12/2/2006

Nintendo’s Wii hits Japanese stores

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nintendo’s Wii video game system hit Japanese stores Saturday with long lineups and shortages, following its sellout U.S. launch last month.

More than 3,000 people braved frosty weather to line up at downtown Tokyo electronics retailer Bic Camera, hoping to get their hands on the console, said store spokeswoman Naoko Ito.

The store started turning people away at 5:40 a.m. local time — more than an hour before doors opened — and Wiis were sold out “for the foreseeable future,” Ito said.

Earlier, crowd-control staff at the store, trying to avoid a stampede, used megaphones to urge shoppers to stop pushing.

Short supplies were reported elsewhere in the capital.

Source: AP

New Wide-Angle Lens Produces Pictures Without Distortion

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

South Korean researchers have designed and built an inexpensive optical lens that collects light from a large area and produces a virtually distortion-free wide-angle image. Standing in contrast to commonly known “fisheye” lenses, which produce significant amounts of visual distortion, low-distortion wide-angle lenses can potentially improve image-based applications such as security-camera systems and robot navigation. The new wide-angle lens is lighter, smaller and more affordable than commercially available “rectilinear” lenses, which also produce low-distortion views. The researchers present their new feat of optical technology in the Dec. 1 issue of Applied Optics, a publication of the Optical Society of America.

Made of inexpensive components and available for little more than $100, the new wide-angle lens has been designed specifically to improve indoor security.

FBI Taps Cell Phone Microphones in Mafia Case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

We already knew the FBI can secretly listen in to car conversations by activating microphones of systems like OnStar.

A new Mafia court case suggests that the FBI can do the same thing to cell phones. The judge’s opinion and some background information are available for reading online. The most disturbing thing? According to the judge, the bug worked even if the phone appeared to be ‘powered off.’

From the article: “This week, Judge Kaplan in the southern district of New York concluded that the ‘roving bugs’ were legally permitted to capture hundreds of hours of conversations because the FBI had obtained a court order and alternatives probably wouldn’t work. The FBI’s ‘applications made a sufficient case for electronic surveillance,’ Kaplan wrote. ‘They indicated that alternative methods of investigation either had failed or were unlikely to produce results, in part because the subjects deliberately avoided government surveillance.’”

Source: Slashdot

Commerce OKs VeriSign `.com’ contract

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

VeriSign Inc. will run the key directories that keep track of “.com” domain names until at least 2012 as the U.S.
Commerce Department approved a lucrative contract extension.

The government’s clearance Thursday was the final one needed for VeriSign to extend its hold over the most popular suffix on the Internet, for which it now makes $6 per name each year, or some $350 million for the nearly 59 million names registered.

Shares of Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign jumped $1.82, or 7.5 percent, to close at $26.09 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Source: AP

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