Facial Recognition Vending Machines Debut in Japan

And in an ironic twist, Keith Richards tested the machine and was determined to be 361 years old (joke people).

clipped from www.yomiuri.co.jp
A cigarette vending machine that can tell adults from minors by determining their approximate ages based on bone structure, wrinkles and the way their skin sags went on sale Monday.
People wishing to buy cigarettes have to look at a facial recognition camera in the upper section of the machine and press a button. In about three seconds, the machine determines whether the person is 20 years old–the legal age to buy cigarettes–or above. The purchase will be allowed if the machine is satisfied.
When it is difficult to determine whether people around the age of 20 are adults, they must insert a driver’s license into a reader to make a purchase. They will not be able to buy cigarettes based purely on facial recognition.
Meanwhile, in another attempt to prevent minors from smoking, the Tobacco Institute of Japan plans to issue vending machine cards restricted to adults.

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Wierd and Wonderful TV Remotes

Lots of interesting stuff.

clipped from deputy-dog.com
2. zenith lazy bones

the first ever tv remote control that could actually change channels was the zenith lazy bones, released in 1955. as with the garod tele-zoom, the lazy bones was attached to the tv by way of a long cable, perfect for tripping up relatives and causing frustration due to entanglement.
3. zenith flash-matic

created by engineer eugene polley (above) in 1955, the zenith flash-matic was the world’s first wireless tv remote control and looked a lot like a flashlight. a beam of light had to be aimed accurately at one of the 4 corners of the tv set for it to work, the remote enabling you to either turn the tv on/off, change channels or mute the sound. the flash-matic system was pretty frustrating in the daytime due to the fact that the sun had more chance of hitting the sensors than the remote-holding human and would cause the tv to sporadically change channel.
multimedia remote control wrangler

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Hubble Sees Graceful Dance Of Two Interacting Galaxies

clipped from www.sciencedaily.com

Arp 87 is a stunning pair of interacting galaxies. Stars, gas and dust flow from the large spiral galaxy, NGC 3808, forming an enveloping arm around its companion. The shapes of both galaxies have been distorted by their gravitational interaction. Arp 87 is located in the constellation of Leo, the Lion, approximately 300 million light-years away from Earth. Arp 87 appears in Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. As also seen in similar interacting galaxies, the corkscrew shape of the tidal material suggests that some stars and gas drawn from the larger galaxy have been caught in the gravitational pull of the smaller one. This image was taken in February 2007 with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 detector. (Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA))

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Fear the Reaper

And the most astonishing thing?The Reaper may be unmanned, but it does have a pilot–on the ground. The remote ground station for the UAV is a half a world away, at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.

clipped from www.news.com

Younger, meaner sibling of the MQ-1 Predator

Meet the younger, meaner sibling of the MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle: the MQ-9 Reaper.
Whereas the older UAV was designed for operations such as surveillance and reconnaissance, the primary mission for the aptly named Reaper is to be a “persistent hunter-killer” drone, the first such device at the Air Force’s disposal.

The Reaper has just begun a tour of duty in Afghanistan–that’s where it is in this picture from October 1, and where it has flown daily missions since the last week of September.

The Reaper outperforms the Predator in a number of ways. The MQ-9 can fly twice as high and nearly nine times farther, and carries a bigger munitions payload, the Air Force said.

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True Geekdom – WiFi Detecing T-Shirt

Laptops? We don’t need no stinking laptops!

clipped from blog.scifi.com

wifi_shirt_anim.gif

Still haven’t convinced those around you that you are truly a geek? It’s tough to project that image of geekiness, but this Wi-Fi detecting shirt from ThinkGeek is just the kind of apparel that will finally set yourself apart from the rest of the posers.
No longer will you need to squat down and boot up the laptop to check the availability of a Wi-Fi network, now just take a look down to see what your shirt thinks. Underneath the shirt is a slew of electronics and doodads that powers and operate the Wi-Fi detector. The electronics can easily be removed for washing, but you should probably know by now that the stereotypical geek despises washing machines of any type.
The Wi-Fi detecting shirt will be available late-October for $30 from ThinkGeek.

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Happy Geek Day – The Handheld Calculator Turns 40

The death of slide rules came fast.

clipped from www.computerworld.com

There are a few videos of these old machines on YouTube, including the following clip of working TI calculator — and the box it came in — from 1974.
I still remember the HP35 and the HP45. One guy sprang for the $395 cost and instantly became the envy of all. No more looking up 10 place sines and cosines in Peter’s Tables and no more waiting for someone to finish using the department Wang calculators.
I worked extra hours and bought a HP45 from a mail order house (saving $39 off list price). It arrived the night before the big water quality test, which I aced solely because I had that HP45. Engineering was never the same after that. My HP45 still runs, but the batteries died long ago.

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