Safety

  • Flight 1549 lands in Hudson River, all safe

    From Flickr
    Now this is a feel-good story. All 135 people aboard US Airways flight 1549 are safe and sound after a soft water landing and escape into the frigid Hudson River on rafts. I’m not a very good flier and I read this story by Steven Johnson about the relative safety of air travel. The money shot: [MIT Professor Arnold] Barnett calculates that it’s more likely for a young… Read More

  • Your finger’s all sweaty, you been drinking tonight?

    A couple of grad students in China have developed a method for testing someone’s blood alcohol level directly from a middle finger. The system consists of a small box mounted inside of a car, connected to the vehicle’s ignition. A would-be motorist sticks his or her swear finger into the box for twenty seconds and the system first checks the fingerprint to identify the driver and… Read More

  • Reminder: Please use your laptop ergonomically

    Flickr’d Oh man, the Wall Street Journal sure is concerned about your Health and Well-being. It seems that laptop sales have, for the first time in recorded history, have overtaken desktop sales. That’s bad news because laptops encourage people to sit in all sorts of unhealthy positions and develop poor computer-using habits. (“Golly gee, why don’t I surf YouTube all… Read More

  • Helping people, for once: A refrigerator that doesn't require electricity

    Someone decided to be clever and actually put technology to good use (as opposed to pouring endless amounts of money into developing bigger and bigger TVs), having developed a refrigerator of sorts that doesn’t require any electricity to operate. A team at Stanford, funded by a VC dude by the name of Adam Grosser, came up with a device that essentially works like a big hand warmer, but… Read More

  • Google Earth partially blamed for Mumbai terrorist attacks

    The terrorist attacks in Mumbai have once again put Google Earth in an unfavorable light. The one (“baby-faced”) terrorist that police caught has said that the terrorists used Google Earth the help plan the attacks. (That they also used everyday cellphones, GPS and other technologies appears to be lost on the ban happy Indian officials.) In order to prevent future attacks, so the… Read More

  • Annoyed at airport security searching your iPod? You're not the only one

    From the Department of Public Safety and General Preparedness comes this story of one man, a Cisco engineer, and his headline-making ordeal of having his possessions searched upon re-entry to the U.S. following an international flight. (It’s also the story of run-on sentences.) The man, Mohamed Shommo, told the Associated Press that border agents rifled through his digital… Read More

  • The iPhone case that's designed for the blind and visually impaired

    Okay, we have here the greatest iPhone accessory ever invented. It’s the Silicon Touch iPhone case, and it makes using the iPhone a hell of a lot easier for the visually impaired. (Random fact: I’m legally blind in New York without my glasses.) It’d work with an iPhone App to make it so that people can feel what they’re typing, be it the SMS icon or actual… Read More

  • No more embarrassment: Non-nude body scanner to undergo tests this week in Germany

    Last week’s attacks in India have reminded us all of the keen danger that terrorism poses. But one tool that was to be employed at airports to combat terrorism, those body scanners that sometimes reveal a person’s, well, person, came under criticism. Fighting terror (inasmuch as you can fight it) is great and all, but should people literally be exposed in the process? The Germans… Read More

  • Cellphone jammers come under scrutiny in Canada

    We can jokingly say things like “buy a cellphone jammer to silence those annoying people on the bus” but that would be irresponsible. Quite irresponsible, it turns out, as criminals are now using such devices to impede law enforcement efforts. It happened last month in Canada. Two Mounties had pulled over a car, and as they approached to car their radios went out. It turns out that… Read More

  • Don't be like that kid who played World of Warcraft for 24 hours in a row, please

    Americans had a saying in the 1840s: “54-40 or fight!” It referred to the Oregon Country-Canada border dispute we had with the British. Americans, feeling that their nation deserved to be a continental nation, were willing to go to war against the British, again, in order secure a few more swaths of land, and all the gold and glory that goes along with that. I have a similar… Read More

  • Boy collapses after 15-hour World of Warcraft session


    Flickr’d Oh, kids. If you’re going to play your shiny new Death Knight for 15 hours in a row, you’d better make sure to prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for the experience. A 15-year-old in the Netherlands didn’t, and he ended up in the hospital. Read More

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