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Robotics

Syfy Reality Show Will Feature Giant Boxing Robots 82

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like the next generation of 'Battle Bots' is here: 'Syfy has greenlit and shot the first season of a new show where eight-foot-tall state-of-the-art humanoid robots will rock 'em and sock 'em in a boxing cage until one is defeated. The future-shock new series is called Robot Combat League and the project has been kept under wraps until today. The action resembles a real-life version of last year's hit movie Real Steel, with large menacing robots pounding away at each other in a satisfying shower of sparks and gushing hydraulic fluid.' Pictures are included with the story."
Firefox

Firefox Demos Prototype Metro Interface 197

In order to provide an alternative to IE on Windows 8, Firefox needs a Metro UI. Luckily, development of a Metro interface for Firefox is well underway. The current build reuses the Android interface XUL (by virtue of being based on Fennec). The latest test release features lots of platform integration support: "We have Metro snap working, you can snap another Metro app to the right or left of Firefox and continue browsing. We also have HTML file input controls tied up to the Metro file picker. ... implemented the Windows 8 search contract, you can use the Search Charm from any screen on Windows 8. If you enter a URL, it will be loaded. If you enter anything else, it will be searched in your default search engine. We also implemented the Windows 8 share contract, you can use the Share Charm from any Firefox page to share that page to another application. Once you select the Share Charm it will list the applications you can share to, for example: Mail, Twitter, or Facebook." If you're interested in following development, the team has made a Mercurial repository available.
Hardware Hacking

The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw 845

Pickens writes "Network World reports that in the past if you wanted to remove the outer case on your iPhone 4 to replace the battery or a broken screen, you could use a Phillips screwdriver to remove two tiny screws at the base of the phone and then simply slide off the back cover. But now Apple is replacing the outer screw with a mysterious tamper-resistant 'pentalobular' screw across its most popular product lines, making it harder for do-it-yourselfers to make repairs. What about existing products in the field? Pentalobular screws might find their way into them, too. 'Apple's latest policy will make your blood boil,' says Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. 'If you take your iPhone 4 into Apple for any kind of service, they will sabotage it by replacing your Phillips screws with the new, tamper-resistant screws. We've spoken with the Apple Store geniuses tasked with carrying out this policy, and they are ashamed of the practice.' Of course, only Apple-authorized service technicians have Pentalobular screwdrivers and they're not allowed to resell them. 'Apple sees a huge profit potential,' says Wiens. 'A hundred dollars per year in incremental revenue on their installed base is a tremendous opportunity.'"
Portables

Razer Unveils Portable Gaming Device Concept 66

MerelyASetback writes "Razer has shown a new concept for a gaming device that uses a pair of 7-inch multitouch displays as well as a layer of tactile, dynamic keys on the lower screen. Much like the Optimus Maximus of yesteryear, this keyboard would enable gamers to place different screens underneath depending on the title, and even within a game — you could imagine the keys shifting to account for different POVs, levels, scenarios, etc. Internally, the concept is based around an Intel Atom processor, but there's no word on what kind of GPU would work alongside of it."

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