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Robotics

Submission + - Robotic underlords to help humans walk (theglobeandmail.com)

Frankenbuffer writes: Honda has revealed an interesting set of robotic legs to help the elderly or factory workers improve mobility while reducing fatigue. The device consists of a unicycle-like seat with two powered legs attached to shoes. The legs respond to natural movements like climbing stairs or squatting, and assist by gently supporting the wearer's weight. I can't wait for a "giant stride" version that would let me walk at 50 km/hr!
Media

Submission + - iPod tax struck down in Canada

Frankenbuffer writes: The Canadian Copyright Board's attempt to place a charge of between $5 and $75 on media players like the iPod, ostensibly to compensate the recording industry for music that is copied to the devices, was struck down by the Federal Court of Appeal. [http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080111.wipod11/BNStory/Technology/home]

Opponents of the tax, including the Retail Council of Canada, argued that media players should be considered as playback devices like portable CD players, not as blank media like CDs which attract the tax. Interestingly, that argument appears to be irrelevant. The Court's decision seems to be based on finding that the Copyright Board doesn't have legal authority to impose the levy.

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