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Comment: Re:How does Square do it? (Score 1) 96

by a_sdh (#34881834) Attached to: HiJacking the iPhone's Headset Port
It's actually pretty different -- square is a simpler, passive device that essentially uses the mic and a tape head (remember those!) to read out the magnetic stripe on the card. This is actually much more sophisticated, since it harvests enough power from the audio signal to power simple sensors and a microcontroller, as well as giving you two-way communication. Also, it's not iphone-specific -- there are billions of cheap devices that you can now target with the same hardware; from this point of view the advantages are similar to the square.

Comment: The wave of the future (Score 1) 287

by a_sdh (#25392429) Attached to: World's Smallest IPv6 Stack By Cisco, Atmel, SICS
There are actually several implementations of IPv6 for very low power, embedded devices. Arch Rock (www.archrock.com) has developed a commercial implementation. At Berkeley, we've developed open-source hardware (http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~prabal/projects/epic/) and software (ttp://smote.cs.berkeley.edu:8000/tracenv/wiki/b6loWPAN) for low power IPv6 networking. Both the Arch Rock and Berkeley stacks support robust multi-hop IPv6 routing to support a large number of devices.
Government

Sarah Palin's Stance On Technology Issues 1115

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait,-alaska-has-electricity? dept.
Revolution Radio writes "BetaNews has a short description of what we might expect from Governor Palin regarding technology issues. She demonstrated her familiarity with the internet by initiating an online education program for state workers, using the web for government transparency, and a supporting the general concept of 'long-distance distribution of services' (similar to net neutrality?)." We've previously discussed Senator Joe Biden's tech voting record and compared the technology platforms of Obama and McCain. In addition to the above story about Palin, Betanews also has analyses of Obama, McCain, and Biden regarding tech policy.

Comment: Re:Free Competition in Currency Act of 2007 (Score 1) 469

by $carab (#24299637) Attached to: E-gold Owners Plead Guilty To Money Laundering

I'm far from a Paultard, but the argument in favor of the Gold standard is that it enforces a boundary on how much money the government can have circulating around. Just like gold can't be produced out of thin air, neither can a tangibly-linked currency.

The best way to do things, of course, would be to have a government which spent within its means without the use of an external, arbitrary limit.

Handhelds

Geomicroblogging, Buzzword or Reality? 159

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the or-maybe-a-little-of-both dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The iPhone 3G and Android devices are coming this year, opening the mobile world for rich applications, while sites like Fire Eagle and byNotes are ready to move your blogging habits into the geospatial world. Are we going to watch the next boom when those devices and geospatially enabled sites get combined? Sure, the posibilities this would open are endless, but are users going to embrace these services?" I don't see how it can't change the world ... it has 'Micro' and 'Blog' in the name, and I'll always know where I was when I twittered to tell everyone I was in the john.
The Courts

Hans Reiser Guilty of First Degree Murder 1395

Posted by kdawson
from the so-much-for-the-geek-defense dept.
Anonymous Meoward writes "Today Hans Reiser was found guilty of first degree murder in Oakland, California. Quoting Wired: 'In a murder case with no body, no crime scene, no reliable eyewitness and virtually no physical evidence, the prosecution began the trial last November with a daunting task ahead... The turning point in the trial came when Reiser took the stand in his own defense March 3.' Whether he really did it or not, Hans basically just didn't know when to shut up."
Security

Windows Live Hotmail CAPTCHA Cracked, Exploited 362

Posted by kdawson
from the nice-idea-while-it-lasted dept.
eldavojohn passes along what may be the last nail in the coffin for CAPTCHA technology. Coming on the heels of credible accounts of the downfall of first Yahoo's and then Gmail's CAPTCHA, Ars Technica is reporting on Websense Security Labs' deconstruction of the cracking and tuning / exploitation of the Live Hotmail CAPTCHA. Ars calculates that a single zombie computer can sign up over 1400 Live Hotmail accounts in a day, and alternate account creation with spamming. Time to dust off Kitten Auth?
Input Devices

Levitating Haptics Joystick Gives Good Feedback 70

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-special dept.
SubComdrTaco writes "A controller developed at Carnegie Mellon University allows computer users to manipulate three-dimensional images and explore virtual environments not only through sight and sound, but by using their sense of touch. It simulates a hand's responses to touch because it relies on a part that floats in a magnetic field rather than on mechanical linkages and cables, according to Ralph L. Hollis, a Carnegie Mellon professor who developed the controller. The controller — like a joystick topped with a block that can be grasped — has just one moving part and rests in a bowl-like structure connected to a computer. Two of the controllers can be used simultaneously to pick up and move virtual objects on a monitor. In a demonstration Tuesday, visitors to Hollis' lab were invited to move an image of a pin across a plate of various textures, causing the controller to bump along ripples, vibrate across fine striations and glide across smooth areas. On one computer, users could "feel" the contours of a virtual rabbit. Hollis said his researchers had built 10 of the devices, six of which were to be sent to other universities across the country and in Canada, and that a new company, Butterfly Haptics, would begin marketing the device in June or July. The controller, which Hollis said will cost "much less" than $50,000, could enable a would-be surgeon to operate on a virtual human organ and sense the texture of tissue or give a designer the feeling of fitting a part into a virtual jet engine, or might also be used to convey the feeling of wind under the wings of unmanned military planes."
Robotics

Robot Composed of "Catoms" Can Assume Any Form 168

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the come-with-me-if-you-want-to-live dept.
philetus writes "An article in New Scientist describes a robotic system composed of swarms of electromagnetic modules capable of assuming almost any form that is being developed by the Claytronics Group at Carnegie Mellon. 'The grand goal is to create swarms of microscopic robots capable of morphing into virtually any form by clinging together. Seth Goldstein, who leads the research project at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in the US, admits this is still a distant prospect. However, his team is using simulations to develop control strategies for futuristic shape-shifting, or "claytronic", robots, which they are testing on small groups of more primitive, pocket-sized machines.'"
Security

Yahoo CAPTCHA Hacked 252

Posted by kdawson
from the leap-and-frog dept.
Hell Yeah! reminds us of a 2-week-old development that somehow escaped notice here. A team of Russian hackers has found a way to decipher a Yahoo CAPTCHA, thought to be one of the most difficult, with 35% accuracy. The Russian group's notice, posted by one "John Wane," is dated January 16. This site hosts a rapidshare link to what looks to be demonstration software for Windows, and quotes the Russian researchers: "It's not necessary to achieve high degree of accuracy when designing automated recognition software. The accuracy of 15% is enough when attacker is able to run 100,000 tries per day, taking into the consideration the price of not automated recognition — one cent per one CAPTCHA."
Perl

perl6 and Parrot 0.5.2 Released 229

Posted by Zonk
from the for-camels-with-time-on-their-hands dept.
mAriuZ writes "Bob Rogers just released Parrot 0.5.2. This monthly release includes a couple of interesting new features. First, we've bundled Patrick Michaud's Rakudo (thats the implementation of Perl 6 on Parrot) such that you can type make perl6 on Unixy platforms and make perl6.exe on Windows and get a working standalone Perl 6 binary. This is experimental and we hope to iron out some installation and deployment issues by next months release, but it was important to demonstrate our progress. The second new feature is a toolkit for starting your own compiler. Max Mohun built a prototype several months ago, and we've added a stripped-down version for now that builds the skeleton of a compiler for you using the Parrot Compiler Tools. I mentioned the LOLCODE compiler in What the Perl 6 and Parrot Hackers Did on Their Christmas Vacation; this is how Simon and Company were able to get LOLCODE up and running so quickly."
Networking

Western Digital Service Restricts Use of Network Drives 315

Posted by Zonk
from the drm-means-don't-read-disk dept.
sehlat writes "Via BoingBoing comes the news that Western Digital's My Book(TM) World Edition(TM) II, sold with promises of internet-accessible drive space, is now restricting the types of files the drive will serve up. 'Western Digital is disabling sharing of any avi, divx, mp3, mpeg, and many other files on its network connected devices; due to unverifiable media license authentication. Just wondering -- who needs a 1 Terabyte network-connected hard drive that is prohibited from serving most media files? Perhaps somebody with 220 million pages of .txt files they need to share?'" Update: 12/07 03:28 GMT by Z : To clarify, it actually seems as though this is a bad summary. The MioNET service that WD packages with the networked drives is responsible for the rights of users via the network. There are a few (obvious) ways to get around that.
The Military

Carnegie Mellon Gets $14.4M to Build Robo-Tank 213

Posted by Zonk
from the watch-robo-cop-for-cues-on-what-not-to-do dept.
coondoggie passed us a NetworkWorld article, this one discussing new developments in the state of robotic warfare. Carnegie Melon is now hard at work on a tank set to join its brother, the already much-discussed Unmanned Areal Vehicle, on the modern battlefield "Ultimately unmanned ground vehicles would be outfitted with anti-tank or anti-aircraft missiles and anti-personnel weapons to make them lethal. Part of the new award budget is also slated to help the university prove that autonomous ground vehicles are feasible in future combat situations."
Yahoo!

Yahoo, Adobe To Serve Ads In PDFs 213

Posted by kdawson
from the something-else-to-block dept.
Placid writes to alert us to a new channel opening up between advertisers and our eyeballs: PDFs with context-sensitive text ads. The service is called "Ads for Adobe PDF Powered by Yahoo" and it goes into public beta today. The "ad-enabled" PDFs are served off of Adobe's servers. The article mentions viewing them in Acrobat or Reader but doesn't mention what happens when a non-Adobe PDF reader is used. The ads don't appear if the PDF is printed.
The Courts

RIAA Afraid of Harvard 425

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-aren't-we-all dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report on p2pnet.net, the RIAA's latest anti-college round of "early settlement" letters targets 7 out of 8 Ivy League schools, but continues to give Harvard University a wide berth. This is perhaps the most astonishing display of cowardice exhibited to date by the multinational cartel of SONY BMG, Warner Bros. Records, EMI, and Vivendi/Universal (the "Big Four" record companies, which are rapidly becoming less "big"). The lesson to be drawn by other colleges and universities: "All bullies are cowards. Appeasement of bullies doesn't work. Standing up to bullies and fighting back has a much higher success rate.""

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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