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Transportation

Future Airline Safety Instructions Will Be Given By Game Apps 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the playing-it-safe dept.
vrml (3027321) writes "They revealed the existence of their project only to aviation safety specialists at the recent FAA Conference on Cabin Safety in Philadelphia (PDF). Now a team of Italian researchers from the HCI Lab of the University of Udine has publicly released the first in a set of aviation safety apps on which they are working. Their mission is to propose novel, first-of-their-kind solutions to a well-known problem in aviation safety: passengers lack preparedness about what to do in aircraft emergencies, and do not pay attention or do not clearly comprehend the pre-flight briefings and safety cards used by airlines to instruct them about safety. So the project is re-inventing safety cards and briefings with new media, turning them into games and apps. The first game they decided to release focuses specifically on the 'Brace for impact' position: players can pose the body of their avatar in the 3D airplane cabin and get a personalized simulation of a crash landing . To win the game, you must save your avatar (and yourself)."
Transportation

Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the TSA-bans-cell-phones-and-sitting-down-in-response dept.
mask.of.sanity writes: "A security researcher says he has developed a method to score free flights across Europe by generating fake boarding passes designed for Apple's Passbook app. The 18-year-old computer science undergrad didn't reveal the 'bypass' which gets the holder of the fraudulent ticket past the last scanner and onto the jetway; he's saving that for his talk at Hack in the Box in Amsterdam next month."
Transportation

An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw 357

Posted by samzenpus
from the track-it-down dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Hired by the family of Brooke Melton in their wrongful-death lawsuit against GM, engineer Mark Hood was at a loss to explain why the engine in Melton's 2005 Chevy Cobalt had suddenly shut off, causing her fatal accident in 2010. Hood had photographed, X-rayed and disassembled the two-inch ignition switch, focusing on the tiny plastic and metal switch that controlled the ignition, but it wasn't until he bought a replacement for $30 from a local GM dealership that the mystery quickly unraveled. Eyeing the old and new parts, Hood quickly figured out a problem now linked to 13 deaths that GM had known about for a decade. Even though the new switch had the same identification number — 10392423 — Hood found big differences — a tiny metal plunger in the switch was longer in the replacement part, the switch's spring was more compressed, and most importantly, the force needed to turn the ignition on and off was greater. 'It's satisfying to me because I'm working on behalf of the Meltons,' Hood said. 'It won't bring their daughter back, but if it goes toward a better understanding of the problem, it might save someone else.' Next week, GM CEO Mary Barra will testify before Congress about events leading up to the wide-ranging recall of 2.6 million vehicles."
Moon

Back To the Moon — In Four Years 292

Posted by Soulskill
from the sign-me-up dept.
braindrainbahrain writes "Gene Grush, a former division chief at NASA Johnson, has written a series of articles on how the U.S. can return to the Moon in four years. He says not only can we land there, but we can actually build a base on the Moon as well. How is this feasible? A public/private partnership between NASA and a private space company. Quoting: 'The biggest obstacle is the lack of a rocket, called a super heavy launch vehicle, to lift it off the planet. NASA is working on one, called the Space Launch System, but the agency is constrained by its budget and the likelihood of it flying in that time frame is slim. But there’s an interim solution: SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which will have its maiden flight this year and can supposedly launch up to 53 metric tons into orbit.'

'[I]f NASA makes lowering launch costs its highest priority, escaping the bonds that hold us to Earth will be financially feasible. We don’t do this by controlling the design so much as the frequency -- we are the customer, after all.' 'The development of a lunar base could be a catalyst for lowering our launch cost to space and accelerating the development of automation and robotics. ... If America doesn’t step up to the plate, China’s ambitions for the moon may establish it as the “go-to” nation for space exploration. Many nations of the world privately say they want the moon to be the next step in space exploration -- but they can’t get there on their own. They need a technically savvy and resourceful country to lead.'"

Comment: Re:VR (Score 1) 61

by Wildclaw (#46267895) Attached to: The Road To VR

a flat 2D surface in front of your eyes is *not* like a 3D world when your eye tracks (no matter how close it gets). It does not "curve" the same way. So now you need a tiny, bright, hi-res, portable, low-power FLEXIBLE display too which doesn't distort the image too much. Oh, two of them.

Or you could just use lenses combined with a shader that corrects for the lens distortion.

Comment: Re:Cut Out The Middle Men (Score 2) 118

by Wildclaw (#46253833) Attached to: Music Industry Is Keeping Streaming Services Unprofitable

Umm, the middlemen looks to be the music stream services. All they have to do is distribute a product that someone else has produced to the consumer, and for that they are getting to keep a whole 30-40% of the total sale.

Sorry, but if they can't make a profit on that, then they are doing something seriously wrong, or there are too many companies competing for too small of a market.

China

S. Korea Diverts Network From Huawei Networks 76

Posted by timothy
from the but-the-marines-are-always-saying-huawei dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from The Verge: "The South Korean government has decided to route sensitive data away from networks operated by Huawei, amid longstanding fears from the U.S. that the Chinese company's infrastructure could be used to spy on communications. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the U.S. had been urging its South Korean allies to route government communications away from Huawei networks, claiming that the infrastructure could be used to spy on communications with American military bases there. As a result, Huawei equipment will not be used at any American military base in South Korea. The Obama administration denies playing a role in the decision, and South Korean officials have not commented. The Journal reports that the White House made a point of keeping the talks private because it didn't want to be seen as meddling in its ally's business affairs."
Android

The App That Tracks Who's Tracking You 52

Posted by timothy
from the perfect-disguise-for-a-backdoor dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "It's no secret that apps like maps or local weather know your current location, and you're probably cool with that because you want to use the handy services they provide in exchange. But chances are there are many other apps on your phone, anything from dictionaries to games, that are also geolocating your every move without your knowledge or permission. Now researchers are developing a new app to police these smartphone spies, by tracking which apps are secretly tracking you, and warning you about it. Before your eyes glaze over at the mention of yet another privacy tool, it's worth noting that this new app is the first to be able to provide this line of defense between snooping apps and smartphone users for Android phones. Android's operating system is engineered not to allow apps to access information about other apps. But a team at Rutgers University found a way around that, by leveraging a function of Android's API to send a signal whenever an app requests location information from the operating system. MIT Technology Review reported on the research today."
United Kingdom

Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain? 337

Posted by timothy
from the come-now-citizen-what-are-you-hiding? dept.
New submitter pefisher writes "The British are apparently admitting that they track their citizens as they travel the world (through information provided by intelligence agencies) and are arresting them if they have been somewhere that frightens them. 'Sir Peter, who leads the Association of Chief Police Officer's "Prevent" strategy on counter-terrorism, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that those returning from Syria "may well be charged and investigated, but they will be put into our programmes".' The program seems to consist of being spied on by the returnee's cooperative neighbors."
AI

Computer Scientists Invents Game-Developing Computer AI 103

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-afraid-I-can't-let-you-level-Dave dept.
MojoKid writes "Over the past few years, short game writing 'jams' have become a popular way to bring developers together in a conference with a single overarching theme. These competitions are typically 24-48 hours long and involve a great deal of caffeine, frantic coding, and creative design. The 28th Ludum Dare conference held from December 13 — 16 of this past year was one such game jam — but in this case, it had an unusual participant: Angelina. Angelina is a computer AI designed by Mike Cook of Goldsmiths, London University. His long-term goal is to discover whether an AI can complete tasks that are generally perceived as creative. The long-term goal is to create an AI that can 'design meaningful, intelligent and enjoyable games completely autonomously.' Angelina's entry into Ludum Dare, dubbed 'To That Sect'" is a simple 3D title that looks like it hails from the Wolfenstein era. Angelina's initial game is simple, but in reality Angelina is an AI that can understand the use of metaphor and build thematically appropriate content, which is pretty impressive. As future versions of the AI improve, the end result could be an artificial intelligence that 'understands' human storytelling in a way no species on Earth can match."
Australia

Australian Dept. Store Chain's Website Crashes and Can't Get Back Up 156

Posted by timothy
from the work-calmly-and-rationally-instead dept.
McGruber writes "Myer, Australia's largest department store chain, has closed its website 'until further notice' at the height of the post-Christmas (and Australian summer) sales season. The website crashed on Christmas Day and has been down ever since. This means Myer will see no benefit for those days from booming domestic online sales, which were tipped to hit $344 million across the retail sector on Boxing Day alone. Teams from IBM and Myer's information technology division were 'working furiously' to fix the problem."
Cellphones

U.S. Mobile Internet Traffic Nearly Doubled This Year 71

Posted by Soulskill
from the how's-that-2GB-plan-treating-you dept.
An anonymous reader sends this news from the NY Times Bits Blog: "Two big shifts happened in the American cellphone industry over the past year: Cellular networks got faster, and smartphone screens got bigger. In the United States, consumers used an average of 1.2 gigabytes a month over cellular networks this year, up from 690 megabytes a month in 2012, according to Chetan Sharma, a consultant for wireless carriers, who published a new report on industry trends on Monday. Worldwide, the average consumption was 240 megabytes a month this year, up from 140 megabytes last year, he said."
Media

Run Netflix On OpenSUSE 128

Posted by timothy
from the pulling-pixels dept.
sfcrazy writes "Ironically while Netflix's infrastructure runs on Linux and Open Source technologies, the service doesn't support Linux, the platform. Netflix is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Chrome OS but not for desktop Linux. One of the reasons could be that Netflix still uses Microsoft's Silverlight which is not supported on Linux. However Linux users have managed to get it to work on their distros. Now openSUSE users can also run Netflix using Pipelight."

Comment: Re:Going to change everything (Score 1) 162

by Wildclaw (#45605211) Attached to: Andy Rubin Is Heading a Secret Robotics Project At Google

Yup. Too many people confuse minimum income with basic income/negative income tax.The latter two are what economists generally recommend because of incentives and easy of management.

Basic income and negative income tax are nearly economically equivalent (with different tax scales). But basic income is probably the better solution of the two. The problem with the negative income tax is that taxing happens on a yearly basis, while income works better on a monthly basis (and even that is overestimating the judgment of some people). So you really want something to fix the general disconnect.

And the absolutely easiest way is to simply pay out a basic income to every adult on a monthly basis while withholding taxes for the IRS. The IRS then doing its normal work on a yearly basis.

Math

Ask Slashdot: How Reproducible Is Arithmetic In the Cloud? 226

Posted by timothy
from the irreproducible-results dept.
goodminton writes "I'm research the long-term consistency and reproducibility of math results in the cloud and have questions about floating point calculations. For example, say I create a virtual OS instance on a cloud provider (doesn't matter which one) and install Mathematica to run a precise calculation. Mathematica generates the result based on the combination of software version, operating system, hypervisor, firmware and hardware that are running at that time. In the cloud, hardware, firmware and hypervisors are invisible to the users but could still impact the implementation/operation of floating point math. Say I archive the virutal instance and in 5 or 10 years I fire it up on another cloud provider and run the same calculation. What's the likelihood that the results would be the same? What can be done to adjust for this? Currently, I know people who 'archive' hardware just for the purpose of ensuring reproducibility and I'm wondering how this tranlates to the world of cloud and virtualization across multiple hardware types."

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