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Comment: Re:There have been attempts before (Score 2) 40

by newcastlejon (#47548443) Attached to: How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium

Back then the short cut they took probably saved them weeks in rendering time, and as you say, came out looking realistic.

Why is that? There's no reason that I can think of why one couldn't just decide how the creatures would flock using simple stick figures then add the rest of the models later.

In any case, we're in no position to judge how accurately a film recreated the behaviours of creatures that haven't been found in the wild for millions of years. Certainly we can infer a lot based on what we can observe in their distant descendants but it's still one of those things that takes some dramatic license (just like Lego genetics and the noise that a roaring T-Rex makes).

Comment: "Emergency" laws. (Score 5, Insightful) 147

by newcastlejon (#47423947) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

Everyone knows the best laws are the ones rushed through the commons and passed on the nod in the other place.

From TFA:

Mr Cameron said: "We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of paedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa."

Paedophiles are a threat to national security now? Organised crime? Maybe, but for heaven's sake how stupid does this government think we are, that we would swallow yet another use of pedophiles as the bogeymen du jour? That was a rhetorical question, it's not a question of stupidity as much as it is voter apathy coming back to bite us in our collective backside. Again.


Researchers Develop New Way To Steal Passwords Using Google Glass 116

Posted by samzenpus
from the let's-see-what-you-typed-there dept.
mpicpp writes with a story about researchers who have developed a way to steal passwords using video-capturing devices.Cyber forensics experts at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell have developed a way to steal passwords entered on a smartphone or tablet using video from Google's face-mounted gadget and other video-capturing devices. The thief can be nearly ten feet away and doesn't even need to be able to read the screen — meaning glare is not an antidote. The security researchers created software that maps the shadows from fingertips typing on a tablet or smartphone. Their algorithm then converts those touch points into the actual keys they were touching, enabling the researchers to crack the passcode. They tested the algorithm on passwords entered on an Apple iPad, Google's Nexus 7 tablet, and an iPhone 5.

Comment: Re:Laser Sintering (Score 1) 104

by newcastlejon (#47272627) Attached to: 3-D Printing with Molten Steel (Video)

If it is large enough, why not move the laser instead?

In an SLM machine you have a cavity that is filled with a fine metal powder, the laser selectively melts/sinters parts of that, the base of the cavity moves down slightly and more powder is added to the top. Rinse and repeat until you have a solid part in the cavity surrounded by the powder that wasn't touched by the laser. I'm not going to cop-out and give a link to wikipedia, but if you go there and only look at the block diagram you'll see why the bed needs to be moved with precision at least equal to the minimum feature size that you're aiming for.

What this project aims to achieve is akin to 3D printed plastics where the raw material is deposited right where it needs to be instead of selectively converting parts of a much larger amount of feedstock. I suppose you could move the laser if you want, but it on the face of it I think it would be simpler to just use a few mirrors attached to servos to direct the beam where it needs to go.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"