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Submission + - Unions come out against patent reform (techdirt.com)

Christopher Blanc writes: "The latest news is that Riley has convinced the AFL-CIO to come out against the latest attempt at patent reform. Now there's a lot to dislike in the latest attempt at patent reform, and we'd be upset if it passed as is. But the two specific things that the unions are complaining about are the two most reasonable things in the reform package.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070824/170344.s html"

Feed Engadget: Researcher touts "practical fuel cells" for portable electronics (engadget.com)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Laptops

There's certainly no shortage or researchers and companies promising to bring fuel cells into everyday gadgets, but Ronald Besser of the Stevens Institute of Technology seems to think he has a system that can stand out from that pack. According to MIT's Technology Review, Besser's proposed system consists of a cylindrical design with "combustor" at the center that facilitates all the necessary reactions to convert methanol into hydrogen. Apparently, that design not only allows for the fuel cells to be made smaller, but more efficient as well. While it seems to still just be on the drawing board, Besser says the system could eventually allow for laptops to run for upwards of 50 hours, and could be made small enough to power other portable electronics as well. In the meantime, however, you may want to keep an eye on some of the systems a littler closer to reality.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Feed Schneier: See-Through Backpacks Required at School (schneier.com)

Talk about your movie-plot threats: Wissahickon is the most recent district to mandate see-through backpacks, joining several other area suburban districts and private schools as they look to avert tragedies like the 1999 gun killings at Columbine and last December's...
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Sex Hacks: Technology can be very stimulating

First Person writes: Kudos to those engineers who challenge social conventions, pushing technology into places it has never been (and probably should never go). Consider these recent achievements from the 'Sex Hacks' conference as described in The Register. One might wonder "How could our society advance without access to Fourier-modulated sex toys, platform shoes for trollops, or appliances for interfacing ambient noises with various bodily orifice?" Thankfully, we need not wonder, as all these technologies are available today.

Comment Write your legislators! (Score 3, Insightful) 560

We here on Slashdot tend to be too cynical, too willing to accept the fact that bad laws will be passed and there's nothing we can do about it. We need to write to our elected officials and let them know how we feel. We can actually help make a difference on issues if we simply take out a few minutes to let our feelings be known.

Teddy Roosevelt once said: "A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user." So, make your letters well-written, well-reasoned arguments combined with impassioned pleas for your senator or representative to listen to logic, instead of a hate-filled diatribe as to why these bills are the root of all evil and they are just part of the machine dragging us further and further downward. Otherwise, we'll all be bystanders as this entire class of legislation is forced upon us.

Why did the Roman Empire collapse? What is the Latin for office automation?