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Robotics

Giant Robotic Jellyfish Unveiled by Researchers 43

Posted by samzenpus
from the thank-you-science dept.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, an anonymous reader writes in with news about a giant robot jellyfish. As if there weren't enough real jellyfish around to trigger our thalassophobia, researchers at Virginia Tech have created Cryo -- an eight-armed autonomous robot that mimics jelly movement with the help of a flexible silicone hat. The man-sized jellybot altogether dwarfs previous efforts, hence the upgrade from small tank to swimming pool for mock field tests. And unlike the passively propelled bots we've seen recently, Cryo runs on batteries, with the researchers hoping to better replicate the energy-efficient nature of jelly movement to eventually increase Cryo's charge cycle to months instead of hours. That's also the reason these robotic jellyfish are getting bigger -- because the larger they are, the further they can go."
Security

Did the Spamhaus DDoS Really Slow Down Global Internet Access? 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-to-blame dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Despite the headlines, the big denial of service attack may not have slowed the Internet after all. The argument against the original claim include the fact that reports of Internet users seeing slowdowns came not from service providers, but the DDoS mitigation service CloudFlare, which signed up Spamhaus as a customer last week. Also, multiple service providers and Internet watchers have now publicly stated that while the DDoS attacks against Spamhaus could theoretically have led to slowdowns, they've seen no evidence that this occurred for general Internet users. And while some users may have noticed a slowdown, the undersea cable cuts discovered by Egyptian sailors had more of an impact than the DDoS."
Media

Roku Finally Gets a 2D Menu System 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-look dept.
DeviceGuru writes "Many of us have griped for years about Roku's retro one-dimensional user interface. Finally, in conjunction with the release of the new Roku 3 model, the Linux-based media streaming player is getting a two-dimensional facelift, making it quicker and easier to access favorite channels and find new ones. Current Roku users, who will now begin suffering from UI-envy, will be glad to learn that Roku plans to push out a firmware update next month to many earlier models, including the Roku LT, Roku HD (model 2500R), Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 XS, and Roku Streaming Stick. A short demo of the new 2D Roku menu system is available in this YouTube video."
Technology

Gartner Says 3D Printers Will Cost Less Than $2,000 By 2016 170

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-you-one dept.
colinneagle writes "Widespread adoption of 3D printing technology may not be that far away, according to a Gartner report predicting that enterprise-class 3D printers will be available for less than $2,000 by 2016. 3D printers are already in use among many businesses, from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals to consumers goods, and have generated a diverse set of use cases. As a result, the capabilities of the technology have evolved to meet customer needs, and will continue to develop to target those in additional markets, Gartner says."
Communications

Korean Artist's Intentionally Useless Satellite To Launch This December 151

Posted by timothy
from the hey-it-beats-working dept.
An anonymous reader quotes the introduction to Inhabit's article on the upcoming launch of an art project cum satellite intended to be as different as possible from conventional space hardware: "South Korean artist Song Hojun has created his own DIY satellite from scratch – and he's planning to launch it into space this coming December. Song created the satellite from assorted junk he found in back-alley electronics stores in his home town of Seoul, and over the course of six years he has finally managed to complete his space-bound project. Song's satellite cost just over $400 to make, however the cost of launching it to space is going to be a lot, lot more – over $100,000."

Comment: Re:Other options? (Score 1) 378

by KenCrandall (#40572229) Attached to: Mozilla Downshifting Development of Thunderbird E-Mail Client

Or what about this one right here that many, many people have been asking for, but has been languishing for years because it's not "interesting" to developers?

IMO, Thunderbird stopped being industry-leading or interesting from a UI/UX perspective years ago. As one who uses it on a daily basis, it makes me sad.

Things like Postbox show that the code base can still function well and can be used with some UI/UX love, but since Postbox is a closed project, the majority of extensions, etc. cannot be used with it unless they are "Postbox-specific" versions. (Note, I am not knocking them for this, just stating the facts.)

I just wish we had the Postbox UI with the community of Thunderbird around it...

KDE

KDE 4.7 – a First Look At Beta 1 264

Posted by timothy
from the longevity-and-maturiity dept.
A few days ago, the KDE project shipped the first beta of the upcoming 4.7 release. Reader dmbkiwi submits a link to a rundown of what 4.7 looks like, snipping from which: "Previously it was Gnome that was the steady plodder making minor incremental changes through the 2.x series, building stability and only adding minor features. However, with the recent releases of both Gnome Shell and the Unity desktop on Ubuntu, the Gnome/Ubuntu side of the desktop linux equation has made radical and controversial steps away from the well loved Gnome 2.x series, leaving KDE 4.x as the 'steady as she goes' option."
Games

The Misleading World of Atari 2600 Box Art 267

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the all-hail-marketing dept.
Buffalo55 writes "These days, you don't have to worry about misleading box art, thanks to sophisticated video game graphics. In the 70s and 80s, though, companies tried to grab a consumer's attention with fancy artwork that bore no resemblance to the actual game. Atari, in particular, was one of the biggest offenders, particularly with its 2600 console."
Microsoft

To Ballmer, Grabbing iPad's Market Is 'Job One Urgency' 764

Posted by kdawson
from the slate-envy dept.
Barence writes "Microsoft's Steve Ballmer has vented his frustration at the success of the iPad and said developing a Windows alternative is 'job one urgency.' 'Apple has done an interesting job of putting together a synthesis and putting a product out, and in which they've... they sold certainly more than I'd like them to sell, let me just be clear about that,' Ballmer told analysts. The Microsoft boss said the company plans to deliver a range of tablet formats in the next year, some based on Intel's next-gen Oak Trail processor. 'It is job one urgency around here. Nobody is sleeping at the switch. And so we are working with those partners, not just to deliver something, but to deliver products that people really want to go buy.'" In Microsoft's vision, slates will run a derivative of Windows 7.

Comment: Re:Shrimp free zone? (Score 3, Interesting) 643

by KenCrandall (#30702510) Attached to: Air Canada Ordered To Provide Nut-Free Zone

Well, in my case I have an anaphylactic reaction to cats, including dander, fur, oils, etc, so having them in the closed-circulation cabin air could indeed be fatal.

It's especially worrisome since allergic reactions often intensify the more often they occur -- someone might not even realize that the next one could be fatal until it's 2 hours too late into a 5+ hour flight.

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the pricepoint-better-be-right dept.
Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."
GUI

IDEs With VIM Text Editing Capability? 193

Posted by timothy
from the one-keybinding-to-rule-them-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I am currently looking to move from text editing with vim to a full fledged IDE with gdb integration, integrated command line, etc. Extending VIM with these capabilities is a mortal sin, so I am looking for a linux based GUI IDE. I do not want to give up the efficient text editing capabilities of VIM though. How do I have my cake and eat it too?"
Programming

An Open Source Compiler From CUDA To X86-Multicore 71

Posted by timothy
from the abstraction-gains-a-layer dept.
Gregory Diamos writes "An open source project, Ocelot, has recently released a just-in-time compiler for CUDA, allowing the same programs to be run on NVIDIA GPUs or x86 CPUs and providing an alternative to OpenCL. A description of the compiler was recently posted on the NVIDIA forums. The compiler works by translating GPU instructions to LLVM and then generating native code for any LLVM target. It has been validated against over 100 CUDA applications. All of the code is available under the New BSD license."
Power

Nuclear Reactors As Art 118

Posted by kdawson
from the springfield-diagrammed dept.
Hemos recommends the coverage over at Wired of a project to digitize nuclear reactor art. "Not all nuclear reactors are built alike. Power plant designs can vary in their fuels, coolants, and configurations, a fact beautifully illustrated by a series of reactor wall charts originally published in issues of Nuclear Engineering International during the 1970s and 1980s. Since then, the charts have been lovingly collected by Ronald Knief, a nuclear engineer at Sandia National Laboratory. Recently, he completed his collection... and began to digitize the drawings. The first eight out of more than 100 have now been permanently archived online... 'This is not a CAD/CAM-type thing,' Knief said. 'This really is art.'"

God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean. -- Albert Einstein

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