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Robotics

+ - Hacked iRobot Uses XBox Kinect to See World-> 1

Submitted by kkleiner
kkleiner (1468647) writes "Millions are drinking the Kinect Kool-aid, jumping around in front of their XBox and playing games by flailing their bodies. Now a student at MIT’s Personal Robotics Group is going to put all that wild gyrating to a good use: controlling robots. Philipp Robbel has hacked together the Kinect 3D sensor with an iRobot Create platform and assembled a battery powered bot that can see its environment and obey your gestured commands. Tentatively named KinectBot, Robbel’s creation can generate some beautifully detailed 3D maps of its surroundings and wirelessly send them to a host computer. KinectBot can also detect nearby humans and track their movements to understand where they want it to go."
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Hardware

+ - HD 5000 support MLAA, Catalyst 10.10e Hotfix downl->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "AMD release Catalyst 10.10 last month, after a succession of drivers launched a / b / c / d four Hotfix driver, and another earlier this month released the latest in the series Catalyst 10.10e Hotfix download.AMD Catalyst 10.10e Hotfix update is as follows:- Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards support the latest Catalyst..."
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Robotics

+ - Hacked Kinect on a mobile robot does 3D mapping an

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I just wanted to send along our early efforts in using the Kinect depth camera
on a mobile robot. I believe this is the first video showing off the hacked
Kinect on a robot platform: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRPEns8MS2o
The robot uses the camera for 3D mapping and follows gestural directions. It's
basically a pimped iRobot Create with a battery-powered Kinect which streams
the depth and color images to a remote host for SLAM and 3D map processing.
This may be a useful platform for an introductory robotics class as well."
AMD

+ - AMD's first Fusion APU benchmarked->

Submitted by crookedvulture
crookedvulture (1866146) writes "AMD's Fusion-based processors have always looked good on paper. Combining CPU and GPU elements on a single die makes sense, especially within the context of affordable ultraportable notebooks targeted by the company's Brazos platform. Now that the first Brazos benchmarks are out, we finally have an idea of how this CPU/GPU hybrid might perform in the real world. The performance of AMD's new Bobcat CPU core matches that of Intel's latest CULV 2010 processors, and the integrated Radeon graphics core is a revelation when compared with competing offerings. AMD easily has the best balance of processing and graphics horsepower in this segment, which certainly bodes well for other Fusion-based APUs."
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Hardware

+ - Scientific breakthroughs in "Racetrack memory"

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "Swiss scientists are working on racetrack memory, shock-proof memory that they say is 100,000 times faster and consumes less power than current hard disks. Professor Mathias Kläui at EPFL, Laboratory of Nanomagnetism and Spin Dynamics and SwissFEL, says the new kind of memory using nickel-iron nanowire may soon be possible — and a market-ready device could be available in as little as 5-7 years.

If you're comfortable reading text like "For each bit of information to be clearly separated from the next so that data can be read reliably, the scientists use domain walls with magnetic vortices to delineate two adjacent bits," you'll probably be able to follow the techie details in the journal article Physical Review Letters, but mere mortals who want the summarized "what's in it for me?" can get it from the short ITWorld.com blog post, Racetrack Memory — Computer Memory That's 100,000 Times Faster Than Today's — May Arrive in 5-7 Years."
Games

+ - Samsung's dual-core Cortex-A9 Processor->

Submitted by inspirearun
inspirearun (1924078) writes "As expected, the end of 2010 will also be published in each application processor vendors ARM Cortex-A9-based products in point in time, while Samsung's first Cortex-A9 Products Orion ARM's annual events are coming out, unlike hummingbirds use PowerVR graphics program, Orion using ARM's Mali 400 GPU"
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Power

+ - Nuclear Fusion Possible Within 2-3 Years?-> 1

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Even with all the developments taking place in the areas of alternative energy such as solar and wind power, nuclear fusion still remains the holy grail of clean electricity generation. However, after decades of worldwide research costing billions of dollars, the goal of achieving “net-gain,” where more energy is produced than is required to trigger the fusion chain reaction, still remains elusive. Now researchers at Sandia Labs are claiming a breakthrough that could see break-even fusion reactions in as little as two to three years."
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Robotics

+ - Robot Actress Makes Stage Debut In Japan->

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The BBC reports that a robot named Geminoid-F has made it's acting debut in Japan. The short play in which it appeared was a sellout with the Japanese public who were curious to see the robot's performance. However an actress who co-starred pointed out that the lack of human presence made the droid difficult to act alongside."
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Data Storage

+ - Unsung Heroes: 14 Years of Hard Drive Performance->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "When the likes of WD or Seagate launch a new hard drive, the product is hailed as a more efficient means of storing data. Useful? Very. High class or sexy? Not so much. You've got to admit that hard drives have gotten a bum rap. Granted, they're still technically the slowest part of a system, but HDD manufacturers deserve a bit more credit than they typically get, especially these days, with the explosion of the SSD market. HotHardware decided to take a look at how hard drive performance has evolved over the past 14 years. This round-up shows a representative group of hard drives, formatted, scanned for bad sectors, and then a few modern benchmarks were invoked to see how much performance has improved over the years. The results were interesting and even surprising in spots."
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Patents

+ - 3D printing may face legal challenges->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "A coming revolution in 3D printing, with average consumers able to copy and create new three-dimensional objects at home, may lead to attempts by patent holders to expand their legal protections, a paper from Public Knowlege says. Patent holders may see 3D printers as threats, and they may try to sue makers of the printers or the distributors of CAD (computer-aided design) blueprints, according to digital rights group Public Knowledge."
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Displays

+ - Samsung's see-through screens to replace windows->

Submitted by
angry tapir
angry tapir writes "Samsung Electronics has developed see-through flat-panel screens intended to be used as high-tech windows. They could overlay news or the time on office windows, or flash special offers on store windows while still allowing shoppers to see inside. Samsung showed the concept screens at Japan's FPD International exhibition."
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Security

+ - Research Inches Toward Processor Specific Malware->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "The Windows/Office/IE monoculture is disappearing faster than equatorial glaciers — Mac OSX and iOS, Linux and Android...and whole new application ecosystems to go with each. That's bad news for malware authors and other bad guys, who count on 9.5 out of 10 systems running Windows and Microsoft applications to do their magic. What's the solution? Why, hardware specific hacks, of course! After all, the list of companies making CPUs is far smaller than, say, the list of companies making iPhone applications. Malware targeting one or more of those processors would work regardless of what OS or applications were installed. There's just one problem: its not easy to figure out what kind of CPU a device is running. But researchers at France's Ecole Superiore d'Informatique, Electronique, Automatique (ESIEA) are working on that problem. Threatpost.com reports on a research paper that lays out a strategy for fingerprinting processors by observing subtle differences in the way they perform complex floating point calculations. The method allows them to distinguish broad subsets of processor types by manufacturer, and researchers plan to refine their methods and release a tool that can make specific processor fingerprinting a snap."
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Earth

+ - Gold Nanoparticles Turn Trees Into Streetlights->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Street lights are an important part of our urban infrastructure — they light our way home and make the roads safe at night. But what if we could create natural street lights that don’t need electricity to power them? A group of scientists in Taiwan recently discovered that placing gold nanoparticles within the leaves of trees, causes them to give off a luminous reddish glow. The idea of using trees to replace street lights is an ingenious one – not only would it save on electricity costs and cut CO2 emissions, but it could also greatly reduce light pollution in major cities."
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"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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