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+ - Flying Donkey Challenge on hold as Kenyan authorities cope with Westgate fallout->

Submitted by Hallie Siegel
Hallie Siegel (2948665) writes "The Flying Donkey Challenge — a competition that aimed to spur a new transport industry using cargo drones in order to solve the problem of supply delivery in places where infrastructure is poor or non-existent — has been put on hold. Preliminary sub-challenges were slated to begin this November in Kenya, but have been put on hold indefinitely due to delays in obtaining final approvals from Kenyan authorities who are concerned about airspace security following the Westgate Mall incident and other more recent attacks."
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+ - A Convicted Hacker and an Internet Icon Join Forces to Thwart NSA Spying->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The internet is littered with burgeoning email encryption schemes aimed at thwarting NSA spying. Many of them are focused on solving the usability issues that have plagued complicated encryption schemes like PGP for years. But a new project called Dark Mail plans to go further: to hide your metadata.

Metadata is the pernicious transaction data involving the âoeToâ, âoeFromâ and subject fields of email that the NSA finds so valuable for tracking communications and drawing connections between people. Generally, even when email is encrypted, metadata is not. Dark Mail ambitiously aims to revamp existing email structures to hide this data while still making the system universally compatible with existing email clients."

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+ - This wearable Robot will give 2 extra fingers to our Hand.

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "Researchers at MIT have developed a robot that enhances the grasping motion of the human hand. This wrist-wearable robot gives two extra fingers to our hand.

The robotic fingers are at either side of the the hand — one outside the thumb, and the other outside the little finger.

A control algorithm enables it to move in sync with the wearer's fingers to grasp objects of various shapes and sizes.

With the assistance of these extra fingers, we can grasp objects that are usually too difficult to do with a single hand."

Comment: Re:Much better board layout (Score 3, Interesting) 202

by ChrisSlicks (#47452301) Attached to: New Raspberry Pi Model B+
Yes, a respectable line-in would be really nice. For now I have been using the Wolfson Audio Card but it costs as much as the Raspberry Pi itself, and you have to patch the OS to get it to work (but the quality is great). I've tried some of the USB audio devices but found the quality to be not good enough, probably because they are really designed for microphones and even with gain at minimal settings there is too much distortion for line-in. 48kHz is good enough IMO, the Pi doesn't really have enough CPU power to do much more than that if recording and compressing in real time.

Comment: Re:Hacked? (Score 1) 378

They can work if the owner forgets to lock out that mode. I have tried and tested it successfully on one machine and another machine said "feature disabled".

Modern vending machines are hybrids, they have their electro-mechanical component but there is a basic CPU that collects statistics and also can control the vend prices depending on the model. Modern vending machines can also be USB, serial and Ethernet connected which only increases their hackability.

Comment: Re:MSFT is afraid (Score 1) 202

by ChrisSlicks (#47164823) Attached to: Netflix Ditches Silverlight For HTML5 On Macs
It should never be that painful. What kind of crap DRM is so tightly interwoven into the OS that it requires a complete reinstall to fix it? I can't play Netflix on this PC either due to Silverlight DRM being hosed. I'm not going to spend countless hours trying to fix it either, I'll just wait for HTML5 support and use a different PC in the meantime.

Comment: Re:Best low-cost CPU with half-decent GPU? (Score 1) 345

by ChrisSlicks (#47020703) Attached to: AMD Preparing To Give Intel a Run For Its Money
AMD A6-5400K. 3.6GHz (3.8 Turbo) and Radeon HD 7540D. $65

As others have said it is a slower processor than the intel but with faster graphics. The AMD only gets a 2100 CPU Mark (Passmark software) which is about the same as an old Phenom II X2 or a few year old Intel i3 mobile chip.

I assembled it as a low-end system for a parent that basically does email and web surfing along with some basic image editing and cheesy games.

Comment: Re:Electric. (Score 1) 659

by ChrisSlicks (#47010463) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?
I agree that we aren't there yet for it to make financial sense for the majority, but right now it can make financial sense for a small percentage of people.

I don't really consider the Volt a true EV, it is more of a hybrid. It has all the drawbacks of a traditional ICE with some minor benefits of the electric.
To get an EV for the masses there needs to be cheaper and denser battery/energy technology. When there is an EV with 300 mile range $25K then it will become the people's car. Tesla has the right idea and may get there someday, to do it they need to scale up production 10x and increase battery density by 75% while reducing battery cost 50%.

+ - US College Students Still Aren't All That Interested In Computer Science->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Despite the hot job market and competitive salaries, the share of Computer Science degrees as a percentage of BA degrees has remained essentially unchanged since 1981, according to data from the National Center for Educational Statistics’ Digest of Educational Statistics. If history is any indication, it will take a cultural phenomenon to shift the percentage higher: Blogger Phil Johnson point out that there were 'two distinct peaks, one in 1985 (4.4% of U.S. college degrees) and one in 2002 (4.42%). These would represent big increases for the classes entering school in 1981 and 1998 respectively. The former year corresponds to the beginning of computers coming into the home and the release of things like MS-DOS 1.0, all of which may have increased interest in programming. The latter year was during the dot com bubble, which, no doubt, also boosted interest.'"
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+ - Disappearing text messages affecting iPhone to Android converts->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A number of iPhone users who have since switched to Android are finding that they are unable to receive messages sent from iPhone users. The problem lies in the fact that some folks have phone numbers tied to iMessage even after leaving the iOS ecosystem.

Lifehacker EIC Adam Pash recently experienced this problem and detailed it in a post aptly titled "iMessage purgatory."

"I recently switched from an iPhone to Android, and discovered shortly thereafter that my phone number was still associated with iMessage, meaning that any time someone with an iPhone tried texting me, I'd receive nothing, and they'd get a "Delivered" receipt in their Messages app as though everything were working as expected.""

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Comment: Re:Electric. (Score 2) 659

by ChrisSlicks (#47002279) Attached to: Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?
No, he is talking about total cost of ownership which includes fuel and maintenance. People with longish commutes are spending $80-$100 a week on gas, which can add up to $5000 a year plus a few hundred in maintenance. If you keep the car for 4 years and then sell it, the total cost of ownership is the original purchase price minus the re-sale price plus what you've spent. Or in lease terms if you are spending $300-$400 a month in fuel then you add that to your monthly lease payment to get the monthly TCO. Of course electricity isn't free either but it is an order of magnitude less. Bottom line is it can make sense if you drive enough.

+ - George R R Martin Reveals His Secret Weapon for Writing GOT- Wordstar

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Ryan Reed writes that when most Game of Thrones fans imagine George R.R. Martin writing his epic fantasy novels, they probably picture the author working on a futuristic desktop (or possibly carving his words onto massive stones like the Ten Commandments). But the truth is that Martin works on an outdated DOS machine using Eighties word processor WordStar 4.0, as he revealed during an interview on Conan. "I actually like it," says Martin. "It does everything I want a word processing program to do, and it doesn't do anything else. I don't want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower case letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don't want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key." “I actually have two computers," Martin continued. “I have a computer I browse the Internet with and I get my email on, and I do my taxes on. And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet.""

+ - Brain Injury Turns Man Into Math Genius->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "In 2002, two men savagely attacked Jason Padgett outside a karaoke bar, leaving him with a severe concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder. But the incident also turned Padgett into a mathematical genius who sees the world through the lens of geometry.

Padgett, a furniture salesman from Tacoma, Wash., who had very little interest in academics, developed the ability to visualize complex mathematical objects and physics concepts intuitively. The injury, while devastating, seems to have unlocked part of his brain that makes everything in his world appear to have a mathematical structure.

Sometimes, math can be hard ... but can it also be beautiful?

"I see shapes and angles everywhere in real life" — from the geometry of a rainbow, to the fractals in water spiraling down a drain, Padgett told Live Science. "It's just really beautiful.""

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Comment: Re:L3, Cogent and Others Crying Wolf (Score 2) 210

ISP traffic has always been asymmetrical, 90% down, 10% up. It wasn't until peer-to-peer networking took off that the balance started to swing a little, and then the ISP's were complaining because their up-link bandwidth was getting saturated over the coax nodes.

Now that streaming video is becoming a common place thing the percentage has swung back up and we are probably 95% down, 5% up on the ISP network. They're all upgrading their last mile connections so you can have 50Mbit+ to the home, but if you're streaming from Netflix you're lucky if you get 2Mbit due to congestion at the inter-connects. We're paying these ISP's a shit-ton of money (comparatively), they should be able to maintain a respectable level of service. They've upgraded every part of their network except the part that is really important, because they think they can make a buck. And since they effectively have a monopoly the customer is being held hostage.

Bottom line is the ISP is responsible for getting the customer's traffic from point A to point B, that's what we pay for. It doesn't matter where it comes from, they should be able to adapt their network to suit the customer's needs.

+ - Head of MS Research on Special Projects, Google X and Win 9->

Submitted by Velcroman1
Velcroman1 (1667895) writes "Microsoft Research finally earned some long-overdue headlines last week, when ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reported on a “Special Projects” group that would tackle disruptive technology and ultimately Google X. Peter Lee, head of the division and its 1,100 researchers, told Digital Trends he’s not frustrated by all of that glowing press for Google’s researchers and the lack of attention for MSR. “Frustrating is not quite the right word,” Lee said, in an interview ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony for MSR’s New York City office. “I like Google X. The people there are good friends of mine. Astro [Teller, “Captain of Moonshots” with Google X] took classes from me at Carnegie Mellon, he’s a great guy doing great stuff. But the missions are different. We want to make things better and ship them. That will always be primary for us. It will be secondary for them.”"
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Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced. - John Keats