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Science

Submission + - Attack of the Telepresence Robots! (informationweek.com) 1

DeviceGuru writes: A handful of innovative high-tech startups have recently emerged to create a new market: remote telepresence robots. With one of these robotic Avatars, you can wander around in the remote environment, chatting with coworkers and managers, attending meetings, and solving problems encountered through those interactions. InformationWeek's Telepresence Robot Smackdown compares five such bots — the MantaroBot TeleMe, VGo Communications VGo, Anybots QB, Suitable Technologies Beam, and Revolve Robotics Kubi — and includes short videos demonstrating each. As the article concludes, 'bear in mind that what we're witnessing here is the emergence of a new industry; and if Moore's Law applies here as it does to so many IT spheres, it won't be long before these gadgets are inexpensive, commonplace, and far more flexible and intelligent. Let's just hope they don't get too smart and decide to take over!'
Science

Submission + - Most fundamental clock ever could redefine kilogram (newscientist.com)

wabrandsma writes: "Imagine ditching the bathroom scales and instead weighing yourself with a watch. That's now possible, in principle at least, following the creation of the first clock with a tick that depends on the mass of a single atom. The physicists behind it say it's the most fundamental clock ever invented, and that it could help to re-define the mass of the kilogram. Using a Compton clock."
Android

Submission + - Android Powered Appliances Pave The Way For Smarter Homes

adeelarshad82 writes: Despite the absence of some of the biggest news makers in the tech industry like Microsoft, Google and Apple, CES still offered plenty to get excited about. One thing in particular that should excite both tech lovers and Android fans alike is the use of Android in home appliances. Looking back at the show, it's clear that the tone was set early on when a company demoed an Android powered rice cooker. It only got better when a team robotics professionals hacked together an Android controlled blender. But easily the flashiest Android appliance at CES was definitely Dacor's Android-powered oven, which automatically programs itself according to recipes selected from a tablet.

Submission + - Death of Printed Books May Have Been Exaggerated 1

razor88x writes: Although just 16% of Americans have purchased an e-book to date, the growth rate in sales of digital books is already dropping sharply. At the same time, sales of dedicated e-readers actually shrank in 2012, as people bought tablets instead. Meanwhile, printed books continue to be preferred over e-books by a wide majority of U.S. book readers. In his blog post Will Gutenberg Laugh Last?, writer Nicholas Carr draws on these statistics and others to argue that, contrary to predictions, printed books may continue to be the book's dominant form. "We may be discovering," he writes, "that e-books are well suited to some types of books (like genre fiction) but not well suited to other types (like nonfiction and literary fiction) and are well suited to certain reading situations (plane trips) but less well suited to others (lying on the couch at home). The e-book may turn out to be more a complement to the printed book, as audiobooks have long been, rather than an outright substitute."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Open Management: Quentin Hardy on github 1

Quentin Hardy, over at his blog at the New York Times, talks up the might github.org from the angle of experimental management systems with a flattened hierarchy: Dreams of ‘Open’ Everything. An interesting subject, though I fear the fact that this is a blog post suggests he couldn't sell an editor on doing this as a real arti

Security

Submission + - John MaCafee Reveals Himself As Mastermind Social Engineer (whoismcafee.com)

paysonwelch writes: "Wow, all I can say is wow. It's hard to believe but I wouldn't put it past McAfee he seems incredibly resilient. His latest blog post details his complex spy network that he used to tap information into the higher echelon of the Belizean government. He might consider a new career as a movie producer, this blog post is enthralling. Here is an excerpt: I purchased 75 cheap laptop computers and, with trusted help, intalled invisible keystroke logging software on all of them — the kind that calls home (to me) and disgorges the text files. I began giving these away as presents to select people — government employees, police officers, Cabinet Minister's assistants, girlfriends of powerful men, boyfriends of powerful women."
Science

Submission + - Forbes 2013 career list flamed by university professors (forbes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Forbes list of "least stressful jobs" for 2013 is headlined by... university professors. This comes at a time in which the academic community has been featured on controversies about 100-hour week work journeys, doctors live on food stamps, tenured staff is laid off large science institutions, and the National Science Foundation suffers severe budget cuts, besides the well known (and sometimes publicized) politics of publish or perish. The Forbes reporter has received abundant feedback and published a shy, foot-note "addendum"; however, their cited source, CareerCast (which does not map to any recognizable career journalist, but rather to a Sports writer), does not seem to have had the same luck. The comments of the Forbes reporter on the existence of a Summer break for graduates ("I am curious whether professors work that hard over the summer") are particularly noteworthy.
Transportation

Submission + - Aeros completes construction of Aeroscraft demonstrator (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: California-based Aeros Corporation has completed construction of its Aeroscraft airship proof-of-design sub-scale prototype. The 79-meter (260-ft) long aircraft will demonstrate the vertical take-off and landing and point to point delivery capabilities of the platform, paving the way for a planned full-scale craft that will be almost twice as long and carry payloads of up to 66 tons. Calling it “the world’s first rigid variable buoyancy air vehicle,” Aeros hopes the Aeroscraft will revolutionize global cargo transport for commercial and military sectors with its ability to load and unload cargo without re-ballasting or ground infrastructure and deliver cargo point to point more economically and with less emissions than existing methods.
Space

Submission + - Previously Unseen Stage of Planet Formation Observed (yahoo.com)

SchrodingerZ writes: "Seen from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile; scientists have detected a gas giant planet focusing material from a gas cloud towards a main star. The star, HD 142527, is a young 2 million years old, and is 450 light-years from Earth. The system has 'A disk of spinning dust and gas left over from its formation... and from this material, planets are being created'. The planetesimals, are drawing material from the dust cloud inward, effectively fueling the expansion of the parent star, currently twice the size of our own Sun. 'Theoretical simulations have predicted such bridges between outer and inner portions of disks surrounding stars, but none have been directly observed until now.' Simon Casassus, lead scientist at the University of Chile, stated that 'Currently, the only mechanism known to produce such gap-crossing dense molecular flows, with residual carbon monoxide gas more diffusely spread out inside the gap, is planetary formation.' While the planets currently are not visible, their presence is very noticeable, more examination of the dust cloud is needed to precisely pinpoint the planet(s)."
The Media

Submission + - Al Jazeera Gets a US Voice

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that Al Jazeera plans to start an English-language channel available in more than 40 million US homes, with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar after announcing a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore seven years ago. But the challenge will be persuading Americans to watch the award winning network with 71 bureaus around the world — an extremely tough proposition given the crowded television marketplace and the stereotypes about the channel that persist to this day. “There are still people who will not watch it, who will say that it’s a ‘terrorist network,’ ” says Philip Seib. "Al Jazeera has to override that by providing quality news.” With a handful of exceptions, American cable and satellite distributors have mostly refused to carry Al Jazeera English since its inception in 2006. While the television sets of White House officials and lawmakers were tuned to the channel during the Arab Spring in 2011, ordinary Americans who wanted to watch had to find a live stream on the Internet. “There’s a major hole right now that Al Jazeera can fill. And that is providing an alternative viewpoint to domestic news, which is very parochial,” says Cathy Rasenberger. "If you watch us, you're going to like us. You are going to find it interesting," adds Robert Wheelock. "We offer an alternative. It's a broader coverage of news. It's a broader spectrum into countries that aren't traditionally covered.""
Apple

Submission + - Apple loses claim for false advertising regarding Amazon "App Store" (networkworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple's efforts to protect its intellectual property sometimes result in lawsuits that leave even the most ardent of Apple fans scratching their heads. One such suit was Apple's March 2011 lawsuit against Amazon over the retailer's use of the phrase "app store" as used in its Amazon Appstore for Android.

Now seeing as Apple was concurrently trying to secure a trademark for "app store", it didn't come as much of a surprise when Apple tried to block Amazon from using the phrase themselves. In the process, Apple alleged that Amazon was guilty of trademark infringement and false advertising.

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