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Current Topic: Technology

CNN - Apple's ode to hackers - Developers embed poetic warning deep in OS X software
Topic: Technology 11:45 am EST, Feb 17, 2006

SAN JOSE, California (AP) -- Apple Computer Inc. has resorted to a poetic broadside in the inevitable cat-and-mouse game between hackers and high-tech companies.

The maker of Macintosh computers had anticipated that hackers would try to crack its new OS X operating system built to work on Intel Corp.'s chips and run pirated versions on non-Apple computers. So, Apple developers embedded a warning deep in the software -- in the form of a poem.

Indeed, a hacker encountered the poem recently, and a copy of it has been circulating on Mac-user Web sites this week.

Apple confirmed Thursday it has included such a warning in its Intel-based computers since it started selling them in January.

The embedded poem reads: "Your karma check for today: There once was a user that whined/his existing OS was so blind/he'd do better to pirate/an OS that ran great/but found his hardware declined./Please don't steal Mac OS!/Really, that's way uncool./(C) Apple Computer, Inc."

Interesting easter egg. But I agree - Apple should reexamine licensing OS/X before someone releases it into the public domain FOR them.

/me drools at the prospect of running Final Cut Pro on a PC I can build for a third to a quarter of what a Mac would cost.


CNN - Apple's ode to hackers - Developers embed poetic warning deep in OS X software

USAToday - Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror
Topic: Technology 6:37 am EST, Dec 27, 2005

The wasps are trained with sugar water by using the classical conditioning techniques made famous by Pavlov's dogs. Rains says the wasps are sensitive to a host of chemical odors, including 2,4-DNT, a volatile compound used in dynamite.

To do their work, five wasps — each a half-inch long — are placed in a plastic cylinder that is 15 inches tall. This "Wasp Hound," which costs roughly $100 per unit, has a vent in one end and a camera that connects to a laptop computer.

When the wasps pick up an odor they've been trained to detect they gather by the vent — a response that can be measured by the computer or actually seen by observers.

Lewis says the wasps, when exposed to some chemicals, "can detect as low as four parts per billion, which is an incredibly small amount."

I love low-tech like this!

USAToday - Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror

CNN - Inventor fuels car with dead cats
Topic: Technology 4:37 am EDT, Sep 15, 2005

"BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- A German inventor has angered animal rights activists with his answer to fighting the soaring cost of fuel -- dead cats.

Christian Koch, 55, from the eastern county of Saxony, told Bild newspaper that his organic diesel fuel -- a homemade blend of garbage, run-over cats and other ingredients -- is a proven alternative to normal consumer diesel.

"I drive my normal diesel-powered car with this mixture," Koch said. "I have gone 170,000 km (106,000 miles) without a problem."

Wonder if his engine really DOES purrr when it idles???


CNN - Inventor fuels car with dead cats

CNN - Synthesizer innovator Moog dies at 71
Topic: Technology 12:20 pm EDT, Aug 22, 2005

Robert A. Moog, whose self-named synthesizers turned electric currents into sound and opened the musical wave that became electronica, has died. He was 71.

Moog died Sunday at his home in Asheville, according to his company's Web site. He had suffered from an inoperable brain tumor, detected in April.

A childhood interest in the theremin, one of the first electronic musical instruments, would lead Moog to a create a career and business that tied the name Moog as tightly to synthesizers as the name Les Paul is to electric guitars.

CNN - Synthesizer innovator Moog dies at 71

Elonka on!!!
Topic: Technology 2:10 am EDT, Jun 20, 2005

"A Web forum where cryptographers collaborate on the puzzle went from attracting about 50 hits a day to thousands of hits a day, according to its moderator Elonka Dunin."

Way to go Elonka! :)

Elonka on!!!

Copyright-worried labs reject some digital printing jobs
Topic: Technology 4:03 am EDT, Jun 18, 2005

"Charlie Morgan says that if it weren't for digital photography, he wouldn't have a bustling business that specializes in publicity shots for musicians. That's because Morgan — perhaps being a bit modest — says he's not a very good photographer. He relies on Photoshop editing software to make his work look sharp.

But digital sometimes presents a puzzling problem.

When Morgan's mother and a client recently took CDs with some of his shots to a printing lab, the photo technicians spurned them. They said that since the shots seemed to have been taken by a professional, printing the pictures might be a copyright violation."

God bless the DMCA.

Copyright-worried labs reject some digital printing jobs

No training wheels needed - New trike bike takes fear out of first solo ride
Topic: Technology 5:32 am EDT, Apr 30, 2005

Three Purdue University industrial designers who tapped into memories of their own childhood cycling misadventures have built a bike that ditches the training wheels but keeps rookies stable.

Called SHIFT, it slowly transforms from a tricycle to bicycle configuration as the rider pedals faster, then returns to trike formation as the rider slows down.


No training wheels needed - New trike bike takes fear out of first solo ride

On-demand airline could alter travel to midsize cities
Topic: Technology 9:13 am EDT, Apr 25, 2005

A technology entrepreneur on Monday unveils a new kind of on-demand airline that could alter the way people travel between midsize cities.

DayJet, of Delray Beach, Fla., will marry two advanced technologies: Very Light Jet (VLJ) aircraft, which can seat four passengers and operate at half the cost of today's small jets; and sophisticated computer databases that can determine the most efficient ways to route those aircraft to pick up customers.

The service will be halfway between a private jet charter and an airline, says DayJet CEO Ed Iacobucci, founder of software company Citrix Systems.

Customers would go to DayJet's Web site and enter cities on DayJet's route map that they want to fly between. Customers would put in dates and time parameters, such as "depart no earlier than" and "arrive no later than."

If a DayJet plane is available, the user would get a guaranteed confirmation. The system would try to fill all the seats on a given flight, though it would not be required. The flight would go even with only one passenger aboard, and the price would be the same no matter how many take the flight.

Expected cost: slightly more than full-fare coach tickets on those same routes, Iacobucci says. Service is expected to begin in mid-2006, with plans to expand to 30 markets by the end of 2007. DayJet will focus on mid-sized cities, such as Asheville, N.C., that it considers under-served by major airlines.

"It will pose a threat to the commuter airlines," says Henry Harteveldt, an analyst at Forrester Research. "A lot will depend on pricing and reliability."

Interesting idea if it "flies". -LB`

On-demand airline could alter travel to midsize cities

RE: Google Maps
Topic: Technology 9:56 pm EDT, Apr  6, 2005

Rattle wrote:
] terratogen wrote:
] ] The satellite feature is pretty neat.
] It sure is.. I was disappointed when MapQuest removed a
] similar feature. Google Maps is going to eat them alive.
] Check this out.

Don't get me started on CRAPquest... they started out pretty good, only getting exact directions wrong (for me) about 1 out of 20 queries. Now its really a crapshoot with them, (hence the reason I now call them CRAPquest).

Don't get me wrong - I love Google, but I watch as they continue to grow and bury their competition in what seems like most areas they touch - affiliate advertising programs, USEnet (ever wonder what happened to Dejanews? Its now called now this...

I can't help but wonder how much longer they will be allowed to steam roll before those 2 words "anti trust" start to buzz around?


RE: Google Maps

Time for a sandwich: Doctors use man's back to make jaw
Topic: Technology 11:46 am EDT, Aug 27, 2004

] A German who had his lower jaw cut out because of cancer
] has enjoyed his first meal in nine years %u2014 a
] bratwurst sandwich %u2014 after surgeons grew a new jaw
] bone in his back muscle and transplanted it to his mouth
] in what experts call an "ambitious" experiment.
] According to this week's issue of The Lancet medical
] journal, the German doctors used a mesh cage, a growth
] chemical and the patient's own bone marrow, containing
] stem cells, to create a new jaw bone that fit exactly
] into the gap left by the cancer surgery.
] Tests have not been done yet to verify whether the bone
] was created by the blank-slate stem cells and it is too
] early to tell whether the jaw will function normally in
] the long term. But the operation is the first published
] report of a whole bone being engineered and incubated
] inside a patient's body and transplanted.
] Stem cells are the master cells of the body that go on to
] become every tissue in the body. They are a hot area of
] research with scientists trying to find ways to prompt
] them to make desired tissues, and perhaps organs.

Unreal! -LB

Time for a sandwich: Doctors use man's back to make jaw

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