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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 14 declined, 7 accepted (21 total, 33.33% accepted)

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Submission + - NSS Labs fires back at CrowdStrike over endpoint security test (nsslabs.com)

R3d M3rcury writes: Last month CrowdStrike tried and failed to obtain an injunction stopping NSS Labs publishing the results of its endpoint security test, claiming the testing house unlawfully acquired its software and has an "unethical" testing methodology. NSS Labs CEO Vikram Phatak has now opened up on the matter in a blog post on the NSS website — addressing CrowdStrike's complaints individually and accusing it of not taking its poor test results seriously.

Submission + - Let a Robot Carry Your Stuff

R3d M3rcury writes: Have you always wanted a lackey who will follow you around and carry your stuff? Well, Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF) may have the next best thing: Gita, a cargo-carrying robot. From TechCrunch:

It can follow a person, or roll autonomously in an environment it has already mapped. At 26 inches tall, the Gita can carry up to 40 pounds at a time and has a maximum speed of 22 miles per hour, so it can keep up with a person on foot or riding a bike. It can run for about 8 hours of continuous use, the company said.

In the next six months, Piaggio Fast Forward plans to run pilot tests with Gita on different college campuses and in towns in the U.S. The company is not thinking about delivering burritos or groceries, so much. It envisions the Gita assisting maintenance, gardening and custodial workers, and others who must cart heavy things around to get their jobs done on a given day, especially at resorts, senior living and school campuses.

So if you're in the Boston area for the next six months, keep an eye out for one of these.

Submission + - Autonomous Cars? How About Autonomous Bikes?

R3d M3rcury writes: So we've all heard about the brave new world of autonomous cars which will be at our beck-and-call. But how about an autonomous bike?

The i-Bike (not to be confused with the iBike computer) is the winner of KPIT Sparkle 2016, the All India Science and Engineering Student Contest. It started off as a bicycle suitable for use by people with disabilities. If you could use a smartphone, you could ride a bike. But the developers realized that this could be part of a bike-sharing system. You could rent a bike at the train station, ride to work, and then have the bike automatically return to the train station for the next person.

Of course, the obvious question is: Will the bike stop at stop signs?

Submission + - Don't Try To Sell a "Smart" Gun in the U.S. 3

R3d M3rcury writes: How's this for a good idea? A gun that won't fire unless it's within 10 inches of a watch? That's the iP1 from Armatrix. Of course, don't try to sell it here in the United States:

Belinda Padilla does not pick up unknown calls anymore, not since someone posted her cellphone number on an online forum for gun enthusiasts. Then someone snapped pictures of the address where she has a P.O. box and put those online, too. In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. “Belinda?” the person wrote. “Is that you?”

Her offense? Trying to market and sell a new .22-caliber handgun that uses a radio frequency-enabled stopwatch to identify the authorized user so no one else can fire it. Ms. Padilla and the manufacturer she works for, Armatix, intended to make the weapon the first “smart gun” for sale in the United States.

“I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans,” one commenter wrote.

Their complaint? The gubmint...

Submission + - How long can the ISS Last? (cbsnews.com) 2

R3d M3rcury writes: NASA and Boeing, along with other nations, are studying the feasibility of keeping the International Space Station in orbit until 2020 and possibly until 2028--the 30 year anniversary of the launch of the first module.

Submission + - Text Someone Who's Driving and You Could Get Sued

R3d M3rcury writes: A recent decision from the New Jersey Appelate Court [PDF] states that you can be sued if you send a text message to someone who, in the course of reading or responding to the message, is involved in an accident. In this particular case, the judges decided that the person who was texting, Shannon Colonna, was not liable because she didn't know that the defendant was driving. So the litmus test appears to be that if the sender knows the recipient is driving and knows the recipient will likely read the text immediately, they could be in trouble. (page 25) Not sure how you'd go about proving this...
Google

Submission + - Dueling Santa Trackers 1

R3d M3rcury writes: As Santa delivers toys to good little boys and girls, the North American Air Defense Network tracks him with a combination of "radar, satellites, Santa Cams and fighter jets."

Meanwhile, Google is working Santa's Developer Elves to get a preview of Santa Tracker.

Of course, neither of them agree as to where he is.

So, who do you believe?

Submission + - Late Night Gaming Banned in Vietnam (vnanet.vn)

R3d M3rcury writes: Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communication has asked ISPs to block access to on-line games between 10:00PM and 8:00AM. 'The request, made on Wednesday, is another move from the authority to mitigate the side effects of online games. The request follows numerous stiff measures by the ministry to tackle the issue, including cutting internet access to agents at night beginning last September.'
Cellphones

Submission + - What Clown on a Unicycle? (nytimes.com)

R3d M3rcury writes: The New York Times has an article about walking and using a cellphone. But the interesting part was an experiment run by the University of Western Washington this past fall.

There was a student who knew how to ride a unicycle and a professor who had a clown suit. They dressed a student up as a clown and had him ride his unicycle around a popular campus square. Then they asked people, "Did you see the Unicycling Clown?" 71% of the people walking in pairs said that they had. 51% of the people walking alone said that they had. But only 25% of the people talking on a cellphone said that they saw the unicycling clown.

On the other hand, when asked "Did you see anything unusual?" only about one person in three mentioned a unicycling clown. So maybe unicycling clowns aren't enough of a distraction at the University of Western Washington...

Submission + - Save The Planet: Eat Your Dog (stuff.co.nz)

R3d M3rcury writes: New Zealand's Dominion Post reports on a new book just released, Time to Eat the Dog: The real guide to sustainable living. In this book, they compare the environmental footprint of our housepets to other things that we own. Like that German Shepherd? It consumes more resources than two Toyota SUVs. Cats are a little less than a Volkswagen Golf. 2 Hamsters are about the same as a plasma TV.

Their suggestions? Chickens, Rabbits, and Pigs. But only if you eat them.

Space

Submission + - Save the Apollo Landing Sites! (latimes.com) 1

R3d M3rcury writes: The Lunar X-Prize is a contest offering $20 million to the first private organization to land and maneuver a robotic rover on the moon. There is also a $1 million bonus to anyone who can get a picture of a man-made object on the moon. But one archeologist believes that "The sites of early lunar landings are of unparalleled significance in the history of humanity, and extraordinary caution should be taken to protect them." He's concerned that we may end up with rover tracks destroying historic artifacts, such as Neil Armstrong's first bootprint, or that a mistake could send a rocket slamming into a landing site. He calls on the organizers to ban any contestant from landing within 100KM of a prior moon landing site. Now he seems to think this just means Apollo. What about the Luna and Surveyor landers? What about the Lunokhod rovers? Are they fair game?

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