Fire on Luas Red Line disrupts services from Red Cow

first_imgTHERE ARE DISRUPTIONS on the Luas Red Line this morning after a fire on the line in the early hours of this morning.No tram service is operating from the Red Cow to Tallaght and Saggart after a fire on the line.Luas said this morning it does not expect that this portion of the line will be operable until after peak time.Normal services are operating between Red Cow and Connolly and The Point.An alternate bus service will be serving these stops this morning and Dublin Bus will be honouring all Luas tickets.More information can be found on the Luas website and Twitter account.last_img

Gilmore Samesex marriage referendum will be held before the end of the

first_imgADDRESSING THE LABOUR Youth Conference in Limerick yesterday, Eamon Gilmore said that a referendum on same sex marriage would be held “in the lifetime of this government”.A spokesperson for the Labour Party confirmed that Gilmore had indicated that he hoped to hold the referendum on same sex marriage in 2014, but that it could possibly be in the spring of 2015.Constitutional ConventionIn April, following the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention to accept same sex marriage, Gilmore stated that it is “not the role of the State to pass judgement on who a person falls in love with, or who they want to spend their life with”.The Tánaiste has always had a strong opinion on same sex marriage.Back in 2012, when he said he was including it as an item for the Constitutional Convention to consider he said he believed in gay marriage, stating, “the right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation and, in my opinion, its time has come”.In the summer, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he considering staying neutral in a referendum on same-sex marriage, which could be an attempt to avoid any more defections from Fine Gael TDs.Read: Dublin business owner in storm over gay cake-topper row>Read: Thousands turn out at marriage equality march in Dublin>last_img read more

This TV news report about a rain shower will blow any Irish

first_imgIt will start raining for a few minutes, and stop and start up again.Here’s the clip: Source: Ashlynn YennieMore revelations: apparently “you can tell by the wet roads” that it’s been raining and people are “walking fast to get to where they need to go.”Hold on for the interview with a suffering victim of the rain. He describes his traumatic experience as follows:We went out of the place, and she was like ‘Oh I don’t have my umbrella!’ So we waited, and she went back and got it.Oh.The campaign to bring everyone in this video to Ireland on holidays starts now.via RedditGuy makes Beastie Boys music video while on holidays with his mam>Dublin radio station takes on Jean-Claude Van Damme’s ‘most epic of splits’> THIS IS WHAT happens on the TV news when a light rain shower hits Los Angeles.The report on NBC4 news, apparently from Wednesday night, includes a correspondent literally describing what rain is like.According to the breathless reporter, “it has started drizzling a little bit.” She describes the situation thus:last_img read more

This is how much the iPhone 5S costs around the world

first_imgIF YOU’RE PLANNING on buying an iPhone 5S and think the price is excessive, just be thankful that you’re not based in Jordan or Turkey.Mobile Unlocked has put together an interactive map showing the relationship between the price of the iPhone 5S and the national GDP per capita for all countries where it is available. It also compares prices from each country from cheapest to most expensive.Basing the price on the 16GB version, if found that the cheapest place to buy one is in the US where it will cost you €517. At the other end of the spectrum, purchasing one in Jordan will set you back €798.Ireland is one of the more expensive places to purchase one, the 16GB version is priced at €699.(All prices are based on the 16GB version of the 5S and the map can be found here).Read: “Apple doesn’t own beautiful and sexy” – Samsung lawyer reacts to €215 million award >Read: Have an iPhone? This short film is calling you an idiot >last_img read more

Europe pledges an extra €30 million to help Syrians in need

first_imgTHE EUROPEAN UNION is to give an extra €30 million in aid for victims of the Syrian conflict.The money is a top-up on the donations of €960 million provided by the European Commission since the start of the crisis in 2011.The funds will be divided between those in need within Syria and refugees living in camps in Jordan and Lebanon. The two neighbouring countries have given shelter to about 60 per cent of the 2.3 million Syrian refugees.The extra aid will help upgrade basic services such as water and sanitation in the camps there with an aim to reduce health risks caused by inadequately treated wastewater.In order to avoid a lost generation, the funding will also be used to support UNICEF in its work  to protect refugee children and to promote access to learning for about 400,000 of those at school-going age.A total of €16 million will go to UNRWA to provide urgent cash assistance to Palestinian refugees from Syria and to help meet the climbing costs associated with the ten-fold increase in the number of Palestinian refugees now facing severe poverty.An estimated 235,000 Palestinian refugees – around half of the total Palestinian refugee population – are displaced within Syria, having effectively become refugees a second time, and 80 per cent of the total 540,000 registered Palestinian refugees in Syria are now in need of critical assistance.Last week, the European Commission signed major contracts with United Nations agencies totalling an initial €147 million to deliver vitally needed aid to people affected by the Syrian crisis.According to the UN, about nine million people (half of the population of Syria) currently require some form of assistance. That figure makes it the greatest humanitarian emergency in decades.Within Syria, more than 6.5 million people are internally displaced. Meanwhile, 2.3 million people have fled the country because of the violence. According to UNHCR estimates, the refugee population in the region could reach over 4 million by the end of 2014.The situation has been exacerbated in the past few weeks as Syria witnesses its coldest, harshest winter in years.Related: At least 42 dead after ‘TNT-packed barrels’ dropped on Syrian city of AleppoMore: British doctor ‘failed by his government and Syrians’Explainer: So what is left of the Arab Spring?last_img read more

Open thread what was your sporting highlight of 2013

first_imgSO, THAT’S ANOTHER year in the books.2013 was one filled with plenty of drama with Clare capping a stunning hurling summer with an All-Ireland win, the Dubs regaining their football title, Ireland almost shocking the All Blacks and the country’s soccer team hiring the ‘dream ticket’ of O’Neill and Keane.But what was your personal highlight? Finishing that 10k? Being on the sideline as Rob Kearney streaked past Kieran Read? Welcoming a cup back to the parish?Let us know in the comment section below. Most thumbs-up gets a nice book in the post.last_img

Diary of a First Time Dad Sleeping with one eye open

first_imgI ALWAYS RECALL my mother being a remarkably light sleeper. If you ever crept into her room with a question, request or complaint [to the management], she would respond to your whisper by opening her eyes and springing from the bed. “I’m up!”My mum has five children — all fully grown — but I am now experiencing that troposphere of uneasy sleep that comes with being a parent. Our one and only daughter, Caitlin, has just come through her first bout of the sniffles but the circus noises coming from her Moses basket had us on edge for a few fitful nights.Myself and Cat, my wife, have surged past the three-month mark and Caitlin is doing amazingly well. Friends, relatives and strangers remark on how good [hassle-free] a child she is but Caitlin must take most of the credit for that. We’re still learning as we go.Our daughter was born on a Wednesday evening and each and every that Wednesday that passed found us going for a stroll with the pram, reassuring each other ‘two weeks’, ‘four weeks’, etc. We’ve stopped counting time now, aware that we’re in for the long, crazy haul.I read the superb column from Andrea Mara — ‘Five things I swore I’d never do if I had kids…’ — this week and can identify with the stories on cloistering the first-born. With each passing day, however, we are becoming ourselves again, chilling out and taking time out to enjoy our rapidly growing child. Night-time feeds often consisted of the two of us springing up and going through a three-act production to get Caitlin fed. Sorbet, silver service and napkins. She is starting to sleep through the night now, probably wondering where the 4am costume changes and strolls around the kitchen have gone.The first six weeks were a blur as we set up Baby HQ in the sitting room. Once every few days we would get caught without a kettle-ful of boiled, sterilised water. Boiling water just to cool it down, all amid a tumult of yelps and tears. Insanity. Jiggling Caitlin on my knees for hours when all she wanted to do was sleep. The nappy changes that saw us go through three vests and four baby-grows after pukes, pee and poo. The sound of Cat laughing upstairs as I slumped on my knees, yelling ‘Noooooo. Not again! Why? Why?’Caitlin gets stuck into her new soother. Pic: Patrick McCarryIt is amazing how quickly you get used to have a child in your midst. We have evolved from high-fiving each other in the middle of the night because she pooed to raising a lazy eyebrow as she rolls from her back to her belly. It takes a lot to impress us now!The soother made an appearance after about seven weeks but, we assured each other, it was just to help her sleep at bed-time. Caitlin now owns four soothers and each one gets a fair crack.We both crashed, within 48 hours of each other, around the six-week mark. The change in lifestyle, sleeping habits, constant state of hyper-awareness and general fatigue caught up with us.  We recovered in time for Christmas and Caitlin had her first visit from Santa, who must have assumed she liked toy bunnies.The best days for father-daughter bonding have been when Cat gets a few hours out of the house. She headed off to London on an overnight last week and I got to fully experience the sun-rise to sun-set job of caring for the little Miss. I’m taking responsibility, too, for her 1980s general knowledge and have her watching episodes of Magnum P.I and North and South [the Patrick Swayze tour-de-force] during feeds. YouTube credit: cmtecarvalhoCaitlin was christened a couple of weeks ago and we had a fantastic day and evening with friends and family. The church, in Sallins, was within walking distance and husband and wife headed over, arm-in-arm. We reflected that this was, by far, the most grown-up event of our lives. Neither of us spoke for several moments before Cat asked, “Where’s Caitlin?” “I dunno,” I replied. “With your grandparents, I think.”We are 107 days into parenthood and I already have a moment that will be hard to beat. A few days before Christmas, myself and Cat, with Caitlin lying in between us, lay back in the spare bedroom to watch A River Runs Through It on the projector screen. Cat would have readily swapped me for the fly-fishing Brad Pitt but I wouldn’t change the evening for anything in the world.@patmccarry is sports reporter and rugby correspondent for Playwright of shows that have appeared at Vicar Street, Electric Picnic, Bulmers Comedy Festival and New Zealand Comedy Festival. He is a Dubliner, living in Kildare. Happily married for 18 months and counting.Diary of a First Time Dad: We’ve got company!Column: Five things I swore I’d never do if I had kids…last_img read more

Only 61pc of families to receive full child benefit payments under new

first_imgPotential new paymentsWorking off the current combined child benefit and Qualified Child Increases (QCI) rate of €63 a week, the group proposed that 40 per cent of this (€25) would remain universal, with the remaining 60 per cent (€38) becoming a selective payment.It is estimated that approximately 61 per cent of families would continue to receive this ‘selective’ payment.This guaranteed monthly payment of €100 per child per month is down from the current payment of €130 for the first three children.Households with a gross income of €25,000 would also receive the full supplementary payment, to be withdrawn by 20 per cent once gross income rises above €25,000.The various cut-off points for CIS integration payments are outlined below.(Image: Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare report)Proposed savings from the adoption of the two-tier system would be in the region of €200 million a year.Commenting on the report, the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, said that it would be used to contribute to future discussions on policy debate and proposed that the report would be considered by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Social Protection in the future.Read: Budget 2013: what measures kick in today > A NEW REPORT on child and family income support payments has called for a two-tier system in which families would need to be means tested or below a certain income to receive the full payment.The report, by the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare, does recommend the continuance of a universal payment, however.The chairperson of the group, Ita Mangan, said that low income families should be better targeted in order to “reduce poverty and minimise labour market disincentives or improve incentives.”In keeping with this focus, taxation of child benefit and the implementation of a two-tier payment system were examined. ProposalsHaving agreed at the group level that taxing child benefit in isolation would not be of benefit, the main change, as proposed by the group, was related to the implementation of a “two-tier child income support payment” proposal, as follows:A first-tier payment, which would maintain the universal aspect of the system, with it being made to all children.An automatic supplement, which would be paid to parents in receipt of a social welfare payment. While those who receive a social assistance payment would have already undergone a means test (and get the payment automatically), those who receive social insurance payments would be required to be means tested first.A means tested supplement would be made available to low to middle income families in the case where parents are not in receipt of an adult social welfare payment. This would be withdrawn as their income increases and would act as a replacement to the current Family Income Supplement.center_img In full: Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare – Child and Family Income Support >last_img read more

Daniel DayLewis has been given a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth

first_imgSource: AP/Press Association ImagesDANIEL DAY-LEWIS has been given a knighthood in the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours list handed out by the British monarchy.The Wicklow-based actor, honoured for “services to drama”, said he was surprised by the award. ”I’m entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure,” he said.Three-time Best Actor Oscar winner Day-Lewis was one of a list of a list of film idols, sports stars, authors and designers recognised for their services to the UK.Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary dame – the female equivalent of a knighthood – as the UK paid tribute to the Hollywood star for her efforts to combat warzone rape. Source: Doug Peters/EMPICS EntertainmentShe co-hosted a four-day global conference in London on the issue this week. The 39-year-old actress said: “To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.” Source: PA Archive/Press Association ImagesAnd Dame Maggie Smith – the star of Downton Abbey and the Harry Potter films – is made a companion of honour. This is an order limited to the queen and 65 other ordinary people from across the Commonwealth.Homeland star Damian Lewis was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). Source: © Chase Rollins/AFF-USA.COMNineteen-year-old cancer victim Stephen Sutton, who died on May 14 after raising more than £4.2 million (€5.3 million euros) for a teenage cancer charity, was given an MBE for his efforts, backdated to the date of his death.His mother Jane said her son was asked shortly before he died whether he would accept the MBE in recognition of his fundraising services – and thought it was “awesome”.Honours lists are produced twice a year, at New Year and to coincide with the queen’s official birthday in June. She turned 88 in April.- © AFP, 2014More: 8 totally unexpected Daniel Day Lewis moments>last_img read more

Breakfast at Bebetos All you need to know from last nights World

first_imgHeading home: Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo. Source: Marcio Jose SanchezOn day 15…THE LAST FOUR Teams booked their spots in the knockout stages yesterday, meaning we now know how the last 16 fixtures look.It was all to play for in Group G as the four sides went into the final set of games with a chance of progressing. US manager Jurgen Klinsmann faced his native Germany and former assistant Joachim Löw only needing a draw to clinch second place.And although Thomas Müller’s fourth goal of the tournament, which sees him go level with Lionel Messi and Neymar as the current top scorers, handed the Germans a 1-0 victory, a 2-1 win for Portugal over Ghana ensured the US of qualification.Cristiano Ronaldo missed a bag of chances before popping up with the winner and his first goal of these finals — but it couldn’t prevent elimination for the Iberians. American midfielders Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley. Source: Julio CortezLater last night, Algeria made it to the second round for the first time in their history thanks to a 1-1 draw against Russia. Alexander Kokorin put Fabio Capello’s men ahead with a powerful header on seven minutes but Islam Slimani proved the hero for the Desert Foxes  – heading past Igor Akinfeev with a half hour on the clock.Despite having Steven Defour sent off for a reckless challenge at the end of the first half,  Belgium claimed top spot with a 1-0 win over South Korea. Skipper Jan Vertonghen grabbed the only goal of the game on 77 minutes.Winner – Vahid Halilhodžić The Algerian players at the final whistle. Source: Martin MeissnerAlgeria boss Vahid Halilhodžić was heavily criticised after their opening defeat at the hands of Belgium but the Africans bounced back to see off South Korea 4-2 before claiming a vital point against Russia last night.The Bosnian led the Ivory Coast to the 2010 finals but was sacked before it after a poor showing at the African Cup of Nations earlier that year. Now the 61-year-old will get the chance to pit his wits against the mighty Germans on Monday.Loser – Fabio Capello Source: Michael SohnHe ranted about the referee at the final whistle but the Russian manager must accept much of the blame after his team fell at the first hurdle.They will have expected to pick up more than two point from a possible nine when they were drawn in one of the weaker-looking groups and the performances left a lot to be desired especially when you consider the Italian is on a salary of around €8million-a-year.Joga BonitoThe wonderful outside-of-the-boot cross from Kwadwo Asamoah for Asamoah Gyan’s goal was a thing of real beauty. we’ve got to look forward to todaySadly, it’s the first day in a fortnight that there are no live games. Don’t worry though, you won’t have to go cold turkey for too long as we’re back up and running with the second round on Saturday.And there are some mouth-watering ties among them: Source: Fifa.comSlimani heads Algeria to historic World Cup last sixteen qualification10-man Belgium clinch top spot in Group H and send South Korea packinglast_img read more

White iPad 2 Coming This Week

first_imgHere’s something that’s sure to irk those who have been eagerly awaiting the white iPhone–looks like we might actually see a white iPad before that thing actually arrives. Of course, we’re still in the leaked photo stages for the thing here. That’s the proof above, a white frame sent to 9 to 5 Mac from Shenzhen City.The question, of course, is whether the existence of a white iPad means that the company has finally resolved the problems that have plagued the company since Jobs first held up the white iPhone 4 during the launch event last summer.Apple thus far has only stated that the white version of the phone has been “challenging to manufacturer,” repeatedly pushing back the launch date of the device (at present, it’s said to be due out at some point in the spring). One of the most dominant rumors surrounding the delay is the effect that a white bezel has on the development of photos, letting too much light in and thus ruining shots taken with the device.If the Pad 2 does indeed have the front facing camera we all expect, the release of a white iPad seems to imply that the company has finally tackled the issue.last_img read more

Print your very own handheld vacuum cleaner

first_imgOver the past few years the amount of open source software available to use has gone up considerably and many of us now carry a phone running an open source operating system. But software isn’t the only thing that can be open sourced, there’s a growing base of people producing open source hardware made with 3D printers.Christopher Olah of has just completed one such project that allows anyone to print and create their very own handheld vacuum cleaner. It’s small, but as the video above shows, it’s perfect for getting into small areas and picking up dirt and dust, so ideal for keyboard cleaning.You may be thinking such a project is flawed because you haven’t got a 3D printer and they aren’t readily available at your local computer store. But then you can make your own such as the RepRap introduced in the video below:The only other parts you need for this vacuum are a DC motor, power supply, tape, and some cloth for a filter. Olah has made the files necessary to print the parts available for free on Github, and also produced a visual guide on exactly how to put the vacuum together once the printing has been done.3D printers are getting cheaper to build all the time, so while at the moment it may cost a few hundred dollars, in the future projects like this could become achievable for less than the price of a retail handheld vaccum cleaner.Read more at Christopher Olah’s BlogMatthew’s OpinionAlthough printing your own vacuum cleaner sounds like a very cool project to undertake, it’s the RepRap that’s the really exciting development for me.A 3D printer that can replicate itself and is getting cheaper to assemble with every new version is a market-changing idea. Eventually we could reach a point where the 3D printer is as common and cheap as the inkjet printers many of our homes have today. When that happens it will drastically change the way we think about getting hold of certain products. Instead of searching a store for something pre-built you may instead search for the 3D design so you can print it yourself.Future versions of the RepRap will be able to print circuit boards, so building your own rig could also eventually involve printing your own boards to go inside that plastic case you also printed.last_img read more

The New York Times paywall went live today and its trivial to

first_imgToday, to much controversy, the venerable New York Times is launching its pay wall to much controversy. The paywall itself is being pitched as a way to support the Times’ quality journalism, but criticisms levied at the paywall include it being way too expensive (up to $455 per year if you want to read the New York Times online on all platforms) and mercenarily priced (to subscribe to the New York Times on your smartphone, it costs $15 per month, but if you want to read it on your tablet and smartphone, it costs $35 per month). At the end of the day, though, most savvy users aren’t going to have to pay for the New York Times at all, because the Times’ paywall is actually trivial to bypass. AdChoices广告Here’s the deal. To lure subscribers in, the New York Times is allowing every person to read up to 20 articles a month on the New York Times website for free. Once you read 20 articles on the Times’ website, you’ll be told to subscribe if you want to read more.However, if you have been referred to a story on the Times’ website by Facebook, Twitter or a blog, that article won’t count towards your 20 article limit. Also, even if you do hit your 20 article limit, full articles are still served up to your browser: the only difference is an obnoxious “subscribe now” overlay hovers over the content, making it extremely difficult to read the article’s content.That overlay, however, is just standard HTML and CSS… and can actually be disabled with just four lines of Javascript. That makes it trivial to bypass by just installing a Javascript bookmark and clicking it when you get your “subscribe now!” warning from the New York Times.A paywall this porous is pretty silly, and the New York Times will no doubt stop up the gaps in it overtime. For right now, though, it’s effortless to circumvent. Let’s hope that when it becomes tighter, the Times have had the time to have a long, hard think about their subscription pricing. I don’t think a lot of us are adverse to paying to support good journalism. We’re just adverse to bleeding out paying for good journalism.Read more at Lifehackerlast_img read more

Fire ant floating rafts study may lead to better waterproof materialsrobot behavior

first_imgIf you don’t like insects, and ants in particular, the video above is going to do nothing to enhance your day. But what it does show is quite incredible. When in water, fire ants band together and create a water-tight floating raft capable of holding a large amount of weight without breaking.On the one hand this is nature at its coolest with the ants clearly evolving to automatically carry out this survival behavior when necessary. On the other, it’s behavior that could lead to the development of better waterproof materials.Scientists have been studying these ants for years, but until now have never looked into this raft system they form with their own bodies. A single ant doesn’t do very well in water, but when a group are dropped into liquid they create a raft that no water can break through. Better yet, none of the ants get wet even on the lowest level of the raft.The trick to this is the use of air molecules trapped in the hairy, rough exterior of each ant. The air gives buoyancy and a barrier from getting wet. When lots of ants hold on to each other using their mandibles, its as if they are floating above the water on this layer of air. In fact, the researchers found they hold together like adhesive with a force 400x their own body weight.Such a technique for staying dry is known as the Cassie-Baxter law of wetting. It states that as a surface gets rougher it’s harder for water to maintain contact. In this case the ants not only manage to float, they strengthen their grip on each other when pushed underwater and manage to keep the raft intact. You will also notice in the video that the raft remains flexible.Research into these ant rafts has been carried out by researchers Nathan Mlot, Craig Tovey, and David Hu at the Georgia Institute of Technology. It is hoped that the technique used by fire ants can be applied to groups of robots working together as well as in the development of new waterproof materials (fire ant jackets, anyone?).Read more at The Washington Post and Georgia Tech, paper available at PNASlast_img read more

ThinkGeek offers Iris 9000 voice control module for Siri

first_imgSiri is definitely the stand out new feature on the iPhone 4S, and takes us one step closer to HAL from Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. ThinkGeek has decided to take that association one step further though, and have produced one of the first iPhone 4S accessories aimed squarely at the Siri user.It’s called the Iris 9000 Voice Control Module, and bears a striking resemblance to the HAL 9000 artificial intelligence from Kubrick’s movie. It also could be genuinely useful if you have need of using Siri from distance.The Iris 9000 consists of a cradle for your iPhone 4S and a micro remote. Once your iPhone 4S is sitting in the Iris, the remote can be used with a single button press to talk to Siri from up to 50 feet away. When she responds, the speaker in the Iris ensures you can hear her chatter from distance.If nothing else, it allows you to have a remote controlled speaker phone for calls, but also means you can leave your phone in the corner and ask questions without having to walk over and pick up your handset.The retro styling of the Iris 9000 is sure to go down well with geeks, and if your name is Dave, you really do have to get this.It’s out of stock at the moment, but will cost you $59.99 when it becomes available again. ThinkGeek is offering a $10 discount when it does come back in stock, but you’ll have to be quick as this is sure to be a popular purchase this Christmas.More at ThinkGeeklast_img read more

Japans Dream Project is a farm run by robots

first_imgThe tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan last March saw thousands die, homes destroyed, a nuclear reactor meltdown, and power issues for many months afterwards. But Japan is recovering slowly, and using the disaster as an excuse to try something new in areas of the country affected by those events.One of the most interesting new ideas is called the “Dream Project.” It’s a new farm being planned for a 600 acre site in Miyagi Prefecture that was flooded with sea water during the tsunami. This farm isn’t very typical though, as it will be run entirely by robots. The farm will grow fruit, vegetables, rice, soybeans, and wheat. They will be planted and harvested by robotic tractors, and then boxed up by other robots before being shipped for us humans to enjoy.As well as being unmanned, the farm also aims to minimize the use of chemicals and pollution. With that in mind, the carbon dioxide produced from the robotic tractor engines will be stored and fed back into the crops. Pesticides are out, in their place will be special LED lighting.The company’s involved in the farm project include Ajinomoto, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Ito-Yokado Co., NEC, Panasonic, Sharp, and Yammer. Meaning we’re sure to see some advanced robotic designs and behavior.Considering the size of the site and technology involved, there is significant investment required to set the farm up. $52 million will be invested over the next 6 years by the Japanese ministry of agriculture, with a further $78 million of investment coming from private companies.If successful, the robotics and techniques used will certainly filter down into machinery for all farms. We may even one day get the chance to turn our home gardens into mini-farms run by robots and producing fresh food for us to eat everyday. Read more at AFPlast_img read more

Geek deals Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 Ivy Bridge desktop for 849

first_imgNot only has the death of desktops been widely exaggerated, they haven’t approached commodity status yet either. Sure, the lower priced ones are without a doubt commoditized, but that’s true with the lower-tier of any product category. While Apple undoubtedly owns the high-end desktop market with their pricey and popular iMacs, there is still a lot of room for players in the mid-range market.A mid-range desktop can do a little of everything. You will have a quad-core processor in the form of at least an Intel Core i5, a generous helping of RAM, and at least a terabyte of storage. The biggest variables will be in the graphics and multimedia departments. Do you want a TV tuner or maybe need a more powerful graphics card? Not all mid-range systems offer all of the multimedia options, though you can get an upgraded graphics card in just about any system.Dell’s XPS lineup has long been the staple of the mid-range, offering more performance than the entry-level models with at least a subset of the same features found in high-end machines. The XPS 8500 is the newest model in this family, sporting a refreshed design and the third generation Intel Core platform. While the design isn’t revolutionary or terribly different from the prior XPS 8300, it is still stylish and fitting with today’s PC design ethos.On the tech front, the XPS 8500 has just about everything you could need. An “Ivy Bridge” quad-core Core i7 processor is standard on the model in this deal, as is 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1 terabyte SATA III hard drive, and both Wireless-N and Bluetooth. You can customize this model, including options like an upgraded graphics card, Blu-ray drive, and up to 16GB of RAM. There is no shortage of connectivity thanks to a whopping ten USB ports, four of which are 3.0-spec and even one that supports mobile device charging.The base model normally sells for $899.99, but we’ve got a rare $50 coupon that brings it down to $849.99 with free shipping.Visit LogicBuy for the Dell XPS 8500 Core i7 “Ivy Bridge” Desktop deal or browse more Dell deals & couponslast_img read more

Yet another Java exploit already being sold for 5000

first_imgI’m feeling a sense of deja vu right now. Back in August, Oracle had to release an emergency patch when a zero-day exploit was found in Java. Then, at the beginning of December a new zero-day exploit started being sold for a five figure sum. Jump to just a few days ago and another zero-day exploit and emergency patch were released. And now guess what? Yet another Java zero-day exploit is being sold for a five figure sum.Security vendors warned that even with the latest patch, Java remained vulnerable, and this latest exploit proves them right. It’s being sold on a private cybercrime forum at a cost of $5,000, with two sales available netting the seller $10,000. Chances are, he’s already collected the money and the exploit is in use.The exploit is valuable because not only is it usable on the most up-to-date version of Java, which could remain vulnerable for weeks, if not months, it is although thought to be brand new and not part of any exploit pack, which can cost up to $10,000 per month to use.Our advice therefore remains the same: disable or uninstall Java on your machine unless you have a real need for it. Chances are you don’t, and it’s a leftover from an automatic install or just software that came pre-installed on your PC or laptop.With the repeated release of new exploits, and a fix time by Oracle quoted in years by those in the security community, the situation isn’t going to get any better anytime soon.More at KrebsonSecuritylast_img read more

Laboratory caretaker robot can care for 30000 mice

first_imgYour feelings regarding the use of laboratory animals aside, some research institutions, such as pharmaceutical companies, need to test out its medicines on lab animals, such as mice, before they’re tested on humans. These institutions may often times employ the help of a lot of mice — to the point where having to care for all of them may take time from away from vital research. Another, perhaps more important issue is that diseases can spread from the humans taking care of the animals to the animals themselves, potentially tampering with test results. If human diseases do tamper with the animals, they all have to be killed so a new, untainted colony can be brought in, and no one wants that. A new robot being developed by Nikkyo Technos and Yaskawa Electric can remove humans from the care-taking equation, and can look after up to 30,000 mice on its own.The robot can perform all the menial tasks a human would have to do for lab mice, such as cleaning the cages, changing the water, and delivering food. The current model cannot discern how much food is left in the cage, but a camera will be employed to determine that in the next model.The caretaker bot will work in tandem with other robots around the lab, such as the one that carries the cages over to the workbench for testing. The bot also works in conjunction with a monitoring system that allows the researchers to watch the mice from afar, and can tell the bot to assist the mice in whatever way necessary, without having to ever potentially taint test results.Before using this bot, caring for the mice and their environments by hand was tedious and took too long. Thanks to the robot, the process will become much more efficient.last_img read more

iPad 5 video shows off Apples upcoming tablet design

first_imgWith the iPhone 5S having been released and already hitting the streets, we can be pretty sure that the 2013 iPad is coming next. Right now, it’s looking like Apple’s iPad 5 refresh is going to offer a thinner device whose exterior matches that of the iPad mini and completes Apple’s transition to updated materials, colors, and textures.The 10-inch iPad 4 has been due for a makeover for some time. This was especially apparent once the release of the iPad mini brought consumers a smaller tablet without the elongated taper to the edges, focusing instead on being a thinner all around device that you could still comfortably grip with one hand. There’s been plenty of speculation that Apple was going to update the full-sized tablet to imitate the iPad mini, but this new video really shows everything you need to know about the the iPad 5’s updating casing.Apple’s problems keeping things from leaking out seem to be getting worse, as the exterior panels for the upcoming iPad 5 show up on YouTube. As expected, the new casing looks like a larger iPad mini, bidding a fond farewell to the elongated tapers on the edges of the tablet. This change makes the new tablet slightly smaller around the edges, which means less bezel for the users to contend with when using the tablet (or to grip while handling it).Coupled with rumors surrounding Apple’s intention to include the new TouchID fingerprint sensor and color variants to their tablet lineup, a clear picture of Apple’s impending iPad 5 announcement appears. This next generation of devices from Apple unifies their hardware profiles into a single cohesive experience, which should make any Apple fan happy.There is not date announced or even rumored for the iPad 5 reveal yet but we expect to hear something in the coming weeks, possibly some time in October.last_img read more