Chinese Security Robot Draws Dalek, Terminator Comparisons

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 4:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: China's first "intelligent security robot," which reportedly includes an "electrically charged riot control tool" and an SOS button for people to notify police, has been compared to the killer Dalek from Doctor Who after being shown off at a tech fair. Intelligence agency whistleblower Edward Snowden shared the news on Twitter with the caption: "Surely this will end well." The robot, unveiled at the 12th Chongqing Hi-Tech Fair, is 1.49 metres tall, weighs 78 kilograms, has a claimed top speed of 18 kilometres per hour and an operating duration of eight hours between charges, according to a report by People's Daily Online. Dubbed AnBot, it was built by the National Defence University in China and has "sensors that mimic the human brain, eyes and ears." The report said AnBot represented breakthroughs in "key technologies including low-cost autonomous navigation and intelligent video analysis" and would play an important role in anti-terrorism and anti-riot operations. AnBot has an SOS button for people to use to notify police of a problem, but it is unclear what criteria AnBot uses to assess threats autonomously.

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Categories: Science

Neural Nets Got You Confused? Try This Interactive Chart

Wired News - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 4:34pm
Daniel Smilkov, a member of Google's Big Picture Research Group, and Shan Carter, who creates interactive graphics for The New York Times, created it. The post Neural Nets Got You Confused? Try This Interactive Chart appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

SpaceX's Red Dragon: A Private Mars Mission Plan in Pictures

Space.com - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 4:31pm
SpaceX's Red Dragon project, announced on April 27, 2016, officially puts the company on a path to Mars, possibly as early as 2018. See how SpaceX plans to send Dragon capsules to Mars in this slideshow.
Categories: Science

Warp Speed: The Hype of Hyperspace

Space.com - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 4:26pm
Trekking to the stars at speeds faster than light is limited by the factors of physics as we currently understand them.
Categories: Science

Federal Judge Rules Amazon Must Refund Parents Duped By In-App Purchases

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 4:05pm
An anonymous reader shares a Gizmodo report: A federal judge has ruled Amazon is liable for billing unwitting parents after their children made unauthorized charges in apps. The court will decide exactly how much money Amazon owes customers in the coming months. The federal judge's decision asserts that Amazon received several complaints from customers about in-app purchases that they were unaware of, mostly incurred by children. The decision points out that Amazon promoted apps as free but failed to inform parents about in-app charges that could be incurred.

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Categories: Science

NASA Cuts Funds for Mars Landing Technology Work

Space.com - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 3:43pm
NASA is cutting funding for a Mars landing technology demonstration project by about 85 percent in response to budget reductions to its space technology program and the need to set aside funding within that program for a satellite servicing effort.
Categories: Science

Light 'Echos' Used to Measure Size of Baby Star's Crib

Space.com - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 3:30pm
By studying reflected light from a young star system, astronomers have precisely measured the size of the innermost gap between the star and where planets will eventually form.
Categories: Science

Mars Comes to Earth: Scientists 'Visit' Red Planet with Augmented Reality

Space.com - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 3:27pm
NASA is aiming to send astronauts to Mars sometime in the 2030s, but a new technology could help scientists explore the surface of the Red Planet — from its sprawling craters to its enormous volcanoes — from right here on Earth.
Categories: Science

Nintendo's Mysterious 'NX' Gaming Platform To Be Launched In March 2017

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 3:25pm
Nintendo has announced that its next gaming platform -- codenamed NX -- will launch worldwide in March 2017. "For our dedicated video game platform, Nintendo is currently developing a gaming platform codenamed 'NX' with a brand-new concept," the gaming console company said while announcing its annual results. PCWorld reports:Nintendo is placing big bets on NX. The company will continue to offer games for smartphone devices, a strategy it has started executing on, but its core business focus will be on what it describes as its "software-led hardware-software integrated business." [...] For the fiscal year ended March 31, the company sold 6.8 million units of the portable Nintendo 3DS hardware and over 48.5 million units of 3DS software. Global sales of the Wii U hardware and software were 3.26 million and 27.4 million units respectively.

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Categories: Science

Review: Apple MacBook

Wired News - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 3:00pm
It might not be the laptop the world is ready for, but it's the laptop the world needs. And you can get it in pink now. The post Review: Apple MacBook appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Appendages Help Microbes Survive Harsh Conditions

Space.com - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:58pm
Flailing appendages on ancient lifeforms could have helped them survive in extreme conditions, and may provide clues about how lifeforms could survive in equally extreme alien environments.
Categories: Science

After Netflix Crackdown On Border-Hopping, Canadians Ready To Return To Piracy

Slashdot - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:45pm
An anonymous reader shares an article on CBCNews: Many Canadians are enraged by Netflix's declared war on cross-border watchers, who skirt the company's rules by sneaking across virtual borders to stream Netflix shows and movies restricted to other countries. Sometimes it's hard to be satisfied with Netflix Canada's library when our American neighbours have, it's estimated, access to almost double the content. But this big and bold clampdown may backfire -- at least in Canada. Turns out, Canadians are big pirates at heart. Apparently, we feel somewhat entitled to download illegal content when we don't have cheap and easy access. Instead of shelling out $10 for a Netflix subscription, some people now may opt to pay nothing at all to get what they want.

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Categories: Science

Coral 'toolkit' allows floating larvae to transform into reef skeletons

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:37pm
Key components of the molecular 'toolkit' that allow corals to build their skeletons (called biomineralization) has been desicribed in that new article that also outlines when -- in the transformation from floating larvae to coral skeleton -- these components are used.
Categories: Science

Slow worms react quickly to climate change

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:36pm
Evolution can react surprisingly quickly to climate change -- at least for an important species of earthworms. For seven years, scientists have exposed the natural habitat of Enchytraeidae to a warmer (+0.5 degrees C) and drier climate by ingenious use of curtains. Twelve percent of the genetic changes found in the worms could be directly attributed to the small changes in the soil temperature and moisture.
Categories: Science

Breast cancer progression: the devil is in the details

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:36pm
Researchers describe how breast cancer cells challenged with a small-molecule inhibitor targeting specific invasive properties switch to an alternative mode-of-action, rendering them even more aggressive. The results may impair future therapeutic approaches in the TGF-beta pathway.
Categories: Science

Consumers reveal barriers to brain-training app-iness

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:36pm
The preconceptions and concerns of young US consumers about brain-training smartphone apps are examined in a new scientific study. The work investigated why consumers decide to download these apps, how they use them and what they think their benefits may be.
Categories: Science

Emotion detector: Facial expression recognition to improve learning, gaming

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:36pm
A computer algorithm that can tell whether you are happy or sad, angry or expressing almost any other emotion would be a boon to the games industry. New research describes such a system that is almost 99 percent accurate.
Categories: Science

Got good fat?

Science Daily - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:36pm
Brown fat cells can burn fat to generate heat. Researchers have discovered a new method to measure the activity of brown fat cells in humans and mice. The researchers showed that microRNA-92a can be used as an indirect measure for the activity of energy consuming brown fat cells. They showed that a small blood sample was sufficient.
Categories: Science

Dear Donald Trump: That’s Actually Not How Sexism Works

Wired News - Wed, 27/04/2016 - 2:09pm
Being a woman doesn't make it easier to get a job...pretty much ever. The post Dear Donald Trump: That's Actually Not How Sexism Works appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science