An anonymous reader writes: A year after a windfall $10 million in venture capital, and after a community stir over one man's attempt to Kickstarter a project to manufacture the open source Replicator with a lower price tag, it appears that MakerBot Industries is going closed source on their new model 3d printer, the Replicator 2. Josef Prusa, core developer of the widely known RepRap printer (the basis for previous MakerBot models) has confirmed the sad news, with a stunned tweet, and is organizing an "Occupy Thingiverse", to protest the apparent theft of others' work.Link to Original Source
Dr Herbert West
writes: An art history book minus the art! Students at Ontario College of Art and Design were forced to buy a $180 textbook filled with blank squares. Instead of images of paintings and sculpture throughout history (that presumably would fall under fair-use) the textbook for ”Global Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800“ features placeholders with a link to an online image.
A letter from the school’s dean stated that had they decided to clear all the images for copyright to print, the book would have cost a whopping $800.
The screengrabs are pretty hilarious, or depressing, depending on your point of view.Link to Original Source
writes: Wonderful Life with the Elements Book Review By Mass Dosage
I’ve always found Chemistry interesting, particularly in high school when I had the good fortune of having a Chemistry teacher who was not only really good looking, but a great teacher too. I studied it for a year at University and then moved on and haven’t really given the periodic table and its elements much thought since. This changed when the Wonderful Life with the Elements was delivered to me two weeks ago. It’s one of those books that aims to make science fun and, unlike many other attempts which turn out to be pretty lame, this actually succeeds in presenting the periodic table in a fresh, original and interesting manner.
Wonderful Life with the Elements is the brainchild of a Japanese artist, Bunpei Yorifuji, who has published a few other books in Japan and created some adverts for the Tokyo metro (which you can find by doing an image search for his name and “Do it at home”). His animation style for these adverts features simple, clean cartoon characters drawn in yellow, black and white. In a Wonderful Life with the Elements he has taken this technique and applied it to the periodic table by drawing each element as a cartoon character where every detail has some scientific significance. Elements that were discovered a long time ago have beards while more recent discoveries have dummies (pacifiers for those in America) in their mouths. Heavy elements are fat. Elements with lots of industrial uses wear suits while those that are man-made look like robots. He also adds amusing little touches to each element and it is obvious he took a lot of time and care in doing this and researching and then presenting the details about each of them. It really feels like the elements have individual personalities which is quite an achievement for what is often presented as rather boring and dry subject matter.
This book isn’t merely a collection of cartoon drawings — information is also included covering when and how the elements were discovered, what they are (or were) used for and other interesting or amusing pieces of trivia. There are also the more traditional facts like atomic number, symbol, position in the periodic table, melting and boiling points and density. Some elements get more detail than others depending on how well known and/or useful they are. My only real criticism of the book is that the elements in period 7 only get small drawings and a cursory description each. I’m not sure why they were singled out for this treatment. Did the author get bored towards the end? Was there lack of budget? Did he run out of time? Does he have a personal grudge against period 7? Considering that this period includes rather famous elements such as Uranium and Plutonium and that they get the same low level of detail as relative unknowns like Ununseptium and Darmstadtium this feels like a rather odd omission.
The main stars of the Wonderful Life with the Elements are the elements themselves but the introductory and closing chapters are worth reading too. The book starts off with an overview of the elements and which ones are found most commonly on our planet and in our living rooms before moving on to the periodic table itself and an explanation of what the various details on the cartoon drawings of the elements mean. The closing sections describe which elements are an important part of a human diet and what the effects of eating too little or too much of each of them are before wrapping up with a warning about the possibility of us running out of certain elements and what the negative impact of this could be. This is all written in an informal, humorous style that makes all these facts appear really interesting and, dare I say it, fun to read.
Wonderful Life with the Elements is a very enjoyable book and the author has done a great job of injecting some colour and personality into what many people would view as a rather dull topic. If I had had a book like this in high-school I think I would have found Chemistry interesting, even without the attractive teacher. It is worth pointing out that is isn’t a replacement for a Chemistry text book — it only touches the surface of the large body of theory that underpins the elements and the periodic table. However I would still wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone with even just a casual interest in the subject. The original presentation of this material and the amusing personal touches are fantastic and turn this book into a fun, easy read which isn’t something one can say about most books that deal with Chemistry.
Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book free of charge by the publisher for review purposes. They placed no restrictions on what I could say and left me to be as critical as I wanted so the above review is my own honest opinion.
An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers participating in the Mobile Pwn2Own contest at the EuSecWest Conference in Amsterdam today demonstrated how to hack Android through a Near Field Communication (NFC) vulnerability. The 0day exploit was developed by four MWR Labs employees (two in South Africa and two in the UK) for a Samsung Galaxy S 3 phone running Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Two separate security holes were leveraged to completely takeover the device, and download all the data from it.
An anonymous reader writes: Had enough of Bitcoin stories on Slashdot? BBC News is reporting the release of a new currency in the British city of Bristol today.
Full details can be found on the bristolpound.org website, and people seem genuinely excited to get a piece of the action.
Finally, worth noting from their website is that "This is not a tax dodge. For tax purposes all Bristol Pound transactions are treated as if they were made in sterling."Link to Original Source
writes: Google-owned Motorola is asking the International Trade Commission to ban every Apple device that uses iMessage, based on a patent issues in 2006 for "a system for providing continuity between messaging clients". Motorola also claims that banning Macs and iPhones won't have an impact on U.S. consumers. The ITC has yet to make a decision.Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes: "How do you get kids to eat their carrots in the cafeteria? Don't call them carrots — call them "X-ray Vision Carrots." New research out of Cornell University finds that catchy names can prompt kids to eat more veggies.
The first part of the study involved 147 students, ages 8 to 11 years old, from five different schools. For three days in a row, carrots were added to the schools' lunch menu, but on the second day, the carrots were served as either "X-ray Vision Carrots" or "Food of the Day."
The different names did not change the amount of carrots the students put on their plates. But the kids ate 66 percent of the "X-ray vision carrots," compared with 32 percent of "Food of the Day" carrots and 35 percent of unnamed carrots, according to a statement from Cornell."
writes: The Raspberry Pi, which was recently used to build a cluster, has officially been given a 'Turbo Mode' by The Raspberry Pi Foundation thus enabling overclocking that will bump up the frequency of on-board processor to as high as 1GHz as long as the temperature stays below 85C. The patch would dynamically up the voltage and frequency of the core till the thermals hold. According to the Foundation, users have the option of choosing one of five peak frequencies; the highest being 1GHz. Users may go one step at a time and achieve higher frequencies as long as the board doesn’t start behaving abnormally.Link to Original Source
writes: The first animal feeding trial studying the lifetime effects of exposure to Roundup tolerant GM maize, and Roundup, the world's best-selling weedkiller, shows that levels currently considered safe can cause tumors and multiple organ damage and lead to premature death in laboratory rats, according to research published online today by the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.Link to Original Source
writes: Today's xkcd: Click and Drag (Google Maps version) is probably the world's biggest web comic at an RSI-inducing resolution of 165888 by 79872 pixels... and the first one you can literally get lost in. Now, if only the mines were powered by nethack...Link to Original Source
writes: One lucky space-lover with some extra cash could become the proud new owner of the largest moon rock ever to be auctioned, according to the auction house Heritage Auctions. The moon rock, known as Dar al Gani 1058, is part of a lunar meteorite that was found on Earth in 1988 and is expected to fetch as much as $380,000 at auction.Link to Original Source
writes: Continuing its standard practice of wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars (http://news.slashdot.org/story/12/05/09/2014206/congress-the-tsa-is-wasting-hundreds-of-millions-in-taxpayer-dollars), the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has awarded an indefinite delivery / indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, worth up to $245 Million, (http://www.gsnmagazine.com/node/27302?c=airport_aviation_security) to American Science and Engineering Inc. (http://www.as-e.com/) to deliver an unspecified number of “second generation” Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening systems for use at U.S. airports.
As previously reported on slashdot (http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/06/20/2243228/the-ineffectiveness-of-tsa-body-scanners---now-with-surveillance-camera-footage), Jonathan Corbett proved that TSA's current nude-o-scopes are incapable of actually detecting hidden objects.Link to Original Source
writes: Much of the talk about cybercrime remains focused on East Asia. But according to a new report, it is hackers in Eastern Europe that have actually emerged as more sophisticated.
In a report entitled 'Peter the Great vs. Sun Tzu', Tom Kellermann, vice president of cyber security at Trend Micro, compared hackers from the two regions. His conclusion — the Eastern Europeans are far more insidious and strategic.
While East Asian groups tend to work for other organizations interested in their skills, hackers from Eastern Europe generally operate in small, independent units, and are focused on profit. Their infrastructure tends to be developed by them specifically for their own use in attacks.
"They (Eastern European groups] tend to want to be in control of their entire infrastructure and will routinely set up their own servers for use in attacks, develop their own DNS servers to route traffic and create sophisticated traffic directional systems used in their attacks," according to the report. "If they do go outside, they will carefully select bulletproof hosters to support their infrastructure. It is their hallmark to maintain control of the whole stack similar to the business models pioneered by Apple."
"In general, the East Asian hackers are not at the same skill level of maturity as their East European counterparts," Kellermann concluded. Comparing the two to real-world military tactics, Kellermann added that East European hackers act like snipers when they launch campaigns, whereas the East Asian hackers tend to colonize entire ecosystems via the “thousand grains of sand approach”.Link to Original Source
writes: A French magazine ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday by portraying him naked in cartoons, threatening to fuel the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by a film depicting him as a womanizing buffoon.
The French government, which had urged the magazine not to print the images, said it was temporarily shutting down premises including embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday, when protests sometimes break out after Muslim prayers.
"We have the impression that it's officially allowed for Charlie Hebdo to attack the Catholic far-right but we cannot poke fun at fundamental Islamists," Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, who drew the front-page cartoon, said.
"It shows the climate — everyone is driven by fear, and that is exactly what this small handful of extremists who do not represent anyone want — to make everyone afraid, to shut us all in a cave," he told Reuters.Link to Original Source
writes: The 3rd pillar from the ELI program has been given the go ahead yesterday.
"In Romania, Magurele, the ELI pillar will focus on laser-based nuclear physics. For this purpose, an intense gamma-ray source is forseen by coupling a high-energy particle accelerator to a high-power laser."
Specs and details about why this is not your regular key-chain laser here.Link to Original Source