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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Net Neutrality Developments In India

Submitted by asvravi
asvravi (1236558) writes "People of India are up in arms to save their internet. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has put out a public consultation paper on regulations for net neutrality that is 118 pages long and reads like a corporate shill, favoring the big telecom. One month is given for public comment before it becomes regulation. The biggest private telecom company Airtel has introduced a special scheme which seeks to price data differently depending on which sites are being accessed. The nation is up in arms on the social media against these developments that threaten the future of net neutrality. TRAI received more than 12000 emails in a single day criticizing its actions, while the Indian telecom minister too received thousands of emails in a few hours. People started giving 0-star ratings en-masse on App stores to apps of e-commerce sites that signed up for Airtel's plan forcing them to cancel their plans. Yet others have managed to come up with a short summary of the 118 page consultation paper to make it readable and spur public opinion against it. Right To Information (RTI) applications are being filed to find out the process by which TRAI arrived at the biased proposal. Websites have sprung up — some serious ones calling people to arms (http://www.netneutrality.in/) while yet others add in a fun element to educate the common man about the seriousness of the situation (https://medium.com/@chupchap/india-s-net-neutrality-debate-explained-in-memes-3a8f6febaccf). Here is a video call-to-arms that has gone viral www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfY1NKrzqi0 ."

+ - German Airbus A320 plane crashes in French Alps ->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Germanwings A320 aircraft flying from Barcelona to Düsseldorf goes down in southern French Alps with 148 on board

A distress call was made by the aircraft at 10.47am, while the plane was “in an abnormal situation”, the French transport ministry said. The crash happened shortly afterwards, it added. The aircraft disappeared off the radar at around 11.20am, Le Figaro reported. The plane dropped from 11,500 metres to 2,100 metres (38,000ft to 6,925ft) in nine minutes between 10.31am and 10.40am, air radar services said. The distress call to air traffic control in Marseilles was “mayday, mayday, mayday” and the pilot requested an emergency descent, meaning all air space had to be cleared below the route of the aircraft."

Link to Original Source

+ - Indian Supreme Court strikes down Sec 66A of IT Act->

Submitted by CalcuttaWala
CalcuttaWala (765227) writes "The Supreme Court of India, struck down as illegal, Section 66A of the Information Technology Act that was used by many government agencies to arrest people who used social media to voice opinions against powerful politicians and business leaders. This will allow many people to exercise their freedom of expression on the Internet"
Link to Original Source

+ - Supreme Court of India upheld the freedom of speech on Internet->

Submitted by kushaldas
kushaldas (3043893) writes "Today Supreme Court of India has struck down Section 66A of the IT Act that prescribes punishment for sending “offensive” messages through computers or any other communication device such as a mobile phone or a tablet, and a conviction can fetch a maximum of three years in jail. Read more here."
Link to Original Source

+ - Micromax Remotely Installing Unwanted Apps and Showing Ads

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Reports are coming in that users of certain devices by Indian phone manufacturer Micromax noticed apps being silently installed without their consent or permission. Uninstalling these apps won't help, as they will be automatically reinstalled. Alternatively, instead of downloading apps, the phone might litter the UI with stack of notifications which are advertisements for online stores and other apps. It turns out that the "System Update" application is responsible for all of this. When starting to tear down the application (which is actually called FWUpgrade.apk on the filesystem), the first thing you notice is that it’s a third-party application. A Chinese company named Adups developed it as a replacement for the stock Google OTA service. The article shows the potential abilities of this app and how Micromax customers can work around the disruptive behavior."

+ - Battery with a billion holes->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "A battery which is made up of tiny nanopores has been created by researchers from University of Maryland. Each of the nanopores holds electrolyte to carry the electrical charge between nanotube electrodes at either end, and acts as if a very tiny battery

According to Chanyuan Liu, a graduate student in materials science & engineering, says that it can be fully charged in 12 minutes, and it can be recharged thousands of time, and that the research team has already identified ways to increase the power of the batteries by ten times

The team consists of UMD chemists and materials scientists who collaborated on the project: Gary Rubloff , director of the Maryland NanoCenter and a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Institute for Systems Research; Sang Bok Lee, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemisty and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and seven of their Ph.D. students (two now graduated)

Many millions of these nanopores can be crammed into one larger battery the size of a postage stamp. One of the reasons the researchers think this unit is so successful is because each nanopore is shaped just like the others, which allows them to pack the tiny thin batteries together efficiently. Coauthor Eleanor Gillette's modeling shows that the unique design of the nanopore battery is responsible for its success, and the space inside the holes is so small that the space they take up, all added together, would be no more than a grain of sand

The entire design of the battery involves each of its nanobattery components being composed of an anode, a cathode, and a liquid electrolyte confined within the nanopores of anodic aluminium oxide, which is an advanced ceramic material. Each nanoelectrode includes an outer ruthenium nanotube current collector and an inner nanotube of vanadium pentoxide storage material. These together form a symmetric full nanopore storage cell with anode and cathode separated by an electrolyte region. The vanadium pentoxide is treated with lithium at one end to serve as the anode, with pristine vanadium pentoxide at the other end serving as the cathode"

Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right 839

Posted by Soulskill
from the haves-and-have-nots dept.
New submitter rvw sends word that Bill Gates has posted a review of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, an acclaimed book by economist Thomas Piketty about how income equality is a necessary result of unchecked capitalism. Gates, one of the most successful capitalists of our time, agrees with Piketty's most important conclusions. That said, he also finds parts of the book to be flawed and incomplete, but says Piketty has started vital debate on these issues. Gates writes, Yes, some level of inequality is built in to capitalism. As Piketty argues, it is inherent to the system. The question is, what level of inequality is acceptable? And when does inequality start doing more harm than good? That's something we should have a public discussion about, and it's great that Piketty helped advance that discussion in such a serious way. ... I agree that taxation should shift away from taxing labor. It doesn't make any sense that labor in the United States is taxed so heavily relative to capital. It will make even less sense in the coming years, as robots and other forms of automation come to perform more and more of the skills that human laborers do today. But rather than move to a progressive tax on capital, as Piketty would like, I think we'd be best off with a progressive tax on consumption.
Mars

Indian Mars Mission Beams Back First Photographs 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the worth-a-thousand-words dept.
astroengine writes India's Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) got straight to work as it closed in on Martian orbit on Tuesday — it began taking photographs of the Red Planet and its atmosphere and surface as it slowed down to reach its ultimate destination. After a two day wait, those first images are slowly trickling onto the Internet.

+ - Logitech Aims To Control the Smart Home->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Household devices are getting smarter these days: the so-called internet of things is bringing software-controlled thermostats, lighting, and other appliances into the mainstream. Many companies are fighting for a piece of the pie, but Logitech is taking a different approach. They're mostly known for computer peripherals, but they also make multi-function remote controls, and now they're trying to build remotes that will control all of a home's smart devices. "Logitech doesn’t want to own the device, it wants to own the app experience. But to do that, it had to build a software overlay and a controller that would convince people to put it in their homes. So it’s offering a $100 hub that combines IR, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and RF that will let you use the Logitech Harmony app to control gear that uses those protocols. This means if you have a SmartThings, a Peq or a Lutron hub, the Wi-Fi in the Logitech device will let you control the others’ gear from Logitech, which so far seems to have a much nicer interface." They've worked out partnerships with a lot of companies that are big in the home, like Nest, Honeywell, and Philips, all of whom seem to want this extra layer of control for the user."
Link to Original Source

+ - How To Talk Infosec With Kids

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you’re a parent, chances are you’re concerned about your kids using the Internet. Many of those working in tech don’t talk about the dangers they see on their screens at work back at home with their kids. Instead, their strategy is a mixture of hope and worry. They hope something bad doesn’t happen to their kids – they don’t click on a bad link – and then they restrict their kids screen time. Often they say their kids won't understand since it’s hard enough to explain tech jobs to most adults. It’s never too early to talk infosec with kids: you simply need the right story."

+ - Extending human vision range into near-infrared with Vitamin A

Submitted by asvravi
asvravi (1236558) writes "A crowd-funded experiment on experiment.com seeks to extend the color range of human vision into near infra-red by only manipulating the amounts of vitamin A1 and A2 in the diet of subjects.
https://experiment.com/project...
It has now reported initial success with human eye response at 950nm as compared to 850nm before the diet modifications. https://experiment.com/u/aAcR2...
How long until full night vision?"
Government

Ten States Pass Anti-Patent-Troll Laws, With More To Come 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-under-the-bridge dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With patent reform stalled in the Senate, many states have decided to take up the issue themselves. 'As states kicked off their legislative sessions this winter, lawmakers responded to the threats against small businesses by writing bills that would ban "bad faith patent assertions" as a violation of consumer-protection laws. The bills target a specific type of patent troll: the kind that sends out vaguely worded letters demanding licensing fees. The thousands of letters sent out by the "scanner trolls" at MPHJ Technology are often brought up as a case-in-point. The new laws allow trolls that break rules around letter-writing to be sued in state court, either by private companies they've approached for licensing fees, or by state authorities themselves.'"

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