Monthly Archives: June 2015

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This Is The Worst Way To Get Stuck On A Global RallyCross Course

This is what happens when you get pushed off a ramp at just the wrong place on a Global Rallycross course. Collete Davis was nudged off the side of the ramp by another GRC Lites car who didn’t want to concede the racing line and got wedged between the ramp itself and the spotter’s stand.

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FBI slip-up leaves Megaupload, other seized sites hosting nasty ads

The FBI might want to continue brushing up on its internet skills. The agency’s online division forgot to renew the web domain it uses to host seized websites, leading to a “black hat SEO” marketer taking over sites like Megaupload and temporarily fi…

Adorable AI-powered robot Musio just wants to be your friend

Everyone complains about not having flying cars yet, but where are our robotic pals? Films like Short Circuit, Big Hero 6 and Wall-E certainly make them seem appealing, though our ever-constant anxiety around Terminator-like robot uprisings is likely…

ARM makes another stab at boosting the Internet of Things

ARM’s been championing the Internet of Things for several years now, and for good reason: it’s poised to win big as more devices tap its low-power chips. Last year it unveiled an Internet of Things platform, now at Computex it’s targeting device make…

Senate impasse: NSA spy tactics—including phone records collection—expiring

The Senate failed to pass legislation late Sunday to extend three Patriot Act surveillance measures ahead of their midnight expiration. One spy tool whose legal authorization was expiring was the National Security Agency’s bulk telephone metadata collection program exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013.

President Barack Obama was set to sign the bill, the USA Freedom Act, ahead of the surveillance tools’ expiration at midnight Sunday. But Senate lawmakers who convened in a special session at 4 pm ET Sunday could not reach an accord. The Senate is to to resume debate Monday at noon ET.

As expected, there was much banter back and forth on the Senate floor about whether the Constitution was being gutted or whether the country would come to ruins if the Senate did not quickly adopt the already approved House legislation ahead of the June 1 expiration deadline. (The three Patriot Act provisions that failed to pass the Senate were renewed days ago in the House through 2019.)

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Apple I worth $200,000 gets tossed out for recycling

You’re about to get a textbook lesson in why you should always, always check vintage gadgets before you toss them out. A woman discarding her late husband’s electronics inadvertently gave a Milpitas recycling firm an ultra-rare Apple I computer that …

MIT’s cheetah robot can now autonomously detect and jump over hurdles

MIT’s biomimetic robotics lab, which last year developed a free-running untethered cheetah robot capable of bounding along at 10mph, has now created a new version—Cheetah 2—that can autonomously jump over hurdles.

These aren’t just token hurdles, either: the current version of the robot can clear obstacles that are up to 45 centimetres (18 inches) tall, while maintaining a steady speed of 5mph (8kph). 45 centimetres is about half the height of the robot.

While untethered jumping is already quite an achievement for a biomimetic robot, the way in which Cheetah 2 does it is even more impressive. There isn’t a human pushing a “jump” button; Cheetah 2 is autonomous. Using on-board LIDAR, the robot can detect obstacles, estimate the distance to the object and how tall it is, and then adjust its stride so that it’s perfectly placed to jump over.

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Enrique Iglesias learns first-hand that drones and concerts don’t mix

Does the notion of flying a drone around a crowded, hectic concert sound a tad too risky to you? We’re sure Enrique Iglesias is having second thoughts. The singer sliced his hand at a Tijuana performance this weekend after he tried to grab a camera d…