dangle writes "BAE Systems has developed a positioning solution that it claims will work even when GPS is unavailable. Its strategy is to use the collection of radio frequency signals from TV, radio and cellphone masts, even WiFi routers, to deduce a position. BAE's answer is dubbed Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP). It interrogates the airwaves for the ID and signal strength of local digital TV and radio signals, plus air traffic control radars, with finer grained adjustments coming from cellphone masts and WiFi routers. In any given area, the TV, radio, cellphone and radar signals tend to be at constant frequencies and power levels as they are are heavily regulated — so positions could be calculated from them. "The real beauty of NAVSOP is that the infrastructure required to make it work is already in place," says a BAE spokesman — and "software defined radio" microchips that run NAVSOP routines can easily be integrated into existing satnavs. The firm believes the technology could also work in urban concrete canyons where GPS signals cannot currently reach."
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
dgharmon writes "The Command Line Interface has its uses, acknowledged Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim, but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI, he says. Keep it as an option or you can take it out all together. 'If it is there, it should just be there for the IT people or tech support to use when you encounter a problem.'"
judgecorp writes "Twitter is going to clamp down on abuse and 'trolling' according to its CEO Dick Costolo. Actions could include hiding replies from users who do not have any followers or biographical information. The difficulty is that moves to stop trolling could also curtail the anonymous Tweets which have been useful for protest in repressive regimes."
vu1986 writes "Boston won the opportunity to pick the brains of six IBM engineers — including one from Tokyo — who flew in to check out its traffic situation and figure out a way to consolidate, analyze and use existing traffic data feeds as well as new data sources including (of course) Twitter feeds, to ease the city's notorious traffic jams."
An anonymous reader writes in with a Wired story about the problems caused by the leap second last night. "Reddit, Mozilla, and possibly many other web outfits experienced brief technical problems on Saturday evening, when software underpinning their online operations choked on the “leap second” that was added to the world’s atomic clocks. On Saturday, at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, as June turned into July, the Earth’s official time keepers held their clocks back by a single second in order to keep them in sync with the planet’s daily rotation, and according to reports from across the web, some of the net’s fundamental software platforms — including the Linux operating system and the Java application platform — were unable to cope with the extra second."
First time accepted submitter mugi writes "The Microsoft Windows Marketplace was so far only available in 63 countries, and only 38 of those were allowed to submit apps. But now, Microsoft is planning on expanding that list considerably and has announced to bring the new Windows 8 Marketplace to over 180 countries at launch."
Diggester writes "A group of scientists from MIT and the University of British Columbia have created 'mini-factories' that can be programmed to produce different types of proteins, and when implanted into living cells, it should distribute those proteins throughout the body. The scientists have initially triggered these 'factories' into action through the use of a laser light to relay the message of which proteins to produce."
snydeq writes "The Compute Engine announcement at Google I/O made it clear that Google intends to take Amazon EC2 head on. Michael Crandell, who has been testing out Compute Engine for some time now, divulges deeper insights into the nascent IaaS, which, although enticing, will have a long road ahead of it in eclipsing Amazon EC2. 'Even in this early stage, three major factors about Google Cloud stood out for Crandell. First was the way Google leveraged the use of its own private network to make its cloud resources uniformly accessible across the globe. ... Another key difference was boot times, which are both fast and consistent in Google's cloud. ... Third is encryption. Google offers at-rest encryption for all storage, whether it's local or attached over a network. 'Everything's automatically encrypted,' says Crandell, 'and it's encrypted outside the processing of the VM so there's no degradation of performance to get that feature.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Graphene once again proves that it is quite possibly the most miraculous material known to man, this time by making saltwater drinkable. The process was developed by a group of MIT researchers who realized that graphene allowed for the creation of an incredibly precise sieve. Basically, the regular atomic structure of graphene means that you can create holes of any size, for example the size of a single molecule of water. Using this process scientist can desalinate saltwater 1,000 times faster than the Reverse Osmosis technique."
coondoggie writes "Federal and state court orders approving the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications dropped 14% in 2011, compared to the number reported in 2010. According to a report issued by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts a total of 2,732 wiretap applications were authorized in 2011 by federal and state courts, with 792 applications by federal authorities and 1,940 applications by 25 states that provide reports. The reduction in wiretaps resulted primarily from a drop in applications for intercepts in narcotics offenses, the report noted."
CWmike writes "Google announced a new version of Android this week with some impressive new features, but it's unclear if it's done enough to solve a problem that has dogged its mobile OS: fragmentation. Even as it announced the imminent launch of Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean, the majority of users are still running Gingerbread, which is three major releases behind. According to Google's own figures, just 7 percent are running the current version, Ice Cream Sandwich, which launched last October. That means apps that tap into the latest innovations in the OS aren't available to most Android users. It also means developers, the lifeblood of the platform, are forced to test their apps across multiple devices and multiple versions of the OS. So when Google's Hugo Barra announced a Platform Developer Kit during the opening keynote at I/O this week, the news was greeted with applause. The PDK will provide Android phone makers with a preview version of upcoming Android releases, making it easier for them to get the latest software in their new phones. But is the PDK enough to secure for developers the single user experience for big numbers of Android users that developers crave? In a 'fireside chat' with the Android team, the packed house of developers had more questions about OS fragmentation than Google had answers."
theodp writes "As a young boy, Batman producer Michael Uslan — a self-described 'ultimate comic book geek' — was traumatized to see the Caped Crusader being 'murdered' in front of his very eyes by the camp 60's TV series. 'I was horrified,' Uslan told a Harper College audience last week. 'I was horrified because the whole world was laughing at Batman, and that just killed me.' At that point, the 13-year-old vowed to teach the world about the Batman he knew, about the crusader who lurked in the shadows, about a darker, grittier superhero. As told in his memoir The Boy Who Loved Batman, he made good on that vow: Uslan has served as the executive producer of all Batman major motion pictures, from 1989's Batman to the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises (trailer)."
An anonymous reader writes "In an interview with Wired, Google's Steve Lee and Babak Parviz spoke about how they've come to use Project Glass in their lives, and where they expect the mobile computing industry to go in the near future. 'We've long thought the camera's important, but since we've started using this in public and with our family and friends and in real situations, not just hidden in the Google lab, we've truly seen the power of being hands-free. ... It's my expectation that in three to five years it will actually look unusual and awkward when we view someone holding an object in their hand and looking down at it. Wearable computing will become the norm.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists successfully reversed diabetes in mice by transplanting mice human stem cells into mice in a discovery that may lead to way to finding a cure for a disease that affects 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. ... In an experiment designed to mimic human clinical conditions, researchers were able to wean diabetic mice off of insulin four months after the rodents were transplanted with human pancreatic stem cells (abstract). [They] were able to recreate the 'feedback loop' that enabled insulin levels to automatically rise or fall based on the rodents' blood glucose levels. Additionally, researchers found that the mice were able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels even after they were fed large quantities of sugar. After several months, researchers removed the transplanted cells from the mice and found that the cells had all the markings of normal insulin-producing pancreatic cells."