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Robotics

Submission + - Robot Head Design Contest

yannack writes: The French Aldebaran Robotics company, which is designing the Nao robot, is organizing a contest (French link) for the design of heads for its robot.
Here is the translated page by Google (translation is very readable, on one of my Firefox browsers, I needed to copy/paste the URL, it wouldn't just "open in a new tab").
These heads will actually be used as secondary heads for the robot.

I, for one, welcome our home-designed-headed French robot overlords.
Space

Submission + - NASA - No Sex in Our Space!

j_to_the_ard writes: "SpaceRef has an editorial today concerning NASA's seeming lack of interest in discussing the idea of Sex in Space. This is a very real concern if human spaceflights start lasting more than a week or so. To just put a cap on the whole idea and deny it's an important issue seems a little juvenile to me."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Amit Singh Dispells Apple's TCPA/TPM DRM Myth

Trusted Anonymous Coward writes: "Despite continuous attention from both media and hackers nobody has so far been able to explain how Apple's TPM chips work in Mac OS X. In a fascinating article Trusted Computing for Mac OS X Amit Singh finally dispells the myth about Apple's TCPA/TPM based DRM. Singh has also released a GPL-ed open source TPM driver for Mac OS X, complete with an OS X port of the TrouSerS open source trusted computing software stack and provides a detailed guide for how you go about initializing your Intel Mac's TPM for your own use and how you perform your own cryptographic operations, data signing etc. For the executives among us there's a sweet and short executive summary also provided in the article."
Censorship

Submission + - YouTube purposely hiding videos?

forgotten_my_nick writes: Anyone watching Youtube the last couple of days would of noticed this going on. First a video from littleloca was posted about how some people were cheating to get thier videos to the top of the most popular/viewed list.

This was followed up by another video which pointed out that littleloca had also cheated and explained in detail how this was done.

A review of the video and cross reference to other famous youtubers it appears everyone is up to it.

The intresting point is the follow up video. According to its stats it should also be on the most watched/discussed page however it mysteriously disappered yesterday from the list. Also subscribing to this user you will find that the video has been flagged in such a way as it won't show up in your subscriptions list unless actually click on the user in question.

As users can't do this it is quite clear that someone at YouTube has marked the video in such a way as to hide it. However the damage is already done and been going on for months it seems.
NASA

Submission + - Space computers a 100 times faster.

suntac writes: "Honeywell and the university of Florida are building the fasted space computer ever. According to the press release on the university website the computer will be at least a 100 times faster than any computer in space at the moment. The goal is to have a NASA test mission in 2009 where the computer will be launched into space. Find out more on the university website."
Biotech

Submission + - Global climate chance report published

suntac writes: "Tony Blair announced today the completion of a British report about global climate chance. The report, created by Nicholas Stern head of the British economics department and former top researcher at the World Bank, indicates that global climate change is at this moment the biggest thread to life on earth. Tony Blair stated that if no action is taken the first symptoms like floods, hunger, and the outburst of malaria would start during this generation. The intention of this report to get more attention to global climate change and to make clear what the results will be when no action is taken. The Cabinet Office launched a website where all the findings can be downloaded. Cabinet Office"
IBM

Submission + - New techniques from IBM for cooling chips

William Robinson writes: Researchers at IBM working in its Zurich, Switzerland, laboratories have developed a new technique for managing the temperature of computer chips, which can double cooling efficiency. This method entails a new way of spreading thermal paste between hot chips and their heat sinks, making the paste as thin as possible to transport heat from the chip to the cooling components more efficiently. Another technology, called direct jet impingement, sprays water on the chips surface through 50,000 tiny nano-nozzles to squirt water, and sucks the water back within a very short period of time. This technique can pull up to 370 watts per square cm compared to conventional methods that can pull upto 75 watts for same area. The story is covered here too.
Security

Submission + - Viral videos that really ARE viral

davidwr writes: From the BBC: 'Security firms are reporting more and more instances of booby-trapped Windows codecs — file compressors — required to play some video formats. Some of the codecs let users play types of net-based video, but also have spyware and adware wrapped inside. Others, say experts, are outright fakes that just want to infect victims with data-stealing programs.' Now virtual sex can make your computer sick.
User Journal

Submission + - Elephants pass mirror test of self-awareness

mapkinase writes: Guardian reports:

Elephants have been found to recognise themselves in a mirror, putting them in an exclusive club of self-awareness whose other members are great apes (including humans) and bottlenose dolphins.

The peer-reviewed article in PNAS says in its abstract:

Considered an indicator of self-awareness, mirror self-recognition (MSR) has long seemed limited to humans and apes. In both phylogeny and human ontogeny, MSR is thought to correlate with higher forms of empathy and altruistic behavior. Apart from humans and apes, dolphins and elephants are also known for such capacities. After the recent discovery of MSR in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), elephants thus were the next logical candidate species. We exposed three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to a large mirror to investigate their responses. Animals that possess MSR typically progress through four stages of behavior when facing a mirror: (i) social responses, (ii) physical inspection (e.g., looking behind the mirror), (iii) repetitive mirror-testing behavior, and (iv) realization of seeing themselves. Visible marks and invisible sham-marks were applied to the elephants' heads to test whether they would pass the litmus "mark test" for MSR in which an individual spontaneously uses a mirror to touch an otherwise imperceptible mark on its own body. Here, we report a successful MSR elephant study and report striking parallels in the progression of responses to mirrors among apes, dolphins, and elephants. These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation.

Feed Attack of the Bots (wired.com)

Autonomous programs that combine forces to perpetrate mayhem, fraud and espionage pose the latest threat to the net. Here's how one company fought the new internet mafia -- and lost. By Scott Berinato from Wired magazine.


Feed Ohio Election Portends Trouble (wired.com)

Lost electronic voting machines, cab drivers ferrying ballots from precincts, crumpled and illegible paper trails, numbers that don't add up.... Ohio's populous Cuyahoga County could play a pivotal role in next week's election, but it didn't do so well in last May's primary. By Kim Zetter.


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