Wins and Fails This Week in Geek v 19
More of Australia in Internet security news, while donations to Japan fail, stealth robots take evasive action, Duke Nukem takes evasive action too, and geek TV gets some good news. It’s been a busy week, so onward we go.
WIN: Stealth Robots
Lockheed Martin have developed a robot that’s programmed to hide while mapping its environment in 3D. Acoustic sensors allow it to detect footsteps to remain stealthy and take evasive action, while it creates images of its whereabouts with a laser. It’s the latest in reconnaissance technology and NewScientist has the scoop.
In the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, Americans are taking a page from the book of Haiti and eagerly donating money via txt messages to relief agencies. Unfortunately, unlike with relief to Haiti, monies collected for Japan may take up to three months to reach their intended targets. Plus, the company behind it all, mGive.com, is charging charities transaction fees on the txt messages. But mGive.com is not the sole culprit; wireless carriers like Verizon and AT&T are also to blame for the slow-down. A petition at Change.org urges all involved to shift gears.
FAIL: Duke Nukem. Again.
If you’ve been waiting, well, forever for Duke Nukem Forever, you’re going to have to wait even longer. Gearbox Software promises this will be the final delay to the title’s long, long, long anticipated release, but ask just about any gamer, and they’ll tell you not to hold your breath. The game has been in development for some 14 years. The cause of this latest delay? Unknown. What is known, however, is that while Americans were initially scheduled to get hold of the game 3 days in advance of international players, they will now actually be 4 days behind the international release.
FAIL: Free E-mail
Another week featuring Australia’s bid to tighten Internet security. This time, the Australian National Audit Office is calling for free web-based e-mail providers like Hotmail and Gmail to be blocked on government agency IT systems. The reasoning is that such providers create a hot spot for outside attacks that may aim to collect and distribute sensitive information. I can’t fault the concern, but I can question the security measures of such free e-mail hosts. Even without the attention of auditors, they’re dubious enough.
WIN: Geek TV
Futurama fans, rejoice: during the 3rd International Talk Like William Shatner Day, Futurama voice actor Maurice LaMarche dropped the news that the show has been renewed for its 7th season.