Items tagged with ants

Research dating back to the 1960s ultimately gave birth to the Internet, which at a glance doesn't seem to have much in common with ants. Look closely, however, and you'll discover certain parallels between today's vast network of interconnected computers and the underground tunnels of those social insects that belong to the family Formicidae. That's the conclusion reached by two Standford researchers who discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in similar fashion to the way Internet protocols examine how much bandwidth is available for transferring data. They're calling it the "anternet." Balaji Prabhakar, a professor of computer science... Read more...
How would you feel if you couldn't drive faster than 80, or couldn't raise the volume on your car radio above a certain point?  OK, maybe you wouldn't care so much, but your teenage son or daughter might.  Ford is going to introduce a new system, MyKey, on its upcoming 2010 cars, starting with the Ford Focus.  It will enable parents to program a key such that certain "safety features" are enabled.  Such as the above.According to a Harris Interactive Survey conducted for Ford, MyKey appeals to parents (no?!). * 75% like the speed-limiting feature * 72% like the more insistent safety-belt reminder * 63% like the audio limit feature One has to wonder if you can get a discount... Read more...
Forget David Blaine's recent antics of hanging upside down for 60 straight hours in New York City's Central Park. The real challenge of human endurance commenced yesterday morning about a mile south of Blaine's stunt, in the middle of Times Square. There in a makeshift "plexi-glass living room" for the world to see, eight brave souls commenced a competition to determine who is the world's greatest couch potato.   The Netflix Movie Watching World Championship: The Quest for the Popcorn Bowl underway in New York City (Credit: Gothamist)The contest is sponsored by Netflix, and the winner takes home "a $10,000 cash prize, a lifetime subscription to Netflix and the first-ever Popcorn Bowl trophy."... Read more...
It was only a month ago that we reported how various police departments are setting up systems for receiving anonymous tips via text messaging to help solve crimes. Now the New York City Police Department's (NYPD) Commissioner, Ray Kelly, is embracing another social media technology to help police solve crimes: asking people upload "video or photo evidence directly to the New York Police Department." "It's a fact of life," Kelly said. "Everybody has a camera in their telephones. When people can record an event taking place that helps us during an investigation, it's helpful." The NYPD's motivation, however, might actually be founded not so much in trying to fight crime as to save face over a... Read more...
We're overstating the obvious here, but there is a reason why the face of so many vlogs is a pretty, young woman. You don't need an in-depth study of Social Technographics to figure it out either: This is an admittedly oversimplification, but simply put, Straight men want to be with her and women just want to be her. By catering to prurient interests and role modeling (did we happen to mention that many of these women vloggers are also wicked smart?), a large portion of the online community is a ready-made audience. So it should be no surprise then that Playboy.com (which has been an online presence since the early days of the public Web: 1994) is looking to capitalize on the popularity of vlogging... Read more...
A new study (.PDF) released Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reveals that not everyone wants broadband. Seriously. According to the study, 55% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home, up from 47% in 2007. Also according to the study, with the increase in broadband adoption, only 10% of Americans have dial-up. Whoa: that means 35% have no Internet access at all, if we did the math correctly. For those without broadband, the study gave the following reasons for not having broadband: Non-broadband users cite a number of reasons for not using the service - including availability, price, and lack of interest. 62% of dial-up users say they are not interested... Read more...
Andy Grove was once the Chairman of Intel, and is widely considered one of the best minds in American management. Time's Man of the Year for 1997 isn't spending his retirement from the chipmaker doing nothing; he's championing a push to get plug-in hybrid cars on the road ASAP.During the past year and a half, Grove has created his own crash course in electric power, plug-in hybrid vehicles and finding ways of shifting the nation's fleet of vehicles from gasoline. His goal: To draw more attention to electric vehicles."The most important thing I would like to do is light that almost half-assumed truth up in neon lights: Electricity in transportation has to be done. It is urgent. It is important... Read more...
Lawrence Roberts is just another guy with the title:" Inventor of the Internet" in news articles. According to Wikipedia, he's the father of networking through data packets. And he's turned his attention to everyone's favorite data packet topic: Peer-to-Peer filesharing. He's established a company called Anagran, and says their devices can sort out which file transfers on the tubes are P2P, and -- you guessed it -- can throttle them in favor of other, more "high-priority" traffic.At Structure 08, he laid out the problem: 5 percent of the Net's users are running P2P transfers taking up 80 percent of its capacity, which is dramatically limiting the available bandwidth available to everyone else.... Read more...
Back in the day, it  looked like Napster was going to bust the digital music business wide open. They were sued back to the stone age over copyright infringement, and more or less dropped from sight. Apple leaped into the breach, offering legal but locked music for their iPods through their own online store. Well, zombie Napster is back in a big way. They're now offering the world's largest library of digital music in the MP3 format for just 99 cents a track, or about 10 bucks for an album. And it's all DRM-free. Napster's download store is more than 50% larger than any other MP3 store and boasts not only the largest major label MP3 catalog in the industry, but also the largest library of... Read more...
Sounds like a science fiction movie doesn't it?  But it's not.The newly recognized species is believed to have arrived in a cargo shipment through the port of Houston. Scientists are not sure exactly where the ants came from, but their cousins, commonly called crazy ants, are found in the Southeast and the Caribbean."At this point, it would be nearly impossible to eradicate the ant because it is so widely dispersed," said Roger Gold, a Texas A&M University entomologist.The good news? They eat fire ants, the stinging red terrors of Texas summers.They have ruined pumps at sewage pumping stations, fouled computers and at least one homeowner's gas meter, and caused fire alarms to malfunction.... Read more...
NVIDIA just launched a new optimized PC Configurator on the company's website designed to educate consumers on the importance of a GPU in overall system performance.  The configurator website states that "At least half of the PCs shipped today have an underpowered GPU...You need the right CPU / GPU mix for the best experience.  Whether you're using the latest operating systems, editing photos, watching videos, or playing a game..."  It's difficult to verify that percentage, but the thought behind the statement is obviously true.  NVIDIA's Optimized PC Configurator  The optimized PC Configurator shows visitors to the site how shifting part of their PC budget towards a... Read more...
When we heard about a Vista Home Premium upgrade edition bundled with OneCare stuffed into a box that looked like it belonged to Hello Kitty, we were naturally wondering if we ate some bad seafood.  Here's more:“As a special promotion for the Japanese market, an upgrade version of Windows Vista Home Premium is bundled with a year’s subscription of Windows Live OneCare and a copy of a Vista tips and tricks book. If that deal isn’t sweet enough, then you better know it comes in a pink box with little flower petals plastered all over. Imagine checking out of the electronic store with a copy of Crysis in one hand, and this in the other.”Memo to Apple: we're not entirely sure, but we think that... Read more...
'DVD Jon.' of DVD and FairPlay cracking fame, has gone legit.Beginning Tuesday, the first product from his company, DoubleTwist Ventures, will enter open beta. Called DoubleTwist, it's a free desktop client that essentially allows any kind of music, photo, or video file to be shared between a long list of portable media players, and through Web-based social networks.Instead of iTunes songs or videos taken with a Nokia N95 remaining locked on the phone, DoubleTwist software allows for dragging, dropping, and syncing of different media formats no matter the device.The idea, according to DoubleTwist founder and CEO Monique Farantzos, is that media files should be more like e-mail. It shouldn't matter... Read more...
As with any takeover or bailout, there's always the question of which, if any, members of management will be left standing by the new powers that be.  SCO's bailout offer appears to be no different, and there are no real surprises as to who the mysterious buyer wants out of the picture.The deal, in which an unnamed Middle East partner and SNCP will pour up to $100 million into SCO, states McBride "will resign immediately" from the company.There's no word on who will replace McBride or where he'll end up next.  As we receive new information regarding the fate of SCO, we'll continue to keep you updated.... Read more...
Yahoo is an interesting entity. It has an enormous Internet presence, of course; 500 million visitors a month. But Yahoo seems like an audience without a show from time to time. Its share price has declined precipitously, losing half its value in the last two years; Google is killing them at Internet search; and social networking sites drag Yahoo's users off to hang out in their virtual worlds. How will Yahoo compete? By laying people off, for starters.During the weekend, some blogs reported that Yahoo was considering layoffs of 10 to 20 percent of its work force. But the people close to the company, who discussed Yahoo’s layoff plans on condition that they not be identified, said the cuts would... Read more...
Well, not exactly. But IBM is claiming that Taiwan-based Asus is infringing on several of their patents, and wants the United States International Trade Commission to ban the import of Asus Computer products into the US until they get their pound of patent flesh.  This could get very interesting, because Asus makes computers under their own name, but also makes computers for other big brand names such as Apple and Dell.IBM said the infringing products include notebook computers, servers, routers, and some components. It said the patents cover important aspects of computer systems, including power supplies, computer-cooling and computer-clustering capabilities.Asustek has been trying to establish... Read more...
Apparently the Manhunt 2 controversy isn't over quite yet, and with presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton throwing herself into the fray, it isn't likely to end anytime soon.  What is Hillary planning on this time?  A review of the ESRB.For those who haven't been following the situation, here's a recap:“Last June, three European countries banned the vidgame, and the board (ESRB) slapped it with the AO rating for the same reason: a high level of violence. Blighty officials said "Manhunt 2" was unacceptable because of an "unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone" that constantly "encourages visceral killing with exceptionally little alleviation or distancing."Publisher Rockstar Games... Read more...
Well, not exactly. But a technology developed by British boffins to protect soldiers from chemical attack, called "ion-mask," has been released for civilian use to P2i in Oxfordshire, England. It's poised to become the method of choice for protecting electronic devices of all kinds from exposure to water. It doesn't rely on elaborate gaskets to keep moisture out of the case of a protected device. The entire device, including moving parts and circuit boards, can be coated and protected with the marvelous material. Invisible to the naked eye, ion-mask causes water to bounce off treated surfaces like beads of mercury by decreasing the surface energy of the component materials, and, by applying a... Read more...
File this under: Nifty. A doctor working on a pneumatic vest used to remotely prod patients and allow diagnoses to be made over the internet hit on the idea of using the vest to simulate video game damage being inflicted on the player.A vest designed by doctor Mark Ombrellaro uses air pressure and feedback from computer games to deliver pneumatic thumps to the spots on players' torsos where they would have been struck were they actually on the battlefields.The "3rd Space" vest will make its US debut in November at a price of 189 dollars. It will be launched with the first-person shooter game "Call of Duty" and a custom-made title.They are working on adapting the vest to simulate g-force, and... Read more...
Video game behemoth Electronic Arts just got a little bigger. They've acquired two software studios, BioWare and Pandemic, for  an industry record breaking $860 million.  Although Electronic Arts is the number one video game publisher in the world, their offerings in the first person shooter/ role playing/action genre are a little  thin. These acquisitions should fix that.Prior to this deal, EA's largest acquisition was its $680 million purchase of mobile game publisher Jamdat Mobile Inc. in 2006. BioWare and Pandemic have a total of 10 games under development. Together, they employ about 800 people in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, as well as in Canada and Australia. Microsoft... Read more...
The wi-fi coverage plans that several U.S. cities have been entertaining have taken hits of late with the woes of Earthlink. Meanwhile, in the U.K., a partnership between BT Group and FON has opened up a huge number of additional hotspots in that country. Now McDonald's has announced plans to add themselves to the mix.Fast food chain McDonald's said on Saturday it would offer free wireless Internet access across its 1,200-strong restaurants in the UK, making it the country's biggest provider of free wireless broadband access.McDonald's, let's (ahem) not forget what country you got your start in when considering free wi-fi, eh?... Read more...
Google didn't want Microsoft's ubiquitous PowerPoint presentations to be the only way to put people to sleep in a business meeting, so they've come out with their own version of the slide software they call Presentation. "The new program will be included in Google's free software bundle, called "Docs," which users must be online to employ. And the company will sell a souped-up version to businesses, universities and government agencies for $50 a year per user. As PowerPoint does, Google's presentation software enables users to create a series of slides with a mixture of text and graphics on each. PowerPoint is widely used in business meetings." Google:... Read more...
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