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Star Wars Prequels

Reddit Is Banning Users That Post Star Wars 7 Spoilers (softpedia.com) 268

An anonymous reader writes: A few naughty users have started spamming Reddit with Star Wars 7 spoilers, but also hoaxes. Some known Star Wars fans with Reddit accounts were even bombarded with PMs about the upcoming film, with trolls trying to ruin the movie before they saw it. As a result, Reddit is now banning any user that posts Star Wars 7 spoilers. The movie officially launches tomorrow; do you plan to see it? Do you care about spoilers?
Displays

Racing a Real Car While Wearing an Oculus VR Headset (wsj.com) 74

pbahra writes: In a race that fuses video-game technology and real world driving skill, two professional drivers, on two separate but identical tracks, have raced against each other — effectively blind — while wearing virtual reality headsets attached to their crash helmets. The drivers hurtled around the circuit in two identical 2015 V8 Ford Mustangs, trusting that what they were seeing on their Oculus Rift DK2 VR headsets was a true, real-time representation of how their cars were performing on the actual track. One of the main challenges: tracking the cars' exact positions as they sped around the track without the need for re-calibration. This was necessary so that an exact match could be achieved between what was happening on the physical track and its representation on the VR screens.
Space

Inside the Mission To Europa (arstechnica.com) 106

An anonymous reader writes: Ars Technica details the political and engineering battles being waged to make it possible for NASA to land a probe on Jupiter's moon Europa. They have new information about mission plans; it sounds ambitious, to say the least. "First, the bad news. Adding a lander to the Clipper will require additional technical work and necessitate a launch delay until late 2023. At that time, the massive Space Launch System rocket NASA is developing could deliver it to Jupiter in 4.6 years. Once there, the lander would separate from the Clipper, parking in a low-radiation orbit.

The Clipper would then proceed to reconnoiter Europa, diving into the harsh radiation environment to observe the moon and then zipping back out into cleaner space to relay its data back to Earth. Over a three-year period, the Clipper would image 95 percent of the world at about 50 meters per pixel and three percent at a very high resolution of 0.5 meters per pixel. With this data, scientists could find a suitable landing site. ...The JPL engineers have concluded the best way to deliver the lander to Europa's jagged surface is by way of a sky crane mechanism, like the one successfully used in the last stage of Curiosity's descent to the surface of Mars. With four steerable engines and an autonomous system to avoid hazards, the lander would be lowered to the moon's surface by an umbilical cord."

Robotics

The Dawn of the Robotic Chef (robohub.org) 50

pRobotika writes: When Moley announced its robotic kitchen back in April, the media jumped on the story as a promising glimpse into the future. But how realistic are robot chefs? Robotics' professionals are understandably skeptical but, if Moley manages to overcome one major issue, their approach could have real potential. Why? Because their kitchen is basically a flexible robotic workcell, and in manufacturing that's nothing new.

Comment Obligatory Tom Waits reference (Score 1) 360

I got the style but not the grace
I got the clothes but not the face
I got the bread but not the butter
I got the window but not the shutter

But I'm big In Japan
I'm big in Japan
Hey, but I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan

I got the house but not the deed
I got the horn but not the reed
I got the cards but not the luck
I got the wheel but not the truck

But hey, I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
But hey, I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan

I got the moon, I got the cheese
I got the whole damn nation on their knees
I got the rooster, I got the crow
I got the ebb, I got the flow

I got the powder but not the gun
I got the dog but not the bun
I got the clouds but not the sky
I got the stripes but not the tie

But hey, I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan

Hey-ho, they love the way I do it
Hey-ho, there's really nothing to it

I got the moon, I got the cheese
I got the whole damn nation on their knees
I got the rooster, I got the crow
I got the ebb, I got the flow

I got the sizzle but not the steak
I got the boat but not the lake
I got the sheets but not the bed
I got the jam but not the bread

But hey, I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
Hey! I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan
I'm big in Japan

.

Comment The Monkees said it best (Score 1) 358

We were talking with the Master regarding the nature of conceptual reality. Psychologically speaking, the human mind, or brain or whatever, is almost incapable of distinguishing between the real and the vividly imagined experience. Sound and film and music and radio. Even these manipulative experiences are received more or less directly and uninterpreted by the mind. They are cataloged and recorded and either acted upon directly, or stored in the memory, or both. Now this process, unless we pay it tremendous attention, begins to separate us from the reality of the now. Am I being clear? For we must allow the reality of the now to just happen, as it happens. Observe and act with clarity. For where there is clarity, there is no choice. And were there is choice, there is misery. But then, why should I speak, since I know nothing?
Hardware Hacking

1000-key Emoji Keyboard Is As Crazy As It Sounds 146

hypnosec writes: A YouTuber named Tom Scott has built a 1,000-key keyboard with each key representing an emoji! Scott made the emoji keyboard using 14 keyboards and over 1,000 individually placed stickers. While he himself admits that it is one of the craziest things he has built, the work he has put in does warrant appreciation. On the keyboard are individually placed emojis for food items, animals, plants, transport, national flags, and time among others.
Privacy

Russia's Plan To Crack Tor Crumbles 122

mspohr writes: It looks like Russia's effort to crack Tor was harder than they anticipated. The company that won the contract is now trying to get out of it. Bloomberg reports: "The Kremlin was willing to pay 3.9 million rubles ($59,000) to anyone able to crack Tor, a popular tool for communicating anonymously over the Internet. Now the company that won the government contract expects to spend more than twice that amount to abandon the project. The Central Research Institute of Economics, Informatics, and Control Systems—a Moscow arm of Rostec, a state-run maker of helicopters, weapons, and other military and industrial equipment—agreed to pay 10 million rubles ($150,000) to hire a law firm tasked with negotiating a way out of the deal, according to a database of state-purchase disclosures. Lawyers from Pleshakov, Ushkalov and Partners will work with Russian officials on putting an end to the Tor research project, along with several classified contracts, the government documents say."

Comment We have the technology to fix this (Score 1) 262

Use image recognition to flash "Microsoft Surface - the official tablet of the NFL" on the screen whenever one appears on camera.

Use voice recognition to drop the word "iPad" from the audio feed whenever it's uttered. Whether they also want to deliver mild electric shocks to the commentator's headphones at the same time would be up to the NFL and the broadcasters.

.
Transportation

The Air Traffic Control Tower of the Future Doesn't Include Humans 104

CravenRaven76 writes: Sweden is testing the future of air traffic control at Ornskoldsvik Airport. An 80 foot tall unmanned tower at the airport houses 14 high-definition cameras to help controllers survey the site with better-than-human vision. Video from the cameras is transmitted to Sunvsal Airport, where a controller guides the planes. Potential future plans include grouping every airport controller together at distant facilities in order to save costs of running multiple air traffic control towers.

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