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Submission + - Raspberry Pi founder wants self-driving robots for Robot Wars return (theinquirer.net)

DW100 writes: The founder of Raspberry Pi, Eben Upton, says he wants to see self-driving robots, possibly powered by the mini Raspberry Pi, to be used in the new series of Robots Wars coming to the BBC this year. "I'd like to see driverless Robot Wars. Robots that use the addition of compute to be really fierce," he told The Inquirer. "Yeah, autonomous Robot Wars would be great."

Submission + - IoT In The Warehouse - How Amazon's Robots Move Everything Around

dkatana writes: Amazon's drones have a long way to become reality, but the real magic of the Internet of Things (IoT) is already happening at Amazon's vast fulfillment warehouses in the US.

Amazon runs a fleet of thousands of small robots moving storage pods around so orders can be fulfilled in record time. They are so efficient that they can move an entire warehouse and have ready to operate again during the weekend.

All together the small robots have traveled over 93 million miles — almost the distance from Earth to the Sun.

Submission + - The Crowdfunded Board Game Renaissance (fivethirtyeight.com)

An anonymous reader writes: FiveThirtyEight has an article about the surging popularity of new board games, which is being boosted by campaigns on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Since Kickstarter came online in 2009, board games and card games have accrued $196 million in pledges, 93% of which went to successful projects. That's even better than video games have done, at $179 million and 85%. For an industry whose yearly sales don't tend to break $1 billion, those are impressive numbers. The article attempts to explain their success: "Designers show up, explain their game idea on a Web page, often with photos and a video, and ask for pledges. That lets a designer learn, in real time, what the demand for his game is. ... Second, they are democratizing tools. Internet crowdfunding has done the same thing for game designers that blogging platforms did for writers: turned them into publishers."

Submission + - Inside the Failure of Google+ (mashable.com)

An anonymous reader writes: An article at Mashable walks through the rise and fall of Google+, from the company's worries of being displaced by Facebook to their eventual realization that Google services don't need social hooks. They have quotes from a number of employees and insiders, who mostly agree that the company didn't have the agility to build something so different from their previous services. "Most Google projects started small and grew organically in scale and importance. Buzz, the immediate predecessor to Plus, had barely a dozen people on staff. Plus, by comparison, had upwards of 1,000, sucked up from divisions across the company." Despite early data indicating users just weren't interested in Google+, management pushed for success as the only option. One employee said, "The belief was that we were always just one weird feature away from the thing taking off." Despite a strong feature set, there was no acknowledgement that to beat Facebook, you had to overcome the fact that everybody was already on Facebook.
NASA

Voyager's Golden Record For Aliens Now Available On SoundCloud 57

An anonymous reader writes: For years you've been able to listen to the sounds recorded on the golden records carried by the twin Voyager spacecraft online but NASA just made it a bit easier. The orginization just uploaded the recordings to SoundCloud. Now you can listen to a continuous stream of clips instead of clicking back and forth to hear the different tracks.

Submission + - Slashdot goes to shit

methano writes: Long time reader Methano is sick and tired of the stupid pop under ads screaming at him and the endless CPU churning flash ads that have come to characterize the experience of being a loyal Slashdot follower. He's seriously thinking of saying goodbye to a once enjoyable but now more often annoying web site.

Submission + - Teen hires hacker to take down school district IT systems (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A 17-year old boy from Idaho has been accused of paying a hacker to launch DDoS attacks against his school district. The teen reportedly hired a third party to organize a week’s worth of distributed denial-of-service campaigns this month against the West Ada school district – the largest educational district in the state. The cyberattacks affected networks at all 52 schools including payroll, online textbooks, virtual teaching and standardized testing. At the time of the hacking many students were undertaking Idaho Standard Achievement Testing online. The DDoS attacks caused the school systems to lose the test and results data and students were required to re-sit their exams multiple times. According to a report by KTVB-TV News, the teen has been arrested and may face State and Federal computer crime felony charges. If the unnamed student is found guilty he is likely to have to serve up to 180 days in juvenile prison. The suspect has also been suspended from Eagle High and risks potential expulsion. The minor’s parents are being held financially responsible for the damage caused by the attacks.

Submission + - SPAM: 5 Intelligent Video Games For Grown-Ups

sepa2000 writes: The “video games” may still evoke the image of a boy or teenager playing alone with his concole, but there’s a lot more out there aside. Bioshock nad Limbo showed that the games it’s possible to take the first-person shooter and add character development, player agency and a well-written story. More recently, a new generation of talent has entered the industry, making games about social issues such as immigration in Papers. If you’re looking for some grown-up games to play, here are sijutech top list.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Arduino announces NYC, USA based Adafruit will manufacture Arduino

ptorrone writes: At Maker Faire Bay Area on Saturday it was announced that Limor Fried "Ladyada" and Adafruit, who have appeared on /. many times over the last 10 years are now going to be the USA manufacturer of the open-source Arduino. Adafruit has grown from a 1 person company out Ladyada's apartment to over 50+ employees and a 50,000 sq. foot factory in Manhattan. Adafruit is currently shipping the Arduino GEMMA, a wearable open-source micro-controller platform.

Submission + - MAME Changing License to Fully Libre One

jones_supa writes: The source code of MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) has long been freely available, but it's never been completely libre. Instead it's been available under a modified BSID license that prohibits, among other things, commercial use of the code. MAME engineer Miodrag Milanovic explains that such license was put in place to deter "misuse of MAME in illegal ways," but it also kept legitimate commercial entities doing business with the software. Examples of such could be museums that charge entry fees from using MAME in their exhibits, or copyright holders rereleasing vintage games encapsulated inside MAME. Now the project wants to go fully open. Milanovic continues: "Our aim is to help legal license owners in distributing their games based on MAME platform, and to make MAME become a learning tool for developers working on development boards." As of yet, there are no specific details about the new license.

Feed Techdirt: Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Declares Silicon Valley A 'Gallery Of Rogues And Thiev (google.com)

I've been a Pink Floyd fan for most of the time I've been alive, so it was rather disappointing to see band leader and professional misanthrope Roger Waters recently come down with a terrible case of "get the hell off of my lawn." Speaking to a reporter earlier this month, Waters, the man who once blasted oblivious, recording industry bean counters in "Have a Cigar," assailed Silicon Valley as a corrupt den of "rogues and thieves." Rogers also pined for a simpler age -- one when musicians and artists were screwed more directly by their music label:

"Most of all I feel enormously privileged to have been born in 1943 and not 1983, to have been around when there was a music business and the takeover of Silicon Valley hadn't happened and, in consequence, you could still make a living writing and recording songs and playing them to people,” the bass guitarist and singer said.
Right, because as this outlet has covered extensively, the Internet has destroyed the music industry, and it's simply impossible to make any money off of art in this day and age. The fact that the Internet and piracy effectively turned albums into promotional material to sell merchandise and concert tickets is a very difficult idea for older generations to grok, but it's still kind of painful to see a rock hero of my youth fall victim to aggressively rigid neurons. Waters doesn't stop there, and proceeds to trot out a litany of well-tread conflations, distortions and other flimsy arguments, joining folks like U2 manager Paul McGuinness in no longer understanding how the music industry he's a part of (kind of, since he hasn't released a new album in 23 years) actually works:

"When this gallery of rogues and thieves had not yet interjected themselves between the people who aspire to be creative and their potential audience and steal every f***ing cent anybody ever made and put it in their pockets to buy f***ing huge mega-yachts and Gulfstream Fives with. These thieves! It’s just stealing! And that they’re allowed to get away with it is just incredible."

Waters went on to say that music lovers must take some responsibility for this parlous situation. “I blame the punters as well to some extent, a whole generation that’s grown up who believe that music should be free,” he said.

"I mean why not make everything free? Then you could walk into a shop and say ‘I like that television’ and you walk out with it. No! Somebody made that and you have to buy it! 'Oh, I'll just pick up few apples.' No! Some farmer grew those and brought them here to be sold!"
And here you were foolishly thinking that the Internet managed to open a massive new universe of music distribution possibilities and business models, helping countless artists connect more directly with their fans. As we've noted probably more times than can be counted, "free" isn't the business model -- free is part of one potential business model, and when done right, resonates incredibly well with consumers.

It's certainly fine if you don't like that, but that doesn't really change reality in the age of broadband and piracy. Of course if it makes Roger feel any better, the same wolfish recording industry Roger used to mock is still there at the end of the gravy train, working tirelessly to prevent artists from seeing their just deserts in the Spotify age. There's certainly plenty to criticize about some specific new Internet-based business models where artists still get screwed; but Waters doesn't really do that -- he just shakes his cane at the general direction of the Internet and "pisses and moans," as my grandfather used to say.

I'll of course never stop loving Pink Floyd ("Animals" in particular), and Waters' lessons on critical thinking, empathy and alienation are pretty much bone-grafted to my personality. Sadly though, he's also now a perfect example of the dangers of letting your aging synapses get so rigid you can't see new forest growth for the trees -- since I'd like to believe, maybe foolishly, that's not an inevitable symptom of aging. Of course I was one of those deviant rogues who helped destroy the music industry by swapping free tapes like this one:

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Submission + - World's Most Dangerous Driving Simulator (ieee.org)

agent elevator writes: Lawrence Ulrich at IEEE Spectrum has an interview with the maker of a simulator for professional racers, the $54,000 Motion Pro II from CXC Simulations. It conveys amazingly fine sensations including: the feel of the car's tires wearing out or the car lightening as its fuel dwindles. It also has the kick to make you really feel a crash: “If you hit the wall in an Indy Car and don’t take your hands off the wheel, you’ll break your wrists... Our wheel is a one-to-one replication of that, but we don’t turn it up that high. It’s the first time we’ve been able to replicate racing forces so high that it introduces liability questions.”

Submission + - Carter reveals Russians hacked Pentagon networks (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Pentagon has disclosed that Russian hackers were able to breach one of its secure networks earlier this year, and referred to the attack as a “worrisome” incident. “Earlier this year, the sensors that guard DOD’s unclassified networks detected Russian hackers accessing one of our networks,” said defense secretary Ash Carter yesterday during a speech at Stanford University. Carter warned Russia that the U.S. Department of Defense would retaliate with cyber campaigns should it see fit. “Adversaries should know that our preference for deterrence and our defensive posture don't diminish our willingness to use cyber options if necessary,” said Carter. He added in a prepared statement that the Russian hackers had been able to gain access to an “unclassified network” but had been “quickly identified” by a team of cyberattack experts who managed to block the hackers “within 24 hours.” The cybersecurity response team had quickly analysed the hack patterns and code and identified the intruders as Russian, before “kicking them off the network.”

Submission + - Tractor Software and the DMCA (wired.com)

moeinvt writes: From Wired: In a particularly spectacular display of corporate delusion, John Deere—the world’s largest agricultural machinery maker —told the Copyright Office that farmers don’t own their tractors. Because computer code snakes through the DNA of modern tractors, farmers receive “an implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

It’s John Deere’s tractor, folks. You’re just driving it.

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