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Submission + - 18th Annual International RoboSub Competition Happening Now in San Diego

madsci1016 writes: The 18th Annual International RoboSub Competition is happening this week at the TRANSDEC Naval Testing facility in San Diego, California. 38 teams from around the world have built fully autonomous underwater robots designed to complete a gauntlet of underwater obstacles. No GPS here, advanced image processing and acoustic sensors are your only tools. The competition is open to the public from now until Sunday. A few pictures from the ongoing event can be found here.

Submission + - Amazon's 60 Minutes Shocker? Delivery by Drone Demo

theodp writes: 60 Minutes has been teasing it would reveal a "big surprise" from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Sunday night's show. Well, the cat's out of the bag — Amazon's big surprise is that it is working on an R&D project to create autonomous flying delivery drones that could deliver packages to customer doorsteps someday in as little as a half an hour. Called "Amazon PrimeAir," Bezos said it will take years to implement the project and get FAA approval, but insists the project is realistic. "I know this looks like science fiction — it's not," Bezos told 60 Minutes. In the words of Yogi Berra, It's deja vu all over again for Segway fans!

Submission + - The real reason Firefox lost to Chrome: Firefox 4 (astronautz.com)

edxwelch writes: In November last year Chrome overtook Firefox in market share for the first time. What people don’t realise is that the release of Firefox 4 caused a large part of the decline.
Firefox 4 was a major new release and came with a brand new Javascript engine and HTML5 parser. Unfortunately, these new features came with major memory leaks and performance bugs. The result was that if you used Firefox 4 for an extended period of time the browser would eventually become unresponsive, making it virtually unusable.


DIY FireHero Project 27

If you have a propane tank, an ultrasonic sensor, a copy of Guitar Hero and a touch of pyromania, this is the project for you. From the article: "For version 1 of FireHero, the player simply watches a video of the guitar hero chart and plays on the guitar accordingly. Version 2 of FireHero will have a much better system, with Autoplay functionality. I will be able to take a custom guitar hero chart, convert it into a MIDI file, and use Processing to analyze it and play FireHero to the track."

Security Certificate Warnings Don't Work 432

angry tapir writes "In a laboratory experiment, researchers found that between 55 percent and 100 percent of participants ignored certificate security warnings, depending on which browser they were using (different browsers use different language to warn their users). The researchers first conducted an online survey of more than 400 Web surfers, to learn what they thought about certificate warnings. They then brought 100 people into a lab and studied how they surf the Web. They found that people often had a mixed-up understanding of certificate warnings. For example, many thought they could ignore the messages when visiting a site they trust, but that they should be more wary at less-trustworthy sites."

Successful Test of Superconducting Plasma Rocket Engine 168

xp65 writes to mention that Ad Astra has successfully tested their VX-200 plasma engine at full power in superconducting conditions, the first time such an engine has been tested at those power levels. "The VX-200 engine is the first flight-like prototype of the VASIMR® propulsion system, a new high-power plasma-based rocket, initially studied by NASA and now being developed privately by Ad Astra. VASIMR® engines could enable space operations far more efficiently than today's chemical rockets and ultimately they could also greatly speed up robotic and human transit times for missions to Mars and beyond."

Submission + - Can you live without TV via cable or dish?

madsci1016 writes: "I am a recent college graduate about ready to move into a new apartment. There is no coax installed in the new apartment, and I would either have to do it myself or pay to have it installed. But, do I really need it? Most of the shows I watch are available via Hulu or Fancast. Local news can be found through local station's websites. I enjoy TV as much as the next guy, but times are tough and cable TV may be an expense I can get rid of. Has anyone tried living cable and dish free? What software did you use? Has the internet become viable as the sole means of content delivery for your TV?"

The trouble with money is it costs too much!