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Submission + - Facebook hit with $15 billion privacy suit on IPO day (

zacharye writes: Facebook is officially a public company as of Friday morning shortly after 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and what better way to celebrate the milestone than with a fresh privacy lawsuit? Led by Stewarts Law and Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny, a class action lawsuit has been filed in San Jose, California alleging that Facebook unlawfully continued to track users’ Web browsing after they logged out of the service. The suit seeks more than $15 billion in damages...

Submission + - Drone Flights Increasingly Rapidly in U.S. Airspace (

derekmead writes: Drones are already being tested in civilian airspace, and they're about to become a lot more popular. The first major milestone of the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (.pdf) says that within 90 days of passagethe agency has to permit “local government and public safety agencies” to fly drones that exceed neither 4.4 pounds nor 400-foot altitudes.President Obama signed the $63 billion funding bill Feb. 14, which means the 90 days are now up.

So-called civilian drones are becoming big, big business. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a drone industry lobbying group that boasts over 500 corporate members in 55 countries, took credit for language responsible for the FAA’s expedited approval of agencies that are eager to build up drone fleets beginning this year. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that nearly 50 companies are tinkering on some 150 different civilian unmanned systems, from micro drones to airliner-sized giants, all specifically designed to carry surveillance gear, not explosives. Some estimates have the American drone market in 2016 pulling down $6 billion in sales. So, too, will it come as no great shock to hear theFAAgot it together for today’s deadline.


Submission + - An 8,000 Ton Giant Made the Jet Age Possible

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Tim Heffernan writes that when "The Fifty," as it’s known in company circles, broke down three years ago, there was talk of retiring it for good. Instead, Alcoa decided to overhaul their 50,000-ton, 6-story high forging press, now scheduled to resume service early this year. "What sets the Fifty apart is its extraordinary scale," writes Heffernan. "Its 14 major structural components, cast in ductile iron, weigh as much as 250 tons each; those yard-thick steel bolts are also 78 feet long; all told, the machine weighs 16 million pounds, and when activated its eight main hydraulic cylinders deliver up to 50,000 tons of compressive force." The Fifty could bench-press the battleship Iowa, with 860 tons to spare but it's the Fifty's amazing precision—its tolerances are measured in thousandths of an inch—that gives it such far-reaching utility. Every manned US military aircraft now flying uses parts forged by the Fifty as does every commercial aircraft made by Airbus and Boeing making the Jet Age possible. "On a plane, a pound of weight saved is a pound of thrust gained—or a pound of lift, or a pound of cargo," writes Heffernan. "Without the ultra-strong, ultra-light components that only forging can produce, they’d all be pushing much smaller envelopes." The now-forgotten Heavy Press Program (PDF), inaugurated in 1950 and completed in 1957, resulted in four presses (including the Fifty) and six extruders—giant toothpaste tubes squeezing out long, complex metal structures such as wing ribs and missile bodies. "Today, America lacks the ability to make anything like the Heavy Press Program machines," concludes Heffernan adding that "The Fifty" will be supplying bulkheads through 2034 for the Joint Strike Fighter. "Big machines are the product of big visions, and they make big visions real. How about a Heavy Fusion Program?""

Submission + - Kickstarter leaves project ideas exposed (

netbuzz writes: "“Crowd-funding” startup Kickstarter is taking a public-relations hit today after it was reported that some 70,000 not-yet-public project ideas were left exposed on the company’s Web site for more than two weeks. Kickstarter insists that no financial information was compromised and that only a few dozen of the projects were actually accessed. “Obviously our users' data is incredibly important to us,” the company said in a blog post. “Even though limited information was made accessible through this bug, it is completely unacceptable.”"

Submission + - Arduino-controlled Etch a Sketch Printer Prints Mitt Romney (

An anonymous reader writes: Here's an Arduino-controlled printer that uses a pair of stepper motors to print photos by twisting the knobs on an Etch a Sketch.

Photos go through the open-source image processing utility ImageMagick to be converted into text, and then get parsed though a couple of Python scripts and passed to the Arduino. A single print takes about 8 hours.

Originally the gear assembly comprised milk caps, weather stripping, and epoxy, but with the arrival of a MakerBot replicator the system got a lot more elegant.


Submission + - Database and IP records tie election fraud to Canada's ruling Conservatives (

choongiri writes: Canada's election fraud scandal continues to unfold. Elections Canada just matched the IP address used to set up thousands of voter suppression robocalls to one used by a Conservative Party operative, and a comparison of call records found a perfect match between the illegal calls, and records of non-supporters in the Conservative Party's CIMS voter tracking database, as well as evidence access logs may have been tampered with. Meanwhile, legal challenges to election results are underway in seven ridings, and an online petition calling for an independent public inquiry into the crisis has amassed over 44,000 signatures. The Conservative Party still maintains their innocence, calling it a baseless smear campaign.

Submission + - Why Verizon Doesn't Want You to Buy an iPhone

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Sascha Segan writes that although Verizon adamantly denies steering customers away from Apple's iPhones in favor of 4G LTE-enabled Android devices, he is convinced that Verizon has a strong reason to push buyers away from the iPhone. "Here's the problem," writes Segan. "Verizon has spent millions of dollars rolling out its massive LTE network" but the carrier can't easily add capacity on its old 3G network. Since the iPhone isn't a 4G phone sales of Verizon iPhones just crowd up their already busy 3G network while their 4G network has plenty of space. "The iPhone is a great device. But it's making a crowded network more crowded. Until the LTE iPhone comes along, to rebalance its network, Verizon may quietly push Android phones.""

Submission + - CO2-eating light developed that runs on algae ( 3

An anonymous reader writes: Biochemist Pierre Calleja has a solution to reducing carbon emissions that doesn't require us to cut back on our use of carbon-producing devices. Calleja has developed a lighting system that requires no electricity for power. Instead it draws CO2 from the atmosphere and uses it to produce light as well as oxygen as a byproduct. The key ingredient to this eco-friendly light? Algae.

Certain types of algae can feed off of organic carbon as well as sunlight, and in the process produce carbohydrate energy for themselves as well as oxygen as a waste product. Cajella’s lamps consist of algae-filled water along with a light and battery system. During the day the algae produce energy from sunlight that is then stored in the batteries. Then at night the energy is used to power the light. However, as the algae can also produce energy from carbon, sunlight isn’t required for the process to work. That means such lights can be placed where there is no natural light and the air will effectively be cleaned on a daily basis.

Submission + - Nanotech Dental Fillers Kill Bacteria and Regenerate Decayed Teeth

An anonymous reader writes: A team of bioengineers have created the first cavity-filling composite that destroys harmful bacteria and restores tooth enamel lost by decay.

Instead of just limiting tooth decay with conventional fillings, the new material, made with nanotechnology, controls destructive bacteria that co-exist in the natural colony of microbes in the mouth and to rebuild the tooth’s minerals, according to lead researcher Professor Huakun Xu from Maryland University School of Dentistry.

Submission + - Fastest Quantum Random Number Generator ( 1

u436 writes: Scientists at The Australian National University have announced an ultra-fast random number generator based on a quantum source. True random numbers have many uses in computer modelling and communication systems. Their random number generator works by listening to the "sounds of silence". By that they mean the optical vacuum noise of their laser. This vacuum noise, commonly referred to as the zero point energy, is omnipresent and intrinsically broadband. The speed of random number generation is at multiple Gigabits per second but the downloadable speed is limited by their internet bandwidth.

Submission + - Apple to release Flashback removal software, working to take down botnet (

suraj.sun writes: Apple plans to release software that will detect and remove Flashback malware infections on the Mac, the company announced Tuesday in a knowledge base link published late in the day, and Following Microsoft's footsteps, will take appropriate action by working with the larger Internet security community to shut down the Flashfake [also known as Flashback] C2 domains, Kaspersky researcher Kurt Baumgartner told Forbes which coincided with Apple's announcement.

"Apple is developing software that will detect and remove the Flashback malware," Apple wrote. "In addition to the Java vulnerability, the Flashback malware relies on computer servers hosted by the malware authors to perform many of its critical functions. Apple is working with ISPs worldwide to disable this command and control network."


Submission + - Torrentfreak Cracks Down On Piracy

bs0d3 writes: For years, torrentfreak has been publishing all their articles under a creative commons attribution license (copy freely but include a link back to the source). This month however; they began using a creative commons non-commercial attribution license. This means, that people can no longer "pirate" torrentfreak articles, for profit (without permission). Things that may be considered commercial usage include: paywalls, printed distributions, sites with ads, flattr buttons, and more. However, even those who wish to make money off of torrentfreak articles are free to do so with permission. Site owner and editor-in-chief, Ernesto says, " Don't worry about it, 99.9 percent of all sites are welcome to use our articles, even commercial sites. I decided to change the license to prevent 'news' competitors from copying our top pieces minutes after we post it. [that happened] last week with our exclusive Dotcom interview. The attribution link was minimal... "

Submission + - Maryland bans employers from asking for employee social media passwords (

suraj.sun writes: Maryland became the first state in the U.S. to ban employers from asking their employees and applicants for the passwords to their personal social media accounts( The bill passed both houses of the Maryland General Assembly — unanimously in the Senate, and 128-10 in the House — in the final hours of Maryland’s 90-day legislative session on Monday. Similar legislation is pending in Illinois, California, Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts, and a similar proposal may soon be introduced in New Jersey. The bill currently awaits the signature of Gov. Martin O’Malley. Maryland ACLU legislative director Melissa Goemann told The Daily Caller that the bill was a bipartisan effort and that she hadn’t “heard anything negative from the governor’s office.”

Congressional House Republicans recently shot down a bill at the federal level that would have instituted a nationwide ban against employers demanding the passwords to employee social media accounts.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga