Dario Lo Presti/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Astronomers’ telescopes might be a key hurdle to the future of an automated robotic lawnmower that a company called iRobot Corporation hopes to create.

iRobot filed a request for waiver with the FCC in January hoping to obtain certification to market a robotic lawn mower. In its filing, the company says the product would “reduce deaths and injuries related to lawn mowing,” “reduce emissions and noise pollution,” and “improve quality of life.”

iRobot is a Massachusetts based company that designs and builds robots for consumer and military use. Its robotic lawn mower is in the early design phase, according to filings.

The problem is that in order to operate the mower, one would have to install wires within trenches around the perimeter of the lawn. An alternative method would involve using beacons that could simply be driven into the lawn’s perimeter.

Last month, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory filed comments on iRobot’s request, noting that the radio frequencies proposed for use by the robotic lawn mower and its beacons could interfere with several large radio telescopes.

According to Wired, lawyers representing iRobot reached out to the NRAO in January to discuss the specifications. The two sides, however, differ on how large an exclusion zone is necessary to protect radio telescopes. iRobot says a 12-mile buffer zone is sufficient, while the NRAO hopes for a 55-mile exclusion zone.

Wired says that the NRAO hopes only to protect its interests, and not to prevent the creation of robotic lawnmowers.

Read More →

Dario Lo Presti/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Astronomers’ telescopes might be a key hurdle to the future of an automated robotic lawnmower that a company called iRobot Corporation hopes to create.

iRobot filed a request for waiver with the FCC in January hoping to obtain certification to market a robotic lawn mower. In its filing, the company says the product would “reduce deaths and injuries related to lawn mowing,” “reduce emissions and noise pollution,” and “improve quality of life.”

iRobot is a Massachusetts based company that designs and builds robots for consumer and military use. Its robotic lawn mower is in the early design phase, according to filings.

The problem is that in order to operate the mower, one would have to install wires within trenches around the perimeter of the lawn. An alternative method would involve using beacons that could simply be driven into the lawn’s perimeter.

Last month, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory filed comments on iRobot’s request, noting that the radio frequencies proposed for use by the robotic lawn mower and its beacons could interfere with several large radio telescopes.

According to Wired, lawyers representing iRobot reached out to the NRAO in January to discuss the specifications. The two sides, however, differ on how large an exclusion zone is necessary to protect radio telescopes. iRobot says a 12-mile buffer zone is sufficient, while the NRAO hopes for a 55-mile exclusion zone.

Wired says that the NRAO hopes only to protect its interests, and not to prevent the creation of robotic lawnmowers.

Read More →

Pawel Gaul/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Agency for International Development announced this weekend that it would provide $126 million in funds to help rebuild health services in Ebola-affected nations in West Africa.

The agency says the money will be used to “help Liberia, Sierra Leone, and guinea restart critical health services that stopped due to the Ebola outbreak, including vaccinations, water and sanitation services, prenatal and maternal health care and nutrition, and programs to prevent and treat malaria and other infectious diseases.”

“USAID has helped West African nations by beating back the Ebola outbreak.” Associate Administrator Mark Feierstein said. “Now we’re helping ensure people have food to eat, schools are open and educating children, people are able to communicate through a strong infrastructure network, and families can support themselves by returning to jobs and markets.”

With help from the international community, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been slowed. In Liberia, in particular, the number of new Ebola cases has dropped from 50 per day to zero.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

ABC News(NEW YORK) — While the Florida mailman who landed his gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn last week exposed a security “vulnerability,” House Homeland Security Chair Rep. Michael McCaul said Sunday on This Week that authorities were ready if the aircraft made it closer to the national landmark.

Doug Hughes flew his gyrocopter about 80 miles from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with the declared intention of carrying out an act of civil disobedience. He landed on the Capitol lawn with letters addressed to all 535 members of Congress calling for campaign finance reform.

Hughes was met by Capitol police officers, who quickly arrested him.

“Had it got any closer to the Capitol, they were prepared to shoot down the aircraft,” McCaul said.

Hughes told reporters Sunday he expected to be stopped along the way to the Capitol, but McCaul said the gyrocopter was missed by radar monitoring the secured airspace.

“I think part of the problem is these small, ultra-light aircraft are very difficult to detect, can fly under the radar as this one did … That is the real threat,” McCaul said. “I think it exposed a vulnerability … that the terrorists, I think, can exploit.”

The Texas Republican also weighed in on an Ohio man who was arrested last week after allegedly training with al Qaeda in Syria and plotting a terror attack in the United States. McCaul said the threat posed by Abdirahman Sheikh Mohamud was a serious one.

“He said something big was going to happen. He was plotting to attack a military installation, possibly in Texas,” McCaul said. “What’s most significant about this case — it’s the first foreign fighter case we’ve seen of an American citizen traveling to Syria, training with al Qaeda, al Nusra, and then returning to the United States under instructions by al Qaeda operatives to conduct a terrorist attack on American soil.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Jean-nicolas Nault/iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A San Diego police officer who got run down by his own cruiser in a terrifying scene caught on video said he believed the man accused of hitting him was going to kill him.

Surveillance video of the officer being was shown in court Friday at the preliminary hearing for the man accused of being behind the wheel.

The traumatic video from the January incident shows William Bogard allegedly deliberately running over Officer Jeff Swett.

“I figured at that point in time he was going to kill me,” Swett said on the stand Friday. According to ABC affiliate KGTV-TV, Swett also testified that Bogard was smiling behind the wheel.

Bogard showed no reaction during the officer’s testimony, KGTV reported.

Swett described the “immediate pain” he felt as the car hit him. He said he was then propelled backward and “very forcefully hit the ground.” He suffered two broken arms, a broken leg and severe head and neck trauma, according to KGTV.

The incident began when police responded to a call that someone had broken into a house and was threatening those inside. When officers responded, Bogard allegedly stole Swett’s running car.

Another officer shot at the car, KGTV reported, striking Bogard in the leg. He testified Friday that he did so because he “was in fear for Jeff’s life and my own.”

Bogard was charged with two counts of attempted murder on a peace officer, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, vehicle theft, burglary and criminal threatening, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

ABC Breaking US News | US News Videos

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo Credit: Martin Crook/Comedy Central(NEW YORK) — Jon Stewart announced earlier this year that he would quit his job hosting Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and has now explained that decision by saying that he wasn’t getting the same enjoyment out of doing the show.

“It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working anymore, or that I didn’t know how to do it,” Stewart told London’s The Guardian. “It was more ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.'” Stewart called the gig “the most perfect job in the world,” while admitting that things began to feel less shiny and new.

“I’d covered an election four times,” Stewart told the paper, “and it didn’t appear that there was going to be anything wildly different about this one.”

Stewart joked, “if Oprah can leave and the world still spins, I honestly think it will survive me.”

The comedian — and new director — also defended his replacement, Trevor Noah, calling him “incredibly thoughtful, considerate and funny.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Marcio Silva/iStock/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) — Kurdish forces have seized large expanses of ISIS-held terrain in northern Iraq, the U.S.-led coalition said in a Sunday statement.

During the operations, the Kurdish Peshmerga cleared 11 villages of enemy combatants and restored security to an area about 25 square miles in size. The Peshmerga were assisted by coalition air strikes, which destroyed ISIS weapons systems and fighting positions.

“The operation is yet another example demonstrating the commitment and ability of our partners to defeat [ISIS] forces on the battlefield in Iraq,” Lt. Gen. James Terry, commander of the coalition forces said. “The determined efforts of the Peshmerga, combined with coalition support, further denies [ISIS] key terrain and freedom of movement in Northern Iraq.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) — The Tampa Bay Rays designated reliever Grant Balfour for assignment on Saturday night. The move was made following the Rays’ 9-0 loss to the New York Yankees, in which the right-hander allowed three runs, one hit and three walks in 2-3 innings of work.

Tampa Bay signed Balfour as a free agent on Jan. 23, 2014. Last season, he posted a record of 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 65 appearances. It was his second stint with the Rays, having previously played for them from 2007-2010.

To take Balfour’s spot on the roster, the Rays selected the contract of right-hander Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images(NASHUA, N.H.) — Nineteen Republican presidential prospects gathered in New Hampshire this weekend and largely aimed their fire not at each other, but rather at Hillary Clinton, who’s declared her candidacy for the Democratic nomination.

Clinton, who plans to arrive Monday in the Granite State for two days of events, was a ripe target for the GOP hopefuls — a few who have already jumped into 2016 presidential race and others who appear to be getting ready to run.

Here’s a look at some of the sharpest attack lines — and laugh lines — aimed at Clinton as she prepares to begin her second full week as a presidential candidate:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio:

“Hillary’s going to raise $2.5 billion — that’s a lot of Chipotle, my friends.”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:

“How would I contrast my style with Hillary’s? Listen. We’re different people of different generations and so you know we’re going to approach things in different ways.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

“The orchestrator of these policies that we have seen that I just mentioned will most likely be the Democrat nominee for president. She’s the one that literally brought the reset button to the Kremlin, to reestablish those new relationships with Russia. Well they did re-set us — that’s for sure — they re-set us back to pre-1989 from my perspective.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal:

“We need to contrast with Secretary Clinton on substance. I think it’s a mistake for the Democratic Party to engage in a coronation. I think a primary competition would be better for them, but they don’t look to me for advice, so that’s O.K.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul:

“I think that her dereliction of duty, her not doing her job, her not providing security for our forces, for our diplomats, should forever preclude her from holding higher office.”

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina:

“Hillary Clinton must not be president of the United States. I was asked this morning on Fox News whether a woman’s hormones prevented her from serving in the Oval Office — not that we have seen examples ever of a man’s judgment being clouded by hormones, including in the Oval Office. Hillary Clinton cannot be president of the United States, but not because she is a woman. Hillary Clinton must not be president of the United States because she does not have a track record of accomplishment, because she lacks the candor and the transparency that are so necessary to leadership and because she will pursue a set of policies that crush the possibilities and the potential of this great nation.”

Real estate mogul Donald Trump:

“You can’t just sit down with three people that have been vetted and say, ‘oh gee it was a wonderful day’ and look nice in a brand new suit that looks like it was from central casting. You just can’t do that. Eventually she’s going to have to answer questions. She’s going to have to answer how she did as secretary of state, OK? I mean the world blew up.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham:

“I think it’s something out of the North Korean playbook. I mean at the end of the day, the dear leader — Kim Jong-un — everybody he meets likes him. I can’t believe that this is a listening tour. I mean one — the only way you can listen to her is chase her car down the interstate. You’ve got to come and do what we’re doing here today: Take questions from real live people. And, at the end of the day, if this is a listening tour then I’m going to get drafted by the NBA.”

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee:

“Every time I ever ran for public office. I ran against the Clinton political machine. I ran against their money. I ran against them. Virtually every election Bill and Hillary Clinton would come back and campaign against me. If somebody wants to know what it’s like running against their organization and their apparatus, come see me and I’ll tell you. I’ll show you some scars, because I have a few.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:

“As I was coming up, I was a little bit startled because I could have sworn that I saw Hillary’s Scooby Doo van outside. And then I realized it couldn’t possibly be that because I’m pretty sure you all don’t have any foreign nations paying speakers right? We want something new. We want new leadership to change the page and to turn around. You know the Democratic version of this I’m pretty sure is Hillary Clinton having a conversation with a Chipotle clerk.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →

Aaron Kohr/iStock/Thinkstock(ALBANY, N.Y.) -– New York health officials are warning of a recent increase in the use of a synthetic cannabinoid that has sent more than 160 patients to the hospital since April 8.

The drug, known as “spice,” is known to be marketed as incense, herbal mixtures or potpourri in order to mask its true purpose.

Calls to New York State poison control centers due to the use of the synthetic drugs have increased dramatically in the last two weeks, officials said.

Users of the synthetic mixtures typically experience symptoms that include agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, tremor, seizures, hallucinations, paranoia and violent behavior, according to health officials.

“Drugs like ‘spice’ pose a significant threat to public health and New Yorkers need to be aware of the dangers,” said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in a news release. “Since the exact compounds contained in synthetic cannabinoid products change so frequently, it’s often impossible for users to know exactly what they are putting in their body.”

Synthetic cannabinoids are marketed as legal and typically consist of plant material coated by chemicals which are supposed to mimic THC, the active chemical compound in marijuana.

In August 2012, the New York State Department of Health banned the sale and possession of dozens of substances used to make synthetic cannabinoids and bath salts.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Read More →