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Sochi Drones Are Shooting the Olympics, Not Terrorists 108

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Rachel Feltman reports that drones are being used to film ski and snowboarding events at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and unlike military drones, which often look like a remote-controlled airplane, the creature floating around Sochi resembles a huge flying spider. The legs of the flying spider hold the rotors that spin around to keep it airborne. The drone then has a flight deck that holds the flight control system with GPS for navigation, sensors and receivers. The camera can be mounted in the middle or suspended below the flight deck. A drone with mounted camera can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $37,000 for a top-of-the-line Ikarus from Britain's Heliguy, which is advising broadcast clients in Sochi on using drones. That compares with the cost of a few thousand dollars an hour to rent a helicopter with pilot, not including the camera crew and equipment. Cameraman Remo Masina says he can fly a drone at up to 40 mph while transmitting a high-definition, live image and says the chances of drone crashes are close to zero when a drone is handled by an experienced pilot, because the drones are programmed to return to base at the slightest problem — such as a low battery, rough winds or a malfunction. 'There have been mishaps, however. In one case last year, a drone filming an imitation version of Spain's running of the bulls in Virginia crashed and injured a few spectators.'"

Comment Re:It was the computer for us commoner kids (Score 1) 263

I was about to call you out on the model number but instead I learned of a new, UK-only Amiga model. I did chuckle when reading that under the A1500 label is an A2000 label. :)

Sure, if the workbench was loaded, you could start a shell and write a script (with that awful built-in line editor, uuugh), but it wasn't the same as the instant-on of the C64.

I used to do similar things at Radio Shack; there was a POKE you could use to toggle the internal relay on/off much faster than you should (the BASIC command to toggle the relay would wait a second or so before each state - the POKE obviously didn't). Put this in an infinite loop, walk away and watch the poor clerk run to the front of the store to reset the demo machine.


Google Wallet Stores Card Data In Plain Text 213

nut writes "The much-hyped payment application from Google on Android has been examined by viaForensics and appears to store some cardholder data in plaintext. Google wallet is the first real payment system to use NFC on Android. Version 2 of the PCI DSS (the current standard) mandates the encryption of transmitted cardholder data encourages strong encryption for its storage. viaForensics suggest that the data stored in plain text might be sufficient to allow social engineering to obtain a credit card number."

Comment Re:Still In Stock at HP (Score 1) 368

My order is still in the "Submitted" stage, I don't know if that comes before or after "Processing" status. It's a good thing I got the accessories I wanted on Sunday (there was still plenty left), because all of the HP Touchpad stuff was removed from the BestBuy/FutureShop shelves Monday, including the demo units which were still on display Sunday.

I've heard that HP will actually get new stock in the coming days, which I presume is the result of the "last production run" started before they canned everything.

Now I'm actually surprised HP canned it at all, because selling a $400 touchpad at $99 is the very definition of a loss-leader, and clearly there is consumer interest in the product at that price point.

Comment Re:Still In Stock at HP (Score 1) 368

Thanks for the tip, managed to order a 32GB from the HP store yesterday night, long after it was sold out in local stores. Today was the run for accessories, while they still exist (charging stand, cover, etc). Cases shouldn't be a problem since the device is about the same size and depth as an iPad 1, and those are plentiful. Not sure if I'll need one or not, maybe the cover will be sufficient.

Did the sales rep mention a time frame for the overcharge correction? I tried calling to check but their phone lines are (understandably) overloaded right now. I wonder if I should worry...

Comment Re:Is DRM conceptually useless? (Score 1) 176

Took significantly less then 5 years to crack the PS3. The people who ended up finding the right stuff werent even looking until motivated by Sony.

You're arguing semantics ;)

Ok, so the crack itself didn't take 5 years to develop (I think it took geohot mere days to find one?). My point was that in the eyes of Sony, the DRM "held" for 5 years, so I'm pretty sure it was worth it. For a long time the PS3 was the only secure console of this generation, thanks to the OtherOS option keeping the homebrew crowd happy. When Sony removed it, the race was on...

Comment Re:Is DRM conceptually useless? (Score 1) 176


But in practice:
a) They figure maybe they can hide the secret well enough that you won't be able to find it.

b) They figure that if they can keep you looking for it long enough, it will be a success even if you do eventually find it. If the gamecube were just cracked yesterday, its DRM would have been an unqualified success.


I'd say it worked well enough for Sony (not that I agree with them on this). It took 5 years for the PS3 security system to be broken... Compare to the Wii (instant) or the Xbox 360 (within the first year).


Paramount Pictures To Release Film On Bittorrent 178

TheyreNotTheir writes "In a little over two months time, the long-awaited horror movie The Tunnel will receive its world premiere. Rather than a traditional theatrical release, the movie – which is set in abandoned real-life tunnels under Sydney, Australia – will make its debut online for free with BitTorrent. Simultaneously it will be released on physical DVD, to be distributed by Hollywood giant Paramount Pictures."

Comment Re:That's one heck of a "long goodbye" (Score 4, Informative) 356

The problem isn't the OS, it's the port: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS/2_connector (see the "hotplugging" section).

You *must* power down the machine before plugging in a PS/2 device, or risk blowing up the port controller/fuse. I have killed at least one motherboard this way (PS/2 devices no longer work on it).

Comment Re:Ask a friend (Score 5, Informative) 318

What's a decent free one to use?

If you have to run Windows, the Microsoft Security Essentials package is excellent. I haven't had the urge to uninstall it yet (unlike Avast and AVG), and it doesn't noticeably slow your system. It's free if you have a valid Windows license...


Facebook's 'Like This' Button Is Tracking You 273

Stoobalou submitted a story about some of the most obvious research I've seen in a while ... "A researcher from a Dutch university is warning that Facebook's 'Like This' button is watching your every move. Arnold Roosendaal, who is a doctoral candidate at the Tilburg University for Law, Technology and Society, warns that Facebook is tracking and tracing everyone, whether they use the social networking site or not. Roosendaal says that Facebook's tentacles reach way beyond the confines of its own web sites and subscriber base because more and more third party sites are using the 'Like This' button and Facebook Connect."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Video Games Found To Enhance Visual Attention 79

donniebaseball23 writes "Reporting on new research from WIREs Cognitive Science, IndustryGamers writes: 'Action games like Call of Duty and Halo can enhance visual attention, the ability that helps us focus on relevant visual information. The mental mechanism allows people to select pertinent visual information and ignore irrelevant information. It suggests that action titles can be used to augment military training, educational tools, and correct visual deficits.' Shawn Green, co-author of the study, commented, 'At the core of these action video game-induced improvements appears to be a remarkable enhancement in the ability to flexibly and precisely control attention, a finding that could have a variety of real-world applications. For example, those in professions that demand "super-normal" visual attention, such as fighter pilots, would benefit enormously from enhanced visual attention, as their performance and lives depend on their ability to react quickly and accurately to primarily visual information."
Operating Systems

Can Windows, OS X and Fedora All Work Together? 375

greymond writes "In my ever growing job responsibilities, I've recently been tasked with documenting our organization's IT infrastructure, primarily focusing on cost analysis of our hardware leases and software purchases. This is something that has never been done in our organization before and while it's moving along slowly, I'm already seeing some places where we could make improvements. Once completed, I see this as an opportunity to bring up the topic of migrating the majority of our office from Windows 7 to Linux and from Exchange to Gmail. However, this would result in three departments each running a different system: Windows, OS X, and most likely Fedora. Has anyone worked in or tried to set up an environment like this? What roadblocks did you run into? Is this really feasible or should I just continue to focus on the cutbacks that don't require OS changes? (The requirement for having three different systems is that the vast majority of our administration, who rely solely on an install of Microsoft Windows, Word and Excel, are savvy enough that if they came in and saw Gnome running on Fedora with Open Office they'd pick it up fast. However, our marketing department is composed entirely of Apple systems, and the latest Adobe Creative Suite doesn't seem to all work under Wine. The biggest issue is with the Sales department though, as they rely on a proprietary sales platform that is Windows only — and generally, sales personal give the biggest push back when it comes to organizational changes.)"

CERN LHC Reaches Its Goals For 2010 90

Anonymous Dupaeur writes "The goals for the first run of the most powerful particle collider (and the most energetic storage ring since ISR) were recently surpassing the 10^32 level of luminosity, with a destructive 15 MJ energy per-beam. This is a significant milestone, opening the way to collect more and more data. The current plan is to stop the proton collisions soon, and provide an ion (Pb) beam and conclude this year with a X-mass break. The next year is expected to bring at least one inverse femtobarn of data, which is achievable with such beam power. After that, the entire accelerator complex will be shut down for a year, due to budget costs for science in Europe."