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The Military

Submission + - The Black Hornet Is The $195,000 Spy Plane That Fits In Your Hand (gizmocrazed.com)

Diggester writes: The British have been using this little drone for about a year. It's called the Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Aircraft System, costs $195,000 and can fly for a total of 25 minutes. It is equipped with a small camera that can send back full video or still images to the soldiers screen, with range of up to 1000 meters. The device is 10 cm long and weighing 16 grams, with a 4 inch rotor span — think a little longer than your middle finger.

The British seem to really like this drone, it is powered by a small battery pack that enables it to fly at up to 10 m/s. What is really awesome about it is that it can be controlled via an 'autopilot' type mode where it goes to its destination via a GPS chip.

Movies

Submission + - UK Court: MPAA Not Entitled To Profits From Piracy (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "The MPAA and other entertainment industry groups have been locked for years in a legal struggle against Newzbin2, a Usenet-indexing site. The MPAA contends that, since Newzbin2 profits from making it easier for users to find pirated movies online, the MPAA can sue to take those profits on behalf of its members, who produced that content in the first place. But a British court has rejected that argument."
Ubuntu

Submission + - Linux-friendly mini PC fast enough for Steam games (techreport.com)

crookedvulture writes: "Barebones mini PCs have been around for a while, and the latest one from Zotac is pretty unique. For $270, the Zbox ID42 offers a Sandy Bridge CPU, a discrete GeForce graphics processor, and all the integrated I/O and networking you'd expect from a modern PC. You have to add your own memory, hard drive, and operating system, but the latter shouldn't cost you a dime. The Zbox works well with not only Windows, but also Linux. Ubuntu even recognizes the included remote, which can be used to wake up the system, control XBMC, and navigate Steam's Big Picture interface. Team Fortress 2 for Linux is actually playable, albeit at a relatively low resolution and detail level. The hardware seems better suited to casual games. Zotac also makes a Plus version of the Zbox that comes bundled with RAM and a hard drive, but it costs an extra $130, and you can get much better components if you add them yourself. The user-friendly chassis makes filling out the system a trivial undertaking."
Science

Submission + - Gut Bacteria Liberate Hidden Toxins Found In Grains (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: "Crops such as wheat and corn sometimes harbor chemicals from molds that grow on the plants. Some of these compounds are seemingly harmless derivatives of toxins produced by the fungi. For the first time, researchers have shown that human gut bacteria can break down these compounds and release the toxins, which can cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage in people. The findings suggest that these masked toxins may not stay hidden within our digestive tracts, and that government agencies may need to regulate the chemicals, the researchers say."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Games Workshop bullies author over use of the words "space marine" (boingboing.net)

jzoetewey writes: "An author I know (MCA Hogarth) recently had her book "Spots the Space Marine" taken off Amazon because Games Workshop claimed it violated their trademark. The interesting thing? Their trademark doesn't include ebooks or novels. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the money to fight them.

Plus the idea of a space marine was around long before they were.

Anyway, Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing has written something about it:"

Space

Submission + - Kepler: Nearest 'Second Earth' May be Right Next Door (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "Extrapolating from findings by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope, scientists on Wednesday said roughly six percent of so-called red dwarf stars have Earth-sized planets properly positioned around their parent stars so that liquid water could exist on their surfaces. The team looked at 95 candidate planets circling red dwarf stars observed by Kepler and found that at least 60 percent have planets smaller than Neptune. Most were not the right size or temperature to be Earth-like, but three were found to be both warm and approximately Earth-sized. Statistically that would mean six percent of all red dwarf stars should have a Earth-sized planet. Since 75 percent of the closest stars are red dwarfs, the nearest Earth-like world may be just 13 light-years away."
Security

Submission + - Nearly a third of all computers are infected with malware (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: "PandaLabs released its annual security report which details an extremely interesting year of data theft, social networking attacks and cyber-warfare. The most devastating news? 31.98 percent of all computers scanned around the world had malware. In 2012, Trojans dominated the threat landscape more than ever before. Three out of every four malware infections were caused by Trojans (76.56 percent). One of the reasons for this growth was the increased use of exploit kits such as Black Hole, which are capable of exploiting multiple system vulnerabilities to infect computers automatically without user intervention. Viruses came second (8 percent), whereas worms dropped to third place accounting for 6.44 percent of all infections."
The Military

Submission + - Supercomputer Designer Asked to Improve Robo-Bugs (slashdot.org)

Nerval's Lobster writes: "The man who designed the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer in 2011 has taken on a new task: improving how robo-bugs fly. Wu-chun Feng, an associate professor of computer science in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, previously built Green Destiny, a 240-node supercomputer that consumed 3.2 kilowatts of power—the equivalent of a couple of hair dryers. That was before the Green500, a list that Feng and his team began compiling in 2005, which ranks the world’s fastest supercomputers by performance per watt. On Feb. 5, the Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research announced it had awarded Feng $3.5 million over three years, plus an option to add $2.5 million funding over an additional two years. The contract’s goal: speed up how quickly a supercomputer can simulate the computational fluid dynamics of micro-air vehicles (MAVs), or unmanned aerial vehicles. MAVs can be as small as about five inches, with an aircraft close to insect size expected in the near future. While the robo-bugs can obviously be used for military purposes, they could also serve as scouts in rescue operations."
Canada

Submission + - Sony Rootkit Redux: Canadian Business Groups Lobby For Right To Install Spyware (michaelgeist.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: Michael Geist reports that a coalition of Canadian industry groups, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Marketing Association, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, are demanding legalized spyware for private enforcement purposes. The potential scope of coverage is breathtaking: a software program secretly installed by an entertainment software company designed to detect or investigate alleged copyright infringement would be covered by this exception. This exception could potentially cover programs designed to block access to certain websites (preventing the contravention of a law as would have been the case with SOPA), attempts to access wireless networks without authorization, or even keylogger programs tracking unsuspecting users (detection and investigation).
Open Source

Submission + - Can closed source software transition to the GPL successfully? (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: Open Source guy Bryan Lunduke has experienced the difficulties of migrating a successful closed source project to an open license first-hand, but still believes — or at least wants to believe — that it can be done.

Case in point: LiveCode's new Kickstarter campaign to raise about $550,000 to help put their Hyper-Card-like software development tool for Linux, Windows and Mac under an open license.

At the time this was written, they were roughly 20% of the way to their fund-raising goal with 22 days left. So it seems tight...but entirely possible.

The question is, will it be successful in the long term even if it reaches its Kickstarter goal?

Businesses

Submission + - Help! I Don't Want To Write Computer Code Anymore! (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "After years of college and professional training, you've got a steady, paying job as a computer programmer — and you realize that you don't enjoy it, and want to do something, anything else for a living. What's your next step? Career advisor Eric Bloom has some tough questions you need to ask yourself in order to make a plan. One of the most important involves making sure that you're moving towards something you really want, not just away from pain."
Android

Submission + - "More Than Just Dreamers" Backing Ouya Console as Major US Retailers Show Suppor (ibtimes.co.uk)

DavidGilbert99 writes: "There were a lot of people who doubted the Android-based Ouya console would ever see the light of day, despite racking up more than $8 million in funding from Kickstarter.

It must therefore give CEO Julie Urhman great pleasure to say: "This announcement is that we now have more than just dreamers behind us, we have established companies that do their due diligence that believe there's an opportunity for bringing great content back to the television."

Urhman is speaking about the support of major US retailers Best Buy, Target and Gamestop who will stock the $99 console from June. It is also available to pre-order on Amazon (US only I'm afraid) and those early believers who supported the project on Kickstarter will get one as soon as next month."

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