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Android

KegDroid: Combining Arduino, Android, and NFC to Dispense Beer 48

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the red-solo-cup-sales-down dept.
mikejuk writes, quoting I Programmer: "If you are looking for an exciting hardware project, KegDroid deserves a look. It is a sophisticated system that involves Android, Arduino, NFC, plumbing and — beer. Perhaps the final stroke of genius is to package the whole thing in a Droid body. Some how the little green fella looks at home on the bar. You have heard of desktop and laptop apps now we have bartop apps to add to the list" Details are fuzzy currently, but from all appearances this is a repackaged KegBot in a very fancy shell. (Video for those without Flash.)
Facebook

Cash For Tweets and Facebook Posts? Aussie Startup Pays You to Astroturf 156

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the mcdonalds-makes-the-tastiest-burgers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "While the celebs are already charging big money for their Tweets, an Aussie startup is ranking everyday people and turning them into product salespeople. After a successful start Down Under they have now hit Silicon Valley, but will Americans embrace selling to their friends?" From the article: "In a nutshell, individuals sign up to the Social Loot website and are assigned companies to promote to their circle of online friends. They are then paid on a sliding scale based on the amount of traffic their posts generate, and the quality of referrals and number of resulting sales. This is tracked by a code embedded in the links promoted by Social Loot’s spruikers."
Network

Ask Slashdot: Building A Server Rack Into a New Home? 402

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bitcoin-mining-farm-in-the-closet dept.
jawtheshark writes "I'm building a house, and obviously I want a modest network built-in. Nothing fancy, two RJ-45 per room, four in the living room, and that's basically it. I already got myself a rack mountable Cisco Small Business switch and I have a self-built 4U server (low-power, won't make much heat) which can be rack mounted (505mm deep). Now, the construction company suggests a wall mounted rack (6U: 340mm x 600mm x 480mm — 6U definitely won't be enough, but a 12U model exists). It's not expensive, but I have never worked on a rack where the backside is unreachable. (For work, I get to work in a data center with huge racks that are accessible from both sides). Now obviously, I don't need a data center-grade rack, but these wall-mounted racks scream 'switch-only' racks to me. What are your experiences? Is it possible to put servers in racks like these, or should I find a 'both-side-accessible' rack instead?"
Shark

Congress Wants To Resurrect Laser-Wielding 747 302

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the it-works-on-tee-vee dept.
Harperdog writes "Noah Schactman has a great piece on the Airborne Laser, the ray gun-equipped 747 that became a symbol of wasteful Pentagon weaponeering. Despite sixteen years and billions of dollars in development, the jet could never reliably blast a missile in trials. Now the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces wants the Airborne Laser to be used to defend us against the threat of North Korea's failed missiles."
Technology

How Lasers Could Help Fingerprint Conflict Minerals 31

Posted by Soulskill
from the lasers-for-the-ethical-treatment-of-people dept.
New submitter carmendrahl writes "Diamonds might get most of the media's attention, but they're not the only minerals being sold to underwrite militias. Two chemistry teams are developing portable instruments that can detect an elemental fingerprint in mineral ores, to verify that the samples don't come from militia-controlled mines. One technique uses laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (PDF), which vaporizes a small amount of an ore sample with a high-energy laser pulse, and detects elements in the sample by their characteristic light emission. The other technique couples the laser ablation to a mass measurement and a scanning electron microscope."
Science

Is Humanity Still Evolving? 374

Posted by Soulskill
from the survival-of-the-fit-ish dept.
sciencehabit writes "In a world where we've tamed our environment and largely protected ourselves from the vagaries of nature, we may think we're immune to the forces of natural selection. But a new study finds that the process that drives evolution was still shaping us as recently as the 19th century (abstract). 'The finding comes from an analysis of the birth, death, and marital records of 5923 people born between 1760 and 1849 in four farming or fishing villages in Finland. ... Natural selection was alive and well in all of the villages the researchers surveyed."
Television

Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions 648

Posted by Soulskill
from the nice-knowing-you dept.
The NY Post reports that Hulu, the video streaming service with over 30 million users, has plans to force those users to prove they have a subscription to cable or satellite TV if they want to keep watching. Quoting: "The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content. The effort comes as entertainment companies continue to face drastic shifts in home viewing habits. Overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter as a surge in digital streaming — which rose more than fivefold to $549 million — offset a continuing collapse in video rentals, according to Digital Entertainment Group. ... Hulu racked up some $420 million in ad revenue last year and is expected to do well in this year’s ad negotiations. But the move toward authentication, which could take years to complete, will make cable companies happy because it could slow cord-cutting by making cable subscribing more attractive."
Book Reviews

Book Review: Drupal Intranets With Open Atrium 25

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
New submitter nuvoleweb writes "Drupal Intranets with Open Atrium, by Tracy Charles Smith is a comprehensive guide to Open Atrium, the popular open source Intranet system. Open Atrium is a derivative (distribution) of Drupal specifically meant for group collaboration, and the author works in the Open Atrium core team at Phase2 Technology." Read below for the rest of Andrea's review.
The Internet

How Online Black Markets Work 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the probably-better-than-most-real-markets-these-days dept.
CWmike writes "The internet is no stranger to crime, writes corporate investigator Brandon Gregg. From counterfeit and stolen products, to illegal drugs, stolen identities and weapons, nearly anything can be purchased online with a few clicks of the mouse. The online black market not only can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection, but the whole process of ordering illicit goods and services is alarmingly easy and anonymous, with multiple marketplaces to buy or sell anything you want. Gregg started with $1000 and a took journey into the darker side of the Internet using two tools: Bitcoin and the Tor Bundle."

1 World Trade Center Becomes the Tallest Building In NYC 407

Posted by Soulskill
from the touching-the-sky dept.
darthcamaro writes "On 9/11, terrorists took the lives of thousands of Americans — and removed a pair of icons from the New York City skyline. For the last 10+ years, The Empire State Building was the tallest building in NYC, but that changed today. 'Poking into the sky, the first column of the 100th floor of 1 World Trade Center will bring the tower to a height of 1,271 feet, making it 21 feet higher than the Empire State Building.'"
Hardware

Silicene Discovered: Single-layer Silicon That Could Beat Graphene To Market 67

Posted by Soulskill
from the a-few-months-before-never dept.
MrSeb writes "Numerous research groups around the world are reporting that they have created silicene, a one-atom-thick hexagonal mesh of silicon atoms — the silicon equivalent of graphene. You will have heard a lot about graphene, especially with regard to its truly wondrous electrical properties, but it has one rather major problem: It doesn't have a bandgap, which makes it very hard to integrate into existing semiconductor processes. Silicene, on the other hand, is theorized to have excellent electrical properties, while still being compatible with silicon-based electronics (abstract). For now, silicene has only been observed (with a scanning tunneling electron microscope), but the next step is to grow a silicene film on an insulating substrate so that its properties can be properly investigated."
Australia

Australian Billionaire Plans To Build Titanic II 289

Posted by Soulskill
from the of-course-he-does dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "Just in time to miss the 100-year anniversary of the fatal voyage of the Titanic, Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced he has plans to recreate the Titanic, calling it Titanic II. 'It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art 21st Century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,' says Palmer. He stated it was to be as close to the original as possible, with some modern adjustments. Its maiden voyage is set for 2016."
Linux

Why Desktop Linux Hasn't Taken Off 1264

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flaming-begin dept.
alphadogg writes "It's free, easier to use than ever, IT staffers know it and love it, and it has fewer viruses and Trojans than Windows. So, why hasn't Linux on the desktop taken off? When it comes to desktop Linux, the cost savings turn out to be problematic, there are management issues, and compatibility remains an issue. 'We get a lot more questions about switching to Macs than switching to Linux at this point, even though Macs are more expensive,' one Gartner analyst says."
Piracy

UK ISPs Ordered To Block Pirate Bay 188

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-surf-list dept.
Barence writes "Five of Britain's biggest ISPs have been ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay. Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media have been told to block access to the site. Britain's biggest ISP, BT, has been given a few further weeks to 'consider its position.' Music lobby group, the BPI, welcomed the move, saying music creators 'deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else' and calling for those who use The Pirate Bay to illegally download content to 'explore the many digital music services operating ethically and legally in the UK.'"
Sci-Fi

Dr. Who's Sonic Screwdriver a Step Closer To Reality 94

Posted by samzenpus
from the daleks-are-coming dept.
cylonlover writes "A University of Dundee research team led by Prof. Mike MacDonald has demonstrated that both levitation and twisting forces can be applied to an object by application of ultrasonic beams. The team of physicists at the University of Dundee in Scotland (with associates at Bristol University in England) have succeeded in generating an ultrasonic vortex beam strong enough to lift and rotate a rubber disk submerged in water. This latest breakthrough is part of a wide-ranging U.K. research effort to develop a device not unlike the "sonic screwdriver" made famous by the TV series Doctor Who." We covered the beginning of the sonic screwdriver project by Bristol University engineers a little over a year ago.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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