Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sweat-suction surgery to cool your armpits

Suffering from excessive sweating? Now there is an option of undergoing surgery to find a relief.

Scientists from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany said that people who face the problem of excessive armpit sweating also known as focal axillary hyperhidrosis often have difficulties in social life that cause them emotional stress.

Now Dr. Falk G. Bechara says there is a possibility for all people who want to get rid of the problem to have a suction surgery. During an operation a sweat gland is removed through a tiny needle that is inserted into the armpit. Doctors claim they already tried this procedure on 51 patients who wanted to have their sweat gland removed because of the problems it brought in their lives.

Before the procedure was performed researchers examined patients' quality of life and results showed that most suffered from emotional and social problems. After they underwent suction-curettage procedure, their scores on quality of life improved more than in 63 percent. As much as 35 percent of the patients claimed about 75 percent sweat lessening and 13 percent had more than 50 percent sweat lessening.

More than two thirds of all the patients were satisfied with the surgery, scientists say.

Genes Permanently Turned On by Smoking

Those who smoke tobacco should know that this habit is not considered to be sexy anymore. However, smoking can turn on permanently some of the genes. A study, which was published in BMC Genomics, an on-line open-access journal, was able to explain why those people who used to smoke still have a higher risk for lung cancer development than those who never had the bad habit.

Wan L Lam and Stephen Lam, who work at the BC Cancer Agency, together with a team of Canadian researchers, examined the lungs of former smokers, those who still cannot get rid of smoking and people who never for it. Researchers took lung samples from all of the three categories of people and then used them for making libraries. They used a special technique called serial analysis of gene expression. This technique serves for identifying patterns of gene activity.

It turned out that, at any given time, only about 1/5 of the genes in a cell are switched on, but such environmental changes like smoking can cause some changes in the activity of genes. Scientists discovered that there were some irreversible changes and changes that were reversed because the person stopped smoking.

Those genes that were reversible were involved in the so-called xenofobic functions, nucleotide metabolism and mucus secretion. Smoking damages some DNA repair genes that cannot be reversed. In addition smoking is able to switch off those genes that are meant to protect against cancer growth. Some genes, that scientists previously thought of not having any connection with smoking, are switched on in people who are still enjoying their favorite cigarettes. One of such genes is CABYR. It is meant to help sperm swim and it is linked with brain tumours.

Scientists continued their study by investigating the changes in genes that were involved in airway repair and regeneration. Thus, from this group they identified genes that they arranged into 3 categories, following cessation of smoking. The first group is called reversible, the second partially reversible and finally irreversible.

"Those genes and functions which do not revert to normal levels upon smoking cessation may provide insight into why former smokers still maintain a risk of developing lung cancer," mentioned Raj Chari, one of the authors of the study.

It is worth mentioning that tobacco smoking is linked to about 85 percent of lung cancers. Those who used to smoke account for half of smokers newly diagnosed with the lung cancer.

iTunes and Video Services Alike to Come to a 'Dead End'?

Apple Inc.'s iTunes, and other Internet video sites selling movies and shows, will most probably reach the peak of popularity this year, according to a study performed by Forrester Research. It is partially explained by the fact that more programming is currently available on ads-supported free outlets.

Sales of movies and TV shows will increase greatly to $279 million in 2007 from $98 million last year. But as for the next year, the growth in sales is expected to considerably diminish, according to Forrester Research.

The author of the study, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, says he has all the reasons to believe that iTunes enjoys just a temporary success while consumers are searching for better ways to download video. McQuivey calls the paid video service market a 'dead end'.

The study shows that video sales growth will most probably fails to triple or even double in 2008. Average users are reluctant to pay for online video services as they often have to deal with a variety of technical problems, including different video file formats, troubles with watching downloaded videos on TV screens and many other difficulties.

Meanwhile, traditional media distribution companies, such as the Hollywood-supported film service MovieLink, Inc.'s Unbox service and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s service work out special strategies to make more of their videos available online for free.

Supported by Walt Disney Co.'s, News Corp.'s Fox and other television networks have already made available some hit shows for free on Internet. News Corp. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal joined efforts to distribute their shows' archive over the Internet. As for set top box makers and cable TV service executives, they also try to provide easier ways of watching online videos on big TV screens. This year, Time Warner Inc.'s AOL signed a contract to make its videos available directly on Sony Corp. flat-panel televisions.

The study has estimated that up to the present time only 9 % of Internet adult users have used paid video services to download a program or a movie. They spent about $14 each to buy videos in 2006 and with the appearance of new online outlets they are expected to spend more this year. McQuivey thinks media companies should make their content available through all distribution platforms. The analyst suggests they should pay specific attention to those platforms that allow online users share content within a home network.

Nano-nose to help identify illnesses

Nanoparticles are used by U.S. researchers to 'smell' the scent of illnesses in fluids of the body. The researchers used nanoparticles of gold with different coatings to distinguish among different proteins and detect the illness, as reported by the New Scientist.

According to Vince Rotello from the University of Massachusetts the human nose has a series of receptors, which react differently to different compounds. Thus it is not a specific smell that the receptors react to, but it is a generalized response produced by the receptors, which creates the smell.

Teamed up with his colleagues from the university and with scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Vince Rotello applied the same 'nose-principle' to detect proteins.

The 'nano nose' uses a system of six receptors, each one consisting of a solution with gold nano particles not larger than 2 nanometers, each one having a different coating too. Nitrogen atoms form the organic molecules which make up the coating of the nanoparticles.

Different types of proteins have different features, thus having a property to attach to various receptors, though binding with some receptors more than with others. The team's task was to identify those properties of binding for different proteins. For this purpose the team used a molecule beaming a fluorescent signal. The molecule attached to the receptor particles and then it was replaced by protein molecule when the latter bound to the receptor. This way, the more the fluorescent molecule was displaced, the more light produced. The results were subsequently analyzed by the computer.

During the experiments the scientists ran tests with 56 different proteins and proved that the signals produced by the receptors could be then used to distinguish among various proteins. The 'nano-nose' was accurate in 96 of 100 cases during these tests.

Mr. Rotello is optimistic about this accomplishment, as it could be used not just for smelling out proteins specific for a disease, but it could see the difference or the anomaly in the normal combination of proteins in the human body.

After running a series of tests with blood of sick and healthy animals, the scientists were able to identify changes in serum. They do not want to stop here and they try to make this ability statistically stable. Later on Rotello plans to make the 'nano-nose' identify different kinds of cancer cells and other diseases.

Such a nose device, sniffing out illnesses is not a novelty in the world of science and technology, as there were devices developed capable of detecting small molecules; yet the Rotello's system is the first one to detect large and complicated molecules.

Biofuel Vehicles to Put Our Health at Risk

The latest scientific research reveals that biofuels used in vehicles may be more harmful for human health than the petrol used today. By 2020, 10% of all transport means should run on biofuels as agreed by the EU.

The researchers invented a special computer model to determine air quality in 2020. The model showed that ozone level in some regions would grow if bioethanol was used for all cars. It would cause more ailments and asthma attacks. There naturally appears the question – why to use biofuels if it is not beneficial for the environment and human health in particular?

As showed by the study, the smog level increase meant 200 deaths more every year in the US, with only Los Angeles at risk of 120 deaths. Even if to take into account that ozone increase in some US regions would be partially compensated by its decrease in other regions, in general there would be over 700 extra complaints to accident and emergency and almost 1000 extra hospitalizations of people suffering from asthma and other respiratory ailments.

The scientists determined that the use of ethanol reduces levels of two carcinogens found in atmosphere, while increases levels of other carcinogens. Thus, cancers caused by atmospheric carcinogens would remain at the same level as caused by pollution in case of petrol fumes.

Biofuels such as ethanol and diesel are mainly produced from corn, sugarcane and rapeseed. They provide a way of diminishing greenhouse gas emissions if compared to conventional fuels. Despite the fact that biofuels produce carbon dioxide, the plants growing leads to absorption of a similar amount of the gas from the atmosphere. According to a government report, the use of biofuels would result in emissions' reducing by 50-60 % compared to petrol fuels. However, it would not be possible to have all vehicles on ethanol fuel as too much land would be required for growing the plants.

At the moment some scientists also consider the opportunity of converting all vehicles to battery-electric. The necessary amount of electricity would be supplied by wind energy. The use of battery-electric cars would keep the mankind away from 10,000 annual air pollution deaths as well as 98 % of carbon emissions produced by vehicles.

If we tried to make the conclusion, there would be no clear answers so far whether the use of biofuels will be somehow better for people's health. The controversial issue is still to be thoroughly studies by scientists.

The most important inventions and discoveries of the humanity

An American Science Community has concluded after one of its researches that Mendeleev's periodic table of elements was the most important discovery the humanity made... even more important than the discovery of iron.

The Community has published a list of 10 most important discoveries the humanity ever made. The results of this research were based on answers of a survey conducted by the community.

According to that survey:

- the second most important discovery, following the Mendeleev's period table of elements, was the discovery of iron processing (Egypt 3500 B.C.);
- transistor discovery was the invention of (John Bardeen and colleagues in 1948);
- fourth invention was declared the glass processing (circa 2200 B.C in South-Western Iran);
- fifth discovery was named the invention of the optical microscope in the 17th century;
- invention of concrete by John Smeaton was placed on the sixth place among the inventions;
- the seventh invention in the list was given to the steel processing, found about year 300 B.C. in India;
- brass processing in about 5000 B.C. on the present territory of Turkey has taken the eighth entry in the list;
- ninth position was taken by the discovery of diffraction of Roentgen rays in 1912 by Max von Laue;
- the last, but not the least, was named Henry Bessemer's iron processing technology, invented in 1856.

It should be mentioned that the entire list contained about 50 most important discoveries, among which the most important were the Gutenberg's alloy of plumb tin and stibium (used for printing-press), rubber, ceramic and dynamite invention.

This way the American Science Community named the periodic table elements the most important - the invention which was actually 'dreamt of' and some of its elements literally made up. And, as one could see, Newton didn't even get close with the apple falling on his head...

New chocolate can save the planet

Imagine a sweet creamy chocolate bar melting in your mouth? And now think of the huge amount of plastic, tinfoil and other by-products thrown away.

For a chocoholic, the choice between his favorite dark chocolate and environment can be too difficult to make. But what gives even more concern to the consumers is the fact that many chocolate companies use excessive amount of vegetable fat and sugar, substituting natural milk by factory farmed milk.

Now almost everyone knows the health benefits of cacao: it contains more than 300 chemicals among which are antioxidants, proteins, calcium, and many other vitamins. And now those who know what pure chocolate tastes like have an opportunity not only to enjoy a new product but to do it with the awareness they are environment-friendly.

A latest trend in chocolate industry is the production of raw chocolate that is claimed to be not less tasty but far more nutritional for people.

UK brought in raw chocolate production three years ago and some raw communities now quickly gather pace at the market. This year more companies in Britain will sell raw chocolate, beginning with the Easter eggs and bunnies made of this naked chocolate.

Taking into account that raw chocolate production requires less energy than usual chocolate, even darker species, this gives a lot of hopes on it's popularity. Raw chocolate makers intend to use minimum packaging, and labels made of recycled paper.

Companies that work for production of raw chocolate are cooperating with South American companies. One of the forefront raw communities is called Shazzie and it deals with EcoAndino farmers, who take part in Fair Trade Federation. Organic Farmers & Growers Association also support raw chocolate companies in their beginnings.

Now chocolate business may take a radically new turn and probably warm up our souls, not earth!

Animated Cursors is now Windows' Vulnerability

Microsoft Windows Vista LogoUsers who work with the latest versions of Windows should be aware that they are at a great risk of being attacked by hackers. This statement was made by Microsoft's officials. There is a certain vulnerability in the operating system that can affect all recent versions of Windows, this includes Vista. In a security advisory the company's representatives stated that Windows' software is flawed in a way it operates with its animated cursors.

Microsoft's officials mentioned that an attacker might be able to take advantage of Windows' vulnerability by using a Web page or e-mail message that comprises a certain computer code.

In its advisory the company's officials stated that when viewing a Web page, previewing or reading an encoded message, or opening an e-mail attachment that includes a malware, the hacker can make the affected system to execute the code.

Often such kind of holes in the system are exploited by cybercrooks so they can make "drive-by" installations of their malware. Both spyware and remote control tools, that are able to turn personal computers into drones for the attackers, are creepingly loaded onto computers that have a certain vulnerability. This is made by tricking people to visit rigged Websites or by affecting a trusted site.

In a security alert, which was sent to the customers, McAfee said that a sample code has already been posted on the Web. The code is meant to show the vulnerability of the system. The security company mentioned that the malicious software that exploits this vulnerability "has been observed in a wild."

The feature of animated cursors is designated by the .ani suffix. However, according to Microsoft's officials, a hacker's attack won't be successful if it is constrained only by this file type. A PC won't gain enough protection if it simply blocks such files.

The company's representatives said that the risk of PC attack is much lower if the user works on Vista with Internet Explorer 7. The protected mode of the browser secures the computer against hackers' drive-by installations. This is because IE7 is restricted to where it is able to write files.

Alcohol kills faster than ecstasy

A new drug list was revised by Britain's drug experts to reveal that alcohol and tobacco put your health at greater risk than such dangerous drugs as LSD, cannabis and ecstasy.

Experts conducted a new all-compassing research with the government top advisory committee involved to make a shocking conclusion on the harm of regular tobacco and alcohol.

A modern classification of drugs doesn't reflect the real situation on harmful substances. Thus more than 20 drugs were tested on their social and individual impact and results lead to revision of ABC system.

A team of 29 psychiatrists took part in the the study to classify all drugs into nine groups that were analyzed on the physical harm, addiction and social danger. Another group consisted of 16 experts did the research in several fields including chemistry, pharmacology, psychiatry and legal field to say a final word on drug ranking.

According to this new drug list, alcohol is named A drug. It slightly outruns heroin and cocaine. Tobacco was placed ninth and fell within a category B drug, after amphetamine. Such dangerous drugs as cannabis, LSD, ecstasy were left far near the end of the drug list.

This latest study raised the question that government's drug policy was not paying enough attention to modern state of affairs and didn't take notice of the scientific findings.

There should be no surprise that ecstasy drug was placed almost at the end of the list. One person a day dies from acute alcohol poisoning in comparison to 10 people a year who die from ecstasy overdose.

A new classification brings to light many issues concerning drug policy with a more thoughtful approach and corresponding legal response.

New Electronic Display to Be Used on Clothes and Beer Cans

One of the latest inventions in the field of light emitting devices might change the way people light their homes and design clothes. The device represents a thin film of plastic able to conduct electricity and create solar power.

Scientists working on the international project are looking forward to bring the organic light emitting devices to the masses. Thus the invention could significantly cut costs by billions of dollars each year.

Due to the fact that the organic light emitting devices are very thin and flexible, electronic display screens could be easily created on nearly every material, thus, for example, clothing could, for the first time in history, display specific electronic information.

There are various ways of using the this OLED, like for example change the color of clothes, beer can would be able to display various sports results. In addition the OLED is much more efficient than the light bulb used today.

Currently these devices are applied in mobile phones and MP3 players. However, such OLED is not quite reliable for large TV or computer screens.

In order to make the device more efficient so later to launch it to mass market, the international consortium of researches, Modecom, headed by the University of Bath, United Kingdom, started a three-year project which will cost about $1,700,000.

Modecom comprises 13 groups from 9 universities and two companies. There are three groups from the United Kingdom, six groups from the United States and one group from China and one each from three European countries including Belgium, Italy and Denmark. Only the European countries and China will receive financial aid from the European Union.

The coordinator of Modecom is Dr Alison Walker, who represents the Department of Physics of the University of Bath. "This is a long-term project, and the contributions of many scientists are needed for its success ... Success in achieving the goals of cheap, efficient and long lasting devices is essential as we must do everything we can to reduce our energy costs," he stated.

School to be Guarded by a Robot

The world's first robot to guard children was developed in South Korea. Scientists dubbed the robot OFRO, and it's main goal is to protect children in Seoul's middle school. Placing a robot in the school is a test that the developers are going to make before launching the robot into the market.

According to the developers the robot could be useful in alerting staff in case outsiders intend to seduce students. Chief Executive of Du Robo, Kang Jung-Won, told Korea Times that one of the possible scenarios is that in case OFRO spots someone trying to seduce a student it will immediately alert school's officials.

After the robot has alerted teachers, they have several opportunities: whether to warn the offender via loudspeaker or send school's security guards.

The firm's officials stated that their invention is the world's first robot that is used for the purpose of guarding an educational institution. The speed of OFRO is 5km/h. The robot is able to patrol pre-programmed routes or it can be controlled by a human, i. e. manually. A camera and microphone are attached to OFRO so to maintain connection with teachers or a security firm.

Kang Jung-Won stated that after the developers pass the feasibility test, they are going to commercialize OFRO. The smart-robot will have a retail price of around $100,000.

Mozilla Firefox 3.0 - Gran Paradiso Alpha 5: out in June

Firefox LogoYet another, fifth, alpha-version of Firefox 3.0, one of the three most popular internet browsers, designated Gran Paradiso, is due out on the first day of summer.

The first alpha-version of Firefox 3.0 was out in December 2006. It was recommended to professional and advanced users, who were able to essentially change the source code of the software.

Mozilla representatives state that the fifth alpha version will feature many new functions and abilities, such as SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), which gives support of a wide range of vector graphic formats. The developers say that Gran Paradiso will be characterized by great stability and security and that it will give the users ability to work with their sites off-line.

It is also worth mentioning that the fifth alpha-version will feature the same system of tabs, yet with the ability to sort them by their visiting rate. Firefox 3.0 will also feature a built-in SQLite database, which will save all the information about visited pages. The developers of the browser have paid much attention to off-line works. The users will be able to freely browse cached pages, to use special apps for searching images, texts and files.

The final release of Gran Paradiso - Mozilla Firefox 3.0 - is planned to happen at the end of 2007.

New Indoor Climate-Control System to Adjust to Your Own Environmental Preferences Via the Web

A new indoor climate control system is able to make 'smart decisions' according to changing conditions in an office or building. The technology is based upon interaction with people present in the office. The users will be able to regulate the system to match their own environment preferences through the web. The system has been developed by Syracuse, N.Y.-based company CollabWorx Inc.

The users of the Open Web Services-based Indoor Climate Control System will communicate, overlook and adjust their personal environmental preferences such as temperature, humidity, light, the same way they would do it in a car.

The system is fitted with a special occupancy sensor necessary to detect the presence and identity of a person. An incorporated expert system makes decisions according to data accumulated from many sources in order to change its activity, thus saving energy while maintaining comfort of people in the office. The technology was provided with $350,000 funding.

The initial working prototype of the system is based upon three typical cubicle workstations. The system components are linked to desktop computers. The system consists of the following major components: a main unit, hand-operated control device, network interface controller, vents and a heater unit. The prototype makes use of a few major Internet-related technologies, such as Internet Protocol-based sensors and device controllers elaborated by Sensyr LLC.

The creators of the technology are going to undertake a further research to turn the three-cubicle working prototype into a fully-functional, real-world office setting. The occupants will be able to operate the system while researchers will keep track of the system performance and energy savings. The trial process will be followed by the technology's commercialization.

CollabWorx’s introduction of the prototype climate control system is found on the list of three winners of the Best Poster Award being a part of the international Clima 2007 conference held in Helsinki, Finland, this month. The CollabWorx entry left behind 206 entries presented by 33 countries competing for the award.

British Invents Anti-Paedophilies Software

A computer program that is aimed at haunting internet sex offenders, who are chatting under kids mask was released by a British inventor.

The innovative software is able to analyze the user's language patterns in relation to his age. This program is based on the knowledge that adults use more complicated phrases and punctuations when writing in the chartrooms. Even those who try to pretend they are kids cannot dodge the program, which can spot that a person uses simple words but speak in written form more often than a child would.

In addition to this, software takes into account such factors as sexual content in the course of all the chat relationships. If something looks dangerous, the text will be send to parents When the software find something suspicious it alerts the parents by sending them an e-mail or text excerpt.

Adam Hildreth, 22 year old inventor, named Young Entrepreneur of the Year, who created the Anti-Grooming Engine in cooperation with Cambridge University claims that it's 99 percent accurate. No matter how smart a sex offender is, this software tool is able to detect his tricks and protect kids.

The idea was already supported by National Council of Parent Teacher Associations and The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center - the Government's anti-child abuse agency. They consider any protective measures against child abuse online a "golden opportunity".

Most children now surf the web without parental supervision and as many as one in seven kids is approached by web sex offender.

Mr.Hildreth now offers the program for free to the first 10,000 people registering on his site. Later he is aimed to charge £2 a month.

Boeing 787 - Less Weight with More Efficiency

Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Courtesy of
First in 12 years: Boeing's new creation - 787 Dreamliner - an ultra-light jetliner made of carbon-composites, making it more environmental friendly and more fuel-efficient.

The new plane was unveiled on Sunday in Everett, Washington State, US with about 15,000 employees, company's customers and suppliers present at the ceremony. This was the first time a Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its appearance before the crowd.

The first look at this jetliner could not present a perfect distinction from earlier models of Boeing, yet the company assures that it is completely different from other planes. The difference is what the plane is made of: 50% of the structure is made of carbon-composites, 15% titanium, 20% aluminum, 10% steel and 5% of other materials. This makes the plane extremely light and more efficient if comparing it with existing planes of the same size. If talking about figures, it is worth mentioning that Boeing 787 will consume 20% less fuel and will produce 20% less emissions.

According to Boeing, the air in the cabin will be more humid and the passengers will live through a more pleasant flight due to the use of special composites, which are more fatigue-resistant and rust-free.

Boeing didn't hesitate to use modern technologies when designing the plane's interior. At the beginning of 2007 the engineers introduced wireless technologies in the plans to build a modern entertainment system inside the aircraft, thus getting closer to 'losing weight' due to less cable used inside the plane.

However, the Dreamliner is not 100% ready for its first flight. According to Boeing, the 787 will not take off for at least another six weeks as there are internal power and control systems to be installed and over 1,000 temporary bolts to be replaced by permanent ones. Boeing has started the works immediately after the presentation.

Even though the Boeing 787 hasn't made its first flight, the company has already received about 30 proposals for over 650 airplanes, which is equivalent of over $100 billion.

The first flight of the Boeing 787 is planned for August-September 2007. The first air company to use the 787s will be All Nippon Airways from Japan. This company plans transporting sport fans to the Olympics in Beijing that summer.

SOCRATE NG Wireless Military Network in France to Be Developed by Thales

The military sector is the one demanding most expenses and most advanced technologies under its command. After all, they are all used there to give and execute orders.

It has been reported by that the French are willing to have a next generation network for military communication and in order to deploy it by 2010, as it is planned by the French defense procurement agency (DGA, Délégation Générale pour l’Armement), a contract for development of the SOCRATE NG military network has been awarded to Thales.

Thales is one of the leading companies for development in military sector. The company is known for being an expert in data encryption, surveillance equipment and other hi-tech devices for the military sector. Among latest success of Thales could be mentioned the launch of the Chinasat 6B telecommunication satellite in China, the first flight of the Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) #1 in Ankara, Turkey and other projects.

In 12 months Thales, which is a part of a consortium, including Orange Business Services, Alcatel-Lucent and Cogisys (a consulting firm), is obliged to present the DGA technical and financial information on the SOCRATE NG development.

SOCRATE NG stands for Système Opérationnel Constitué à partir des Réseaux des Armées pour les Télécommunications de Nouvelle Génération (Operational System Built on Armed Forces Networks for Telecommunications, New Generation). The system is to provide most of the France territory, including the Corsica island, with a seamless wireless networking for the military sector.

An interesting fact about the SOCRATE NG wireless network is that earlier this year the French Sagem Défense Sécurité has been awarded the very same contract, under the same conditions, as stated by the Sagem Defence official site. If one would read both press-releases, one could notice that some text in the reports look rather similar.

On the other hand, the Thales official site keeps silence about winning such a valuable development contract.

A New Game to Make Your Face Look Happier

Now Nintendo DS fans will look happier as a new game that was designed by beauty expert will exercise facial muscles to have friendlier and livelier face expressions.

The Wii Fit game has digital camera that is fitted in dual screen showing a facer of the player on the one and the animated face that shows necessary face exercises on the second screen.

The innovative Nintendo game includes 16 types of face exercises lasting from 2 to 10 minutes each accompanied by an electronic voice that prompts on facial moves. The main goal of the game is to develop a happy face and more expressive look. The well-known maker of such games as Super Mario and Pokemon, Nintendo Co. hopes to attract women's audience to a game world and recommends to exercise "facening" at least 15 minutes.

The game was released in Japan last week and is expected to be a huge success which is explained by the fact that game addresses to people emotions. During the game, a player also can have fun making funny faces following the instructions of the voice that acts like a fitness instructor saying to open the month, drop the jaw or wink. Nintendo Wii game is expected next year at the market in US to beat the success of their well-known "Brain Age" game.

Web is a Fun Place for Most Users

A new survey revealed that most users use Internet to search for news and entertainment rather than to make the most of it by searching useful information or sending e-mails, for example.

A research conducted by Nielsen/NetRatings showed that entertainment and social networking sources are the most popular sites on the web, surpassing the use of search engines and online shopping.

According to the findings, the time spent on viewing online videos and news increased by 37 percent in comparison to the increase of search engines use by 35 percent.

There is a strong tendency for the increase of entertainment content. With more online content and faster speeds, social networks were also contributing to the spread of viewing content, counting for 47 percent of time spent surfing online viewing content. In comparison to the popularity of viewing content in 2003 it's a 13 percent increase.

People spend 5 percent less time on commercial sites like Amazon and search sites.

The use of communication sources also tend to decrease by 18 percent in comparison to the results from 2003. Email and instant messaging use is also losing its popularity.

The study is published by the Online Publishers Association.

Young hackers are just curious

Most teenagers hacking and invading computer systems are doing it for fun rather than to cause harm, psychologists say.

Shirley McGuire, a specialist in psychology of the University of San Francisco says that very often parents do not understand the motivation of the teenagers who commit computer crimes. In an anonymous experiment, she questioned more than 4,800 students in San Diego area to find out the truth about teenager's computer hacking.

The findings were uncovered at the American Psychological Association conference this weekend. The results showed that 38 percent of youngsters were involved in software piracy, 18 percent of all teenagers admitted to enter other personal computer or website and used the material from that site. As much as 13 percent of all the respondents said they made changes in computer systems or computer files.

However, only one out of ten the hackers indeed were interested to cause harm or earn money. Most of teenagers did it to see what will happen and thought of it just as an exciting experience.

Nancy Willard, specialist of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use said that internet has a lot of challenges many teenagers face and their natural motivation is to prove they can do it too. Very often, youngsters who enter online support communities, are tempted to show-off and hack together, committing computer crimes without thinking that it can cause serious financial damage.

Experts say that parents and teachers should be more aware of this fact and guide tech children to more positive objectives, like engaging in different computer activities that would be rewarded.

Virtual Policemen to Purify the Chinese Internet

Two police officers of the virtual Chinese world are to begin their "work" on purifying major Chinese Internet portals. The "work" consists in identifying pornographic content, as well as other 'illegal' activities, such as propaganda of oppositional ideas or the ones that might seem suspicious to the two police officers. On-line gambling is also regarded as an illegal activity.

Every 30 minutes users will see a picture on their displays. Pictures will depict a man or a woman on a motorcycle, in a car or on foot. A click on those pictures will redirect users on the web-site of Beijing City Administration, department for public security, where users can report porn sites and web-pages with illegal activities to real police officers.

Virtual police officers will patrol most popular Chinese Internet portals and by the end of the year will be present in all web-sites and forums, registered in Beijing. This security means has already brought its crops: 124,000 sites with pornographic content and 244 porn sites were banned.

Cars to Say 'No!' to Drunk Drivers

Volvo, a famous automobile maker from Sweden, has developed a device not to allow drunk drivers start their cars. The Alcoguard breath-analyzer looks the same as a TV remote-control handset. It is responsible for measuring the alcohol level in a driver's blood. In case the alcohol amount is above the legal maximum - that is less than 0.2 g/l in Sweden - the car will simply not start.

Volvo will initially produce 2,000 models of Alcoguard to supply the Volvo S80, V70 and XC70. The devices will retail at 800 Euro (1,000 dollars) and are aimed to be initially used by taxi companies and municipalities.

Nowadays, no one is surprised to find out that one in three highway fatalities in Europe is caused by alcohol-intoxication. According to Ingrid Skogsmo, manager of the Volvo Cars Safety Center, the company has developed Alcoguard as a device to make the driver take sober decisions.

The first models of the similar 'alco-locks' were developed in the US and Canada in the 1980s. They were aimed at keeping under control the drivers convicted of drunk-driving.

Japanese car maker Nissan has also launched an in-car Breathalyzer. The device developed by Nissan first measures alcohol level in the driver's breath via a special odor sensor. If levels exceed the norm, a polite female voice advises the driver not to start the car. If the driver ignores the warning, the sensors installed in the gear stick test the alcohol level in the sweat on the palms of the driver. If the test shows the excessive level, the device automatically locks the transmission of the car.

According to the Volvo Company, the smart thing named Alcoguard will be available in the beginning of 2008.

British Cybercrooks Moving at One-Crime per 10 Seconds Speed

Every ten seconds a new cybercrime is being registered in Britain, according to the most recent research. Only during the last year the computer crooks managed to strike 3.24 million times. Some online-committed crimes even outstripped their equivalents in real world. Moreover, some experts believe about 90 per cent of cybercrimes remain unreported.

Actually, not enough is being done to prevent computer crooks from committing new crimes. It may throw serious obstacles in Britain's way towards becoming a world IT leader.

On the top of the list of cybercrimes registered last year there are 1.94 million cases of harassment. This figure includes e-mails with threatening or abusive statements, and offensive allegations left on websites.

The list is continued by 850,000 sex crimes, including cyberstalking, undesired sexual approaches in chat-rooms and pedophiles harassing children.

Then, there follow 207,000 financial frauds that outstripped 199,800 frauds committed off-line. The experts also registered 92,000 identity theft cyber-offenses, that is about 40 per cent of the overall number of such cases. The list also sports 144,500 cases of hacking into another PC.

According to Tom Ilube, representative of on-line security firm Garlik, cybercrooks' success is partially explained by the great amount of personal information left on on-line social networks.

As stated by the Home Office, they have built close cooperation with industry and law enforcement agencies to improve on-line safety.

Pingdom Published Results of Google's Sites' Stability

Despite Google's enormous financial possibilities, the sites and services, provided by the company are not always available to its visitors.

According to a survey conducted between September the 1st, 2006 and September the 1st, 2007 in 32 countries, where Google is the leading provider of Internet search, Google's main page was unavailable from 3 to 48 minutes.

Google's search in Brazil was found as most stable, since during the researched period of time (1 year), it was unavailable for only 3 minutes, whereas the US page was unavailable for about 30 minutes.

A satisfactory stability of Google's regional representatives was found in Netherlands (11 minutes unavailable), India and Thailand (13 minutes), and Japan (15 minutes).

The most unstable of Google's regional sites were found in Israel (34 minutes), Turkey (40 minutes), Singapore and Taiwan (46 minutes), and Sweden (48 minutes).

Results of this survey surprised Google's chiefs, yet all of the tested sites have passed the milestone of 99,9%, which is the time when all of Google's sites and services were fully functional and available.

New Software Developed to Convert Speech into Avatars

Specialists at IBM, UK developed a software that is able to replace speech by sign language and use avatars to render gestures.

The software program called "Say It Sign It" can be used by hearing impaired people for education, as well as to make their access to media easier. Developers claim that it can be integrated on television, personal computer, mobile phone or any other screen tech.

Among the researchers from Universities of Oxford, Durham, Glasgow and East Anglia, there was Ben Fletcher, being deaf himself who helped to invent a program.

The software works on voice recognition system where words that are spoken into microphone are converted into text, that is later processed by a special translator into sign language. The sign language itself refers to a Dictionary of Deaf people that will transform text into computer-animated characters.

This make distant communication much easier, allowing various applications to be linked. The software program will be hosted on the website where a speaker and the recipient could sign in and start communicating. The words spoken by the speaker will be converted into animated characters seen on recipient's screen.

Later it is planned that program will be sold to be installed on personal computer. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to perfect the program so it could hit the markets. Researchers say that in spite of the fact that software is quite effective in translating speech into sign language, the study of the sign language itself was not thoroughly studied yet.

Besides, many people need more human expression like subtle face expressions and gestures to understand and render their speech, thus the team is working to improve the software.

New Tool to Link Web 2.0 and Search

A Pittsburgh search software private enterprise that creates and markets software products for improving web and enterprise search, Vivisimo Inc., launched a new technology, which is able to provide connection between Web 2.0 concepts, including social networking, and enterprise search. Thus, the new technology could help companies to exploit their corporate collective knowledge.

The new tool is entitled Vivisimo Velocity 6.0 enterprise search, and its goal is to help users to save, share and manage results, developing new ways of collaboration among employees.

Among other functions of the tool is the ability to rate search results by using a numerical scale. According to the company's officials the feedback is used to provide a real time adjustment of the relevancy of results.

Vivisimo Velocity 6.0 allows users to add personal knowledge regarding the information found in searches. This is performed by writing certain annotations inside the application. As an example, instead of sending to co-workers an e-mail with a file attached to it, one could simply place comments regarding the content in the software's search interface.

The new tool also has social bookmarking capabilities. These allow users to save their search results in virtual folders. This is done whether for future reference or for sharing.

The analyst at Gilbane Group Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., Lynda Moulton, stated that the new tool represents "the next logical step forward for enterprise search as it makes the inevitable shift from being a productivity enhancing tool to an open-ended collaborative application that makes the best use of the collective intelligence of the enterprise."

Tool's new version also supports social networking. It includes workers' profiles, these profiles being created from various repositories and then showed as a mashup application that includes contact information and certain biographical information. The services provided by the new tool also include an executive dashboard that illustrates a map of hot topics that are being argued within departments.

Vivisimo Velocity 6.0 will be officially launched next month.

New Cell Phone Application to Discourage Gropers

A new phone application designed to discourage gropers traveling by commuter trains has become really popular among Japanese women.

Women are flashing on their mobile phones bold-print warning messages - 'Did you grope me? Groping is a crime! Let's head to the police?' - and show these messages to their offenders. It is necessary to press an 'Anger' icon in the program to switch to the next threat. The messages are sounded by a warning chime.

'Anti-Groping Appli' was introduced by games developer Takahashi two years ago, but has only recently become so popular. The phone tool has reached No. 7 in Top-10 Mobile Phone Applications list revealed this week by Spicy Soft web-based publisher.

Women can download the anti-groping application for free on their web-enabled cell phones. It helps offended ladies to scare away gropers with minimum hassle and attracting little attention of everyone around.

Japanese women confess they have downloaded the application mainly as a joke, still they are sure it could turn out to be a lifesaver when they have to face some cheeky groper.

More users have recently discovered Takahashi's 'Anti-Groping Appli' after the introduction of a series of new applications this year, including a popular horoscope, number game, and blogging program.

The number of new games and applications offerings for cell phones has grown considerably in Japan. Web research company Yahoo Value Insight published a survey stating that 61 percent of mobile phone owners in Japan use applications almost every day.

According to data provided by Tokyo Metropolitan Police, 1,853 men were arrested for groping on commuter trains in Tokyo in 2005. Experts are sure that the incidence of harassment among train commuters is much higher today, but women often feel embarrassed to report it.