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Submission + - On average how often is mobile insurance used?

rahijada writes: "I'm the IT Manager at my company and manage a number of mobile devices. Recently I was asked about insurance on these devices, and my instinct is that insurance on that many devices is a waste of money. So, to back up my claim I built a spreadsheet that displays the cost (savings or loses) of carrying insurance based on the percentage of claims made over a given amount of time. I'm sure it's not perfect, but it's a good start, however, my question is this, what percentage of mobile devices on average have an insurance claim on them? I can't imagine this number being larger than 20%, but that's just a guess on my part. Thought I'd check with the community here and see what your thoughts are too."

Submission + - Unfollowed Me worm spreads on Twitter (

An anonymous reader writes: Twitter users are again being hit by a threat which normally affects Facebook users — a rogue application spreading virally between compromised accounts.

Scammers have created a series of third party apps that claim to tell you who has unfollowed you on Twitter, but as soon as you grant them access to your account they send out a spam message to other users — spreading a link virally.

Anyone who clicks on the link is taken to a webpage that forces them to take an online survey — earning the scammers money.

Sophos says thousands of Twitter users have been hit by the attack.


Submission + - Robot designed to sort trash for recycling (

cylonlover writes: Using artificial intelligence (AI) and an array of sensors, ZenRobotics' Recycler autonomous waste-sorting robot is intended to watch over a conveyor belt, targeting and plucking objects from a waste stream that rolls by on it. The robot will then drop each of those items into a specific chute, which will send them on their way to the appropriate recycling facilities. Non-recyclable items will simply stay on the belt, and end up being discarded.

Submission + - Brazilian police to use 'Robocop-style' glasses (

kaapstorm writes: The Telegraph reports that Brazilian police will use futuristic 'Robocop-style' glasses fitted with facial recognition equipment to identify and root out troublemakers at the 2014 World Cup.

A small camera fitted to the glasses can capture 400 facial images per second and send them to a central computer database storing up to 13 million faces.

The system can compare biometric data at 46,000 points on a face and will immediately signal any matches to known criminals or people wanted by police.

The camera will generally be used to scan faces in crowds up to 50 metres (164ft) away but can be adjusted, if searching for a specific target, to recognise faces as far as 12 miles away.


Submission + - ISRO's Dead End in Space (

sirdude writes: "Forbes India has an interesting overview on the current status of the Indian space program. With the spate of failures in the last 18 months, charges of collusion & corruption within the ISRO, and the fickle nature of the Indian public, the Wednesday launch of the PSLV-C16 has assumed increased importance in terms of shoring up the reputation of the organisation."
Role Playing (Games)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Announced for November 2011 231

Bethesda took advantage of the Video Game Awards this weekend to announce the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series, titled Skyrim. The game is planned for November 2011, and a teaser trailer has been posted on the Elder Scrolls website. Details are sparse, though the game will apparently run on an "all-new" engine.

Comment Re:Dear aunt, (Score 3, Insightful) 221

The problem you are describing (continuous speech recognition) is not solved yet. Even the best state of the art technology is not going to be perfect, and having two speakers will make it even less useful. If you really need the stuff transcribed, you can pay for online services to transcribe it (if they offer really good quality transcription, they are most likely using humans) or you can transcribe it yourself (you can buy software to help speed up the transcription process - including a foot pedal to pause/play the audio, e.g. My company does a lot of work in speech recognition, and we have tried most of the companies that offer transcription. Some of them even provide APIs so you can code something up. The best fully automatic, commercially available transcription I have seen is from Yap Inc. ( If the speaker doesn't have a crazy accent and speaks at a normal level and pace you can get great results, but like all fully automatic transcriptions it can get it wrong. The benefit of Yap is that you can get back the confidence scores and alternates for each word, so if you had a dictionary of your own commonly used words you can pick out a better transcription. You pay by the word for transcription (it is a small amount, but it will add up if you're doing hours of audio). If you're willing to wait, the technology is improving all the time, so you could archive the audio for now and return to have it transcribed in a few years. If you need this done now and want something you can actually read then your cheapest option is to do it yourself, and maybe invest in some software to speed it all up. Unless you have a lot of time on your hand and access to a lot of transcribed audio to build the language models, using any software at home is not worth your while.

Comment Re:Who got a Pre thinking it'd always sync w/ iTun (Score 1) 841

You're forgetting that there is nothing stopping you taking the music you buy from the iTunes store and putting it on whatever device you like. There is no device lock-in with iTunes any more, the files don't have any DRM. If you want to sync the music you buy from the iTunes store with your Apple iPod device, then yes, you need to use their sync software (which happens to be the iTunes client). If you want to sync the music with another piece of hardware, you can do that using whatever software came with the hardware. All Palm needed to do was provide some desktop application to allow you to sync MP3s with their device and this would be a complete non-issue. They didn't, and for some reason that baffles me decided to make the device pretend to be something else, thus leaving themselves completely at the mercy of any changes to the iTunes/iPod syncing protocol. Was it that hard to write an app that says "show me where your MP3s are" and then moving them to the device? Enough analogies have already been used in this thread - it was just a silly move by Palm. They need to release their own audio syncing software and the whole issue goes away.

Comment Hope they get this done before Apple (Score 1) 259

Michael Arrington already speculated that Apple will be releasing a large iPod touch this year. I guess he's expecting it to be much more expensive (but multi-touch would be cool!).

I think the first thing everyone will want for this will be an external keyboard (seeing as the on-screen one obscures half the screen), and as soon as you do that, you could argue that you might as well be using a laptop or EEE notebook.

On-screen keyboard means either putting it down while typing ("ouch, my back!") or typing with one hand (hmmm... maybe that has some merits). I'd worry about the cost of the device creeping up as the final finish comes around - nice case, bluetooth (?), power supply etc. If it tips over $300 then it's into the same arena as notebooks.

Though if they manage to solve the keyboard problem, and keep the price down then maybe they can succeed where tablet PCs have failed.

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