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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 6 declined, 4 accepted (10 total, 40.00% accepted)

+ - Worst Idea Ever? Missouri DOT Considers Assaulting Speeders With 150dB Cannon->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "The Missouri DOT has come up with a... let's say 'novel' solution to the issue of drivers speeding through work zones: Fire a 153dB LRAD sound cannon at their windshield.

MoDOT employee Michele Compton claims the device will only be triggered by speeders (however they choose to define that term), and that "The sound easily penetrates the windshield and well-insulated cab of a car, even overriding the vehicle's engine sounds and a radio turned up loud enough to jam to tunes at highway speeds."

Several people have brought up valid questions about the system's use — will it be able to tell if it's pointed at a car or a motorcycle, and compensate appropriately, or just blast the poor biker off the road? Aside from the obvious physical danger such a weapon would cause if deployed on a busy highway, there's also a more Orwellian component to be concerned with: Tasers were originally issued to police officers as less-than-lethal "deterrent" devices, and the scope of their use has crept into "compliance" territory. How long before the government is using the military grade weaponry such as the LRAD not to punish lawbreakers, but to control the populace in general?

Oh, wait, that already happened."

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+ - Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants to "Fix" the Second Amendment-> 1

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "In his yet-to-be-released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, John Paul Stevens, who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court for 35 years, believes he has the key to stopping the seeming recent spate of mass killings — amend the Constitution to exclude private citizens from armament ownership. Specifically, he recommends adding 5 words to the 2nd Amendment, so that it would read as follows:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What I find interesting is how Stevens maintains that the Amendment only protects armament ownership for those actively serving in a state or federal military unit, in spite of the fact that the Amendment specifically names "the People" as a benefactor (just like the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth) and of course, ignoring the traditional definition of the term militia. I'm personally curious as to what his other 5 suggested changes are, but I guess we'll have towait until the end of April to find out."

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+ - GunGeoMarker App Finally Shows its True Colors (And They're Hideous)

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "The GunGeoMarker app for Android, which is probably the worst non-malware app ever thought up, updated in a way that completely changes the functionality of the program: instead of a garbage program that brings up a static map of your current location and only allows users to enter a single, 30-character-or-less post, the app now (via a button labeled, "What the Project Really Is: HONEYPOT" ) opens your web browser and directs you to the author's latest masturbatory blog post, in which Brett Stalbaum showers himself with praise for the success of the 'project,' as well as removing what little functionality existed in the first place.

  Apparently the whole point of this exercise was to give an excuse for Stalbaum to demonize those with differing opinions, as well as justify some self-inflicted back patting. Kudos, I guess?"
Science

+ - MIT: One Step Closer to 3D Holography, Better Medical Imaging->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "Remember that scene in Back To The Future: Part II, where Marty is 'attacked' by the holographic Jaws? Researchers at MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics have gotten one step closer to such a technology: record-setting Optical Phase Arrays that can actively steer light, in the form of a 4,096-emitter array that fits on a single silicon chip. From TFA:

Chips that can steer beams of light could enable a wide range of applications, including cheaper, more efficient, and smaller laser rangefinders; medical-imaging devices that can be threaded through tiny blood vessels; and even holographic televisions that emit different information when seen from different viewing angles.

Neat."
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Games

+ - Valve Pulls a Sony, Eliminates Right to Sue in Newest Steam Subscriber Update->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "Per an article on PCGamer:

Valve has made some major changes to the Steam Subscriber Agreement, changing the way it handles customer disputes and banning any class action lawsuits over the service. In both cases, it informs us, this is for everyone’s own good – ours as customers, and Valve’s as a company.

The specific paragraph from [Valve's] blog post goes like this:

“It’s clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions don’t provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities. We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole.”

Considering the decidedly less-than-noble motivations of others whose practices Valve is emulating (I'm looking at you, Sony... you too, EA), this submitter finds that statement dubious at best, as well as wondering what recourse, if any, current Steam subscribers will have to avoid being forced to either agree to get screwed, or lose access to our games."
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Verizon

+ - Verizon Wireless Goes Ahead With "Bucket" Data Plans->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "Previously, it was reported that Verizon was considering eliminating their current data plan scheme, as well as the grandfathered unlimited plans, in favor of a new 'bucket' plan in which up to 10 devices would share a data allotment. Verizon officially acknowledged it today, called the "Share Everything" plan, which will go into effect as of June 28, 2012;
according to USA Today:

Under the new pricing plan, a smartphone customer opting for the cheapest data bucket, 1 gigabyte, will pay $90 before taxes and fees ($40 for phone access and $50 for 1 GB). Customers can add a basic phone, laptop and tablet to share data for $30, $20 and $10, respectively.

Those of us still grandfathered into the unlimted plan will be forced to either sign up for Share Everything, or one of the tiered pricing plans currently in effect."
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Government

+ - New Samsung TV Watches You Watching It->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "Straight out of 1984, Samsung has unveiled a new series of telescreens with integrated cameras and microphones, complete with facial and voice recognition software. Best of all, there appears to be no physical indication of the mic and camera's status, so consumers have no way of knowing when they're being monitored, or by whom... and if you don't find the idea of a TV that watches you creepy enough, apparently Samsung's Terms of Service include a clause allowing third-party apps to make use of the monitoring system, and use the data gathered for their own purposes.

Nothing Orwellian about that..."

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+ - Nokia Applies for Vibrating Tattoo Patent->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "Tired of waiting for the Pip-Boy or Omni-Tool to be invented? Never fear! Nokia is developing the basic technology needed to make your dreams a reality: haptic-feedback tattoos. According to the patent application, Nokia is proposing “a material attachable to skin, the material capable of detecting a magnetic field and transferring a perceivable stimulus to the skin, wherein the perceivable stimulus relates to the magnetic field.”

Basically, the process is the same as for normal tattooing; the difference is in the ferromagnetic ink.

Kind of brings new meaning to the term "embedded device," doesn't it?"

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Government

+ - U.S. Congress Quietly Criminalizes Protesting->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "From Huffington Post:

H. R. 347, better known to those in the DC beltway as the 'Trespass Bill' — potentially makes peaceable protest anywhere in the U.S. a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. H. R. 347, and it's companion senate bill S. 1794, make protest of any type potentially a federal offense with anywhere from a year to 10 years in federal prison, providing it occurs in the presence of elites brandishing Secret Service protection, or during an officially defined 'National Special Security Event' (NSSE). NSSEs , ( an invention of Bill Clinton) are events which have been deemed worthy of Secret Service protection, which previously received no such treatment... Past NSSE events included the funerals of Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and the national security concern that was Superbowl XXXVI. Other NSSE protected events include the Academy Awards and the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions... HR 347 & S. 1794 insulates such events as the G-8, WTO and presidential conventions against tough questions and politically justified protests.

"

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Android

+ - New Android App Combines Business, Pleasure->

Submitted by CanHasDIY
CanHasDIY (1672858) writes "According to PCWorld, German IT firm Fraunhofer have developed a system of dividing a single Android smartphone into two; one for personal use, and one for business. The technology, known as BizzTrust, will be displayed at the IT-SA trade show running at the Nuremberg Exhibition Centre until October 13; a generic explanation of the software is available in PDF format here."
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