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K5 security robot set to begin protecting Silicon Valley campus

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 2:27 am

Science Fiction has long imagined a world where robot sentries patrol the streets, office buildings, and college campuses, and today those fictions became reality. A company called Knightscope has unveiled a new 5-foot tall robot dubbed K5 that is loaded with sensors, cameras, and connectivity to make it the best security robot ever to roam the hallways of silicon valley.




The K5 was launched today in San Francisco, and has the ability to see, feel, hear and smell, and can issue warnings of biochemical attacks, leaks, or even notify officials of high levels of radiation. The robot uses complex algorithms to scan images it captures with its cameras to detect human threats such as a gun wielding criminal, at which point it automatically notifies authorities. K5 is also capable of scanning license plates on-the-fly to verify cars parked in parking lots belong to employees or authorized visitors.

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RSA wants better cooperation between companies, governments

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 2:12 am

RSA 2014 - RSA chairman Art Coviello wants increased global cooperation and governance for the security industry, especially after widespread NSA spying was revealed by Edward Snowden.




EMC-owned RSA also was accused of receiving a $10 million payment to create a backdoor into its software for use by the US government - though Coveillo also expressed anger over the accusations - and said the RSA-NSA relationship was a matter of public record.


Coviello hopes additional governance will give security experts the chance to develop next-generation platforms with less worry the tools will be used for inappropriate purposes.

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Flock of drones flying autonomously over the skies might be coming

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Drones | Posted: Feb 28, 2014 1:14 am

A research team from Hungary is working on a project to see if 10 drones can fly autonomously with the ability to self-organize in-flight.




If there is an issue for flying space, some drones will hover and wait until they are able to continue on their route, according to researchers. Most current drone technology is focused on allowing someone in a remote location to fly the drones, though there is growing interest in autonomous drone technology.


"Drones are most commonly associated with war, terrorism, and cyberattacks, but drones can be used in more peaceful civil applications as well," said Gabor Vasarhelyi, leader of the robotics research phase. "With a flock of drones, you can create a self-organized monitoring system from the air, or you can even deliver food or mail."


Researchers plan to demonstrate the technology during the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems later this year. There has been a significant amount of research, with a few different attempts to create 3D flying drone flocks, and collective motion could make these drones plausible.

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HTML5 expected to be a technology to watch in 2015-2016, Gartner says

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 11:58 pm

HTML5 is one of the leading mobile technologies that consumers and companies should pay attention to, especially in 2015 and 2016, a new report from the Gartner research group indicates.




"HTML5 won't be a simple panacea for mobile application portability because it's fragmented and immature and therefore poses many implementation and security risks," said Nick Jones, Gartner VP and distinguished analyst, in a Gartner statement. "However, as HTML5 and its development tools mature, the popularity of the mobile Web and hybrid applications will increase. Hence, despite many challenges, HTML5 will be an essential technology for organizations delivering applications across multiple platforms."


Some developers are turning to HTML5 to get their feet wet - and create apps that are supported both on Google Android and Apple iOS. Moving forward, HTML5 development will become a growing priority for app and website designers, and there is plenty of opportunity for the technology to capture market share.

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It's official, Anomaly 2 is headed to Sony's PlayStation 4

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 11:17 pm

One of the hottest tower offence games of 2012-2013 is coming to the PlayStation 4. The news came from Pawel Miechowski of 11 Bit Studios, who posted the news on the official PlayStation blog. He did not give an exact date on when the title will arrive on the next-gen console from Sony, but he did go into great detail education readers who may not have played the game before, on what the game is all about.




"In Anomaly 2, the story continues right after the invasion of Earth in 2018. Our planet is controlled by the aliens, and humankind is almost extinct. Those who managed to survive are grouped in convoys. Your convoy is called Yukon," Miechowski said. "In this sequel, you're again playing as Commander, controlling him on the battlefield and supporting the units in your convoy with four special abilities which you deploy during missions."


I've spent some time in Anomaly 2 on the PC and it is an immensely addicting game, and if 11 Bit Studios can pull it off on the PS4 in similar fashion, they are sure to have a best seller on their hands. Anomaly 2 is an older game, and no word has been given on pricing, but it has been part of the Humble Bundle before, so I would not expect it to be too expensive.

British spies snooped on webcam images of Yahoo users

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 10:34 pm

British spy agency GCHQ reportedly stole webcam images from millions of Internet users, including sexually graphic images, according to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.




Anywhere from three percent up to 11 percent of the images comprised "undesirable nudity," according to the study.


"Unfortunately, it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person," according to a GCHQ document. "Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography."

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Google's new Maps Gallery enables users to easily find custom maps

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 10:33 pm

Today Google announced the launch of a new feature that is designed to make publishing and searching for custom maps much easier than ever before. The all new Google Maps Gallery is a new way for Governments, non-profit organizations and businesses to easily publish and share their map data with the rest of the world from a familiar and easy to use interface.




Once published, the new custom maps can be easily viewed on Google Earth and are discoverable from all major search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo. This brings maps from National Geographic, World Bank, and USGS instantly into the view of researchers, students, and the general public anywhere there is an internet connection.

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New HTC One 2 images leak as company increases launch hype

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 9:27 pm

HTC is continuing its campaign to hype up its next-generation flagship the HTC M8 before its launch next month on March 25th, and today the company has posted a new video teasing us about the next-generation of Boom Sound, the audio system featured on the HTC one. Alongside this video's launch new images have surfaced online that give us more conformation on what the new HTC One will look like.




The video does allude to the M8 as the "New HTC One" and says that the audio quality will be even better and more rich than its predecessor which featured "Beats Audio" technology. As an owner of the current HTC One, I can not imagine how they will be able to stuff any more audio quality into the new device, but I can not wait to see if it truly is any better than before. The video is the first in a new series called "HTC Technical Translations" and should see more episodes launch before the March 25th unveil.

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Titanfall will not run at 1080p on the Xbox One says developer

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 8:37 pm

Titanfall is one of the most anticipated games of 2014 and today Xbox One gamers got the big letdown everyone has been expecting since the beta took place. Instead of releasing the game in 1080p for the Xbox One, its developers say that the game will not arrive on the Xbox One in full HD but somewhere between 720p and 1080p. Titanfall on the PC is no slouch with almost 50GB of install files, so we know the high-resolution textures are there, but not being utilized on the Xbox One.




The news came from Respawn Entertainment co-founder, Vince Zampella, via Twitter where he answered a question about the game arriving on the Xbox One in full HD. A Twitter user linked to a Twitter post by @Titanfall_EN which said "Titanfall will be 1080p on Xbox One, and asked if this is true. Zampella responded with the word "no." Unfortunately this appears to be the general conscientious when it comes to AAA titles on the Xbox One.


The biggest question here is how could Microsoft continue to let the biggest upcoming titles in gaming launch on its platform in anything but 1080p? Full HD is the common resolution in household living rooms today and virtually every PC game launched in the last two years has 1080p support. It almost appears as if Microsoft wants the Xbox One to fail so it can exit from the console gaming arena entirely. A friend of mine recently commented that it "feels like Microsoft has moved the Xbox franchise onto the same release patter that it uses for Windows. Good, Decent, Crap, Good, Decent, Crap. If so, does that mean that in 10 years, we will see a full HD Xbox released when 8K resolution is beginning to be phased out?

Energy companies, critical infrastructure still exposed to threats

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 27, 2014 7:58 pm

Utility companies are reportedly being denied insurance coverage for cyberattacks because security defenses are seen as too weak, according to a recent report.




Cyber protection is inadequate and until it is improved industrywide, utility providers are going to be forced to pay high premiums - and security still hasn't improved - only dragging out the process further.


"I think what's behind it is the increase in threats and the fact that a lot of these systems were never previously connected to the outside world," Laila Khudari, insurance underwriter at the Kiln Group, in a statement to the BBC.

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