Fukushima Robot Operator Writes Tell-All Blog

An anonymous worker at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has written dozens of blog posts describing the ups and downs of his experience as one of the lead robot operators at the crippled facility. His blog provides a window into the complex and dangerous work environment faced by the operators, a small group of young technicians who, like other front-line personnel, must approach areas of high radiation, deploying remote-controlled robots to assist with efforts to further stabilize and shut down the plant’s four troubled reactors.

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NASA, GM Take Giant Leap in Robotic Technology

Robonaut is evolving. NASA and General Motors are working together to accelerate development of the next generation of robots and related technologies for use in the automotive and aerospace industries. Engineers and scientists from NASA and GM worked together through a Space Act Agreement at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to build a new humanoid robot capable of working side by side with people. Using leading edge control, sensor and vision technologies, future robots could assist astronauts during hazardous space missions and help GM build safer cars and plants.

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10 scariest hacks from Black Hat and Defcon

Hack week in Vegas during the Black Hat and Defcon conferences in Las Vegas last week, researchers wheeled out their best new attacks on everything from browsers to automobiles, demonstrating ingenuity and diligence in circumventing security efforts or in some cases in exploiting systems that were built without security in mind. Here’s a handful of the ones that deserve the most concern.

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Geeks Beat Jocks as Bar Fight Breaks Out Over Control of the TV

One Sunday afternoon last month, a hundred boisterous patrons crowded into Mad Dog in the Fog, a British sports bar here, to watch a live broadcast. Half the flat-screen TVs were tuned to a blood-filled match between two Korean competitors, “MC” and “Puma.” The crowd erupted in chants of “M-C! M-C!” when the favorite started a comeback. The pub is known for showing European soccer and other sports, but Puma and MC aren’t athletes. They are 20-year-old professional videogame players who were leading computerized armies of humans and aliens in a science-fiction war game called “Starcraft II” from a Los Angeles convention center. The Koreans were fighting over a tournament prize of $50,000.

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China airs documentary proving military university is hacking U.S. targets

For a long time now there has been suspicion that China is a hotbed of hacking activity either endorsed or ignored by the government and targeting foreign individuals, companies, and even governments.
The Chinese government has always denied this, but high-profile pull outs such as that threatened by Google last year, demonstrate there is definitely something going on, and now we have proof hacking tools are being developed and attacks carried out at official institutions in the country.

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15-year-old girl gets bionic hand, is able to hold things for the first time

We’ve been hearing the word “bionic” in the news a lot lately, but it has primarily been referring to the Droid Bionic smartphone that’s soon to be released. However, today’s bionic news is centered on a 15-year-old girl who lost all her fingers to septicaemia as a toddler and has never been able to pick things up herself. Thanks to a bionic hand made by Touch Bionics in Scotland, Chloe Holmes can now do the simplest things she was previously unable to do.

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