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Festo's Drone Dragonfly Takes To the Air 45

yyzmcleod writes "Building on the work of last year's bionic creation, the Smart Bird, Festo announced that it will literally launch its latest creation, the BionicOpter, at Hannover Messe in April. With a wingspan of 63 cm and weighing in at 175 grams, the robotic dragonfly mimics all forms of flight as its natural counterpart, including hover, glide and maneuvering in all directions. This is made possible, the company says, by the BionicOpter's ability to move each of its four wings independently, as well as control their amplitude, frequency and angle of attack. Including its actuated head and body, the robot exhibits 13 degrees of freedom, which allows it to rapidly accelerate, decelerate, turn and fly backwards."

Comment Actually somewhat common (Score 5, Informative) 317

This has happened before, and it'll happen again.

Airport runway numbers are based off their magnetic headings with the last zero removed. So a runway that runs due south/north is 18/36 (i.e., it faces 180 degrees south and 360 degrees north - 0 isn't used). A runway that runs due east/west is 9/27. And so on. When there are parallel runways facing the same direction, the L, C, and R designations are used. A pair for parallel east/west runways are 9R/27L and 9L/27R.

So as the pole drifts this sometimes causes runways to have be renumbered. One previous example is Reagan-National airport in Washington, D.C., where runways 1/19 and 4/22 were originally 18/36 and 3/21.

Comment Re:SHOULD it happen? I'm not convinced. (Score 1) 567

Planning has been underway since before the vote last year. The HSR will have its own right-of-way and will require building new track. Am I confident it's going to happen? Eh, maybe. But the idea is that it will be true high-speed rail, and with that requires specially constructed track and all the trappings thereof.

Submission + - TMTO[dot]ORG's new MD5 hash database is now online

JasonRDavis writes: "TMTO[dot]ORG, formally, has put a new revision of it's infamous MD5 hash database online today. The database has 306,777,669,363 entries and is 1.6TB in size. These factors may make it one of the largest non-rainbow-table based MD5 reversers to date. The new character set added all permutations of the 8 length, alpha-lower range. Meaning, it can reverse the MD5 hash of "abcdefgh", "jughfyde", and "ekfjudys" in .20 of a second. For those of you looking for a pro-active password auditing tool for your web forum or applications that utilize the MD5 algorithm, this is a must have resource. An API to the database is going to be available in the near future as well, meaning it's use could soon be tied into applications to provide an on-the-fly auditing tool for webmasters and admins."

iTunes Uncovers Musical Hoax 311

holy_calamity writes "The reliance by iTunes on the CDDB has burst open a musical fraud in the usually staid world of classical piano. Albums by the much vaunted British pianist Joyce Hatto, who died in June 2006, are identified by the iTunes player as belonging to other performers. A more scientific analysis by an audio remastering firm has found that none of Hatto's works appear to be hers. Her husband, who produced all her albums, says he 'cannot explain' the similarities."

Submission + - Congress Tackles Patent Reform

nadamsieee writes: Wired's Luke O'Brian recently reported about Congress' latest attempt to reform the patent system. In the article O'Brian tells of how "[w]itnesses at Thursday's hearing painted a bleak picture of that system. Adam Jaffe, a Brandeis University professor and author of a book on the subject, described the system as "out of whack." Instead of "the engine of innovation," the patent has become "the sand in the gears," he said, citing widespread fears of litigation." The House Oversight Committee website has more details. How would you fix the patent system?

Submission + - ATI is not supporting the All-in-Wonder in Vista

Working-Person writes: Thinking about using your expensive All-in-Wonder with Vista? Think again. Here's the response from ATI when looking for Vista drivers "The product you purchased was not advertised or broadcasted as Vista Compliant it is fully functional and supported on the specified Operating Systems. The tuner on the board doesn't meet Windows Vista's requirements and is not compatable. That means it will not be supported and there will be no drivers or software release for the tuner on the ALL IN WONDER Board."

Submission + - MIT Team Makes Light Chip

Anonymous Coward writes: "Now, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said they've overcome a major obstacle in harnessing the full power and speed of the light waves. It promises to solve a problem that's long plagued fiber-optic networks: Light waves gradually weaken over distances as they become polarized, or randomly oriented horizontally and vertically. The tools available to fix it are expensive to deploy on a massive scale. It's a promising development as bandwidth-hungry video puts a strain on networks and consumers demand seamless transmissions."

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