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Submission + - Search and Rescue, with a drone (robohub.org)

Robofenix2 writes: Every year people get lost in the wild worldwide. In Switzerland alone, around 1000 emergency calls per year come from hikers, most of whom are injured or have lost their way.A team of Swiss researchers have taught drones to recognise and follow forest trails. This research unlocks applications of drones for search and rescue in wilderness.
Prof. Juergen Schmidhuber, Scientific Director at the Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence says: “Our lab has worked on deep learning in neural networks since the early 1990s when only a few labs were interested in the topic. Today I am happy to find our lab’s methods not only in numerous real-world applications such as speech recognition on your smartphone, but also in lightweight robots such as drones. Robotics will see an explosion of applications of deep neural networks in coming years.”

Submission + - Windows 10 Update KB3135173 Is a Lemon For Some (softpedia.com)

jones_supa writes: Microsoft rolled out a new Windows 10 cumulative update just a few hours ago, but posts on Microsoft's community forums reveal that for some computers KB3135173 fails to install or freezes during the setup. Users have no other option than to manually reboot the computer and interrupt the process. You might want to postpone downloading and installing this update until Microsoft's quality assurance team gets the glitch resolved.

Submission + - Why Stack Overflow Doesn't Care About Ad Blockers

Press2ToContinue writes: Forging a bold step in the right direction, Stack Overflow announced today that they don't care if you use an ad blocker when you visit their site.

"The truth is: we don’t care if our users use ad blockers on Stack Overflow. More accurately: we hope that they won’t, but we understand that some people just don’t like ads. Our belief is that if someone doesn’t like them, and they won’t click on them, any impressions served to them will only annoy them-- plus, serving ads to people who won’t click on them harms campaign performance."

"Publishers can’t win by forcing ads — especially low-quality ads — in people’s faces. Think scantily-clad women selling flight deals, weight-loss supplement promos or wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube-men promoting car dealerships."


It's possible that this declaration by SO might help to clarify to advertisers that it is the overabundance of low quality ads that practically force the public to seek out ad blockers. But seriously, what is the likelihood of that?

Submission + - 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independance (wired.com) 1

fred911 writes: On this day in 1996, Barlow sat down in front of a clunky Apple laptop and typed out one very controversial email, now known as the “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” a manifesto with a simple message: Governments don’t—and can’t—govern the Internet.

Submission + - How do I get Microsoft to get up off their asses & look at a Windows 10 prob (live.com) 4

mykepredko writes: My product communicates with a host system via Bluetooth (using the Serial Port Profile) and each time a device is connected to a PC a couple of serial ports are allocated. Windows has always had a problem with not automatically disposing of the allocated ports when the connection is removed, but until Windows 10, there were processes for deleting them. This isn't possible for Windows 10 (which apparently has new Serial/Com port and/or Bluetooth drivers) — but individuals, who are apparently working for Microsoft, periodically reply with useless suggestions or attempt to promote questions and ideas as solutions to the problem: http://answers.microsoft.com/e... I suspect that this is an issue for all Windows 10 users (although I guess few people are plugging/unplugging devices) — so how do we get Microsoft to take notice (and not have to pay for them to fix their bug)?

Submission + - Siri "Charge my phone to 100%" calls 911

mrspoonsi writes: After much fanfare and publicity on the company's part, Apple's conception of a personal assistant is now ingrained in popular culture; you won't be able to find a comedy show without at least one joke about Siri and for good reason. Using natural language to communicate with our gadgets is still a relatively new technology and, as a result, often leads to particularly hilarious situations. Today, we have the latest in a string of bizarre responses by the virtual assistant. Tell Siri to "charge my phone to 100%" and she will immediately call 911, giving you just 5 seconds of respite to stop the virtual assistant from sending out an SOS. There is no official word on what the cause of this is but the two possibilities are that it's either a bug or a hidden function that allows you to call the police in an emergency. There has been no official communication from Apple referring to such a feature, however.

Submission + - Now you can use Chromecast without wifi (betanews.com) 1

Mark Wilson writes: Google's Chromecast has gained quite a following of people looking for a cheap, simple way to stream content to their TVs. Part of the device's appeal is its easy of use and extensibility through the use of apps, but it is reliant on a steady Wi-Fi signal. If this represents a problem in your home, there's now a solution.

The new Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast does very much what you would expect — it adds a wired Ethernet port to Google's streaming dongle. This is great news for anyone with a flaky Wi-Fi signal, or those looking to use Chromecast beyond their router's normal range.

Submission + - Technology and the End of Lying

HughPickens.com writes: The Washington Post reports that lying may soon become a lost art as our digital, data-hoarding culture means that more and more evidence is piling up to undermine our lies. "The research shows the way lies are really uncovered is by comparing what someone is saying to the evidence," says Tim Levine,"and with all these news analytics that can be done, it's going to enable lie detection in a way that was previously impossible." For example in Pennsylvania, police are prosecuting a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted earlier this year after data from her Fitbit didn't match up with her story, Just like you can Google a fact to end an argument, instant messaging programs that archive digital conversations make it easy to look back and see exactly who said what — and if it matches up with what a person is saying now. "Lying online can be very dangerous," says Jeff Hancock. "Not only are you leaving a record for yourself on your machine, but you're leaving a record on the person that you were lying to."

Even more alarming for liars is the incorporation of lie detector technology into the facial recognition technology. Researchers claim video-analysis software can analyze eye movement successfully to identify whether or not a subject is fibbing 82.5 percent of the time. The new technology heightens surveillance capabilities—from monitoring actions to assessing emotions—in ways that make an individual ever more vulnerable to government authorities, marketers, employers, and to any and every person with whom we interact. "We must understand that—at the individual level and with regard to interpersonal relations—too much truth and transparency can be harmful," says Norberto Andrade. "The permanent confrontation with a verifiable truth will turn us into overly cautious, calculating, and suspicious people."

Submission + - Judge Calls Malibu Media "Troll", Denies Subpoena

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In what could be the beginning of the end of the Malibu Media litigation wave involving alleged BitTorrent downloads of porn films, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein in Manhattan federal court has denied Malibu Media's request for a subpoena to get the subscriber's name and address from his or her internet service provider. In his 11-page decision (PDF), Judge Hellerstein discussed "copyright trolls" and noted that (a) it is not clear that Malibu Media's porn products are entitled to copyright protection, (b) discussed some of its questionable litigation practices, (c) Malibu's "investigation" leads at best to an IP address rather than to an individual infringer, (d) there is a major risk of misidentification, (e) Malibu has no evidence that the individual John Doe committed any act of infringement, and (f) Malibu's claim that there is no other practical way for it to target infringement was not supported by adequate evidence.

Submission + - Russian Progress cargo ship docks with space station

An anonymous reader writes: An unmanned Russian cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The successful launch, rendezvous and docking came after two resupply failures. A Progress launched in April spun out of control and a week ago, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket disintegrated, destroying a supply ship loaded with supplies and equipment. "Crew reports, 'feels like Christmas in July,'" the International Space Station tweeted.

Submission + - Finnish co-inventor of SMS texting dies (bbc.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC News reports that Matti Makkonen, one of the "grand old man of mobile industry" who helped launch the worldwide sensation of texting, has died at the age of 63 after an illness.

Although planning to retire later in 2015 from the board of Finnet Telecoms, Makkonen constantly remained fascinated with communications technologies, from the Nokia 2010 mobile phone to 3G connections.

He lived just enough to witness the last remnants of former finnish mobile industry giant Nokia disappear, as Redmond announced its intent last month to convert all Nokia stores into Microsoft-branded Authorised Reseller and Service Centres, offering Xbox game consoles alongside the Nokia-drived Lumia range of smartphones.

Submission + - Software to protect the users identity on the web are vulnerable to leaks in UK

jan_jes writes: According to researchers at Queen Mary University of London, Services used by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK to protect their identity on the web are vulnerable to leaks. The study of 14 popular VPN providers found that 11 of them leaked information about the user because of a vulnerability known as ‘IPv6 leakage’. The leakage occurs because network operators are increasingly deploying a new version of the protocol used to run the Internet called IPv6. The study also examined the security of various mobile platforms when using VPNs and found that they were much more secure when using Apple’s iOS, but were still vulnerable to leakage when using Google’s Android. Similarly Russian researchers have exposed the breakthrough U.S. spying program few months back.

Submission + - ITER won't be ready until 2027 (neimagazine.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Started back in 1985, the ITER, (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) project has suffered repeated delays and cost overruns, so much so that the first plasma originally scheduled for 2019 is "clearly not feasible", according to Dr. Bernard Bigot, the newly appointed director general

Part of the reason for the slow progress is down to the way the project is structured. The European Union, as host party, will contribute up to about 50% of the costs and the other parties 10% each. However, technical decisions require consensus and because those relating to the design of components will inevitably impact some parties more than others, it is difficult to reach. In one case discussions dragged on for six years without a definitive answer. Without that decision work did not progress

Dr. Bigot decides that ITER must gear up to take a more decisive role in the project. “What was plaguing the project before is that there was confusion between the best technical solution and sharing of the cost," said Bigot. “Now I want just the best technical decision. The cost will be covered according to the share of the parties, reflecting the spirit of the ITER agreement"

Dr. Bigot's current aim is to accomplish the deuterium-tritium plasma (previously planned for March 2027), to a more realistic date. “We are now considering the best way to move on from the first plasma and rush as much as possible to the DT plasma, which will please the scientific community," Bigot said

ITER intends to step up to the plate whenever some parties face difficulties complying with the schedule for delivery of equipment by putting the interests of the project first, and redistribute tasks. For example, the organization has already taken charge of procurement of some components on behalf of domestic agencies, although they still remain responsible for the costs

Dr. Bigot stresses that the project is too far advanced for design changes, with more than €7 billion of procurement contracts in place and over 1000 companies at work

“You could not just change [the scope] in the middle...you have to go, or stop." He concluded: "The time has come for the ITER Organization to demonstrate it is serious. The biggest risk is that we lose trust of the political leaders and public opinion, then the project would be dead"

Submission + - UK's National Computer Museum Seeks Repairmen for BBC Micros (bbc.com)

tresho writes: 1981-era 8-bit BBC Micro computers and peripherals are displayed in a special interactive exhibit designed to give modern students a taste of programming a vintage machine."We want to find out whether people have got skills out there that can keep the cluster alive as long as we can," said Chris Monk, learning co-ordinator at the organisation.

Owen Grover, a volunteer at the museum who currently helps maintain the cluster of BBC Micro machines, said they held up well despite being more than 30 years old. The BBC Micro was "pretty robust", he said, because it was designed to be used in classrooms. This meant that refurbishing machines for use in the hands-on exhibit was usually fairly straightforward. "The main problem we need to sort out is the power supply," he said. "There are two capacitors that dry out and if we do not replace them they tend to explode and stink the place out. So we change them as a matter of course." General maintenance on the machines includes replacing keys that stick and the occasional component that fails. Thankfully, he said, there were few custom-built components in the machine so getting spares is easy. Harder-to-obtain parts are cannibalised from broken or faulty machines the museum has in its stores.


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