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Submission + - Worker killed by a robot at Volkswagen factory

m.alessandrini writes: A worker at a Volkswagen factory in Germany has died, after a robot grabbed him and crushed him against a metal plate.

This it perhaps the first severe accident of this kind in a western factory, and is sparkling debate about who is responsible for the accident, the man who was servicing the robot beyond its protection cage, or the robot's hardware/software developers who didn't put enough safety checks. Will this distinction be more and more important in the future, when robots will be more widespread?

Submission + - WHO: Cell Phones May Cause Cancer (bbc.co.uk)

Hartree writes: A World Health Organization group of experts doing a review of previous studies concluded that they could not rule out the the possibility that cell phones increase brain cancer risk. The judge the possibility to be great enough to warrant measures to reduce exposure. Hands free operation or testing were mentioned.
The Military

Submission + - U.S. Military Deploys Gunfire Detection System (ibtimes.com)

gabbo529 writes: "A new warfighting technology will soon be making its way to Afghanistan. U.S. Army forces will be getting gunshot detection systems, which can tell where a shot was fired from. The system has four small acoustic sensors and a small display screen attached to the soldier's body armor that shows the distance and direction of incoming bullets. The sensors are each about the size of a deck of cards and can detect the supersonic sound waves generated by enemy gunfire. It alerts the soldier of the shot's direction in less than one second."

Submission + - iPhone hacks Times Square screens (geekword.net)

An anonymous reader writes: Yes, you read it right! A YouTube user BITCrash has managed to make his presence felt by hacking the Times squares screens with the help of iPhone and other mischief causing parts. This is what he says about it: The way it works is pretty simple: plug in my transmitter into the headphone minijack of an iphone 4 and play back any video clip. you can play it through the ipod feature or through the camera roll. the transmitter instantly sends the video signal to the video repeater and the video repeater overrides any video screen that it’s being held next to. it doesn’t matter what shape or size the hacked screen is because the hack video will simply keep its correct dimensions and the rest of the hacked space will stay black.

Submission + - Universal Flu Vaccine Successfully Tested (google.com)

eldavojohn writes: Several news outlets are reporting that a universal flu vaccine breakthrough has been made by Oxford scientists. The pain of matching yearly strains, the threat of swine flu and future threats of all new strains of influenza have taken a blow today. The vaccine works by 'differs from traditional treatments by targeting proteins inside the flu virus rather than proteins on the flu's external coat.' Such proteins are less likely to mutate between strains. These initial tests involved 11 people and there is call for a larger trail size.

Submission + - Return a Video Late? Forget about a Mortgage

Hugh Pickens writes writes: MSNBC reports that hundreds of thousands of people who rented movies from Hollywood Video or Movie Gallery before they went bankrupt have had collection notices put in their credit files without any notice or chance to contest the charges. The bankruptcy court handling the case turned the outstanding consumer debt over to National Credit Solutions and now former customers are finding NCS collection notices in their credit files even though they say they don't owe money to either video rental company. A few weeks ago, Seattle school teacher Martin Piccoli had the credit limit on his Discover card slashed from $8,700 to just $600 because of an NCS collection notice he didn't know about. The bill was $166 for "overdue videos and late fees." "I can firmly state that I owed them nothing and that I never received any communication from them — no phone calls, no mail, absolutely nothing," says Piccoli. Attorneys general in at least six states are getting complaints about National Credit Solutions and on January 26 Montana sued NCS, charging the company with using unfair and deceptive business practices. "Our investigation so far has uncovered about 12,300 Montanans who may have been affected by this,” says Attorney General Steve Bullock. “That’s more than 1 percent of Montana’s population."

Submission + - Pentagon sets tone for future space exploration (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: It obviously leans heavily on the military’s concerns for outer space exploration but the National Security Space Strategy released today by the Department of Defense outlines concerns like protection from space junk and system security that all space travelers in theory would want addressed.
The NSSS document emphasizes the Obama administration's desire to protect US space assets and to further commercialize space but also to ensure that the US and international partners have unfettered access to outer space.


Submission + - $1.50/gallon Gas With No CO2 Emissions? (gizmag.com)

Zothecula writes: UK-based Cella Energy has developed a synthetic fuel that could lead to US$1.50 per gallon gasoline. Apart from promising a future transportation fuel with a stable price regardless of oil prices, the fuel is hydrogen based and produces no carbon emissions when burned. The technology is based on complex hydrides, and has been developed over a four year top secret program at the prestigious Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Early indications are that the fuel can be used in existing internal combustion engined vehicles without engine modification.

Submission + - How do you deal with the older generation?

An anonymous reader writes: I am a programmer at a large software company who is approaching my 5-year anniversary at the company. One of the challenges I have during my day-to-day is convincing the "older generation" — those in their late 40s and early 50s — that my design decisions are correct. I don't pretend to be an expert at these decisions, but I can hold my own. On a new LOB project I recently was told to redo my design publicly in a review meeting by two "senior" programmers. Afterward when I spoke with them to learn how I could improve my design, I realized these programmers were not familiar with the popular framework or language used throughout our product. Their objections were based on decisions made by the framework and "that's not how I did it in assembly!"

It's clear to me these two individuals did not keep up with their skills to hone 30 years of wisdom. How do you handle working with the older generation? How do you communicate to your manager that a colleague no longer can pass an entry level job interview? What should I do to prevent from becoming like them?

Submission + - 34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found Buried Alive (csmonitor.com) 1

cold fjord writes: A scientist has made a weird and and wonderful find:

It's a tale that has all the trappings of a cult 1960s sci-fi movie: Scientists bring back ancient salt crystals, dug up from deep below Death Valley for climate research. The sparkling crystals are carefully packed away until, years later, a young, unknown researcher takes a second look at the 34,000-year-old crystals and discovers, trapped inside, something strange. Something ... alive.

The Geological Society of America's current issue of GSA Today has the hard science paper.


Submission + - Is Samsung Blocking Updates To Froyo? (itworld.com) 1

jfruhlinger writes: One of the complaints about Android is its fragmentation; many different versions of the OS are out there in the wild, and often users are held back from upgrading by their hardware or their carrier. But now a disturbing rumor has it that Samsung is strong-arming T-Mobile to prevent an over-the-air upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo for Samsung Vibrant owners. The reason? Samsung wants people to shell out for the new Vibrant 4G — which, other than the fact that it ships running Froyo, is largely identical to the Vibrant.

Submission + - Amazon EC2 Enables Cheap Brute-Force Attacks (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "German white-hat hacker Thomas Roth claims he can crack WPA-PSK-protected networks in six minutes using Amazon EC2 compute power — an attack that would cost him $1.68. The key? Amazon's new cluster GPU instances. 'GPUs are (depending on the algorithm and the implementation) some hundred times faster compared to standard quad-core CPUs when it comes to brute forcing SHA-1 and MD,' Roth explained. GPU-assisted servers were previously available only in supercomputers and not to the public at large, according to Roth; that's changed with EC2. Among the questions Roth's research raises is, what role should Amazon and other public-cloud service providers play in preventing customers from using their services to commit crimes?"

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