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Robotics

Packs of Robots Will Hunt Down Uncooperative Humans 395

Posted by Soulskill
from the you've-been-warned dept.
Ostracus writes "The latest request from the Pentagon jars the senses. At least, it did mine. They are looking for contractors to 'develop a software/hardware suite that would enable a multi-robot team, together with a human operator, to search for and detect a non-cooperative human subject. The main research task will involve determining the movements of the robot team through the environment to maximize the opportunity to find the subject ... Typical robots for this type of activity are expected to weigh less than 100 Kg and the team would have three to five robots.'" To be fair, they plan to use the Multi-Robot Pursuit System for less nefarious-sounding purposes as well. They note that the robots would "have potential commercialization within search and rescue, fire fighting, reconnaissance, and automated biological, chemical and radiation sensing with mobile platforms."
Image

Bloomberg Accidentally Publishes Jobs' Obituary On News Wire 6 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-getting-better dept.
Thousands of corporate clients received a story, marked "Hold for release - Do not use," from Bloomberg business news wire Wednesday afternoon. The story was the Steve Jobs obituary. The obituary was published "momentarily" after an update from a reporter and was "immediately deleted," Bloomberg said. Details of friends and colleagues of the Apple founder to be contacted by Bloomberg in the event of his death were also published. That story again, Steve Jobs *not* dead at 53.

Comment: Re:Publicly available? (Score 1) 303

by rpozz (#24187409) Attached to: Kaspersky To Demo Attack Code For Intel Chips

If you take a look at some of the many exploits used on the internet, many of them have been created by copying-and-pasting proof of concept code distributed by security researchers. Given that anyone capable of creating a complex exploit like this would have to be pretty skilled, that completely excludes the average script kiddie.

Although releasing proof of concept code may be necessary if Intel absolutely refuse to acknowledge or fix the issue, releasing it straight away for every single malware author to use with absolutely no patch for it would be really, really irresponsible, and probably cause a significant amount of damage.

Robotics

Bringing Surgical Robots Into the Mainsteam 73

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-a-doctor-not-a-machine-oh-wait dept.
The New York Times is running a story about how using robots to perform surgical operations has been transformed from a controversial dream to reality. Dr. Frederic Moll abandoned his residency for Silicon Valley and helped to revolutionize the industry. The lengthy article also discusses some of his innovations. We've discussed various robot-assisted medical procedures in the past. From the Times: "'I was struck by the size of the incision and injury created just to get inside the body,' Dr. Moll says. 'It felt antiquated.' He took the idea to his employer, Guidant, a medical device company. Guidant decided that robotic surgery was too futuristic and too risky, so Dr. Moll rounded up backers, resigned, and in 1995, founded Intuitive Surgical. The company prospered by proving that robots could deftly handle rigid surgical tools like scalpels and sewing needles through small incisions in a patient's skin."
Desktops (Apple)

$399 Mac Clone Most Likely a Hoax 233

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the too-good-to-be-true-usually-is dept.
timholman writes "According to Gizmodo, an investigation has shown that the $399 OpenMac is almost certainly vaporware, as is Psystar itself. The company's address has actually changed twice this week, according to its web page, and Psystar is no longer accepting credit card transactions. Too bad for those who may have already ordered an OpenMac."
Input Devices

Ready for a CyberWalk? 69

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the holodeck-tech dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "Even with recent improvements in virtual reality technology, it's still almost impossible to physically walk through virtual environments. Now, European researchers have started a project named CyberWalk and they'll demonstrate next week their omni-directional treadmill, named CyberCarpet. According to ICT Results, the researchers 'had to address five key issues: providing a surface to walk on, controlling the surface in a way that minimized forces on the user, developing a non-intrusive tracking system, displaying a high-quality visualization, and ensuring a natural human perception of the virtual environment.' The researchers think that their new virtual environments would be used by architects and the gaming industry." Additional details are also available via the project website.
Medicine

VR Study Says 40% of Us Are Paranoid 221

Posted by Zonk
from the other-sixty-percent-are-out-to-get-us dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "UK researchers have recently used virtual reality to check if people had paranoid thoughts when using public transportation. Their VR tube ride experiment revealed that 40% of the participants experienced exaggerated fears about threats from others. Until now, researchers were relying on somewhat unreliable questionnaires to study paranoid thoughts which are often triggered by ambiguous events such as someone laughing behind their back. With the use of VR, psychiatrists and psychologists have a new tool which can reliably recreate social interactions. As the lead researcher said, VR 'is a uniquely powerful method to detect those liable to misinterpret other people.'."
Portables

MacBook Air First To Be Compromised In Hacking Contest 493

Posted by Soulskill
from the potential-reality-tv-show dept.
Multiple readers have written to let us know that the MacBook Air was the first laptop to fall in the CanSecWest hacking contest. The successful hijacking took place only two minutes into the second day of the competition, after the rules had been relaxed to allow the visiting of websites and opening of emails. The TippingPoint blog reveals that the vulnerability was located within Safari, but they won't release specific details until Apple has had a chance to correct the problem. The winner, Charlie Miller, gets to keep the laptop and $10,000. We covered the contest last year, and the results were similar.
Privacy

Would a National Biometric Authentication Scheme Work? 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-am-who-eye-am dept.
Ian Lamont writes "The chair of Yale's CS department and Connecticut's former consumer protection commissioner are calling for the creation of a robust biometric authentication system on a national scale. They say the system would safeguard privacy and people's personal data far more effectively than paper-based IDs. They also reference the troubled Real ID program, saying that the debate has centered around forms of ID rather than the central issue of authentication. The authors further suggest that the debate has led to confusion between anonymity and privacy: 'Outside our homes, we have always lived in a public space where our open acts are no longer private. Anonymity has not changed that, but has provided an illusion of privacy and security. ... In public space, we engage in open acts where we have no expectation of privacy, as well as private acts that cannot take place within our homes and therefore require authenticating identity to carve a sphere of privacy.' The authors do not provide any suggestions for specific biometric technologies, nor do they discuss the role of the government in such a system. What do you think of a national or international biometrics-based authentication scheme? Is it feasible? How would it work? What safeguards need to be put in place?"
The Almighty Buck

EU Fines Microsoft $1.3 Billion 699

Posted by kdawson
from the cost-of-doing-bidness dept.
jd writes "The EU has slammed Microsoft with a fine of €899 million ($1.337 billion at current exchange rates) for perpetuating violations of the 2004 antitrust ruling.The fine is the sum of daily fines running from June 21, 2006 to October 21, 2007. It is the first company ever to be fined for non-compliance. The amazing thing is that the EU now expects Microsoft to comply and 'close a dark chapter' in their history. The EU has opened new investigations into Microsoft's practices and gave a lukewarm response to the company's turning over yet another new leaf last week."

A CONS is an object which cares. -- Bernie Greenberg.

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