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Submission + - Kinect to Add Vision Capability to a Robot

An anonymous reader writes: Kinect, a well-known sensor for the Xbox 360 console is usually associated with computer games. It allows people to interact with the console by body postures, gestures, and voice commands without any additional devices. DataArt engineers attached a Kinect controller to a robot to add vision capability – this is what this story will be about.

Submission + - iPhone "Do Not Disturb" bug hit on January 1

pdclarry writes: As reported in The Guardian and Apple support forums As of January 1 the Do Not Disturb feature of the iPhone's iOS 6 does not turn off. One forum member did an analysis that shows that the bug recurs for several days at the beginning of each year in coming years if not fixed.

Just to add to the embarrassment, Apple chose Wednesday to launch a new advert promoting the iPhone's Do Not Disturb feature. (Replete with tennis's Williams sisters.)

Submission + - Who owns your files on Google Drive? ( 1

suraj.sun writes: Within hours of Google launching its new online storage service, the terms and service have come under heavy fire by the wider community for being able to potentially stifle innovation and harm the users' Google seeks to serve. While Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive allow you to retain your copyright and IP rights to the work you upload to the service, but Google Drive takes everything you own. A quick analysis of Google's terms of service shows how the search company owns the files you upload the minute they are submitted, and can in effect do anything it wants to your files — and that's final. But there is a small catch. Here's what the Google Drive terms say:

"Your Content in our Services: When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide licence to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

The rights that you grant in this licence are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This licence continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps)."

The last sentence makes all the difference. While these rights are limited to essentially making Google Drive better and to develop new services run by Google, the scope is not defined and could extend far further than one would expect. Simply put: there's no definitive boundary that keeps Google from using what it likes from what you upload to its service.


Submission + - Microsoft shows off universal translator (

MrSeb writes: "Microsoft Research has shown off software that translates your spoken words into another language while preserving the accent, timbre, and intonation of your actual voice. In a demo of the prototype software, Rick Rashid, Microsoft’s chief research officer, said a long sentence in English, and then had it translated into Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin. You can definitely hear an edge of digitized “Microsoft Sam,” but overall it’s remarkable how the three translations still sound just like Rashid. The translation requires an hour of training, but after that there's no reason why it couldn't be run in real time on a smartphone, or near-real-time with a cloud backend. Imagine this tech in a two-way setup. You speak into your smartphone, and it comes out in their language. Then, the person you’re talking to speaks into your smartphone and their voice comes out in your language."
User Journal

Journal Journal: Science vs. superstition in Louisiana, again 2

You have to read carefully to understand what's really being debated here. Short version: in 2008, Louisiana passed a law which more or less mandated the teaching of creationism, Luddism, and denialism, and now they're trying to repeal it. I don't know enough about the current state of LA politics to know if the repeal effort has a prayer (hah!) of succeeding, but I wish the best of luck to Sen. Peterson, Mr. Ko


Submission + - iPad share of tablet OS market falls below 50% (

bdking writes: New data from mobile ad company Jumptap show Apple's iPad generating less than 50% of tablet Internet traffic for the first time. In January the iPad accounted for 48% of tablet traffic, according to Jumptap, down from 52% in December, 65% in November and 75% in October. What happened? Kindle Fire happened.

Submission + - Bacteria-Killing Viruses Wield an Iron Spike (

sciencehabit writes: Scientists have long known that a group of viruses called bacteriophages have a knack for infiltrating bacteria and that some begin their attack with a protein spike. But the tip of this spike is so small that no one knew what it was made of or exactly how it worked. Now a team of researchers has found a single iron atom at the head of the spike, a discovery that suggests phages enter bacteria in a different way than surmised.

Submission + - How Does LinkedIn Know Who You Know? ( 1

jfruh writes: "Privacy blogger Dan Tynan rented his vacation home to a woman he met through the Vacation Rental By Owner website. They conducted their business entirely via Gmail and PayPal, have no friends in common, and never met in person. Now LinkedIn is suggesting her as someone Dan knows. How did the site figure it out? Since he never imported any Gmail data into his LinkedIn account, he assumes the trick involves third-party tracking, which would violate LinkedIn's own privacy policies. LinkedIn refuses to reveal its secrets in this case."

Submission + - We Are at Another Inflection Point, Says Microsoft (

Orome1 writes: At the RSA Conference 2012, Scott Charney, corporate VP of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, shared his vision for the road ahead as society and computing intersect in an increasingly interconnected world. Charney encouraged industry and governments to develop more effective privacy principles focused on use and accountability, improve end-to-end reliability of cloud services through increased fault modeling and standards efforts, and adopt more holistic security strategies including improved hygiene and greater attention to detection and containment. “We are at another inflection point, with expectations for better security, privacy and reliability growing at an exponential rate,” Charney said. “Now is the time for industry and governments to develop and adopt strategies and policies that balance business and societal needs with individuals’ choices.”

Submission + - Researcher to demo smartphone attack against Webkit at RSA (

halligas writes: Hole in Webkit software used in browsers affects mobile and desktops but is more easily exploited on smartphones where security is limited, researcher says.

Most Smartphones use a Webkit based browser with the notable exception of Windows Phone. Patching for this vulnerability will require (in most cases) an update from your OEM or carrier (ie: don't hold your breath).

Submission + - Murdered Neolithic "Iceman" Had Brown Eyes, Type O Blood

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have published the full DNA sequence of “the world’s most famous frozen corpse” of Ötzi the “Iceman,” who experts believe was killed nearly 5,300 years ago, on Tuesday.

Ötzi had been discovered by Hikers in the Alps near the Italian–Austrian border 21 years ago in 1991, and has become one of the most studied cadavers in science as well as possibly the world’s oldest documented murder case.

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