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sidekickstudios (1655559) writes "if you want to talk to MPs but can't be bothered to get the pen and paper out, there's a writing robot inside the UK Parliament until October 16th. Messages from the website are sent to the Voicebot — a 50kg repurposed industrial robot, normally used for turning screws on production lines, that has been taught how to write in a nifty consolas font. all (legit) messages will be written out in one of the main thoroughfares inside Westminster where all politicians walk by. The robot has a couple of mods, one so it can move the paper along with a 'hand' and the other so it can cut messages using a 2" cutting disc. It also puts the pen back in the top when it's done writing. You can see it all on the live stream til the end of the week. And there's an API for the data, if people are interested in taking the messages that have been sent and doing their own thing with it. The robot invasion starts here....www.vinspired.com/voicebox"
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Link to Original Source
Nieriko writes "Reports are trickling in about the impact from the Conficker worm, as infected systems passed zero hour at midnight and began downloading additional malicious components. Here are a couple of the more notable incidents caused by Conficker so far, according to published reports: — '... shortly after midnight local time, an ATM in the capital city of Reykjavik began spewing 100-Krona notes. ... A nuclear missile installation near Elmendorf Air force Base outside of Anchorage, Alaska briefly went on a full-scale military alert after technicians manning the bunker suspected that several of their control systems were infected with Conficker.'"
narramissic writes "Honda has released a video of experiments showing a person wearing a large hemispheric scanner on his head and controlling Honda's Asimo robot by visualizing movement. Back in 2006, Honda and ATR researchers managed to get a robotic hand to move by analyzing brain activity using a large MRI scanner. This latest work uses EEG to measure the electrical activity in a person's brain and blood flow within the brain using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to produce data that is then interpreted into control information. While both the EEG and NIRS techniques are established, the analyzing process for the data is new. Honda said the system uses statistical processing of the complex information to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion."
Barence writes "Mozilla has revealed how it plans to integrate plain text commands directly into future versions of Firefox. Dubbed Taskfox, the move sees Mozilla's Ubiquity project become part of the browser itself, allowing users to type commands directly into the address bar. You can, for example, type 'map cleveland street london' to bring up a Google Map of that location, or 'amazon-search the great gatsby' to find that book on Amazon, without visiting the website directly. 'The basic idea behind Taskfox is simple: take the time-saving ideas behind Ubiquity, and put them into Firefox,' the Taskfox wiki claims. 'That means allowing users to quickly access information and perform tasks that would normally take several steps to complete.'"
We've been working hard on the new dynamic Slashdot project (logged in users can enable this by enabling the beta index in their user preferences). I just wanted to quickly mention that there are keybindings on the index. The WASD and VI movement keys do stuff that we like, and the faq has the complete list. Also, if you are using Firefox or have Index2 beta enabled, you can click 'More' in the footer at the end of the page to load the next block of stories in-line without a page refresh. We're experimenting now with page sizes to balance load times against the likelihood that you'll click. More features will be coming soon, but the main thing on our agenda now is optimization. The beta index2 is sloooow and that's gotta change. We're aiming for 2 major optimizations this week (CSS Sprites, and removing an old YUI library) that I'm hoping will put the beta page render time into the "Sane" time frame (which, in case you are wondering, is several seconds faster than that "Insane" time frame we're currently seeing).
Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes " Amid the latest 'sexting' controversy, here is a proposal for a scientifically objective method to determine whether a picture constitutes child pornography. This is a harder problem than it seems, but not for the reasons you'd think. And it raises questions about how the same scientific principles could be applied to other matters of law." Hit the link below to read the sextiest story on Slashdot today.
ruphus13 writes "Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, claims that the company is very close to the $30M mark, at which point, they will be a self-sustaining company. While people feel that this should not worry Microsoft, the real question is whether a 10,000 person effort on a failure like Vista can actually be the paradigm of a long-term strategy. From the article: 'Microsoft had 10,000 people [the article is unclear whether these were all developers, or administrative and support staff were factored in] working on Vista for a five year period ... huge profits in any given year can mean relatively little five years on. Canonical's self-sustaining revenue may not be threatening — but it leaves one wondering how sustainable Microsoft's development process really is.'"
Barence writes "At CES, Palm announced what promises to be the product that finally matches and even betters the Apple iPhone, and certainly looks to be the most important product announced at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. It's called the Palm Pre and it's based on a completely new operating system, called Palm webOS. Its key specs include a 3.1in 320x 480 touchscreen, 8GB of storage, UMTS HDSPA support (in the UK version of the phone), 802.11b/g WLAN, Bluetooth, and GPS. It also includes a slide-out Qwerty keyboard, 3.5mm headphone jack, and what Palm described as the 'fastest ever' Texas Instruments OMAP processor."
VORNAN-20 (318139) writes "Yesterday's item here about Comcast screwing around with P2P traffic brings up an idea. Is it time to change the P2P standard to encrypt all traffic? I think that almost any current PC would have no problem handling the extra load, and really, Comcast or any ISP has no business knowing what you are sending in the first place. I am not a network guy but I think that this is doable. If azureus, ktorrent, etc were all to come out with an "encrypt all packets using " option maybe this could be managed quickly and cleanly. It would be best to move quickly before all of the ISPs catch on to this. Come on developers, liberate us from the network meanies!!"