writes "ego pieces and dino-DNA — both considered "building blocks of life" and very useful for creating dinosaurs from scratch.
Animator Paul Hollingsworth and his daughter Hailee, along with some help from a few "master builders" — decided to recreate iconic scenes from Jurassic Park using only Lego pieces. More than $100,000 in Lego were used, according to the video's description.
The result is a surprisingly stunning and hilarious version of the 1993 dino-thriller. The team behind the film also released an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the production."Link to Original Source
writes "General Motors wants to help curb teen crashes with a new system that lets parents monitor their kids' driving habits—even when mom and dad aren't actually in the car.
Dubbed Teen Drive, the new system will debut in the 2016 Chevy Malibu, offering a bunch of features designed to encourage safe driving. It will, for instance, mute the radio or any device paired with the car when front seat occupants aren't wearing their seatbelts, and give audible and visual warnings when the vehicle is traveling faster than preset speeds.
It doesn't end there. Brace yourself, teens, because you might not like this next part too much. The new system also lets parents view a readout of how you drove the car, including how fast you went, how far you drove, and whether any active safety features (like over-speed warnings) were engaged.
Parents can also set the radio system's maximum volume to a lower level, and select a maximum speed between 40 and 75 miles per hour, which, if exceeded, will trigger warnings."Link to Original Source
writes "Amazon.com Inc has won U.S. federal regulators' approval to test a delivery drone, as the e-commerce giant pursues a vision of speeding packages to customers through the air amid public concern over the safety and privacy implications.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday it had issued an experimental airworthiness certificate to an Amazon unit and its prototype drone design, allowing it to conduct outdoor test flights on private, rural land in Washington state.
The experimental certificate applies to a particular drone design and Amazon must obtain a new certification for test flights if it modifies the drone.
In return, the company must supply monthly data to the regulators, and conduct flights at 400 feet (120 meters) or below and in "visual meteorological conditions," according to the FAA's certificate.
The drone operators must also have a private pilots' license and current medical certification."Link to Original Source
writes "With biometric authentication for Windows 10 devices, the world's largest software maker hopes to make it harder for hackers to scoop up your data.
Microsoft is the latest tech company to turn our bodies into passwords.
With Windows Hello, announced Tuesday, users of the upcoming Windows 10 operating system will be able to sign in to their devices using their fingerprint, their face or even the iris of their eye. Microsoft is expected to release Windows 10 later this year.
"You — uniquely you — plus your device are the keys to your Windows experience, apps, data and even websites and services, not a random assortment of letters and numbers that are easily forgotten, hacked or written down and pinned to a bulletin board," Joe Belfiore, Microsoft's corporate VP of operating systems, wrote in a blog post.
As Belfiore points out, we live in an age of constant cyberthreat. Hacking has become full-time job, with professional cybercriminals breaching the computer systems of companies, financial institutions and even government agencies. Yet despite these nearly continual cyberattacks, consumers still rely on passwords to unlock everything from our bank accounts to our email. It doesn't help that many of us reuse our passwords across multiple websites, since hackers who have scooped up passwords from vulnerable sites now have the keys to more-secure sites. And the problem keeps growing as criminals collect large swaths of personal data from across the Internet. Just last August, Russian hackers breached hundreds of thousands of websites to nab 1.2 billion usernames and passwords.
Biometric verification, which confirms who we are by using our unique physical characteristics, promises to put up an additional wall of security between our devices and malicious third parties. Though a fingerprint will always be more secure than "Password1234," people sometimes worry whether hackers can find a way to access our biometrics. Belfiore says not to worry.
"We understand how critical it is to protect your biometric data from theft, and for this reason your 'biometric signature' is secured locally on the device and shared with no one but you," he wrote. Windows Hello also comes with "enterprise-grade" security, meaning Microsoft wants it to work across businesses in all industries."Link to Original Source
writes "Facebook's latest half-yearly government requests transparency report has revealed that Australian government agencies made 829 requests for data from 933 Facebook users' accounts during the second half of 2014, with 68.64 percent of requests resulting in some data being handed over.
This equates to a 37.5 percent increase compared to the six months ending 2013, with Facebook receiving 603 requests, and handing over data for 65.51 percent of requests for the same period the previous year.
Facebook said that it restricted access to three items of content in compliance with a request from a local state consumer affairs regulator for violating local laws that ban "false and misleading information".
"We also restricted one page in compliance with Australia's federal anti-discrimination laws," the company said. "We respond to valid requests relating to criminal cases. Each and every request we receive is checked for legal sufficiency, and we reject or require greater specificity on requests that are overly broad or vague," it said.
Of the countries in the APAC region that were included in Facebook's transparency report, Australia was bested only by India in terms of data request volume, which saw a 52 percent increase in data requests for the six months compared to the same period the prior year.
Indian law-enforcement agencies made 5,473 requests for data from 7,281 Facebook users' accounts for the period, with 44.7 percent of requests resulting in content being handed over.
In fact, several countries in the APAC region saw marked increases in the number of requests from government agencies for Facebook users' data.
Facebook received 139 requests for data from 151 accounts from New Zealand authorities, up from just 80 requests for data from New Zealand agencies for the same period ending 2013. For the latter half of 2014, Facebook said it provided data for 62.6 percent of requests.
"We restricted access in New Zealand to one item in compliance with a Court Suppression Order made by the Chief High Court Judge of New Zealand," Facebook stated.
Hong Kong authorities made 39 requests from 51 accounts, up from 25 requests the previous year, while Malaysian agencies made 17 requests for data — up from 16 last year — with only 23.5 percent of requests resulting in the production of data."Link to Original Source
writes "Howard Hughes Medical Institute scientists have simplified the chemical synthesis of small molecules, eliminating a major bottleneck that limits the exploration of a class of compounds offering tremendous potential for medicine and technology.
Scientists led by Martin Burke, an HHMI early career scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, used a single automated process to synthesize 14 distinct classes of small molecules from a common set of building blocks.
Burke's team envisions expanding the approach to enable the production of thousands of potentially useful molecules with a single machine, which they describe as a "3D printer" for small molecules. Their work is described in the March 13, 2015, issue of the journal Science."Link to Original Source
writes "“Under the Dome,” a searing documentary about China’s catastrophic air pollution, had hundreds of millions of views on Chinese websites within days of its release one week ago.
The country’s new environment minister compared it to “Silent Spring,” the landmark 1962 book that energized the environmental movement in the United States. Domestic and foreign journalists clamored to interview the filmmaker, a famous former television reporter, though she remained silent.
Then on Friday afternoon, the momentum over the video came to an abrupt halt, as major Chinese video websites deleted it under orders from the Communist Party’s central propaganda department.
The startling phenomenon of the video, the national debate it set off and the official attempts to quash it reflect the deep political sensitivities in the struggle within the Chinese bureaucracy to reverse China’s environmental degradation, among the worst in the world. The drama over the video has ignited speculation over which political groups were its supporters and which sought to kill it, and whether party leaders will tolerate the civic conversation and grass-roots activism that in other countries have been necessary to curbing rampant pollution.
“It’s been spirited away by gremlins,” said Zhan Jiang, a professor of journalism and media studies in Beijing."Link to Original Source
writes "NASA’s Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around the asteroid Ceres on Friday morning at an altitude of just under 38,000 miles. Currently, the spacecraft is above the night side of Ceres, limiting the amount of information that can be gathered.
When conventional spacecraft enter orbit, they fire their engines for less than an hour to slow down and be captured by the gravity of their target. But Dawn is powered by an ion engine, which generates a small amount of thrust but can fire continuously for weeks, and there was no big change in Dawn’s course on Friday.
By late April, it will move into a 8,400-mile circular orbit where it can start examining Ceres in detail. Ceres, at almost 600 miles wide, is the largest of the asteroids and is now counted as a dwarf planet; it follows an orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Already, scientists are intrigued by bright spots on its surface, which may be reflective patches of ice or salt."Link to Original Source
writes "Google has made it official: It’s getting into car insurance in the U.S.
The tech giant announced Thursday that it’s launching a new feature called “Google Compare for Auto Insurance.”
It’s a comparison shopping site that lets consumers compare rates from different insurance carriers.
The option to compare rates will pop up when a consumer searches on Google for “car insurance.”
At the outset, the service is available to California residents, but Google said it will expand to other states later this year.
Google already offers auto, travel and mortgage quotes in the United Kingdom.
It also operates a credit card comparison service in the U.S. under the “Google Compare” umbrella.
Several major U.S. insurance carriers are reportedly reluctant to work with Google. The tech giant does not list major carriers such as State Farm, GEICO, Progressive and Allstate among its current partners."Link to Original Source
writes "Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen and his research team have found a massive Japanese World War II battleship off the Philippines near where it sank more than 70 years ago, his representatives said Wednesday.
The apparent discovery of the wreckage of the Musashi, one of the largest battleships in history, comes as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the war’s end.
Allen and the team aboard his superyacht M/Y Octopus found the ship on Sunday, more than eight years after their search began, Allen’s publicity agency Edelman said in a statement.
Detailed images captured by a high-definition camera mounted on the underwater probe confirmed the wreckage as that of the Musashi, it said.
Japanese experts said they were eager to study the images to try to confirm the ship’s identity.
Allen’s team found the battleship in the Sibuyan Sea, using an autonomous underwater vehicle in its third dive after narrowing down the search area using detailed undersea topographical data and other locator devices, the statement said.
“The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction,” Allen said."Link to Original Source
writes "The ESA released an image Tuesday of the comet-orbiting Rosetta leaving a fleeting mark on the comet: its shadow. The space agency describes it as being "encircled in a wreath of light." It was a rare confluence of circumstances that enabled the image to exist as the sun, spacecraft and comet all came into alignment.
The shadow is diffuse, rather than sharp. The ESA explains this by noting, "If you were standing on the surface with Rosetta high above you, there would be no place in the shadow where the entire Sun would be blocked from view, which explains why there is no fully dark core to the shadow."
The image was taken during a close flyby of the comet on February 14, but the ESA just now brought it to the public's attention. Rosetta — which was launched back in 2004 and sent on a mission to approach and study Comet 67P — was at a distance of about 3.7 miles from the comet's surface at the time.
What's so intriguing about the shadow image is that it's something familiar happening in an alien place, 317 million miles away. We're all used to seeing our shadows here on Earth. Rosetta casting a shadow on a comet puts its epic space adventure into a more human perspective."Link to Original Source
writes "Over at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, also known as DARPA, there are some pretty amazing (and often top-secret) things going on. But one notable component of a DARPA project was revealed by a Defense Department official at a recent forum, and it is the stuff of science fiction movies.
According to DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, a paralyzed woman was successfully able use her thoughts to control an F-35 and a single-engine Cessna in a flight simulator.
It's just the latest advance for one woman, 55-year-old Jan Scheuermann, who has been the subject of two years of groundbreaking neurosignaling research.
First, Scheuermann began by controlling a robotic arm and accomplishing tasks such as feeding herself a bar of chocolate and giving high fives and thumbs ups.
Then, researchers learned that — surprisingly — Scheuermann was able to control both right-hand and left-hand prosthetic arms with just the left motor cortex, which is typically responsible for controlling the right-hand side.
After that, Scheuermann decided she was up for a new challenge, according to Prabhakar.
"Jan decided that she wanted to try flying a Joint Strike Fighter simulator," Prabhakar said, prompting laughter from the crowd at the New America Foundation's Future of War forum. "So Jan got to fly in the simulator."
Unlike pilots who use the simulator technology for training, Scheuermann wasn't thinking about controlling the plane with a joystick. She thought about flying the plane itself — and it worked.
"In fact," Prabhakar noted, "for someone who's never flown — she's not a pilot in real life — she's in there flying a simulator directly from neurosignaling.""Link to Original Source
writes "It’s one of those enduring Zen koans of science that we’ve all grown up with: Light behaves as both a particle and a wave—at the same time. Einstein taught us that, so we’re all generally on board, but to actually understand what it means would require several Ph.D.s and a thorough understanding of quantum physics.
What’s more, scientists have never been able to devise an experiment that documents light behaving as both a wave and a particle simultaneously. Until now.
That’s the contention of a team of Swiss and American researchers, who say they’ve succeeded in capturing the first-ever snapshot of light’s dual behavior. Using an advanced electron microscope – one of only two on the planet – at the EPFL labs in Switzerland, the team has generated a kind of quantum photograph of light behaving as both a particle and a wave.
The experiment involves firing laser light at a microscopic metallic nanowire, causing light to travel — as a wave — back and forth along the wire. When waves traveling in opposite directions meet, they form a “standing wave” that emits light itself — as particles. By shooting a stream of electrons close to the nanowire, the researchers were able to capture an image that simultaneously demonstrates both the wave-nature and particle-nature of light.
“This experiment demonstrates that, for the first time ever, we can film quantum mechanics — and its paradoxical nature — directly,” says lead researcher Fabrizio Carbone of EPFL, on the lab’s project page. The study is to be officially published this week in the journal Nature Communications."Link to Original Source
writes "In a reversal, Google says that porn will continue to be allowed on its Blogger site.
Google said it has received a big backlash after deciding earlier in the week that bloggers will no longer be able to "publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity." The ban was to have taken place on March 23.
Instead, Google said that the company would simply double down on its crackdown of bloggers who use their sites to sell porn.
In July, Google stopped porn from appearing in its online ads that appear on Blogger. And in 2013, Google decided to remove blogs from its Blogger network that contained advertisements for online porn sites.
"We've had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities," wrote Jessica Pelegio, Google's social product support manager, in a post on Google product forums. "So rather than implement this change, we've decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.""Link to Original Source
writes "The “Foodini”—an automated meal-assembly machine that creates homemade meals faster and more efficiently than human hands—is the first product by Natural Machines, Kucsma’s company.
Natural Machines is marketing the Foodini as a 3D food printer. That sort of futuristic branding may scare consumers from the supremely out-there concept. Kucsma’s not worried, though.
“When people first heard about microwaves they didn’t understand the technology, but now 90% of households have microwaves,” she says. “We see the same thing happening with 3D food printing, but on a much faster scale because we adopt technology faster and the technology advances faster.”
In reality, the Foodini isn’t a 3D printer, per se. 3D printers generally run at one speed and handle a single ingredient: plastic. The Foodini is programmed similarly, but offers multiple speeds and works with numerous ingredients at the same time. The box-shaped contraption is approximately 17 inches wide, 18 inches high and clocks in at 33 pounds.
Natural Machines’s first iteration of the Foodini works best for time-consuming projects like pasta, elaborately shaped breads and cookies. Users first select a recipe from the touch screen or send their own to the Internet-connected machine. They then make the individual components of the dish from scratch and put the components into Foodini’s stainless steel ingredient capsules. From there, Foodini whips up dinner.
If the user is making a recipe for ravioli, for instance, the Foodini prints the bottom layer of dough, the filling and the top dough layer in subsequent steps. It reduces a lengthy recipe to two minutes construction time and ensures that no one has to clean a countertop caked with leftover dough and flour."Link to Original Source