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North Korea has conducted more than 100 missile tests so far in 2014

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 11:18 pm

Shortly after firing two more ballistic missiles in its latest tests, North Korea has launched more than 100 artillery shells into the ocean, using multiple rocket launchers. There have been more than 100 missile, rocket and artillery tests conducted by North Korea so far in 2014, with military experts expecting tests to continue.

 

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North Korean President Kim Jong Un will order additional missile tests, in an effort to annoy South Korea and the United States, while developing its controversial ballistic missile capability. It's ironic because North Korea wants to meet with political leaders from the south, but will continue its missile tests regardless of what happens.

 

"The North fired 100 artillery shells between 11:43 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.," according to the South Korean government. "The shells fell 1-8 km north of the NLL [Northern Limit Line] in the East Sea. The artillery pieces are evaluated as having ranges between 3 and 50 km, and there were no shells that fell south of the NLL."

Israel shoots down Hamas-owned drone using a Patriot missile

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 10:14 pm

The Israel Defense Force (IDF) successfully shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as Israel and Hamas continue intense fighting in Gaza. The drone was likely unarmed and was promptly shot down with a Patriot missile, causing a large explosion - but Hamas said other drones were also sent into Israel to conduct "special missions."

 

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Although there is fear of armed UAVs, there are little details about the Hamas drone technology, and security experts say there is little fear of air threats targeting Israeli populations. Hamas reportedly says the group has surveillance drones, armed-missile drones, and some type of craft able to nose-dive into targets - a concern if some type of improvised explosive device (IED) is placed on the kamikaze aircraft.

 

"Drones are probably bigger and more problematic to smuggle into Gaza through tunnels than normal rockets, they are probably more expensive, and they are going to be more vulnerable and easier to shoot down," said Paul Schulte, London's King College senior research fellow of the department of war studies. "Their remote controlling could also be jammed by Israel."

Google, Novartis collaborate for contact lens that tracks blood sugar

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 9:15 pm

Google has partnered with biotech giant Novartis to create "smart" contact lenses that will allow diabetics to track blood glucose levels. The lenses would allow diabetics to measure glucose levels in tear fluid, with the data immediately sent to a smartphone or other mobile device. The contacts should also be able to help the eye better focus if a medical scare occurs.

 

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Novartis wants to "transform eye care" and hopes to commercialize the Google X contact lens technology, as the biotech company looks to utilize technology to help manage human medical diseases and conditions.

 

"We are looking forward to working with Google to bring together their advanced technology and our extensive knowledge of biology to meet unmet medical needs," said Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO, in a press statement. "This is a key step for us to go beyond the confines of traditional disease management, starting with the eye."

Continue reading 'Google, Novartis collaborate for contact lens that tracks blood sugar' (full post)

Marine Corps developing amphibious assault vehicle

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 8:00 pm

The United States Marine Corps is developing the Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC), which will be used to replace the Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC). The UHAC could help shuttle Marines, supplies, and vehicles quickly and safely to the shore, including unloading multiple tanks.

 

 

The UHAC has two tracks utilizing foam flaps that allow it to cover rough terrain and still be buoyant while in the water. The current prototype is about 18-feet high, meaning it's not necessarily difficult to see, but developers hope to streamline it a bit smaller before final production. It should also be able to travel up to 25 mph at top speed in the water, though only reaches 5 mph during testing.

 

U.S. military researchers are always investigating how they can develop next-generation technology to improve battlefield efficiency. The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab has a difficult task to create realistic technologies while fighting falling budgets, and hopes its UHAC shows what the department can truly do.

Continue reading 'Marine Corps developing amphibious assault vehicle' (full post)

CNET attacked by Russian hackers, more than 1 million users affected

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 7:13 pm

CBS Interactive-owned tech news site CNET was recently hacked by W0rm, a Russian-based hacker group, which led to usernames, encrypted passwords and emails of more than one million site visitors. Meanwhile, CNET said it has identified the security vulnerability and has worked to fix it already.

 

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The hackers used a Symfony PHP framework security hole to carry out the database theft - and it was reportedly done to improve Internet security. W0rm previously took credit for hacking BBC, Adobe Systems and Bank of America over the past couple of years.

 

"It definitely can feel like a slap in the face to an organization to be hacked, but in reality, most of the time in circumstances like this it's actually a good thing," said Robert Hansen, White Hate Security Web security expert, in a statement. "W0rm was careful not to give the full path to the actual exploit, and informed the general public that the compromise occurred."

Via launches VIA Viega, an Android-powered rugged tablet

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 6:17 pm

VIA has launched its 10.1" Viega tablet, designed for business and enterprise users that need a durable tablet for use out in the field. Mobility is increasingly important for many businesses, but trying to take an Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab, for example, is risky business in factories, on job sites, and other locations where it could be damaged.

 

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The tablet features a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip, 1GB DDR3 DRAM, Mali-400 DP GPU, and 16GB eMMC flash that powers a 10.1" LED blacklit screen. The tablet also has a micro SIM and micro SD card slot, 2 USB micro USB ports, 1 micro HDMI-output, along with an optional 2-megapixel front and 5-megapixel rear camera. The tablet runs Google Android 4.2, and can be customized based on customer needs. VIA also included Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC connectivity support for its Viega tablet.

 

"As more and more enterprises seek to increase productivity and improve customer service by equipping their staff with mobile devices, they are quickly learning that it is critically important to deploy customized solutions built to withstand the demands of their target environments rather than standard off-the-shelf products," said Epan Wu, VIA Embedded Platform Division head, in a statement. "With its rugged design, enhanced security features, and customization support, the VIA Viega addresses this need and provides the longevity support that enterprise level customers require."

MakerBot 3D printers hit some Home Depot locations

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Maker & DIY | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 5:11 pm

3D printers are becoming more and more common in schools, offices, and homes around the country as prices come down. One thing that will help adoption of 3D printers almost as much as cheaper prices is better availability. MakerBot has announced a new deal with some Home Depot locations that will see its 3D printers available in stores.

 

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The MakerBot Replicator 3D printer is now available to purchase in about a dozen Home Depot locations around the US. The dozen locations are found in California, Chicago, and New York City. Some of the stores will have elaborate kiosks installed, such as the one seen in the photo here.

 

There will also be staff on hand at some locations that will be able to demo the product and give out items made with the printer. It appears that you can buy printing supplies at these locations as well.

Microsoft to announce major job cuts this week says source

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 4:07 pm

Microsoft is one of the largest technology firms in the world and according to sources familiar with the software giant's plans, the company will be announcing major job cuts this week. Microsoft is said to be planning the largest round of job cuts in the last five years as the company looks to slim down.

 

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The job cuts could be announced as soon as this week according to sources who claim to be familiar with plans at Microsoft. Exactly how many jobs are on the line is unknown, but the sources say that these cuts could be larger than the 5800 workers Microsoft shed in 2009.

 

In 2009 when the 5800 workers were shed, that was about 5% of Microsoft's global workforce. The software giant currently has over 127,000 employees, counting those gained in the Nokia merger. Some of the cuts are expected to be in marketing departments for businesses like the global Xbox team.

Orbital Sciences Cygnus spacecraft heads to ISS with supplies

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 3:06 pm

Typically, when we talk about missions to the ISS to resupply the crew aboard the space station, we are talking about SpaceX. The other company that has a contract in the US to resupply the ISS is Orbital Sciences, and it has just launched its third mission to the ISS.

 

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Orbital put its Cygnus unmanned spacecraft into orbit yesterday with a cargo hold packed with supplies for the space station. Among the supplies aboard the spacecraft was food, science gear, and mini satellites. Cygnus launched and was successfully put into the required orbit to link up with the ISS after a "perfect" launch. Orbital has one more resupply mission set for this year with three to take place in 2015.

 

"Today's mission was the fourth successful launch of Antares in the past 15 months and the third deployment of Cygnus in less than year," said David W. Thompson, Orbital's president and CEO. "So far, our second operational CRS mission is off to a great start with Cygnus operating exactly as anticipated at this early stage of the mission. We are very pleased to be a reliable partner with NASA to meet their need for reliable, regularly scheduled cargo resupply for the ISS."

NASA predicts 100m planets in our galaxy could host life

By: Shane McGlaun | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 2:00 pm

One of the things that NASA spends lots of money searching for is life on other planets. That life doesn't necessarily have to be another intelligent species; it could be nothing more than some bacteria or other simple life forms. NASA has recently predicted that 100 million world's in the Milky Way galaxy might host alien life.

 

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The space agency recently outlined a roadmap that it will follow in an effort to discover exoplanets that might host alien life. That roadmap includes the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017 and the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018.

 

The most interesting prediction by NASA is that we will find alien life in the next 20 years with a high chance that it is outside our solar system. "Do we believe there is life beyond Earth?" said former astronaut and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "I would venture to say that most of my colleagues here today say it is improbable that in the limitless vastness of the universe we humans stand alone."

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