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Original author: 
Russell Brandom

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Check your cell phone contract, and you might come across the following turn of phrase: "We do not sell your personal information." Some version of that phrase is in nearly every carrier Terms of Service, and divides the world’s data into two camps: the kind that personally identifies you and the kind that doesn’t. Your phone, your address, and your social security number all fall into the first camp: if Verizon’s caught trading them, they’ve got a lawsuit on their hands. Your zip code and your birthday, on the other hand, are fair game.

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First time accepted submitter aNonnyMouseCowered writes "One of my favorite freeware Android applications has been pulled from the Google Play app store. While I found a replacement for the app, I've decided to install only apps that won't become obsolete merely because of the developer's whim or lack of interest. With the exception of games, which I don't deem essential for work, I don't want to install potential abandonware even if they cost the pauperly sum of $0.00. My decision has thus far meant installing a relatively crude text editor like BusyBox's version of vi, rather than any one of those full-blown mobile office suites. I've found a short list of open source Android apps at Wikipedia, including the usual suspects, Firefox and the VLC media player. There are also links to two other sites at the end of the article. But even the more comprehensive listings have large gaps in them even when compared 'merely' to the programs available in a typical GNU/Linux repository. So can anyone recommend useful or even just fun Free, Libre and Open Source Software for an Android smartphone or tablet? Free virtual beer to those that can find links for FLOSS programs for editing audiovisual media (Blender for Android?) and documents more sophisticated than HTML."

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Continental Post-Crash Braking

Automotive technology firm Continental has announced a new automatic post-crash braking system for cars, aiming to reduce the likelihood of "secondary collisions." Set to be integrated into its ContiGuard safety suite, the new technology uses data from the vehicle's airbag to determine that a crash has taken place before attempting to slow it to a stop. If pressure is reapplied to the accelerator pedal during the crash, the system automatically returns control to the driver.

According to figures from ADAC Accident Research, almost 25 percent of German car accidents resulting in injuries to the driver or passengers involve multiple crashes — Continental provides a comparison image (above), showing how a simple collision with a crash...

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motion tracking (oku ishikawa lab)

Researchers at Tokyo University’s Oku Ishikawa Lab — home of the unbeatable rock, paper, scissors robot — are working on another application of high-speed motion tracking, only this one’s for real sports. A research team headed by Kohei Okumura has put together a motion-tracking camera system with a tiny one-millisecond latency, allowing the camera to stay locked on even fast-moving targets — say, ping pong balls in play (video below).

While motion tracking isn’t new, an ordinary camera would be too heavy to move with millisecond-order precision, so the team decided to go with a fixed camera and two rotating mirrors — one to control pan (the horizontal axis), and the other for tilt (vertical); an array the group calls a...

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