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As multi-rotor aircraft and First Person Viewing RC flying becomes more popular, more rules and restrictions are being applied to the hobby. This morning the US National Parks Service issued a statement that clarified its stance on unmanned aerial vehicles within its parks boarders. The National Parks Service says that all unmanned aerial vehicles (AKA: Drones) are banned from use inside any national park's boundaries.
"Drones can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape. Drones can also impact the wilderness experience for other visitors creating an environment that is not conducive to wilderness travel," the Park Service said in a statement. "The use of drones also interferes with emergency rescue operations and can cause confusion and distraction for rescue personnel and other parties involved in the rescue operation. Additionally, drones can have negative impacts on wildlife nearby the area of use, especially sensitive nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls."
Forty-five years ago, a group of former executives from the then industry leader, Fairchild Semiconductor, broke ground on a company that would eventually become the second largest chip maker in the world. I am of course talking about Advanced Micro Devices or more commonly known as AMD. AMD's founding members include: Jerry Sanders III, Ed Turney, John Carey, Sven Simonsen, Jack Gifford and three members from Gifford's team, Frank Botte, Jim Giles, and Larry Stenger.
Today AMD is a massive powerhouse in the tech world and is responsible for many of the PCs that you are reading this story on. For many others, AMD is the fuel behind the intense gaming session they had last night, and even the reason so many got into custom PCs in the first place. My first custom built PC was based around an affordable AMD processor, and without such consumer-focused company, I may not be here today writing this article. So from the bottom of my heart, and everyone here at TweakTown, Happy Birthday AMD!
Ex Digg Nation host and Revision 3 founder, Kevin Rose, became a target of a very odd movement in San Francisco over the weekend. Rose says that anti-tech protesters gathered outside of his home in San Francisco and chanted phrases such as "Kevin Rose is a Parasite." The protesters targeted Rose because he is one of the partners at Google Ventures, and they claim that the booming tech industry is causing San Francisco to become affordable for anyone but the rich.
Rose first posted the incident on Twitter, where he posted an image of the flyer that the group calling themselves "The Counterforce" handed out to his neighbors. "As a partner venture capitalist at Google Ventures, Kevin directs the flow of capital from Google into the tech startup bubble that is destroying San Francisco. The start-ups that he funds bring the swarms of young entrepreneurs that have ravaged the landscapes of San Francisco and Oakland," the pamphlet read.
Google has suspended its sales of Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm due to a flaw where it can be disabled unintentionally.
Nest CEO Tony Fadell said in the company website,"During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire."
The devices are equipped with a feature called 'Next Wave' where you can disable by simply standing under the device and wave. However it was found out that there is a strong possibility of accidental deactivation because of this feature.
Mozilla's new CEO has come under a lot of fire lately because of his negative stance on gay marriage. In fact three of Mozilla's board members resigned over his appointment to the CEO position. Today the entire company is catching more flack due to Brendan Eich's anti-gay politics, with OkCupid notifying every Firefox user of his stance on gay rights and urging them to use another browser that is headed up by a more equal rights friendly CEO.
OkCupid is not outright banning Firefox users from accessing its site though, and has a small link at the bottom of the letter that lets users pass through to the full site. Mozilla takes issue with the new CEO over a $1000 donation he made to support proposition 8, the bill that would have banned gay marriage in California. OkCupid says that if gay marriage were banned world-wide more than 8-percent of the relationships it has created would be illegal.
Quad-copters are being used these days for everything from aerial footage of disasters, to amazing footage from inside an active volcano eruption. Today I came across a video that takes quad-copters to an entirely new level of usefulness. In the video seen below, a father is seen attaching a string to his young son's loose tooth, and then uses a quad-copter to yank the tooth right out of the kids head. I am not exactly sure if this is exciting, or terrifying, but it does make for a damned good story to tell.
Some people are calling this story a hoax, but I think it is quite real. Quad-copters of the size seen in the video are capable of lifting their own weight plus the weight of a camera setup, so I am sure this one has enough lift to yank an ill-fated tooth out of the child's mouth. I am in the process of building my own quad-copter and when finished, it should be able to lift a DSLR, Lens, and GoPro camera with ease, so something like a very loose tooth should be no issue. Do you think that multi-rotor aircraft are a viable replacement for dentist? Let us know in the comments.
The fallout has already begun over the acquisition of Oculus VR by Facebook that was announced earlier today. Facebook's stock began to take a hit after the announcement, which closed on the positive side for the day, but has fallen below its opening price of $64.25. This means that Facebook has lost between $1.5 and $1.8 billion in market cap in the hour or so since the acquisition announcement was made.
The fallout does not stop there though, and some developers are announcing their plans to stop development of their games for the Oculus Rift. Most notability is Markus Persson, AKA Notch, the creator of Minecraft, who tweeted that Facebook creeps him out and as a result he would be canceling development of Minecraft for the Oculus Rift. This leaves Minecraft in VR open to just Sony when the Minecraft for PS4 launches later this year. Although there is a mod out there that already enables Minecraft to the Oculus Rift, it is in no way as intuitive as native support would be.
Reporters Without Borders has released its latest list of "Enemies of the Internet," a list that it designed to bring attention to countries that are not disrupt the freedom of information with propaganda, surveillance, and censorship. A list that the United States of America is now on.
Over the past twelve months, we've seen Edward Snowden reveal the NSA's secrets, and much more. United States is now on the same list as Cuba, Iran, North Korea and China. Reporters Without Borders notes that entire governments aren't doing the spying themselves, but rather government agencies, like the NSA.
Reporters Without Borders says that this is a big problem, as those governments are setting a bad example by allowing the spying, where they said: "The mass surveillance methods employed in these three countries, many of them exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, are all the more intolerable because they will be used and indeed are already being used by authoritarians countries such as Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to justify their own violations of freedom of information."
During his testimony to the European Parliament released on Friday morning, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said that he reported policy or legal issues related to the NSA's far-reaching spying programs to more than 10 officials. But, as a contractor, he had no legal leg to stand on in order to pursue further whistleblowing.
Snowden was asked specifically if he had felt like he had exhausted all of his options before deciding to leak the classified information to the public, where he responded with: "Yes. I had reported these clearly problematic programs to more than ten distinct officials, none of whom took any action to address them. As an employee of a private company rather than a direct employee of the US government, I was not protected by US whistleblower laws, and I would not have been protected from retaliation and legal sanction for revealing classified information about lawbreaking in accordance with the recommended process".
US President Barack Obama said back in an August news conference that Snowden had "other avenues" to pursue, referring to Snowden "whose conscience was stirred and thought that they needed to question government actions". Obama referred to Presidential Policy Directive 19, a system setup for questioning classified government actions under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Soundtracks are a staple in any TV show or movie production, but generally speaking they tend to follow the music trends of the time-period the production is portraying. For instance, if a movie were set in the 1980's you could expect to hear some hairbands playing in the background, or if the TV show was about Las Vegas in the 50's Frank Sinatra would most likely be played at some point. What one does not expect, is an entire album to be released about a TV series where the music and show theme are hundreds of years apart.
Today HBO unveiled a new album for its upcoming season of Game of Thrones which features 10 tracks from some of the world's most famous hip-hop artist. Titled, Catch the Throne: The Mix Tape, the album features songs from artist like Big Boi, Common, Daddy Yankee, Magazeen and more. Many of the tracks feature actual audio from the series, and are not as bad as I originally expected. My personal favorite is track number six: Arya's Prayer by Dominik Omega, but the entire album is actually quite good considering the time-period difference between the two mediums.