It’s a chore that most people dread, but the days of picking up your dog ’s mess in the garden could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a handy new robot . The robot, dubbed the ‘Robotic Poop-Scooper’ can automatically detect and clean up your dog’s poo. It uses computer vision to detect the poo, before manoeuvring over to it and picking it up. Beetl Robotics, the firm behind the robot, said: “Nobody likes picking up poop, so we built a computer vision-enabled robot to address the needs of dog owners everywhere.” The robot works by taking multiple photos of the garden, before uploading them to the cloud. There, the system identifies any dog poo, and sends back the location to the robot. The robot then navigates to the location, and uses a pick and lift mechanism. Finally, the waste is dropped into an in-ground composter. Unfortunately, it remains unclear how much the handy robot will cost, or when it will be available. Read More Robots … [Read more...] about ‘Poop-Scooper’ robot detects and cleans up your dog’s mess in the garden
Advantages using computer
A few days before her 100th birthday, Diana Athill is embarking on a new literary adventure. She has agreed to do a live webchat, answering questions from her fans in a digital present tense that barely existed when she finally decided to go into a retirement home eight years ago, let alone when she entered the publishing profession some 60 years earlier. Her answers are characteristically splendid. On the pleasures of rereading: “Losing your memory has its advantages because sometimes you can pick up a book and not remember you’ve read it at all, and lo and behold you have.” Best advice you would give a woman about to embark on her 30s? “I should advise her to have a very good love affair, if she hasn’t had one already.” Her hands don’t work as well as they once did, so she has given up her computer and only writes on sheets of paper in longhand, which she then has to transcribe into the readable script she developed over decades of communing … [Read more...] about Diana Athill: ‘Enjoy yourself as much as you can without doing any damage to other people’
On the morning of 28 October last year, the day of Iceland’s parliamentary elections, Heiðdís Lilja Magnúsdóttir, a lawyer living in a small town in the north of the country, opened Facebook on her laptop. At the top of her newsfeed, where friends’ recent posts would usually appear, was a box highlighted in light blue. On the left of the box was a button, similar in style to the familiar thumb of the “like” button, but here it was a hand putting a ballot in a slot. “Today is Election Day!” was the accompanying exclamation, in English. And underneath: “Find out where to vote, and share that you voted.” Under that was smaller print saying that 61 people had already voted. Heiðdís took a screenshot and posted it on her own Facebook profile feed, asking: “I’m a little curious! Did everyone get this message in their newsfeed this morning?” In Reykjavik, 120 miles south, Elfa Ýr … [Read more...] about Facebook says its ‘voter button’ is good for turnout. But should the tech giant be nudging us at all?
The darknet (or dark web) is one of the most fascinating vestiges of humanity we’ve ever seen. It’s an aggregated swamp of all the darkest aspects of internet activity – child abuse images, drug markets, gun shops, gore smut, stolen merchandise, anarchist guides, terrorist chats, identity theft, hacking services … I’m going to focus on the most potent of these tiers – hacking services. I spent three weeks studying and translating FreeHacks, one of the largest hacking forums on the internet. It’s a Russian community which aims to collectively gather its resources in order to maximize efficiency and knowledge dispersement. It works the same as any typical forum, you open up TOR (a specialized browser for browsing the dark web), paste in the URL, and land on a home page with various sub-forums split into different categories. The categories are varied and well-divided: Hacker world news Humor Hacking and security Carding (stealing credit cards … [Read more...] about My terrifying deep dive into one of Russia’s largest hacking forums
Radiohead have released a vast collection of unreleased tracks made during the sessions for 1997 album OK Computer, after a MiniDisc archive owned by frontman Thom Yorke was hacked last week by an unnamed person, who reportedly asked for a $150,000 ransom to return the recordings. The band have now made the 18 MiniDisc recordings, most of them around an hour in length, available on Bandcamp for £18. Proceeds will go to climate activists Extinction Rebellion. The band’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood confirmed the hack, and said: “Instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion. Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom. Never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue) it’s only tangentially interesting. And very, very long. Not a phone download.” Thom Yorke wrote … [Read more...] about Radiohead release hours of hacked MiniDiscs to benefit Extinction Rebellion