top Cell Phones As a Dirty Bomb Detection Network
No, no, it was a different DC hero, and much more recent. And the technology in question was sonar---"like a submarine!"---but then that doesn't matter much. Of course its use was justified, just once, by the general terrorization of the people of Gotham, and I'm sure everyone involved would take comfort by the fact that a benevolent yet private entity could effortlessly hack into all of their cell phones at the same time. For the greater good.
Then again, perhaps all those people voluntarily installed the "Help Batman by spying on yourself" app.
about a year and a half ago
top IBM Dipping Chips In 'Ionic Liquid' To Save Power
While neither of the articles talk about the speed of the process, comparing it to e-ink makes it sound like it may take around 1 second before the conductor/insulator becomes reliable. If so, this may be hundreds of times slower than even an HDD and many millions of times slower than conventional RAM. That being said, after the conductor/insulator is formed, I imagine that read speeds would be similar to conventional RAM, as "reading" is still basically the same: testing whether current passes through a given bit of circuitry. This assumes, however, that the formed conductor/insulator is as reliable as a conventional transistor; if not, it may take a few cycles of "does current pass through?" before a definitive 1 or 0 is read.
Even if this is the case, there would still be huge application for this kind of technology in certain areas, such as massive, infrequently changing data centers. Of course not all of the memory/storage on the device would be replaced with this kind of non-volatile memory. Just as we currently have L1, L2, and L3 caches, main memory, and HDDs (and beyond that tapes!), I expect we'll see this find its niche.
about a year and a half ago
top Scientists Who Failed to Warn of Quake Found Guilty of Manslaughter
Way to go, Italy, for making scientists even more reluctant to speak publicly about their work. As a researcher, it gives me pause to think that some off-hand remark could land me in jail for years if I somehow instil a false sense of security in my listeners. I'm sure these scientists made a (responsible) claim to the effect of "there is no justifiable reason for alarm" in response to the tremors that preceded the L'Aquila quake. Now we can't even say that, unless we want to risk jail time. We'll have to talk like elected officials cornered in a scandal: "We can neither confirm nor deny that the results of our study is justification for alarm."
top FAA Permits American Airlines To Use iPads In Cockpit "In All Phases of Flight"
Finally, all those hours playing Flight Control in the Apple Store are about to pay off!
top Do You Want Best Buy Opening Your New Laptop?
Don't hate me for being a Geek Squad employee, but I can say that standard operating practice for pre-setups is to remove as much OEM bloatware as possible. One such item is the Best Buy "pc app", which is actually installed on PCs before their boxes are sealed by the manufacturer; all the Geek Squad agents I know remove this nuisance on sight. The only software we do install on pre-setups is anti-virus software. Annoying to some, yes, but OEMs have been preinstalling anti-virus for years, and quite frankly, I prefer anything over the Norton or McAfee they always seem to use.
But don't get me wrong, I think what happened to the original poster is awful. Just know that Best Buy doesn't perform pre-setups on all the computers they sell, and it was definitely a mistake that the original poster received one without asking (or at least being told).