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Free Software Foundation drives fundraising effort for 'fully free' Replicant Android fork

Android variants come in various guises, some liberating, some a bit cheeky, and others, entirely free. Free, as in free to you, and free from any kind of licensing issues — and Replicant is one such example. The project has been around since 2010, but a new fundraising initiative by the Free Software Foundation promises to give it a vital boost. The key difference with Replicant and many other Android spin-offs is that it doesn’t rely on proprietary software for it to play nice with vendor hardware. While most of Android is free, it’s at this hardware interface level that things get a bit more complex. The FSF hopes that by driving investment towards Replicant more hardware can be supported, in turn opening the OS up to even more users. Sound like something you can get behind? Head over to the source and show your support.

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Via: Boing Boing

Source: Free Software Foundation

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DNP eskin

Remember the names Martin Kaltenbrunner and Takao Someya — that way, you’ll have someone to blame when kids start pointing and laughing at gadgets we consider high-tech today. Leading a team of University of Tokyo researchers, they have recently developed a flexible, skin-like material that can detect pressure while also being virtually indestructible. Think of the possibilities: with a thickness of one nanometer, this could be used to create a second skin that can monitor your vital signs or medical implants that you can barely feel, if at all. Also, temperature sensors could be added to make life-like skin for prosthetics… or even robots! Like other similar studies, however, the researchers have a long journey ahead before we see this super-thin material in medicine. Since it could lead to bendy gadgets and wearable electronics first, don’t be surprised if your children call iPhones “so 2013″ in the not-too-distant future.

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Via: iO9, ABC Science, New Scientist

Source: Nature

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Tokyo's IBIS robot promises cheaper surgery, throws a shade at da Vinci video

“Anything you can do, I can do cheaper,” says the Tokyo Institute of Technology while jabbing a rude elbow in the ribs of Intuitive Surgical. The Japanese institute is showing off IBIS, a surgical robot that is expected to cost between a third and a tenth of the $2 million it takes to buy one of Intuitive’s da Vinci droids. Unlike its electrically powered American rival, IBIS is pneumatic, making it significantly cheaper and able to provide force feedback to surgeons when the arms touch something. The engineers behind the ‘bot are hoping to produce a practical version within the next five years, and we’re already thinking about inviting both machines along for a fight at Expand 2020. In the meantime, you can catch IBIS in action in the video after the break.

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Source: Diginfo

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Locket puts ads on your Android homescreen, pays you a penny to unlock video

Take a look at your Android phone. See that background shot? It’s probably kind of cute, but hardly inspiring. In fact, is is bringing you any joy whatsoever? Is it helping you to make rent? Believe it or not, there’s now an app for that. Locket has just launched into the Google Play Store, enabling a limited (for now) selection of advertisers to place ads on your lock screen and then paying you one cent for each time you unlock. Of course, it’s capped at $0.03 per hour (so every other unlock is just making the company money), and you’ll be allowed to cash out, toss the funds on a gift card or donate your earnings to a charity. Don’t worry, we already did the math — you can earn $262.80 by unlocking your phone’s screen three times a day, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Or you can just mow some grass.

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Source: Locket, Google Play Store

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