The Only Gun That Can Make Aquaman Flinch


Have you ever had to pursue an armed and dangerous international criminal while underwater?

Really? Earlier today you say? Well that’s unexpected…and a little impressive.

Well it turns out that situation is a fairly common occurrence for Russian spec ops as well, and in encountering it they’ve determined that most guns absolutely suck at shooting underwater, and that it’s a real pain in the ass to have to carry a separate weapon designed specifically for aquatic battles (I should really watch “Thunderball” again…)

Instead of lamenting the situation though, a Russian arms designer went ahead and solved it with the creation of the ADS, which is billed as the world’s first amphibious assault rifle. By allowing for the gun to fire a smaller, more aquatic friendly round, along with the more traditional magazines, the ADS is able to effectively work both on land, and underwater where it has a range of about 85 feet, and is capable of shooting an impressive 800 rounds per minute. It also has a grenade launcher attachment, and while nothing specific was mentioned regarding its aquatic functionality, as with most grenade launchers it’s safe to assume the specifics are largely irrelevant.

As mentioned, this weapon is mostly intended for use by Russian forces, and is in fact being tested by them now, so it might be a while (if ever) before you’re convincing a very worried fish and game warden that the aquatic assault rifle you’re carrying is just for streamlined hunting and fishing purposes. As per usual though, you can enjoy a YouTube demonstration of the ADS from a Russian news segment on it, which gets bonus points from using one of the songs off of the “Casino” soundtrack for the highlight video.


Is it Time for a National Stolen Smartphone Registry?

Thefts of smartphones and other high tech mobile devices have become one of the greatest fears of consumers in major metropolitan areas. While sometimes fears like this are the result of media sensationalism, the numbers that keep coming out to support this trend are staggering.

In New York City alone, between January 1st and September 23rd of this year, the NYPD have received reports of 11,447 thefts of just iDevices. That’s a healthy 40 percent jump in cases from that same time the previous year, and also barely takes into account the time of the new iPhone 5’s release. In New York, and other large cities, this has led to a plastering of ads in subway stations, street corners, and televisions that urge citizens to be more aware of their surroundings and their usage of their devices to try to trim down on theft. This has also been coupled with sting operations to catch people selling stolen devices in bulk, as well as a greater police presence in areas like subway stations where theft is most common.

For their part, Apple has long touted a free “Find My Phone” app, that can not only locate a stolen phone using GPS features, but also lock the device remotely with a password. Android users also have a range of  security apps available such as Cerebus, which can take photos of your device’s current location, perform system wipes and locks, locate your phone remotely, and even take an automatic photo if someone enters your password wrong. Even though some of the more clever burglars are becoming aware of these apps and finding ways around them, it is still somewhat reassuring to know that the manufacturers themselves are also aware of this issue and are at least attempting to take all the steps they can to help out, much like the police seem to be doing

However, given the jump in thefts even with such measures in place, there are those who feel that it’s time for phone carriers to step up and do their part.

Specifically, the movement is gaining steam in Canada where an outbreak of violent crimes relating to stolen smart devices has the country in an uproar. The government is insisting that phone companies create a stolen smartphone and tablet registry, before they must force them to do so. The idea of a registry would be to prevent the resale of stolen devices by providing an official record of them. A similar action is also being called for by some in America where the crimes are equally rampant.

While it may not represent a perfect solution to the problem, it instead encourages a measure of corporate responsibility. Why hasn’t this been done yet? The biggest reason is cost, as phone companies are apparently shuddering at the financial implications of such a movement, although exact figures haven’t been provided. Canada’s government is asking for the major carriers to provide that information to them in an effort to get the ball rolling on the initiative once and for all. There is also loose talk that a national registry would hurt the providers in the lucrative second hand markets they encourage, though this is not the official statement.

Considering the reliance people put in their smart devices, it’s uncomfortable for many users to think that the age old crime move of snatch and grab is more dangerous (and lucrative) than ever. While awareness movements prompt users to not display their devices in public places, understandably consumers feel like they should be able to use their phones and tablets somewhere besides the safety of their work or homes. It’s also a somewhat insulting idea that victims of theft are somehow “asking for it” even if there are incidents of displaying an item in high profile prior to its taking.

Whether or not it is the ultimate answer then, it seems like the only party not taking a greater leap in prevention are the phone companies, and a national registry of stolen gadgets would at least add another weapon to the fight. Otherwise, we may see more and more violent incidents of robbery, and of people misguidedly taking actions into their own hands to try and protect their prized possessions.


Twitter starts in-stream advertising

Allen Stern Twitter feed.

Here’s some big news. Twitter started running in-stream ads at some point this week. It’s a big deal because it’s so insanely intrusive. I’m not a Twitter user, but I do check a few accounts here and there, and I would hate to see this kind of crap show up on a regular basis.

As you can see from the photo (which comes from Allen Stern at Center Networks), Twitter inserted an ad in between actual tweets from users, calling it a “promoted tweet.” I don’t really have a problem with these things showing up in search results, but in my own feed? How often will I have to see them? Can I opt out? Will that be a ‘Twitter Pro’ feature?

Whatever the case, it’s a shitty move by Twitter.


Apple acquires Quattro Wireless

Apple acquires Quattro Wireless.Apple dropped $275 million to enter the world of mobile advertising today. The company purchased Quattro Wireless, one of AdMob’s direct competitors.

Though you may have never heard of it, Quattro has done some big business with some big names. The company has worked with CBS, Univision, and the NFL to deliver mobile ads across several platforms. This is a big move for Apple, another in a string of acquisitions that positions it for direct competition with Google. Given Apple’s history of going after the industry giant, it could be an interesting fight.

Here’s the email Apple sent to BGR confirming the deal:

Happy New Year from Quattro Wireless!

We are thrilled to let you know that Apple has acquired Quattro. We want to share with you our excitement about this news and what it means for our customers.

We have built our business by enabling advertisers to reach the right consumers across the mobile web and in applications. We remain focused on delivering more engaging, relevant and useful ads to mobile devices, and improving the measurement and execution of digital campaigns. Together with Apple, we look forward to developing exciting new opportunities in the future that will benefit our customers.

For now, the offerings and services you receive from Quattro Wireless will not change. We will continue to operate the Quattro Wireless network across all devices and platforms. Your client and support teams will remain the same, and you can continue to expect the world-class service we are proud to deliver to our customers.

We look forward to working with you during this exciting time.

Andy Miller
Vice President, Mobile Advertising

Source: BGR