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Comment My Dad was obsessed (Score 4, Interesting) 351

with Doom. I remember him working through the levels on nightmare mode working his way down through the weapons. So the final games he played were only using his fists. He said the trick was to maximize the screen so he couldn't see his health, that way he didn't hesitate. Prior to that, we would play deathmatch over the two phone lines we had. Before long, I would only agree to play him if I got the "fast" 486SX and he played on the 386. And he couldn't use the damn rocket launcher.

Comment Re:Be there for the kid! (Score 1) 174

personally, i have trouble remembering stuff that happened recently, no matter how memorable it may seem at the time. for those moments, i'm glad i took copious amounts of photos. heck, looking back at pictures of when i was a teen, half of them i can't remember the actual event happening. so yeah, take as many photos as you can stand, *then* sit back and enjoy what's happening.
Robotics

Philadelphia Hackers and Others Offer Brotherly Love To Fallen Robot 142

An anonymous reader writes: Since a hitchhiking robot was destroyed in Philadelphia over the weekend, there has been an overwhelming show of support according to its co-creators Frauke Zeller and David Smith. Makers from all over Philly have reached out and offered to help rebuild the robot. "We'll say that at this moment, if we get the OK from the creators to repair or replace the needed parts for HitchBOT, we'll be happy to do so," wrote Georgia Guthrie, executive director for a local makerspace called The Hacktory. "If not, we understand and we may just build ourselves a HitchBot2 to send along on its journey. We feel it's the least we can do to let everyone, especially the Robot community, know that Philly isn't so bad."
Businesses

Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods 369

An anonymous reader writes: Green Mountain (Keurig) stock dropped by 10% this morning after a brutal earnings report. The reason? CNN Money reports that DRM has weakened sales of their Keurig 2.0. CEO Brian Kelley admits, "Quite honestly, we were wrong." Last year Green Mountain decided to make their new coffee machines work with licensed pods only. The company says they now plan to license more outside brands, and bring back “My K-Cup” reusable filters.

Comment Re:This isn't even a problem unique to chess. (Score 1) 109

i play "words with friends" with a guy from work, we usually have two or three games going at once. at the start, i'd played for awhile before he started playing. i trounced him. after awhile, he picked up on most of the words, and we were almost even in wins. later, as we each developed new (to us) tricks and strategies, we would leapfrog ahead of the other. now, its really down to luck of the draw. we each use the same tricks and strategies, and its reflected when one of us has say a string of turns with no vowels present. or tons of high-point letters, but no where left to play them at the end of the game.
Security

Research Finds Shoddy Security On Connected Home Gateways 88

chicksdaddy writes Connected home products are the new rage. But how do you connect your Nest thermostat, your DropCam surveillance device and your Chamberlin MyQ 'smart' garage door opener? An IoT hub, of course. But not so fast: a report from the firm Veracode may make you think twice about deploying one of these IoT gateways in your home. As The Security Ledger reports, Veracode researchers found significant security vulnerabilities in each of six IoT gateways they tested, suggesting that manufacturers are giving short shrift to security considerations during design and testing. The flaws discovered ranged from weak authentication schemes (pretty common) to improper validation of TLS and SSL certificates, to gateways that shipped with exposed debugging interfaces that would allow an attacker on the same wireless network as the device to upload and run malicious code. Many of the worst lapses seem to be evidence of insecure design and lax testing of devices before they were released to the public, Brandon Creighton, Veracode's research architect, told The Security Ledger. This isn't the first report to raise alarms about IoT hubs. In October, the firm Xipiter published a blog post describing research into a similar hub by the firm VeraLite. Xipiter discovered that, among other things, the VeraLite device shipped with embedded SSH private keys stored in immutable areas of the firmware used on all devices.
Transportation

Planes Without Pilots 460

HughPickens.com writes: John Markoff writes in the NY Times that in the aftermath of the co-pilot crashing a Germanwings plane into a mountain, aviation experts are beginning to wonder if human pilots are really necessary aboard commercial planes. Advances in sensor technology, computing and artificial intelligence are making human pilots less necessary than ever in the cockpit and government agencies are already experimenting with replacing the co-pilot, perhaps even both pilots on cargo planes, with robots or remote operators. NASA is exploring a related possibility: moving the co-pilot out of the cockpit on commercial flights, and instead using a single remote operator to serve as co-pilot for multiple aircraft. In this scenario, a ground controller might operate as a dispatcher, managing a dozen or more flights simultaneously. It would be possible for the ground controller to "beam" into individual planes when needed and to land a plane remotely in the event that the pilot became incapacitated — or worse. "Could we have a single-pilot aircraft with the ability to remotely control the aircraft from the ground that is safer than today's systems?" asks Cummings. "The answer is yes."

Automating that job may save money. But will passengers ever set foot on plane piloted by robots, or humans thousands of miles from the cockpit? In written testimony submitted to the Senate last month, the Air Line Pilots Association warned, "It is vitally important that the pressure to capitalize on the technology not lead to an incomplete safety analysis of the aircraft and operations." The association defended the unique skills of a human pilot: "A pilot on board an aircraft can see, feel, smell or hear many indications of an impending problem (PDF) and begin to formulate a course of action before even sophisticated sensors and indicators provide positive indications of trouble." Not all of the scientists and engineers believe that increasingly sophisticated planes will always be safer planes. "Technology can have costs of its own," says Amy Pritchett. "If you put more technology in the cockpit, you have more technology that can fail.""

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