First Jackie Chan, then Jet Li... and now Godfrey Gao? Already a major celebrity in China -- he's Asia's premier male supermodel and the star of a number of Chinese films and TV shows -- Gao aspires to become the East's next biggest export. With his good looks, charm, and role in the much-anticipated film adaptation of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," he just might be. In the movie, based on the YA bestseller about a teenage half-angel locked in an epic battle against demons, the Taiwanese actor/model plays fan-favorite character Magnus Bane, … Read more
Most dresses are made by fashion designers. It takes a special dress to also require the efforts of a robotic designer. Fashion designer Ying Gao brought in robotics designer Simon Laroche to help create (No)where (Now)here, two dresses that activate when someone looks at them.
The gaze-activated dresses incorporate eye-tracking technology. When the dress detects a person's gaze, it moves and lights up in the dark. The undulating dresses are mesmerizing to look at. The fabric moves like gentle waves, making them look alive, like some strange ocean denizens.… Read more
Your car's tires are, simply put, the most important bit of equipment on your car; they are literally where the rubber meets the road, and keeping them in their best condition is paramount in maintaining your vehicle's performance and safety. Tires are a consumable part that eventually wears out, but it can be difficult to tell how worn a tire is simply by looking at it. Designers Gao Fenglin and Zhou Buyi hope that their Discolor Tyre concept can help with that.
The Discolor Tyre is a conceptual tire design that looks like your average black rubber tire, but features a layer of bright-orange rubber that is molded and embedded within.
When the tire has worn down to the legal minimum level (after about 20,000 km or 12,400 miles) that orange rubber is exposed and can be easily seen from curbside by the driver. When you see orange, then it's time to replace the tire. It sounds simple, yet effective.… Read more
Echoing concerns of security experts, a new report from the Government Accountability Office warns that smart-grid systems are being deployed without built-in security features.
Certain smart meters have not been designed with a strong security architecture and lack important security features like event logging and forensics capabilities used to detect and analyze cyberattacks, while smart-grid home area networks that manage electricity usage of appliances also lack adequate built-in security, according to the report (PDF) released last week by the GAO, the auditing and investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.
"Without securely designed smart-grid systems, utilities will be at … Read more
American wireless customers are paying less for cell phone service than they did a decade ago, but they have fewer choices of carriers, a report from the Government Accountability Office said Thursday.
The GAO is the audit arm of Congress, and in the report there was both good and bad news for consumers. The good news is that the average price for wireless services declined each year from 1999 to 2008, the GAO said, citing Consumer Price Index data. In fact, average prices in 2009 were half the prices in 1999, the report said.
"This illustrates that consumers are … Read more
After spending a year studying how piracy and illegal counterfeiting affects the United States, the Government Accountability Office says it still doesn't know for sure.
Congress tasked the GAO in April 2009 with reviewing the efforts to quantify the size and scope of piracy, including the impacts of Web piracy to the film and music industries. In a 32-page report issued Monday, the GAO said most of the published information, anecdotal evidence, and records show that piracy is a drag on the U.S. economy, tax revenue, and in some cases potentially threatens national security and public health. But … Read more
The Internal Revenue Service's failure to use strong passwords, install patches quickly, and adequately control access to computer systems and information makes the system vulnerable to insider threats and attacks from outside, a new government report concludes.
The IRS has failed to fix almost 70 percent of control weaknesses and program deficiencies identified a year ago, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released last week.
Specifically, the IRS has corrected or mitigated 28 of 89 weaknesses and deficiencies found, but left 61 of them unresolved, according to the report.
For example, the agency continues to install patches … Read more
WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Federal Communications Commission got a slap on the wrist Thursday from federal auditors for not doing enough to protect wireless subscribers.
The Government Accountability Office issued a report Thursday that said the FCC needs to improve oversight of the wireless industry to protect consumers. The agency said the FCC needs to do a better job enforcing consumer protection rules and educating the public about how they can submit complaints when they have experienced problems with their carriers.
The report was requested by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) when he was chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications … Read more
The Department of Defense's $1 trillion-plus plan to build and deliver multiple versions of the Joint Strike Force (JSF) aircraft to multiple customers is behind schedule, over budget, and upside down, according to a report from the Government Accounting Office (PDF).
Upside down because the military is accelerating procurement of operational aircraft before it has even taken delivery of test units, according to the non-partisan GAO.
"Procuring large numbers of production jets while still working to deliver test jets and mature manufacturing processes does not seem prudent," the report states.
Soaring cost estimates for protecting US borders against nuclear smuggling arrived at by the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) are unreliable and could result in "significant" overruns, according to a Government Accounting Agency (GAO) report.
How significant? The projected cost to implement the Radiation Portal Monitor Program has gone from $399 million in 2003, when the Customs and Border Protection was in charge of the project, to $1.3 billion when DNDO took over in 2005. In 2007 the cost of equipping US ports with portal monitors was $1.7 billion. It's now $2.1 billion. But … Read more