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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

It's funny.  Laugh.

Monty Python Crew To Reunite For Movie 136

Posted by timothy
from the this-time-with-feeling dept.
dutchwhizzman writes "The surviving members of Monty Python have announced they will make a new movie. It will be titled Absolutely Anything. Graham Chapman won't be there to join them anymore, but they think the movie will still be in the spirit of Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life and other movies they made in the past."
Education

Pentagon Drafts Kids To Build Drones and Robots 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the war-kids dept.
MrSeb writes "In a world where warfare is fast becoming fielded by remote controlled and autonomous robots, innovation is the key to victory. The most technologically advanced superpower can see more, plan better, and attack from further away than its inferior adversaries. What better way to revolutionize the drone and robotics industry than use the brilliant minds of our children? That's what DARPA and the Defense Department's research and development arm thinks, anyway. The Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach Initiative, part of the Adaptive Vehicle Make project, is slated to reach a thousand schools in and out of the country, roping in the brightest minds to develop robotics and advance technology in new and interesting ways. Funded by the Department of Defense, the program comes with a steep cost: The DoD wants unlimited rights to everything the students build. It sounds almost like something Orson Scott Card would dream up."
Image

Team Creates Footwear Recognition System 50

Posted by samzenpus
from the these-boots-were-made-for-coding dept.
Zothecula writes "Facial recognition might be all the rage in giving computer systems the ability to ascertain the identity of individuals — what with most people having different facial features and all. But a team from the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, has taken a different approach to identify users of touch-based tabletop computers like Microsoft's Surface. Instead of focusing on the face, the team has looked in the opposite direction to develop a system known as Bootstrapper, which distinguishes between users based on their footwear ."
Math

Pac-Man Is NP-Hard 195

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-all-fun-and-games dept.
MrSeb writes "An Italian researcher with a penchant for retro games — or perhaps just looking for an excuse to play games in the name of science! — has used computational complexity theory to decide, once and for all, just how hard video games are. In a truly epic undertaking, Giovanni Viglietta of the University of Pisa has worked out the theoretical difficulty of 13 old games, including Pac-Man, Doom, Lemmings, Prince of Persia, and Boulder Dash. Pac-Man, with its traversal of space, is NP-hard. Doom, on the other hand, is PSPACE-hard."
Hardware Hacking

High School Students Send Lego Man 24 Kilometers High 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the some-science-projects-are-better-than-others dept.
First time accepted submitter AbilityLiving writes "Two high schoolers have launched a Lego Man to 80,000 feet — three times the height of a jet — in a homebrew project that involved a few Ebay-purchased cameras, a giant helium balloon and a star-ship full of ingenuity."
Privacy

The Web's Worst Privacy Policy 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the bottom-of-the-barrel dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "With much of the web upset over about Google's latest privacy policy changes, it's helpful to remember it could be much worse: A search engine called Skipity offers the world's worst privacy policy (undoubtedly tongue-in-cheek), filled with lines like this: 'You may think of using any of our programs or services as the privacy equivalent of living in a webcam fitted glass house under the unblinking eye of Big Brother: you have no privacy with us. If we can use any of your details to legally make a profit, we probably will.' The policy gives the company the right to sell any of your data that it wants to any and all corporate customers, send you limitless spam, track your movements via GPS if possible, watch you through your webcam, and implant a chip in your body that is subject to reinstallation whenever the company chooses."
Android

Android Kinect Projector Interface 45

Posted by samzenpus
from the because-you-can dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A guy who goes by the online handle DDRBoxman decided it would be fun to blow up his Samsung Galaxy Nexus display onto the wall by connecting his phone to a projector. He then connected the whole thing to a PC and, thanks to Microsoft's open-source Kinect platform for Windows, he was able to create a custom ROM that mapped out the phone interface to the Kinect sensors. Pretty neat!"
Transportation

MIT Media Lab Rolls Out Folding Car 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the sub-sub-compact dept.
kkleiner writes "You think European cars are small now, wait till the Hiriko takes to the roads in Spain's northern Basque country. The two-seater is about the size of a SmartCar, but when parked, the car can actually fold. After folding, the car takes up about a third of a normal parking space. The Hiriko, Basque for 'urban car,' folds as the rear of the car slides underneath its chassis. Every square foot counts."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Psychics Say Apollo 16 Astronauts Found Alien Ship 285

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the scully-says-yeah-right dept.
astroengine writes "A group called Transception Incorporated, self-described as an Austin, Texas-based psychic R&D operation, sent a letter (PDF) to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden that nominates the Apollo 16 crew for the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. Why? Well, a variety of 'shipwreck elements' on the Moon — described as 'structures, people/aliens, biological technology, and their plight' — were reportedly 'seen' through remote viewing (PDF) by six experts at Transception. These 'elements' can be seen, along with Apollo 16 moonwalkers John Young and Charles Duke, in photographs during that famous mission, obviously making this the first ever alien encounter."
Image

Tales of IT Idiocy 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the was-that-wrong? dept.
snydeq writes "IT fight club, dirty dev data, meatball sandwiches — InfoWorld offers nine more tales of brain fail beyond belief. 'You'd think we'd run out of them, but technology simply hasn't advanced enough to take boneheaded users out of the daily equation that is the IT admin's life. Whether it's clueless users, evil admins, or just completely bad luck, Mr. Murphy has the IT department pinned in his sights — and there's no escaping the heartache, headaches, hassles, and hilarity of cluelessness run amok.'"
Space

Russian Scientist Claims Signs of Life Spotted On Venus 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-are-not-alone dept.
flergum writes "Leonid Ksanfomaliti, an astronomer based at the Space Research Institute of Russia's Academy of Sciences, analyzed photographs taken by a Russian landing probe during 1982 and claims to have found signs of life. Ksanfomaliti says the Russian photographs depict objects resembling a 'disk,' a 'black flap' and a 'scorpion.'"
Wireless Networking

Police Investigate Offensive Wi-Fi Network Name 890

Posted by Soulskill
from the sounds-like-a-rough-neighborhood dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Police in Teaneck, New Jersey, with apparently too much time on their hands, are investigating an offensive wireless network name. Although the police didn't reveal the name, the New York Daily News reports that it was anti-Semitic and racist in nature. The incident is being investigated as a possible 'bias crime.' It's definitely not what proper people do, but a 'bias crime?'"
Idle

Walmart Holds Invention Contest 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the dropping-the-price-on-inspiration dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Walmart is holding the inventor's equivalent to 'American Idol' calling for product submissions that will be offered for sale in Walmart stores. Feel that the back scratcher you received a patent for hasn't garnered the attention it deserves? This could be your big chance at fame and fortune."
Idle

Spider Silk Cape Goes On Display 96

Posted by samzenpus
from the 1-million-thread-count dept.
fangmcgee writes "Before anyone asks, no, it's not bulletproof. But that doesn't mean that the glistening yellow cape—the world's largest garment made entirely from spider silk—isn't a massive feat of engineering to be marveled. Now on public display for the first time at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the textile gets its unearthly gleam from the undyed filaments of the golden orb spider, a species of arachnid commonly found in Madagascar."
Canada

Fake IPad 2s Made of Clay Sold At Canadian Stores 265

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-school-tablets dept.
SpuriousLogic writes in with a link to a story about some Canadian consumers who thought they were getting an iPad 2 but instead got the makings of the world's oldest tablets. "As many as 10 fake iPad 2s, all made of slabs of modeling clay, were recently sold at electronic stores in Vancouver, British Columbia. Best Buy and Future Shop have launched investigations into how the scam was pulled off. The tablet computers, like most Apple products, are known for their sleek and simple designs. But there's no mistaking the iPad for one of the world's oldest 'tablet devices.' Still, most electronic products cannot be returned to stores. For the the stores and customers to be fooled by the clay replacements, the thieves must have successfully weighed out the clay portions and resealed the original Apple packaging. Future Shop spokesman Elliott Chun told CTV that individuals bought the iPads with cash, replaced them with the model clay, then returned the packages to the stores. The returned fakes were restocked on the shelve and sold to new, unwitting customers."

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