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+ - US Navy Develops Robot Boat Swarm to Overwhelm Enemies

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Jeremy Hsu reports that the US Navy has been testing a large-scale swarm of autonomous boats designed to overwhelm enemies. In the test, large ship that the Navy sometimes calls a high-value unit, HVU, is making its way down the river’s thalweg, escorted by 13 small guard boats. Between them, they carry a variety of payloads, loud speakers and flashing lights, a .50-caliber machine gun and a microwave direct energy weapon or heat ray. Detecting the enemy vessel with radar and infrared sensors, they perform a series of maneuvers to encircle the craft, coming close enough to the boat to engage it and near enough to one another to seal off any potential escape or access to the ship they are guarding. They blast warnings via loudspeaker and flash their lights. The HVU is now free to safely move away. Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), points out that a maneuver that required 40 people had just dropped down to just one. “Think about it as replicating the functions that a human boat pilot would do. We’ve taken that capability and extended it to multiple [unmanned surface vehicles] operating together within that, we’ve designed team behaviors,” says Robert Brizzolara. The timing of the briefing happens to coincide with the 14-year anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen that killed 17 sailors. It’s an anniversary that Klunder observes with a unique sense of responsibility. “If we had this capability there on that day. We could have saved that ship. I never want to see the USS Cole happen again.”"

+ - Why the FCC will probably ignore the public on network neutrality-> 1

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd (182728) writes "The rulemaking process does not function like a popular democracy. In other words, you can't expect that the comment you submit opposing a particular regulation will function like a vote. Rulemaking is more akin to a court proceeding. Changes require systematic, reliable evidence, not emotional expressions . . .

In the wake of more than 3 million comments in the present open Internet proceeding-which at first blush appear overwhelmingly in favor of network neutrality-the current Commission is poised to make history in two ways: its decision on net neutrality, and its acknowledgment of public perspectives. It can continue to shrink the comments of ordinary Americans to a summary count and thank-you for their participation. Or, it can opt for a different path."

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+ - FCC puts Comcast and Time Warner merge up on hold until after US Elections->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In a public letter to both the Time Warner and Comcast, FCC said that they are holding the merge up deal that was made in between them. Comcast and Time Warner, together control most of the Internet services in the country. However, the companies said that they are in different regions and are not going to suppress the competition."
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+ - Microsoft Revives Its Hardware Conference->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, or WinHEC, was an annual staple of the '90s and '00s: every year, execs from Redmond would tell OEMs what to expect when it came to Windows servers and PCs. The conference was wrapped with software into Build in 2009, but now it's being revived to deal with not just computers but also the tablets and cell phone Microsoft has found itself in the business of selling and even making. It's also being moved from the U.S. to China, as an acknowledgement of where the heart of the tech hardware business is now."
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+ - Japanese Phone Company Wants To Buy Dreamworks Animation->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Softbank is the scrappy number three mobile phone company in Japan, and, since it bought Sprint last year, fills a similar niche in the United States. Dreamworks Animation has produced hits like "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" but has never matched its rival Pixar. They seem to make an unlikely pair, but that hasn't stopped Softbank from trying to buy the animation studio."
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+ - Building Apps in Swift with Storyboards->

Submitted by Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Apple touts the Swift programming language as easy to use, thanks in large part to features such as Interface Builder, a visual designer provided in Xcode that allows a developer to visually design storyboards. In theory, this simplifies the process of designing both screens and the connections between screens, as it needs no code and offers an easy-to-read visual map of an app’s navigation. But is Swift really so easy (or at least as easy as anything else in a developer's workflow)? This new walkthrough of Interface Builder (via Dice) shows that it's indeed simple to build an app with these custom tools... so long as the app itself is simple. Development novices who were hoping that Apple had created a way to build complex apps with a limited amount of actual coding might have to spend a bit more time learning the basics before embarking on the big project of their dreams."
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+ - Court rules Nokia must pay damages to buyers of faulty phones in Mexico->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Nokia must pay damages to consumers in Mexico who reported malfunctioning handsets, following a court ruling for a trial that has lasted four years.
The case was brought to court by Mexican watchdog Profeco in 2010, before the Finnish manufacturer was acquired by Microsoft – that deal was only completed earlier this year. Profeco added that the court has ordered Nokia to either replace the faulty handsets and/or reimburse their cost. On top of that, Nokia must also pay compensation totalling at least 20 percent of the damages resulting from malfunctioning.
Customers that had been affected by faulty Nokia equipment would be able to seek damages even if they had not yet presented complaints."

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+ - Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Reuters reports that your medical information including names, birth dates, policy numbers, diagnosis codes and billing information is worth 10 times more than your credit card number on the black market. Fraudsters use this data to create fake IDs to buy medical equipment or drugs that can be resold, or they combine a patient number with a false provider number and file made-up claims with insurers, according to experts who have investigated cyber attacks on healthcare organizations. Medical identity theft is often not immediately identified by a patient or their provider, giving criminals years to milk such credentials. That makes medical data more valuable than credit cards, which tend to be quickly canceled by banks once fraud is detected. Stolen health credentials can go for $10 each, about 10 or 20 times the value of a US credit card number says Don Jackson, director of threat intelligence at PhishLabs, a cyber crime protection company. He obtained the data by monitoring underground exchanges where hackers sell the information. Plus "healthcare providers and hospitals are just some of the easiest networks to break into," says Jeff Horne. "When I've looked at hospitals, and when I've talked to other people inside of a breach, they are using very old legacy systems — Windows systems that are 10 plus years old that have not seen a patch.""

+ - Apple needs to get it together->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A Daily Dot article calling out Apple for its numerous mistakes over the last few months.

A quote from the piece: "The world's largest company cannot simultaneously be one of the most mistake-prone. It isn't good for Apple, or for the technology industry. For Apple to continue this streak of clumsiness is simply unacceptable by its internal standards, and by the standards the public has placed on the company.""

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+ - Is Tesla A Fringe Brand? Bob Lutz Thinks So

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "There's been plenty of skepticism when it comes to Tesla. The Silicon Valley startup unveiled an all-electric car that stunned the world and had many other automakers rolling their eyes. Fast forward to 2014 and Tesla's preparing to launch its second model, the Model S. Production of the Model S sedan is humming along, and this new automaker continues to make headlines multiple times a week. Industry veteran Bob Lutz was the champion behind the Chevrolet Volt, and has been quite vocal about Tesla from the beginning. So what's his views on the company now? He said Tesla will remain a "fringe brand" until it launches its next generation of vehicles and the smaller, less expensive Model 3. Speaking Wednesday on CNBC's "Squawk Alley" finance show he said that Tesla's stock price was "kinda high" at the moment. Is Lutz right, or is he just sour over Tesla's success?"

+ - Stop starting school days so early, doctors say->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "U.S. high schools and middle schools should start classes later in the morning to allow kids some much-needed sleep, a leading group of pediatricians is urging.

Ideally, the American Academy of Pediatrics says, the first bell should ring at 8:30 a.m. or later — which is the case at only 15 percent of U.S. high schools right now.

At the very least, classes should start no earlier than 8 a.m., said Dr. Judith Owens, the lead author of a new academy policy statement on school start times.

The recommendations, published in the academy's journal Pediatrics, are based on research showing that U.S. kids are sleep-deprived, which has consequences for their health, school performance and safety.

"This is an important issue," said Dr. Marcel Deray, a Florida sleep specialist who wasn't involved in the recommendations.

"I see a lot of teenagers who are tired and have problems in school because they have to get up so early," said Deray, who directs the Sleep Disorders Center at Miami Children's Hospital. "Some kids are getting up at 5 a.m., 6 a.m."

Many people think the answer is for kids to just get to bed earlier, Owens noted. But it's not that easy, she said, because biology has other plans.

Around puberty, the body's natural sleep-wake cycle shifts, and it's actually hard for teenagers to fall asleep earlier than 11 p.m.

"Teenagers' bodies release melatonin later than (adults') do," Deray explained, referring to a hormone the brain secretes in the evening to induce drowsiness.

"The other issue," Owens said, "is that teenagers' sleep needs are greater than many people think. They need nine to nine-and-a-half hours."

Yet, 43 percent of U.S. public high schools start classes before 8 a.m., according to the U.S. Department of Education. Middle schools, meanwhile, typically start classes at 8 a.m. — with about 20 percent starting earlier than that."

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Google News Sci Tech: Calif. governor signs smartphone 'kill switch' bill - CNET->

From feed by feedfeeder

Calif. governor signs smartphone 'kill switch' bill
CNET
After initially stalling in the Senate, a bill aimed at curbing smartphone theft has passed in California. by Richard Nieva @richardjnieva; 26 August 2014, 7:49 am AEST. comments. 0. facebook. twitter. linkedin. googleplus. more. more +. email. tumblr. stumble.
Jerry Brown signs kill-switch bill to deter smartphone thieverySFGate
California's smartphone kill switch bill has been signed...The Verge

all 4 news articles

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+ - Bitcoin User tells of Interview by FBI and Treasury Department->

Submitted by MrBingoBoingo
MrBingoBoingo (3481277) writes "Recently a Bitcoin user reports being interviewed over their past use of a now defuct exchange service by agents from the FBI and Treasury Department. This encounter raises concerns that earlier Bitcoin users who entered the space inocuously and without ties to Dark Markets or The Silk Road might need to prepare for Law Enforcement questioning about their early Bitcoin related activities."
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+ - Delaware Enacts Law Allowing Heirs to Access Digital Assets of Deceased

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports: "Delaware has become the first state in the US to enact a law that ensures families' rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death." In other states, the social media accounts and email of people who die also die with them since the companies hosting those accounts are not obligated to transfer access even to the heirs of the deceased. In Delaware, however, this is no longer the case. The article notes that even if the deceased was a resident of another state, if his/her will is governed by Delaware law, his/her heirs will be allowed to avail of the new law and gain access to all digital assets of the deceased."

+ - Ridiculous Patent Troll Gets Stomped By CAFC->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've written a few times about Vringo, a patent troll (which got its name, and public stock status, from a reverse merger with a basically defunct public "video ringtone" company and a pure patent troll called I/P Engine). The company was using some very broad patents (6,314,420 and 6,775,664) to claim that Google and Microsoft were infringing based on how their search ad programs worked ..

The case took a slight detour into the bizarre when Microsoft not only settled with Vringo for $1 million — but also with a promise to pay 5% of whatever Google had to pay ..

Between February and now, however, something wonderful happened. That something wonderful was the Supreme Court's ruling in CLS Bank v. Alice. As we noted at the time, depending on how you read it, it certainly could be interpreted that nearly all software patents were invalid — even as the ruling itself insisted that wasn't the case. Still, the early returns are promising, with CAFC (apparently finally getting the message) starting to smack down software patents."

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