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BAE Systems Smart Skin

Modern aircraft require lots of ground checks to ensure they're safe to fly, but researchers at BAE Systems believe they've found new hi-tech way to minimize that down time. Using tens of thousands of micro-sensors, the aerospace giant has developed a new type of "smart skin" that can detect damage and report back health statistics to its operator. BAE says the experimental coating might sense wind speed, temperature, movement and strain in the same way that human skin detects and sends impulses back to the brain, reducing the need for personnel to make physical inspections on the ground. On top of that, maintenance crews could also replace parts before they become unsafe or inefficient. While its new smart skin is still very much in development, BAE reckons it can shrink its self-powered sensors down to the size of a grain of rice and then spray them onto new or existing aircraft like paint. Planes with feelings, it appears, won't just be limited to animated Disney films.

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A few days ago, a Brazilian judge ordered Apple and Google to pull Secret from the local app store and wipe it from the handsets of whose who had downloaded it. The same ruling covered Microsoft, who was ordered to do the same to Windows Phone clone Cryptic. So far, however, only Apple has begun to comply with the order, after suspending fresh downloads of the app to iOS accounts registered in Brazil. According to local news media, the company hasn't started pulling the software from individual handsets, but that's still more than Google or Microsoft have done. Both companies claim that they've not been directly notified of the widely-reported ruling, although it's more likely that they're waiting on a final decision from the courts before taking any action.

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The influence of Hong Kong action cinema stars like Bruce Lee lives on in today's cinema, but the ancient styles they based their techniques on are slowly dying out. There's now a crowdfuding project aimed at preserving the heritage of different Kung Fu fighting styles, called the Hong Kong Martial Arts Living Archive. It's a collaboration between a martial arts society called the International Guoshu Association (IGU) and the City University of Hong Kong. The goal is to use photos, high-speed video, panoptic video and motion capture to capture and quantize the different techniques.

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Even if their intentions are good, there's a reason that we don't let amateurs do brain surgery or design housing complexes. That logic doesn't seem to apply at the highest levels of government, however, after Michael Daniel boasted that about his lack of knowledge in his specialist field. In an interview with GovInfoSec, the White House cybersecurity co-ordinator has revealed that he's not technically-minded, but that he doesn't "have to be a coder in order to do really well." He added that "being too down in the weeds at a technical level could actually be a bit of a distraction." Sure, being able to see the wood for the trees when you're in charge of the nation's electronic safety is a good thing, but as Princeton's Ed Felten remarked, there'd be uproar if the attorney general bragged about a lack of legal expertise. Maybe we'll start working on our application to become the next surgeon general, after all, we have seen at least four episodes of ER.

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Here's a friendly tip for all wildlife photographers out there: don't let mischievous monkeys (and other jungle animals) push the shutter button in your stead. The U.S. Copyright Office just released a new public draft of its compendium of practices, and in it, the agency clearly states that it will only recognize original works created by human beings. This new section's first example of works it cannot register? "A photograph taken by a monkey," alluding to the controversial simian selfies that took the internet by storm weeks ago. People have been debating whether photographer David Slater actually owned the right to those images (a couple of which you can see above) since the camera-loving black crested macaque -- or Macaca nigra, a critically endangered species -- used the equipment he set up. Slater even made plans to bring Wikipedia to court for refusing to take those pictures off the website, which he claims has been robbing him of much-needed royalties.

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According to reports from both The Wrap and Deadline, Steven Spielberg is trying to resurrect Minority Report as a TV series. The original movie was a science-fiction styled thriller set in the near-future - and its ideas on gesture-based interfaces have been referenced ever since. Fast Company even elaborated on seven crime-fighting technologies featured in the movie that had inspired real-life techniques. Other tech referenced in the 2002 movie included e-paper, retina scanners and advertising with facial recognition built-in. Spielberg wants the show to be produced by his company Amblin Entertainment and is looking to hook Godzilla writer Max Borenstein to pen it. Deadline adds that the project remains at the "very early stages of development." And in case you forgot, the movie itself was (pretty loosely) based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. If the TV series does happen, maybe it'll get a novelization -- and the circle will be complete.

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We already know that the United States Congress (or the countless people it employs) can't seem to stop editing Wikipedia articles, but do they need to be such jerks about it? Case in point: Wiki tinkerers using an IP address connected to the US House of Representatives have been blocked from making edits to articles for the third time this summer. The first two bans were relatively short, but this time the block will stick for a month because a congressional staffer (or staffers) associated with the IP address made a handful of offensive edits that denigrated transgender people. And the straw that seemed to break the admin's back? A particularly distasteful change to the page devoted to Orange Is The New Black.

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If a wireless charger doesn't work with a phone or tablet with the capability, it's likely because they adhere to two different wireless charging standards. See, there's more than one out there, and that's making it hard for businesses, venues, offices and even OEMs to adopt the technology. One product that could potentially help with those issues is a new wireless charger called ChargeSpot Pocket, which works with both Qi Wireless and PMA or Power Matters Alliance. Sure, that's just two standards out of three (leaving out the third one called A4WP), but the product can certainly cater to more customers than an alternative that works with only one standard can.

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Thinking about using a hashtag in your next tweet? Watch out -- Twitter might use it as an excuse to attach a video or image to your message. A promotion for ABC's new TV comedy "Selfie" revealed that Twitter can now prompt users to attach media to a tweet based on the hashtags they use. iOS users who compose a message with #SelfieABC, for instance, will be asked if they want to attach the TV show's first episode in the tweet.

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Love LTE data speeds, but fear the bane of network congestion? Researchers at NTT Docomo and Huawei may have a solution. The two firms just announced that it has successfully broadcast LTE service on the unlicensed 5GHz spectrum -- a frequency typically used for WiFi. Potentially, the 5GHz band could be used to enhance LTE service in high-use areas, a practice researchers are calling License-Assisted Access (LAA). LAA isn't an official standard yet, but Huawei and NTT Docomo plan to continue working together to support it. The specifics are a little granular, sure, but we're not about to scoff at getting better reception. Check out the duo's official statement at the source link below.

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