esocid writes "Called the SMU 100 it costs £25,000 and sends out a three-meter 'wall of light' that leaves anyone caught in it briefly unable to see. Designed by a former Royal Marine Commando, it was originally developed for use against pirates in Somalia. While tasers and CS gas work well over short distances the laser is said to be effective at up to 500 meters (1,640ft). Being targeted by the beam has been compared to staring into the sun before being forced to turn away. Paul Kerr, managing director of Clyde-based Photonic Security Systems, which came up with the design, said 'If you can't look at something you can't attack it.'"
New submitter CaptSlaq sends word that Silverlight 5 has been released. Microsoft has not revealed whether it will be the last version. "New features in Silverlight 5 include Hardware Decode of H.264 media, which provides a significant performance improvement with decoding of unprotected content using the GPU; Postscript Vector Printing to improve output quality and file size; and an improved graphics stack with 3D support that uses the XNA API on the Windows platform to gain low-level access to the GPU for drawing vertex shaders and low-level 3D primitives. In addition, Silverlight 5 extends the ‘Trusted Application’ model to the browser for the first time. These features, when enabled via a group policy registry key and an application certificate, mean users won’t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks such as multiple window support, full trust support in browser including COM and file system access, in browser HTML hosting within Silverlight, and P/Invoke support for existing native code to be run directly from Silverlight."
I live in the US and don't have a land-line, just a cell phone. While I haven't received any unsolicited phone calls in years, I've probably received about five text messages within the past two months for generic mortgage refinancing or auto warranties from area codes elsewhere in the US.
Maybe a bit off topic but why is this story being displayed with a Bitcoin avatar? Just because the submitter somehow thinks that they're coming for his Bitcoins next? Give me a fucking break.
We've been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for over three years, from its secretive beginnings, to the controversy and debate that followed, and to the document it eventually evolved into. Now, Japan has announced that the agreement will finally be signed on Saturday during a ceremony that follows an anti-piracy symposium on Friday. "The negotiation has been carried out among Australia, Canada, the European Union and its Member States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, and reached a general agreement at the negotiation meeting held in Japan in October 2010, followed by the completion of technical and translation work in April 2011. ... The signing ceremony will be attended by the representatives of all the participants in the ACTA negotiations, and those that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign the agreement. The agreement is open for signature until May 1, 2013."
cylonlover writes "When it was released in 1972, the Polaroid SX-70, with its foldable SLR design, was the world's first instant SLR. It was also the first camera to use Polaroid's then-new integral instant film that contained all the chemical layers required to expose, develop, and fix the photo. Photojojo is now offering Limited Edition Polaroid SX-70 cameras that have all been restored to working condition, and integral instant film is also available."
florescent_beige writes "In the September Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Gregory Poland, M.D. writes that 'More than 150 cases of measles have been reported in the United States already this year and there have been similar outbreaks in Europe, a sign the disease is making an alarming comeback (abstract). The reappearance of the potentially deadly virus is the result of unfounded fears about a link between the measles shot and autism that have turned some parents against childhood vaccination.'" This follows the recent release of a massive review of studies into the side effects of vaccination, summarized here by Nature, which did not find convincing support for the idea that MMR shots caused autism.
Trailrunner7 writes "The maintainers of the PHP scripting language are warning users about a serious crypto problem in the latest release and advising them not to upgrade to PHP 5.3.7 until the bug is resolved. PHP 5.3.7 was just released last week and that version contained fixes for a slew of security vulnerabilities. But now a serious flaw has been found in that new release that is related to the way that one of the cryptographic functions handles inputs. In some cases, when the crypt() function is called using MD5 salts, the function will return only the salt value."
This would be a big deal. There was someone who put up nearly $1 Billion on the fact that the US would lose it's AAA rating. The US did and they made ridiculous money.
An anonymous reader writes "The Wall Street Journal reports on a study into productivity and efficiency in the workplace, which found that people who are given a break to surf the web return to their work with 'lower levels of mental exhaustion, boredom and higher levels of engagement.' Researchers tested against two other groups; one continued working, and one was given a break that did not involve web browsing. They concluded that 'browsing the Internet serves an important restorative function.' In contrast, dealing with personal email was 'particularly distracting.' In the end, the researchers recommended that employers loosen restrictions on employee web access." This backs up a similar study out of Australia from a couple years ago.
Global markets are on the rise in response to a deal between President Obama and congressional Republicans on the debt. The deal would cut more than $2 trillion from federal spending over a decade. However, most economists think this isn't enough and does not remove the threat that the nation's AAA credit rating could be downgraded.
mattnyc99 writes "In the wake of a not-that-exciting Comic-Con come some (perhaps premature) reports on the so-called "Death of Superheroes" — what one financial group calls "the top of the (comic book) character remonetization cycle." In response, Esquire.com's Paul Schrodt has an interesting look down Hollywood geek road. From the article: "What happens after The Avengers, or Christopher Nolan's third and final Batman movie — after we've seen all there is to see of the best comic-book blockbusters ever made?""
If you have been living under a rock, you might not be aware that the next in the ongoing series of Avengers prequel movies came out this weekend: Captain America follows Steve Rogers origin, and sets him up for next summer's kajillion dollar Whedonesque mega blockbuster. But how is it as a movie in its own right? Hit the link to read my 2 cents. Standard spoiler warnings apply.
An anonymous reader writes "The Texas Board of Education has unanimously come down on the side of evolution. In an 8-0 vote, the board today approved scientifically accurate high school biology textbook supplements from established mainstream publishers — and did not approve the creationist-backed supplements from International Databases, LLC."
Didn't some SA Goons do something similar with a Dwarf Fortress world file? I'm not sure of the stipulations on when your time was up, but it seemed interesting. Someone started a new world, did some work, posted screen caps and summaries, and then handed it off to another Goon. Only one person could play it at a time. Rinse and repeat. The thread was entertaining to read, for sure.