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World Robotics statistics 2013 and forecasts 2014-2017 released

Anonymous Coward writes | just now


An anonymous reader writes "The latest robot statistics for 2013 and forecast 2014-2017 were released by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) on September 30, 2014. Again, 2013 was a very successful year for new robot installations with the highest number of industrial (and service) robots ever sold.

Apart from the extensive studies on robot statistics and case studies (available through there are useful overviews for free download:

- Press releases on industrial and service robots statistics
- Executive Summary on robot statistics (13 pages, including tables and graphs) is a useful overview on current industrial and service robotics;"

Preserving a people's heritage through PlayStation 4

Anonymous Coward writes | 12 minutes ago


An anonymous reader writes "A new feature on upcoming 2D PC/Xbox/PS4 game Never Alone reveals the surprising story behind the game's creation: before working with publisher E-Line Media to create the game about native Alaskan folklore, the Cook Inlet Tribal Council considered investing in real estate and even funeral homes to help preserve Iñupiat culture. Instead they turned to modern technology to help share their heritage, focusing on a game with Limbo and Journey-esque qualities to appeal to as wide an audience as possible.

"With the puzzle platformer genre, which wasn't necessarily the obvious choice, there are certain benefits," says E-Line president Alan Gershenfeld. "They tend to be linear, so there is a spine to the core story... We could have the anchor of a story that had been passed down from generation to generation, but still weave in the themes and motifs.""

Link to Original Source

Matchstick: HDMI key running Firefox OS

Anonymous Coward writes | about half an hour ago


An anonymous reader writes "Matchstick project just appeared on Kickstarter, which has already raised more than 118,000 dollars. The concept is similar to Chromecast But running Firefox OS.

Since the arrival of Google Chromecast, key projects HDMI to stream content from one device to a TV have multiplied: Microsoft, Dell, Netgear, etc. It is not surprising to see that Firefox OS project is in preparation."

Link to Original Source

Robot Arm Will Install New Earth-Facing Cameras On The Space Station

SternisheFan (2529412) writes | yesterday


SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Canada’s robotic Canadarm2 will install the next two Urthecast cameras on the International Space Station, removing the need for astronauts to go outside to do the work themselves, the company announced today (Sept. 30).

Urthecast plans to place two Earth-facing cameras on the United States side of the station (on Node 3) to add to the two they already have on the Russian Zvezda module. Technical problems with the cameras forced the Russians to do an extra spacewalk to complete the work earlier this year."

Link to Original Source

Windows 10 - Priority to professional

Anonymous Coward writes | 1 hour ago


An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has formalized the new version of its operating system, Windows 10, with business-oriented features.

Cloud, mobility and productivity are the hallmarks of Windows 10 if you believe the statement made by Microsoft. Qualities that should perfectly suit the business, especially as Joe Belfiore, vice president of Windows Group said that the public aspects of Windows 10 would be discussed at the beginning of 2015."

Link to Original Source Blame Tech Diversity on Education Pipeline, Not Hiring Discrimination

theodp (442580) writes | 2 hours ago


theodp (442580) writes ""The biggest reason for a lack of diversity in tech," writes's Hadi Partovi in a featured Re/code story, "isn't discrimination in hiring or retention. It’s the education pipeline" ( just disclosed "we have no African Americans or Hispanics on our team of 30"). Supporting his argument, Partovi added: "In 2013, not one female student took the AP computer science exam in Mississippi" (left unsaid is that only one male student took the exam in Mississippi). Microsoft earlier vilified the CS education pipeline in its U.S. Talent Strategy as it sought "targeted, short-term, high-skilled immigration reforms" from lawmakers. And Facebook COO and "Lean In" author Sheryl Sandberg recently suggested the pipeline is to blame for Facebook's lack of keg stand diversity (actual Facebook diversity 'disclosure'). "Girls are at 18% of computer science college majors," Sandberg told USA Today in August. "We can't go much above 18% in our coders [Facebook has 7,185 total employees] if there's only 18% coming into the workplace.""

Denmark Scientists invented a New Material which can suck and release Oxygen

Brian Conrad (3818221) writes | 2 hours ago


Brian Conrad (3818221) writes "Now you suddenly needed to vacuum all the oxygen from a room which caught fire and all you have to do is to place the "unnamed" material in the room and it will suck all the oxygen. Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark have synthesized crystalline materials that can bind and store oxygen in high concentrations. Just one spoon of the substance is enough to absorb all the oxygen in a room. The stored oxygen can be released again when and where it is needed."
Link to Original Source

UK government switches vehicle taxation over to beta system, which breaks

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday


An anonymous reader writes "When you pay the tax on a road vehicle in the UK, you used to get a paper "tax disk" to affix to the inside of your car windshield. However the relevant records are documented electronically anyway, inspiring the government to replace the paper system with a purely online one. Unfortunately said system was still in beta when it launched today and predictably, it has broken under user demand. No alternative system is available. (The licencing agency actually ran out of the paper disks more than a month ago, and has been printing them out on normal office paper and asking vehicle owners to cut out the circle themselves.) The initiative is part of a larger "digital-first", restructuring of how the government provides services aimed at "meeting user needs"."

Command Injection Security Issue in WIndows

Anonymous Coward writes | 4 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "Windows Command Shell allows environment variables to contain an “&” (ampersand) character, such as: SET A=T1^&T2
When assigning (e.g. Set B=%A%) or displaying (e.g. echo %A%) this environment variable, everything after the “&” character is interpreted as a new command and executed. So, in our example, if T2 is in the system’s PATH (or a built-in command, obviously), it gets executed.

On file-servers, this behavior can be turned into an exploit when system-administrators run command-shell scripts (a.k.a. "batchfiles", .cmd or .bat files) that use the %CD% environment variable. Examples of such system-administration command-shell scripts can be found all over the web (see link below for more info).
It is possible for a low-privileged user to create a directory called “T&program”. When a vulnerable command-shell script encounters this directory, it will execute an application (or batchfile) called program.exe (or program.cmd). Since these command-shell scripts typically run under elevated privileges, the user's program gets executed using the same privileges and would allow the user to take control of the server.
Putting quotes around the variables does not fully solve the issue; for example: SET B=T”&Calc& will execute calc.exe when assigned as follows: SET “C=%B%”. This does not apply to %CD% though, since directory names cannot contain quotes.
Any scripts running on file servers (and possibly others as well) should be examined and fixed as soon as possible
  More info at http://www.thesecurityfactory...."

Link to Original Source

Apple might lose Siri's core tech to Samsung

Anonymous Coward writes | 5 hours ago


An anonymous reader writes "We all know Apple bought Siri in 2010, but what many didn't know is its core technology is owned by Nuance, maker of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Well, it seems Samsung is looking to buy Nuance, and if it does, what are the chances it will cut off the Nuance core from Apple? About as likely as the sun rising in the east."

Bangladesh considers building world's 5th-largest data center in earthquake zone

Anonymous Coward writes | yesterday


An anonymous reader writes "From the article: "The Bangladesh Ministry of Information is considering the establishment of a Tier 4 data centre in Kaliakair, in the Gazipur region, an ambitious build which would constitute the fifth largest data centre in the world, if completed. And if it survives – the site mooted for the project is prone to earthquakes.

"Earthquake activity in the environs is discouraging, with one nearby earthquake seven months ago in Ranir Bazar (3.8), and no less than ten within the same tectonic zone over the last three years, the largest of which measured 4.5 on the Richter scale.""

Link to Original Source

Xen Cloud Fix Shows the Right Way To Patch Open-Source Flaws

darthcamaro (735685) writes | 7 hours ago


darthcamaro (735685) writes "Amazon, Rackspace and IBM have all patched their public clouds over the last several days due to a vulnerability in the Xen hypervisor. According to a new report, the Xen project was first advised of the issue two weeks ago, but instead of the knee jerk type reactions we've seen with Heartbleed and now Shellshock, the Xen project privately fixed the bug and waited until all the major Xen deployment were patched before any details were released. Isn't this the way that all open-source projects should fix security issues?"
Link to Original Source

35000 Walrus Come Ashore In Alaska

the eric conspiracy (20178) writes | 8 hours ago


the eric conspiracy (20178) writes "Lack of sea ice in the Arctic has forced record numbers of walrus to come ashore in Alaska. The walrus, looking for a place to rest have come ashore in Point Lay Alaska. The walrus normally rest on floating ice.

'We are witnessing a slow-motion catastrophe in the Arctic,' Lou Leonard, vice president for climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, said in a statement that was reported by CNN. 'As this ice dwindles, the Arctic will experience some of the most dramatic changes our generation has ever witnessed. This loss will impact the annual migration of wildlife through the region, threaten the long-term health of walrus and polar bear populations, and change the lives of those who rely on the Arctic ecosystem for their way of life.'"

Link to Original Source

Creepy Guys Inspire Women To Create New Dating App (3830033) writes | 8 hours ago

0 (3830033) writes "Tricia Romano reports at the Seattle Times that Susie Lee and Katrina Hess have developed Siren, a new online dating app designed to protect against men inundating women with messages that are by turns gross, hilarious, objectifying and just plain sad. A 2012 experiment by Jon Millward, a data journalist, found that women were messaged 17 times more than men; the best-looking woman received 536 messages in four months, while the best-looking guy received only 38. Lee hopes to change the nature of the messages and put women in the driver’s seat. As online dating options have grown, Lee noticed that her friends' frustration did, too: With every good introduction often came a slew of lewd ones. "I just started looking (at online dating options) and very quickly realized how many things are out there and how immediately my 'creepy meter' went up," Lee says. The free iPhone app, currently launched to a select market in Seattle in August, allows women to peruse men’s pictures and their answers to the “Question of the Day” (“You found a magic lamp and get three wishes. What are they?”) and view their Video Challenges (“Show us a hidden gem in Seattle”). If a woman is suitably impressed by a man’s answers, she can make herself visible to him. Only then can he see what she looks like. "It’s a far more thoughtful — and cautious — approach than the one taken by the dating app of the moment, Tinder, which is effectively a “hot or not” game, with little information beyond a few photos, age and volunteered biographical tidbits," writes Romano. "And the implicit notion that it’s a “hookup” app can be uncomfortable for some women." Lee and Hess are betting that men are less shallow and want more repartee. And they know that women want a little more flirtation than crude references. After all, Siren’s motto is “Charm Someone’s Pants Off.” “Before the ‘pants off,’ it’s more about charming someone,” says Hess. “Be charming.”"

Laying the groundwork for data-driven science

aarondubrow (1866212) writes | yesterday


aarondubrow (1866212) writes "The ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of data is transforming science, industry and everyday life. But what we've seen so far is likely just the tip of the iceberg. As part of an effort to improve the nation's capacity in data science, NSF today announced $31 million in new funding to support 17 innovative projects under the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBs) program, including data infrastructure for education, ecology and geophysics. "Each project tests a critical component in a future data ecosystem in conjunction with a research community of users," said said Irene Qualters, division director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF. "This assures that solutions will be applied and use-inspired.""

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