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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics 379

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-us-in dept.
mi writes Attorney General Eric Holder called it is "worrisome" that tech companies are providing default encryption on consumer electronics, adding that locking authorities out of being able to access the contents of devices puts children at risk. “It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,” Holder said at a conference on child sexual abuse, according to a text of his prepared remarks. “When a child is in danger, law enforcement needs to be able to take every legally available step to quickly find and protect the child and to stop those that abuse children. It is worrisome to see companies thwarting our ability to do so.”

Comment: Move away from the 120V screw-based sockets? (Score 1) 595

by RevWaldo (#48002215) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy
I wonder if moving to a new household standard away from the century-old Edison screw would get us better lighting solutions. It seems much of the Sturm und Drang around using CFLs and LEDs is simply all the extra electronics and engineering needed to get them to conform to the old standard. I'm sure many of the people who rail against CFLs are surrounded by good ol' tube florescent bulbs while at work, out shopping, etc. with nary a complaint, except perhaps some issues with light balance and aesthetics.


DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service 92

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-can-yellow-do-for-you dept.
jones_supa writes: In December, Amazon announced it intends to deliver packages to customers using drones. But its initiative was widely ridiculed for being an over-hyped announcement with little to show for it. This summer, Google demonstrated its own drone-based delivery service, using a fixed-wing aircraft to deliver little packages to farmers in the Australian outback. But now, German delivery firm DHL has beaten the tech firms to the punch, announcing a regular drone delivery service for the first time, nine months after it launched its "parcelcopter" research project in December 2013. The service will use an quadcopter to deliver small parcels to the German island of Juist, a sandbar island 12km into the North Sea from the German coast, inhabited by 2,000 people. Deliveries will include medication and other urgently needed goods. Flying below 50 meters to avoid entering regulated air traffic corridors, the drone takes a fully automated route, carrying a special air-transport container that is extremely lightweight as well as weatherproof.

Russia Pledges To Go To the Moon 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-tanks-they-promise dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, has announced it intends to bring humans to the Moon by roughly 2030. Russia plans a full-scale exploration of the Moon's surface. Agency head Oleg Ostapenko said that by the end of the next decade, "based on the results of lunar surface exploration by unmanned space probes, we will designate [the] most promising places for lunar expeditions and lunar bases.

Comment: That one Law & Order episode (Score 1) 98

by RevWaldo (#47971145) Attached to: Service Promises To Leak Your Documents If the Government Murders You
Where a service promised to email personal messages to friends and family "left behind" after the rapture. The three members who founded it would log in every day, assuming that if at least two of them failed to log in, being god-fearing Christians, the rapture has occurred. You can see where this is going.


Comment: The real worry for many people (Score 1) 478

by RevWaldo (#47968905) Attached to: Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"
And it's been around since at least the 1980's, is the worry that you'll be the one the ones that just misses out on the discovery of practical age reversal and effective immortality. Lying there in your hospital bed, listening to NPR, hearing that the cure for aging should be on the market within the next three years and it's for real this time and that's when you flatline. (His last words were "Oh, son of a bitch!")


Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the this-proves-nothing dept.
schwit1 writes Using its new top-shelf graphics processing unit, Nvidia tackles one of the most persistent conspiracy theories in American history: the veracity of the 1969 to 1972 Apollo moon landings. From the article: "'Global illumination is the hardest task to solve as a game company,' Scott Herkelman, Nvidia's GeForce general manager, said in an interview. 'Virtual point lights don't do a bad job when the environment stays the same, but a game developer has to fake shadows, fake's a labor-intensive process.' So when a Nvidia research engineer used the company's new dynamic lighting techniques to show off a side-by-side comparison between an Apollo 11 photo and a GeForce-powered re-creation, the company knew it had a novel demo on its hands. 'We're going to debunk one of the biggest conspiracies in the world,' Herkelman said."

Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway) 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-of-the-few-things-congress-actively-tries-to-do-these-days dept.
Jason Koebler writes: Earlier this week, the House Science Committee examined the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act, a bill that would ensure that "any resources obtained in outer space from an asteroid are the property of the entity that obtained such resources."

The problem is, that idea doesn't really mesh at all with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, a document that suggests space is a shared resource: "Unlike some other global commons, no agreement has been reached at to whether title to extracted space resources passes to the extracting entity," Joanne Gabrynowicz, a space law expert at the University of Mississippi said (PDF). "There is no legal clarity regarding the ownership status of the extracted resources. It is foreseeable that the entity's actions will be challenged at law and in politics."

Comment: Brand that shit! (Score 1) 405

You see in the pics in the article how the headphones say BOSE in letters you could read literally from across a football field? Where does it say "Surface" on the tablet? That little foam handle? Slap "Surface" on every side of those protective frames. This is the NFL! They don't do subtle.

Even better, go algorithmic. Whenever a Surface tablet appears on the screen, slap a "Surface, The Official Tablet of the NFL" graphic in the corner.

And what, no one thinks to stick an "It's not an iPad, it's a Surface" Post-It somewhere in the damn booths?


Chinese Man Sues State-Owned Cell Phone Company For Blocking Google 78

Posted by timothy
from the we-wish-him-much-luck dept.
jfruh writes China is notorious for censoring the Internet for its citizens, and access in the country became particularly spotty last year as the government tried to block any commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Tiannamen Square massacre. But now one Chinese man is striking back through the courts. A 26-year-old legal practitioner is suing his cell phone company, the government-owned China Unicom, and demanding a refund for periods in which he was unable to access Gmail or Google's Hong Kong search page.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter