Three PPX propositions had an end date over the holiday weekend, and none of their criteria were met—all were delisted at POP$0:
TRANSF: This prop's bargain basement price (rarely did it top POP$1 in the last few weeks) was an indication that it was doomed to fail. Both Spiderman 3 and Shrek the Third has larger U.S. grosses this summer.
HIGAS: At the beginning of the summer, it seemed like we were headed toward this prop's projected $3.50 mark for an average gallon of gas in the U.S. But since its peak at $3.18 in mid-May, abundant supplies of crude oil have kept prices down. The latest Lundberg survey, on August 24, put the average at $2.75 per gallon. HIGAS was halted with a value of POP$33.50, indicating some held on to the bitter end.
SUBPC: Apple's focus on the iPhone apparently left little time for developing a rumored ultra-mobile sub-notebook. The prop was halted at POP$25.75. The rumor mills are blazing with news of a touchscreen iPod, though. Will it happen?
By Gregory MonePosted 09.05.2007 at 11:20 am 0 Comments
Die Moto, a motorcycle that runs on biodiesel, set national and international records on Monday, cruising to a top speed of 130.6 miles per hour.
Built by The Crucible, a group of industrial artists in Oakland, the bike has a modified BMW car engine and a handcrafted aluminum shell. And it's a green machine, too. Running on B100, or pure bioediesel fuel, the bike emits 78 percent less CO2 than a standard diesel engine. The team eventually hopes to crank it up to 160 miles per hour.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 09.05.2007 at 11:19 am 3 Comments
Imagine driving 500 miles nonstop in an electric car, then quickly re-charging if you want to extend your trip. Sound impossible? It might be. Either that or a Texas company called EEStor has come up with a battery replacement called an ultra-capacitor that could make the internal combustion engine obsolete.
The company's claims have spurred the occasional debate on the Web for the last year. EEStor has said that it plans to "replace the electrochemical battery" in everything from vehicles to laptops. But experts are wary, and have been left to an advanced sort of guessing game, as EEStor hasn't been leaking out too many details about how its amazing technology works. The general impression, though, is that what they're claiming is probably impossible, or at least not as wonderful as it sounds. That said, a whole bunch of drivers would love to see the critics proven wrong.—Gregory Mone
Millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett has been reported missing in Nevada, and a search is underway. It's unclear what the record-setting pilot was up to, but he has been spending time in that part of the country attempting both record-setting glider flights and prepping for an attempt at the absolute land speed record of 763 mph. He was expected to begin testing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in September, driving a jet-powered vehicle.
By Gregory MonePosted 09.04.2007 at 11:07 am 3 Comments
Whales vs. warriors. That's how one judge views the current debate over the Navy's testing of high-powered sonar, which some scientists say has caused massive whale strandings and panicked behavior. The Navy argues that the tests are critical, and that high-frequency sonar is the best way to detect quiet enemy submarines.
The National Resources Defense Council sued the Navy to stop its latest round of testing, set to take place off the Southern California coast, and a federal appeals court sided with the Navy, granting a temporary go-ahead. One judge wrote that it's a question of the safety of our whales vs. that of our warriors, but another noted that there's no reason the Navy couldn't take certain precautions during its testing to avoid hurting marine life. The fight isn't over—another hearing is scheduled for November 5.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 09.04.2007 at 11:04 am 2 Comments
A Eurostar train sprinted from the central station in Paris to London in just a few minutes more than two hours, cutting 30 minutes off the typical travel time. The train hit speeds of more than 200 miles per hour while specially invited guests enjoyed croissants and champagne. Eurostar set up the record-breaking trip to herald the opening of an $11.7 billion section of track and a terminal upgrade on the British side. When the new track opens to public travel, the trip will take around two hours and 15 minutes. Champagne and croissants not included.—Gregory Mone
By Gregory MonePosted 09.04.2007 at 10:57 am 0 Comments
A number of groups are trying to develop memory enhancing drugs to treat patients suffering from Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, but scientists are also concerned about off-label uses. Students might use them to cram for tests. Business people may pop the brain enhancers to gain an advantage over co-workers. How this will all play out over the next few years, or decades, isn't yet clear, but there's a good review of the scientific advances—including the memory-enhanced mice at left—and ethical questions involved in this week's issue of Chemical & Engineering News.—Gregory Mone
Take a look at a few of cinema's most mind-boggling moments of scientific inaccuracy-plus a few rare films that manage to get things (mostly) right
By John MahoneyPosted 09.04.2007 at 2:00 am 8 Comments
As we reach the close of the summer blockbuster season, reports of a recent paper by two professors at the University of Central Florida recently caught our eye. In it, the physicists Costas Efthimiou and R.A. Llewellyn assert that movies are making their students dumber.
Reinventing the keyboard to give musicians unparalleled control
By Mike KobrinPosted 09.04.2007 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Electronic musicians have a new ax to wield: the Tenori-on. Meaning "sound in your palm" in Japanese, the eight-inch-square instrument lets would-be techno artists make beats and sequences by sliding and tapping their fingers around the touch-sensitive surface-kind of like finger painting.