How Cutting-Edge Technology & Science Are Powering The Future TPM Idealab

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By John Voelcker

If you like the idea of hybrid or electric cars that whir silently down the road without the noise of an engine exploding gasoline thousands of times each minute, you'd better act fast.

The U.S. government is moving inexorably toward a rule requiring all hybrid and electric cars to make noise whenever their engine isn't running.

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Several of Apple's MobileMe users have recently flagged the fact that some of their politically-oriented e-mail notes have been disappearing into the ether, and never reach their destinations.

Some users on MacInTouch, a Mac forum, for example, have recently said that they've been trying to send political messages about the repressive government actions in Greece and the Middle East with their web-based MobileMe accounts, but the messages' recipients never received them.

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A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected a portion of the Federal Communications Commission's 2008 rule governing U.S. media ownership, overturning a move by the FCC that made it easier for companies to own broadcast TV stations and daily newspapers in the same market.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District sent the rules back to the commission to be reworked, reports the Wall Street Journal.

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By John Voelcker

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, said the philosopher Santayana.

And there seems to be a very real chance that Europe is heading toward a variety of multiple and incompatible electric-car charging standards.

That's a path the U.S. rejected a decade ago. And it's one that would inconvenience all European buyers of plug-in cars.

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The era of epic manned space flight may be over, but the era of personal aircrafts may be just beginning.

Or so believe some Americans, and some officials in Europe, who have just sunk a little over $6 million dollars into a research project on "personal aerial vehicles."

The European Commission has established a project called "MyCopter" to investigate the feasibility of such personal aircraft.

"It is now a question of when we'll get personal aerial vehicles, not if we'll get them," project leader Heinrich Buelthoff of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics tells the New Scientist. The Institute is based in Tuebingen, Germany.

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