Archive

Archive for July, 2010

Alternatives To Paypal’s Virtual Credit Card Service?

July 31st, 2010 07:02 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “Paypal has quietly killed the Paypal plugin and the related virtual-card service. The service generated on-the-fly, one-time-use credit card numbers. When I called in and inquired about the service, I was told that the service has been discontinued, but may be relaunching something similar depending on interest. They are treating inquiries as a sort of petition, taking down names and contact info. The forums seem to be a lost cause, as no Paypal reps have replied to the numerous posts regarding virtual cards being discontinued. Does anyone know of a good alternative source of one-time-use credit card numbers?”

Source: Alternatives To Paypal’s Virtual Credit Card Service?

Reading Terrorists’ Minds About Imminent Attack

July 31st, 2010 07:00 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “Imagine technology that allows you to get inside the mind of a terrorist to know how, when, and where the next attack will occur. In the Northwestern study, when researchers knew in advance specifics of the planned attacks by the make-believe ‘terrorists,’ they were able to correlate P300 brain waves to guilty knowledge with 100 percent accuracy in the lab, said J. Peter Rosenfeld, professor of psychology in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.”

Source: Reading Terrorists’ Minds About Imminent Attack

Videos And Photos Of Smartphone Antenna Performance And Their Weak Spots Disappear From Apple’s Website

July 31st, 2010 07:44 admin View Comments

iPhone 4

Folks at TechCrunch have spotted something interesting.

You might remember that Apple had published new pages on its website to explain smartphone performance and their weak spots.

The new pages explained the attenuation and signal loss in smartphones and published videos to demonstrate how different grips cause the attenuation problem even in popular smartphones.

Source: Videos And Photos Of Smartphone Antenna Performance And Their Weak Spots Disappear From Apple’s Website

China Pushes Real Name System For Online Games

July 31st, 2010 07:50 admin View Comments

oxide7 writes “Starting from August 1, internet users will have to register using their real names for playing online games, China Daily reported on Saturday. The regulation, issued by the Ministry of Culture on June 22, is said to be part of a nationwide campaign to improve management of the virtual gaming industry and protect the minor from unwholesome content. It applies to all multiplayer role-playing and social networking games.”

Source: China Pushes Real Name System For Online Games

‘I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!’ v2.0

July 31st, 2010 07:53 admin View Comments

theodp writes “Remember those old Lifecall commercials? Well, you’ve come a long way, Grandma! The NY Times reports on a raft of new technology that’s making it possible for adult children to remotely monitor to a stunningly precise degree the daily movements and habits of their aging parents. The purpose is to provide enough supervision to allow elderly people to stay in their homes rather than move to an assisted-living facility or nursing home. Systems like GrandCare, BeClose, QuietCare, and MedMinder allow families to keep tabs on Mom and Dad’s whereabouts, and make sure they take their meds. Perhaps Zynga can make a game out of all this — GeriatricVille?”

Source: ‘I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!’ v2.0

Microsoft Tech Can Deblur Images Automatically

July 31st, 2010 07:50 admin View Comments

An anonymous reader writes “At the annual SIGGRAPH show, Microsoft Research showed new technology that can remove the blur from images on your camera or phone using on-board sensors — the same sensors currently added to the iPhone 4. No more blurry low light photos!”

Source: Microsoft Tech Can Deblur Images Automatically

Antarctic Experiment Finds Puzzling Distribution of Cosmic Rays

July 31st, 2010 07:44 admin View Comments

pitchpipe writes “A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica.

[...]it turns out these particles are not arriving uniformly from all directions. The new study detected an overabundance of cosmic rays coming from one part of the sky, and a lack of cosmic rays coming from another.” The map of this uneven distribution comes from the IceCube neutrino observatory last mentioned several days ago.

Source: Antarctic Experiment Finds Puzzling Distribution of Cosmic Rays

Broadway Musicians Replaced With Synthesizers

July 31st, 2010 07:40 admin View Comments

wooferhound writes “Sophisticated synthesizers and computer-manipulated recordings are increasingly taking over orchestras. Sounding almost like real players, while costing much less, they’re especially popular with provincial or touring companies. But until mid-July — when ‘West Side Story’s’ producers announced that a synthesizer was replacing three live violinists and two cellists, or half the orchestra’s string section — staff violinist Paul Woodiel thought that at least the classics would be immune to the trend. There are computer programs able to read and play back music scores — a boon to composers who can now hear their work as they write — and software allowing conductors to control the tempo of the machine, in the same way that they direct live players.”

Source: Broadway Musicians Replaced With Synthesizers

Budapest Panorama, at 70GP, Now the World’s Largest Digital Photo

July 31st, 2010 07:36 admin View Comments

hasanabbas1987 writes “It’s just been a few months since a 45-gigapixel panorama of Dubai claimed the title of world’s largest digital photograph, but it’s now already been well and truly ousted — the new king in town is this 70-gigapixel, 360-degree panorama of Budapest. As with other multi-gigapixel images, this one was no easy feat, and involved two 25-megapixel Sony A900 cameras fitted with 400mm Minolta lenses and 1.4X teleconverters, a robotic camera mount from 360world that got the shooting done over the course of two days, and two solid days of post-processing that resulted in a single 200GB file — not to mention a 15-meter-long printed copy of the photograph for good measure. Of course, what’s most impressive is the photo itself [Note: requires Silverlight].”

Source: Budapest Panorama, at 70GP, Now the World’s Largest Digital Photo

Mars Rover Spirit May Never Wake From Deep Sleep

July 31st, 2010 07:29 admin View Comments

astroengine writes “After repeated calls from NASA to wake up Mars Exploration Rover Spirit from its low-energy hibernation mode, mission control is beginning to realize the ill-fated robot may never wake up again. After getting stuck in a sand trap in Gusev Crater and then switching into hibernation in March, rover operators were hopeful that the beached Spirit might yet be saved. Alas, this is looking more and more unlikely. In a statement, NASA said: ‘Based on models of Mars’ weather and its effect on available power, mission managers believe that if Spirit responds, it most likely will be in the next few months. However, there is a very distinct possibility Spirit may never respond.’”
Related xkcd strip, in case the headline wasn’t anthropomorphic enough for you.

Source: Mars Rover Spirit May Never Wake From Deep Sleep