Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Smart Scanner that will get rid of the habitual irritating airport searches

This is one of the formal procedures that frustrate modern daily air travelers: when travelers get in to security-check in, they have to throw away wine, cologne, drinks and any other liquid in a big bottle that he or she carried with him or her. Transport Security Administration in the US airports does not accept […]

Survey vs census

Have you ever been asked to participate in a census or a survey? And did you ever wonder what the difference was? In a census, information is collected from everyone in a particular group (called a ‘population’). The largest census conducted in Australia is the Census of Population and Housing, which was last conducted in […]

Internet Terrorism

In some of the darker places that exist on the Internet, extremists from all over the world have been planning and discussing terrorist acts. New tools that use crawling techniques, human expertise and sophisticated algorithms are making it possible for experts to gain access to these areas of the web in an effort to predict […]

Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs byte.

Bedbugs are tiny insects that approach you when you are asleep at night in your bed. They creep into your bed and make contact with your body. They crawl across your skin and the hairs on your body for a while before they insert their proboscis into your skin and through your flesh so that […]

No Joke: Pigeons Ace a Simple Math Test


It’s official. Primates aren’t the only animal species besides humans that can learn abstract numerical rules and use them to solve simple math problems. Apparently Pigeons can ace a simple math test and display numerical skills that closely match or even surpass skills that till now were believed to be possessed only by primates, a […]

Taiwanese Treatment for Google’s X Lab

NMA’s vision of a Google-X – Google’s secret laboratory, is full of humor regardless of whether they are talking about the phone booth that has the possibility of teleportation, or about the tube that leads from Google the Idea Machine to “Tech Internets.”  

Chemists Reveal the Force Within You

“Now we’re able to measure something that’s never been measured before: The force that one molecule applies to another molecule across the entire surface of a living cell, and as this cell moves and goes about its normal processes. And we can visualize these forces in a time-lapsed movie.” — Khalid Salaita, assistant professor of […]

Time to Get Wiki?

Just because a Wikipedia entry feels complete doesn’t mean it is. A recent look at the entry for “neuroscience” may look complete, but it actually only earned a mid-level grade according to Bill Wedemeyer and Tim Vickers, volunteers with the Wikipedia Academy. As part of Wikipedia’s ongoing to call goal to enhance its readability and […]

Read a barcode

This activity uses just one type of barcode, known as EAN-13. Most products sold in Australian shops have EAN-13 barcodes, but other types of barcodes are used for things like letters and library books.
Barcodes are designed to be very easy for computers to read the sequence of numbers beneath them. If the scanner doesn’t work, a shop assistant can type in the number instead of scanning the barcode.

The widths of the stripes are all based on the widths of the starting stripes, so it doesn’t matter what size the whole barcode is. This also means they can read barcodes from different distances, and at different angles.

Barcodes have a lot of ways of checking whether they’ve read properly. Each digit is as wide as seven thin stripes; if the reader reads the wrong number of stripes, or the distances don’t add up, the computer knows something is wrong and it can scan again.

You might also have noticed some patterns in the codes. Each stripe in an R-code digit is the same width as each stripe in the same L-code digit. Only the colours are reversed. G-code is exactly the same widths as L-code, except back to front with the colours reversed.

Why is milk so cheap?

You might have noticed recently that in many supermarkets, milk prices dropped to around one dollar a litre. There hasn’t been any new technology that makes milk cheaper to produce, and many supermarkets weren’t making much money on a litre of milk, even before the price drop. Some supermarkets actually buy the milk for more […]