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The Military

Journalist Gets Blasted By the Pentagon's Pain Ray — Twice 357

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-will-try-to-get-timothy-to-do-this dept.
dsinc writes "Wired's Spencer Ackerman voluntarily subjected himself to what the U.S. military calls the Active Denial System, an energy weapon commonly known as the 'Pain Ray' that turns electricity into millimeter wave radio frequency and blasts targets with heat. He describes it thus: 'When the signal goes out over radio to shoot me, there’s no warning — no flash, no smell, no sound, no round. Suddenly my chest and neck feel like they’ve been exposed to a blast furnace, with a sting thrown in for good measure. I’m getting blasted with 12 joules of energy per square centimeter, in a fairly concentrated blast diameter. I last maybe two seconds of curiosity before my body takes the controls and yanks me out of the way of the beam.'" The device has been tested now on over 11,000 people, with only two serious injuries to show for it. However, the device has limitations: rainy weather decreases its effectiveness, and its "boot-up" time is 16 hours, making it useless for breaking up unexpected, impromptu mobs.

Comment: "Research" (Score 1) 239

by ab8ten (#37752770) Attached to: "World's Most Relaxing Music" Composed
"The study - commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa - found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea."

The sort of sponsored bollocks that passes for science reporting in the Daily Mail makes the front page of Slashdot. I know the front page of Slashdot isn't run by the world's most incisive editing team, but come on!
United States

Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the wonder-if-they're-paywalled dept.
eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

Comment: This is an ongoing trend (Score 1) 878

by ab8ten (#33008538) Attached to: Google Engineer Decries Complexity of Java, C++
This is just a symptom of the trend for programming languages to be as abstracted as the apailable computing power allows? Computers are now powerful enough for programming to be done entirely without the use of lines of code. Just like the generational changes from assembler to compiled code to interpreted code, the next jump will be to a programming method that requires even less technical skill. Maybe. We'll see soon, i hope!

Comment: Re:Can somebody explain how it works? (Score 1) 189

by ab8ten (#28116005) Attached to: A Widescreen Laser Projector In Your Pocket

Laser projector? How can you project a raster image using a inherently vector system?

I don't get it. How does it know how big the pixels should be?

(Or maybe it's obvious and I just need a beating with the clue stick here)

The light from the three RGB lasers is scanned in rows just like the electron beam in a CRT. To sweep the angle, a tiny mirror flexes very fast. The technical challenge for these projectors has been switching the mirror fast enough and getting decent performance from miniature red green and blue lasers. I think the blue one was the tough nut to crack.

Businesses

Cisco Barges Into the Server Market 206

Posted by kdawson
from the unsheath-your-blades dept.
mikesd81 was one of several readers to write in about Cisco's announcement of what has been called Project California — a system comprising servers made from 64-bit Intel Nehalem EP Xeon processors, storage, and networking in a single rack, glued together with software from VMWare and BMC. Coverage of this announcement is everywhere. Business Week said: "The new device, dubbed Project California, takes servers into new territory by cramming computer power into the very box that contains storage capacity and the networking tools that are Cisco's specialty. Cisco's approach could help companies use fewer machines — saving money not only on hardware, but also on power and IT staffing — in building data centers. ... Cisco is well-girded to take this step. It has more than $30 billion in cash, more than any other tech company. The company is moving into no fewer than 28 different markets, including digital music in the home and public surveillance systems." The Register provides more analysis: "Microsoft is, of course, a partner on the California system, since you can't ignore Windows in the data center, and presumably, Hyper-V will be supported alongside ESX Server on the hypervisors. (No one at the Cisco launch answered that and many other questions seeking details). ... The one thing that Cisco is clear on is who is signing off on these deals: the CIO. Cisco and its partners are going right to the top to push the California systems, right over the heads of server, storage, and network managers who want to protect their own fiefdoms."

Comment: This is an old, old blacklist (Score 5, Insightful) 122

by ab8ten (#27090499) Attached to: UK Company Sold Workers' Secret Data
This blacklist was specifically for the construction industry - for those who haven't RTFA. The terrible thing is that this list, and its sale for money, has been around for years and years. It's the industry's dirty little secret. It's only now they've computerised the records that they can use the Data Protection Act to prosecute. Sadly, I have no doubt that the information will live on somehow. All the major players have fingers in the pie and won't give it up, I think.
The Internet

Net Neutrality Still Lives 102

Posted by kdawson
from the not-dead-yet dept.
BuhDuh writes "Despite previous reports, and as subsequently discussed here, it appears that Sen. Feinstein's amendment (PDF) did not make it into the approved 'HR1' version of the stimulus bill (PDF). Of course, I cannot aver to having read all 680 pages, but searching for the terms Ms. Feinstein used came up blank, so it looks like we can breathe a collective sigh of relief until someone tries to bury similar proposals in the next wide-ranging, must-pass piece of legislation."

Comment: Re:These aren't the rockets you're looking for... (Score 1) 479

by ab8ten (#26095923) Attached to: Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA?

Which is incredibly wasteful. As I mentioned previously, it's like using a semi with the trailer unhitched to drive to the store. You can do it, but you might as well be burning money.

Except that the J120 is only used for Orion-only missions. ie. to the ISS. And there will be so few of those missions, that the savings you make on development and infrastructure for Ares 1 actually make the J120 the cheaper option. The DIRECT architecture is all about the J232. And 2 of those are cheaper than an Ares1 and an Ares5.

Comment: Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (Score 2, Interesting) 479

by ab8ten (#26092741) Attached to: Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA?
Jupiter is still very much alive, and the team is busy making presentations to and reports for all the interested parties in this situation. Take a look at this thread over at nasaspaceflight for the latest rumblings: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12379.3250

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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