrounds – ” iPhone 3GThere’s been a lot of fuss over the yesterday’s release of iOS 4 for the devices that support it. Also about the fact that when a number of iPhone 3G owners upgraded to the new operating system, they found that–unlike iPhone 3GS owners (and iPhone 4 owners, when they get their devices tomorrow)–they were unable to set a custom background for their home screens…”

Cold, Dark and Teeming With Life – “The deep seabed was once considered a biological desert. Life, the logic went, was synonymous with light and photosynthesis. The sun powered the planet’s food chains, and only a few scavengers could ply the preternaturally dark abyss…”

Optical illsuion:

New high-power battery may lead to big hybrid vehicles – “A new type of high-power battery may help make larger hybrid vehicles a reality, according to a research paper published this week. A group of scientists at MIT have found a way to use carbon nanotubes to create a device that combines the strengths of batteries and capacitors, resulting in a battery than can both store a large amount of energy and put out a high rate of power. The ability to provide a better combination of high power and rapid discharge may help engineers tailor the batteries to a broader range of vehicles…”

The Fate of the Internet — Decided in a Back Room – “The Wall Street Journal just reported that the Federal Communications Commission is holding “closed-door meetings” with industry to broker a deal on Net Neutrality — the rule that lets users determine their own Internet experience…”

One reason why humans are special and unique: We masturbate. A lot. – “This conjuring ability to create fantasy scenes in our heads that literally bring us to orgasm when conveniently paired with our dexterous appendages is an evolutionary magic trick that I suspect is uniquely human. It requires a cognitive capacity called mental representation (an internal “re-presentation” of a previously experienced image or some other sensory input) that many evolutionary theorists believe is a relatively recent hominid innovation…”

Google ‘to launch music download store in 2010′ to rival Apple’s iTunes – “Google is planning to launch a music download service linked to its search engine later this year in a bid to up the ante against Apple, according to a report…”

Major Labels Begin Major Astroturfing Campaign To Get 3 Strikes In The US – “To date, the RIAA and others in the recording industry have known better than to seriously push for a three strikes-type legislation in the US, knowing that it is a battle that they very well might lose. They had hoped, quite strongly, that various ISPs would come to simply agree to implement a three strikes plan to kick people offline after three accusations (not convictions) of copyright infringement…”

Apple Collecting iPhone, iPad, Mac User Locations in Real Time, Passing On Info to Unknown 3rd Parties – “In print buried deep in the” Apple Customer Privacy Policy”, Apple will now be able to pass off real time location data of users to unspecified “partners and licensees” for unknown use. Apple users are forced to agree with the new terms of privacy whenever apps are downloaded from the Apple iTunes store…”

Wubi Ubuntu Installer – “Wubi is an officially supported Ubuntu installer for Windows users that can bring you to the Linux world with a single click. Wubi allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu as any other Windows application, in a simple and safe way. Are you curious about Linux and Ubuntu? Trying them out has never been easier!”

England match triggers net surge – “Early figures suggest the total number of ‘concurrent streams’ peaked at 800,000 although the total number of viewers will be many times higher. The BBC said this was a viewing record. “

Upcycling Movement Gains Momentum in Portland – “Upcycling is far from a new concept—especially in our city full of DIYers—but it is becoming a growing movement bent on creating worth out of seemingly useless items…”

15 Things You Should Know About Marijuana [Infographic]

U.S. Controlled Substances Act

The Big Shift: The Rise of Cloud Computing

Quanta and Tilera Launch S2Q Cloud Computing Server and Tilera Plans to Double Cores Per Chip Every Two Years – “Tilera says it can get 10,752 cores in one 8-kilowatt rack in a data center. The S2Q server will be available in September in limited quantities. Each TilePro chip sells for $900 in 200-unit quantities. A competitor Seamicro has a 512 core server. However, SeaMicro is putting 512 Atom Z530 cores into a 10U form factor, including switching and storage for the server nodes. The S2Q is 5 times thinner than the Seamicro server…”

God particle signal is simulated as sound – “Scientists have simulated the sounds set to be made by sub-atomic particles such as the Higgs boson when they are produced at the Large Hadron Collider. Their aim is to develop a means for physicists at Cern to “listen to the data” and pick out the Higgs particle if and when they finally detect it…”

Group will sue McDonald’s over Happy Meal toys – “Are the toys in your child’s Happy Meal making him fat? The Center for Science in the Public Interest says they are. The Washington-based consumer advocacy group threatened to file a lawsuit against McDonald’s Tuesday, charging that the fast food chain “unfairly and deceptively” markets the toys to children…”

Pre-Alpha MeeGo for tablets demo

A different way to spread news: Crying Girl Con Artist – “The “crying girl” is a particularly prolific and notorious scammer who has been victimizing people in Davis. She is a dark haired girl who has dyed her hair reddish blond who sometimes wears heavy, tear-smeared make-up. She hangs out around the downtown area or in front of grocery stores, clutching a train schedule and approaching people with one of two stories…”

Windows 7 Backup gets users’ backs up – “Windows 7 Backup is getting trashed in a Microsoft forum for being unbelievably bad and stupefyingly slow. Users are posting stories that should defy belief. Jon Hell posted on April 23 that he is backing up 900GB of data on a quad core PC with 7GB of RAM; “After twenty four hours Windows Backup had managed to complete 18 per cent of the backup, but after forty eight hours, it had got even slower, and had only reached 23 per cent of the full backup.””

[[[Jump to - Interesting Reading #516 – Awesome dual-screen, Why chimps murder, Plastic solar cells and much more…]]]

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