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Survey Shows That Fox News Makes You Less Informed 1352

Posted by samzenpus
from the fair-balanced-and-simple dept.
A survey of American voters by World Public Opinion shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. One of the most interesting questions was about President Obama's birthplace. 63 percent of Fox viewers believe Obama was not born in the US (or that it is unclear). In 2003 a similar study about the Iraq war showed that Fox viewers were once again less knowledgeable on the subject than average. Let the flame war begin!
Hardware Hacking

All-Analog DIY Segway Project 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-out-some-cliff-insurance-buddy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the zany hacker-makers here at MIT just finished this DIY Segway project (video). Difference from the others: it's all analog. The controller is built without a microprocessor or even digital logic. It does use a gyroscope like the real Segway. The functionality looks fairly basic, but the fact that the controller works at all is amazing. The guy has a ton of other projects on his site too. Definitely worth a read for people who enjoy building things."
Hardware Hacking

Arduino-Based, High Powered LED Lighting Over Wi-Fi 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the hacking-up-some-trippiness dept.
Gibbs-Duhem writes "This awesome video was produced by some MIT engineers recently. They've started a fully open-source, open-hardware high power LED lighting project that they designed to be modular enough to control with the Arduino (or any other control system). Using their open-source firmware, you can set up the Arduino to connect to Wi-Fi and receive Open Sound Control packets. Then, they went further and released open-source software for PureData and Python to do music analysis and make the lights flash brilliantly in time with the music! A full Instructable was also posted in addition to the existing documentation for design and assembly on their website."
Open Source

+ - Pretty, Open-Source Wifi Lights Sync to Music-> 1

Submitted by rryan
rryan (1943214) writes "Why aren't there any sweet DIY high-power LED light projects? The SaikoLED project wants to fix that by providing open-source software and hardware to make pretty wireless lights all over the place. This video shows off 15 of these lights changing to music via PureData and OSC.

From TFA: "Open source hardware is the basis of a sophisticated, wireless lighting rig. It's already syncing to music with Pd, and automatic lighting control right from free DJ software may be next. With the effort of the open source music and visual communities, that could be just the beginning.""

Link to Original Source
Image

The Science of Caddyshack 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-in-the-hole dept.
astroengine writes "Thirty years after the release of the cult classic comedy Caddyshack, Discovery News has geeked out and gone on the hunt for any trace amount of science they can find in the movie (video). From gopher territoriality to seismic deformation, from pool poop bacteria to the color of lightning, it turns out there's quite a lot of science to talk about..."
Robotics

The REX Robotic Exoskeleton 53

Posted by kdawson
from the walk-like-a-man dept.
ElectricSteve writes "When Robert Irving was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it was the catalyst for him and his childhood friend, Richard Little, to turn their engineering skills to the task of developing an exoskeleton that was a practical, standing-and-walking alternative to wheelchairs. The result is REX, an exoskeleton made of strong, lightweight materials that is designed to support and hold a person comfortably as he moves. Users strap themselves in to the robotic legs with a number of Velcro and buckled straps that fit around the legs, along with a belt around the waist. While most robotic exoskeletons we've looked at, such as the HAL, augment human motion, this is generally not an option for wheelchair-bound users, so REX is controlled using a joystick that sits at the wearer's waist level." The rig is expected to cost $150K when introduced later this year in New Zealand. Gizmag has an obnoxious timed popover subscription nag, so NoScript is indicated.
Censorship

British Men Jailed For Online Hate Crimes 778

Posted by timothy
from the don'tcha-just-hate-online-crime dept.
chrb writes "Two British men have become the first to be jailed for inciting racial hatred online. The men believed that material they published on web servers based in the United States did not fall under the jurisdiction of UK law and was protected under the First Amendment. This argument was rejected by the British trial judge. After being found guilty, the men fled to Los Angeles, where they attempted to claim political asylum, again arguing that they were being persecuted by the British government for speech that was protected under the First Amendment. The asylum bid was rejected and the two were deported back to the UK after spending over a year in a US jail."
NASA

NASA Uses AI Customer Service Robot In Second Life 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the get-a-first-artificial-life dept.
Linguo writes "Fusing human psychology with an advanced artificial intelligence engine, MyCyberTwin's virtual humans are being used by organizations like NASA and National Australia Bank to improve their customer support levels. MyCyberTwin technology is designed to allow almost anyone to build a virtual, artificial human — called a CyberTwin — which can handle such tasks as personalized customer support, client sales or even entertainment and companionship. CyberTwins can take the form of a clone of yourself, or a representative of your company, and they can live in almost any digital environment, including Web sites, virtual worlds, blogs, social network pages and mobile phones."
Software

VLC 1.0.0 Released 419

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-supports-kitchen-sink dept.
rift321 writes "VLC media player, which we all know for simplifying the playback of pretty much any codec out there, has finally released version 1.0.0. Here's a quick list of improvements: live recording, instant pausing and frame-by-frame support, finer speed controls, new HD codecs (AES3, Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, Blu-Ray Linear PCM, Real Video 3.0 and 4.0), new formats (Raw Dirac, M2TS) and major improvements in many formats, new Dirac encoder and MP3 fixed-point encoder, video scaling in fullscreen, RTSP Trickplay support, zipped file playback, customizable toolbars, easier encoding GUI in Qt interface, better integration in Gtk environments, MTP devices on Linux, and AirTunes streaming."
Security

Microsoft Warns of New Video ActiveX Vulnerability 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the like-one-of-those-pothole-signs dept.
ucanlookitup writes "Microsoft has warned of a 'privately reported' vulnerability affecting IE users on XP or Windows Server 2003. The vulnerability allows remote users to execute arbitrary code with the same privileges as the users. The vulnerability is triggered when users visit a web site with malicious code. 'Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability.' The advisory can be found at TechNet. Until Microsoft develops a patch, a workaround is available."
The Courts

Professor Gets 4 Years in Prison for Sharing Drone Plans With Students 354

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the read-before-you-sign dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Retired University of Tennessee Professor Dr. John Reece Roth has been sentenced to four years in prison after he allowed a Chinese graduate student to see sensitive information on Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones. In 2004, the company Roth helped found, Atmospheric Glow Technologies, won a US Air Force contract to develop a plasma actuator that could help reduce drag on the wings of drones, such as the ones the military uses. Under the contract, for which Roth was reportedly paid $6,000, he was prohibited from sharing sensitive data with foreign nationals. Despite warnings from his university's Export Control Officer, in 2006, Roth took a laptop containing sensitive plans with him on a lecture tour in China and also allowed graduate students Xin Dai of China and Sirous Nourgostar of Iran to work on the project. 'The illegal export of restricted military data represents a serious threat to national security,' says David Kris of the US Department of Justice. 'We know that foreign governments are actively seeking this information for their own military development. Today's sentence should serve as a warning to anyone who knowingly discloses restricted military data in violation of our laws.' During his trial, Roth testified that he was unaware that hiring the graduate students was a violation of his contract. 'This whole thing has not helped me, it has not helped the university,' said Roth. 'And it has probably not helped this country, either.'"
Supercomputing

DARPA Wants a 19" Super-Efficient Supercomputer 200

Posted by timothy
from the as-do-we-all dept.
coondoggie writes "If you can squish all the processing power of, say, an IBM Roadrunner supercomputer inside a 19-inch box and make it run on about 60 kilowatts of electricity, the government wants to talk to you. The extreme scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency this week issued a call for research that might develop a super-small, super-efficient super beast of a computer. Specifically, DARPA's desires for Ubiquitous High Performance Computing (UHPC) will require a new system-wide technology approach including hardware and software co-design to minimize energy dissipation per operation and maximize energy efficiency, with a 50GFLOPS per watt goal."
Security

+ - Government Red Teams Discuss Vulnerabilities

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Sandia National Laboratories in the US put out a press release this week about their REDTEAM2007 Conference "for the government red-teaming community to exchange ideas and foster cooperation." Judging from the conference's homepage, this looks like an excuse for law enforcement, military, and intelligence officials to get together and discuss vulnerabilities for all sorts of reasons (wink, wink). Since the conference is unclassified I'm guessing all the really interesting sharing will happen in back rooms, but at $900US it might be interesting to see what these government types are thinking about."
Book Reviews

SELinux by Example

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Ravi writes "SELinux is a project started and actively maintained by the U.S Department of Defense to provide a Mandatory Access Controls mechanism in Linux. It had been a long standing grouse of Linux power users and system administrators over its lack of fine grained access control over various running processes as well as files in Linux. While Solaris touts its famous RBAC and Microsoft Windows has its own way of providing finer rights to its resources, Linux had to put up with the simple but crude user rights known in tech speak as discretionary access control to control user access of files. With SELinux project making great strides and now being bundled with many major Linux distributions, it is possible to effectively lock down a Linux system through judicious use of SELinux policies. SELinux implements a more flexible form of MAC called type enforcement and an optional form of multilevel security." Read the rest of Ravi's review.

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