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Comment Re:Doesn't the kinect use an ordinary camera? (Score 1) 31

That's how the Kinect 1 works. It projects structured light and then reconstructs the world based on deviations from the expected pattern. It's built from off-the-shelf parts. The Kinect 2 measures the time it takes for an emitted laser light to be reflected back to the sensor. It's much more accurate and reliable, but requires purpose-made sensors, thus increasing the cost. Here's a good article with technical descriptions of the two methods:
The Military

Journalist Gets Blasted By the Pentagon's Pain Ray — Twice 357

dsinc writes "Wired's Spencer Ackerman voluntarily subjected himself to what the U.S. military calls the Active Denial System, an energy weapon commonly known as the 'Pain Ray' that turns electricity into millimeter wave radio frequency and blasts targets with heat. He describes it thus: 'When the signal goes out over radio to shoot me, there’s no warning — no flash, no smell, no sound, no round. Suddenly my chest and neck feel like they’ve been exposed to a blast furnace, with a sting thrown in for good measure. I’m getting blasted with 12 joules of energy per square centimeter, in a fairly concentrated blast diameter. I last maybe two seconds of curiosity before my body takes the controls and yanks me out of the way of the beam.'" The device has been tested now on over 11,000 people, with only two serious injuries to show for it. However, the device has limitations: rainy weather decreases its effectiveness, and its "boot-up" time is 16 hours, making it useless for breaking up unexpected, impromptu mobs.

Comment "Research" (Score 1) 239

"The study - commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa - found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea."

The sort of sponsored bollocks that passes for science reporting in the Daily Mail makes the front page of Slashdot. I know the front page of Slashdot isn't run by the world's most incisive editing team, but come on!
United States

Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games 186

eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

Comment This is an ongoing trend (Score 1) 878

This is just a symptom of the trend for programming languages to be as abstracted as the apailable computing power allows? Computers are now powerful enough for programming to be done entirely without the use of lines of code. Just like the generational changes from assembler to compiled code to interpreted code, the next jump will be to a programming method that requires even less technical skill. Maybe. We'll see soon, i hope!

Comment Re:Oh please (Score 1) 205

Well, then we're not going anywhere. NASA cannot *afford* a Saturn V class vehicle with its current budget. That budget is not going to increase any time soon. Therefore, we have to get the best for our money. That means Shuttle-C or DIRECT. Ares 5 is just too big for the infrastructure we have.

Comment Re:Can somebody explain how it works? (Score 1) 189

Laser projector? How can you project a raster image using a inherently vector system?

I don't get it. How does it know how big the pixels should be?

(Or maybe it's obvious and I just need a beating with the clue stick here)

The light from the three RGB lasers is scanned in rows just like the electron beam in a CRT. To sweep the angle, a tiny mirror flexes very fast. The technical challenge for these projectors has been switching the mirror fast enough and getting decent performance from miniature red green and blue lasers. I think the blue one was the tough nut to crack.

Comment This is an old, old blacklist (Score 5, Insightful) 122

This blacklist was specifically for the construction industry - for those who haven't RTFA. The terrible thing is that this list, and its sale for money, has been around for years and years. It's the industry's dirty little secret. It's only now they've computerised the records that they can use the Data Protection Act to prosecute. Sadly, I have no doubt that the information will live on somehow. All the major players have fingers in the pie and won't give it up, I think.

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