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Submission + - Asus Implements USB 3.0 Attached SCSI Protocol for Measurable Performance Gains (

MojoKid writes: "When USB debuted in 1999, it offered maximum throughput of 12Mb/s. Today, USB 3.0 offers 4.8Gb/s. Interestingly, modern USB 3 controllers use the same Bulk-Only Transport (BOT) protocol that first debuted in 1999. Before the advent of USB 3, relying on BOT made sense. Since hard drives were significantly faster than the USB 2 bus itself, the HDD was always going to be waiting on the host controller. USB 3 changed that. With 4.8Gbits/s of throughput (600MB/s), only the highest-end hardware is capable of saturating the bus. That's exposed some of BOT's weaknesses. UASP, or the USB Attached SCSI Protocol, is designed to fix these limitations, and bring USB 3 fully into the 21st century. It does this by implementing queue functions, reducing command latency, and allowing the device to transfer commands and data independently from each other. Asus is the first manufacturer to have implemented UASP in current generation motherboards and the benchmarks show transfer speeds can be improved significantly."

Submission + - The Motion Project - Dual Kinect instrument and massive projections (

An anonymous reader writes: This project combined the collective talents of musicians, dancers, programmers, designers and animators to create an amazing visual instrument.

Music is created by the performer's motion as captured by a pair of XBox Kinects and processed by custom software written in Processing and openFrameworks.

The climax of the project was a performance in downtown Auckland, with speaker stacks blaring and a set of giant projectors shooting visuals at a 30 metre by 12 metre wall in front of the motion artist. Three different film crews were there shooting the event for a TV commercial, a music video, and a live TV feed.

Here is the official music video for the project:

We also posted about how we built this crazy contraption here:

Comment Stop it with the hybrids already! (Score 1) 543

Yes, you need something to extend range, but it should be a small, efficient diesel generator, not a double-clutch, computer-controlled monstrosity like the Prius. The concept has been working since the early 20th century on locomotives. The Diesel in the locomotive is a generator, nothing more. WHY NOT DO IT WITH YOUR SUV?

Comment Thanks, but no thanks (Score 2) 238

I miss the time when we could buy cars that put the entire responsibility of keeping the car on the road in the hands of drivers. If I want to do a maneuver that seems like a better solution (flipping the car's tail out while purposefully messing with the throttle to induce a controlled sideways skid on a wet road) to avoiding a dangerous situation, traction control already messes with it. I wonder what it will be like with systems like these being applied as mandatory safety features.

Submission + - Microsoft backs away from CISPA support, citing privacy (

suraj.sun writes: Microsoft has been counted as a supporter of CISPA since the beginning. Now the company tells CNET any new law must allow "us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers" and protect "consumer privacy." Microsoft is no longer as enthusiastic about a controversial cybersecurity bill that would allow Internet and telecommunications companies to divulge confidential customer information to the National Security Agency. The U.S. House of Representatives approved CISPA by a 248 to 168 margin on Thursday, in spite of a presidential veto threat and warnings from some House members that the measure represented "Big Brother writ large."

Microsoft added that it wants to "ensure the final legislation helps to tackle the real threat of cybercrime while protecting consumer privacy." That's a noticeable change — albeit not a complete reversal — from Microsoft's position when CISPA was introduced in November 2011. To be sure, Microsoft's initial reaction to CISPA came before many of the privacy concerns had been raised. An anti-CISPA coalition letter (PDF) wasn't sent out until April 16, and a petition that garnered nearly 800,000 signatures wasn't set up until April 5.

What makes CISPA so controversial is a section saying that, "notwithstanding any other provision of law," companies may share information with Homeland Security, the IRS, the NSA, or other agencies. By including the word "notwithstanding," CISPA's drafters intended to make their legislation trump all existing federal and state laws, including ones dealing with wiretaps, educational records, medical privacy, and more.


Submission + - Graphene Helps A Robot Creep Like An Inchworm ( 1

LilaG writes: To develop new materials for robotics, scientists have developed graphene-based actuators that convert electricity into motion. In robots, actuators act like muscles, driving the movement of mechanical arms and fins. Most actuator materials, such as ceramics and conductive polymers, respond slowly, require a lot of power, or provide very little force. To make speedy, strong actuators, Chinese researchers coated graphene paper with the polymer polydiacetylene. Graphene provides a highly conductive, flexible backing for the fragile polymer crystals, which deform in response to electrical current. The actuators can bend 200 times per second and generate more force than most current materials. Using a sheet of the material, the scientists built a simple inchworm robot that arches and relaxes to crawl forward.

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