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Robotics

Giant Robotic Jellyfish Unveiled by Researchers 43

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, an anonymous reader writes in with news about a giant robot jellyfish. As if there weren't enough real jellyfish around to trigger our thalassophobia, researchers at Virginia Tech have created Cryo -- an eight-armed autonomous robot that mimics jelly movement with the help of a flexible silicone hat. The man-sized jellybot altogether dwarfs previous efforts, hence the upgrade from small tank to swimming pool for mock field tests. And unlike the passively propelled bots we've seen recently, Cryo runs on batteries, with the researchers hoping to better replicate the energy-efficient nature of jelly movement to eventually increase Cryo's charge cycle to months instead of hours. That's also the reason these robotic jellyfish are getting bigger -- because the larger they are, the further they can go."
Power

Solar Impulse Airplane To Launch First Sun-Powered Flight Across America 89

First time accepted submitter markboyer writes "The Solar Impulse just landed at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California to announce a journey that will take it from San Francisco to New York without using a single drop of fuel. The 'Across America' tour will kick off this May when founders Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg take off from San Francisco. From there the plane will visit four cities across the states before landing in New York."
Google

Google Releases Street View Images From Fukushima Ghost Town 63

mdsolar writes in with news that Goolge has released Street View pictures from inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima disaster. "Google Inc. (GOOG) today released images taken by its Street View service from the town of Namie, Japan, inside the zone that was evacuated after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Google, operator of the world's biggest Web search engine, entered Namie this month at the invitation of the town's mayor, Tamotsu Baba, and produced the 360-degree imagery for the Google Maps and Google Earth services, it said in an e-mailed statement. All of Namie's 21,000 residents were forced to flee after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the town, causing the world's worst nuclear accident after Chernobyl. Baba asked Mountain View, California-based Google to map the town to create a permanent record of its state two years after the evacuation, he said in a Google blog post."

Comment Re:I've been yelling about this for a few years no (Score 1) 213

Well, you make the assumption that lobbyists won't use telecommuting to speak to them from Washington (or wherever) instead of visiting them in person. They'll be able to have a completely private and secure (read unrecorded or unmonitored) session with their respective purchased Congressman and no one will ever know. Park your local media outside the office all you want. They're not going to see anything.

Comment Why not include *where* we are? (Score 3, Interesting) 480

I'm certainly no expert in the security of GPS/spoofing, but since so many of our devices have location services built in, couldn't we add *where* we are trying to gain access as a relevant factor? Perhaps the security system could ask for a mere simple password if it sees that you are currently at home, and requires secondary authentication (RSA fob, Goggle Auth, etc.) someplace you haven't been before. Most people who have stolen your credentials aren't going to log in from your house (short of your own kids, but if that happens, you have bigger problems).

Comment Re:"The good news"? (Score 1) 196

Maybe, but consider... Movie studios don't make money on movies that get bad reviews. So if they make it impossible for people to find reviews of a new release, they can sucker more patrons to the theater before word gets around. How many movies do you go see after finding reviews with one and two stars? And given the utter unimaginative crap that Hollywood is passing off for entertainment lately, this may actually be a reasonable business move for them.

Comment Re:Don't use iOS (Score 1) 573

I think what they are trying to say is that you still have to get it from somewhere, sideloaded or not. If the ugly patent people do their jobs, they would send legal takedown notices to any place they find has the software. 10 minutes on Google would cover 90% of them. I suppose those places could ignore the notices, but why would they risk that? Alternately, PRC, SCS could simply send a cease and desist to the app maker, preventing any further updates at all, anywhere. Which is what the GP was speaking to in the first place. The fact that it's on iOS remains irrelevant.

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