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+ - New 'deep learning' technique enables robot to complete various tasks

Submitted by jan_jes
jan_jes writes: UC Berkeley researchers turned to a new branch of artificial intelligence known as deep learning, which they have developed algorithms that enable robots to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process that more closely approximates the way humans learn, marking a major milestone in the field of artificial intelligence. Tasks such as "putting a clothes hanger on a rack, assembling a toy plane, screwing a cap on a water bottle, and more" without pre-programmed details about its surroundings. The challenge of putting robots into real-life settings, like homes or offices, is that those environments are constantly changing. The robot must be able to perceive and adapt to its surroundings. This latest developments will be presented on Thursday, May 28, in Seattle at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA).

Google News Sci Tech: Google is developing new Android-based Brillo OS for Internet of Things: Report - Firstpost->

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Google is developing new Android-based Brillo OS for Internet of Things: Report
Looks like Google is shifting focus to those low-end power devices such as smart light bulbs or security cameras which come with as little as 64MB or 32MB worth of RAM. The company is reportedly working on a new software, under the Android brand, as the...
Google launching operating system for the Internet of ThingsUpstart

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+ - Firefox for iOS Beta coming to iPhone and iPad very soon->

Submitted by BrianFagioli
BrianFagioli writes: Mozilla initially refused to cave to Apple and release a neutered version without its own Gecko engine. Last year, however, Mozilla announced that it was bringing a version of the browser to the mobile operating system by saying, "we need to be where our users are so we're going to get Firefox on iOS". While I am still dismayed that browser will not use the Gecko engine on iOS, I've come to accept it as a necessity for Firefox to survive. Today, Mozilla announces that the project is still on track and a beta is on the way soon.
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+ - Universe's dark ages may not be invisible after all

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang writes: The Universe had two periods where light was abundant, separated by the cosmic dark ages. The first came at the moment of the hot Big Bang, as the Universe was flooded with (among the matter, antimatter and everything else imaginable) a sea of high-energy photons, including a large amount of visible light. As the Universe expanded and cooled, eventually the cosmic microwave background was emitted, leaving behind the barely visible, cooling photons. It took between 50 and 100 million years for the first stars to turn on, so in between these two epochs of the Universe being flooded with light, we had the dark ages. Yet the dark ages may not be totally invisible, as the forbidden spin-flip-transition of hydrogen may illuminate this time period after all.

+ - Protons collide at 13 TeV for the first time at the LHC

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Over the next 24 hours, beams of protons should collide in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the record-breaking energy of 13 teraelectronvolts (TeV) for the first time. This is one of the many steps required to prepare the machine before the LHC's second physics run can begin.

+ - Cocaine use can now be tested in fingerprints using ambient mass spectrometry->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec writes: A novel technique of detecting cocaine abuse through a simple fingerprint has been developed by researchers from multiple universities from UK and the Netherlands paving way for a secure, non-invasive and hygienic drug detection method. The research, led by University of Surrey and published in the journal Analyst, demonstrates for the first time that cocaine abuse can be tested by non-invasive techniques by detecting excreted metabolites – benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine – resulting from abuse of drugs. These chemicals are found in fingerprint residue, which the researchers detected using analytical chemistry technique known as ambient mass spectrometry.
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+ - Kim Dotcom calls Hillary Clinton an 'adversary' of Internet freedom->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: CNET reports, "Kim Dotcom ... says he views Hillary Clinton as an enemy of online freedom. ..... The subject of Clinton's candidacy came up when Dotcom was asked about a tweet he sent last year in which he said he called himself "Hillary's worse nightmare in 2016." He revisited that statement ... saying that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would probably be a bigger headache for Clinton. "I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her," he said, declining to be more specific. He said he hoped to provide some transparency and hoped to expand the influence of the Internet Party, the political party he is hoping to bring to the US." Breitbart adds, "As for why Kim and Assange might feel antipathy toward Hillary, Kim explained, “Hillary hates Julian she’s just an adversary of, I think, internet freedom.” A conflict between Assange and Clinton may have plenty of personal motivations, but it also seems inevitable in some sense. Hillary is obsessive about maintaining control of information. She created a personal server located in her home to handle all of her emails as Secretary of State, something no other Secretary has ever done. She then deleted all the contents of that server after self-selecting the emails she believed were work-related. More recently, she has refused to speak to the press for more than three weeks, even as she runs for President. By contrast, Assange has made a career out of parceling out what was once secret information. "
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+ - Schools That Ban Mobile Phones See Better Academic Results

Submitted by writes: Jamie Doward reports at The Guardian that according to a recent study in the UK, the effect of banning mobile phones from school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s schooling over a pupil’s academic year with the test scores of students aged 16 improved by 6.4% after schools banned mobile phones, “We found that not only did student achievement improve, but also that low-achieving and low-income students gained the most. We found the impact of banning phones for these students was equivalent to an additional hour a week in school, or to increasing the school year by five days." In the UK, more than 90% of teenagers own a mobile phone; in the US, just under three quarters have one. In a survey conducted in 2001, no school banned mobiles. By 2007, this had risen to 50%, and by 2012 some 98% of schools either did not allow phones on school premises or required them to be handed in at the beginning of the day. But some schools are starting to allow limited use of the devices. New York mayor Bill de Blasio has lifted a 10-year ban on phones on school premises, with the city’s chancellor of schools stating that it would reduce inequality.

The research was carried out at Birmingham, London, Leicester and Manchester schools before and after bans were introduced (PDF). It factored in characteristics such as gender, eligibility for free school meals, special educational needs status and prior educational attainment. “Technological advancements are commonly viewed as increasing productivity,” write Louis-Philippe Beland and Richard Murphy. “Modern technology is used in the classroom to engage students and improve performance. There are, however, potential drawbacks as well, as they could lead to distractions.”

+ - NASA announces the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge for moon and Mars bases->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Space policy experts are still arguing where American astronauts should go once they venture into deep space. However, there is widespread agreement that once they get there they should be prepared to stay for longer than just a few hours or days, as was the case during the Apollo missions to the moon. Taking all the material to set up habitats, the astronauts’ homes away from home, would tend to be expensive. Toward the end of lowering the cost of long duration space travel, NASA has announced the 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, in partnership with America Makes, as part of the ongoing Centennial Challenge program.
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+ - Arduino announces NYC, USA based Adafruit will manufacture Arduino

Submitted by ptorrone
ptorrone writes: At Maker Faire Bay Area on Saturday it was announced that Limor Fried "Ladyada" and Adafruit, who have appeared on /. many times over the last 10 years are now going to be the USA manufacturer of the open-source Arduino. Adafruit has grown from a 1 person company out Ladyada's apartment to over 50+ employees and a 50,000 sq. foot factory in Manhattan. Adafruit is currently shipping the Arduino GEMMA, a wearable open-source micro-controller platform.

+ - What IS this strange sound from the sky? -> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Noise heard across the globe for nearly a DECADE — but nobody has an explanation. A mysterious noise from the sky is continuing to baffle people all over the world — as well as giving those who hear it sleepless nights.

Sounding like a trumpet or a collective from a brass section of an orchestra, a selection of videos shot from the Canada to Ukraine, via the U.S., Germany and Belarus show strange goings on above us.

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+ - Arab Mars Probe launches in 2020->

Submitted by SpankiMonki
SpankiMonki writes: In July of 2015, the UAE plans on launching a probe to Mars in a bid to enter the planetary science community and the global space technology industry.

The 1500 kilogram Hope (or “al-Amal” in Arabic) probe will study the Martian atmosphere for as much as four years "in hopes of finding answers to ongoing conundrums involving Mars’ long term water loss via atmospheric photo-dissociation."

An article in Forbes quotes Bruce Jakosky, NASA MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) mission Principal Investigator and a Hope mission Co-Investigator.:

“The UAE Space Agency has been very consistent in that they don’t want to do a technology demonstration mission. They want to contribute substantively to the world’s exploration and understanding of Mars.”

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+ - Turning an Arduino Project Into Prototype->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Those of us who fiddle with electronics are probably familiar with this scenario: you've just finished assembling a project using your Arduino/Raspberry Pi/whatever, and it works! You'd like to set it up for long-term use, but... it's just a mass of wires and LEDs and switches. Tech enthusiast Alexis Matelin has written up a handy, brief guide for turning that mass of wires into a self-contained prototype. He goes from planning out your circuit to designing your schematic to making your board, then working on an enclosure and a battery holder. Matelin also links to a variety of resources for the individual steps involved. It's a straightforward guide written for amateurs. Those of you who have experience with building permanent micro-controller projects: what would you add?
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+ - Plasma 5 becomes the default desktop of openSUSE Tumbleweed->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy writes: Jos Poortliet, former openSUSE community manager wrote in a blog post, “At the time of writing this, the openQA servers were busily running tests and, by the time we publish this article, they should be done. What was being tested? A massive amount of changes, bringing not only the latest Plasma 5.3 and Applications 15.04.1 to Tumbleweed, but also marking the switch to Plasma 5 as the default desktop!” The switch to P5 will also have a massive impact in Plasma 5 development because now there will be more users finding bugs and filing reports to make it even better.
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