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Submission + - AT&T enables FaceTime over cellular for all, including unlimited data users (

zacharye writes: When AT&T announced earlier this year that it would support FaceTime video calling on Apple’s iPhone over cellular data connections only for those customers who switched to new shared data plans, people were not happy. The backlash came fast and furious, and some advocacy groups questioned whether or not the new policy was legal. AT&T eventually buckled under the pressure and said users with any tiered data plan and an LTE-enabled device would be able to use FaceTime over cellular. The move was seen as a big step in the right direction, but AT&T confirmed that the many iPhone users with grandfathered unlimited data plans still would not be able to make FaceTime calls over cellular connections. As it turns out, however, AT&T may have quietly reversed that decision as well...

Submission + - Bionic Mannequins Spy on Shoppers to Boost Luxury Sales (

SternisheFan writes: Benetton Group SpA is among fashion brands deploying mannequins equipped with technology used to identify criminals at airports to watch over shoppers in their stores. Retailers are introducing the EyeSee, sold by Italian mannequin maker Almax SpA, to glean data on customers much as online merchants are able to do. The 4,000-euro ($5,072) device has spurred shops to adjust window displays, store layouts and promotions to keep consumers walking in the door and spending.
    The EyeSee looks ordinary enough on the outside, with its slender polystyrene frame, blank face and improbable pose. Inside, it’s no dummy. A camera embedded in one eye feeds data into facial-recognition software like that used by police. It logs the age, gender, and race of passers-by. Demand for the device shows how retailers are turning to technology to help personalize their offers as growth slows in the $245 billion luxury goods industry. Bain & Co. predicts the luxury market will expand 5 percent in 2012, less than half last year’s rate.
    “It’s a changing landscape but we’re always going to be sensitive about respecting the customer’s boundaries,” said spokesman Colin Johnson. Others say profiling customers raises legal and ethical issues. U.S. and European Union regulations permit the use of cameras for security purposes, though retailers need to put up signs in their stores warning customers they may be filmed. Watching people solely for commercial gain may break the rules and could be viewed as gathering personal data without consent, says Christopher Mesnooh, a partner at law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse in Paris. “If you go on Facebook, before you start the registration process, you can see exactly what information they are going to collect and what they’re going to do with it,” said Mesnooh. “If you’re walking into a store, where’s the choice?” So far Almax hasn’t faced obstacles to selling the dummy, CEO Catanese said. Since the EyeSee doesn’t store any images, retailers can use it as long as they have a closed-circuit television license, he said.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Entries open for first ever 24-hour Raspberry Pi hackathon (

concertina226 writes: Called the Raspberry Pi “hack day”, the competition will pit 100 entrants against one another in a number of categories using only the board, Internet access, soldering irons and as much coding as they think appropriate.

Participants will have 24-hours to complete projects, at the end of which judges will category winners will be awarded from a variety of prizes including camcorders, Android tablets and the geek must-have, the Hubsan H107 Quadcopter.


Submission + - Microsoft accidentally gifts pirates with a free Windows 8 Pro license key ( 1

MrSeb writes: "In an amusing twist that undoubtedly spells the end of some hapless manager’s career, Microsoft has accidentally gifted pirates with a free, fully-functioning Windows 8 license key. As you have probably surmised, this isn’t intentional — Microsoft hasn’t suddenly decided to give pirates an early Christmas present (though the $40 upgrade deal from Windows 8 Release Preview is something of a pirate amnesty). In fact, it’s probably just a case of poor testing and a rushed release by Microsoft. The bug involves the Key Management Service, which is part of Microsoft's Volume Licensing system. Pirates have already hacked the KMS to activate Windows 8 for 180 days — but this is just a partial activation. Now it turns out that the free Media Center Pack license keys that Microsoft is giving out until January 31 2013 can be used on a KMS-activated copy of Windows 8 to turn it into a fully licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro. The massive irony, of course, is that Microsoft originally intended to strip Media Center from Windows 8 Pro — and then, in the face of consumer backlash, decided to offer it as a free upgrade until January 31 2013. Presumably, instead of taking the time to deliver the upgrade properly, Microsoft pushed it out the door as quickly as possible — and this is the result."

Submission + - Form1 3D printer and Kickstarter get sued for patent infringment (

An anonymous reader writes: 3D Systems, one of the big fish in 3D printer manufacturing files a suit against Formlabs's hugely polular Form1 printer put forth on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding effort has ammassed close to 3M US Dollars, of an initial 100K requested. 3D Systems accuses Formlabs and Kickstarter of knowingly infringing one of it's still valid blanket patents on stereolythography and cross-sectional printing of 3D objects. The company is probably going to go for the kill, as one can deduct from the demands on their complaint:

Submission + - Jolla Unveils Sailfish Operating System From the Ashes of MeeGo [VIDEO] (

AlistairCharlton writes: Jolla, the start-up built after Nokia abandoned the MeeGo mobile operating system in favour of Windows Phone, has shown off its Sailfish OS in public for the first time.

With an emphasis on easy multitasking, the Sailfish operating system works in a similar way to the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS, in that open apps, menus and more information can be accessed with a single swipe from the home screen.


Submission + - Making Sense Of Colors And Shapes In The Toilet (

mjjochen writes: Just in time for the big American eating festival known as Thanksgiving, comes this NPR story on the shape and color of our bodily waste products. Discussion on the color, shape, smell, & even taste are included. Now we can have just as much fun analyzing things after the meal as we did consuming the meal — for the scatologically inclined, read on!

"Here at Shots, we're all for "breaking the taboo around the toilet" (see our recent posts on squatting and fake feces). And we get the sense that there's more confusion out there about what ends up in the toilet than most people would care to admit. And so for World Toilet Day, we're sharing a couple of infographics we stumbled upon recently."

Submission + - Jolla unveils Sailfish OS (

ryzvonusef writes: The date we were promised an introduction to Sailfish is here, and it turns out Jolla's not just targeting smartphones with its MeeGo-based OS, but tablets, smart TVs and other devices, too. Jolla has kept its OS under wraps until now, but it wants Sailfish to be an open-source affair which "will be built through community involvement and participation." The SDK is being released today, and we should get a look at the UI during a presentation occurring shortly. We're assured superb multitasking capabilities, as well as deep personalization and "fast and effortless interaction." Jolla has said Sailfish will be available for use with "multiple chipset technologies," and is already supported on ST-Ericsson's NovaThor platforms. It's also reported that it's partnering with Finnish carrier DNA to promote and sell Sailfish smartphones on home turf.

You can watch the livestream here:


Submission + - Nose cell transplants allow paralyzed dogs to walk again (

cylonlover writes: Scientists from the University of Cambridge’s Veterinary School, working with colleagues from the UK Medical Research Council’s Regenerative Medicine Centre, have got disabled dogs walking again. More specifically, they’ve used the dogs’ own cells to repair their spinal cord injuries, and at least partially restored the functionality of their back legs. The researchers believe that the process shows promise for use on physically challenged humans.

The cells in question are known as olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), and they aid in growing the nerve fibers that allow the nose to communicate with the brain. One of the more unusual qualities of the mammalian olfactory system is its ability to regenerate itself throughout adulthood – this is due to the activity of the OECs.


Submission + - Jolla mobile set to launch it's Sailfish OS today ( 1

zzats writes: The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla, started by ex-Nokia Meego engineers, is showing it's Linux-based Sailfish OS for the public for the first time today. The first (supposedly generic) keynote speech is scheduled to air 9:15 GMT, with an UI-focused presentation starting later, 15:00 GMT. In addition to using the OS on their own devices, Jolla is planning to license it to third party manufacturers. The company has previously stated their initial focus for creating an ecosystem is in the Chinese market.

Submission + - Microsoft Banned GPLv3 From UEFI Secure Boot Solutions (

sfcrazy writes: Microsoft may have attracted some headlines and discussion on Slashdot for being a 'sponsor' at the Linux Foundation's Europe event LinuxCon. But this sponsor is not giving the Linux Foundation any special treatment when it comes to UEFI Secure boot. The Foundation's James Bottomley says how challenging the process is and they are still waiting for Microsoft's response to get the signed bootloader. Some key findings are:
1. Microsoft has banned GPLv3 and similar licences to be used in bootloader
2. There are some agreements that you have to sign with Microsoft with go beyond UEFI. These can be problematic.

Operating Systems

Submission + - The Linux Foundation's UEFI Secure Boot Pre-bootloader Delayed (

hypnosec writes: The Linux Foundation’s plans of releasing a signed pre-bootloader that will enable users to install Linux alongside Windows 8 systems with UEFI have been reportedly delayed. TLF proposed a signed pre-bootloader that will chain-load a bootloader which in turn will boot the desired operating system thus keeping Linux installations for novice users as simple as it were before. Further, this particular component is meant for small-time Linux distros which otherwise wouldn’t have the required expertise or resources to develop their own system to tackle the secure boot issue. This was going as per plans up until James Bottomley, Parallels’ CTO disclosed that he has been having rather bizarre experiences with Microsoft sysdev centre. Bottomley, when asked about the status of the project, told Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of ZDNet, "We're all done and dusted with the signed contract with Microsoft and the binary ready to release. However, I've been having bizarre experiences with the Microsoft sysdev centre."

Submission + - STEM student refusing RFID badge now fights expulsion order (

BeatTheChip writes: "SAN ANTONIO — Lawyers representing Andrea Hernandez, a science and engineering student at John Jay High School, are fighting an expulsion notice issued a week ago for refusing to wear a Smart ID badge. To represent her, lawyers filed a preliminary court injunction, seeking legal restraints on the school. She maintains stance of refusal to wear any badge containing an RFID tag for reasons of basic privacy and conflicts with her belief system. The controversial decision for her school to adopt the NFC badges is part of the Student Locator Project, tracking attendance. Local schools started issuing the lanyard badges this fall despite parental outcry at NISD school board meetings."

Submission + - Google releases raw election polling results (

An anonymous reader writes: Last week, Nate Silver ranked Google Consumer Surveys as one of the most accurate polling firms of the 2012 US election. This week, Google has released the raw data that went into its election-day prediction, and is running a contest for interesting visualizations of that data. They provide a few examples of their own, including a WebGL globe view.

Submission + - What the presidential campaigns teach us about outsourcing (

Presto Vivace writes: "It seems that while the Obama team hired their own tech the Romney campaign outsourced theirs. Obama campaign's tech team beat Romney by using opposite strategy—"insourcing."

Despite running a campaign with about twice the money and twice the staff of Governor Mitt Romney's presidential bid, President Barack Obama's campaign under-spent Romney's on IT products and services by $14.5 million, putting the money instead into building an internal tech team. Based on an Ars analysis of Federal Election Commission filings, the Obama campaign, all-inclusive, spent $9.3 million on technology services and consulting and under $2 million on internal technology-related payroll.

According to the article they hired their own team and used open source tool and cloud based infrastructure. By contrast Romney spent a bundle on outside vendors.

The Romney campaign spent $23.6 million on outside technology services—most of it on outside "digital media" consulting and data management. It outsourced most of its basic IT operations,



Submission + - With Pot Legal, Scientists Study Detection of Impaired Drivers

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "A recent assessment by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, based on random roadside checks, found that 16.3% of all drivers nationwide at night were on various legal and illegal impairing drugs, half them high on marijuana. Now AP reports that with marijuana soon legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado, setting a standard comparable to blood-alcohol limits has sparked intense disagreement because unlike portable breath tests for alcohol, there's no easily available way to determine whether someone is impaired from recent pot use and if scientists can't tell someone how much marijuana it will take for him or her to test over the threshold, how is the average pot user supposed to know? "We've had decades of studies and experience with alcohol," says Washington State Patrol spokesman Dan Coon. "Marijuana is new, so it's going to take some time to figure out how the courts and prosecutors are going to handle it." Driving within three hours of smoking pot is associated with a near doubling of the risk of fatal crashes. However, THC can remain in blood and saliva for highly variable times after the last use of the drug. Although the marijuana “high” only lasts three to five hours, studies of heavy users in a locked hospital ward showed THC can be detected in the blood up to a week after they are abstinent, and the outer limit of detection time in saliva tests is not known. "A lot of effort has gone into the study of drugged driving and marijuana, because that is the most prevalent drug, but we are not nearly to the point where we are with alcohol," says Jeffrey P. Michael, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's impaired-driving director. "We don't know what level of marijuana impairs a driver.""
Lord of the Rings

Submission + - Tolkien Estate Sues over Lord of the Rings Slot Machines (

An anonymous reader writes: The Tolkien Estate has filed an $80 million copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court over the use of Lord of the Rings slot machines. The complaint hinges on a contract between the estate and Warner Bros. which allows the creation of LotR merchandise but not LotR "intangibles." According to the estate (PDF), 'Not only does the production of gambling games patently exceed the scope of defendants' rights, but this infringing conduct has outraged Tolkien's devoted fan base, causing irreparable harm to Tolkien's legacy and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works.'

Submission + - That was fast, Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill (

Presto Vivace writes: "Under the right conditions, online activism can be very effective. Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill

Sen. Patrick Leahy has abandoned his controversial proposal that would grant government agencies more surveillance power — including warrantless access to Americans' e-mail accounts — than they possess under current law.