Barence writes "PC Pro has a feature revealing how the world's biggest satnav firms create their maps. Nokia's Navteq, for example, has a huge database of almost 24 million miles of road across the globe. For each mile of road there are multiple data points, and for each of those positions, more than 280 road attributes. The maps are generated from public data and driver feedback, not to mention its own fleet of cars with 360-degree cameras on the top. There's an IMU (inertial measurement unit) for monitoring the pitch of the road, and the very latest in 3D surface-scanning technology too. This light detection and ranging (LIDAR) detector captures 1.3 million three-dimensional data points every second, mapping the world around Navteq's field vehicles in true 3D. The feature also investigates whether commercial mapping firms will be replaced by open-source maps." That last line makes me think of the difference between conventionally published encyclopedias and Wikipedia; "replaced by" is an odd standard in a big marketplace of ideas.
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Hugh Pickens writes "According to Business Week, the traffic accident that left U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson unconscious and alone in his bashed-up Lexus on June 9 raises questions about why the 10th official in line to succeed the president was left so vulnerable. It also highlights potential gaps in security for senior U.S. government officials, who receive varying levels of protection. 'They lost track of him,' says James Carafano, a terrorism scholar at the Heritage Foundation. 'Post 9/11, that's a bit of a head scratcher.' Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who are high in the line of succession and have national-security responsibilities, are provided protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but other federal officials, even in cabinet-level positions or other top posts, often travel without the security details that even a big-city mayor or state governor would be provided. Threats to cabinet-level officials aren't overblown, says Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who has urged that the government revamp its succession plans and says a nuclear bomb hidden in a suitcase detonated in Washington could leave a headless government. 'The lack of interest in continuity may stem from the same reasons some smart people refuse to create wills, even though failure to do so leaves behind horrific messes for their loved ones,' writes Ornstein. 'Yet the threat is real. Our leaders' failure to establish plans to ensure that our Constitution survives is irresponsible.'"
waderoush writes "When you read a comic book or graphic novel on your tablet device, you're usually looking at a static reproduction of a print page, not a 'born digital' creation with serious interactivity. Madefire, a new startup in Emeryville, CA, is working to change that with the release today of its new iPad reader and comic-book authoring tool. Featuring seven original titles at launch — including one from Watchmen creator Dave Gibbons — the Madefire platform largely abandons traditional panel layouts in favor of 'sequences' in which the action progresses through the addition of image layers, as well as sound effects and music. 'We want to make people look at the fabric of storytelling—left to right, top to bottom—and break that fabric,' says Madefire founder Ben Wolstenholme. The company is also avoiding well-known superhero titles in favor of new characters and storylines. 'This century needs its new creations and its new myths and legacies,' says chief creative officer Liam Sharp, a veteran of X-Men, Spider-Man, Spawn, and other well-known traditional series."
An anonymous reader writes "MIT researchers have invented an algorithm which is able to amplify motion in video that is invisible to the naked eye — such as the motion of blood pulsing through a person's face, or the breathing of an infant. The algorithm — which was invented almost by accident — could find applications in safety, medicine, surveillance, and other areas. 'The system is somewhat akin to the equalizer in a stereo sound system, which boosts some frequencies and cuts others, except that the pertinent frequency is the frequency of color changes in a sequence of video frames, not the frequency of an audio signal. The prototype of the software allows the user to specify the frequency range of interest and the degree of amplification. The software works in real time and displays both the original video and the altered version of the video, with changes magnified.'"
colinneagle writes "German social gaming company Wooga has thrown in the towel on its HTML5 project after seeing little return on the increasing amount of effort put into its Magic Land Island game. Some early success convinced Wooga to devote additional resources to the game, which was launched in October of last year. However, 'As the project continued to progress, so did the industry. Whilst the benefits of an open platform future are clear for games developers, it became clear halfway through Magic Land Island's development cycle that the technology wasn't yet ready for mainstream exposure.' The announcement sheds some interesting light on HTML5, as Wooga hardly holds back on any of the details behind the game's failure. The biggest barriers to HTML5's entry to the mainstream include internet connectivity and limitations on sound. The consensus? The time for HTML5 will come; it's just not quite there yet. In the meantime, Wooga has made the game open source so other HTML5 developers can learn from it."
frisket writes with news from The Register about ongoing problems for some UK banks: "'RBS and Natwest have failed to register inbound payments for up to three days, customers have reported, leaving people unable to pay for bills, travel and even food. The banks — both owned by RBS Group — have confirmed that technical glitches have left bank accounts displaying the wrong balances and certain services unavailable. There is no fix date available.' Customers of NatWest subsidiary Ulster Bank in Ireland have also been left without banking services. RTE reports that 'the problem had arisen within the systems of parent bank RBOS when an incorrect patch was applied.'"
New submitter theclockworkcomputer writes "100 years ago tomorrow, Alan Turing was born. To celebrate, I wrote a Universal Turing Machine in 100 Punchcards. I've uploaded a video to explain a small part of the read head (the Jacquard). One needle is shown out of a total of 28. As this is about a program for a Turing Machine and not about a Turing Machine itself, I hope to be excused from the requirement of infinite tape."
judgecorp writes "Iran has reported that its nuclear facilities are under a sustained cyber attack which it blames on the U.S., UK and Israel. America and Israel created Stuxnet, and have been accused of starting the Flame worm." And once a country admits that it's created such software, publicly deflecting such blame gets a lot harder.
An anonymous reader writes "Canonical has laid out their plans for handling UEFI SecureBoot on Ubuntu Linux. Similar to Red Hat paying Microsoft to get past UEFI restrictions, Canonical does have a private UEFI key. Beyond that they will also be switching from GRUB to the more liberal efilinux bootloader, and only require bootloader binaries be signed — and they want to setup their own signing infrastructure separate from Microsoft."
Trailrunner7 writes "PayPal is the latest company to join the ranks of software vendors and Web properties that offer bounties to security researchers who privately disclose new bugs to them. The company isn't saying how much it will pay for each bug, just that its security team will determine the severity of each flaw as well as the ultimate payout. PayPal's decision to offer financial incentives to researchers follows the establishment of similar programs by companies including Google, Mozilla, Facebook, Barracuda and others. Google's bug bounty program may be the most well-known and comprehensive, as it includes bugs not just in its software products such as Chrome, but also its Web properties. The company has paid out more than $400,000 in rewards to researchers since the program began and researchers who consistently find bugs in Google's products can make a nice side income off the program."
colinneagle writes "Among the eye-opening statements in his recent TED talk, Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs said, 'Privacy is not an option, and it shouldn't be the price we accept for just getting on the Internet. Our voices matter and our actions matter even more.' After you download and install Collusion in Firefox, you can 'see who is tracking you across the Web and following you through the digital woods,' Kovacs stated. 'Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard. Because what we don't know can actually hurt us. Because the memory of the Internet is forever. We are being watched. It's now time for us to watch the watchers.' I've been using Collusion for some time now and it is jaw-dropping to watch all the sites that still stalk us across the web even with DNT and privacy add-ons. The Collusion page states: 'The Ford Foundation is supporting Mozilla to develop the Collusion add-on so it will enable users to not only see who is tracking them across the Web, but also to turn that tracking off when they want to.'"
derekmead writes "How, exactly, did Reddit get so big? Well, according to Reddit cofounder Steve Huffman, in the early days the Reddit crew just faked it 'til they made it.' In a video for Udacity, Huffman describes how the first Redditors populated the site's content with tons of fake accounts. These days, with the site's users are wary of people using expendable accounts to try to seed their own content. But early on, Huffman said that using fake accounts driven by the founders was key to building the tone they wanted to the site. Early on the Reddit crew could shape the discourse of the site in the direction they wanted, and as the real user base grew, those standards held allowing the fake accounts to fade away."
First time accepted submitter moj0joj0 writes "Two days after YouTube-MP3.org, a site that converts songs from music videos into MP3 files, was blocked from accessing YouTube, the RIAA has asked CNET to remove software from Download.com that performs a similar function. The RIAA focused its criticism on software found at Download.com called YouTubeDownloader. The organization also pointed out that there are many other similar applications available at the site, 'which can be used to steal content from CBS, which owns Download.com.' CNET's policy is that Download.com is not in any position to determine whether a piece of software is legal or not or whether it can be used for illegal activity." For a sufficiently broad definition of "steal," you could argue that all kinds of software (from word processors to graphics programs to security analysis tools) could be implicated.
redletterdave writes "About half of all of the languages in the world — more than 3,000 of them — are currently on the verge of extinction. Google hopes to stem the tide with its latest effort that launched Thursday, called The Endangered Languages Project. Google teamed up with the Alliance for Linguistic Diversity, a newly formed coalition of global language groups and associations, to give endangered-language speakers and their supporters a place to upload and share their research and collaborations. The site currently features posts submitted by the Endangered Languages community, including linguistic fieldwork, projects, audio interviews, and transcriptions."
hackingbear writes "While we are importing billions of 'cheap' products labeled 'Made in China,' the fastest growing export from U.S. to China does not even need a label. Chinese parents are acutely aware that the Chinese educational system focuses too much on rote memorization, so Chinese students have flocked to overseas universities and now even secondary schools, despite the high cost of attending programs in America. Chinese enrollment in U.S. universities rose 23% to 157,558 students during the 2010-2011 academic year, making China by far the biggest foreign presence. Even the daughter of Xi Jinping, the presumed next president of China, studies as an undergraduate at Harvard. This creates opportunities for universities to bring American education directly to China. Both Duke and New York University are building campuses in the Shanghai area to offer full-time programs to students there."