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+ - This 1981 BYTE magazine cover explains why we're so bad at tech predictions->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc (1641347) writes "If you remember the golden age of BYTE magazine, you remember Robert Tinney's wonderful cover paintings. BYTE's April 1981 cover featured an amazing Tinney image of a smartwatch with a tiny text-oriented interface, QWERTY keyboard, and floppy drive. It's hilarious--but 33 years later, it's also a smart visual explanation of why the future of technology so often bears so little resemblance to anyone's predictions. I wrote about this over at TIME.com."
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+ - US Government confiscates passport of citizen while overseas, doesn't say why-> 1

Submitted by Faizdog
Faizdog (243703) writes "The US State Department has confiscated the passport of a US citizen who is overseas. Due to that, he is in a precarious situation regarding his legal status.

The State Dept. has given no explanation for their actions.

Federal law requires that US citizens be granted a hearing before their passports are revoked. According to the man’s attorneys: “Having a passport is part of a citizen’s right to international travel, because without a passport you’re not able to move about or return to the US they can revoke it if they believe it has been obtained fraudulently. But here, there isn’t any allegation of wrongdoing.”

How does one answer the question “papers please?” when they government has taken your papers?"

Link to Original Source

+ - The FAA Thinks It Can Regulate Paper Planes and Baseballs ->

Submitted by Daniel_Stuckey
Daniel_Stuckey (2647775) writes "Ever throw a baseball? Or a paper plane? Watch out—the Federal Aviation Administration thinks that anything that flies through the air might be aircraft that it can regulate.

That’s a bit hyperbolic, but not by much. Last month, a federal judge ruled that the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t correctly regulate drones, so anyone could fly them legally. In that case, the judge decided two things: The FAA never made drone regulations and standard aircraft regulations the FAA has do not apply to drones because they aren’t “aircraft” in the traditional sense (at least as far as the FAA has traditionally defined them). In their original argument, the FAA said that it has the right to regular anything that flies through the air—and, in an appeal to that decision, they’ve decided to double down on the whole thing.

We’ve covered that case plenty, so if you need anything more than a quick primer, you can check out the specifics here. Basically what happened was, a couple years ago, a drone pilot named Raphael Pirker flew his 5 pound, styrofoam drone around the University of Virginia, and got paid to do it. That angered the FAA, who has been trying to keep commercial drone flights grounded. But, because they never actually made regulations, they went after Pirker for the “reckless operation of an aircraft,” which turned out to be a really bad idea, because the FAA has always specifically referenced “model aircraft” when it wants to talk about RC aircraft or drones. Furthermore, the statute they tried to get Pirker on references things like pilots walking around the cabin and flight attendants being distracting—clearly not something you can do on a foam drone."

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Google

NYC Considers Google Glass For Restaurant Inspections 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-curds dept.
New submitter TchrBabe writes: "NYC is now considering equipping its Health Department inspectors with Google Glass to provide a record of restaurant inspections. 'A yearlong pilot program would require 10 percent of the 160 health inspectors to wear video devices — including, possibly, the much-maligned Google goggles — under legislation to be proposed Thursday. "I think it would limit the abuses on both sides of the table, and it would allow for a more objective view by the judge on the violations that have been cited," said bill sponsor Vincent Ignizio.'"

+ - Sony And Toyota Bring Real-Life Racing Into The Game World

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Racing games on Playstation are fun, but, ultimately, they aren't real. The difference between racing around a track on a TV screen and being behind the wheel of a real car on the asphalt is substantial—there's no reset button in real life. But Sony and Toyota have teamed up to blur that line with a new Sports Drive Logger device. It's a USB data logger that maps your real-world lines around your local racing circuit using the car's data systems and GPS positioning. Using satellite positioning, pedal depression, steering angle, gear selection, engine revs, and vehicle speed, the Sports Drive Logger replicates this data in Gran Turismo 6 on Playstation 3. You use this data in the game's telemetry screen, or watch a virtual representation of the laps you've just driven, and even compare that data against to your friend's data. If you're brave enough, you can compare your data to that of a professional driver's. Unfortunately this system is only available on the Japanese-spec Toyota GT 86 (a near-twin to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ in the U.S.)—for now."
Crime

Evidence Aside, FBI Says Russians Out To Steal Ideas From US Tech Firms 132

Posted by timothy
from the post-bolsheviks-in-the-washroom dept.
v3rgEz (125380) writes "It sounds like a scare from 1970s Cold War propaganda or a subplot from the popular TV series "The Americans," but the FBI says the threat is real: Russian investment firms may be looking to steal high-tech intelligence from Boston-area companies to give to their country's military. Many of the firms under scrutiny are in the Boston area, including those partnered with a number of area biotech companies and with ties to MIT." And while the FBI says this could be happening, as the article points out, this pronouncement seems to be based on plausibility rather than specific incidents of such theft. One relevant excerpt: "The FBI warning comes as the Obama administration has increased pressure on Russia for its annexation of the former Ukrainian territory of Crimea by levying sanctions on some business leaders close to President Vladimir Putin. In March, the US Commerce Department banned new licenses for the export to Russia of defense-related products and “dual-use” technologies that could have military applications."
EU

European Court of Justice Strikes Down Data Retention Law 77

Posted by timothy
from the wish-the-u.s.-would-one-up-'em dept.
New submitter nachtkap (951646) writes with some good news, as reported by the BBC: "The EU's top court has declared 'invalid' an EU law requiring telecoms firms to store citizens' communications data for up to two years. The EU Data Retention Directive was adopted in 2006. The European Court of Justice says it violates two basic rights — respect for private life, and protection of personal data. Germany's supreme court did call on the ECJ to look into this issue as well."

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