Sapier, Jeff (RBI - AUS) Jeff at NewScientist.com.au
Mon Jan 12 10:51:36 EST 2004




BIG BROTHER IN THE PASSENGER SEAT Car makers have begun installing 'black
boxes' in airbag units to collect data such as the engine running speeds and
whether seat-belt are fastened. But while the technology is a godsend for
crash investigators, drivers are asking who should have access to the data.
Page 24 

CASINOS LEAD THE CHIP REVOLUTION Electronically tagged chips to be launched
later this year could help casinos stop thieves and counterfeiters, and
monitor the way gamblers play. The scheme will give an insight into the way
tags proposed for euro banknotes could work to combat fraud. Page 21

ONE TENTH OF STARS MAY SUPPORT LIFE A ring-shaped band of stars circling the
core of our galaxy meets all the basic physical requirements to support
life, according to a research team from the University of New South Wales
and Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology. Known as the "galactic
habitable zone" the region includes about 10 per cent of the stars of our
galaxy. New Scientist's free public website at http://www.newscientist.com

TWO CHEERS FOR RED WINE (short story) In addition to its antioxidant
properties, red wine can act as an antibiotic, US researchers have found. It
prevents the growth of a bacterium blamed for clogged arteries and heart
disease. Page 16 

PICTURE A COMET, ON A JOURNEY THROUGH SPACE... The clearest pictures ever
taken of a comet's head are changing our ideas of how these cosmic geysers
spew out the stunning tails that make them such a spectacular sight. Page 11

WE CAN'T HOLD BACK THE WATER ANY MORE Last year's floods in the rivers of
central Europe were among the worst in memory. Perhaps it's time for a new
response to flooding. Engineers are now trying to sap the water's strength
by reopening flood plains. Concrete dams are out; wetlands are in. Pages

TEXTING HITS TELLY (short story) An American software company has patented a
way of sending text messages to pay-television subscribers. Notification of
the message pops up as a password-protected prompt on the screen. Page 23

SECURITY SCORE (short story) The US carrier Delta Airlines has come up with
a scheme to assess the terrorist risk of passengers. The idea is that
pre-flight checks and searches would then be focused on those rated as high
risk-usually infrequent fliers. Page 23
COMMENT AND ANALYSIS: ENEMY AT THE GATES A global catastrophe is waiting to
strike, and we have the means to stop it. But nobody is bothering, says
Debora MacKenzie, because it's only the 'flu. Page 19 

SOFT DRINKS CONDEMNED (short story) Sugary soft drinks should be banished
from US schools, says the American Academy of Paediatrics, because they
aggravate obesity, are linked to tooth decay, and replace healthier
alternatives, such as milk. Page 7

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