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Submission + - US "in denial" over poor Maths standards (bbc.com)

thephydes writes: "The maths skills of teenagers in parts of the deep south of the United States are worse than in countries such as Turkey and barely above South American countries such as Chile and Mexico."

Submission + - Bitcoin Exchanges Halt Withdrawals After 'Massive' DDoS Attack (ibtimes.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: The Bitstamp bitcoin exchange has temporarily halted its users from withdrawing bitcoins, as it is targeted by a "massive and concerted" cyber attack.

A DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack is being felt across the bitcoin landscape, with a number of exchanges affected by what is known as the cryptocurrency 'transaction malleability problem', first discovered in 2011 and flagged up by the Mt Gox exchange earlier this week.


Submission + - LightBeam: object interaction for pico projectors (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Pico projectors are pretty limited in functionality. You turn them on and they project a large display on a surface. That's it. LightBeam is an experimental new pico projector that adds a webcam and some intelligence to the mix. The projection can auto adjust its size depending on the size of the surface in front of it. Move that surface and the projections moves with it to a certain extent. You can also add other objects to control navigation. For example, load up a Flickr gallery and then place a soda can in view of the projector. Rotating the can flicks between images in the gallery. This certainly has a lot of potential, especially when projectors scale down to the point where we are embedding them in smartphones.

Steampunk Con Mixes In More Maker Fun 50

California has once again been blessed with another steampunk convention, this time to be held in Emeryville, CA on March 12-14 as the "Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition." This year's event promises to mix in much more of the DIY/maker flavor for a greater hands-on feel. Steampunk has been gaining much broader appeal in recent months with the continued growth of maker communities, and the many delightful varieties of music and literature. The con will feature, among other things, a 2 day track of 2-hour how-to, hands-on, and interactive workshops gear towards makers, DIY-ers, mad scientists, and evil geniuses. Of course, if you are an evil genius you probably don't need a workshop except as a gathering for potential test subjects.

Robot Dogs Evolve Their Own Language 200

bab00n writes According to this article at The Engineer Online, researchers led by the Institute of Cognitive Science and Technology in Italy are developing robots that evolve their own language, bypassing the limits of imposing human rule-based communication. The technology, dubbed Embedded and Communicating Agents, has allowed researchers at Sony's Computer Science Laboratory in France to add a new level of intelligence to the AIBO dog. The robot dog has learnt to see a ball and tell another one where the ball is, if it's moving and what colour it is, and the other is capable of recognising it.

"Falling in love makes smoking pot all day look like the ultimate in restraint." -- Dave Sim, author of Cerebrus.