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Biotech

An Origami Inspired Bacteria-Powered Battery 27 27

jan_jes writes: Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding created by Akira Yoshizawa, which can be used to create beautiful birds, frogs and other small sculptures. Last year a team of engineers from MIT and Harvard has developed an origami flat-pack robot (YouTube video) which can fold itself and crawl away without any human intervention. But now a Binghamton University engineer says this technique can be applied to building batteries, too. The battery generates power from microbial respiration, delivering enough energy to run a paper-based biosensor with nothing more than a drop of bacteria-containing liquid. This method should be especially useful to anyone working in remote areas with limited resources. The total cost of this potentially game-changing device is "five cents."
Facebook

Facebook Wants to Skip the Off-Site Links, Host News Content Directly 51 51

The Wall Street Journal, in a report also cited by The Next Web and others, reports that Facebook is to soon begin acting not just as a conduit for news links pasted onto users' timelines (and leading to articles hosted elsewhere) but also as a host for the articles themselves. From the WSJ article: To woo publishers, Facebook is offering to change its traditional revenue-sharing model. In one of the models under consideration, publishers would keep all of the revenue from ads they sell on Facebook-hosted news sites, the people familiar with the matter said. If Facebook sells the advertisement, it would keep roughly 30% of the revenue, as it does in many other cases. Another motivation for Facebook to give up some revenue: It hopes the faster-loading content will encourage users to spend more time on its network. It is unclear what format the ads might take, or if publishers will be able to place or measure the ads they sell within Facebook. It seems likely Facebook would want publishers to use its own advertising-technology products, such as Atlas and LiveRail, as opposed to those offered by rivals such as Google Inc.
ISS

ISS Could Be Fitted With Lasers To Shoot Down Space Junk 167 167

An anonymous reader writes Japan's Riken research institute has suggested a new idea for dealing with space junk. They say a fiber optic laser mounted onto the International Space Station could blast debris out of the sky. From the article: "To combat the increasingly dense layer of dead satellites and miscellaneous space debris that are enshrouding our planet, no idea — nets, lassos, even ballistic gas clouds — seems too far-fetched to avoid. Now, an international team of researchers led by Japan's Riken research institute has put forward what may be the most ambitious plan to date. They propose blasting an estimated 3,000 tons of space junk out of orbit with a fiber optic laser mounted on the International Space Station."
Businesses

DOJ Could Nix Comcast-Time Warner Merger 76 76

jriding (1076733) writes The Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger has been in the works for so long, it's starting to feel like the impending monopolistic telecom Frankenbaby was inevitable. But the Justice Department may kibosh the deal for violating antitrust laws, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Comment: Re:Up to $5k... (Score 2) 161 161

They can only sue for the value of goods downloaded...If, for example, I go buy a movie, then download a version for my media centre, I have not committed a crime.

So this is almost sensible.

What I'd like to see is a double edge approach providing a media licensing system where every ISP has an optional media subscription service at a reasonable price. Then have it that media companies can only request download metadata for content that they license to that ISP, however if a customer subscribes to the ISP media service, then that buys them immunity.

If the above was implemented then people would only need to download what their ISP can't provide, and there'd be incentive for media companies to license that content to ISPs, giving people what they want: One media subscription service that gives you everything.

Businesses

Ask Slashdot: Tech Customers Forced Into Supporting Each Other? 253 253

An anonymous reader writes "Has anyone else noticed the trend towards 'community forums' where customers are basically being recruited to solve the issues of other customers while the companies selling the products causing the issues sit back and take a passive role in the process? Granted, sometimes the companies' employees play an active part in the forums and provide some value-add by contributing crucial, and often undocumented, knowledge that solves the problem in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case, and this leaves customers with no visibility into whether or not their problems are being addressed, and, if they are, when they might expect to receive assistance. This is bad enough when dealing with consumer electronics that cost up to a couple of hundred of dollars, but it's completely unacceptable when dealing with proprietary design tool vendors that are charging several thousand dollars for software licenses for tools that are the only option if a customer doesn't want to drop an order of magnitude more money to go with 3rd party tools (e.g., Synopsys). Who do you think are the worst offenders of this downloading of support onto the backs of the customers themselves, and what can be done about it?"

Comment: Re:Real mature (Score 1) 109 109

This is just a short anecdote, so it doesn't carry much weight, but in the last 20+ years I've been involved in many large projects, most of them successful, but it seems that the ones that turn into total nightmares failed because the JAVA teams messed up totally. So now I have a gag reflex when I'm presented with the prospect of working on a project with a large JAVA component.
Security

X11/X.Org Security In Bad Shape 179 179

An anonymous reader writes "A presentation at the Chaos Communication Congress explains how X11 Server security with being 'worse than it looks.' The presenter found more than 120 bugs in a few months of security research and is not close to being done in his work. Upstream X.Org developers have begun to call most of his claims valid. The presentation by Ilja van Sprunde is available for streaming."
Privacy

Snapchat Users' Phone Numbers Exposed To Hackers 69 69

beaverdownunder writes with an extract from The Guardian, based on a security diclosure from Gibson Security: "Snapchat users' phone numbers may be exposed to hackers due to an unresolved security vulnerability, according to a new report released by a group of Australian hackers. Snapchat is a social media program that allows users to send pictures to each other that disappear within 10 seconds. Users can create profiles with detailed personal information and add friends that can view the photos a user shares. But Gibson Security, a group of anonymous hackers from Australia, has published a new report with detailed coding that they say shows how a vulnerability can be exploited to reveal phone numbers of users, as well as their privacy settings." Snapchat downplays the significance of the hole.

Comment: Re:I think... (Score 1) 304 304

32 bit COM objects and 64 bit COM objects can both be used in a .NET app running under the 64 bit runtime. Anyone with enough experience in this field to be eligible to make a comment would know this.

You've added 12 really lame anti .NET comments to an article that is meant be about using Node.js as an app server replacement. You add no value to the conversation, and yet you feel that you have to continuously interject. Its people like you that enforce the image that aging or Java orientated programmers are unemployable in highly dynamic environments because of their woeful inflexibility. Try to lose some of the Jade, learn something new.

Comment: Re:203ms - With Fibre connection and not in space (Score 1) 558 558

I'm in Australia and my average is 237ms, and they say that we don't need the NBN

The NBN will reduce the time between you and your ISP, so at most will shave 20ms off your latency - provided they don't screw it up and increase the latency with the equipment.

Here's a full tracert from a 19Mbit link on Internode:

C:\Users\John>tracert slashdot.org

Tracing route to slashdot.org [216.34.181.45]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms 192.168.1.254
2 29 ms 29 ms 29 ms lns20.adl6.on.ii.net [203.16.215.174]
3 29 ms 29 ms 30 ms te3-3.cor1.adl6.on.ii.net [150.101.134.209]
4 29 ms 29 ms 29 ms xe-11-0-0.cr1.adl6.on.ii.net [150.101.225.229]
5 49 ms 48 ms 49 ms ae4.br1.syd7.on.ii.net [150.101.33.34]
6 204 ms 205 ms 206 ms te0-2-0-3.br2.sjc2.on.ii.net [203.16.213.158]
7 204 ms 204 ms 203 ms xe-11-0-1.edge1.SanJose3.Level3.net [4.53.208.13]
8 204 ms 203 ms 204 ms Savvis-Level3.Dallas3.Level3.net [4.68.62.106]
9 206 ms 225 ms 209 ms cr2-tengig0-7-3-0.sanfrancisco.savvis.net [204.70.206.57]
10 266 ms 266 ms 266 ms cr1-ten-0-4-0-1.chd.savvis.net [204.70.192.134]
11 259 ms 258 ms 258 ms hr1-te-12-0-1.elkgrovech3.savvis.net [204.70.198.73]
12 268 ms 265 ms 264 ms das5-v3029.ch3.savvis.net [64.37.207.146]
13 258 ms 268 ms 256 ms 64.27.160.194
14 257 ms 265 ms 265 ms slashdot.org [216.34.181.45]

Trace complete.

Comment: Re:I've done this with Dosbox too but... (Score 1) 415 415

Wow... these comments make up a lot of assumptions about my character. What's with all the hostility? One guy called me a cunt! What's next, threats?

You made a logical and totally reasonable suggestion, but it went against his religion. His internal conflict caused him to lash out at you the messenger.

Comment: I use a DynaFlex Powerball (Score 1) 144 144

10 years ago I started getting stiffness and numbness from my right wrist up to the shoulder. I switched to an ergo keyboard which helped a bit, but the DynaFlex Powerball helped a lot. Since then I've gone through 3 powerballs. A couple of years ago my knuckles started stiffening and freezing up on me. To help with that I've been taking Fish Oil, which I didn't think was working until I stopped it for a week, and have been using this great ergo mouse.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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