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Power

Submission + - World's First Battery Fueled by Air 3 3

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Telegraph reports on the revolutionary 'STAIR' (St Andrews Air) battery could now pave the way for a new generation of electric cars, laptops and mobile phones. The cells are charged in a traditional way but as power is used an open mesh section of battery draws in oxygen from the surrounding air that reacts with a porous carbon component inside the battery, which creates more energy and helps to continually 'charge' the cell as it is being discharged. The battery has a greater storage capacity than other similar-sized cells and can emit power up to 10 times longer. "The key is to use oxygen in the air as a re-agent, rather than carry the necessary chemicals around inside the battery," says Professor Peter Bruce of the Chemistry Department at the University of St Andrews. "Our target is to get a five to ten fold increase in storage capacity, which is beyond the horizon of current lithium batteries.""
Portables

Submission + - Laptop Cooling System Uses 'Ionic Wind'->

Al writes: "A company called Tessera, along with researchers from the University of Washington, have developed a working laptop-cooling system that use electro-hydrodynamic cooling rather than a conventional fan to keep things chilled. One electrode ionizes air molecules while another electrode attracts them, creating an "ionic wind" across a heat dissipating unit. The approach promises to be more compact and power efficient than existing technologies (providing the remaining technical obstacles can be overcome). In tests, the ionic cooling system removed 30 percent more heat than a fan and the researchers say that ultimately it could consume about half as much power. Details of the ionic-cooling system at the IEEE Semi-Therm Symposium in March and a paper published by the researchers describes the technology."
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Transportation

Submission + - Right-to-Repair Law to Get DRM Out of Your Car-> 2 2

eldavojohn writes: Ralph Nadar's back to hounding the automotive industry ... but it's not about safety this time, it's about the pesky DRM in your car. Most cars have a UART in them that allows you to read off diagnostic codes and information about what may be wrong with the vehicle so you can repair it. Late model cars have been getting increasingly complex and dependent on computers which has caused them, as with most things digital, to move towards a proprietary DRM for these tools, diagnostic codes and updated repair information. This has kept independent auto-shops out of the market for fixing your car and relegating you to depend on pricier dealers to get your automotive ailments cured. The bill still has a provision to protect trade secrets but is a step forward to open up the codes and tools necessary to keep your car running.
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Security

Submission + - US Air Traffic Control Vulnerable To Cyberattack->

CWmike writes: "U.S. air traffic control systems are at high risk of attack due to their links to insecure Web applications run by aviation authorities around the country, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation audit. Penetration testers found 763 high-risk vulnerabilities in 70 Web apps used for functions such as distributing communications frequencies for pilots and controllers to the public, the report (PDF) said. 'In our opinion, unless effective action is taken quickly, it is likely to be a matter of when, not if, ATC systems encounter attacks that do serious harm to ATC operations,' the report concluded."
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Security

Submission + - SPAM: Prototype camera, chips survive explosions

coondoggie writes: "Can surveillance cameras (and their recorded data) mounted in buses and other forms of public transportation survive a catastrophic explosion? Seems so, at least according to tests being conducted by the US Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, which has taken to blowing up retired buses in Maryland to prove the point. The department recently blew up one such bus that contained 8 cameras with 16 ruggedized memory chips. After a substantial explosion where the bus was annihilated, 14 of the 16 chips and 7 of the 8 cameras survived the blast. Of the 14 cameras recovered, "every video minute on there was recovered without degradation," DHS said. [spam URL stripped]"
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Security

Submission + - TSA's 'Behavior Detection' Less Than 1% Efffective->

Anonymous Coward writes: "Fewer than 1% of airline passengers singled out at airports for the much vaunted "suspicious behavior detection techniques are arrested, Transportation Security Administration figures show. The TSA program, launched in early 2006, looks for terrorists using a controversial surveillance method based on behavior detection and has led to more than 160,000 people in airports receiving scrutiny, such as a pat-down search or a brief interview. That has resulted in only 1,266 arrests, often on charges of carrying drugs or fake IDs, the TSA said. The TSA has not publicly said whether it has caught a terrorist through the program."
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Privacy

Submission + - TSA bans ID-less flight->

mytrip writes: "In a major change of policy, the Transportation Security Administration has announced that passengers refusing to show ID will no longer be able to fly. The policy change, announced on Thursday afternoon, will go into force on June 21, and will only affect passengers who refuse to produce ID. Passengers who claim to have lost or forgotten their proof of identity will still be able to fly.

As long as TSA has existed, passengers have been able to fly without showing ID to government agents. Doing so would result in a secondary search (a pat down and hand search of your carry-on bag), but passengers were still permitted to board their flights. In some cases, taking advantage of this right to refuse ID came with fringe benefits — being bumped to the front of the checkpoint queue."

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Privacy

Submission + - Full body scanners installed in 10 US Airports->

Lapzilla writes: "Body-scanning machines that show images of people underneath their clothing are being installed in 10 of the nation's busiest airports in one of the biggest public uses of security devices that reveal intimate body parts. The Transportation Security Administration recently started using body scans on randomly chosen airline passengers in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Denver, Albuquerque and New York's Kennedy airport. Airports in Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and Miami will be added this month. Reagan National Airport near Washington starts using a body scanner Friday. A total of 38 machines will be in use within weeks."
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Security

Submission + - Passenger scanning device sets off privacy alarms->

coondoggie writes: "When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced today it will begin testing a body-scanning machine that could ultimately replace the metal detectors airline passengers walk through at airports, it set of some alarms — particularly at the ACLU. The alarms are in response to tests — which are scheduled to begin today at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport — of a new screening system that uses radio waves, known as millimeter wave imaging technology to scan passengers and detect foreign objects hidden underneath clothing. "This technology produces strikingly graphic images of passengers' bodies. Those images reveal not only our private body parts, but also intimate medical details like colostomy bags. "I continue to believe that these are virtual strip searches. If Playboy published them, there would be politicians out there saying they're pornographic, " said Barry Steinhardt, of the ACLU."
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Security

Submission + - DHS Plans Changes in Air Passenger Screening->

narramissic writes: "The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced plans to revamp its Secure Flight program, with the agency no longer no longer assigning risk scores to passengers or using predictive behavior technology. In addition, the Transportation Security Administration, part of DHS, will have direct control of checking domestic passenger lists against terrorist watch lists, instead of the airlines, said DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. But as Marc Rotenberg, executive director of privacy advocacy group the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), notes, air passengers still can't see the reasons why they're targeted for extensive searches or kept off flights, nor can they correct bad information on the terrorist watch lists. 'The problems with the watch list are still valid and are not going away,' said Rotenberg."
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