ananyo writes "A burger made entirely from lab-grown meat is expected to be unveiled by October this year. But costing in excess of $250,000, it's not going to be flying off supermarket shelves quite yet. The lab meat is produced using adult stem cells, which are then grown on scaffolds in cell-culture media. Because such lab-assembled muscle is weak, it has to be 'bulked up' by exposing to electric shocks. The researchers, based in the Netherlands, had already grown goldfish fillets in 2002, then fried them in breadcrumbs before giving them to an 'odor and sight' panel to assess whether they seemed edible." While I'm not overly enthusiastic about this Dutch attempt at growing burgers, it is a huge step-up from the Japanese effort.
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Phurge pointed out a story about a man with a fleet of remote control toys and a lot of patience. "Excavating a basement using professional machinery is nothing new but doing it with radio controlled (RC) scaled models is something unheard of. Welcome to the little big world of Joe, from Saskatchewan, Canada. For the past 7 years, Joe has been digging out his basement at an average annual rate of 8 to 9 cubic feet using nothing more than RC tractors and trucks. And we're talking about the whole nine yards here — he starts by transporting the excavator on an RC truck to the basement, unloads it, digs and uses other trucks to transfer the dirt up to the ground through a spiral ramp! He even has a miniature rock crusher! 'I feel quite fortunate to have stumbled onto this basement excavation idea, it's been a great past time to date dreaming up new ideas to tackle different projects along the way,' Joe wrote on the Scale4x4rc forums where he also posted pictures and videos of his feat."
MrSeb writes "Two doctors at Penn State University have developed Caffeine Zone, a free iOS app that tells you the perfect time to take a coffee break to maintain an optimal amount of caffeine in your blood — and, perhaps more importantly, it also tells you when to stop drinking tea and coffee, so that caffeine doesn't interrupt your sleep. By reading through lots of peer-reviewed studies, doctors Frank E. Ritter and Kuo-Chuan Yeh found that a caffeine level of between 200 and 400mg in your bloodstream provides optimal mental alertness, and that you should be below 100mg when you try to sleep. Caffeine Zone plots your caffeination level after you consume caffeine, and warns you if that big afternoon coffee will keep you up at night. It also lets you change the 'optimal' and 'sleep' values if you're particularly resistant or weak to caffeine."
halfEvilTech writes "A North Carolina mom is irate after her four-year-old daughter returned home late last month with an uneaten lunch the mother had packed for the girl earlier that day. But she wasn't mad because the daughter decided to go on a hunger strike. Instead, the reason the daughter didn't eat her lunch is because someone at the school determined the lunch wasn't healthy enough and sent it back home. What was wrong with the lunch? That's still a head-scratcher because it didn't contain anything egregious: a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice. But for the inspector on hand that day, it didn't meet the healthy requirements."
First time accepted submitter M.Nunez writes "Just 30 minutes after Whitney Houston died, Sony Music raised the price of Houston's greatest hits album, 'Ultimate Collection,' on iTunes and Amazon. Many technologists, including chairman of the NY Tech Meetup Andrew Rasiej, suggests that Sony should be boycotted for the move. In a tweet, Rasiej wrote, 'Geez Sony raised price on Whitney Houston's music 30 min after death was announced. #FAIL...We should boycott Sony.'"
Hugh Pickens writes "The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that transit officials have started to get a handel on subway crime when they started playing Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, and Strauss at the Lake Street light-rail station after neighborhood residents complained about the station becoming a haven for rowdy teens and vagrants. 'If it encourages some people to wander away because it's not their favorite type of music, I guess that's OK,' says Acting Transit Police Chief A.J. Olson. The program is modeled after one is Portland that has shown early signs of success, though the numbers are so small as to be statistically insignificant and even supporters of the music haven't reached a consensus on whether such environmental changes actually deter crime or just push it down the block. Not everyone is sold on using 'lovely lovely Ludwig Van' as a deterrent. 'Classical music lovers hate the fact that urban planners use classical music to disperse youth,' says Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Schiff. 'Does it chase crime away?' adds Olson. 'It's hard to measure. But I do think it makes it a more pleasant place to wait for a train.'"
Knowing that ideas are a dime a dozen and eager to think outside the box, Hungary's central bank is burning old currency to help the needy. The bank has found that the 40-50 tons of currency that needs to be burned every year is a blessing in disguise for people caught between a rock and a hard place due to the extreme cold sweeping across Europe.
karthikmns writes "It turns out that Google uses the number of o's in a lol to weigh how funny a video is. In a blog post Google explains how they came up with an algorithm to gauge a video's comedic potential. So if you want to watch funnier videos, make sure to add some extra o's or help them by visiting their Comedy Slam and voting."
Nominei writes "The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the Syrian President, aides and staffers had their email hacked by Anonymous, who leaked hundreds of emails online. Reportedly, many of the accounts used the password '12345' (which their IT department probably warned them to change when the accounts got set up, of course)."
Ultimate Hoodie Microfleece was designed; He's on the go all the time, needs to travel light, and wants to carry lots of stuff on his person to avoid checking luggage when he's flying. Yes, we know; before long half the people waiting to board airliners will be bulked out to double their normal width. Meanwhile, Timothy managed to jam an amazing amount of stuff into his new hoodie. Or jacket, as he prefers to call it.
mikejuk writes "The UK's National Museum of Computing has come up with a novel idea to raise funds for its new gallery for its rebuilt Colossus computer — you can sponsor a valve. All you have to do is buy a small area in a picture of Colossus (at £0.1 per pixel — min £10), upload a picture to occupy the space, set a URL and pay using PayPal."
First time accepted submitter psiogen writes "Flynn Michael, an instructor at New York Jedi, an organization that teaches 'practical knowledge of how to use a lightsaber, left his custom-crafted blade for only a few imperial minutes, but when he returned, it was gone. From the article:'“Who steals somebody’s lightsaber? It’s like stealing someone’s toy out of the sandbox,” said Michael, the founder of New York Jedi, a stage combat performance group. “I finally got my uber custom saber, and then some jerk walks out with it."'"
First time accepted submitter derekmead writes "A Yale researcher says that culture differences how much money we save, how well we take care of ourselves, and other behavior indicative of taking the long view, are all based on language. His study argues that the way a language's syntax refers to the future (PDF) affects how its speakers perceive the future. For example, English and Greek make strong distinctions between the present and the future, while German doesn't, while English and Greek speakers are statistically poorer and in worse health than Germans. (The study includes a broader swath of languages/nationalities, but that's a start.)"
New submitter Morganth writes "According to New Scientist, researchers at DARPA are investing efforts in transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) machines to cut the time it takes to train snipers. From the article: 'a 2-milliamp current will run through the part of the brain associated with object recognition — an important skill when visually combing a scene for assailants.' The story also gives a nice explanation on the psychology of 'flow' — the state that experts tend to enter (e.g. programmers, tennis players, pianists) when focusing on their work." We covered similar research done on mice to improve their memory in September.