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+ - Exploding Lake Provides Electricity for Rwanda->

Submitted by reillymj
reillymj (1780136) writes "There are three known "exploding lakes" in the world, where volcanic gases build up near the lake bottom until they suddenly fizz over, suffocating people with huge amounts of carbon dioxide. But the lakes also hold methane and one of them, Rwanda's Lake Kivu, is being actively tapped as a source of natural gas to fuel a power plant on the lake's shores. The government hopes that within two years, the plant will be covering a third of the country's needs. By siphoning off the gas, engineers simultaneously defuse a ticking time bomb in the lake and provide power to local communities."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Customer information sharing (Score 5, Informative) 526

by Fizzog (#26374773) Attached to: Blu-ray Update Sent To User Via Credit Card Records

"they would have to get that info from the card issuer"

No, not really.

I worked for a telephone services company some years ago and developed their customer information system. We would only get one of two possible pieces of information from a transaction: the telephone number they called a 1-900 number from, or the Credit card number they used if they called a 1-800 number.

We wanted to get the customer information so we could send them related advertising.

There are vendors out there that will supply all available subscriber information for a telephone number, and others that will provide all available information given a Credit Card number.

Telephone numbers are not super reliable as they can be re-used, but for 5 cents we would (about 60% of the time) get a result which would give us the subscriber name and address. For 20 cents we would get about a 90% match. We sent all phone numbers to the 5 cent vendor and for those that didn't get a result we would send them to the 20 cent vendor.

Credit Card numbers are quite reliable and for 1 dollar we would get *all* of the information on the card holder. This included name, address, age, spouse's name and age, children's names and ages, your income, and various demographic information for your neighbourhood.

Given that big box stores likely get thousands of 'Card only' purchases a day I am sure they also have similar agreements with vendors, or contract with 3rd parties to do it for them.

Quickies

+ - Sleep Disturbances associated with suicide

Submitted by brainvoid
brainvoid (1046974) writes "In the first known report of its kind, a study published in the January 1st issue of the journal SLEEP finds that sleep disturbances are common among suicide attempters, and that nightmares are associated with suicidality.
The study, conducted by Nisse Sjöström, RN, and colleagues of Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Göteborg, Sweden, focused on 165 patients between the ages of 18-68, who were admitted to medical units or psychiatric wards at Sahlgrenska after a suicide attempt. It was discovered that 89 percent of subjects reported some kind of sleep disturbance. The most common complaint was difficulties initiating sleep (73 percent), followed by difficulties maintaining sleep (69 percent), nightmares (66 percent) and early morning awakening (58 percent). Nightmares were associated with a five-fold increase in risk for high suicidality.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?ne wsid=59937"
United States

+ - Social Security for illegal aliens

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Washington Post is reporting that 'An agreement the Bush administration reached with Mexico on Social Security benefits would allow illegal aliens granted amnesty in the future to claim credit for the time they worked illegally.' If we decide to give illegal workers social security, why would we have to reach an agreement with Mexico? I imagine something was promised in return. Another piece to support the North American Union conspiracy theories. Time to start brushing up on my Spanish."
Biotech

+ - Diet Pills

Submitted by Nitack
Nitack (1046362) writes "Diet pill makers just got spanked by the Federal Trade Comission today. The FTC levied a $25 million fine for false advertising on four diet pill makers. Apparently psudo-science and testimonials are not considered scientific proof any more! FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras asserted that "They not only didn't have studies to support the claim, they actually had a study that went the other way." The fines are targeted against marketers of Xenadrine EFX, One A Day Weight Smart, CortiSlim and TrimSpa. Looks like Anna Nicole may be out of a job."
Security

+ - A geeky homebrew CCTV system?

Submitted by
Zero_DgZ
Zero_DgZ writes "Cameras. Wires. Multiple capture cards. Disk space! Real time internet broadcasting! It's enough to make your head spin. I have a plan. Well, I have a concept. I want to set up a CCTV system using the usual Stuff I Have Lying Around. Ingredients are some cheap composite CCTV cameras, a nondescript PC of the x86 persuasion, and the possibility of multiple capture cards for multiple cameras. The goal is to have an always-on box recording the camera data to disk at reasonable quality (massive hard drive capacity is cheap these days) and — this is the kicker — broadcasting the output of the cameras (no more than four) over the internet so I can survey all that I am King of from elsewhere. My solution for one camera was stupid easy: One camera, one card, the Shoutcast server I already have, and NSVcap. Looking into setups that support multiple cameras seems to involve A) enormous amounts of money, and B) hair raisingly daunting setup. The latter I can deal with. The former I cannot. So, geeks of Slashdot, how would you install YOUR all seeing eye(s)? Windows or Linux solutions acceptable, though at the moment I'm leaning towards Windows just for the sheer hardware support."
The Media

+ - Dutch Ban Segways From Public Roads

Submitted by
srizah
srizah writes "Segway has been banned on the public roads of the Netherlands. The traffic authorities claim that it is a motorized vehicle and a mo-ped. An excerpt from the story in Physorg, "Segway Nederland director Piet Kruijt said Tuesday the company was "completely ambushed" by the decision, first announced by national police on Nov. 27, 2006. "We're working on all fronts to get this resolved," Kruijt said. He estimated that "a number of hundreds" of Segways have been sold in the Netherlands. For the time being, they are only legal on private property. Police said that with no approval of the vehicles in sight by the country's Royal Traffic Agency, they could not be allowed to continue using public streets. The Segway "is a motorized vehicle, and according to Dutch law, a mo-ped," a police statement said. But because the Traffic Agency hasn't approved the vehicle, the police statement said, it can't be issued license plates. "It's a nice vehicle, I've ridden one myself," said Hans van Geenhuizen, a spokesman from the Traffic Agency, which is responsible for licensing. But he said the agency cannot license the Segway under current law. "It doesn't have a brake, you brake by leaning back, and that's clearly not permissible," he said. " http://www.physorg.com/news86965198.html"
Software

+ - Expected new features in KDE 4.0

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With KDE 4.0 debuting some time in mid 2007, expectations are running high in the Linux camp. Lots of people have written about the features that can be expected in KDE once version 4.0 is released. This article strikes it the closest when it states that the number one improvement in KDE 4.0 will be owing to it being developed using Qt 4.0 library which has been released under a GPL licence for non-unix platform by Trolltech. The article goes on to list some of the advances that can find its way in KDE 4.0 as the release date is reached."

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