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Patent application reveals Disney wants to use drones in its parks

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 8:30 pm

Heading to Disney in the future? Don't be surprised if you see drones flying overhead, as the company recently filed multiple patents to use drones in its amusement parks. It seems Disney wants to substitute drone-assisted shows for fireworks or large light shows, providing customers with a new experience.

 

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Disney recently filed three patents for drone use, including a multi-drone projection screen system, possible overhead light displays, and drones attached to puppets or balloons to give them motion capabilities. The drones would be controllable from the ground, but would be pre-programmed and have synchronization to avoid contact with one another while in the air.

 

Drone use by militaries and governments seem to get the most attention, but there is a booming market for civilians and private sector companies trying to expand their capabilities. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently working on commercial drone laws, as more private sector companies want to use small drones for commercial purposes.

Intel shows off tiny 3G modem for Internet of Things devices

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Networking | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 7:48 pm

Hardware manufacturer Intel has unveiled a 3G modem slightly bigger than a penny, hoping the tiny device will become popular among connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Promoted as the world's smallest standalone 3G modem, the Intel XMM 6255 uses the Intel Power Transceiver technology, so the 3G modem also includes power management and a power amplifier on a single chip.

 

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The XMM 6255 chip could be used in smartwatches and other wearables, along with IoT home appliances that require wireless connectivity.

 

"Devices with a small form factor like a smartwatch or a sensor may not have enough space for a normal-sized 3G antenna, which can affect connectivity quality and reliability," Intel noted in a blog post. "The XMM 6255 modem is specifically designed for such devices and delivers great 3G connectivity even with small volume antennas not meeting conventional mobile phone quality standards."

Continue reading 'Intel shows off tiny 3G modem for Internet of Things devices' (full post)

Lockheed Martin hopes Fortis exoskeleton hits commercial market

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 6:33 pm

The United States Navy and Lockheed Martin are moving forward with Fortis exoskeleton testing, but the government contractor hopes to see its technology adopted in the commercial world. Lockheed started research and development on the Iron Man-style suit more than five years ago, and it's moving along nicely.

 

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"We are pleased that once again a technology advanced through our program will be put into commercialization," said Rick Jarman, Lockheed Martin official, in a statement. "The Fortis exoskeleton contract is just another example of how collaboration around research and development speeds the time to market for these important innovations."

 

The suit is currently being tested in Navy shipyards and could become something for the private sector, with a unique ability to allow wearers to carry heavy amounts of weight. Leg braces and a back prace that goes over the shoulders help provide stability, using lightweight composites to not overburden the wearer.

Digital Storm shows off Bolt II Battle Box Titan Z Special Edition

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 5:01 pm

Boutique PC gaming company Digital Storm unveiled the Bolt II Battle Box Titan Z Special Edition, a small form factor (SFF) system that is liquid cooled and meets the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Battle Box standard.

 

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The Bolt II Battle Box Titan Z Special Edition from Digital Storm is now available for less than $5,000. The system currently includes an overclocked Intel Core i7 4790K CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Z 12GB GPU, ASUS Maximus VI Impact motherboard, 16GB DDR3 and a 700W PSU, liquid cooling, and runs Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit.

 

"NVIDIA launched the GTX Battle Box Program to allow gamers to play AAA, combat-focused games at max settings and super high resolutions," said Harjit Chana, Digital Storm Chief Brand Officer, in a statement. "But gaming in 4K requires much more than simply upgrading components. Our Hardline Cooling System allows gamers to unlock the Bolt II's full potential and experience games in ways they never thought possible."

California Governor Brown signs smartphone kill switch bill

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 4:09 pm

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill making California the first state requiring smartphone kill switches enabled on new smartphones. Politicians and law enforcement hope the kill switch will help reduce the number of robberies and thefts related to smartphones, especially in metropolitan areas throughout the state. The law goes into effect after July 1, 2015.

 

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A kill switch law was approved in Minnesota, but the California bill was different because the kill switch has to ship on mobile devices already enabled. Consumers have the choice to disable it if they choose they don't want it anymore. If the phone is stolen, the kill switch will render the device useless until a PIN or correct password is entered on the device.

 

"California has just put smartphone thieves on notice," said Mark Leno (D - San Francisco), bill creator. "Our efforts will effectively wipe out the incentive to steal smartphones and curb this crime of convenience, which is fueling street crime and violence within our communities."

Continue reading 'California Governor Brown signs smartphone kill switch bill' (full post)

Consumers concerned about online financial payments, as threats loom

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 1:29 pm

There has been a decrease in consumer confidence when it comes to online financial transaction security, as we've all seen a large number of point-of-sale (POS) data breaches in the past year. Forty-nine percent of survey respondents said they felt vulnerable when shopping online, with 42 percent saying they would use online payment more if they were better protected, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab and B2B International.

 

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Consumers are becoming more aware of online threats, and cyber fraud detection is an important consideration for shoppers. However, users are still not doing a good job of protecting themselves, but 60 percent of survey respondents said it's up to banks and shops alike to ensure payment information is kept secure.

 

"Many users still feel safer paying cash or using their bank card at a physical point-of-sale, rather than purchasing online with their computer or mobile device, and this reluctance hampers the development of the online payment market," said Ross Hogan, Kaspersky Lab global head of fraud prevention, in a press statement. "To encourage people to start using electronic payment services more actively, banks, online stores and e-pay systems need to reassure users that they are safe from cyber fraudsters."

Boeing struggles to advance its ballistic missile defense system

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 12:30 pm

led Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) successfully destroyed a mock enemy earlier this year, as the U.S. government looks forward to an enhanced missile defense system. The $40 billion project endured three consecutive failed tests, as Boeing struggled to hit targets. Since its launch 2001, the missile defense shield has 65 hit-to-kill out of 81 total attempts.

 

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Boeing is struggling to create a space-like environment on Earth, which previously was explained as an "impossible" problem to overcome. The GMD system, designed to intercept ballistic missiles, wants to destroy targets when they are at the height of their trajectory - and trying to simulate how to destroy missiles more than 60 miles above the Earth's surface is extremely difficult.

 

"It's hard to reproduce [space-like conditions]," said Cindy Belliveau, Boeing structural dynamics engineer, in a video statement. "You have lots of different stories, and you pick the one that makes the most sense or is the most likely."

Continue reading 'Boeing struggles to advance its ballistic missile defense system' (full post)

Cyberattack has great potential to cause next financial shockwave

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 11:32 am

It's not uncommon to hear news of a successful cyberattack that causes financial losses and major headaches from government departments or the private sector. However, cyberattacks targeting the financial market could cause significant problems, highlighted by the large volume of attacks targeting banks, credit card companies and retailers.

 

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Regulators and governments are uncertain how to defend against these attacks, with a global "toolbox" in the works to help identify information security procedures. Evidenced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission trying to study cyber resilience, it's going to be hard to clamp down on cyberattacks.

 

"The issue of cyber resilience is a bit of a sleeper issue, and one that we have to be proactive [about] in terms of making sure the risk management approach is robust," said Greg Medcraft, International Organization of Securities Commission (Iosco), told FT. "Cybercrime has a huge potential impact on markets."

Terrorist groups finding success using social media to spread fear

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Social Networking | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 10:30 am

Social media is a great communication method for companies to reach their customers, but has become a successful tactic by terrorist organizations trying to spread propaganda and fear.

 

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The Islamic State was booted from Twitter, but has found success using Diaspora and other social media outlets to spread propaganda, recruit new followers, and share shocking images and statements with those curious enough to look.

 

"Terrorist organizations have moved their online presence to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets," said Gabriel Weimann, University of Haifa professor, in a statement to the media. "They have turned to the new media not only because counterterrorism agencies have disrupted their traditional online presence but also because the new media offers huge audiences and ease of use."

Continue reading 'Terrorist groups finding success using social media to spread fear' (full post)

Huawei boss says it won't use Tizen, doesn't think it will last

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Aug 26, 2014 6:29 am

The clock is still ticking on Tizen, but Huawei boss Richard Yu thinks that Android and iOS will continue to dominate for the foreseeable future. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Yu said that his company has no plans to use the Linux-based open-source mobile OS, an OS that is backed by companies like Intel and Samsung.

 

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Carriers have reportedly been asking Huawei to build a Tizen-based smartphone, with Huawei considering it at one point, researching into it. The project was cancelled, as the company feels that Tizen has no chance at being successful. Yu was also asked if Huawei was thinking of building its own mobile OS, but Yu was quick to point out that it isn't hard to build an OS - using Microsoft and Windows Phone as an example - that its the ecosystem behind it that is more important, and much harder to build.

 

Building a Windows Phone-based smartphone isn't profitable to Huawei, as it finds it hard to convince customers to use a Windows Phone device compared to an Android device. The company has now put all of its future Windows Phone devices on hold, concentrating solely on Android. Yu is aware that Huawei is putting all of its faith, and the future of the company (as we know it now anyway) into Android, but they have no other choice. Yu added that Huawei has a strong relationship with Google.

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