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Google

Cute Or Creepy? Google's Plan For a Sci-Fi Teddy Bear 9

Posted by timothy
from the teddy-ruxpin-pinned-it-on-the-one-armed-man dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Time Magazine reports that Google has designed and patented an "anthropomorphic device" that could take the form of a "doll or toy" and interact both with people as well as tech gadgets echoing the "super toy" teddy bear featured in Stephen Spielberg's 2001 movie AI. This could be one of Google's creepiest patents yet — especially if movies like "Chuckie" still give you nightmares. The patent filing diagrams a stuffed teddy bear and a bunny rabbit outfitted with microphones, speakers, cameras and motors as well as a wireless connection to the internet. If it senses you're looking at it, the fuzzy toy will rotate its head and look back at you. Once it receives and recognizes a voice command prompt, you can then tell it to control media devices in your home (e.g. turn on your music or TV). According to the patent filing: "To express interest, an anthropomorphic device may open its eyes, lift its head, and/or focus its gaze on the user or object of its interest. To express curiosity, an anthropomorphic device may tilt its head, furrow its brow, and/or scratch its head with an arm. To express boredom, an anthropomorphic device may defocus its gaze, direct its gaze in a downward fashion, tap its foot, and/or close its eyes. To express surprise, an anthropomorphic device may make a sudden movement, sit or stand up straight, and/or dilate its pupils."

The patent adds that making the device look "cute" should encourage even the youngest members of a family to interact with it. But Mikhail Avady, from SmartUp, said he thought it belonged in "a horror film", and the campaign group Big Brother Watch has also expressed dismay. "When those devices are aimed specifically at children, then for many this will step over the creepy line," says Avady. "Children should be able to play in private and shouldn't have to fear this sort of passive invasion of their privacy."

+ - Cute or Creepy? Google's Plan for a Sci-Fi Teddy Bear

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Time Magazine reports that Google has designed and patented an “anthropomorphic device” that could take the form of a “doll or toy” and interact both with people as well as tech gadgets echoing the "super toy" teddy bear featured in Stephen Spielberg's 2001 movie AI. This could be one of Google's creepiest patents yet — especially if movies like "Chuckie" still give you nightmares. The patent filing diagrams a stuffed teddy bear and a bunny rabbit outfitted with microphones, speakers, cameras and motors as well as a wireless connection to the internet. If it senses you're looking at it, the fuzzy toy will rotate its head and look back at you. Once it receives and recognizes a voice command prompt, you can then tell it to control media devices in your home (e.g. turn on your music or TV). According to the patent filing: "To express interest, an anthropomorphic device may open its eyes, lift its head, and/or focus its gaze on the user or object of its interest. To express curiosity, an anthropomorphic device may tilt its head, furrow its brow, and/or scratch its head with an arm. To express boredom, an anthropomorphic device may defocus its gaze, direct its gaze in a downward fashion, tap its foot, and/or close its eyes. To express surprise, an anthropomorphic device may make a sudden movement, sit or stand up straight, and/or dilate its pupils."

The patent adds that making the device look "cute" should encourage even the youngest members of a family to interact with it. But Mikhail Avady, from SmartUp, said he thought it belonged in "a horror film", and the campaign group Big Brother Watch has also expressed dismay. "When those devices are aimed specifically at children, then for many this will step over the creepy line," says Avady. "Children should be able to play in private and shouldn't have to fear this sort of passive invasion of their privacy."
United Kingdom

Bank of England Accidentally E-mails Top-Secret "Brexit" Plan To the Guardian 100

Posted by timothy
from the brexit-is-good-with-toast-and-jam dept.
schwit1 writes: The first rule of "Project Bookend" is that you don't talk about "Project Bookend." In retrospect, maybe the first rule should have been "you don't accidentally e-mail 'Project Bookend' to a news agency," because as the Guardian reports, one of its editors opened his inbox and was surprised to find a message from the BOE's Head of Press Jeremy Harrison outlining the UK financial market equivalent of the Manhattan project. Project Bookend is a secret (or 'was' a secret) initiative undertaken by the BOE to study what the fallout might be from a potential 'Brexit', but if anyone asked what Sir Jon Cunliffe and a few senior staffers were up to, they were instructed to say that they were busy investigating "a broad range of European economic issues." And if you haven't heard the term before, "Brexit" refers to the possibility of Britain leaving the EU -- one of the possible outcomes of an upcoming referendum.

+ - Bank Of England Accidentally E-mails Top-Secret Brexit Plan to the Guardian->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The first rule of "Project Bookend" is that you don't talk about "Project Bookend."

In retrospect, maybe the first rule should have been "you don't accidentally e-mail 'Project Bookend' to a news agency", because as the Guardian reports, one of its editors opened his inbox and was surprised to find a message from the BOE's Head of Press Jeremy Harrison outlining the UK financial market equivalent of the Manhattan project.

Project Bookend is a secret (or 'was' a secret) initiative undertaken by the BOE to study what the fallout might be from a potential 'Brexit', but if anyone asked what Sir Jon Cunliffe and a few senior staffers were up to, they were instructed to say that they were busy investigating "a broad range of European economic issues."

Link to Original Source
Communications

NSA-Reform Bill Fails In US Senate 42

Posted by timothy
from the couldn't-have-happened-to-a-nicer-bill dept.
New submitter Steven King writes with a link to The Daily Dot's report that the U.S. Senate has rejected the controversial USA Freedom Act, thus "all but guaranteeing that key provisions of the USA Patriot Act will expire"; had it passed, the bill would have allowed continued use of some mass data-collection practices, but with the addition of stronger oversight. From the article: The Senate failed to reach agreement on passage of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to reauthorize and reform Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which the government has used to conduct bulk surveillance of Americans' phone records. The House of Representatives passed the bill last week by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, but Senate Democrats, who unified behind the bill, did not get enough Republican votes to assure passage. The linked piece also mentions that the EFF shifted its position on this bill, after a panel of Federal judges ruled that the Feds at the NSA had overstepped their bounds in collecting a seemingly unlimited trove of metadata relating to American citizen's phone calls.

+ - New 'deep learning' technique enables robot to complete various tasks

Submitted by jan_jes
jan_jes writes: UC Berkeley researchers turned to a new branch of artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which they have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. Tasks such as "putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more" without pre-programmed details about its surroundings. The challenge of putting robots into real-life settings, like homes or offices, is that those environments are constantly changing. The robot must be able to perceive and adapt to its surroundings. This latest developments will be presented on Thursday, May 28, in Seattle at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

+ - TPP Fast Track Passes (Key Vote) in the Senate, Moves on to the House 2

Submitted by onproton
onproton writes: The Senate voted yesterday to reauthorize the controversial Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expidites, or ‘Fast Tracks,’ the passage of trade agreements through Congress. If also approved by the House, it will grant the authority to decide and negotiate the terms of agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the executive branch, significantly limiting congressional involvement and leaving little room for debate. Proponents of the bill, namely the USTR, claim that Fast Tracking the TPP is critical to successfully negotiating its terms internationally, and will "ensure that Congress, stakeholders and the public are closely involved before, during and after the conclusion of trade agreement negotiations.” Though in reality, it does not introduce significant changes in the transparency or reporting requirements that are currently in place, which have allowed the negotiations of this deal to be held in secret since 2009. With concerns being raised about the deal's impacts on everything from intellectual property rights to government sovereignty, it is surprising to many that Congress would abdicate their role in determining the specifics of agreements that may have far reaching implications for their constituents.

Google News Sci Tech: Google planning its own Brillo OS for Internet of Things - Jagran Post->

From feed by feedfeeder

Jagran Post

Google planning its own Brillo OS for Internet of Things
Jagran Post
New Delhi: Global technology giant Google Inc is reportedly planning its own OS 'Brillo' for the Internet of Things that could run on low-powered devices. According to reports, Google is likely to release the software under the Android brand.
Google Working on 'Brillo' OS for Low-Powered DevicesPC Magazine
Google reportedly developing 'Brillo,' an OS for the Internet of ThingsCNET
Google muddies #IoT waters with Brillo OSComputerworld
Fortune-Digital Trends-The Verge
all 100 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - NSA-reform bill fails in the Senate->

Submitted by Steven King
Steven King writes: The U.S. Senate rejected a contentious surveillance-reform bill just after midnight Saturday morning, all but guaranteeing that key provisions of the USA Patriot Act will expire.

The Senate failed to reach agreement on passage of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to reauthorize and reform Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which the government has used to conduct bulk surveillance of Americans' phone records. The House of Representatives passed the bill last week by an overwhelming bipartisan majority, but Senate Democrats, who unified behind the bill, did not get enough Republican votes to assure passage.

Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: Google is developing new Android-based Brillo OS for Internet of Things: Report - Firstpost->

From feed by feedfeeder

Computerworld

Google is developing new Android-based Brillo OS for Internet of Things: Report
Firstpost
Looks like Google is shifting focus to those low-end power devices such as smart light bulbs or security cameras which come with as little as 64MB or 32MB worth of RAM. The company is reportedly working on a new software, under the Android brand, as the...
Google launching operating system for the Internet of ThingsUpstart

all 100 news articles

Link to Original Source

Google News Sci Tech: Occulus Founder, Palmer Luckey, Struck with a Lawsuit - Geek Snack->

From feed by feedfeeder

Geek Snack

Occulus Founder, Palmer Luckey, Struck with a Lawsuit
Geek Snack
It's been a rough ride for VR company Oculus since it was acquired by Facebook for $2 billion that incited fans anger instantly casting doubt the Oculus Rift would still be a gaming focused device. After the outrage died down the company had to fend off a...
Oculus and founder sued by Hawaiian head-mounted display startupArs Technica (blog)
Oculus Facing Another LawsuitGameSpot
Facebook's Oculus Rift virtual reality system faces lawsuitMarketWatch
IBNLive-TweakTown-Engadget
all 72 news articles

Link to Original Source
Windows

25 Years Today - Windows 3.0 206

Posted by timothy
from the hindsight-is-warm-and-fuzzy dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Windows 3.0 was launched on 22 May 1990 — I know, 'coz I was there as a SDE on the team. I still have, um, several of the shrink-wrapped boxes of the product — with either 3.5 inch and 5.25 floppies rattling around inside them — complete with their distinctive 'I witnessed the event' sticker!

It was a big deal for me, and I still consider Win 3 as *the* most significant Windows' release, and I wonder what other Slashdotters think, looking back on Win 3?

+ - 25 Years today - Windows 3.0 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Windows 3.0 was launched on 22 May 1990 — I know, coz I was there as a SDE on the team. I still have, um, several of the shrink-wrapped boxes of the product — with either 3.5 inch and 5.25 floppies rattling around inside them — complete with their distintive 'I witnessed the event' sticker!

It was a big deal for me, and I still consider Win 3 as *the* most significant Windows' release, and I wonder what other /.ers think — looking back on Win 3?

+ - Firefox for iOS Beta coming to iPhone and iPad very soon->

Submitted by BrianFagioli
BrianFagioli writes: Mozilla initially refused to cave to Apple and release a neutered version without its own Gecko engine. Last year, however, Mozilla announced that it was bringing a version of the browser to the mobile operating system by saying, "we need to be where our users are so we're going to get Firefox on iOS". While I am still dismayed that browser will not use the Gecko engine on iOS, I've come to accept it as a necessity for Firefox to survive. Today, Mozilla announces that the project is still on track and a beta is on the way soon.
Link to Original Source
Graphics

Epic's VR Demo Scene For the GTX 980 Now Runs On Morpheus PS4 Headset At 60 FPS 27

Posted by timothy
from the blit-blit-bloop-bleep dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Originally created as a Unreal Engine 4 demo scene to push the limits of VR-capable graphics on the Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype VR headset, Showdown is now running flawlessly at 60 FPS on Morpheus, Sony's PS4 VR headset. The demo was previously only able to run at Oculus' 90 FPS target VR framerate on the Nvidia GTX 980, a GPU which costs nearly $200 more than the PS4 itself. To the delight of UE4 developers, the performance improvement comes from general optimizations to UE4 on PS4, rather than specific optimizations to Showdown.

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