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UN weighs laws for future 'killer robots'

May 13, 2014 8:46 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

GENEVA (AP) — Diplomats urged the adoption of new international laws Tuesday that could govern the use of "killer robots" if the technology becomes reality someday. At the first United Nations meeting devoted to the subject, representatives began trying to define the limits and responsibilities of so-called lethal autonomous weapons systems that could go beyond human-directed drones.

Group sues UK eavesdropping agency over hacking

May 13, 2014 8:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A rights group is suing Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping agency over cyberattacks revealed by former intelligence worker Edward Snowden, saying it's the first time the agency has been sued over hacking. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by Privacy International, joins a slew of legal challenges spawned by Snowden's disclosures.

Indonesia bans video sharing site for nudity

May 13, 2014 8:43 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Indonesia banned the popular video sharing site Vimeo, saying it contains nudity, which officials in the world's most populous Muslim country consider to be pornographic material. Information and Communication Minister Tiffatul Sembiring said in a statement Monday that he made the decision after receiving complaints from the public. He said the site content was against Indonesia's anti-pornography law.

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FCC revising Internet rules after public backlash

May 13, 2014 8:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is broadening the scope of his proposed open Internet rules and suggesting tougher standards for Internet providers who wish to create paid priority fast lanes on their networks. According to an FCC official, Wheeler made revisions after the commission received 35,000 public comments —many of them expressing outrage.

European court: Google must yield on personal info

May 13, 2014 8:39 am | by TOBY STERLING, Associated Press | News | Comments

People should have some say over the results that pop up when they conduct a search of their own name online, Europe's highest court said Tuesday. In a landmark decision, The Court of Justice of the European Union said Google must listen and sometimes comply when individuals ask the Internet search giant to remove links to newspaper articles or websites containing personal information.

Quadriplegic races 'Vette with help from AF Performance Lab

May 12, 2014 12:39 pm | by Ted Theopolos, U.S. Air Force | News | Comments

Human performance technologies developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, along with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., were on display here May 6 as quadriplegic Sam Schmidt, a former Indy Racing League driver, got back behind the wheel once again. The test took place on the 7,500 foot runway just south of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Will 3D-printing food ever be mainstream?

May 12, 2014 12:36 pm | by Melissa Fassbender, Associate Editor, PDD | Blogs | Comments

News of 3D printing has been ubiquitous as of late, and while the technology has been a disruptor in many markets, its applicability in the food industry is still questionable. One food 3D printer, which sought funding on Kickstarter, is the Foodini; and although it separates itself from current food printers as it is able to print both sweet and savory foods, many have still questioned the viability of 3D printing food.

600-V energy-efficient Trench IGBTs are optimized for a complete power range spectrum

May 12, 2014 11:31 am | International Rectifier | Product Releases | Comments

International Rectifier (El Segundo, CA) expanded its portfolio of 600-V insulated-gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) in a variety of packages. The new rugged, reliable IRxx46xx Series of devices are optimized for a complete power range spectrum.

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Patient stem cells used to make 'heart disease-on-a-chip'

May 12, 2014 8:57 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

Harvard scientists have merged stem cell and 'organ-on-a-chip' technologies to grow, for the first time, functioning human heart tissue carrying an inherited cardiovascular disease. The research appears to be a big step forward for personalized medicine, as it is working proof that a chunk of tissue containing a patient's specific genetic disorder can be replicated in the laboratory.

Court sides with US in cell-tracking records case

May 12, 2014 8:52 am | by ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Justice Department does not have to turn over information on cases involving warrantless cellphone tracking if the cases ended without a defendant's conviction, a divided federal appeals court ruled Friday in upholding privacy protections for people acquitted of crimes.

Nintendo apologizes for lack of virtual equality

May 12, 2014 8:51 am | by DERRIK J. LANG, AP Entertainment Write | News | Comments

Nintendo is apologizing and pledging to be more inclusive after being criticized for not recognizing same-sex relationships in English editions of a life-simulator video game. The publisher said that while it was too late to change the current game, it was committed to building virtual equality into future versions if they're produced.

Capacitive humidity sensor delivers digital output and has the world’s smallest mounting area

May 9, 2014 1:26 pm | Product Releases | Comments

Alps Electric hasdeveloped the HSHCAL Series capacitive digital humidity sensor, which delivers digital output and has the world’s smallest mounting area. Features include mounting area of 2.0mm × 2.0mm, proprietary sensing film for the sensor part, and broad relative humidity range of 0 to 100%....

Digital pressure sensor ideal for embedding in smartphones and other mobile devices

May 9, 2014 9:32 am | Product Releases | Comments

Alps Electric (Tokyo) has now developed the HSPPAD Series pressure sensor with digital output. Mass production is already underway. The HSPPAD Series has a built-in temperature compensation function, optimized based on data accumulated by Alps Electric through compensation simulations....

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FTC says Snapchat deceived customers

May 8, 2014 4:53 pm | by BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP | News | Comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Snapchat has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it deceived customers about the disappearing nature of messages sent through its service and that it collected users' contacts without telling them or asking permission. Snapchat is a popular mobile messaging app that lets people send photos, videos and messages that disappear in a few seconds..

Dish aims to launch Web TV service by year's end

May 8, 2014 4:52 pm | by RYAN NAKASHIMA, AP | News | Comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dish says it plans to launch its Internet-delivered TV service by year's end on mobile devices, game consoles and smart TVs for about $20 to $30 a month. It will contain live sports, entertainment and children's programming. That's a lot less than the typical pay TV package that Dish Network Corp. sells to its 14.1 million satellite TV subscribers, but it will have far fewer channels.

This FIB doesn't lie: New NIST microscope sees what others can't

May 8, 2014 4:48 pm | by eurekalert! | News | Comments

Microscopes don't exactly lie, but their limitations affect the truths they can tell. For example, scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) simply can't see materials that don't conduct electricity very well, and their high energies can actually damage some types of samples. In an effort to extract a little more truth from the world of nanomaterials and nanostructures...

GaitTrack app makes cellphone a medical monitor for heart and lung patients

May 8, 2014 4:38 pm | by Liz Ahlberg, Physical Sciences Editor, Illinois News Bureau | News | Comments

By simply carrying around their cellphones, patients who suffer from chronic disease could soon have an accurate health monitor that warns their doctors when their symptoms worsen. GaitTrack, an app developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the U. of I. at Chicago, turns a smartphone into a sophisticated medical device...

Ancient engineers' techniques finally revealed

May 8, 2014 4:29 pm | by Prof. Daniel Bonn, Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter | News | Comments

Physicists from the FOM Foundation and the University of Amsterdam have discovered that the ancient Egyptians used a clever trick to make it easier to transport heavy pyramid stones by sledge. The Egyptians moistened the sand over which the sledge moved. By using the right quantity of water they could halve the number of workers needed. The researchers published this discovery online on 29 April 2014 in Physical Review Letters.

Photos of the Day: Solar car maxes out at 93mph

May 8, 2014 12:24 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

In this April 30, 2014 photo, Qazvin Azad University students assemble the rectangular Havin-2, or Brilliant Sun, in Qazvin, Iran. The Havin-2 drove for tests alongside slightly larger gas-powered motor vehicles outside the capital, Tehran, ahead of the eight-day, 1,700-mile (2,700-kilometer) race that will take it from Austin, Texas to Minneapolis.

GM recalls challenge company, frustrate customers

May 8, 2014 12:19 pm | by Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer | News | Comments

Nine million parts. That's what General Motors needs to repair millions of cars it has recalled since Feb. 7. With ignition switches, power steering motors and other parts slowly arriving at dealers, frustrated drivers face waits of weeks or months, some while driving cars they fear are unsafe.

Engineering Update #57: Wirelessly charge 40 phones at one time

May 8, 2014 10:29 am | by Jon Dipierro, Multimedia Production Specialist | Videos | Comments

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology developed a pretty unique charging station capable of wirelessly charging electronics from up to 16 feet away, and capable of powering multiple devices at the same time. And we’re talking about A LOT of devices, as in, up to 40 smartphones at the same time....

May 2014: Portable Power

May 8, 2014 10:13 am | Digital Editions | Comments

In the May 1 issue, ECN takes a look at one of the fastest growing and most challenging technologies: portable power. With electronics design trending towards miniaturization and mobility, power has become a constant balancing act between efficiency, weight, and necessity.

Listening to bipolar disorder: Smartphone app detects mood swings via voice analysis

May 8, 2014 9:22 am | by Eurekalert! | News | Comments

A smartphone app that monitors subtle qualities of a person's voice during everyday phone conversations shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder, a University of Michigan team reports.While the app still needs much testing before widespread use, early results from a small group of patients show its potential to monitor moods while protecting privacy.

Water Flows Uphill? Maybe, in California Drought

May 8, 2014 9:17 am | by Garance Burke, Associated Press | News | Comments

Water has flowed from Northern California's snow-capped peaks to the south's parched cities ever since the California Aqueduct was built in the 1960s. Now, amid one of the worst droughts in history, state officials are considering an audacious plan to send some of the water back uphill.

California Back in The Running for Tesla Plant

May 8, 2014 9:15 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

California is back in the running for a massive battery plant that electric car maker Tesla Motors plans to start building this year, but CEO Elon Musk said the state remains in the "improbable" category for winning the plant because of the time it will take to win regulatory approval.

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