chrb writes "Nintendo has announced that its new Wii U console will feature a social network called the Miiverse in which users can video chat, see what others are playing, share game content and swap tips." And with a nod to Zawinski's Law, "The redesigned Wii U GamePad features dual sticks, a touch screen that supports finger and stylus interaction, motion and gyroscope sensors, and the ability to act as a TV remote. The Wii U GamePad has its own dedicated Web browser and can share images and video to a TV so that everyone can enjoy the shared content."
An anonymous reader writes "The Raspberry Pi received an extraordinary amount of pre-launch coverage. It truly went viral with major news corporations such as the BBC giving extensive coverage. Not without reason, it is groundbreaking to have a small, capable computer retailing at less than the price of a new console game. There have been a number of ventures that have tried to produce a cheap computer such as a laptop and a tablet but which never materialised at these price points. Nothing comes close to the Raspberry Pi in terms of affordability, which is even more important in the current economic climate. Producing a PC capable of running Linux, Quake III-quality games, and 1080p video is worthy of praise." Beyond praise, though, this article details the hooking-up and mucking-about phases, and offers some ideas of what it's useful for.
pigrabbitbear writes "It was the second day of the Special Operation Forces Exhibition in Amman, Jordan, and the temperature outside the convention center was around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with a typical chance of rain of zero. Drones of various sizes hovered in the hot blue desert sky. Inside, Ed Atchley had set up a booth for his company, Aspen Water Inc., right next to a 30mm chain gun designed to sink things like helicopters and Somali pirate ships. Atchley had traveled from his headquarters in Richardson, Texas, to the largest weapons trade show in the world, mainly because he makes 'the army's smallest, lightest, least expensive, high output, reverse osmosis water purifier,' he says, and people in the Middle East – including soldiers – get very thirsty."
First time accepted submitter SmartAboutThings writes "Apple and Microsoft are one of the worst companies at protecting our privacy, according to EFF's privacy report. Dropbox, Twitter and Sonic have some of the best scores." "Sonic" is California ISP Sonic.net, which tops the field with the EFF's only 4-star rating. Of ISPs with national presence, ATT and Comcast come in with a single star apiece, and Verizon gets a goose egg.
In light of new evidence publicly released Friday showing artifacts believed to have been Amelia Earhart's, the U.S. Navy is prepping a mission to investigate the area where they were found. Next month marks the 75th anniversary of Earhart's disappearance, but the just-announced discovery of personal effects and the evidence of cooking represents the most concrete evidence yet that she did not simply crash into the ocean.
An anonymous reader writes "Here's a scenario: you are on a vacation trip for a couple of weeks — on the road. Lots of pictures — 2-300 per day. Maybe some text files with short notes etc. You have a camera with Eye-Fi, a PC, and a phone with WiFi and 3G. Files ends up on the PC (mobile storage), phone provides Internet connectivity. Now, if you wanted to upload all files pretty much as you go — given spotty access to Internet over G3 and WiFi — what would be the best way to do that automatically; set-it-and-forget-it style? I would like them to end up on my own server. rsync script? ownCloud? Some BitTorrent setup? Other? I'm thinking of interrupted file transfers due to no network, re-starts etc. And I would not want to lose any files; including scenarios where files gets deleted locally — that should not result in files getting automatically deleted on the server as well. Sure; I could perhaps use something like Dropbox but that would take the fun out of it."
NicknamesAreStupid writes "Product Design & Development reports another breakthrough in small scale solid oxide fuel cells. This methane-fueled cell achieves about 50% efficiency at around 2kW, enough to power an average home. It does so by efficiently recycling its heat to perpetuate the process. Of course, this is not practical for most homes, which only have natural gas that contains nearly one fifth impurities. However, that could change if gas suppliers refined their product."
An anonymous reader writes "As online courses become mainstream, some students are finding they are often easy to game. A group of clever students at one public university describe how they used a Google Doc during on open-book test for a new kind of 'cloud cheating.'" Instead of "cloud" all the time, can't we switch it up with "on the internet"?
theodp writes "In a move that evokes memories of Steve Ballmer's initial pooh-poohing of the iPhone threat, DirecTV Chairman Michael White downplayed the Apple TV hype, expressing doubts that 'Apple's interface will be so much better than DirecTVs' that people will be willing to pay for an extra box. So, will White's statement — 'It's hard to see (it) obsoleting our technology' — come back to haunt him?"
MojoKid writes "Recently AMD announced that it would cease offering monthly graphics driver updates, and instead issue Catalyst versions only 'when it makes sense.' That statement would be a good deal more comforting if it didn't 'make sense' to upgrade AMD's drivers nearly every single month. From 2010 through 2011, AMD released a new Catalyst driver every month like clockwork. Starting last summer, however, AMD began having trouble with high-profile game releases that performed badly or had visual artifacts. Rage was one high-profile example, but there have been launch-day issues with a number of other titles, including Skyrim, Assassin's Creed, Bat Man: Arkham City, and Battlefield 3. The company responded to these problems by quickly releasing out-of-band driver updates. In addition, AMD's recent Catalyst 12.6 beta driver also fixes random BSODs on the desktop, poor Crossfire scaling in Skyrim and random hangs in Crysis 2 in DX9. In other words, AMD is still working to resolve important problems in games that launched more than six months ago. It's hard to put a positive spin on slower driver releases given just how often those releases are necessary."
Reader rtfa-troll writes: "'GPL enforcement by Software Freedom Conservancy puts electronics makers on notice, leaves business users untouched,' says Infoworld, going on to explain 'You are several orders of magnitude more likely to be raided by your proprietary suppliers, in the form of the Business Software Alliance, than to ever hear from SFC, let alone face any action. License compliance is a major and costly issue for proprietary software, but the case concerns an end-user license agreement (EULA), not a source license.' The article gives a good summary of why having GPL licenses enforced helps everybody, except for 'hardware manufacturers — typically those creating low-cost consumer and business electronics' who need to verify that they pass on the same rights to others as they received with the original code."
Hugh Pickens writes "Brandon Keim reports that the war on drugs has a new front, with chemists fabricating synthetic mimics of marijuana, dissociative drugs and stimulants. So far lawmakers appear to be a losing the war, as every time a new compound is banned, overseas chemists synthesize a new version tweaked just enough to evade the letter of the law in a giant game of chemical Whack-a-Mole. 'Manufacturers turn these things around so quickly. One week you'll have a product with compound X, the next week it's compound Y,' says forensic toxicologist Kevin Shanks. 'It's fascinating how fast it can occur, and it's fascinating to see the minute changes in chemical structure they'll come up with. It's similar, but it's different.' During the last several years, the market for legal highs has exploded in North America and Europe. While people raised on Reefer Madness-style exaggerations may be wary of claims that 'legal high' drugs are dangerous, researchers say they're far more potent than the originals. Reports of psychotic episodes following synthetic drug use are common and have led to a variety of laws, but so far the bans aren't working, as the drugs can be subtly tweaked so as to possess a different, legal molecular form. One obvious alternative approach is to ban entire classes of similar compounds; however this is easier said than done. 'The problem with that is, what does "chemically similar" really mean? Change the structure in a small way — move a molecule here, move something to the other side of the molecule — and while I might think it's an analogue, another chemist might disagree,' says Shanks. 'That's the crux of the entire problem. The scientific community does not agree on what "analogue" essentially means.""
beaverdownunder writes "Farhad Manjoo examines Facebook's rumoured entry into the smartphone market, concluding, 'So what would be the point in using the Facebook phone? Well, remember, it will be cheap. But so are lots of Android phones. If Facebook makes a phone, then, the device will necessarily spark a battle for the low end of the phone market, with each company offering ever-cheaper devices in the hopes of cashing in on some future advertising bonanza. If you're looking for a cheap, ad-heavy phone based on a dubious business model, you should rejoice. Otherwise, try to stifle your yawns.'"
knorthern knight writes "When 2 light civilian planes collide in U.S. airspace in Virginia, the usual response includes calling in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) to investigate and make recommendations based on their results. But what do you do when the crash involves two planes piloted by a crash investigator with the FAA and the chief medical officer with the NTSB? In order to avoid conflict of interest by American investigators working for these agencies, the investigation has been turned over to to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as a neutral 3rd party."
coondoggie writes "The nasty Trojan known as Citadel malware, which is based on Zeus, has typically been used to extort money from online banking users, but a new variant is making the rounds that tries to get your money by saying you looked at child porn sites and must pay a violation fee to the U.S. Department of Justice. This variation, called Reveton, lures the victim to a drive-by download website, at which time the ransomware is installed on the user's computer, says the U.S. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Once installed, the computer freezes and a screen is displayed warning the user they have violated United States Federal Law."