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Robotics

Submission + - Hacked iRobot Uses XBox Kinect to See World (singularityhub.com) 1

kkleiner writes: Millions are drinking the Kinect Kool-aid, jumping around in front of their XBox and playing games by flailing their bodies. Now a student at MIT’s Personal Robotics Group is going to put all that wild gyrating to a good use: controlling robots. Philipp Robbel has hacked together the Kinect 3D sensor with an iRobot Create platform and assembled a battery powered bot that can see its environment and obey your gestured commands. Tentatively named KinectBot, Robbel’s creation can generate some beautifully detailed 3D maps of its surroundings and wirelessly send them to a host computer. KinectBot can also detect nearby humans and track their movements to understand where they want it to go.
Hardware

Submission + - HD 5000 support MLAA, Catalyst 10.10e Hotfix downl (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: AMD release Catalyst 10.10 last month, after a succession of drivers launched a / b / c / d four Hotfix driver, and another earlier this month released the latest in the series Catalyst 10.10e Hotfix download.AMD Catalyst 10.10e Hotfix update is as follows:- Radeon HD 5000 series graphics cards support the latest Catalyst...
Robotics

Submission + - Hacked Kinect on a mobile robot does 3D mapping an

An anonymous reader writes: I just wanted to send along our early efforts in using the Kinect depth camera
on a mobile robot. I believe this is the first video showing off the hacked
Kinect on a robot platform: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRPEns8MS2o
The robot uses the camera for 3D mapping and follows gestural directions. It's
basically a pimped iRobot Create with a battery-powered Kinect which streams
the depth and color images to a remote host for SLAM and 3D map processing.
This may be a useful platform for an introductory robotics class as well.
AMD

Submission + - AMD's first Fusion APU benchmarked (techreport.com)

crookedvulture writes: AMD's Fusion-based processors have always looked good on paper. Combining CPU and GPU elements on a single die makes sense, especially within the context of affordable ultraportable notebooks targeted by the company's Brazos platform. Now that the first Brazos benchmarks are out, we finally have an idea of how this CPU/GPU hybrid might perform in the real world. The performance of AMD's new Bobcat CPU core matches that of Intel's latest CULV 2010 processors, and the integrated Radeon graphics core is a revelation when compared with competing offerings. AMD easily has the best balance of processing and graphics horsepower in this segment, which certainly bodes well for other Fusion-based APUs.
Hardware

Submission + - Scientific breakthroughs in "Racetrack memory"

Esther Schindler writes: Swiss scientists are working on racetrack memory, shock-proof memory that they say is 100,000 times faster and consumes less power than current hard disks. Professor Mathias Kläui at EPFL, Laboratory of Nanomagnetism and Spin Dynamics and SwissFEL, says the new kind of memory using nickel-iron nanowire may soon be possible — and a market-ready device could be available in as little as 5-7 years.

If you're comfortable reading text like "For each bit of information to be clearly separated from the next so that data can be read reliably, the scientists use domain walls with magnetic vortices to delineate two adjacent bits," you'll probably be able to follow the techie details in the journal article Physical Review Letters, but mere mortals who want the summarized "what's in it for me?" can get it from the short ITWorld.com blog post, Racetrack Memory — Computer Memory That's 100,000 Times Faster Than Today's — May Arrive in 5-7 Years.
Power

Submission + - Nuclear Fusion Possible Within 2-3 Years? (gizmag.com) 1

Zothecula writes: Even with all the developments taking place in the areas of alternative energy such as solar and wind power, nuclear fusion still remains the holy grail of clean electricity generation. However, after decades of worldwide research costing billions of dollars, the goal of achieving “net-gain,” where more energy is produced than is required to trigger the fusion chain reaction, still remains elusive. Now researchers at Sandia Labs are claiming a breakthrough that could see break-even fusion reactions in as little as two to three years.
Robotics

Submission + - Robot Actress Makes Stage Debut In Japan (bbc.co.uk)

Robotron23 writes: The BBC reports that a robot named Geminoid-F has made it's acting debut in Japan. The short play in which it appeared was a sellout with the Japanese public who were curious to see the robot's performance. However an actress who co-starred pointed out that the lack of human presence made the droid difficult to act alongside.
Networking

Submission + - Broadcom readies 100 Gigabit Ethernet chip (goodgearguide.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "Broadcom is shipping samples of a processor for 100-Gigabit Ethernet, part of an architecture that can scale up to a clustered system with a total capacity of 100T bps (bits per second). The BCM88600 series silicon integrates packet processing, traffic management and other capabilities in a single chip that can handle 100G bps of traffic in a single stream."
Encryption

Firesheep Author Reflects On Wild Week 229

alphadogg writes "Firesheep, the Mozilla Firefox add-on released about a week ago that lets you spot users on open networks visiting unsecured websites, has given creator Eric Butler more than his 15 minutes of fame. More than 542,000 downloads later, Firesheep has thrown Butler into the middle of heated discussions regarding everything from the ethics of releasing the code to the legality of using it to the need for website vendors to clean up their security acts. Butler, who describes himself as a freelance Web application and software developer, reflects on the past week's happenings in a new blog post that reads in part: 'I've received hundreds of messages from people who are extremely happy that the issue of website security is receiving attention. Some, however, have questioned if Firesheep is legal to use. I'd like to be clear about this: It is nobody's business telling you what software you can or cannot run on your own computer. Like any tool, Firesheep can be used for many things. In addition to raising awareness, it has already proven very useful for people who want to test their own security as well as the security of their (consenting) friends. A much more appropriate question is: "Is it legal to access someone else's accounts without their permission."'"
Internet Explorer

W3C Says IE9 Is Currently the Most HTML5 Compatible Browser 382

GIL_Dude writes "The W3C posted results for their latest HTML5 compatibility tests and have found that, so far, IE 9 has the best overall results. 'The tests cover seven aspects of the spec: "attributes," "audio," "video," "canvas," "getElementsByClassName," "foreigncontent," and "xhtml5." The tests do not yet cover web workers, the file API, local storage, or other aspects of the spec. Not do they cover CSS or other standards that have nothing to do with HTML5 but are somehow lumped under HTML5 by the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft.'"
Open Source

Fedora 14 Released and Reviewed — Advanced, and Not For Wimps 200

Several readers have sent word that Fedora 14, codenamed Laughlin, has been released. A brief listing of the major changes has been posted, and the download is available at the Fedora project's site. Reader jfruhlinger points out a quick review of the new version, saying, "Remember the days when being a Linux user was like being part of a select priesthood — arcane knowledge needed, but great rewards? Steven Vaughan-Nichols has tested out Fedora 14, and that was how it went. No Ubuntu-style handholding, but some powerful new features."
Google

Google Bans Sale of Android Spying App 415

dbune writes "Google is not letting a handset application that spies on someone's text messages be sold at its Android App Store. The Secret SMS Replicator developed by DLP Mobile to help lovers find out if their partners are cheating on them violates company policy, according to Google. The app works by secretly duplicating incoming text messages and forwarding these to another mobile phone number."
Operating Systems

OpenBSD 4.8 Released 176

Mortimer.CA writes "The release of OpenBSD 4.8 has been announced. Highlights include ACPI suspend/resume, better hardware support, OpenBGPD/OpenOSPFD/routing daemon improvements, inclusion of OpenSSH 5.5, etc. Nothing revolutionary, just the usual steady improving of the system. A detailed ChangeLog is available, as usual. Work, of course, has already started on the next release, which should be ready in May, according to the steady six-month release cycle."

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