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NASA wants to see 3D Google smartphones used on space station

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 10:39 pm

NASA is going to use Google smartphones with 3D technology at the International Space Station (ISS), helping robots conduct operations on the orbiting research lab. There is specific focus in having 3D technology help with the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES), aiming to help reduce workload for astronauts.

 

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The Google devices will launch to the ISS later this month, and could provide a much-needed technology boost in space. The Project Tango devices from Google feature support for a motion-tracking camera and infrared depth sensor, with the ability to track sharp angles and develop 3D maps.

 

"We wanted to add communication, a camera, increase the processing capability, accelerometers and other sensors," said Chris Provencher, Smart SPHERES project manager, in an interview with Reuters. "As we were scratching our heads thinking about what to do, we realized the answer was in our hands. Let's just use smartphones."

Gartner expects global PC sales to recover a little this year

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 9:43 pm

Ever since Apple's iPad started causing a splash along with the simultaneous smartphone boom, various soothsayers have been screaming about the death of the PC. Regardless, it's not quite dead yet, and now analyst powerhouse Gartner has said traditional computing will still be clinging on for dear life this year.

 

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It's not a hugely optimistic forecast. Gartner expects shipments from the market to decline worldwide by 2.9 percent through 2014 - but this isn't quite as bad as it could have been. According to the company, this marks a "relative revival of the global PC market" - compared to a 9.5 percent decline in 2013. "Business upgrades from Windows XP and the general business replacement cycle will lessen the downward trend, especially in Western Europe," said Ranjit Atwal, research director. "This year, we anticipate nearly 60 million professional PC replacements in mature markets." Gartner includes desktops, notebooks, and ultramobile personal computers in its figures.

 

Mobile phone sales are set for a 3.1 percent increase over 2013, to reach 1.9 billion units this year. Gartner expects smartphone sales will make up 88 percent of global cell sales by 2018, a jump from 66 percent in 2014.

Dailymotion hit by attack, leaving video viewers vulnerable

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 8:16 pm

The popular video website Dailymotion was compromised by cybercriminals able to inject malicious code, redirecting visitors and secretly installing malware. The iframe first appeared on June 28 and installed the Sweet Orange Exploit Kit, targeting Oracle Java, Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Adobe Flash Player.

 

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It seems only a small number of users were compromised, and Dailymotion quickly restored videos and ensured they were safe again.

 

"If the kit successfully exploited any of these vulnerabilities, then Trojan.Adclicker was downloaded onto the victim's computer," according to Symantec researchers. "This malware forces the compromised computer to artificially generate traffic to pay-per-click Web advertisements in order to generate revenue for the attackers."

Continue reading 'Dailymotion hit by attack, leaving video viewers vulnerable' (full post)

Netflix UK wants to pay someone to watch content all day from home

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 8:13 pm

One lucky applicant in the UK & Ireland will be paid by Netflix to sit at home watching TV all day as an official "tagger".

 

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The streaming TV and film giant has posted an ad for a Tagger in the UK and Ireland, who would be required to sit through hours upon hours of series to get a feel for the content - writing up genre and tone as well as possible recommendations. But being a coach potato will not be qualification enough - according to the job posting, Netflix is looking for verifiable, degree-equipped experts, with relevant experience in asset management systems, movie, TV or editorial experience, and between 1-2 years in new media.

 

Still, for the right candidate it'll be an opportunity to view Netflix original content before the rest of the world. That might mean plodding through some of the less appealing TV that's on offer, but what with being paid to watch content from home, perhaps that's not too shabby a tradeoff at all.

Celebrity houses have just been scrubbed from Google Street View

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 7:13 pm

A smattering of household name celebs, like Iraq war mastermind Tony Blair and a man from Wings called Paul McCartney, have had their houses removed from Google's Street View.

 

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Prospective criminals scouting street view for potential targets will now know for certain if they've stumbled on a property of interest because it'll be blurred or digitally altered in a similar way that licence plates and faces already are on the service. One public figure who's had his house altered is Fred Goodwin, the former chief of failed banking group RBS, which had to be nationalized after an enormous crisis.

 

At the moment it's unclear whether or not the alterations have been made at the request of the celebrities. However it comes shortly after the implementation of a controversial EU ruling - the right to be forgotten - which has already led to censorship of reputable international news sites like the BBC and the Guardian, as well as the Mail Online. Barbara Streisand famously tried to force images of her property from the internet, resulting in the naming of a new phenomena - the Streisand Effect - which sees attempts at censorship leading to the exact opposite.

Teen hit with massive 15000 dollar bill accessing Facebook via mobile

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 6:31 pm

A teenager racked up a massive 9,000 pound bill - $15,000 USD - by going online from her phone every day while on holiday.

 

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After the girl and her mother returned from their Antigua vacation, her stepfather was billed a massive 5,400 pounds - just under 10,000 US dollars, followed by another bill for 3,500 pounds, or 6,000 US dollars. Stepfather David Mason coughed up on the first bill but outright refused the second, and complained to UK telco regulator Ofcom that cell operator Orange had failed in a duty of customer care, according to the Express.

 

Orange said it had sent him a text message warning an international roaming charges cap had been reached - but the phone stayed connected to the Jamaican roaming network. The operator has now cut the bill to 500 pounds as a goodwill gesture. Mason maintained he had no idea that bill was climbing every day.

Daimler self-driving truck demoed in Germany

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 5:04 pm

Self-driving trucks and cars are in the works from a bunch of different manufacturers and other firms like Google. In Germany, a new self-driving truck was demoed recently by Daimler. The truck is able to drive itself down the road with the driver behind the wheel doing nothing but looking at a tablet in his lap.

 

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The truck was tested on the A14 along a stretch of the autobahn near Magdeburg in eastern Germany last week. The trucks is known as the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, that year in the name is a nod to when the maker hopes to have the truck available for commercial use.

 

The vehicle is designed to respond to traffic and drive autonomously down the freeway at speeds of up to 85 kph or 52 mph. Right now only one prototype of the truck exists and no pricing information has been offered for what the truck might cost when it goes into commercial production. Self-driving vehicle tech is expected to add around $10,000 to the purchase price of a vehicle.

Xiaomi Mi Pad Android tablet sells 50k units in under 4 minutes

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 4:08 pm

A Chinese firm called Xiaomi has been selling smartphones for a long time in China and the company recently rolled out its very first Android tablet. The tablet runs Android and is called the Mi Pad. The tablet reportedly sold 50,000 units in less than four minutes when it launched last week.

 

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The Mi Pad is a tablet that runs the NVIDIA Tegra K1 quad-core processor at 2.2 GHz. the screen of the tablet is 7.9-inches and the device comes in five different case colors. Native resolution for the 7.9-inch screen is 2048 x 1536 and the NVIDIA processor is paired with 2GB of RAM.

 

The rear camera is an 8MP unit and the front camera is a 5MP unit with power coming from an internal rechargeable battery of 6700 mAh in capacity. The 16GB storage version of the tablet costs the US equivalent of $240 in China with a 64GB version selling for $270.

Google has $500 million set aside expand Shopping Express nationwide

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 3:04 pm

Google has been trialing its Shopping Express service in a few select locations for a while now. Shopping Express is a service that works in some areas with local retail stores allowing users to buy things at a retail store and have them delivered on the same day or the next day to their home or office.

 

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A new report has surfaced that claims that Google has set aside $500 million that is earmarked to expand the Shopping Express service nationwide. Google has offered no official comments on the amount of money set aside for the project.

 

Some of the money will reportedly be used to market the service in each new city that it launched in, as well as to purchase delivery vehicles. Money will also be spent to hire new workers to pack the goods and deliver them.

NASA awards Boeing $2.8bn contract for SLS rocket

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 7, 2014 2:07 pm

NASA has awarded a contract to Boeing for a heavy duty rocket to be used on future space missions. The contract is to design and build the Space Launch System rocket that will be used to put astronauts on the moon and beyond. The new SLS rocket will be more powerful than the Saturn 5 rocket used in the past.

 

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The first SLS rocket will make its maiden flight putting an unmanned Orion capsule into space in 2017. The second flight will be a manned mission and is planned for 2021. NASA has plans to build a more powerful version of the SLS in the future to put four person crews into space and take them to asteroids and eventually to Mars.

 

The Boeing contract is worth $2.8 billion and will see the company developing avionics and the SLS core stage. Funding for early studies into a new upper stage needed for exploration missions in the future is included in the contract.

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