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Slashdot
News for nerds, stuff that matters

Slashdot
  • 6 Tiny Robotic Ants, Weighing 3.5 Oz. In Total, Pull a 3900-lb. Car
    Reader schwit1 writes about MicroTug, a team of six microrobots that weigh just 3.5 ounces (99 grams), and can move a car: Researchers at Standford University's Biomimetics and Dexterous Manipulation Lab have developed six miniature robots that have the pulling-power to move objects 2,000 times of their own body weight. The tiny robots and their inter-coordination are based on that of ants. The microrobot uses a special kind of glue on its feet that make them serve as sticky gecko toes. "Their new demonstration is the functional equivalent of a team of six humans moving a weight equivalent to that of an Eiffel Tower and three Statues of Liberty," said David Christensen, a graduate student who is one of the authors of "Let's All Pull Together: Principles for Sharing Large Loads in Microrobot Teams paper. Researchers' fascination with gecko adhesive is nothing new. In 2010, Stanford mechanical engineer Mark Cutkosky developed a Stickybot that could climb walls. A similar robot that could roll up on smooth as well rough surfaces was demonstrated by a group of researchers in Canada in 2011.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Microsoft Store No Longer Accepts Bitcoins As Payment
    westlake writes: It may come as a surprise to many here [but not all! -- Ed.], but back in December 2014, Microsoft began accepting Bitcoin.as payments for apps, games, and music purchased through the Windows Store, for its Win 10, Windows Phone and Xbox customers. Big-ticket items like MS Office were excluded. The service has been quietly discontinued. Crypto-currencies may excite the geek, but the Windows Store is mass-market and middle class, and the interest just might not be there.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • China Criticizes Subsidized Ride-Hailing Apps As Anti-Competitive
    An anonymous reader writes: China's minister of transport Yang Chuantang has warned that the current round of ferocious price-wars among China's leading ride-sharing app providers, including Didi Dache and Uber, represents an attempt to kill local competition with massively-subsidized price cuts that will not subsequently be sustained. Chuantang, speaking at the annual national assembly in Beijing, said that the subsidies "are aimed at occupying more market share within the short term and is competitively unfair for the taxi industry. It is unhealthy and cannot be sustained in the long term." Uber is currently investing (or, arguably, losing) $1 billion a year in its attempts to consolidate a place in the Chinese ride-sharing market.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • The Case Against Ratifying the Trans Pacific Partnership
    An anonymous reader writes: For the past two and a half months, Canadian law professor Michael Geist has been writing a daily series on the trouble with the Trans Pacific Partnership. The 50 part series wrapped up today with the case against ratifying the TPP. While the focus is on Canadian issues, the series hits on problems that all 12 countries face: unbalanced intellectual property rules, privacy risks, dangers to the Internet and technology, cultural and health regulation, and investor-state settlement rules that could cost countries billions of dollars.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Obama Administration Supports Recycling Code and Open Source
    jones_supa writes: The Obama administration is seeking public comments on its open source policy. They have released for public comment a draft Federal Source Code policy to support improved access to custom software code. From the policy document: "This policy requires that, among other things: (1) new custom code whose development is paid for by the Federal Government be made available for reuse across Federal agencies; and (2) a portion of that new custom code be released to the public as Open Source Software (OSS)." Tony Scott, Federal CIO of the US government, mentioned one of the strengths of open source – cost saving. Scott wrote on the White House blog that the U.S. government "can save taxpayer dollars by avoiding duplicative custom software purchases and promote innovation and collaboration across Federal agencies."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.






  

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