Fire Service launches minigames

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It seems that the boys in the Fire Brigade have been using their spare time to learn flash coding, because the government’s just put out a flash game that teaches people how to prepare for emergencies.

Aside from the slight insanity of kites blocking your safe path out of your house, it’s really well put-together and quite good fun. I got to about 6,000 points or so before feeling like I ought to get on with some work. How well do you manage? Give it a try right here:

Fire Brigade

In Soviet Russia, nuclear reactor goes on truck

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If you needed further evidence that the Soviets were more than a little barmy, then here it is. They built a nuclear reactor onto a truck. Thats it, up there. They were used in the more distant corners of the country, presumably because in the more distant corners, fewer people would be irradiated when they used the things.

After the Chernobyl accident, the use of these things was discontinued, but crikey. Imagine seeing one of those things rolling up the main road of your town, village or hamlet. I’d run for my sodding life, wouldn’t you?

Japanese disaster recovery robot

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A coffin with tank treads. That’s what this thing looks like. Japanese city Yokohama’s disaster recovery department has come up with it as a way to ferry people from danger zones back to safety.

Basically, you stuff an injured person in the tube, and he can then be moved around remotely thanks to the onboard infrared camera. It’ll monitor the patient’s blood flow and vital signs, but I can’t help but think that it doesn’t look terribly cushioned, and there’s a good chance that the occupant might slide out if the robot goes up too steep an incline.

If you were lying in a disaster area with two broken legs, a concussion and a dislocated shoulder, would you get in this thing? Or would you rather walk? I know which I’d pick.

Your entire identity's worth just £80

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Your name, your address, your mother’s maiden name, your passport number, the name of your first pet (“fluffles”? seriously?), your credit card numbers, your top five albums, your national insurance number. All that – what security experts call your ‘identity’ in the context of ‘identity theft’ – is worth just £80.

That’s the price that entire packages of data are going for on message boards and websites populated by fraudsters and scammers. A single piece of data can go for as little as £5. The data’s so cheap because there’s so much of it available – nearly half of all UK computer users aren’t using a firewall or security software.

All you’ve gotta do is make sure that your virus scanner stays up-to-date, and that you’ve got the security features in your operating system fully enabled and up-to-date. In fact go run Windows Update now. I’ll wait. Back? Good. Odds-are that you’re now pretty much safe.

Get Safe Online (via BBC)

Related posts: Microsoft on viruses and malware: It’s not our fault, guv. | FEATURE: Modern Day Malware & Organised Crime

Automate your home firework display with Launch Kontrol

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Fancy automating your upcoming fireworks display, and reduce the risk of blowing your face off because you just had to go back to see why that last rocket didn’t go off? If so, the Launch Kontrol unit could be for you.

Instead of faffing about with matches to light a firework’s fuse, you just attach an E-clip that can be activated by remote control from up to 25 metres away. This E-clip is heated for a fraction of a second, lighting the fuse safely…

Nissan develop Spidey-sense for cars. Cars will now sense danger so you don't have to.

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Yesterday Nissan previewed a clever new sensor technology that does more than just beep when you’re in imminent danger – it actually intervenes a little bit.

Sensors are put into the driver’s blind spots – typically to the immediate sides and just behind the driver’s seat – to detect if you’re getting dangerously close to any other vehicles. Presumably if the technology is adapted for white vans, this mean will mean that everywhere but straight-ahead will be covered in danger sensors…