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United States

Japanese and US Piloted Robots To Brawl For National Pride 107

jfruh writes: Japan may have just lost the Women's World Cup to the U.S., but the country is hoping for a comeback in another competition: a battle between giant robots. Suidobashi Heavy Industry has agreed to a challenge from Boston-based MegaBots that would involve titanic armored robots developed by each startup, the first of its kind involving piloted machines that are roughly 4 meters tall. "We can't let another country win this," Kogoro Kurata, who is CEO of Suidobashi, said in a video posted to YouTube. "Giant robots are Japanese culture."

Comment Re:Supporting Students / Kids (Score 1) 268

I really, really like this idea. Community colleges and smaller universities in particular offer scholarships to needy students and will allow donators to specify the criteria. I served on a scholarship adjudication committee once and it was so fun to find people who needed the funding to continue their education.

United Kingdom

Jimmy Wales: London Is Better For Tech Than "Dreadful" Silicon Valley 410

Mickeycaskill writes: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has praised London as a tech hub, saying its cultural assets make it an ideal place to do business and superior to Silicon Valley as a place to live. “I meet people around London and they ask ‘when do you go back to San Francisco?’ assuming I’m here for a few days, but I live in London,” he said at the launch of Tech.London. “There’s always this bit of British self-deprecation about ‘oh well, things are so great in Silicon Valley’. But I can tell you, things aren’t that great in Silicon Valley. London has all these incredible advantages of a tech scene, but it’s also a place people want to live. Nobody wants to live in Silicon Valley – it’s dreadful out there. London is this incredible cultural city, it’s at the crossroads of the world. In the US you have San Francisco for tech, Los Angeles for movies and Washington for politics. In London you have all these things. It’s a great place to do business.”
SourceForge

nmap Maintainer Warns He Doesn't Control nmap SourceForge Mirror 145

vivaoporto writes: Gordon Lyon (better known as Fyodor, author of nmap and maintainer of the internet security resource sites insecure.org, nmap.org, seclists.org, and sectools.org) warns on the nmap development mailing list that he does not control the SourceForge nmap project.

According to him the old Nmap project page (located at http://sourceforge.net/projects/nmap/, screenshot) was changed to a blank page and its contents were moved to a new page (http://sourceforge.net/projects/nmap.mirror/, screenshot) which is controlled by sf-editor1 and sf-editor3, in a pattern mirroring the much discussed takeover of the GIMP-Win page discussed last week on Ars Technica, IT World and eventually this week on Slashdot.

On Monday, Sourceforge promised to stop "presenting third party offers for unmaintained SourceForge projects," and to their credit Fyodor states, "So far they seem to be providing just the official Nmap files," but reiterates "that you should only download Nmap from our official SSL Nmap site: https://nmap.org/download.html."
To browse the projects and mirrors currently controlled by SourceForge, you can look at these account pages: sf-editor1, sf-editor2, and sf-editor3.
Earth

Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing? 692

ourlovecanlastforeve writes: With biologists getting closer and closer to reversing the aging process in human cells, the reality of greatly extended life draws closer. This brings up a very important conundrum: You can't tell people not to reproduce and you can't kill people to preserve resources and space. Even at our current growth rate there's not enough for everyone. Not enough food, not enough space, not enough medical care. If — no, when — age reversal becomes a reality, who gets to live? And if everyone gets to live, how will we provide for them?
The Military

US Successfully Tests Self-Steering Bullets 216

mpicpp sends this report from The Independent: The United States Department of Defense has carried out what it says is its most successful test yet of a bullet that can steer itself towards moving targets. Experienced testers have used the technology to hit targets that were actively evading the shot, and even novices that were using the system for the first time were able to hit moving targets. The project, which is known as Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance weapon, or Exacto, is being made for the American government's military research agency, DARPA. It is thought to use small fins that shoot out of the bullet and re-direct its path, but the U.S. has not disclosed how it works. Technology in the bullet allows it to compensate for weather and wind, as well as the movement of people it is being fired at, and curve itself in the air as it heads towards its target.
Education

LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan 325

SternisheFan sends news that Los Angeles Unified School District is asking Apple for a refund of the district's effort to equip students with iPads. The project was budgeted at around $1.3 billion to equip its 650,000 students, though only about 120,000 iPads have been purchased so far. After the program went bad, the FBI launched an investigation into their procurement practices. The iPads weren't standalone education devices — they were supposed to work in conjunction with another device carrying curriculum from a company named Pearson. But the district now says the combined tech didn't meet their needs, and they want their money back. Lawyers for the local Board of Education are looking into litigation options. They've also notified Apple and Pearson they won't pay for any new products or services.
Crime

Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket 342

SternisheFan writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica about what may be the most movie-worthy real-life crime story of the year so far: Eddie Raymond Tipton, 51, may have inserted a thumbdrive into a highly locked-down computer that's supposed to generate the random numbers used to determine lottery winners, The Des Moines Register reported, citing court documents filed by prosecutors. At the time, Tipton was the information security director of the Multi-State Lottery Association, and he was later videotaped purchasing a Hot Lotto ticket that went on to fetch the winning $14.3 million payout.

In court documents filed last week, prosecutors said there is evidence to support the theory Tipton used his privileged position inside the lottery association to enter a locked room that housed the random number generating computers and
infect them with software that allowed him to control the winning numbers. The room was enclosed in glass, could only be entered by two people at a time, and was monitored by a video camera. To prevent outside attacks, the computers aren't connected to the Internet. Prosecutors said Tipton entered the so-called draw room on November 20, 2010, ostensibly to change the time on the computers. The cameras on that date recorded only one second per minute rather than running continuously like normal.

"Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera's settings will testify they did not change the cameras' recording instructions," prosecutors wrote. "The fifth person is defendant. It is a reasonable deduction to infer that defendant tampered with the camera equipment to have an opportunity to insert a thumbdrive into the RNG tower without detection."
Japan

Transforming Robot Gets Stuck In Fukushima Nuclear Reactor 99

An anonymous reader writes with more bad news for the people still dealing with the Fukushima nuclear accident. "The ability to change shape hasn't saved a robot probe from getting stuck inside a crippled Japanese nuclear reactor. Tokyo Electric Power will likely leave the probe inside the reactor housing at the Fukushima Dai-ichi complex north of Tokyo after it stopped moving. On Friday, the utility sent a robot for the first time into the primary containment vessel (PCV) of reactor No. 1 at the plant, which was heavily damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. 'The robot got stuck at a point two-thirds of its way inside the PCV and we are investigating the cause,' a Tokyo Electric spokesman said via email. The machine became stuck on Friday after traveling to 14 of 18 planned checkpoints."
Space

Stars Form Near Milky Way's Supermassive Black Hole 32

New submitter Aspiring Astronomer writes: Scientists report that stars have likely formed near the supermassive black hole in the heart of our galaxy. How does this happen, if a black hole exerts so much gravitational force that not even light can escape? Astronomers believe the black hole may actually facilitate the formation of these stars. According to study author Farhad Yusef-Zadeh, the gases and dusts constantly flowing toward black holes compress and heat up, creating enough disturbance to cause the materials to collapse and then form a star. Yusef-Zadeh speculates that in addition to stars forming near black holes, planets may form there, too. The disk around a protostar (a mass of gas and materials that form early in star formation) breaks off into clumps of matter, and when paired with the extreme force of a black hole, may cause the formation whole planets.
Education

Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses 291

Bruce66423 writes: A large scale European study shows that students who were unable to buy cannabis legally were 5% more likely to pass their University courses. Below-average students with no legal access to pot were 7.6% more likely to pass their courses, and the effect was five times more pronounced when dealing with courses involving math. One of the study's authors said, "We think this newfound effect on productivity from a change in legal access to cannabis is not negligible and should be, at least in the short run, politically relevant for any societal drug legalization and prohibition decision-making. In the bigger picture, our findings also indicate that soft drug consumption behavior is affected by their legal accessibility, which has not been causally demonstrated before. ... Considering the massive impact on cognitive performance high levels of THC have, I think it is reasonable to at least inform young users much more on consequences of consuming such products as compared with that of having a beer or pure vodka."

Comment Re:Two things (Score 1) 261

Ever read the book "One Minute Manager?"

It's core thesis is exactly this point. A good manager shouldn't try to make all the decisions or be involved in all the work. The manager sets the standard, praises employees who are doing things right (as soon as possible) and reprimands the employees that are doing things wrong (as soon as possible). The manager actually manages the work and people, they don't do it themselves...

Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 3, Interesting) 307

This. Does it qualify as curing my ills? Is the terminality of the human condition an "ill?"

I really hope there's something interesting after we die, but I kind of suspect not, so I'd really like to take part in this universe for longer than my ~100 year human allotment.

If consciousness is just a sum of the parts, we should be able to create it in a machine... Again, I kind of hope not, but it would be pretty interesting.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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