nut writes: Weta Workshops, the Wellington, NZ special effects company behind King Kong and Lord of the Rings has built a working sentry Aperture Science Sentry Turret for Valve Software. It does everything except fire live ammunition. Weta would consider making the devices for the public if Valve were prepared to license it — but it won't be cheap. Says director Sir Richard Taylor, "It's little less pricey than a piece of military hardware from the USA Government — and a bit more expensive than a piece from the New Zealand Government."
nut writes: The much-hyped payment application from Google on Android has been examined by viaForensics and appears to store some cardholder data in plaintext. Google wallet is the first real payment system to use NFC on Android. Version 2 of the PCI DSS (the current standard) mandates the encryption of transmitted cardholder data encourages strong encryption for its storage. viaForensics suggest that the data stored in plain text might be sufficient to allow social engineering to obtain a credit card number.
nut writes: Apple has officially become the largest tech company in the world, surpassing Microsoft by a market capitalization margin of $2 billion. It's now also the second largest company Standard & Poor 500, behind Exxon Mobil.
Market capitalization is, of course, just a measure of what the market thinks a company is worth though — the total value of all the outstanding shares of a company. Apple shares closed at US$248.47 yesterday vs. Microsoft's US$25.49.
nut writes: Visitors to an underwater aquarium in Auckland, New Zealand were stunned to see one shark give another shark an impromptu caesarean section. Staff were initially dubious when visitors came running to tell them there were baby sharks spilling from a wound in a female school shark's stomach — courtesy of a large bite by another shark. It's not uncommon for sharks to take chunks out of each other, in the wild or in captivity, but in this case the bite probably saved the baby sharks' lives. Staff did not know the mother was pregnant and as sharks are commonly born at night they would most likely have been eaten before they were seen.
nut writes: A new local tv station at the bottom end of New Zealand, 45 South chose a $10 wok over a $20 000 commercial transmission dish. They claim better performance than their previous commercial aerials, as the solid metal of the wok prevents interference from behind the dish that plagued earlier wire mesh aerials.
The technology was originally developed by computer programmer Ken Jones to get broadband access at his rural property. Instruction on build your own Wok wireless acess point can be found here.
nut writes: The Press of Christchurch, New Zealand is reporting a huge explosion, somewhere near Ashburton according to the gossip I'm hearing. I believe that activity on this seismograph might be as a result of it. Hopefully more information will be available soon.