Monday, January 12, 2015
There isn't a kid on earth who doesn't want to wield the power of the Force after seeing Star Wars for the first time, and Uncle Milton's original mind-control Force Trainer was as close as any kid could get to being a Jedi. But now there's a new version that introduces animated holograms courtesy of an iPad that lets kids use their newfound Jedi skills on scenes from the movies.
An included wireless headset picks up on a kid's brain activity, and translates their concentration to a series of Jedi challenges included with the accompanying app. So if a child thinks hard enough, they can raise Luke's X-wing from the swamps on Dagobah just like Yoda did.
The holographic base will be available sometime this fall for $120, and while the accompanying Force Trainer II app will be free, including ten different levels to work through, additional challenges will be made available as in-app purchases. So the real Jedi mind trick here will be kids convincing their parents to cough up their credit card details so they can unlock the extra content. [Uncle Milton via Chip Chick]
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After months of studying drones as a news reporting tool, CNN just struck a deal with the Federal Aviation Administration today, meaning lots of eye-in-the-sky Wolf Blitzer segments are forthcoming.
But while CNN's own active efforts to bring drones into the newsroom started June 2014, experimentation with drone journalism is almost as old as the hobby itself. News agencies like the Associated Press have used drones to cover huge disaster stories, and journalism schools, such as the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, integrated drones into their classes (until the FAA squashed that idea in 2013.) There's even a professional society of drone journalists, and several news outlets have fought the FAA on its drone kibosh saying it infringes on the first amendment.
Clearly an interest exists, but the FAA's tortoise-speed approach to UAV rule-making has left many either clamoring for permission or just doing it without any.
This could change that. CNN's partnership with the agency will be a two-way street; the news organization will pass along info to the administration to help "formulate a framework for various types of UAVs to be safely integrated into newsgathering operations," according to a CNN press release.
This kind of team-up is crucial to drone innovation continuing in the United States. Big companies with the $$$ to invest can work with the FAA on drone use in their respective fields, hopefully(!) to the benefit of the rest of the emerging industry. Because one of the big fears of being too slow to these new rules is that giants like Amazon and Google will simply just look outside U.S. borders, where drone rules are more lax or better developed, which is pretty much everywhere else. In December, Amazon openly said they were pursuing non-U.S. testing facilities because of the FAA's cautious stance. These companies aren't likely to wait until 2017 and simply ignore the potential of drones until then. [CNN/Politico]
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Speaking at the FTC, President Obama tries to restore Americans' faith in technology by proposing new legislation aimed to hold businesses accountable for protecting consumer data.
The post Obama Plan Would Force Companies To Tell Consumers When Their Data Is Stolen appeared first on ThinkProgress.
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