Engadget has a photograph of a solar-powered cellular payphone that was spotted on boat sailing around Lake Victoria in Africa. It is probably not real since it could possibly be a staged advertisement for something or other.
This Wired's article says there are nearly 50 visionary entrepreneurs profiled in a new 495-page book titled They Made America. It is an encyclopedic, entertaining tome by Sir Harold Evans is now the subject of a four-part PBS series (check this informative site out for names, history, images, etc.) of the same name.
The Japanese electronics maker said the Blu-ray optical disc, which can be written once and stores 25 gigabytes of data, is 87 percent natural polymer derived from corn and biodegrades.
"If the starch polymer is incinerated, it will not emit dioxins and any other harmful chemicals," the company said.
This article has a video clip (MPEG and QuickTime) of a Bar Bot, driven by self interest, its only aim is to drink beer. In order to achieve this goal in bars, it asks people for coins and spends them as soon as there is enough for a beer. To reach its selfish objectives, it dependends on others: somebody has to give it coins or hand it a beer. This is where it engages in communication, in social interaction with human beings.
The long video is cool and shows the details in actions. Seen on memepool.
Be sure to read The Grand List of Overused Science Fiction Clichés if you read books and watch TV and movies related to science fiction.
Saw this on User Friendly as its link of the day.
Under the fourth amendment to Constitution, police must show probable cause that a crime has been committed before they can get a judge's permission to search your home for evidence, or subpoena you to appear in court. But under the federal Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), all the RIAA has to do is file paperwork with a court clerk to get a subpoena if it suspects you of downloading a song from the Internet or sharing music in a peer-to-peer network such as Kazaa, WinMX or Grokster. Anyone found in violation of the act could faces a lawsuit from the RIAA seeking $750 to $150,000 per song, The Associated Press has reported.
Dilbert has a funny cartoon (10/11/2004) for conference call:
This MicroScope's article shows a list history of global hacking and says hacking is not a new problem nor is it isolated to one country. Here's the first item on the list:
1971: Vietnam vet John Draper uses the giveaway whistle in a Cap'n Crunch cereal box and a homebuilt "blue box" to make free phone calls. When Esquire publishes a how-to guide for making blue boxes, incidents of wire fraud in the US skyrocket.
Mousey would be so proud of his rodent species. New Scientist's story says a robot with real mouse whiskers could represent an important step towards developing simple robots that navigate by mimicking rodents. Such whiskered machines could eventually be used to perform repairs in pipes.
The bristly bot, known as AMouse (Artificial Mouse) was built by researchers from the University of Tokyo in Japan and the University of Zurich in Switzerland. It uses real mouse whiskers because simulations have shown these to be the perfect size and shape for the task, but artificial whiskers will also be developed eventually.
NewsForge has a story on how NASA's most sophisticated gear and the space agency using open source software heavily. This helped the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers to receive clearance for an extended tour of the Red Planet.
Jeff Norris, a senior computer scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who headed development of the rovers' open source-heavy Science Activity Planner (SAP), said the mission extension was a steal for taxpayers, whose space and research support has shrunk along with NASA budgets...