Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tesla Model S Revealed

A good looking motor too, reminds a little of the Aston Martin. Top speed 130mph, 0-60 in under 5 seconds and an operating range of up tp 300 miles ater a 45 minute charge. El Reg has the details.

Ten Years Since Melissa

I remember when Melissa hit in 1999, I just can´t believe it´s so long ago already! This article from El Reg celebrates the anniversary and the arrest of its author. This was one of the few modern viruses that stuck in my mind in recent years along with I Love You, Slammer and the recent Conficker/Downandup (which is supposed to have a payload primed for 1 April 2009) as having major impact and perhaps inspiring derivatives.

Fallout 3 Wins At Choice Awards.

The Game Developer´s Choice Awards have voted Fallout 3 as game of the year of 2008, with Little Big Planet hot on its heels according to Gamasutra. It also won the best show and best role playing game at the E3 awards. I´m glad Fallout 3 has got some credit after not winning anything at the British Academy Video Games Awards. I´ve mentioned in a previous post how many hours I´ve put into the game and how immersive and open the game experience is. Well done Bethesda!

Hot Tea Is Bad For You

Another point for the coffee drinkers. Drinking hot tea ( more than 70C) can damage the lining of the throat and can even lead to cancer according to this article from the BBC. In the West such cancers are commonly related to smoking and drinking, but it is also a condition in non-Western cultures where tobacco and alcohol are not consumed. The experiment was conducted by the University of Tehran who tested drinking habits of Iranians who consumed more than a litre of tea a day. Drinking tea slowly and when it has cooled to between 60C and 70C, or adding milk which also cools tea was found to reduce the risk. However the findings could be a general indication that regular consumption of very hot foods and drinks may pose a risk.

MLS To Replace ILS

Microwave Landing System is a new alternative to the radio based Instrument Landing System that aeroplanes currently use to aid landing in difficult conditions such as fog. According to the BBC, the new system is less prone to interference meaning that the gap between planes landing can be reduced, so allowing more planes per hour to land in such conditions. With the increasing amount of traffic in the air, this should reduce the number if delays.

OnLive To Kill Consoles?

A new internet service that allows you to play games on your TV via a set top box connected to the net or from a low-end PC or laptop could mean the end of consoles as we know them today. The service works as a real cloud computing application, in which the games do not run locally but on servers, with the audio and graphics output being streamed via the set top box to the TV. So no more downloading, no more buying games from the store and maybe no more piracy. No mention of how this will scale, because they will need some fairly meaty servers to be able to cope with all the demand. But if it works then it will prove that streaming anything over the net is possible and give the whole cloud computing concept a boost. More from the BBC here.

Mobile Phone With Built-in Shaver

I´ve no idea if there is a market for this, but Solomobi have come up a mobile that includes a shaver. I presume the idea if for people who are on the move, so that you don´t need to carry multiple devies with you when travelling. There´s no mention in the specs about how much battery life you lose if you decide to shave with it. I´m more worried about keeping the thing clean.

Cows Align Themselves Geomagnetically

An abstract here from PNAS about how cows lie down along North-South geomagnetic lines. This effect is countered when cattle are in the presence of electric power lines, suggesting that low levels of electromagnetic frequencies have an effect on the animals.

Deep Packet Inspection

There was a big thing discussion last year involving the likes of Vint Cerf and other internet heavyweights regarding net neutrality. Basically the net neutrality advocates say that all internet traffic regardless of content should be given equal priority. The worry is that this will develop into a first and second class internet in which not everyone will have the same privileges and freedoms, as well as making it easier for net censorship all kinds of privacy breaches. The promoters though argue that priority should be given to VOIP and streaming services to guarantee smooth delivery, while giving less priority to file transfer protocols like P2P and FTP. This has already been a problem with Canada´s Comcast presenting advertising to customers based on the content of what they are surfing, and the UK´s Phorm which was similarly controversial. The article here from Ars Technica describes the curent arguments.