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Submission + - Cubli – A cube that can jump up, balance, and walk across your desk (robohub.org)

rminsk writes: The Cubli is a 15 × 15 × 15 cm cube that can jump up and balance on its corner. Reaction wheels mounted on three faces of the cube rotate at high angular velocities and then brake suddenly, causing the Cubli to jump up. Once the Cubli has almost reached the corner stand up position, controlled motor torques are applied to make it balance on its corner. In addition to balancing, the motor torques can also be used to achieve a controlled fall such that the Cubli can be commanded to fall in any arbitrary direction. Combining these three abilities — jumping up, balancing, and controlled falling — the Cubli is able to 'walk'.
Microsoft

Microsoft Security Essentials Misses 39% of Malware 149

Barence writes "The latest tests from Dennis Publishing's security labs saw Microsoft Security Essentials fail to detect 39% of the real-world malware thrown at it. Dennis Technology Labs (DTL) tested nine home security products on a Windows 7 PC, including Security Essentials, which is distributed free to Windows users and built into Windows 8 in the form of Windows Defender. While the other eight packages all achieved protection scores of 87% or higher — with five scoring 98% or 99% — Microsoft's free antivirus software protected against only 61% of the malware samples used in the test. Microsoft conceded last year that its security software was intended to offer only "baseline" performance"."

Submission + - Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer (reuters.com)

Lasrick writes: As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned.

Submission + - Open source add-on rewrites the user interface of IE11 (quero.at)

An anonymous reader writes: This is how Internet Explorer would look like if you move the tabs to the top like in other browsers. Developed as a design and UX study, the open source add-on replaces the default navigation bar and combines three traditionally separate toolbars into one. The UX project started in 2004 to demonstrate that it is feasible to combine the address, search, and find box into one. Additionally, Quero offers a variety of customization options for IE, including making the UI themeable or starting Microsoft's desktop browser always maximized.

Comment Potential of misuse of the Kill Switch (Score 5, Insightful) 252

The law, as I understand it, is to allow the authority, to issue a command to render a particular smartphone totally unusable.

However, the same law could be misused by the authority as well (think of what NSA is doing, for example) - instead of killing a smartphone that has been reported stolen, the authority could issue a kill command to smartphones that are being used by "dissidents", cutting off their communication lines.

Do not ever forget that inside the NSA datacenter they have all the information of who is using what phone, who calls whom and when and how often and where they call from, etc.

Right now, without the KILL SWITCH, all they could do is to LISTEN IN to the communications of people. With KILL SWITCH, they could kill off all the communication channels of the anti-NSA people, and render them totally unable to communicate with the world.

Comment Hope Nasa can help us on that (Score 0) 77

It seems even the definition of star isn't always clear

I fervently hope that Nasa will get enough fund to construct a much powerful equipment than Gaia and sent it to space to help us understand the universe better.

I fervently hope that the American government will stop wasting money on all the wasteful and counter-productive pork-barrel programs and put the money into GOOD USE and help put America in the lead again in the Space Frontier.

2013 is drawing to a close. Will 2014 be a better beginning for the United States of America ?

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Smartphone Kill Switch

A chill ran up my spine after I read http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/12/19/2113235/proposed-california-law-would-mandate-smartphone-kill-switch

Right now, as it is, NSA can listen to your telephone communication, can read your sms/email, can know where you are, who you regularly communicate with, can profile your behavior (when you will do what at where), but they still can't shut you off (unless they send in a "cleaner").

With the Kill Switch, they can do that.

Comment Why only limit to windows ? (Score 2) 87

If the material Perovskite is as good as they say it is, why limit the application on only the windows ?

We can apply the same thing to walls, to roof, even to pavements, so long as the sunlight can shine on them they get to generate electricity.

Heck, we can apply it on the car windows and car body surfaces as well, and and store the power inside the battery - or use it to run, aka that solar car in the Logan Run's tv series (it was aired in the 1970's, far too old for the young uns to enjoy)

Comment Re:Harddrive firmware? Probably non-free, no probs (Score 1) 340

Thanks for the link. I've noted it in the wiki that FSF hosts:

http://libreplanet.org/wiki/When_should_firmware_be_free#Hard_drive_controllers

I don't know if anyone from FSF reads that page, but I'll gather info and I'll raise it with someone in FSF next time I'm talking to them.

(Of course, this isn't the case with the drive of the laptop that FSF has endorsed.)

Comment Re:GNOME was launched by FSF (Score 1) 340

> Oh, so if one isn't a programmer they shouldn't criticize

That's what *you* said. I'm just turning it around so you can see how silly it is. And you find it silly indeed.

I had pointed out all the non-programmer work done by FSF and you replied that the real people we should thank for GNOME are coder Miguel de Icaza and dotcom startup Eazel.

You said RMS could only take credit for the tools he wrote, but that's nonsense. He's been doing non-programmer work full-time for about twenty years now. Including launching four desktop projects and doing everything he can to make them a success. And with GNOME he did.

Comment Re:GNOME was launched by FSF (Score 1) 340

GNOME Foundation came years after GNOME. GNU started GNOME.

GNU has more than a hundred successful software projects. Some are cornerstones of the operating system, and you're moaning because there are some GNU projects which haven't been successful. And how are your microkernel and your Flash replacement coming along? Written any good compilers or standard c libraries recently?

Comment GNOME was launched by FSF (Score 0) 340

GNOME was launched by FSF and RMS spent years promoting it and getting people to work on it. He still does.

You seem to be trying to make GNU disappear by arguing that nothing matters but lines of code, and only the lines written by RMS's hands count as GNU.

The toolkit is a GNU project, born from another GNU project.

Miguel de Icaza was one developer and software architect. He did years of good work and then gave up and took money to promote Microsoft software (via Novell).

Comment Actually, FSF is to thank for the desktop + other (Score 3, Informative) 340

> And none of those things were done by the FSF itself.

We have a GUI desktop because FSF launched four projects to make one.

The first became GNUstep (a success, but not enoughso), the second didn't produce a desktop but did produce Guile.

Then KDE was launched, with the then-proprietary QT toolkit. The problem was so urgent that FSF launched two projects to fix it, GNOME and Harmony. Harmony was a project to replace the QT toolkit, but it wasn't a success.

GNOME was a success. So much of a success that it was, IMO, what lead to QT being freed. So we've FSF to thank for directly making GNOME, and indirectly for licence changes in QT.

(And then there's the fact that FSF made the developer tools and licences which helped a lot of other projects come into being.)

But as usual, people try to avoid crediting FSF, so a lot of people don't know this.

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