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Laser Headlights Promise More Intense, Controllable Beams 376

cartechboy writes "Soon, your new car's headlights will be powered by lasers. The 2015 BMW i8 is entering production, and it's the first vehicle to offer laser headlights. These new beams offer a handful of advantages over LED lighting, including greater lighting intensity and extending the beams' reach as far as 600 meters down the road (nearly double the range of LEDs). The beam pattern also can be controlled very precisely. Plus, laser lights consumer about 30 percent less energy than the already-efficient LED lights. Audi is among the short list of other auto manufacturers to promise laser lights in the near future. But the coolest part of all this? When you turn on a set of these new headlights, you'll be able to scream, 'fire the lasers!'"

Unmanned 'Terminator' Robots Kill Jellyfish 149

First time accepted submitter starr802 writes "Scientists from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in Daejeon, South Korea, have developed a 'jellyfish terminator' robot set out to detect the marine coelenterate and kill it. Scientists started developing the robots three years ago after South Korea experienced jellyfish attacks along its southwest coast, where they clogged fishing nets and ate fish eggs and plankton, Discovery News reports. The Jellyfish Elimination Robotic Swarm or JEROS has two motors that let it move forward, backwards and rotate at 360 degrees." In related news, the Oskarshamn nuclear plant in southeastern Sweden was shut down recently after moon jellyfish overwhelmed the screens and filters in cooling pipes."

New Jersey Residents Displaced By Storm Can Vote By Email 189

First time accepted submitter danbuter writes "In probably the most poorly thought-out reaction to allowing people displaced by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey [to take part in the 2012 presidential election], residents will be allowed to vote by email. Of course, this will be completely secure and work perfectly!" Writes user Beryllium Sphere: "There's no mention of any protocol that might possibly make this acceptable. Perhaps the worst thing that could happen would be if it appears to work OK and gains acceptance." I know someone they should consult first.

Aussies Could Use Elephants To Fight Invasive Species 274

A type of invasive African grass is a major cause of wildfires in Australia. The giant gamba grass is too large for cattle and the native marsupial grazers to eat, but David Bowman, a professor of environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania has a plan. He says that elephants or rhinoceroses could eat the pest grass. "... the only other methods likely to control gamba grass involve using chemicals or physically clearing the land, which would destroy the habitat. Using mega-herbivores may ultimately be more practical and cost-effective, and it would help to conserve animals that are threatened by poaching in their native environments," he said. This plan makes you wonder just how big a Chinese needle snake can grow.

Rethinking Rail Travel: Boarding a Moving Train 357

PolygamousRanchKid tips this article about an idea for revolutionizing the rail system in the long-term: "The idea is to have a city-wide network of trams that travel in a loop and connect with a high-speed rail service. But instead of passengers having to get off the tram at a rail station and wait for the next HSR service to arrive, the moving tram would 'dock' with a moving train, allowing passengers to cross between tram and train without either vehicle ever stopping. 'The trams speed up and the high-speed train slows down and they join, so they dock at high speed,' explains Priestman. 'They stay docked for the same amount of time that it would stop at a station,' he adds. While Priestman admits that it will be some time before his vision could be implemented, he says the time has come to rethink how we travel. 'This idea is a far-future thought but wouldn't it be brilliant to just re-evaluate and just re-think the whole process?' he says."

Officials Agree On Global Nuclear Stress Tests 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Government ministers and officials from the European Union countries who met to discuss atomic energy safety have agreed to carry out stress tests on nuclear reactors to test their capacity to withstand major incidents like the earthquake and tsunami that rocked the Fukushima plant in March. 'The accident at Fukushima in Japan has affected us all,' says French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet. 'It quickly became apparent there is a need to learn lessons from the accident and to improve and raise our standards and ways of cooperating on nuclear safety.' The stress tests will be performed on Europe's 143 working reactors and other atomic installations. 'You have to move the safety envelope,' says Roger Mattson, former leader of the US task force that investigated the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, and an organizer of the group issuing the letter. 'You have to take these severe accidents into account and do more to prevent the very low-probability events.'"

Intel's Sandy Bridge Processor Has a Kill Switch 399

An anonymous reader writes "Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors have a new feature that the chip giant is calling Anti-Theft 3.0. The processor can be disabled even if the computer has no Internet connection or isn't even turned on, over a 3G network. With Intel anti-theft technology built into Sandy Bridge, David Allen, director of distribution sales at Intel North America, said that users have the option to set up their processor so that if their computer is lost or stolen, it can be shut down remotely."

Banking Via Twitter? 193

In the latest example of how just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, one credit union has decided to offer a new feature, dubbed "tweetMyMoney," that allows members to interact with their accounts via Twitter. Can't wait for the next version, "tweetSomeoneElsesMoney." "tweetMyMoney, available exclusively to Vantage members! With tweetMyMoney, you can monitor your account balance, deposits, withdrawals, holds and cleared checks with simple commands. And, you can even transfer funds within your account. It's all available on Twitter, 24/7!"

Biometric Passports Agreed To In EU 217

An anonymous reader writes "The European Parliament has signed up to a plan to introduce computerized biometric passports including people's fingerprints as well as their photographs, despite criticism from civil liberties groups and security experts who argue that the move is flawed on technical grounds. (Back in 2005 Sweden and Norway began deploying biometric passports.)"

A Cheap, Distributed Zero-Day Defense? 116

coondoggie writes "Shutting down zero-day computer attacks could be carried out inexpensively by peer-to-peer software that shares information about anomalous behavior, say researchers at the University of California at Davis.The software would interact with existing personal firewalls and intrusion detection systems to gather data about anomalous behavior, says Senthil Cheetancheri, the lead researcher on the project he undertook as a grad student at UC Davis from 2004 to 2007. He now works for SonicWall."

Security Checkpoints Predict What You Will Do 369

An anonymous reader writes "New security check points in 2020 will look just like something out of the futuristic movie, The Minority Report. The idea of the new checkpoints will allow high traffic to pass through just as you were walking at a normal pace. No more waving a wand to get through checkpoints — the new checkpoint can detect if you have plans to set off a bomb before you even enter the building."

British Royal Navy Submarines Now Run Windows 725

meist3r writes "On his Government blog, Microsoft's Ian McKenzie announced today that the Royal Navy was ahead of schedule for switching their nuclear submarines to a customized Microsoft Windows solution dubbed 'Submarine Command System Next Generation (SMCS NG)' which apparently consists of Windows 2000 network servers and XP workstations. In the article, it is claimed that this decision will save UK taxpayers £22m over the next ten years. The installation of the new system apparently took just 18 days on the HMS Vigilant. According to the BAE Systems press release from 2005, the overall cost of the rollout was £24.5m for all eleven nuclear submarines of the Vanguard, Trafalgar and Swiftsure classes. Talk about staying with the sinking ship."
The Internet

The Beginnings of a TLD Free-For-All? 489

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo writes "According to the BBC, ICANN is considering opening up the wholesale creation of TLDs by private industry. While I'm sure this is done for the convenience of the companies and has nothing to do with the several thousand dollars they will be charging for each registration, I was curious what the tech community at large thought about this idea. It seems to me that this will simply open the doors for a never-ending stream of TLD squatters."

My mother is a fish. - William Faulkner