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+ - It's 2015. Where are the anti-snow robots?

Submitted by RevWaldo
RevWaldo (1186281) writes "I'm hardly the first armchair inventor that's thought "like a Roomba, but for snow!" If you search around many folks have built themselves remote control snowplows / snowthrowers, but we're hardly talking The Jetsons here. You'd think self-guided bots that continuously remove snow as it's falling (thus reducing the needed mass and horsepower, making it less likely to, say, scoop up the neighbor's dog) would be all over Kickstarter and the like, but not so much. What's the hold up?"
Cellphones

Modular Smartphones Could Be Reused As Computer Clusters 82

Posted by samzenpus
from the build-your-own dept.
itwbennett writes The promise of modular smartphones like Google's Project Ara is that buyers will be able to upgrade components at will — and now Finnish company Circular Devices has come up with a use for discarded computing modules, which they're calling Puzzlecluster. Drawings of the Puzzlecluster architecture show a chassis with slots for the reused modules, which can then be interconnected with others to create the cluster. Just one unit could also be used as a desktop computer."
Transportation

Local Motors Looks To Disrupt the Auto Industry With 3D-Printed Car Bodies 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-wouldn't-download-a-car? dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Local Motors solicits design ideas through crowdsourcing, allows anyone to use open source software to contribute ideas, and then 3D prints car bodies according to the chosen specs in a matter of days. To prove they mean business, Local Motors 3D-printed a car on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show last week. "It took 44 hours to print the Strati’s 212 layers. Once 3D printing is complete, the Strati moves to a Thermwood CNC router—a computer-controlled cutting machine that mills the finer details—before undergoing the final assembly process, which adds the drivetrain, electrical components, wiring, tires, gauges, and a showroom-ready paint job."

Here's another big difference from the current auto industry: "Customers can also bring their vehicles in at any time for hardware and software upgrades, or they can choose to melt their vehicle down and, for instance, add a seat. Because Local Motors uses a distributed manufacturing system to make only what is purchased, it doesn't stock inventory. Anyone can come into a Local Motors microfactory, use its design lab, and work on a vehicle project free of charge."
Earth

US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax 666

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
sciencehabit writes The U.S. Senate's simmering debate over climate science has come to a full boil today, as lawmakers prepare to vote on measures offered by Democrats that affirm that climate change is real—with one also noting that global warming is not "a hoax." In an effort to highlight their differences with some Republicans on climate policy, several Democrats have filed largely symbolic amendments to a bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline. They are designed to put senators on the record on whether climate change is real and human-caused.

Comment: Biased to cracked sites (Score 3, Insightful) 197

by RevWaldo (#48859103) Attached to: The Most Popular Passwords Are Still "123456" and "password"
Since a site with proper hashing, where in theory the actual passwords are unknowable, wouldn't be on the list. And presumably sites with proper security on the back end would have stronger password complexity requirements in the first place, and vice versa. The blame falls more on the bar than the drunkards it serves.

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United States

Ted Cruz To Oversee NASA and US Science Programs 496

Posted by Soulskill
from the pi-is-exactly-3 dept.
romanval sends word that U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will become the new chairman of the subcommittee that oversees NASA and government scientific research. Cruz has both spoken in favor of NASA and attempted to cut its budget, but he's most notable for his opposition to the science supporting climate change. From the article: His vociferous opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and his support of extreme budget cuts could spell trouble for NASA's less prominent programs, such as its own climate research and sophisticated supercomputers. His role on the front lines of the 2013 government shutdown, which critics say had lasting negative effects on public safety, NASA research and EPA scientists' ability to visit contaminated sites, also suggests at best a narrow focus on NASA's largest projects and at worst a disregard for agencies that require science funding.

Comment: Re:No. Hell No. Bad Idea. (Score 1) 480

by RevWaldo (#48794855) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting

The people that can hold a financial gun to your head if you don't vote the way they want.

Worse than the gun to the head, the free voting app from your party / union / special interest group / chamber of commerce that makes casting your vote simple! Just type in your ID, press the big red "Vote!" button, and we fill out the virtual ballot for you! No getting bogged down in details like names or offices or having to read those boring ballot initiatives!

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NASA

Space Policy Guru John Logsdon Has Good News and Bad News On NASA Funding 78

Posted by samzenpus
from the can-you-spare-a-dime? dept.
MarkWhittington writes According to a story in Medium, Dr. John Logsdon, considered the dean of space policy, addressed a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle. The author of a book on President Kennedy's decision to go to the moon and an upcoming book on President Nixon's post-Apollo space policy decisions had some good news and some bad news about NASA funding. The good news is that funding for the space agency is not likely to be slashed below its current $18 billion a year. The bad news is that it is not likely to go up much beyond that. If Logsdon is correct, static NASA funding will mean that beyond low Earth orbit human space exploration will remain an unrealistic aspiration. American astronauts will not return to the moon, not to mention go to Mars, in the foreseeable future.

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_

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