Repton writes: Thanks to the Second Amendment, even the elderly have the right to keep and bear arms. The problem is that many of the guns out there are a bit unwieldy for an older person to handle. However, the inventors of the Palm Pistol are planning to change all that with a weapon that is ideal for both the elderly and the physically disabled. In a statement submitted to Medgadget, the manufacturer, Constitution Arms, has revealed the following: "We thought you might be interested to learn that the FDA has completed its "Device/Not a Device" determination and concluded the handgun will be listed as a Class I Medical Device." Physicians will be able to prescribe the Palm Pistol for qualified patients who may seek reimbursement through Medicare or private health insurance companies.
Repton writes: BRS Labs, which is launching both its business and its technology today, has received 16 patents on a new video surveillance application that can convert video images into machine-readable language, and then analyze them for anomalies that suggest suspicious behavior in the camera's field of view. Once the software is operational, it can "recognize" up to 300 objects and establish a baseline of activity.
Repton writes: Media are reporting that the next version of Microsoft Windows will be codenamed "Fiji". Apparently this is because Fiji is seen as a romantic tropical holiday destination. Unfortunately, here in the Pacific we know Fiji as a failed military state torn by racial strife (between the Indian and native Fijian populations), with two coups this decade, and low tolerance for a free press.
Repton writes: Long-running New Zealand magazine recently ran a column on the climate change skeptics' media manipulation. A prominent skeptic wrote a letter calling for the journalist's future silence on the issue, and also claimed (and was ironically granted) a right of reply. Then.. the original journalist lost his job. A local blog covered this, and was silenced by the Listener's lawyers. You can still read the comments, including one where the journalist speculates on why he was fired (he doesn't officially know). from the morgue has a good summary, including links to a local lawyer's view.
Repton writes: In this Boing Boing video, Pablos Holman demonstrates how he can use an $8 RFID reader purchased on eBay to wirelessly read credit card details from a modern, RFID-enabled credit card. The range is currently short (centimetres), but Holman theorises that he could build a unit with a boosted antenna, allowing him to read a shop full of data at a time.
Repton writes: "Microsoft has asked the Education Ministry to pay a licence fee for all copies of Microsoft Office being used on Macintoshes in New Zealand schools. The Ministry doesn't think this is cost-effective, and so it is asking schools to remove Microsoft Office from any Macs they have. Education Minister Steve Maharey suggets schools use NeoOffice instead, but some schools aren't impressed, saying that NeoOffice may be buggy."
Repton writes: "The office in charge of protecting American technical secrets about nuclear weapons from foreign spies is missing 20 desktop computers, at least 14 of which have been used for classified information, the Energy Department inspector general reported on Friday."