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Britain’s Ministry of Defence unveils unmanned Taranis combat aircraft

Well, it looks like Boeing’s unmanned Phantom Ray stealth aircraft just got a bit of company courtesy of Britain’s Ministry of Defence. It’s now unveiled the BAE-built Taranis, which is not just an unmanned aircraft, but an unmanned combat aircraft that promises to be capable of penetrating enemy territory — as opposed to something like a Predator drone that’s only suitable for use if the airspace is under control. As you might expect, complete details on the aircraft are still being kept under wraps, but the MoD says there’s “more than a million man hours” behind it, and that its first flight trials will begin early next year


Microsoft’s Windows Phone Developer Tools package goes to beta

Early versions of the tools Windows Phone 7 developers will use to craft their wares have been floating around since Microsoft’s MIX event in March, but it looks like things have finally gotten robust and feature-complete enough this week to bless the kit with a beta label. In fact, Microsoft is coming out and saying that this release “represents the near final version,” which we take to mean you can develop with some confidence that your world won’t be turned upside down when the time comes to prep your apps for shipping devices and firmwares.


Skype says Fring violated its Terms of Use, ‘damaging our brand and reputation’ in the process

It looks like Fring’s recent decision to block Skype access to its iPhone 4 video app was the final straw for Skype, who charges that VoIP network was in breach of the Terms of Use and EULA for the Skype API. “Over time,” writes General Counsel Robert Miller, “Fring’s mis-use of our software was increasingly damaging our brand and reputation with our customers.” Although they’ve “been talking with Fring for some time to try to resolve this amicably,” Friday’s action is being called “disappointing [for] our customers, who have high expectations of the Skype experience.” He goes on to say that “Skype will rigorously protect our brand and reputation, and those developers that do not comply with our terms will be subject to legal enforcement.” Meaning, presumably, that in the case of more Fring shenanigans there will be some sort of red-hot legal action.


Bina48 is one humanoid robot you’re going to want to hang out with

The photo you see above is of Bina48, one of the most advanced humanoid robots around.


Intel’s smart TV remote will recognize you, tailor content to your wishes

It’s all about how you hold it, apparently. Intel’s Labs have churned out a proposal for a new user-identifying system to be embedded into remote controls.


Acer’s LumiRead 600 hits the FCC with slow bursts of 2.4GHz radiation

Acer’s 6-inch LumiRead e-reader just hit the FCC, but there’s not a lot to learn — the company smartly withheld the user’s manual and detailed images, so all we have are the triplicate forms of stalwart government employees trying to irradiate themselves. Those thankfully painless tests reveal that the Kindle-alike will have standard 802.11b/g WiFi alongside its monochrome E Ink screen, and the whole 532MHz Freescale iMX357 kit will be powered by a 3.7V, 1460mAh battery.