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Comments

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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

SternisheFan What?!? (625 comments)

So any online criticism of any company has to be a "happy" criticism? The "truth" is no longer welcome? What a screwed up world.

yesterday
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Ebola Outbreak Continues To Expand

SternisheFan Re:"Head doctor" now also a carrier. (161 comments)

I know a hard working, idealistic young doctor from Long Island NY who went to Africa two weeks ago to try and help. He came back very disillusioned, stymied at every attempt to treat patients there by government officials. He told me his parents were very afraid he would become sick and didn't want him to go, but this man feels he has a higher calling to treat the sick, higher than making money. A good man who I'm proud to know.

yesterday
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Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

SternisheFan Re:Apple has 'done nothing'??? (139 comments)

It's also a restriction on freemium pay to play type games that are labeled "free" in Google' Playstore. Until a couple of weeks ago, I could download any app that was in the "free" category.

5 days ago
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Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

SternisheFan Re:Apple has 'done nothing'??? (139 comments)

Such as? I have never had that happen. Can you provide a link to an app that does this?

Try to download. the free Uber taxi app without a payment method connected to your GooglePlay account. You'll get a popup screen asking you to review your account. I have seen the same thing with games that are listed as "free" that won't download unless you have a payment method connected to your gmail account.

about a week ago
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Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

SternisheFan Re:Apple has 'done nothing'??? (139 comments)

I've noticed lately a lot of "free" to download apps won't let you download them unless some form of credit/debit card is attached to the Playstore account. This only started happening recently.

about a week ago
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Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia

SternisheFan Re:Oh shit... it's Silurians! (122 comments)

Meant to paste this link... www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0jAYRJJAiA

about a week ago
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Giant Crater Appears In Northern Siberia

SternisheFan Re:Oh shit... it's Silurians! (122 comments)

Not The Doctor, this looks like a job for Superman! Because it's gotta' be the Molemen beginning the invasion...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEVNS3hWBwY

about a week ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

SternisheFan Re:Obvious! (231 comments)

So you screwed around with peoples accounts, huh? Aren't you proud of yourself.

Where is your goddamn morality? Just because you "can" do something does not give you the "right" to do it.

Ah, I might as well be replying to a wall. People like you just won'tever get why you shouldn't do some things.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Kills Off MapPoint and Streets and Trips In Favor of Bing Maps

SternisheFan Re:Garmin for the win (174 comments)

I had the cheaper $99 Nuvi at first, and yeah, the UPS connector broke at the circuit board from it gettin pulled on by the wire. I treat this one more carefully and try to never stress the wires, especially since the charger cord has an HD FM Traffic receiver built into it. Oh, and it has a regular glass screen, no gorilla glass, that did crack from a 2 foot fall to the concrete. Still works fine over a year later, it's if I look at it from the side the crack makes it look like there's another road.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Kills Off MapPoint and Streets and Trips In Favor of Bing Maps

SternisheFan Re:Garmin for the win (174 comments)

I drive a cab in the metro NY City area, a dedicated GPS is the right tool for my job.

How nice. I suppose you want to dictate what the rest of us used because your Garmin is handy for a NYC cabbie? Thanks for the input.

Just my advice, boyo. There's two good things about advice. It's free, and you don't have to take it.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Kills Off MapPoint and Streets and Trips In Favor of Bing Maps

SternisheFan Garmin for the win (174 comments)

I drive a cab in the metro NY City area, a dedicated GPS is the right tool for my job. GARMIN MV3590 LMT (Lifetime Maps/Traffic) is my reccomendation. I have no time to screw around with online maps and their inherent issues, I need to get where my fares need to be. AA quality, updated GPS does this.

Crack open your wallet and spend $300 on this Garmin and you'll have noticed you have less problems, and the voice recognition software gets it right over 90% of the time.

about two weeks ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

SternisheFan Re:I love getting into strangers' cars (273 comments)

In eastern Long Island, N.Y., Uber charges 3X as much or mor than a local cab company.

about three weeks ago
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Mayors of Atlanta & New Orleans: Uber Will Knock-Out Taxi Industry

SternisheFan Re: Good? (273 comments)

I suppose that taxis will eventually need to go to a credit card system. If you order a cab via uber, cancel when the driver is close or is at the pickup location, your account will still be debited the cost of the trip.

about three weeks ago
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How Disney Built and Programmed an Animatronic President

SternisheFan Re:ArsTechnica has a better article... (97 comments)

Crap, that is the 1st link. I saw Lincoln stand up and speak at Walt Disney World back in 1973, and it was amazing to see, for the time. People in the audience thought it was a human actor. To learn from the Ars article how all his movements were synced up on a master audio tape was interesting. Amazing tech for the time.

about a month ago
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How Disney Built and Programmed an Animatronic President

SternisheFan ArsTechnica has a better article... (97 comments)

arstechnica.com/the-multiverse/2014/06/how-disney-built-and-programmed-an-animatronic-president/

about a month ago
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It's Not a Car, It's a Self-Balancing Electric Motorcycle (Video)

SternisheFan Re:No (218 comments)

... Second. Who the hell ever pulled up to a stop while riding and thought "Fuck. I have to put my feet down again!"?

A guy I knew once told me that when he lived in Germany, he'd get very drunk every night after work, drive home on a road that he'd figured out the timing of the traffic lights so well that he never had to put his foot down even once. The only problem was he'd forget to put his foot down when he got to his destination.. So every night the homeowners knew when he arrived in the garage by hearing him and his cycle fall over. :-)

about a month ago
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"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

SternisheFan Re:And hippies will protest it (396 comments)

I've heard that if all you had to eat today was an average size can of beans, then you ate better than over half the people in the entire world.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Resolving the Clash Between Art and Technology In Music?

SternisheFan Re:Just be honest, it'll be fine (121 comments)

Music is music, no matter what form it is created from. The masses decide whether said music is "good".

about a month ago
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Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality

SternisheFan Re:Thanks Nerds... (170 comments)

You're damned right that I'm using a broad brush here. I'm using it because it applies broadly. Where have God-damned morals gone? Just because someone can code on a computer does not exempt them from being moral. Just because someone pays a brilliant programmer to insert code that does not serve the greater good of humanity does not mean that programmer can just ignore the possible damage his program will inflict upon his fellow human beings.

But as long as that programmer's getting paid, it's okay, right? Hey, it'll be someone else's problem to deal with, right?

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Scientists find fasting for few days can regenerate immune system

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about a month and a half ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Fasting for three days can regenerate the entire immune system, even in the elderly, scientists have found in a breakthrough described as remarkable.

Although fasting diets have been criticised by nutritionists, research suggests that starving the body kick-starts stem cells into producing more white blood cells, which fight off infection.

Scientists at the University of Southern California say the discovery could be particularly beneficial for those suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy. It could also help the elderly whose immune systems become less effective.

The researchers say that fasting "flips a regenerative switch" which prompts stem cells to create white blood cells, essentially restoring the immune system.

"It gives the okay for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system," said Valter Longo, professor of gerontology and biological sciences at the university."

Link to Original Source
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Port your holograph image into a video game using 3 Kinects

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 2 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "From “Star Trek” to “Tron,” the concept of porting yourself into a digital world has long been a dream of super high-tech science fiction storytelling.

Turns out you can do it yourself at home.

Well, kind of. Oliver Kreylos, a researcher at the Institute for Data Analysis and Visualization at U-C Davis, has created a DIY virtual reality rig using the Xbox Kinect system and the Oculus Rift head-mounted display.

Virtual Reality Sex Game Set To Stimulate

Kreylos started out by mounting three motion-sensing Kinect devices in a triangle to generate a real-time 3-D image of himself. He then sent the data into the Oculus Rift headset along with a separate data stream of a virtual office environment. {See link for video]

The result — a homebrew holodeck where you can navigate a virtual environment and look down to see your own body.

The avatar image is admittedly lo-res and glitchy, Kreylos says, but feels more “real” than motion-capture avatars.

“One of the things we’ve noticed [is that] even with low-res and low-quality 3D video, the resulting avatars just feel real, in some sense even more real than higher-quality motion-captured avatars,” Kreylos writes on his blog. “I believe it’s related to the uncanny valley principle, in that fuzzy 3D video that moves in a very lifelike fashion is more believable to the brain than high-quality avatars that don’t quite move right.”"

Link to Original Source
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Nest halts sales of high-tech smoke detector, cites fire alarm glitch

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 4 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Nest is halting sales of its Nest Protect fire alarm and smoke detector, citing a problem with the hand-waving feature that could delay an alarm in case of a real fire.
The company, which discovered the problems through its own internal tests, is offering to refund customers. The much-hyped Nest Protect was rolled out last year at a price point of $129.
In the next 24 hours, the company said that the Nest Wave will be automatically disabled, though the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will continue to work."

Link to Original Source
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"Meeting of the Mines" Minecraft convention accused of scamming attendees

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 4 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "New Yorks Long Island's News12 reports:

WANTAGH — Many Long Island gamers who had been looking forward to a MineCraft convention in Nassau County this weekend say they were victims of a scam.

Lovers of the popular game spent $200 on tickets to the “Meeting of the Mines” convention at the Marriot in Uniondale. Management at the Marriott says it was never booked for the convention.

Matthew Berner, 10, and his father Alan, of Wantagh, recently learned that the convention organizer, Kevin Roman, is under fire for a similar convention that, parents say, failed last weekend in Orlando. Attendees say the games and prizes that were promised by the organizer never materialized, and many demanded a refund.

Berner says he cannot get his money back because he paid more than 45 days in advance using PayPal. He contacted the New York Attorney General's Office to file a complaint. The Florida attorney general reports 20 parents there have already filed complaints.

Attempts by News 12 to reach Roman by phone and email were not successful.

Gamers tell News 12 that "Meeting of the Mines" should not be confused with the annual "Mine-Con" event, which they say is a legitimate MineCraft convention."

See linked News12 page for the full video report."

Link to Original Source
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How Secure is your WiFi? Not Very,...

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 4 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "HowToGeek.com explores the question of how secure WiFi really is. I'll insert a quick paste from the (well written) article below, though the linked article really needs to be read fully (including the comments) in order to be properly discussed on Slashdot. The answer seems to be, 'Not very secure at all.' "

"At the end of the day, maybe the question to ask is “What do I need to do to make it not worth a casual hacker’s time to penetrate my network?” or “What is the real cost of having my network compromised?”, and going from there. There is no quick and easy answer..."

Link to Original Source
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Lego robot solves Rubik's Cube puzzle in 3.253 seconds

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 4 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "For further proof the robot apocalypse is nigh, CTV News reports...

The Cubestormer 3 took 18 months to build but only needed 3.253 seconds to solve the puzzle, breaking the existing record.

Unveiled at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, U.K., the Cubestormer 3 is constructed from the modular children's building-block toy but uses a Samsung Galaxy SIV smartphone with a special ARM chip addition as its brain. It analyzes the muddled up Rubik's Cube and powers each of the robot's four ‘hands', which spin the cube until all sides are in order.

Created by ARM engineer David Gilday and Securi-Plex security systems engineer Mike Dobson, Cubestormer 3's new record shaves just over two seconds off the existing record, set by Cubestormer 2, which the pair also built.

"We knew Cubestormer 3 had the potential to beat the existing record but with the robot performing physical operations quicker than the human eye can see there's always an element of risk," said Gilday. "In the end, the hours we spent perfecting the robot and ensuring its motor and intelligence functions were properly synchronized paid off. Our big challenge now is working out if it's possible to make it go even faster.""

Link to Original Source
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CIA accused: Senator sees torture probe meddling

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 4 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "In an extraordinary public accusation, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee declared on Tuesday that the CIA interfered with and then tried to intimidate a congressional investigation into the agency’s possible use of torture in terror probes during the Bush administration.

The CIA clandestinely removed documents and searched a computer network set up for lawmakers, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein in a long and biting speech on the Senate floor. In an escalating dispute with an agency she has long supported, she said the CIA may well have violated criminal laws and the U.S. Constitution."

Link to Original Source
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Snowden: NSA Leaders Have Harmed Our National Security 'More Than Anything

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 4 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "America's most high-profile fugitive visited one of the country's most popular entertainment festivals in Texas on Monday, drawing thunderous applause from a crowded room filled with his adoring fans.

Edward Snowden, appearing from Russia through a live video stream, told attendees of the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin that Congress had fundamentally failed to do its job as an overseer of the government's bulk surveillance programs, declaring that "we need a watchdog that watches Congress."

The former National Security Agency contractor, in a conversation with the American Civil Liberties Union's Christopher Soghoian and Ben Wizner, also charged the current and most recent chief of the NSA as the two people most responsible for jeopardizing the country's national security due to their preference for aggressive collection of data rather than protection of it after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"More than anything, there are two officials who have harmed our Internet security and national security," Snowden said, his image backdropped by an enlarged copy of the U.S. Constitution. "Those two officials are Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander."

He added: "When you are the one country that has a vault that is more full than anyone else's, it doesn't make any sense to be attacking all day and never defending your vault. And it makes even less sense when you're setting the standards for vaults worldwide and leaving a huge back door open."

Snowden also told SXSW that the technology community can push for changes to the way Internet data is collected and stored even in the absence of action from Capitol Hill, specifically citing the need for end-to-end encryption of data, which he likened to a "defense against the dark arts for the digital realm."

"The people who are in the room in Austin right now are the folks who can really fix things even when Congress hasn't yet gotten to the point to protect our freedoms," Snowden said. "There's a policy response that needs to occur but there's also technology response that needs to occur.""

Link to Original Source
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ArsTechnica reviews leaked Windows 8.1 update

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 5 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "ArsTechnica's Peter Bright reviews leaked Windows 8.1 update.

Leaks of upcoming versions of Microsoft's software are nothing new, but it's a little surprising when the source is Microsoft itself. The Spring update to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, was briefly available from Windows Update earlier this week.

The update wasn't a free-for-all. To get Windows Update to install it, you had to create a special (undocumented, secret) registry key to indicate that you were in a particular testing group; only then were the updates displayed and downloadable.

After news of this spread, Microsoft removed the hefty—700MB—update from its servers, but not before it had spread across all manner of file-sharing sites...

Just because it was distributed by Windows Update doesn't mean that this is, necessarily, the final build, but it does present a good opportunity to see what Microsoft is actually planning to deliver."

Link to Original Source
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The county sheriff who keylogged his wife

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 7 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "From Ars Technica:

On April 22, 2013, Miles J. Stark of Clay County, West Virginia made a bad decision. Stark was going through a divorce at the time and had grown concerned about his wife's relationship with an "unnamed individual." So he entered his wife's workplace after normal business hours, located her PC, and installed a tiny keylogger between her keyboard cable and her computer. The keylogger would record his wife's e-mails and her instant messaging chats as she typed them out letter by letter, along with the usernames and passwords she used for various online services. Stark left the office without getting caught.

Installing hardware keyloggers can be risky even in low-security circumstances, but Stark had made his offense far worse by installing the device on a computer belonging to the West Virginia Supreme Court. Stark's wife worked for the Clay County Magistrate Court and often had occasion to enter the financial details of defendants convicted in court—including the credit cards they used to pay their fines. Stark's bid to spy on his wife's e-mails was also vacuuming up private court information, which the government was bound to take extremely seriously if it found out.

Making the whole situation just that much worse was the fact that Stark was a cop. Not just any cop, either; Stark was the county sheriff. He had served as a Clay County deputy sheriff for 16 years and in November 2012 won an election to become the chief law enforcement officer in all of Clay County. At the time of the keylogger job, Stark had been in office only three months, and if the device were ever found, Stark stood to lose his career.

It took less than three weeks. On May 6, a Supreme Court technician was out at the magistrate office doing a scheduled replacement of many of the machines; he noticed the keylogger and reported it. When the West Virginia State Police questioned Stark about the matter, the sheriff "pretended not to know what a keystroke logger was," according to a later government court filing, "a response unworthy of a law enforcement officer."

Stark held out for several months before resigning, but eventually quit his job and pleaded guilty to a federal charge of wiretapping. Federal prosecutors, outraged that a county sheriff was essentially wiretapping the judiciary, wanted a tough sentence. Anything more modest "would erroneously equate this offense with the wiretap of a private citizen by a private citizen." But Stark argued that, stupid as his scheme was, the goal had only been his wife's information—not the court's. He asked for probation.

On December 19, Stark was sentenced to two years of probation and a $1,000 fine. "You have lost your position as sheriff, lost your career in law enforcement... That alone is enough," said Judge John Copenhaver, according to the Charleston Gazette. Stark's ex-wife requested leniency and hugged Stark after the ruling.

Original Charleston Gazette story here: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201312190019"

Link to Original Source
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Google Doodle remembers computing pioneer Grace Hopper

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 7 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Monday’s Google Doodle honors computing genius Grace Hopper (remembered as a great pioneer in computing, as well as in women’s achievements in science and engineering), on what would have been her 107th birthday, doodling her right where she spent much of her time – at the helm of one of the world’s first computers.

At Harvard, Hopper would go on to work with the subsequent Mark II and Mark III computers. She is often credited with coining the term “bug” for a computer malfunction: In 1947, she is said to have tweezed from the Mark II computer an actual moth that had been bugging up the machine, caught between Relay #70 and Panel F. She was also at the forefront of designing computers that would communicate to the user in a language similar to English, not in numbers. The language that she and her colleagues produced, Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL), is still in use in 2013.

When, in 1982, David Letterman asked her how she knew so much about computers, in order to work with Mark I, her reply was: “I didn’t. It was the first one.”"

Link to Original Source
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NASA's Cassini Spacecraft Obtains Best Views of Saturn Hexagon

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 8 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "NASA's Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn's north pole.

This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. Spanning about 20,000 miles (30,000 kilometers) across, the hexagon is a wavy jet stream of 200-mile-per-hour winds (about 322 kilometers per hour) with a massive, rotating storm at the center. There is no weather feature exactly, consistently like this anywhere else in the solar system.

"The hexagon is just a current of air, and weather features out there that share similarities to this are notoriously turbulent and unstable," said Andrew Ingersoll, a Cassini imaging team member at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "A hurricane on Earth typically lasts a week, but this has been here for decades — and who knows — maybe centuries.""

Link to Original Source
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Something (we're not sure what) survived ISON's closest approach to the Sun.

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 8 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "This ArsTechnica article (by Natalie Starkey Dec 1 2013) contains a detailed animated GIF from the NASA STEREO Ahead spacecraft. From the article:

"It looks like comet ISON, or most of it, did not survive its encounter with the Sun yesterday, when it made a close approach at just 1.2 million kms from that fiery surface. This distance may seem large, but it is close enough to have subjected the comet to temperatures of around 2,700C. To survive such a close shave with the Sun may sound unlikely, but a few other sungrazing comets have managed the feat during even closer passes. So some people hoped ISON would perform a death-defying stunt and emerge intact.

ISON did not leave us without a final serving of mystery though. Soon after reaching its nearest point to the Sun (known as perihelion), there was no sign of it emerging afterwards. Twitter and news agencies were alight, lamenting its loss and assuming it disintegrated—RIP ISON.

But then, moments later, new images emerged showing a hint of something appearing on the other side of the Sun. Was this still a diminished comet ISON or a ghostly version of its former self? Well, even comet experts are not sure.

The image below shows that whatever appeared after perihelion had enough matter in it to produce a tail, which started fading as it got farther from the Sun.""

Link to Original Source
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The Volocopter: 18-propeller electric helicopter takes flight

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 8 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "(CNN) — There's a lot to be said for determination. Two years ago, a contraption that looked a bit like a bouncy ball attached to a clothesline, took flight in a pioneering experiment in the German countryside.
A YouTube clip of a man flying the electric "Multicopter" attracted over 8 million hits, with comments ranging from: "AMAZING MACHINE!" to "Not sure you could pay me enough to sit in the middle of flying blenders bolted together."
Regardless, the three German engineers behind the baffling creation plowed ahead with their dream of making an electric helicopter. Last week it paid off.

There wasn't a bouncy ball in sight as the slick white "Volocopter" took to the air for the first time, quietly hovering 20 meters high, while its ecstatic creators cheered below.
Featuring 18 propellers on a lightweight carbon frame, the futuristic copter — which has been around €4 million ($5.4 million) in the making — could change the way we commute forever.

"What we're looking at now, is in the future where everyone is traveling not by car, but by some kind of aircraft," explained Stephan Wolf, co-chief executive of e-volo, the company behind the remarkable flying machine.
"Normal helicopters are very hard to fly. But we thought 'what if you could have a helicopter that is easy for the pilot to fly, and cheap compared to other aircraft?'"
Clever copter
Powered by a 100 kilogram battery, the two-passenger Volocopter can travel at least 70 kilometers per hour, recently making its first remote-controlled flight in a hanger in Karlsruhe, southwest Germany.
The chopper weighs just 300 kilograms in total. One limitation is that it currently only has enough power to fly for 20 minutes — though designers are looking at ways of increasing this, or introducing a hybrid engine.

Many small rotors — attached to a 10-meter wide circular frame — also help the eco-friendly machine hover more easily than other helicopters.
"If you let the joystick go, the Volocopter will just hover in the current position, so there's nothing the pilot has to do," said Wolf.
"But if you do that in another helicopter it will crash immediately."

Indeed, the Volocopter's simplicity sets it apart from other helicopters, and its creators hope in the future commuters will be able to take their electric aircraft to work, instead of languishing in gridlocked cars below.
The European Union is already looking at ways personal aerial vehicles (PAVs) could revolutionize urban spaces. It might sound like a scene from the Jetsons, but a city where flying machines replace cars isn't as far off as it seems.
"The most helicopters in the world are in Sao Paulo, Brazil," explained Wolf. "They have several thousand movements per day because the streets are congested and everyone who can afford it is taking the helicopter to go from one building to the next.
"You can imagine this happening in a big city in Germany. And already we've been approached by several companies who'd like to do it, maybe with landing pads on buildings."
The team hopes to sell its first Volocopter by 2015, with each machine setting you back €250,000 ($338,000). They're now on the lookout for further funding to develop their unique design."

Link to Original Source
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Snowden rebuts Feinsteins statement that NSA spying is not surveillance

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 8 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Note to Eds: Entire Ars Technica story pasted here, edit as you like...

by Cyrus Farivar — Oct 25 2013, 12:17am +0200
National Security
88
NSA leaks
US official handed over 35 foreign leaders’ phone numbers to NSA
Germany accuses US of spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone
France angered by new revelations of NSA surveillance
Snowden’s NSA post in Hawaii failed to install “anti-leak” software
The top 5 things we’ve learned about the NSA thanks to Edward Snowden
View all

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden went into a relatively long silent period after being charged with espionage and fleeing to Russia. But it seems that he is becoming more comfortable about speaking out. Today, new Snowden comments emerged in which he directly took on Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who last week defended the NSA spying programs in a controversial op-ed in USA Today.

“We've learned that the US intelligence community secretly built a system of pervasive surveillance,” Snowden wrote in the statement, published today by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Today, no telephone in America makes a call without leaving a record with the NSA. Today, no Internet transaction enters or leaves America without passing through the NSA's hands. Our representatives in Congress tell us this is not surveillance. They're wrong.”

In her October 20 op-ed, Feinstein argued that the “call-records program is legal and subject to extensive congressional and judicial oversight,” adding that “[t]he Supreme Court has held this ‘metadata’ is not protected under the Fourth Amendment.”

Snowden called on his supporters to join the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and other groups who will be holding a rally called "Stop Watching Us" at Union Station in Washington, DC on Saturday, October 26, at 12:00pm local time."

Link to Original Source
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Steve Wozniak's views on current technology

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 9 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Speaking at AppsWorld in London, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak gave his thoughts on the shifting mobile industry; wearable tech, connected devices, voice assistants, the Cloud, and the iOS competition from rivals such as Android and Windows Phone. Some snippets from articles on "The Woz":
        On talking about who’s “doing the most” for mobile; Woz is still on the iOS-side of the fence for reasons of reliability. When asked if he’d like to see a larger iPhone – it was a certain ‘yes’ — with the sentiment echoed by the crowd. He says: “I have been thinking they’ll do it for a while – but they have with the iPhone 5 just in one way only!” — Speaking in regards to the iPhone 5’s extra screen length; not width. Woz rightfully points out: “You walk into a store and iPhone has got the smallest screen of all” .
    He admires the competition drive by Google’s open-source OS, Android, and was quoted as saying: “It came to the Galaxy S3 and the Note and I said these are pretty good!” Whilst his “eye is often drawn to the big, glowing screens” by the likes of the HTC One and Galaxy S4.
    In smartwatches he states: “I got this iPod Nano and I wear it all the time on flights; and I think; what a nice interface to swipe with my hand” but he really wants integration with iOS voice assistant Siri. Steve is hoping to see devices which are standalone products: “I want a wearable phone – I don’t want to carry this thing in my pocket – I want it all on my wrist.” As for Cupertino, he says: “Apple will have something different. Something which will shock the world."
    On wearable tech he says: Your smartphone becomes a friend you talk to it and sometimes it talks back! They’re becoming closer and closer to you and what’s closer than on you?” When asked what his favourite app is; he replied ‘Siri’; but even explained how it was better before Apple’s acquisition in terms of relevant results. The one reason Woz gave for not liking Windows Phone 8 devices is “because I can’t operate them by voice.”
    He admires and is excited for the possibilities of ‘Google Glass’ — the wearable technology which you wear as if they were standard spectacles. The device doesn’t place information in your direct sight; but in your field of view as to be useful without distracting. As a man with many contacts; including within Google; he says he would’ve been able to get hold of the current “Explorer” development testing units but says: “I felt for a new product like Google Glass, I should leave it to people who can properly test – but I drool over people with it.”
    The moderator, Wired’s Nate Lanxon, said: “What we really need – is an AppleScript for phones.” Woz responded: “That’s what I’ve been saying for years!” (AppleScript is a scripting language created by Apple Inc. and built into Macintosh operating systems since System 7. It was built for inter-app communication; something which Android excels at.)
    It was a great time to catch-up with Steve Wozniak; as only the previous day Apple announced updates to their range of products – most notably an updated tablet newly dubbed as ‘iPad Air’.
    On the new iPad, Woz didn’t seem necessarily blown-away. Speaking of in regards to his own requirements he says: “Yes, it’s thinner, it’s lighter — but I carry a lot of my personal media. 128GB for the current iPad? I had hoped for 256GB.”
  Many would, again, see the new iPad as an iterative upgrade; which as Woz states: “The fact that Apple seems to be at a plateau for a while is fine with me." He continues: “You can’t come up with brand-new, innovative products every year.”
  Whilst fairly disinterested in the new iPad; the new MacBook Pro took his fancy – now with a 1TB SSD – a technology he is passionate about. To make the many of you with slow broadband speeds feel a little bit more content; Wozniak, a pioneer, doesn’t even have a connection at home. As he states: “40% of Americans don’t have it – not out of choice – they don’t run the wires through my town.” His connection to the outside world comes via LTE – which displays the power of the technology for internet access in rural areas."

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Supernova Explosion Seeded the Early Solar System, Meteorite Study Suggests

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 9 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "by Charles Q. Choi, SPACE.com Contributor

The explosive death of a star seeded matter into the solar system soon after its birth, analysis of a meteorite now reveals.

Earth and the rest of the solar system coalesced from a giant cloud of gas and dust more than 4.5 billion years ago. Many of the details about the galactic neighborhood in which the solar system arose still remain a mystery.

Meteorites contain some of the oldest material in the solar system, dating back to its formation. As such, researchers often analyze these objects in order to discover what materials were present when the sun, Earth and other planets were born. This study sheds light on where these solar system bodies might have come from."

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Tesla car fire worries investors

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 10 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "DETROIT
Tesla Motors Co shares fell 6 percent on Wednesday after an automotive blog published images of a Model S electric sedan in flames after an accident on Tuesday morning just south of Seattle, Washington.

The blog, called Jalopnik, posted pictures and a video of the Model S fire on Wednesday. Tesla confirmed the authenticity of the images and said the car caught fire after the driver ran over a "large metallic object" causing extensive damage to the front end of the car.

Tesla shares fell 6.2 percent to $180.95 on the Nasdaq, their biggest one-day decline since mid-July.

It is unclear if the Model S lithium-ion battery pack was damaged. Firefighters found it difficult to quash the flames, and fire damage made it tough to determine the impact of the object on the car, Chris Webb, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol said.

The driver told state troopers that he struck metal debris while on State Route 167 around 8:18 a.m. local time on Tuesday, in Kent, a city located some 20 miles south of Seattle, he said.

The car's alert system instructed the driver to pull over and he got off the highway and out of the vehicle, Tesla said in a statement.

"The driver stated that he began to smell something burning and a short time later the vehicle caught on fire," Webb said, citing information from the state trooper investigating the incident.

"It took the fire department several attempts to extinguish the flames as it kept reigniting," Webb said in an email. The car's tires were burned up and officials dispatched a flat bed truck to remove the car, he said."

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Elliptic Labs Launches Android SDK For Its Ultrasound-Powered Mid-Air Gesture Te

SternisheFan SternisheFan writes  |  about 10 months ago

SternisheFan (2529412) writes "Elliptic Labs, a startup founded back in 2006 which uses ultrasound technology to enable touchless, gesture-based interfaces, has finally pushed its tech into smartphones. It’s been demoing this at the CEATEC conference in Japan this week (a demo of Elliptic’s tech running on a tablet can also be seen in this TC video, from May) but today it’s announcing the launch of its first SDK for Android smartphones.

Elliptic’s technology is able to work with any ARM-based smartphone, confirmed CTO Haakon Bryhni in an interview with TechCrunch. “That is completely new to us, that we’re able to make the technology available on a low-powered platform,” he said. ”A major part of our technology development for the past half year has been to optimise our algorithms for smartphone use.”

Gesture-based user interfaces which turn mid-air hand movements into UI commands have pushed their way into console-based gaming, thanks to Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral, and also mainstream computing via the likes of the Leap Motion device and webcam-based alternatives. Mobiles haven’t been entirely untouched by ‘touchless’ interfaces — Samsung added limited mid-air gesture support to the Galaxy S4 earlier this year, for instance (and back in 2009 the now defunct Sony Ericsson tried its hand at motion-sensitive mobile gaming) — but most current-gen smartphones don’t have the ability to respond to mid-air swiping.

That’s set to change in 2014, as Elliptic Labs is currently working with several Android OEMs that are building devices that will include support for a gesture-based interface. Bryhni would not confirm the exact companies but said he expects several gesture-supporting mobile devices to hit the market in the second half of next year."

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