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Industry & Technology

MegaBots’ Eagle Prime was born to smash anything in its path

Ars Technica - 56 min 44 sec ago

Enlarge / Meet Eagle Prime, your new robotic overlord. (credit: Chris Schodt)

OAKLAND, Calif.—As far as mass entertainment goes, giant robots smashing each other should be a sure bet. Turns out, there's a lot of kinks to work out first.

On Sunday, MegaBots, a Hayward, Calif.-based company (approximately 19 miles south of Oakland) that builds these robo-gladiators, held its second live event. It was an experiment of sorts. Instead of a robo-battle, it was more of a droid demolition derby, with MegaBots flagship mech Eagle Prime smashing appliances, a piano, and for the grand finale, a Chevy Astro van.

Chris Schodt

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RAF Air Command to take on UK military space ops

The Register - 1 hour 36 sec ago
Dan Dare has a think about Galileo in least interesting comic strip ever

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is to take on command and control of UK military space operations, including a possible UK-based alternative to the EU's Galileo satellite constellation.…

Deadpool is not part of the MCU. Please stop asking - CNET - News - 1 hour 8 min ago
He's barely even part of the X-Men (trainee!).

Facebook and Qualcomm aim to bring mega-fast Wi-Fi to urban areas - CNET - News - 1 hour 11 min ago
The two companies are working together on Facebook's millimeter-wave Terragraph tech.

If renewable energy can power entire countries, why isn't everyone doing it? - CNET - News - 1 hour 12 min ago
A country getting all its electricity from a combination of wind, solar and hydro sounds like science fiction. It's not.

All the live TV streaming services compared: Which has the best channel lineup? - CNET - News - 1 hour 20 min ago
Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu and PlayStation Vue are all vying for your cord-cutting dollar. Here's how the top 100 channels stack up.

Medicines were tainted with pesticides in sloppy drug facility, FDA warns

Ars Technica - 1 hour 27 min ago

Enlarge / Pesticides in a store in Miami, Florida. (credit: Getty | Kerry Sheridan)

A drug manufacturer used the same, uncleaned equipment to make pesticides as it did several human drugs, according to a warning letter released by the Food and Drug Administration. The result was that at least two medicines were contaminated with pesticides, the agency noted.

The FDA’s sternly worded letter charged that drug manufacturer Product Quest MFG, LLC of Daytona Beach, Florida and its manufacturing facility, Ei LLC in Kannapolis, North Carolina, committed “significant violations.” It also noted that the firm’s response to the problems so far were “inadequate” and that its investigations into the extent of the problems were “not thorough and scientifically sound.” The agency levied legal threats if the issues weren’t fixed pronto.

“Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in legal action without further notice including, without limitation, seizure and injunction,” the letter stated. They agency also threatened to deny the manufacturer’s drug applications, contracts, and block its drug export certifications.

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Nokia maker HMD snags $100M funding to bring you more phones - CNET - News - 1 hour 31 min ago
Look who's on the Android-powered comeback trail.

Dreams PS4 world-premiere hands-on: Finally, a good 3D take on LittleBigPlanet

Ars Technica - 1 hour 31 min ago

Enlarge / These are the "imps" that you'll use to manipulate worlds and objects in Dreams, whether you're in an adventure or just goofing around in its editor mode. (credit: Media Molecule)

SANTA MONICA, California—Ten years ago, the LittleBigPlanet game series did the seemingly unthinkable for console players: it opened up the "mod and make your own games" experience that had previously been the domain of PC gaming. Its cute simplicity enabled a new audience to create (and share, via an online browser) their own 2D platform and adventure games, complete with higher-level concepts like if-then clauses, proximity triggers, and per-object logic.

In 2015, LBP's creators at Media Molecule announced something even more ambitious: Dreams, a game that would do the same thing for the 3D-gaming world. Use controllers like a paintbrush, toggle through coding-command menus, and create your own 3D worlds, the Media Molecule devs promised.

But thanks to a number of unclear media-event teases, we've gathered more questions than answers. Would Dreams really require those old, barely used PlayStation Move wands, as originally hinted during its 2015 announcement? How exactly would we build our own worlds and experiments? And would this PS4 product ever look like an actual video game?

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Robots can now complete tasks by simply observing humans - CNET - News - 1 hour 34 min ago
Humans to be completely useless soon: confirmed.

This Amazon site handles your biggest, bulkiest purchases - CNET - News - 1 hour 39 min ago
Amazon's Fall River warehouse was built specifically to handle larger products, like kayaks, restaurant sinks and car engines.

Mark Zuckerberg's European Parliament meeting will be streamed live - CNET - News - 1 hour 43 min ago
It was originally supposed to take place behind closed doors.

Inside an Amazon warehouse that ships your supersized purchases - CNET - News - 1 hour 55 min ago
Because if you want a javelin or a life-size Yeti statue, you need it with two-day shipping.

Greenwich uni fined £120k: Hole in computing school site leaked 20k people's data

The Register - 1 hour 56 min ago
Insecure 12-year old microsite handed attackers key

The Information Commissioner has slapped a £120,000 fine on the University of Greenwich in the UK after a security cockup by its computing and maths school compromised the data of almost 20,000 individuals.…

Greenwich University fined £120,000 for data breach

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 11 min ago
The Information Commissioner said the data breach, which included students' health problems, was serious.

Microsoft's acquisition of Semantic Machines is all about AI - CNET - News - 2 hours 22 min ago
Semantic Machines focuses on conversational artificial intelligence, which is all the rage for digital voice assistants and social chatbots.

Reduxio gets head transplant as co-founder and other execs hit highway

The Register - 2 hours 27 min ago
They've gone array

The board at storage startup Reduxio has hired a shiny new CEO amid a wave of senior exec changes, sources have told El Reg.…

Who is Deadpool 2's Cable? Here's everything you need to know - CNET - News - 2 hours 32 min ago
The most convoluted backstory in comics, explained.

Asteroid found near Jupiter may shake understanding of life on Earth - CNET - News - 2 hours 32 min ago
The first "immigrant" asteroid from beyond our solar system could hold the key to the mysteries of space -- and even life.

Intel’s Mobileye wants to dominate driverless cars—but there’s a problem

Ars Technica - 3 hours 2 min ago

Enlarge / Amnon Shashua, co-founder and CTO of Mobileye. (credit: Arielinson / Wikimedia)

Mobileye, the Israeli self-driving technology company Intel acquired last year, announced on Thursday that it would begin testing up to 100 cars on the roads of Jerusalem. But in a demonstration with Israeli television journalists, the company's demonstration car blew through a red light.

Mobileye is a global leader in selling driver-assistance technology to automakers. With this week's announcement, Mobileye hoped to signal that it wasn't going to be left behind as the world shifts to fully self-driving vehicles. But the red-light blunder suggests that the company's technology may be significantly behind industry leaders like Waymo.

While most companies working on full self-driving technology have made heavy use of lidar sensors, Mobileye is testing cars that rely exclusively on cameras for navigation. Mobileye isn't necessarily planning to ship self-driving technology that works that way. Instead, testing a camera-only system is part of the company's unorthodox approach for verifying the safety of its technology stack. That strategy was first outlined in an October white paper, and Mobileye CTO Amnon Shashua elaborated on that strategy in a Thursday blog post.

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