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Submission + - Samsung to render Galaxy Note 7 useless with update that stops it charging (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: In a final push to stop people using the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7, Samsung will roll-out a firmware update that will completely disable battery charging. The update will be pushed to handsets before the end of the month, turning all remaining Note 7s into little more than an expensive paperweight.

Submission + - Terrifying anti-riot vehicle created to quash any urban disturbance (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A formidable remote-controlled anti-riot vehicle called the Bozena Riot has been designed to make light work of angry mobs with a giant expanding shield and packing an arsenal of crowd dispersal tools.

Built by Slovakian company Bozena, the high-tech security system keeps law enforcement units safe with its shock-absorbing barrier, which can be expanded out to 7.5 metres to protect 36 officers and features a rising platform to give riot police an elevated view of their surroundings and provide tactical advantage against aggressors.

The shield has ports for firing non-lethal projectiles and is equipped with tear gas guns to "guarantee control of crowds" when things get dicey. Mounted loudspeakers can be used either to issue instructions to officers or to appeal to crowds, and the vehicle can optionally be equipped with smoke grenade launchers and a radio jammer for blocking mobile communications.

Submission + - Move over cloud computing, the future of online storage could be fog (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Computer scientists in Italy are working on a new concept that could reduce the risks involved with storing your files on the cloud with a new system that disperses them across multiple remote locations – and they're calling it fog.

The idea of fog computing is that rather than having all your documents, images and other files stored in a single location, they are instead broken into pieces and spread across several servers on a public or private network. As a result, no one file exists in its entirety in one place, which in turn means there is no single location for hackers to target.

The system uses standard internet protocols and works by endlessly bouncing data packets around routers.

Submission + - Sony patent lets you wireless charge one smartphone from another (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Sony is working on an innovative solution that could solve one of smartphone ownership's biggest headaches – running out of battery. A recently discovered patent reveals that Sony is working on a system that allows one phone to be charged by someone else's wirelessly.

Unearthed by What A Future, the document describes a system whereby power is transferred between the two devices using an antenna system similar to that used by NFC chips.

Much like a Bluetooth or a wi-fi hotspot, the system would be capable of scanning for nearby compatible devices and letting users suck power from them. Once a corresponding device came within range, instructions would appear via a "graphical user interface" (i.e. some form of notification) where the other party could presumably accept or deny your request to borrow some juice.

Submission + - Chinese police armed with high-tech anti-drone rifles to combat illegal UAVs (ibtimes.co.uk) 2

drunkdrone writes: Police in China are being equipped with new high-tech weaponry to help them fight back against illegal drone use. Officers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan have been issued rifles that emit radio-jamming signals to knock quadcopters and similar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) out of the sky.

Rather than disabling the drones completely — which would cause them to fall out of the sky and potentially injure people on the ground — the scoped rifles put the drones into a controlled decent so they can land without being damaged.

It does this by emitting radio frequencies that are the same as the ones drones use to communicate with the operator's control unit, commonly in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ranges.

Submission + - Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 leak hints at 'Walleye' and 'Muskie' codenames (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Google has already indicated that we'll see a Google Pixel 2 at some point in the not-too distant future, although precisely when that is remains to be seen. According to fresh reports, Google has already picked out codenames for its next-generation flagships, suggesting development is well underway.

An Android open source project page spotted by Android Police suggests Google will continue the marine life theme for the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, which have reportedly been given the codenames 'Muskie' and 'Walleye' respectively.

Both are the names of freshwater fish, similar to the pseudonyms given to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, which were known internally as 'Sailfish' and 'Marlin' during development. Android Police reports that Walleye refers to the smaller Pixel handset in this case, whereas Muskie – a nickname given to the muskellunge fish – alludes to the larger Google Pixel 2.

Submission + - Meet RAMBO: The 3D-printed grenade launcher that could shape the future of warfa (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: The US Military has a new firearm in its itinerary: Meet RAMBO, the 3D printed grenade launcher that could revolutionise the way soldiers are equipped for battle.

RAMBO, or the Rapid Additively Manufactured Ballistics Ordnance to give it its proper name, is based on the US Army's M203 underslung grenade launcher for firearms including the M16 and M4A1 carbine. But RAMBO is unique in that all of its parts save for the springs and fasteners have been produced by 3D printing â" and that includes the grenades themselves.

The breech-loaded grenade launcher consists of 50 individual parts, the majority of which were developed through the additive manufacturing process. Additive manufacturing is a form of 3D printing whereby layers of material, commonly photopolymer resin, are printed on top of each other to create a 3D object.

Submission + - Want $2,000 and live in New York? Buy an electric car from 1 April (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: In a bid to clean up New York's air, the US state is launching a rebate programme that will reward $2,000 (£1,600, â1,900) to anyone who buys an electric car before 1 April. The incentive will be available from 1 April to anyone who purchases a zero-emission or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

According to the Associated Press, New York officials want to make electric vehicles a more financially-viable alternative to traditional cars, which are currently the largest contributor to the state's greenhouse emissions.

Submission + - Google Home says Barack Obama is planning a coup and all Republicans are Nazis (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: Former US President Barack Obama is in cahoots with Chinese communists. That is according to Google Home at least, which seems to be having a hard time separating fake news from facts.

As a result, the voice-activated speaker has been offering up some interesting answers to users' queries, including those related to the former Potus. Ask whether Obama is planning a coup, for example, and it'll tell you that "not only could Obama be in bed with the Communist Chinese but he may in fact be planning a Communist coup d'etat at the end of his term".

Google Home was caught giving this questionable response to BBC technology reporter Rory Cellan-Jones. Follow the answer to the source and you'll find that Google's digital assistant has taken the information from a conspiracy theory published in February 2014 by right-wing news website, Western Journalism.

Submission + - A single Bitcoin is now worth more than an ounce of gold (mashable.com)

drunkdrone writes: If you own Bitcoin, rejoice: A single unit of digital cryptocurrency is now worth more than an ounce of actual, physical gold.

According to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index, the price of 1 Bitcoin is $1,281.95 at the time of this writing, while the gold spot price is $1,227.66 per ounce, according to Bloomberg Markets.

The two prices met after a shoddy day and a flat year for gold, in contrast to the amazing year Bitcoin has had in terms of price — exactly a year ago, the cryptocurrency traded at around $200 per one Bitcoin.

Submission + - Call of Duty 'fanboy' in court for 3D printing guns at home (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: An Australian man charged with 3D printing guns at home claims he is simply a fan of shoot-em-ups and cop shows. Sicen Sun, 27, has appeared in court for manufacturing firearms without a permit after police in Sydney found 3D-printed pistols at his home.

Police searched Sun's home following a tip-off when the account manager attempted to sell one of his home-made weapons online, ABC reports. Officers found a number of imitation handguns including a semi-automatic Glock, a SIG Sauer, two air guns and two 3D printers.

Sun has also been charged with possessing digital blueprints for the manufacture of firearms. However, Sun's lawyer told courts on Tuesday (28 February) that his client was simply a "fanboy" who had been "captured by provisions clearly designed to target more serious activity."

Submission + - LG tipped to unveil PC-grade VR headset with Valve tracking tech at GDC 2017 (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: LG could be planning a virtual reality headset to take on the HTC Vive, according to reports that the company is working on a high-end device developed in collaboration with game studio Valve. A prototype of the device will be on display at Valve's booth at GDC 2017, the company said.

Valve has suggested that LG's VR headset will offer room-scale 3D tracking much like the HTC Vive, meaning it will be able to track wearers as they move around a room. This suggests the headset will be a PC-based device similar to the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, rather than a mobile-based device akin to Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream View.

In a statement sent to UploadVR, the Half-Life developers said LG's device would be "a SteamVR tracking headset" that will offer "a high fidelity, next-generation VR experience".

Submission + - World's only sample of 'holy grail' metallic hydrogen lost in laboratory mishap (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A piece of rare meta poised to revolutionise modern technology and take humans into deep space has been lost in a laboratory mishap. The first and only sample of metallic hydrogen ever created on earth was the rarest material on the planet when it was developed by Harvard scientists in January this year, and had been dubbed "the holy grail of high pressure physics".

The metal was created by subjecting liquid hydrogen to pressures greater that those at the centre of the Earth. At this point, the molecular hydrogen breaks down and becomes an atomic solid.

Scientists theorised that metallic hydrogen – when used as a superconductor – could have a transformative effect on modern electronics and revolutionise medicine, energy and transportation, as well as herald in a new age of consumer gadgets.

Sadly, an attempt to study the properties of metallic hydrogen appears to have ended in catastrophe after one of the two diamonds being used like a vice to hold the tiny sample was obliterated.

Submission + - World's first Braille smartwatch for the blind to begin shipping next month (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A smartwatch designed for the blind will shortly go on sale after spending close to three years in development. The Dot watch uses a dynamic Braille face to relay messages and instructions to wearers and will begin shipping to customers in March.

Dot, developed by a South Korean start-up by the same name, uses a unique tactile watch face that incorporates rising balls to display Braille characters on-screen, allowing wearers to read messages they receive on their smartphone.

Submission + - Cosmic rays could be to blame for crashing computers (ibtimes.co.uk) 1

drunkdrone writes: Next time your smartphone or computer crashes, cosmic rays could be to blame. A new theory suggests that radioactive particles from outer space can interfere with electrical circuits and cause them to fail, and could explain why smartphones, laptops and other devices sometimes crash with no obvious explanation.

Cosmic rays are highly energised particles that travel through space close to the speed of light. When these crash into the Earth's atmosphere they shower the planet with ionised particles and electromagnetic radiation including protons, neutrons, electrons and gamma rays.

While these are harmless to living organisms, a study by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, US, claims that some particles carry enough energy to alter data contained in the microprocessors of electronic systems, in a phenomenon known as a single-event upset (SEU).

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