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Apple

+ - Australian court blocks sales of Samsung Galaxy Ta-> 2

Submitted by jimboh2k
jimboh2k (1280298) writes "Apple has succeeded in blocking the sale of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia until a final hearing can be heard in the case down under. The judgment on Thursday could effectively kill chances of the tablet ever launching properly in Australia after Samsung claimed further delays to the product would threaten hopes of gaining traction."
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AI

+ - Japanese Robot Can Think for Itself->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A japanese robot with an improved type of neural network can independently plan tasks and execute them. The robot uses a Self Organizing Incremental Neural Network (SOINN) to think for itself. It uses basic knowledge to figure things out for itself and could speed up introduction of useful robotic servants to do our household chores."
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NASA

+ - NASA Study Shows Faster, Cheaper Alternative to SL->

Submitted by Larson2042
Larson2042 (1640785) writes "The site SpaceRef has an article about how an internal NASA study provides a cheaper and faster way to get humans beyond low earth orbit:
"This presentation "Propellant Depot Requirements Study — Status Report — HAT Technical Interchange Meeting — July 21, 2011" is a distilled version of a study buried deep inside of NASA. The study compared and contrasted an SLS/SEP architecture with one based on propellant depots for human lunar and asteroid missions. Not only was the fuel depot mission architecture shown to be less expensive, fitting within expected budgets, it also gets humans beyond low Earth orbit a decade before the SLS architecture could.""

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The Military

+ - See Some Entries For DARPA's Crowdsourced Drone Bu->

Submitted by
CoveredTrax
CoveredTrax writes "In an attempt to speed up innovation and lower the cost of rolling out new technologies, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has taken a host of new initiatives aimed at building up their network of private contractors. The secretive agency, tasked with developing mind-bending new tech for the United States’ armed forces, has apparently decided that crowdsourcing is the hot new way to tap into fresh ideas. This year, the newest DARPA-run competition is UAVForge, a crowdsourced contest to develop new unmanned aerial vehicles. Using a cute pun, UAVForge claims to be on the hunt for the ‘Ultimate Aerial Vehicle,’ offering a crisp $100,000 to the team that provides it."
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Google

+ - Googler Steve Yegge accidently shares rant about G->

Submitted by quantumplacet
quantumplacet (1195335) writes "Longtime Googler Steve Yegge posted an insightful rant on his Google+ page about how Google is failing to make platforms of it's products. He also shares some interesting little tidbits about his six year stint at Amazon working for the "Dread Pirate Bezos". The rant was intended to be shared only with his Google coworkers, but was accidentally made public. Steve has since removed it from his page, but it has been reposted elsewhere."
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United States

Diebold Admits ATMs Are More Robust Than Voting Machines 230

Posted by Soulskill
from the votes-on-the-cheap dept.
An anonymous reader points out a story in the Huffington Post about the status of funding for election voting systems. It contains an interesting section in which Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier (formerly Diebold) acknowledged that less money is spent making an electronic voting machine than on a typical ATM. The ironically named Riggall also notes that security could indeed be improved, but at a higher price than most election administrators would care to pay. Also quoted in the article is Ed Felten, who has recently found some inconsistencies in New Jersey voting machines. From the Post: "'An ATM is significantly a more expensive device than a voting terminal...' said Riggall. 'Were you to develop something that was as robust as an ATM, both in terms of the physical engineering of it and all aspects, clearly that would be something that the average jurisdiction cannot afford.' Perhaps cost has something to do with the fact that a couple of years ago, every single Diebold AccuVote TS could be opened with a standard key also used for some cabinets and mini-bars and available for purchase over the Internet."
Movies

Guillermo del Toro Will Direct "The Hobbit" 472

Posted by Soulskill
from the passing-the-reins dept.
jagermeister101 tips us to news that Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings production team have officially selected Guillermo del Toro to direct the upcoming Hobbit film and its sequel. del Toro's resume includes films such as Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Blade 2. This confirms rumors which began after the controversy between Jackson and New Line Cinemas was resolved last year.
Biotech

+ - SPAM: RoK To Use Cloned Drug Dogs

Submitted by
stoolpigeon
stoolpigeon writes "The country that created the world's first cloned canine plans to put duplicated dogs on patrol to sniff out drugs and explosives. The Korean Customs Service unveiled Thursday seven cloned Labrador retrievers being trained near Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. The dogs were born five to six months ago after being separately cloned from a skilled drug-sniffing canine in active service. Due to the difficulties in finding dogs who are up to snuff for the critical jobs, officials said using clones could help reduce costs."
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Earth

Humans Nearly Went Extinct 70,000 Years Ago 777

Posted by Soulskill
from the come-from-behind-victory dept.
Josh Fink brings us a CNN story discussing evidence found by researchers which indicates that humans came close to extinction roughly 70,000 years ago. A similar study by Stanford scientists suggests that droughts reduced the population to as few as 2,000 humans, who were scattered in small, isolated groups. Quoting: "'This study illustrates the extraordinary power of genetics to reveal insights into some of the key events in our species' history,' said Spencer Wells, National Geographic Society explorer in residence. 'Tiny bands of early humans, forced apart by harsh environmental conditions, coming back from the brink to reunite and populate the world. Truly an epic drama, written in our DNA.'"

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