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Submission + - Autonomous Robot Live Tweets Tropical Storm Iselle (

An anonymous reader writes: "While residents of the Big Island of Hawaii prepared for the possible threat of Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio — two storms that could've marked a meteorological phenomenon "unprecedented in modern hurricane records" by both directly hitting the Hawaiian Islands — one robot helped people across the world stay informed through Twitter.

You can tweet the Wave Glider — a robot that uses the surface wave motion and solar power to propel itself forward through the ocean collecting data, created by Liquid Robotics — and it will reply back with information regarding its current surroundings off the coast of the Big Island."


Submission + - Swimming robot reaches Australia after record-breaking trip (

SternisheFan writes: A self-controlled swimming robot has completed a journey from San Francisco to Australia. The record-breaking 9,000 nautical mile (16,668km) trip took the PacX Wave Glider just over a year to achieve. Liquid Robotics, the US company behind the project, collected data about the Pacific Ocean's temperature, salinity and ecosystem from the drone. The company said its success demonstrated that such technology could "survive the high seas". The robot is called Papa Mau in honour of the late Micronesian navigator Pius "Mau" Piailug, who had a reputation for finding ways to navigate the seas without using traditional equipment. "During Papa Mau's journey, [it] weathered gale-force storms, fended off sharks, spent more than 365 days at sea, skirted around the Great Barrier Reef, and finally battled and surfed the east Australian current to reach his final destination in Hervey Bay, near Bundaberg, Queensland," the company said in a statement. Some of the data it gathered about the abundance of phytoplankton -plant-like organisms that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and provide food for other sea life -could already be monitored by satellite. However, the company suggested that its equipment offered more detail, providing a useful tool for climate model scientists.

Submission + - The author of SOPA is a copyright violator (

TheNextCorner writes: "Lamar Smith is the author of the SOPA bill, a US congress member and supposedly an expert on copyright. The author of this article checked the website of Smith, and found some interesting facts!

I contacted DJ, to find out if Lamar had asked permission to use the image and he told me that he had no record of Lamar, or anyone from his organization, requesting permission to use it: "I switched my images from traditional copyright protection to be protected under the Creative Commons license a few years ago, which simply states that they can use my images as long as they attribute the image to me and do not use it for commercial purposes."

Submission + - Chinese Crunch Human Genome With Videogame Chips

Eric Smalley writes: "The world’s largest genome sequencing center once needed four days to analyze data describing a human genome. Now it needs just six hours. The trick is servers built with graphics chips — the sort of processors that were originally designed to draw images on your personal computer. They’re called graphics processing units, or GPUs — a term coined by chip giant Nvidia. This fall, BGI — a mega lab headquartered in Shenzhen, China — switched to servers that use GPUs built by Nvidia, and this slashed its genome analysis time by more than an order of magnitude."

Submission + - Portable Fuel Cell Battery Charger ( 1

wbr1 writes: Mashable reports on a device being debuted at CES this year that is a portable fuel cell to recharge your devices. According to the article and the company's website, the device has a fuel cartridge and also uses a small amount of water.

Per the website: "PowerTrekk uses eco-friendly fuel cell technology which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity. The ability to simply insert a PowerPukk fuel pack and add water provides users instant and limitless power on the go."

This seems to not match up to my understanding of fuel cells, which use hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water. My guess is that the water is used to somehow activate the fuel which is stored as 'flexible stickers' not hydrogen gas.

This would be a nice thing if the fuel is cheap enough over time and it doesn't turn out to be vaporware.

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He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.