Oil Companies Will Soon Be Firing Sonic Cannons and Killing Marine Life Along Florida's Coast

Categories: Technology

Chris Muenzer via Wikimedia Commons
This guy does not like loud noises.
With rising sea levels, Great Whites on the loose, and coral development quickly getting knocked down, there's a lot of trouble brewing out there along the east coast of Florida. Now we can add another to the list: sonic cannons.

Yup, you read that right. These devices are typically used by companies prospecting for oil and gas deposits. And thanks to a recent decision by the Obama administration, energy companies have been given the green light to begin hunting around the East Coast, from Delaware to Florida, for the first time.

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Fourteen Years in Jail for Using a Laser Pointer? Cops, FBI Are Cracking Down in Florida

Wikimedia Commons, via 伯理璽天德
Apparently, laser pointers are huge problem for both local law enforcement and the FBI. Nope, not your high school physics teacher who just realized she had a red LED light on her forehead the entire time some smart-ass was asking when the class would be "learning about lasers." Not your cat that can never catch the dot dancing wildly across the kitchen tile. Actual, legitimate agents and cops are the ones raising the issue.

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Florida Air Force Base Developing "Iron Man" Suit for 2018, Prototypes as Soon as June

Categories: Technology

American soldiers could look like Halo characters by 2018.
By 2018, American ground troops might be able to do anything but fly. People weirded out by the concept of Google Glass will probably get the heebie-jeebies when hearing about the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, or TALOS for short. The Army project will definitely be bulletproof. But it also will probably give guys on foot the same night-vision capabilities as pilots, utilize smart fabrics that stop hemorrhaging, and basically turn soldiers into Iron Man.

The U.S. Special Operations Command requested Army researchers' help for the project on May 15 of last year, and the project has been crowd-sourced to students, engineers, and mad scientists. Although it's headquartered out of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, a melange of private citizens will likely come together to help solve various logistical problems with building the suit.

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Bitcoin Expert to Talk at Bimini Boatyard Friday

Photo by Isokivi via Wikipedia Commons
Bitcoin is said to have been created five years ago by an anonymous computer programmer (or programmers) called Satoshi Nakamoto. This pseudonym is a male Japanese name, but it's never been traced to a real person and no one knows for sure if one or many individuals created the electronic currency substitute, which can be easily traded online to and from anywhere in the world without the interference of banks or currency exchanges. Bitcoin has been touted by enthusiasts as the digital answer to e-commerce and international finance because of its smooth online transferring capabilities.

But where there's freedom, there are crooks. It can be used for money laundering. The feds shut down the dark-web narcotics site Silk Road, which used bitcoin to enable drug deals. Various governments have struggled with how to regulate bitcoin. This year, the IRS recognized it as an asset, not a currency.

See also:
- Bitcoin Gains Foothold in South Florida

Early bitcoin adopters were psyched to have bought bitcoin for pennies and then see its value shoot to $900. That price wavered when a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox mysteriously went out of business this February and caused bitcoin's value to drop in half. It now hovers around $450 per "coin." (You can also buy fractions of coins, which are not tangible objects but rather virtual constructs.)

What does any of this mean to a business owner? Broward resident Chris DeRose will give a bitcoin 101 talk on Friday, May 16, at Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale.

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Drone Nearly Collided With Airliner Over Florida

Wikimedia Commons
The Federal Aviation Administration says an unmanned drone nearly collided with a commercial US Airways jet over Florida several weeks ago.

The FAA says the possibility of drones and planes crashing into one another is becoming more and more a threat.

According to reports, on March 22, the 50-seat airliner almost crashed into the drone as the plane approached the Tallahassee Regional Airport at about 2,300 feet.

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Fort Lauderdale Accountant Can Help You Claim Bitcoin Gains/Losses on Taxes

scottks1/Flickr creative commons
Bitcoin has become hugely popular because its potential as a new type of currency that operates outside of any government control. Because it can be bought, sold, and traded anonymously online, outside of banking institutions, proponents say it can help make commerce fast and easy and empower people in third-world areas that have trouble getting access to capital. But skeptics say it can be used for money laundering and drug deals.

Observers have been watching to see how the U.S. government ends up dealing with this phenomenon -- which could be a threat to its financial system. Last week, the IRS both legitimized it and diminutized it, declaring that bitcoin would be treated not like another currency (like yen, euros, etc) but like an asset (such as a stock).

On March 25th, the tax overlords released guidelines saying that the IRS will tax bitcoin as property, not as currency.

See also: Five Weirdest Things I Learned at the North American Bitcoin Conference

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Software and Electronic Art Symposium Comes to Fort Lauderdale This Friday, March 14

Categories: Technology

Landscape by artist Gabriella Levine
Enter the world of tech art.
Broward isn't known as a tech hub, let alone for having a digital arts scene. 3-D-printed designer jewelry? Digital art masterpieces in BroCo? Not really.

But the folks over at Coral Springs Museum of Art want to change that.

The museum plans to open a high-tech digital arts lab. Imagine a workspace equipped with the latest in software arts and digital tools -- tools that would make any geek drool. Want to project visuals you coded? At this lab, that can happen.

The launch date and permanent address are still uncertain, but the James L. Knight Foundation awarded the suburban museum $50,000 to support the initiative. The lab is intended to serve as a working space and educational center. Artist residencies are part of the plans.

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DeadBeatLink.com Publishes the Personal Information of Local Journalists

A local website has popped up with the stated mission of publicly shaming journalists in Broward and Palm Beach. The site says it will also be a place for people to air grievances about bad landlords and ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, but so far, it's just journalists.

Last week, DeadBeatLink.com published a stack of information on the home addresses and phone numbers of reporters from the Palm Beach Post. Yesterday, the same site put up the info for the staff at WPEC CBS 12. Obviously, this kind of public exposure could be troubling for people in the news business -- which seems to be what DeadBeatLink is aiming at.

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At Lynn University, No Textbooks -- All Students Get iPad Minis

Categories: Technology

Photo by Mike Licht/NotionsCapital.com via Flickr CC
Lynn University projects that about 600 students will start school there next week -- the largest incoming class since 2007.

And every one of those kids will have iPad Minis, which they have to buy for $475.

They will not use textbooks this year.

Lynn calls this move "one of the most extensive tablet-based learning efforts in all of American higher education."

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Glow-in-the-Dark Liquid Being Used by Police Departments to Fight Crime (Video)

Andres David Lopez
Stick a stolen item under a black light, then watch it turn glowstick-yellow and lead you back to its rightful owner.

That's the hope for the recently announced partnership between the Riviera Beach Police Department and SmartWater CSI.

SmartWater CSI, based in Fort Lauderdale, produces "forensically encoded liquids," invisible inks infused with rare earth metals. Each bottle contains its own unique signature, so property marked with the liquid will be traceable to its registered owner.

SmartWater glows fluorescent under ultraviolet black light and is nontransferable once dried, so criminals would be unable to remove it from property. Classified as nonhazardous, it lasts five years where placed, and only a small fragment is needed for identification, which would take place in a SmartWater laboratory after property is recovered and examined by police.

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