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Submission + - Site sets out to overload the NSA's PRISM (

skadacl writes: In a bold move, there's a new website out there seeking to overload the National Security Agency's PRISM program... If only it can go viral can the site certainly accomplish this goal. So, do you dare? Visit click the big red button, and you'll be searching Google for every single keyword the NSA is looking to track. How bold are you?
Data Storage

Submission + - Hard Disk capacity set to increase up to five times (

Dupple writes: A technique that enables the nanopatterned layers that store data in hard disk drives to assemble themselves has been improved to better suit mass production, and could enable disks that store five times as much data as the largest available today.

Using self-assembly instead of machines that print or etch out features has long been considered a potential solution to a looming barrier to expanding the capacity of hard-disk designs. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have now worked out a solution to a problem that made self-assembly incompatible with existing factories.


Submission + - Old Electric-Car Batteries Put into Service for Home Energy Storage

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Josie Garthwaite writes that old electric car batteries degraded below acceptable performance levels for autos still have enough life to serve the grid for at least ten years with a prototype announced by GM and ABB lashing five Chevy Volt battery packs together in an array with a capacity of 10 kilowatt-hours — enough to provide electricity for three to five average houses for two hours. "In a car, you want immediate power, and you want a lot of it," says Alexandra Goodson. "We're discharging for two hours instead of immediately accelerating. It's not nearly as demanding on the system." Deployed on the grid, community energy storage devices could help utilities integrate highly variable renewables like solar and wind into the power supply, while absorbing spikes in demand from electric-car charging. "Wind, it's a nightmare for grid operators to manage," says Britta Gross, director of global energy systems and infrastructure commercialization for GM. "It's up, down, it doesn't blow for three days. It's very labor-intensive to manage." The batteries would allow for storage of power during inexpensive periods for use during expensive peak demand, or help make up for gaps in solar, wind or other renewable power generation. One final advantage of re-using electric car batteries is that the battery—the most expensive part of an electric car—remains an asset beyond its useful life in the vehicle. "If there is a market in stationary power for spent batteries, consumers could recognize this as an increased resale value at end of life, however small," says Kevin See."
The Internet

6 Homeless People Saved By the Internet Screenshot-sm 94

An anonymous reader writes "With Ted Williams's story (the homeless man with the golden voice, saved by the internet) blowing up online, and in the traditional media, we figured it was time to tell the stories of 5 other homeless people who've found success, be it financial or personal, through the wonderful use of this series of tubes we call The Internet."
Hardware Hacking

Grad Student Invents Cheap Laser Cutter 137

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Jansen, a PhD student and member of the RepRap community, has constructed a working prototype of an inexpensive table-top laser cutter built out of old CD/DVD drives as an offshoot of his efforts to design an under $200 open-source Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Where traditional laser cutters use powerful, fixed-focus beams, this new technique dynamically adjusts the focal point of the laser using a reciprocating motion similar to a reciprocating saw, allowing a far less powerful and inexpensive laser diode to be used. The technique is currently limited to cutting black materials to a depth of only a few millimeters, but should still be useful and enabling for Makers and other crafters. The end-goal is to create a hybrid inexpensive 3D printer that can be easily reconfigured for 2D laser cutting, providing powerful making tools to the desktop."

One Quarter of Germans Happy To Have Chip Implants Screenshot-sm 170

justice4all writes "If it means shorter lines at the supermarket, a quarter of Germans would be happy to have a chip implanted under their skin. The head of Germany's main IT trade body told the audience at the opening ceremony of the CeBIT technology exhibition that one in four of his countrymen are happy to have a microchip inserted for ID purposes."

Porsche Unveils 911 Hybrid With Flywheel Booster 197

MikeChino writes "Porsche has just unveiled its 911 GT3 R Hybrid, a 480 horsepower track vehicle ready to rock the 24-hour Nurburgring race this May. Porsche's latest supercar will use the same 911 production platform available to consumers today, with a few race-ready features including front-wheel hybrid drive and an innovative flywheel system that stores kinetic energy from braking and then uses it to provide a 160 horsepower burst of speed. The setup is sure to offer an advantage when powering out of turns and passing by other racers."

PayPal Freezes the Assets of 403

matsh sends word that PayPal has frozen the assets of From their Web site: "Paypal has as of 23rd of January 2010 frozen WikiLeaks assets. This is the second time that this happens. The last time we struggled for more than half a year to resolve this issue. By working with the respected and recognized German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung we tried to avoid this from happening again — apparently without avail." The submitter adds: "Hopefully we can pressure PayPal to resolve this quickly, since this seems like a dangerous political decision."

Nmap 5.20 Released 36

ruphus13 writes "Nmap has a new release out, and it's a major one. It includes a GUI front-end called Zenmap, and, according to the post, 'Network admins will no doubt be excited to learn that Nmap is now ready to identify Snow Leopard systems, Android Linux smartphones, and Chumbies, among other OSes that Nmap can now identify. This release also brings an additional 31 Nmap Scripting Engine scripts, bringing the total collection up to 80 pre-written scripts for Nmap. The scripts include X11 access checks to see if on a system allows remote access, a script to retrieve and print an SSL certificate, and a script designed to see whether a host is serving malware. Nmap also comes with netcat and Ndiff. Source code and binaries are available from the Nmap site, including RPMs for x86 and x86_64 systems, and binaries for Windows and Mac OS X. '"

How Do You Volunteer Professional Services? 366

keefus_a writes "My wife and I usually take a week long vacation in the Spring and I tossed out the idea of volunteering abroad. Neither of us has a problem with doing manual labor, or whatever task is needed. However, I thought it might be of some value, and substantially more rewarding than our daily grind, if we could volunteer our professional services (I'm a network guy and my wife has a master's degree in counseling). The problem is that I haven't found any resources for doing so on a short-term basis. So I ask Slashdot. Has anyone ever done short-term volunteer work in your professional field? What organization did you contact? Or are we better off donating money to a particular cause and just working on a tan?"

Scientology Charged With Slavery, Human Trafficking 802

eldavojohn writes "A formal complaint was filed in California (caged PDF) last week by John Lindstein naming David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology International as defendants. Lindstein claims that for sixteen years (from age 8) he was forced to work as a slave at Gold Base, a secret CoS site run by Golden Era Productions with 'razor wire, security guard patrols, surveillance posts, and three roll calls each day.' The pay was $50 a week. The allegations include 'Violations of wage and hour laws as well as unfair/illegal business practices actionable under California B&P 17200 Et. Seq.' and a complaint under the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, which abolished slavery. Members of the group Anonymous praised the summons."

Submission + - Linux-based Nokia N900 - 5.8 MP camera and Firefox (

ruphus13 writes: Nokia's Linux-based OS, Maemo 5, is set to launch on the N900 device — expected in the US for $650 soon. The screen is 'stunning', and the device features a 5.8 Megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. In addition, its default browser is Firefox. From the post, "Mameo’s most stunning aspect is the tight and seamless integration of the Firefox browser...Firefox is perhaps N900’s single biggest standout feature. It works just like it does on a desktop and, thanks to the seamless integration of AwesomeBar, a smarter version of a URL bar that uses Mozilla Weave, I can get access to all my bookmarks, my browsing history and other preferences." However, "Nokia has still not mastered the art of NO. Apple makes its things great by leaving features out, Nokia somehow believes that adding more makes its products great.". The mobile device market continues to heat up!

Ultracapacitor Bus Recharges At Each Stop 419

TechReviewAl writes "A US company and its Chinese partner are piloting a bus powered by ultracapacitors in Washington DC. Ultracapacitors lack the capacity of regular batteries but are considerably cheaper and can be recharge completely in under a minute. Sinautec Automobile Technologies, based in Arlington, VA, and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Aowei Technology Development Company, have spent the past three years demonstrating the approach with 17 municipal buses on the outskirts of Shanghai. The executive director of Sinautec touts the energy efficiency of this approach: 'Even if you use the dirtiest coal plant on the planet [to charge an ultracapacitor], it generates a third of the carbon dioxide of diesel.'"

Submission + - Ultracapacitor Bus Recharges At Each Stop (

TechReviewAl writes: A U.S. company and its Chinese partner are piloting a bus powered by ultracapacitors in Washington D.C. Ultracapacitors lack the capacity of regular batteries but are considerably cheaper and can be recharge completely in under a minute. Sinautec Automobile Technologies, based in Arlington, VA, and its Chinese partner, Shanghai Aowei Technology Development Company, have spent the past three years demonstrating the approach with 17 municipal buses on the outskirts of Shanghai.

Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval