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+ - 144 Why Anonymous 'might well be the most powerful organization on Earth->

Submitted by wasimkadak
wasimkadak (1960958) writes "Christopher Doyon, a.k.a. Commander X, sits atop a hillside in an undisclosed location in Canada, watching a reporter and photographer make their way along a narrow path to join him, away from the prying eyes of law enforcement.

It’s been a few weeks of encrypted emails back and forth, working out the security protocol to follow for interviewing Doyon, one of the brains behind Anonymous, now a fugitive from the FBI.

Doyon, who readily admits taking part in some of the highest-profile hacktivist attacks on websites last year — from Tunisia to Orlando, Sony to PayPal — was arrested in September for a comparatively minor assault on the county website of Santa Cruz, Calif., where he was living, in retaliation for the town forcibly removing a homeless encampment on the courthouse steps.

The “virtual sit-in” lasted half an hour. For that, Doyon is facing 15 years in jail."

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Patents

+ - 200 Federal patents judge thinks software patents good->

Submitted by Drishmung
Drishmung (458368) writes "Retired Judge Paul Michel, who served on the Federal Circuit 1988-2010---the court that opened the floodgates for software patents with a series of permissive decisions during the 1990s—thinks software patents are good. Yes, the patent system is flawed, but that means it should be fixed. Ars Technica have a thoughtful interview with him. Ars take: "If you care most about promoting innovation, offering carve-outs from the patent system to certain industries and technologies looks like a pragmatic solution to a serious problem. If you're emotionally invested in the success of patent law as such, then allowing certain industries to opt out looks like an admission of failure and a horrible hack.""
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Books

+ - 209 Ridley Scott Loves Hugh Howey's Wool->

Submitted by
Sasayaki
Sasayaki writes "Hugh Howey's Wool, the self-published sci-fi story that's made him the best selling Indie sci-fi author of 2012 and currently the best selling sci-fi author on Amazon.com, has found its way into the hands of Ridley Scott (director of Alien, Prometheus and others)... who loved it. Rumour is the Hollywool movie will be coming to cinemas in 2013 or 2014. With Fifty Shades of Grey and now Wool getting the attention of Hollywood, it's clear the self-publishing revolution is here to stay."
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+ - 193 Researchers generate electricity from viruses->

Submitted by toomuchtogrok
toomuchtogrok (2632667) writes "Imagine charging your phone as you walk, thanks to a paper-thin generator embedded in the sole of your shoe. This futuristic scenario is now a little closer to reality. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. The scientists tested their approach by creating a generator that produces enough current to operate a small liquid-crystal display. It works by tapping a finger on a postage stamp-sized electrode coated with specially engineered viruses. The viruses convert the force of the tap into an electric charge."
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Hardware Hacking

+ - 212 Morse Code can now be decoded from blinking patterns in REM sleep.-> 6

Submitted by
IAmCoder
IAmCoder writes "I have been training myself to blink in Morse Code patterns and have started writing a new plugin for LSDBase that can decode the patterns in hope that I can transcribe live from within a dream one day.

I also designed a headband, that will be known as a halograph FM, with a motion detector that is sensitive enough to pick up the heartbeat and can thus easily detect rapid eye movements. And I wrote a program, Lucid Scribe, that plays audio tracks when it detects that I am dreaming. I can sometimes hear the songs in my dreams and act on that knowledge – by flying, for example.

Here is a video of the first few characters that I can type just by blinking. Relevant XKCD in 3, 2, 1."

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Games

+ - 135 Battle Chess Kickstarter: Bringin' the Queen back->

Submitted by dotarray
dotarray (1747900) writes "Battle Chess. Even the name evokes a certain imagery, a certain feel, full of knights and bishops and pawns beating the living daylights out of each other. And if you played the original 1988 smash hit game for PC, you'll also have the mental image of two queens engaging in a slap-fight, mid-board.
If you didn't play the original game, you may be about to receive a second chance, with Subdued Software announcing plans to bring the game back — and how else, but via Kickstarter."

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Businesses

+ - 229 'Goofing Off' to Get Ahead?

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "His old day job at Gawker entailed calling BS on tech's high-and-mighty, but Ryan Tate still found things to like about Silicon Valley. In The 20% Doctrine, Tate explores how tinkering, goofing off, and breaking the rules at work can drive success in business. If you're lucky, your boss may someday find Tate's book in his or her conference schwag bag and be inspired enough by the tales of skunkworks projects at both tech (Google, Flickr, pre-Scott Thompson Yahoo) and non-tech (Bronx Academy of Letters, Huffington Post, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group) organizations to officially condone some form of 20% time at your place of work. In the meantime, how do you manage to find time to goof off to get ahead?"
Hardware

+ - 115 A new kind of thin client based on Fedora and Kickstarter open-hardware->

Submitted by xeoron
xeoron (639412) writes "Imagine if you could easily share one computer with a whole class, your whole family, the whole office that uses no remote desktop, no specialized server, and no X11 forwarding. The Plugable Thin Client project, on Kickstarter, effortlessly creates thin clients using Fedora Linux with new specialized USB driver and $50 USB hardware."
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Earth

+ - 377 High School Students Take Global Warming to Court

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Katherine Ellison reports in the Atlantic that a group of high school students is suing the federal government in US District Court claiming the risks of climate change — dangerous storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, and food-supply disruptions — will threaten their generation absent a major turnabout in global energy policy. "I think a lot of young people realize that this is an urgent time, and that we're not going to solve this problem just by riding our bikes more," says 18-year-old Alec Loorz, one of the plaintiffs represented, pro bono, by the Burlingame, California, law firm of former US Republican congressman Paul "Pete" McCloskey. While skeptics may view the case as little more than a publicity stunt, its implications have been serious enough to attract the time and resources of major industry leaders. Last month, Judge Wilkins granted a motion to intervene in the case by the National Association of Manufacturers who says the plaintiffs lack standing because their injuries are too speculative and not likely to be reduced by the relief sought. "At issue is whether a small group of individuals and environmental organizations can dictate through private tort litigation the economic, energy, and environmental policies of the entire nation," wrote NAM spokesman Jeff Ostermeyer. The plaintiffs contend that they have standing to sue under the "public trust doctrine," a legal theory that in past years has helped protect waterways and wildlife. While the adults continue their argument, Loorz says kids his age are much more worried about climate change than many of their parents might imagine. "I used to play a lot of video games, and goof off, and get sent to the office at school," says Loonz. "But once I realized it was my generation that was going to be the first to really be affected by climate change, I made up my mind to do something about it.""
Science

+ - 118 Scientists Generate Electricity from Viruses->

Submitted by
MatthewVD
MatthewVD writes "Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have devised batteries from viruses that harvest energy from everyday tasks like walking. The viruses are piezoelectric, meaning they convert mechanical energy into electric energy, and could be used to create electricity from the blowing wind or power medical devices using only the pulsation of the heart. The same M13 virushas been shown to increase efficiency in solar panels."
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Yahoo!

+ - 147 Yahoo's CEO Scott Thompson Out; Levinsohn In->

Submitted by Google85
Google85 (797021) writes "Yahoo’s embattled CEO Scott Thompson is set to step down from his job at the Silicon Valley Internet giant, in what will be dramatic end to a controversy over a fake computer science degree that he had on his bio, according to multiple sources close to the situation.

The company will apparently say he is leaving for “personal reasons.”

Thompson’s likely replacement on an interim basis will be Yahoo’s global media head Ross Levinsohn, who most recently also ran its Americas unit, including its advertising sales."

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Math

+ - 223 Goldbach Conjecture - Closer to Solved? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "The Goldbach conjecture is not the sort of thing that relates to practical applications, but they used to say the same thing about electricity.
The Goldbach conjecture is reasonably well known:
every integer can be expressed as the sum of two primes.
Very easy to state, but it seems very difficult to prove.
Terence Tao, a Fields medalist, has published a paper that proves that every odd number greater than 1 is the sum of at most five primes. This may not sound like much of an advance, but notice that there is no stipulation for the integer to be greater than some bound. This is a complete proof of a slightly lesser conjecture, and might point the way to getting the number of primes needed down from at most five to at most 2.
Notice that no computers where involved in the proof — this is classical mathematical proof involving logical deductions rather than exhaustive search."

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Cloud

+ - 113 Universal client for cloud drives->

Submitted by infernet
infernet (1138833) writes "I was trying to find some kind of universal client for all those free cloud drive options. I've read this article (http://wp.me/pP1lJ-9o) and the amount of services offering free, small accounts is amazing. The only drawbacks are that I don't like the idea of running tens of sync agents on my computer and that most services include clients only for Windows or Mac (I run only Linux on my devices).

I wonder if someone is working on a project like this: a single client where you could put all your credentials, then you could remote synchronize all possible files on your computer with all those free services. Even more, you could let the software determine where to synchronize what, depending on features of the service provider (e.g. streaming, music player, photo viewer, etc.) and security (country of storage, redundancy, etc.).

Please post here your comments about this. I think it would be a great project if it does not exist."

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Australia

+ - 149 Aussie Police Consider Using Automated Spy Drones->

Submitted by beaverdownunder
beaverdownunder (1822050) writes "Police in the Australian state of Victoria have confirmed that they are investigating employing unmanned drones in the war against crime, following the lead of law enforcement agencies in the United States, set to begin using drones as of tomorrow.

This revelations has alarmed Australian civil libertarians, who fear that in a country with no constitutionally-protected civil rights, people could be surveilled for political reasons."

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Microsoft

+ - 253 Microsoft Funded Startup Aims to Kill BitTorrent Traffic-> 3

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "The Russian based “Pirate Pay” startup is promising the entertainment industry a pirate-free future. With help from Microsoft, the developers have built a system that claims to track and shut down the distribution of copyrighted works on BitTorrent. Their first project, carried out in collaboration with Walt Disney Studios and Sony Pictures, successfully stopped tens of thousands of downloads.

Hollywood, software giants and the major music labels see BitTorrent as one of the largest threats to their business.

Billions in revenue are lost each year, they claim. But not for long if the Russian based startup “Pirate Pay” has its way. The company has developed a technology which allows them to attack existing BitTorrent swarms, making it impossible for people to share files."

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Earth

+ - 211 The Most Detailed 121-megapixel Image Of Earth Captured By Russian Satellite-> 1

Submitted by Diggester
Diggester (2492316) writes "The satellite, known as Elektro-L No.1, took this image from its stationary point over 35,000 kilometers above the Indian Ocean. This is the most detailed image of the Earth yet available to human beings, just because it captures the Earth in a single shot with 121-megapixels unlike NASA satellites, which usually use a collection of pictures from multiple flybys stitched together. The detail in the pic is just amazing, with everything visible so clearly."
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Idle

+ - 203 Death Star is not economical: too much metal->

Submitted by Tablizer
Tablizer (95088) writes "Washington Post: "Should we build a Death Star? This debate picked up this year after some Lehigh University students estimated that just the steel for a Death Star would cost $852 quadrillion, or 13,000 times the current GDP of the Earth...Death Star is a bit misunderstood. It is primarily a tool of domestic politics rather than warfare, and should be compared to alternative means of suppressing the population of a galaxy. Second, as a weapon of war, it should be compared to alternative uses of scarce defense resources. Understood properly, the Death Star is not worth it."
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Games

+ - 115 Blockscape, Minecraft, and the Uncanny Valley->

Submitted by
tekgoblin
tekgoblin writes "Whether you have been playing Minecraft for over a year or are just now getting into it on the Xbox 360 I'm interested in hearing what you think of this.

A man by the name of Jens Blomquist is working on a game called Blockscape that appears to be centered around the idea of being a much more detailed version of Minecraft. I'm generally bothered by games that seem to blatantly rip off something that's popular without doing something new, but Blockscape is far too early in development to tell how things will turn out. Only time will tell whether it'll be a Terraria or just another FortressCraft.

What I'm curious about instead are the visuals and somewhat altered world mechanics. Lighting, water, shaders, and many other elements of Blockscape appear more technically advanced than those in Minecraft, and there seems to be an emphasis on having a wider variety of sizes and shapes to build with. Despite this increased complexity, I immediately and frequently find myself strangely revolted by what I see.

It makes me wonder if there's some element of the uncanny valley at play here. For the initiated, the uncanny valley originally referred to an issue where the more lifelike a humanoid machine became the more disturbing it looked. In video games it is frequently used to discuss how realistic graphics can often be less appealing than stylized visuals. Extra Credits also recently applied the concept to analyze why people can use a controller to play a game but are so alienated by even the smallest problems in ultimately more realistic motion controls. The idea is that the more realistic something becomes the more individual flaws bother us."

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Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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