Wear Mindjack
T-shirts only $15US, shipping included

 the beat of digital culture
home | archives | about us | feedback

daily relay

suggest a story: relay@mindjack.com

Monday, November 29, 2004

Seurat: A Pointillist Approach to Network Security
In this article, Computerworld describes several of the projects currently under way at Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab. For instance, CyLab just received "a $6.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation for an initiative called Security Through Interaction Modeling (STIM), which studies complex interactions between people, the computers they use and attacks from the outside." CyLab is also looking at self-healing or autonomic computer systems. And in its Coral project, CyLab is developing network defense mechanisms for virus and worm attacks.

But here I just want to focus on the Seurat project, named after the French impressionist painter Georges Seurat who invented the technique of pointillism. The goal of this project is to monitor network anomalies caused by buffer overloads or corrupted systems. The project was called Seurat because like his paintings, the Web has so many layers or points where a possible attack might occur. This overview contains more details and references from CyLab about Seurat.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:49 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

A Sentimental Education -- for Software
Imagine you work for a company which introduces a new product. Obviously, you would want to know if the public likes it or not. But how would you find it? You could search the Web and read every possible document that mentions your product. This might be very time-consuming. Help is on the way, with a software that will scan the Web for you and separate the positive and negative reviews. This software might be based on research done at Cornell University and described by Technology Research News in "Software sorts out subjectivity."

The researchers are improving 'sentiment classification' by removing neutral sentences. Their machine-learning method then applies only to subjective portions of the document. But the following negative statement, which contains only positive words, shows the difficulty to classify a sentence as positive or negative: "If you think this laptop is a great deal, I've got a nice bridge you might be interested in." It may take a decade before such a system is widely available. This overview contains selected excerpts and references.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:30 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Saturday, November 27, 2004

3D Biometric Facial Recognition Comes To UK
In the UK, where the recent Queen's speech about national identity cards generated lots of -- mostly negative -- coverage, another potentially invasive technology is being tested with very few criticism. For example, several police departments are now testing a 3D biometric facial recognition software from Aurora, a company based near Northampton.

The use of facial recognition "is rapidly becoming the third forensic science alongside fingerprints and DNA," according to a police officer who talked to BBC News for "How your face could open doors." The company claims its software is so sophisticated it can make the distinction between identical twins. And if the civil liberties groups continue to be neutral, this technology could also be deployed in airports or by private companies.

Even banks are thinking to put cameras in their ATM machines to identify you. The good thing is that you will not have to remember your PIN. On the other hand, as with every new technology, is it safe for your privacy and is it possible to hack the system? Read more before making your decision.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 3:56 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Taking a Nap -- in the Empire State Building
Many recent studies conclude that we don't sleep enough during our working week. For example, the National Sleep Foundation -- the other NSF -- says that 40% of adults admit that the quality of their work suffers when they're sleepy. So what should we do? Take a nap during the day. But this practice is not widely supported by companies -- to say the least.

If you live in Manhattan, a small company, MetroNaps, has a solution for you and is even "profiting from nonproductiveness," according to Wired News. All you have to do is to go to a suite in the 24th floor of the Empire State Building and pay $14 for a 20-minute nap in an adjustable and ergonomic chair.

For people who don't live in Manhattan, Metronaps can rent you one of its pods for installation in your office. But you'll have to convince your HR department that you'll be more productive after a nap. Try to get an appointment in the morning, when you don't need this refreshing nap. Read more before heading to New York to take a nap.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 3:53 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Are Doctors and Patients Changing Roles?
Richard Bohmer, a physician and a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS), has an interesting theory about "The Changing Roles of Doctors and Patients," according to HBS Working Knowledge. He says that a century ago, patients were more or less passive and ignorant of their conditions, relying on their doctors for diagnosis and decisions. Now, patients can use tests to check themselves for some conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or pregnancy. And thanks to the Web, they're also more knowledgeable, sometimes even requesting specific medications or treatment.

On the other hand, doctors, especially in large organizations, are taking new roles as managers or system architects. Obviously, even if this analysis is true, it applies only to a very small number of developed countries. Even in the U.S, I doubt that Bohmer's theory is valid in many rural communities. So, if you're a doctor, how do you see your role changing? But first, read this analysis before posting your comments.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:11 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

JFK Reloaded Replayed
Everybody's talking about JFK Reloaded, the game that lets you play the role of presidential assasian, but it seems few have actually played it. Clive Thompson does just that in his review of the game at Slate.
When you peer through the rifle scope, the faces of JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy (and Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife Nellie) are completely recognizable. These are real people who still have immediate living relatives—or, in the case of Nellie Connally, are still alive. While the game's ostensible purpose is simply to re-kill Kennedy as accurately as possible, you can perform any number of alternative scenarios. Shoot the driver first, and the motorcade comes to a halt, allowing you to pick off anyone you want. Or sometimes the driver dies with his foot on the accelerator, driving the car off the road and into a lamppost. You can, if you wish, kill Jackie instead.

When I finally managed to kill JFK and watched his head blow open while he flopped forward like a rag doll, I was genuinely horrified. The game wants you to think about what's happening as a mere physics experiment, but you can't, nor would you want to. Because it's focused solely on the narrow question of whether you can replicate Oswald's shots, it doesn't try to achieve the sort of catharsis that is supposed to come from wrenching art.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 1:24 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Flexible Displays Are Slowly Coming
Flexible displays based on various forms of organic LEDs (or OLEDs) will allow us to carry roll-up TVs one day. But there are still significant hurdles, according to Electronics Weekly in "Organic LEDs are on the way." One major obstacle is the life expectancy for such screens, still far below from the 10,000 hours limit considered to be the basis for a commercial distribution. But there is a bigger issue. On OLEDs displays, the different colors vanish at different rates. So you'll lose blue three times before red or green.

Another very long and well-documented article on displays from Military & Aerospace Electronics, "Display technology leaps to the next generation," adds that there is still a massive $1 billion per year poured in OLED research, and that 14-inch OLED displays are already working in labs. This overview contains selected excerpts of the two articles mentioned above.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:00 AM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Monday, November 22, 2004

Ready for a Flying Cab? Take a Jetpod!
London is one of the world's most congested cities. Taking a cab from Heathrow Airport to the city center can easily take two hours. But according to CNN in "Jetpod vision a lift for commuters," a U.K. company is developing small twin-jet aircrafts which need only 125 meters to take off and 300 meters to land.

The first test flights of the Jetpods should take place in 2006. And, in 2010, it should take you just a few minutes to go from Heathrow to Big Ben for a price of about $90, similar to the one of a traditional taxi. The company expects the Jetpods to be used in other cities,such as Tokyo or New York.

And it's also planning personal, military and medical versions of these aircrafts. This overview contains illustrations of the different models.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:48 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Some Like It Hot, Some Like It Mild
It's Sunday, so you have enough time for cooking. Why not trying a Mexican spicy dinner using some super hot jalapeño or habanero peppers? Too strong for you? No problem.

Two years after creating mild jalapeño peppers, Texas pepper breeders have created a mild habanero pepper after 5 years of research. The New York Times reports that this mild habanero is available to growers and you'll soon find it in grocery stores (free registration, but permanent link).

As says Dr. Crosby, the plant geneticist who bred this habanero pepper, "It's a pretty fruit. It's got the flavor but it doesn't kill you." This overview contains more details and references about peppers, including a recipe for a habanero pepper sauce. Bon appétit!
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:18 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Innovative Uses of RFID Tags
When your newspapers write something about RFID tags, it's almost always about Wal-Mart or how these tags are threatening our privacy. But they often miss the important innovations brought by this technology.

For example, in Florida, RFID drives highway traffic reports on more than 200 miles of toll roads. Or take DHL, which is tracking fashion with RFID tags on more than 70 million garments in its French distribution center.

Elsewhere, in Texas, 28,000 students test an e-tagging system which promises better security for them. And what about RFID tags which could prevent surgical errors and have just been approved in the U.S last week?

So, what do you think? Are these innovations promising a better future for us or not? For your convenience, this overview contains the essential details from the different articles mentioned above.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 3:58 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Nanometer Knitting for Futuristic Clothing
Australian and U.S. researchers have found a new way to exploit the old technology of spinning wool. This CSIRO news release, "Futuristic 'smart' yarns on the horizon," tells us that spinning of carbon nanotubes could lead to 'smart' yarns which could be knitted together to make artificial muscles for robot soldiers or even bandages that send a signal after you're hurt.

However, this news release is short on facts, and in "Knitting in nanometres," ABC Science Online wrote something more substantial. You'll discover that the scientists "created the yarn by growing a mat of fibres on a substrate, called a nanotube forest." And with this spinning process, this 'forest' can grow as long as you want, like several kilometers long.

If it is proven, this is truly amazing, and practical military or medical applications could be ready within five years. This overview contains selected excerpts and some scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs of the process.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:06 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Pulp Fiction Screenwriter Sues Microsoft
Filmmaker and Pulp Fiction screenwriter Roger Avary is suing Microsoft and game developer ResponDesign for allegedly stealing his idea for a Yoga video game. CNET has the details in this Reuters story. Avary, a longtime blogger, has set up a weblog to chronicle the lawsuit.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 10:07 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Sirius Names Karmazin New CEO
The Associated Press reports (Forbes.com link) that Sirius Satellite Radio has hired former Viacom President Mel Karmazin as its new CEO, replacing Joseph Clayton, who will stay on as Chairman of the company. If Howard Stern's jumping ship didn't get people to pay attention to satellite radio, this surely will.
(via BoingBoing)
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 9:25 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Mindjack RSS Feed Now Includes Complete Posts
I'm happy to announce that, at long last, Mindjack's RSS feed now includes complete blog posts instead of those short excerpts that often ended mid-sentence. We're able to do this thanks to a partnership with FeedBurner that allows us to include small, relevant text ads in the feed. I considered a number of options to support the feed and found this to be the best solution. I think you'll find it to be a reasonable one. If anyone have any concerns, you're welcome to contact me personally and I'll do my best to address them.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 6:55 PM Comments (2)
Links to this post

Would You Leave the Driving to Your Car?
According to this long article from EE Times about the "Self-Navigating Vehicle," the answer is a resounding yes. Many car experts think that autonomous vehicles which avoid collisions and communicate wirelessly with other cars will be the norm in two to three decades.

In the mean time, the enabling technologies for self-navigating cars are emerging, from sensors embedded in the brake or accelerator pedals to more powerful computers. Already, partial solutions exist for adaptive cruise control or for staying in a highway lane. One day, we'll be able to do something else than driving our cars through traffic jams, saving us about two hours per working day.

This is the future that engineers are building, but will you accept to be driven by your car? So many people like driving that the concept of a completely autonomous car might be delayed for psychological reasons, not technical ones. This summary contains selected details of the original article.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 2:44 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

World's Strongest Acid in Your Vitamins?
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), have discovered the world’s strongest acid, according to Nature. It's a million times stronger than concentrated sulfuric acid and about a billion times stronger than the acids found in your stomach. But surprisingly, it's also one of the least corrosive.

So you might soon find one of these new carborane acids, or superacids, in vitamins bought at your local drugstore. Even if this is not appealing to you, these researchers have other projects. They want to have fun by building molecules that have never been made before. Read more for other details, references and pictures of this superacid.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 2:41 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Halo 2 Reviewed
Now in Mindjack, Tony Walsh reviews Halo 2.
Any remaining copies of Halo, the 2001 Xbox smash hit, might as well be chucked into a black hole at this point. Halo 2 is finally here — hyped so masterfully that 2.4 million fans blew their cash wads on the November 9 release date, adding up to a record-breaking $125-million in retail sales. As seasoned gaming veterans know, newer doesn't always equal better, and excessive marketing often hopes to gloss over a title's shortcomings. Is Halo 2 a bolder, more exciting game than the first, or has the broadest, most expensive ad campaign in gaming history merely infected us with a bad case of sequelitis?
full review
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 8:41 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Biotech Hacking
Kevin Kelly has collected a few resources for would-be mad scientists on his excellent Cool Tools blog. The Creative Biotechnology User's Manual (available in free PDFs) will show you how to clone a tree or grow your own skin culture. The same folks also produce the Biotech Hobbyist online magazine, which looks promising but duplicates a lot of the same material from the User's Manual.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4:53 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The pied piper of roaches
For years scientists have been working on small robots that hid from light, scurried away from motion, and mimicked insects in interesting but essentially useless ways. Now they've created a roach that is so realistic that other roaches accept it as one of their own. They hope to soon have a model that will be able to locate roach colonies, make friends, and then lead them out of your home. Now that's science.

NEWS.com.au has the full story.
:: posted by Brian Hamman, 6:29 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

NASA To Test Laser Communications With Mars Spacecraft
Sometimes I wish I was a science writer just so I could write leads like this:
Work is underway to establish the first interplanetary laser communication link. The $300 million NASA experiment, if successful, will connect robotic spacecraft at Mars with scientists back on Earth via a beam of light traveling some 300 million kilometers.
Space.com (via Yahoo) explains what that means.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 5:06 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

AtomFilms Offers DVDs on Demand
AtomFilms announced a partnership with CustomFlix today that will let users create customized DVDs of selected short films. At launch time, the AtomFilms Custom DVD Store allows users to choose from a selection of over 125 of their most popular films, well short of the over 1,000 films in Atom's entire catalogue. The customized DVDs can contain up to 10 clips or 90 minutes of content and sell for $19.95US.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 1:09 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Monday, November 15, 2004

Virtual Vascular Surgery on the Grid
ERCIM News is a quarterly publication from the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics. The theme of the latest issue is "Grids: The Next Generation." It contains 32 papers, all available online, covering the following aspects of grid computing: infrastructure, architecture, middleware, programming, applications and new projects.

One of the most interesting applications is "Virtual Vascular Surgery on the Grid." The University of Amsterdam recently demonstrated a virtual bypass operation involving grid services for storage, large-scale simulation and visualization. The whole process used computers and visualization services in the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Austria.

Read more on this fascinating development.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:04 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Online Dating Via Video Phones
It's the weekend, so it's time to relax and check if a new technology can improve the lives of those searching for love. Now, video phones are adding vision to online dating and it will be much more difficult for you to pretend to look like, say, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Britney Spears.

Your potential date will see you in real time on her or his phone. And BBC News reports that a U.K. 3G networking company, simply named 3, has launched a contest to find the best videos done on phones. You can submit a video of yourself, for only 50 p. (or about US$0.92), and online voters will decide if you're among the top 100 contestants. On November 30, 2004, these most popular contestants will gather at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London.

And of course, they'll be hosted in separate rooms and only 'meet' by video phones. Read more for other details and pictures of some of the contestants.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 3:42 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

A New Dangerous Word: Vetronics
According to this very long article from Military & Aerospace Electronics, vehicle electronics (vetronics) technologies will be at the heart of all future manned and unmanned vehicles of the U.S. Army.

Advanced vetronics technologies include automatic target recognition, computer-based decision aids, high-speed distributed computing, robotics, and high-speed networks. In particular, networking will involve high-speed mobile networks, theater-level wired networks, ultra-broadband satellite networks and advanced IP communications. The article looks at all the components of the Future Combat System (FCS), which will link commanders and troops to manned or unmanned vehicles.

Below, I'm focusing on one element: why automation and unmanned vehicles are so important in vetronics developments. This summary looks at some innovative crew interfaces to control unmanned ground and air vehicles, such as the Crew Integration and Automation Test Bed Advanced Technology Demonstration (CAT-ATD). By looking at pictures from the CAT-ATD, you'll understand why simulation games are popular with the military.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 3:39 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Friday, November 12, 2004

High-Speed Snowboarding Trains?
This seems as a far-fetched idea, but scientists from the City University of New York think that "superfast trains of the future could glide over fluffy tracks like snowboarders over snow," according to "Trains get fluffy," an article published by Nature. They compared the lift forces experienced by red cell blood cells moving through our veins to the ones produced in snowboarding by skiers. And they concluded that the forces in presence were similar, and could be applied to high-speed trains.

As long as you go fast enough, even a train can run on feathers, adds PhysicsWeb. The researchers think the future fluffy tracks, capable to support 50-ton trains, could be built by using goose feathers, like the ones found in pillows.

So far, they don't have a prototype for the tracks, but they already bought the pillows. This overview summarizes the two articles mentioned above.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:43 AM Comments (1)
Links to this post

2-D Holograms Make 3-D Color Display
Researchers from Seoul National University have developed a full-color autostereoscopic three-dimensional display, which can be viewed without glasses, according to this short article from Technology Research News. They used a set of six holograms to generate 3D images and video. The system, which is 60 centimeters long, generates slightly different images for the left and right eyes to produce a three-dimensional effect.

Such a system could come to market within five years to be used for video broadcasting or in medical and military applications. This overview contains other references and diagrams of the full-color autostereoscopic 3D display and of its optical setup.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 4:38 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Microsoft Launches New Search Engine
Microsoft launched MSN Search today (still officially in beta). Search guru John Battelle has a good overview of the main points on his blog.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 2:51 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Halo 2 Set to Top $100 Million in First Day Sales
In what is surely one of the biggest single day events in video game history, Microsoft's Halo 2 for the Xbox is set to take in over $100 million in its first day of release, Reuters reports, $78 million of that coming from pre-sales. We'll have a complete review of the game in Mindjack next week.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 7:23 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Firefox Hits the Big 1.0
Since you're a smart, savvy Mindjack reader you no doubt know about this already, but it bears mentioning that Firefox, the best web browser around, reached version 1.0 today. If, for some reason, you're still using that other browser, stop whatever you're doing and get downloading post-haste.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 1:11 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Monday, November 08, 2004

How Do You Use del.icio.us?
Many of you already know and use del.icio.us, this free social software web service for sharing web bookmarks launched a few months ago by Joshua Schachter. Here is a quick reminder of what del.icio.us is about. It allows you to bookmark a web page you find interesting, to organize these pages by categories, using tags of your choice, and to share your discoveries with other curious minds.

But you can do much more. When Jon Udell, currently with InfoWorld, published a series of articles about del.icio.us on his blog, this gave me an idea: categorize all the entries posted on my blog in the last thirty months. Instead of using a search engine to check if or when I already wrote about something, I'm now using my del.icio.us archive and I click on a tag. Remarkably fast and useful!

And you, how are you using this service? Have you discovered other tricks easing your online life? Please post your comments below. And many thanks to Joshua Schachter. Read this column to see in more detail how I'm using del.icio.us before posting your own tricks.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 9:36 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Robocrop: Lettuce, Meet the Future
Not only this article from the Jerusalem Post easily wins my 'Best Title of the Month' award, but it will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about lettuce. [Warning: you might be asked to register -- for free .]

For example, did you now that California and Arizona produce more than 95% of U.S. lettuce? But even if the appetite of the market for lettuce is growing, the production season is still limited to a few months per year. This is where a small Israeli company, OrganiTECH, intervenes.

Using robotics, farming software, and hydroponic and environmental systems, the company says that lettuce producers can now create the conditions of springtime all year around, meaning you'll always have a fresh salad at your local supermarket whatever the season. This overview contains the essential excerpts of the original article and more references.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 9:33 AM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Rushkoff's Persuaders
Just a reminder that Mindjack pal and advisory board member Douglas Rushkoff's new Frontline documentary, The Persuaders, airs Tuesday (November 9th) on most PBS stations. In it, he looks at some of the same issues he explored in his book Coercion: Why We Listen to What They Say (excerpted in Mindjack). If it's anything like his last documentary, The Merchants of Cool, you won't want to miss it.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 2:39 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Sensitive Textiles
According to a short article by PhysOrg about Intelligent Fabric, a British company, Eleksen, is manufacturing flexible sensors and switches that can be integrated into everyday objects such as cell phones, teddy bears or car seats.

"The textile sensors can measure how hard they are pressed and also whether moisture is present." For example, these sensors could be used in hospitals to know if incontinent patients need a bed linen replacement or if other patients have left their beds.

As these sensors can be woven in all kinds of textiles, you'll soon be able to create your own clothes and applications. And as they're very robust, it will be even possible to put them in your washing machine to clean them. Read more for other details and references.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:51 AM Comments (1)
Links to this post

This New Solar Cell Doesn't Need a Battery
Solar cells can convert solar energy to electricity, but that's about all they can do. You need batteries to store, and then release, this electricity. But this extra-step might soon no longer be necessary.

According to PhysicsWeb, Japanese scientists have developed a new type of solar cell which integrates an electricity storage device. No more batteries or recharger! The 'photocapacitor,' as they call this new device, is also twice more efficient than a typical silicon-based solar cell when used on cloudy days.

So apparently, you'll soon be able to travel lighter by leaving your various rechargers for your many handheld devices at home. Read more for other details and references.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:49 AM Comments (0)
Links to this post

Friday, November 05, 2004

Now in Mindjack
For those reading the RSS, Mindjack has just been updated. Now submitted for your reading consideration:

Cities Without Borders: Digital Culture and Decentralization
Paul Hartzog rethinks sociologist Saskia Sassen's idea of the Global City and how it may or may not apply to digital culture.

Film Noir on DVD
Two new DVD sets collect a bundle of film noir classics for a bargain price. Reviewed by Donald Melanson
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 7:29 PM Comments (1)
Links to this post

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A 3-D Telecast Surgery from Detroit to India
Last Monday, about 1,500 doctors attending a medical congress in India were invited to a unique event. Wearing special 3-D glasses, they watched a live 3-D transmission of a surgery performed in a Henry Ford hospital in Detroit. In "Hospital uses cutting edge telemedicine," the Detroit News writes this is the first time a surgery is broadcast live over several continents. According to the hospital, such a 3-D telecast can help bring new surgical techniques to doctors across the globe who don't have access to them.

In "Live 3D Surgery To Be Transmitted From Detroit To Mumbai, India," SpaceDaily adds that the operation was transmitted by fiber optic to Singapore, then by satellite to India. This overview contains more details and references.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 1:40 PM Comments (0)
Links to this post

'Hot Mouse' May Lead to Obesity Cure
Australian scientists may have found a new cure for obesity, at least for people with a disposition to develop type two diabetes. They engineered a so-called 'hot mouse' with a missing gene, according to this article from the Australian Associated Press (AAP).

This gene, which is also present in humans, is associated with a protein which slows the conversion from fat to energy. Without this protein, these mice can eat all they want and still have half the body fat of regular mice. The scientists think they can now design a drug for obese people which will mimics the absence of this specific gene. Such a drug could be tested within five years.

In the mean time, control what you eat and exercise. This overview contains more details and a photo of these cute mice which look and live almost exactly as normal ones.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:28 AM Comments (1)
Links to this post

How about a Smoke-Free Cigarette?
According to Ananova, a Swiss company has developed a totally new type of smoke-free cigarette. You will be able to use it in non-smoking restaurants, and even in airplanes -- if you care for nicotine.

But the PRAVDA, from Russia, adds that the product is far from perfect. It looks like a cigarette, it's used as a cigarette, but it's not a cigarette at all. Each pseudo-cigarette consists of a replaceable 'filter' containing the nicotine, and a heating element working on a battery, recharged by the 'pack' of cigarettes.

The company, NicStic, says its product is good for smokers because it doesn't contain any tar, and for non-smokers, because there is obviously not passive smoking effect. It plans to introduce the product in Germany in about a year for a price similar as normal cigarettes. This overview contains more details about this pseudo-cigarette which might being sold in the U.S. in a near future.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 5:23 AM Comments (1)
Links to this post
Subscribe to our RSS feed:
Subscribe with Bloglines

Web www.mindjack.com

Past Features:

feature: january 26, 2006
The Telephone Repair Handbook
by Mark Pesce & Angus Fraser
In a three-part feature, Mark Pesce and Angus Fraser propose a complete rethinking of a technology that everyone depends on: the telephone.

interview: may 30, 2005
Brooke Burgess: The Mindjack Interview
by Melanie McBride
Mindjack's Melanie McBride recently caught up with Broken Saints creator Brooke Burgess to talk about long form Flash and the way of this Broken Saints warrior.

feature: may 13, 2005
Piracy is Good? How Battlestar Galactica Killed Broadcast TV
by Mark Pesce
In the first part of a two-part article, Mark Pesce looks at how a re-visioned 70s camp classic changed television forever.

feature: may 21, 2005
Piracy is Good? Part Two: The New Laws of Television
by Mark Pesce
In the final part of a two-part article, Mark Pesce lays out some new rules for television, which he says are good for everyone — unless you're a broadcaster.

feature: february 01 , 2005
The Future of Money
by Paul Hartzog
Mindjack's Paul Hartzog examines the changing nature of money and what might be in store for the currency of tomorrow.

feature: november 05, 2004
Cities Without Borders: Digital Culture and Decentralization
by Paul Hartzog
Paul Hartzog rethinks sociologist Saskia Sassen's idea of the Global City and how it may or may not apply to digital culture.

feature: august 31, 2004
Banner Ads Invade Gamespace
by Tony Walsh
What do you get when you cross the world's most measurable medium with the world's most immersive medium? Video games peppered with Internet-style banner-ads. This new method of marketing allows measurable demographic data to be collected from the elusive online gaming community, targeting dynamically-downloaded advertisements at specific demographics. The promise of a new revenue stream is obviously attractive to advertisers and game publishers, but will the idea win over gamers?

feature: july 20, 2004
Multiplayer Gaming's Quiet Revolution
by Tony Walsh
Today's avatars in massively multiplayer environments like Second Life are giving their users the gift of expression and infusing games with something more, soul.

feature: june 25, 2004
Supernova 2004
by J.D. Lasica Reports
Blogging, collaborative work tools and the drawbacks of social software took center stage at this year's Supernova. The third annual tech-in-the-workspace conference — "Where the decentralized future comes together!" — drew more than 150 technology thought leaders, software startup CEOs and other heavy hitters (alas, fewer than 20 of them women) to the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif., on June 24-25.

feature: may 24, 2004
Will Digital Radio Be Napsterized?
by J.D. Lasica
The Recording Industry Association of America has discovered that digital radio broadcasts can be copied and redistributed over the Internet. The horror. And so the RIAA, the music business's trade and lobbying group, has asked the Federal Communications Commission to step in and impose an "audio broadcast flag" on certain forms of digital radio.

feature: may 17, 2004
Redefining Television
by Mark Pesce
In the earliest days of television, writers like George Orwell in 1984 and Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 projected television as the instrumentality of a totalitarian future - a monolithic entity dispensing propaganda. And, if any of you occasionally watch Fox News, you can see they weren't that far off the mark. But here's the thing: the monolithic days of television are numbered. Actually, they've already passed - though, as yet, very few people realize this.

feature: april 19, 2004
Linked Out: Blogging, Equality, and the Future
by Melanie McBride
With the mainstream media's interest in blogging at a fever pitch, Mindjack's Melanie McBride takes a critical look at the future of blogging and talks to some of the bloggers trying to shape it.

feature: april 12, 2004
"The killing fields"
Copyright Law and its Challengers
by J.D. Lasica
A profile of Jed Horovitz and his documentary Wilfull Infringement, about his struggles with Disney over copyright laws, and other individuals who have run into similar problems in their creative pursuits.

feature: march 11, 2004
Is Nothing Sacred?
Digital Music for a Digital Age

by Ian Dawe
"Is nothing sacred?" This was the rallying cry, some years back, concerning sampling. Pioneered by the fledgling hip-hop artists, with its roots in music concrete, sampling is the art of extracting snippets of music from other recordings and re-assembling them into a new piece, usually based around some kind of electronic beat. Theft, it was called. Another phrase applied to it was "art".

feature: december 12, 2003
Reunderstanding Movies
by Donald Melanson

Social software is the latest "next big thing" to get technophiles excited and VCs interested. What exactly it is, few can describe. In some respects, it is nothing new at all, but rather a means of connecting and defining previously disparate elements. Mindjack editor Donald Melanson takes a look at one group that has taken this idea and run with it, before the idea ever had a name: film and DVD enthusiasts.

feature: october 29, 2003
12 Variables for Understanding Online Communities
by Andrea Baker and Bob Watson
This article is an attempt to discuss some of the qualities that define virtual communities. It is a work in process, an exploration. The twelve variables we've selected are most likely not all that exist, just the ones we find most important in our thinking right now. These variables struck us as important ways in which communities are differentiated despite the type of software chosen to carry a given community.

feature: october 29, 2003
Deconstructing Knowledge
by Nicholas Carroll
"I was puzzled the first time I read about "knowledge management." How can you manage knowledge -- much less shuffle it around an organization -- when knowledge is a construct in an individual mind? People in information science and neurobiology were of the same opinion: you can manage information, but not knowledge. Knowledge is something that lives between your ears. It has to be reduced to information to be organized, stored, and transmitted."

feature: september 18, 2003
The Myth of Fingerprints
by Ian Dawe
Mindjack's newest contributor, Ian Dawe, examines the history of identification technology, from passwords to fingerprints to DNA.

The Trouble with e-Voting
by Sarah Granger
e-Voting is one of those things I’ve been dreading for several years. Since it first became a technological possibility, the thought of all of the security risks involved has been swarming in my head like a hornet’s nest. On the surface, it sounds like a beautifully democratic thing – each person anywhere in the world just needs to get him or herself to a computer in order to vote. But when one puts together the current legal ramifications and the technological flaws, it’s actually rather scary.

Have iPod, Will Travel
by Raffi Krikorian
Raffi reviews the iTrip FM Transmitter for the iPod from Griffin Technology.

Reloaded: The SimMatrix
Bryan Alexander on The Matrix Reloaded
A sequel to The Matrix faces a series of challenges. It must satisfy, then exceed its audience’s appetite for imaginative fight scenes. It needs to work with the science fiction concept of split-level reality, going further without undoing the premise. Fidelity to an ambitiously defined alternate world isn’t crucial, yet – unlike the situation of the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings movies. However, a sequel is bound to plumb the first movie’s underworld of technological fear and cultural theory riffing. The Matrix: Reloaded attempts all of these, but diffuses, throwing itself into an open, unsettled finale

feature: may 26, 2003
Taste Tribes
by Joshua Ellis
Josh examines the online, interconnected groups of people that you turn to for advice on music, art, fashion, books, etc., and the broader implications of these taste tribes.

interview: may 05, 2003
Thinking Outside The MUD
Ludicorp CEO Stewart Butterfield on the Game Neverending
Mike Sugarbaker talks to Stewart Butterfield about his company's take on massively-multiplayer gaming.

feature: march 21, 2003
The State of Digital Rights Management
Bryan Alexander reports from the Berkely DRM Conference.
In February the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology held a conference to demonstrate and push the limits of DRM. For a sunny weekend in northern California, representatives of computer science, entertainment, media companies, Congress, the FTC, European copyright law, and the occasional cypherpunk, offered their versions of DRM, while holding each other's notions up to fierce scrutiny.

culture: march 21, 2003
Two Degrees of Separation
by Sarah Granger

In an entirely unscientific study, Sarah examines the uncanny social connections that sprout from the Silicon Valley populus.

books: march 10, 2003
More Machine Than Flesh
by J. Johnson
A review essay of Rodney Brooks' Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us.

feature: february 17, 2003
Spinning the Web
by Nicholas Carroll
"Online reputation management" is reminiscent of the political term "spin control." But the Internet is not traditional media, and opportunities for controlling one's reputation are quite different Ð in theory unlimited, but in practice limited by an almost inherent lack of focus, and the countervailing weight of mainstream media.

feature: november 04, 2002
Inside The Internet Archive
by Doug Roberts
Tucked away in one of the seediest neighborhoods of San Francisco is a roomful of over two hundred computers with a terabyte of data stored on every three.

interview: october 28, 2002
The Transmetropolitan Condition
An Interview with Warren Ellis

by Melanie McBride
There has never been a better time to read the work of comic book legend Warren Ellis. From the formulaic pornography of news coverage to the on-going ineptitude of our world "leaders", Ellis delivers an intelligent and savagely funny antidote to global idiocy. The creator of Transmetropolitan, Planetary and Global Frequency talks to Mindjack about his work, our times and the future.

Your Ad Here


digital.forest Where Internet solutions grow

home | about us | feedback | technorati profile