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Morning Xtra: Cost of Fighting Hackers, 'Brain' Orchestra, 'Kid' Segway



Mind-Powered Orchestra
Dream of playing with an orchestra but daunted by the task of mastering a musical instrument? Forget the instrument, and check out the Multimodal Brain Orchestra. This new performance group uses EEG brainwave sensors to create music. The process works by presenting the performers with visual stimuli that correlate to specific pitches and tones when the performers look at them. It gets pretty techie, but a full description of the process is available here. [From: Make]

Pentagon Spends $100 Million Fighting Hackers, Expect More

The Pentagon announced today that it spent over $100 million in the last six months combating hackers. Although that may seem like a lot of dough, consider the fact that these dollars were only spent responding to and repairing damage caused by hackers, not on prevention. With high-profile exploits dominating tech news these days, expect this number to rise even higher, as the government increases its prevention efforts and ramps up a new cyber-defense command. [From: The Awl]


Police Bait Bike Thieves With GPS Trackers
If you've ever had a bicycle stolen, you'll be happy to hear about a new University of Minnesota police program that hopes to trap bike thieves by planting GPS tracking units in "bait" bicycles around the campus's heavy-theft areas. If the bike is stolen, the GPS unit notifies police, who can then locate it and bust the crook. Apparently it's working; the school is reporting a 30-percent decrease in bike theft since last year. Sweet justice. [From: MN Daily]

New Google Contacts Manager
Google's always been about easy information sharing, and its newest contacts service is no exception. Aimed at users of Google apps like Docs, Picasa and Calendar, the new service lets users who don't have a Gmail account import and manage contacts from sources like Outlook, Yahoo!, Hotmail, or Apple's Address Book. Check it out here. [From: CNET]

Firefox Nearing 25% Market Share
Here's a bit of interesting news. According to software developer Mozilla, its Firefox Web browser is now close to reaching a 25-percent market share. That would add up to between 270 and 342 million people using Firefox. Call that a serious win for open-source software, as Mozilla's success has proven that you don't have to adopt Draconian licensing and development methods to create great software that people will actually use. [From: DownloadSquad]

A Knock-Off Segway for Kids
Check out the Dareway, a knock-off-Segway, ride-on toy for kids. It doesn't balance like its famous (and dorky) inspiration, but it does move forward and backward, and has a thumb controller so you can spin in crazy 360s. Expect to drop $220 for this juvenile transporter from MailOrderExpress.com. [From: OhGizmo]

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