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Submission + - US Navy to Upgrade Phalanx CIWS Ship Defense System

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Defense Tech reports that the US Navy is pursuing a massive, fleet-wide upgrade of its Phalanx Close in Weapons System (CIWS) shipboard defensive weapon designed to intercept and destroy incoming threats using a high rate of fire to blanket an area, thus destroying or knocking threats out of the sky before they reach a ship. The weapon is currently on Navy cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, among other vessels and can fire up to 4,500 rounds per minute. An upgrade and conversion of an older CIWS Phalanx configuration to Phalanx Block IB will incorporate a stabilized Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) sensor, an automatic acquisition video tracker, and optimized gun barrels (OGB). The Phalanx 1B will also fire Mk 244 ammunition, the Enhanced Lethality Cartridge (ELC) engineered with a 48 percent heavier tungsten penetrator (PDF) and an aluminum nose piece that is specifically designed to penetrate anti-ship cruise missiles. “Block IB provides ships the additional capability for defense against asymmetric threats such as small, high speed, maneuvering surface craft, slow-flying fixed and rotary-winged aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles,” says Navy spokesman Lt. Kurt Larson. “It now gives the warfighter the ability to address surface threats (video) which we have not had before."

Submission + - How To Protect Your Cloud Data Against the Gov't (

Lucas123 writes: Long before the recent revelation that the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, Google and Microsoft admitted to regularly receiving tens of thousands of orders from state and federal governments to hand over user data. Last year, Google disclosed it received 21,389 government requests for information affecting 33,634 user accounts. Sixty-six percent of the time, Google said it provided at least some data in response. During the same period, Microsoft received 70,665 requests affecting 122,015 accounts. A cottage industry is now growing up around offering an added layer of encryption to secure cloud storage accounts like Dropbox. Apart from downloading freeware, such as TruCrypt, and encrypting every folder or file before it's uploaded to the cloud, the new services are automating encryption, and then handing the keys over to the users. For example, SafeNet Labs just launched a beta of SafeMonk for Dropbox. Boxcryptor, Sookasa, TrustedSafe and PKWare with its Viivo offering, are also going after the same market. So is CipherCloud, which is expected to offer consumer cloud encryption protection.

Submission + - Futuristic UC Berkeley OS controls discrete 'manycore' resources (

coondoggie writes: At the Design Automation Conference (DAC) here this week, John Kubiatowicz, professor in the UC Berkeley computer science division, offered a preview of Tessellation, describing it as an operating system for the future where surfaces with sensors, such as walls and tables in rooms, for example, could be utilized via touch or audio command to summon up multimedia and other applications. The UC Berkeley Tessellation website says Tessellation is targeted at existing and future so-called "manycore" based systems that have large numbers of processors, or cores on a single chip. Currently, the operating system runs on Intel multicore hardware as well as the Research Accelerator for Multiple Processors (RAMP) multicore emulation platform.

Submission + - The video game drawn by hand (

An anonymous reader writes: Interesting behind the scenes interview with the creator of Paper Sorcerer, the stunning hand drawn RPG video game that was successfully Kickstarted last year and is now nearing launch. Jesse Gallagher, the artist single handedly creating the game in Unity, has painstakingly drawn out each character and environment across all 50 dungeons. He estimates he's gone through at least 600 pages of drawings in his notebooks in the process, and had to scan them all in — but he says it's worth it to give artists more control over the games they work on. "I was disappointed with how little input the artists had into the overall game design, so I decided to go the solo dev route,” he says. "Now I’d like to just continue making indie games until I fall over dead at the keyboard."

Submission + - Bionic eye prototype unveiled by Victorian scientists and designers (

An anonymous reader writes: A team of Australian industrial designers and scientists have unveiled their prototype for the world's first bionic eye.

It is hoped the device, which involves a microchip implanted in the skull and a digital camera attached to a pair of glasses, will allow recipients to see the outlines of their surroundings.

If successful, the bionic eye has the potential to help over 85 per cent of those people classified as legally blind.

Submission + - Teenage Girl Develops Algorithm to diagnose Leukemia (

Karl Phillip Buhr writes:

Brittany Wenger isn't your average high-school senior: She taught the computer how to diagnose leukemia. The 18-year-old student from Sarasota, Fla. built a custom, cloud-based "artificial neural network" to find patterns in genetic expression profiles to diagnose patients with an aggressive form of cancer called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL). Simply put, this means Wenger taught the computer how to diagnose leukemia by creating a diagnostic tool for doctors to use.

Submission + - House Bill Would Mandate Smart Gun Tech By U.S. Manufacturers (

Lucas123 writes: U.S. Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass) is pushing a bill that would require all U.S. handgun manufacturers to include "personalization technology" in their weapons. Tierney said he got the idea for The Personalized Handgun Safety Act of 2013 from the latest James Bond film, "Skyfall". In it Bond escapes death when his handgun, which is equipped with technology that recognizes his fingerprints, becomes inoperable when a bad guy picks it up. "This technology, however, isn't just for the movies — it's a reality," Tierney said. Tierney pointed to a myriad of cases where the smart gun tech could prevent children from being harmed or killed in firearms accidents. Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, the official state association of the NRA, said he knows of no gun owners who would want smart gun technology on their weapons. Wallace said any technology that may impede the proper function of a weapon is a problem. He pointed to the fact that any integrated processer technology would also require a battery of some kind, which could pose a system failure if it lost power.

Submission + - Justice Department got more than phone records in journalist probe (

PolygamousRanchKid writes: When the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.

They used security-badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal emails.

The case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, the government adviser, and James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News, bears striking similarities to a sweeping leaks investigation disclosed last week in which federal investigators obtained records over two months of more than 20 telephone lines assigned to The Associated Press. AP executives and First Amendment watchdogs have criticized the Justice Department in part for the broad scope of the phone records it secretly subpoenaed. “The latest events show an expansion of this law-enforcement technique,” said attorney Abbe Lowell, who is defending Kim on federal charges filed in 2010 that he disclosed national-defense information.

Investigators also scrutinized computer records and found that someone who had logged in with Kim’s user profile viewed the classified report “at or around” the same time two calls were placed from his desk phone to Rosen, according to the documents.

Submission + - EU to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants (

NSN A392-99-964-5927 writes: A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”

It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.

As you might suspect, this move is the “final solution” of Monsanto, DuPont and other seed-domination corporations who have long admitted their goal is the complete domination of all seeds and crops grown on the planet.

Submission + - Working Handgun Printed On A Sub-$2,000 3D Printer (

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: When the high-tech gunmakers Defense Distributed demonstrated earlier this month that they could 3D print an entire working gun, it was only a matter time of before that printed weapon's price and practicality dropped into the realm of normal consumers. Just a few weeks later, a couple of Wisconsin hobbyist gunsmiths have already managed to adapt Defense Distributed's so-called Liberator firearm and print it on a $1,725 Lulzbot 3D printer, a consumer grade machine that's far cheaper than the industrial quality Stratasys machine Defense Distributed used. They then proceeded to record their cheaper gun (dubbed the "Lulz Liberator") firing nine .380 rounds without any signs of cracking or melting. Eight of the rounds were fired from a single plastic barrel. (Defense Distributed only fired one through its prototype.) In total, the Lulz Liberator's materials cost around $25 and were printed over just 48 hours.
The Courts

Judge Won't Punish Lawyer For Anti-RIAA Blogging 160

xander_zone_xxx writes with news that Ray Beckerman, known around here as NewYorkCountryLawyer, was not a "vexatious" litigant, as the RIAA claimed. In the same ruling the judge dismissed Beckerman's counter-claims against the RIAA. (We discussed the claims and counters a year back.) "An attorney defending against a music-piracy lawsuit didn't cross ethical bounds by filing motions broadly attacking the recording industry and posting them on his blog, a magistrate judge has ruled, rejecting demands from the RIAA for monetary sanctions. Attorney Ray Beckerman was 'less than forthcoming at times' in defending a client against an RIAA lawsuit, but the music industry's concerns were 'largely overstated,' New York Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy wrote Friday."
Data Storage

First-Ever USB 3.0 Hard Drive 191

dreemteem writes "After 8 years of success, the USB 2.0 standard has begun its long journey into obsolescence. Dutch storage company Freecom has announced the first mainstream storage product based on 'SuperSpeed' USB 3.0. Buyers will be interested to hear that the new external Hard Drive XS 3.0 doesn't cost the earth at £99 (approx $160) for a 1TB drive, even though that excludes the £22.99 for a desktop PCI-bus controller necessary to make it work at its intended throughput. Laptop users can pair it with a £25.99 plug-in PC Card to achieve the same effect."

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben