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Festo's Drone Dragonfly Takes To the Air 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the little-flyer dept.
yyzmcleod writes "Building on the work of last year's bionic creation, the Smart Bird, Festo announced that it will literally launch its latest creation, the BionicOpter, at Hannover Messe in April. With a wingspan of 63 cm and weighing in at 175 grams, the robotic dragonfly mimics all forms of flight as its natural counterpart, including hover, glide and maneuvering in all directions. This is made possible, the company says, by the BionicOpter's ability to move each of its four wings independently, as well as control their amplitude, frequency and angle of attack. Including its actuated head and body, the robot exhibits 13 degrees of freedom, which allows it to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, turn and fly backwards."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bending-the-rules dept.
Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"
Government

+ - Finland is crowdsourcing its new copyright law->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Internet activists in Finland, upset with the country's strict copyright laws, are ready to take advantage of the country's promise to vote on any citizen-proposed bill that reaches 50,000 signatures. Digital rights group Common Sense in Copyright has proposed sweeping changes to Finland's Lex Karpela, a 2006 amendment to the Finnish copyright law that more firmly criminalized digital piracy. Under it, "countless youngsters have been found guilty of copyright crimes and sentenced to pay thousands, in some cases hundreds of thousands, of euros in punitive damages to the copyright organizations." The proposal to fix copyright is the best-rated and most-commented petition on the Open Ministry site."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Dedicated A/C system (Score 3, Insightful) 422

by kevink707 (#41513965) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Would You Include In a New Building?
On my required list would be a separate dedicated A/C system for your equipment room. Too often computer/telephone rooms are connected to whatever A/C system is convenient which leads to problems -- One of my horror stories was management turning off the A/C in the lunch room which had been running 24x7 to save energy, little did they know that the lunch room A/C was shared by the computer room on the other side of the wall.... :-(

+ - What's wrong with online comments?->

Submitted by
mosb1000
mosb1000 writes "CNN has an opinion piece about online comments in websites. The author bluntly asks "Have online comment sections become 'a joke'?"

He then proceeds to shoot down a number of common suggestions: having editors and reporters engage their readers in the comments, requiring readers to post using their real names, giving other commenters more power to "up-vote" or "down-vote" posts, etc. And he ultimately suggests that the authors themselves should chose comments to be posted. I don't think that's a real solution, and I've noticed that the comments on Slashdot are generally more useful than those found on other sites. How can we export what Slashdot is doing right to other parts of the internet (and can we)? And what can we do to get rid of the all the useless comments on Slashdot itself."

Link to Original Source
Japan

+ - The 1,000-Year-Old Message That Saved a Village

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Disaster researcher José Holguín-Veras writes in the LA Times that when he went to Japan after the Tohoku earthquake to identify lessons that could benefit future disaster-response operations, he discovered a message sent across 50 generations that saved the residents of a fishing village called Murohama. "A millennium ago, the residents of Murohama, knowing they were going to be inundated, had sought safety on the village's closest hill. But they had entered into a deadly trap," writes Holguín-Veras. "A second wave, which had reached the interior of the island through an inlet, was speeding over the rice paddies from the opposite direction." The waves collided at the hill and killed those who had taken refuge there. To signify their grief and to advise future generations, the survivors erected a shrine. Holguín-Veras asked a community leader if "a thousand years ago" was a figure of speech and to his astonishment, village elders had reviewed the local temple's records and found reports pinpointing a large tsunami 1,142 years ago that coincided with the massive Jogan Jishin earthquake of 869. On March 11, 2011 residents relied on the lesson that had been transmitted generation to generation for 1,000 years. "We all knew the story about the two tsunami waves that collided at the shrine," and instead of taking refuge on hill with the shrine, they took the time to get to high ground farther away and watched two tsunami waves colliding at the hill with the shrine, just as they did long ago. "I know that science and engineering save lives. But in this instance neither did much to help," says Holguín-Veras. "Reaching out from the distant past, long-gone ancestors — and a deeply embedded story — saved their children.""

+ - Leaked Heartland Institute Memo Authenticity Questioned->

Submitted by
sithkhan
sithkhan writes "After the explosive leak of the Heartland Institute documents on Thursday, the documents were looked over by a reporter for The Atlantic. Seems all the leaked documents are similar and consistent, with the exception of one: that damning memo.
FTFA:
" 1. All of the documents are high-quality PDFs generated from original electronic files . . . except for the "Climate Strategy" memo. (Hereinafter, "the memo"). That appears to have been printed out and scanned, though it may also have been faxed.
Either way, why? After they wrote up their Top Secret Here's All the Bad Stuff We're Gonna Do This Year memo, did the author hand it to his secretary and say "Now scan this in for the Board"? Or did he fax it across the hall to his buddy?
This seems a strange and ponderous way to go about it--especially since the other documents illustrate that the Heartland Institute has fully mastered the Print to PDF command.
It is, however, exactly what I would do if I were trying to make sure that the document had no potentially incriminating metadata in the pdf."

There's much more to read and consider at the link.

The author gives two caveats, which are somewhat at odds with one another."

Link to Original Source
Data Storage

+ - SSD Latency, Error Rates May Spell Bleak Future->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "A new study by the University of California and Microsoft shows that NAND flash memory experiences significant performance degradation as die sizes shrink in size. Over the next dozen years latency will double as the circuitry size shrinks from 25 nanometers today, to 6.5nm, the research showed. Speaking at the Usenix Conference on File and Storage Technologies in San Jose this week, Laura Grupp, a graduate student at the University of California, said tests of 45 different types of NAND flash chips from six vendors using 72nm to 25nm lithography techniques showed performance degraded across the board and error rates increased as die sizes shrunk. Triple-Level NAND performed the worst, followed by Multi-Level Cell NAND and Single-Level Cell. The researchers said MLC NAND-based SSDs won't be able to go beyond 4TB and TLC-based SSDs won't be able to scale past 16TB because of the performance degradation, so it appears the end of the road for SSDs will be 2024."
Link to Original Source

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