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UK military use mini helicopters as unmanned aerial drones

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Drones | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 12:36 pm

The UK military are using tiny helicopters, and by tiny, I'm talking just 4-inch by 1-inch in size. They're using them to grab information on conflict activity in Afghanistan.

 

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The tiny helicopters sport even tinier cameras which take pictures and record video, blasting them back down to handlers on the ground. The helicopters are perfect for hovering around a corner or over a wall to spot targets that would otherwise not be seen. Britain is the first country to deploy these drones into conflict situations.

 

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While they may be tiny, they have a very big name - "The Black Hornet", yeah. Seargent Christopher Petherbridge of the UK's Brigade Reconnaissance Force said that The Black Hornet definitely "adds value, especially considering the light weight nature of it". He elaborated with Sky News:

 

We used it to look for insurgent fire points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing. It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground.

The Witcher 3 gets announced, will arrive as a 'next-generation' RPG for PC and 'high-end platforms' in 2014

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 11:33 am

The Witcher 3 has been announced from CD Projekt Red, with the full game title being The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The latest entry in the RPG series is set to be one of the biggest open-world games, said to be bigger than Skyrim and larger than any environments from the first two Witcher games.

 

 

CD Projekt Red's new graphics engine, REDengine 3 is the magic behind The Witcher 3, with the company saying it has been built with next-gen platforms in mind. Wild Hunt is set to be incredibly huge, with the game world set in a fictional place 20% bigger than Skyrim, and an astounding 40 times bigger than The Witcher 2. So big, in fact, that it would take 30-40 minutes to cross the game world on horseback.

 

There will be no load screens in Wild Hunt, because the team at CD Projekt Red wanted to same kind of freedom in games like Skyrim. Weather effects are next-gen in The Witcher 3, where we'll see dynamically generated and fully modeled volumetric clouds - awesome.

Continue reading 'The Witcher 3 gets announced, will arrive as a 'next-generation' RPG for PC and 'high-end platforms' in 2014' (full post)

RumorTT: Google to release unified messaging system

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 10:36 am

The image below has been posted by developer Francois Beaufort, which shows a Chrome OS desktop with a notification system and a new app icon that hasn't been seen before.

 

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The first four icons we are all familiar with, but that last icon - is different, showing four cascading Google-themed chat boxes. This screenshot alone opens up Pandora's box, and now we can begin to try and work out what this icon means. Could we see see a new unified messaging service from Google? We could just be looking at something new, and not a messaging system, but something to do with Google+ Messenger, or similar.

 

If we are looking at a world of Google releasing a unified messaging system, it would really change things for Google and their Android platform, that's for sure.

Anonymous target bank executives in their latest attack, unleash personal information of over 4000 executives

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 8:36 am

Anonymous have struck again, this time into the hearts of US banking executives - over 4000 of them. These 4000+ bankers have had their personal information leaked in Anonymous' latest campaign dubbed Operation Last Resort.

 

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Anonymous' campaign is designed to provoke computer crime law reform after the suicide of Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz. Anonymous have reportedly hacked into the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center's website over the weekend, where they used the site to host the spreadsheet of the executives' information. This spreadsheet includes the information of bankers' names, phone numbers, computer log-in credentials and IP addresses.

 

The Twitter account of Anonymous talked about getting the information from Federal Reserve computers, and when contacted for a comment by the Huffington Post, a spokesperson refused to comment on Anonymous' claims, nor would they confirm if a statement was on its way.

Behind closed doors, South Korean giants Samsung and LG will settle their patent dispute

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 7:29 am

South Korean electronics giants Samsung and LG have been having fisticuffs over their recent patent dispute, but it looks like they're both about to man up and settle their dispute, behind closed doors.

 

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The report comes from the Yonhap News Agency, where shortly after LG employees were charged with stealing advanced OLED display technology from Samsung, the company very quickly filed a lawsuit. Samsung display big wig Kim Ki-nam said that the companies plan to "resolve the issue one by one", but didn't get any more specific than that.

Dyson's Airblade Tap capable of drying (and probably blowing your hands off) at 420mph

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Health Technology | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 6:36 am

Dyson's latest and greatest invention is an update to their Airblade line of hand dryers, the Airblade Tap. Dyson's Airblade Tap integrates the drying functionality directly into the faucet itself, thanks to some great size reductions in the technology required to integrate the drying functionality into the faucet. Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson said:

 

 

In washrooms using conventional taps, you'll need to move to a separate hand drying area, dripping water on the floors as you go. With the Dyson Airblade Tap hand dryer, water isn't dripped on the floor because you don't need to leave the sink with wet hands.

 

Dyson's Airblade Tap sports a smaller 1600W motor that is capable of drying hands in under 12 seconds as it's capable of pushing air out at an incredible 420mph. The hand dryer also cleans the air before blowing it onto your hands, with Dyson stating that it makes it much more convenient to use than regular hand dryers. The included HEPA filters reportedly pick up 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in the bathroom air, too.

Continue reading 'Dyson's Airblade Tap capable of drying (and probably blowing your hands off) at 420mph' (full post)

Jawbone acquire two startups to help amplify their products

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 5:37 am

Jawbone have just acquired two startup firms, Visere and MassiveHealth. The two companies will help Jawbone going into the future, with Visere currently a digital design firm that works with both hardware and software, and has previously worked with Nike.

 

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MassiveHealth on the other hand, is mostly known for their iOS app 'Eatery'. Eatery encourages users to take pictures of their meals in order to better keep track of what you eat. Jawbone didn't disclose a purchasing price, but they did state that both teams would roll into the Jawbone team.

Oculus Rift used with Half-Life 2 and a VR head and gun tracking mod, incredible results

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 4:34 am

I think Oculus' Rift VR headset is going to change gaming as we know it, but before it's consumer release sometime at the end of this year, or early 2014, we're already seeing what developers are capable of.

 

 

During my usual multiple-times-per-day trawling of Reddit, I came across poster 'Auto_aim1' who posted a video of his Half-Life 2 VR head and gun tracking mod for the Oculus Rift and what a video it is! It looks bloody incredible, and gives freedom between the players point of view and the placement of the gun.

 

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He uses a physical gun, which makes things that much more realistic, but the head tracking through Oculus' Rift VR headset is nothing short of amazing. If this is what one modder can do, imagine what we can expect twelve months from now. Imagine what we can expect 2-3 years from now. Next-gen consoles? They're not needed, Oculus' Rift is here and works on PC games right now.

Minecraft creator made a cool $100 million last year

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 3:36 am

Markus 'Notch' Persson, the guy behind Minecraft made approximately $100 million last year, not bad for what most people consider an "indie" game. Making $100 million pits him directly against mode huge games, and even nipping on the heels of AAA titles.

 

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Notch was answering some questions through a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), where readers unearthed (geddit?) some information on him, and how he was able to acquire so much cash, so quickly. Notch isn't too sure what to do with it all, as would most people that aren't born into money, but he'd like to provide for his family and finally get his drivers license and maybe buy a car, but he's still a bit uneasy about it all, he wrote:

 

I grew up in a relatively poor family, but once I got a decent job, I never really had to worry about money. My hobbies were playing games and programming, so there wasn't any real drain. I could eat out when I wanted to, and go to the movies without having to save up for it. I still had to save up for trips and to be able to buy computers or consoles, but that just felt normal.

Continue reading 'Minecraft creator made a cool $100 million last year' (full post)

Mozilla, Google show off cross-browser video chat using WebRTC

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 5, 2013 3:21 am

Google and Mozilla are pushing WebRTC as the future of software-independent video and voice chat. To show off the capabilities, Mozilla called up Google from Firefox to Chrome to demonstrate the cross-browser functionality that is available via WebRTC. Of course, to do this, you'll need the latest builds of both browsers.

 

 

Mozilla's blog post talks up the new technology and open source:

 

Mozilla is excited to announce that we've achieved a major milestone in WebRTC development: WebRTC RTCPeerConnection interoperability between Firefox and Chrome. This effort was made possible because of the close collaboration between the open Web community and engineers from both Mozilla and Google.

 

Google's blog post is similar:

 

For the first time, Chrome and Firefox can "talk" to each other via WebRTC. WebRTC is a new set of technologies that brings clear crisp voice, sharp high-definition (HD) video and low-delay communication to the web browser.

Continue reading 'Mozilla, Google show off cross-browser video chat using WebRTC' (full post)

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