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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Best geek toys for goldfish

commlinx writes: As it approaches Christmas I'm in the process of adding a geek touch to my goldfish tank and need some ideas from the Slashdot community. So far I have collected a few static plastic models, such as the Enterprise NCC-1701, R2D2 and a Supreme Dalek to glue to the bottom of the tank; however I would also like to add some more dynamic items. I already have a USB controlled switchable power socket connected to a Raspberry Pi to control the main tank light remotely and was thinking this might be expanded to control some LEDs, motors and maybe even some Nixie tubes. However I'm unsure of the best way to interface these together and also wondering what precautions are needed because the water in the tank may not be pure? I look forward to hearing ideas from the community and am interested in how you would approach the problem.

Submission + - A blackhole at quarter the size of its galaxy (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers have spotted an enormous black hole — the second most massive ever — but it resides in a tiny galaxy. The galaxy NGC 1277, just a quarter the size of our own Milky Way, hosts a black hole 4,000 times larger than the one at the Milky Way's centre.

Submission + - Draft Executive Order seeks to sneak SOPA & PIPA in by the back door (jdnash.com)

TrueSatan writes: In a way so underhand that few but the MAFIAA and friends could have contemplated it a new draft Executive Order seeks to implement an equivalent to the failed SOPA/PIPA regulations claiming that SOPA/PIPA themselves only failed due to "industry concerns". The order also gives a clear presumed guilty verdict against any who are accused of infringement.abandoning any pretence of "innocent until proven guilty".

Submission + - Nazi Budda Came from Space (bbc.co.uk)

mattaw writes: "This "Indiana Jones" style story of Nazi's acquiring this ancient historical statue from Tibet began when scientist Ernst Schafer working for Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS was commissioned to search Tibet for ancient "Aryan" evidence. Himmler was said to believe the Aryan race originated in Tibet and was keen to recover objects from the area.

The icing on the cake is that the statue is made of real meteorite and that scientists have been able to identify the actual one as the Chinga meteorite that fell in the border region of eastern Siberia and Mongolia about 15,000 years ago."


Submission + - ASIC wants Australian ISPs to store all content visited (smh.com.au)

nemesisrocks writes: "ASIC, Australia's version of the SEC, has called for phone call and internet data to be stored by Australian ISPs, in a submission to the Parliamentary Inquity into mandatory data retention.

Not only does the authority want the powers to intercept the times, dates and details of telecommunications information, it also wants access to the contents of emails, social media chats and text messages."


Submission + - Penetration Testing for the Masses 2

compumike writes: Every week we read about companies being hacked through insecure websites. Big companies have in-house security teams, but a new browser-based website penetration testing tool can scan, attack, and detect the biggest threats, such as SQL injection, XSS, and other vulnerabilities, finding holes in more than 90% of websites scanned — even in frameworks like Django and Rails. Can expensive security consultants be replaced by an army of machines providing website security for the masses?

Submission + - Primes cycle around 42n? I need answers.

Cogent91 writes: "For all it's curiosity, the number 42 remains an honest mystery. From ancient Buddhists to Douglas Adams, it's held a significant place for ages. But why?

Some years ago I came across a pattern in that 42n plus individually the primes from 1 to 41 and also 25 creates a list of all possible primes. It's seemingly simple, but I've never found a single academic reference to this pattern. I've also checked it with scripts to several million primes, no exceptions.

What is it that makes that limited range hold true for all prime numbers? And is there an academic significance for this? I've been asking for years, but I'd love Slashdot's help in finally getting this answered!

After n=0, the relevant base is 1,5,11,13,17,19,23,25,29,31,37,41. 2,3, & 7 never repeat. Also, pushed into binaries it makes a great way to compress arbitrarily large primes! The programmer in me wonders about that trait's usefulness to cryptography..."

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is it morally/ethically wrong to ask people to "like" a product? 1

ourlovecanlastforeve writes: Many of the tech blogs I read will sometimes feature a sweepstakes where you can win an iPad, an Android tablet or some other toy or gadget by "liking" them on Facebook or otherwise promoting them in a way that you normally would not do if you weren't trying to win something. Is it morally or ethically wrong for those people to do so? If you're clicking a button that indicates you like something but you really don't care for it, are you lying for personal gain? If so, is the company behind the sweepstakes asking you to lie to promote their product?

Submission + - Why WikiLeaks Is Worth Defending, Despite All Its Flaws (gigaom.com)

SomePgmr writes: "By now, anyone with even a passing interest in the WikiLeaks phenomenon is familiar with most of the elements of its fall from grace: the rift between founder Julian Assange and early supporters over his autocratic and/or erratic behavior, the Swedish rape allegations that led to his seeking sanctuary in Ecuador, a recent childish hoax the organization perpetrated, and so on. Critics paint a picture of an organization that exists only in name, with a leadership vacuum and an increasingly fractured group of adherents. Despite its many flaws, however, there is still something worthwhile in what WikiLeaks has done, and theoretically continues to do. The bottom line is that we need something like a âoestateless news organization,â and so far it is the best candidate we have."

Submission + - Would you open your home to a hacker – for free? (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "What do you get when you mix access to Google's ultra-fast fiber network and old fashioned grass roots business ideas? Well, in this case you'd get someone living on your couch for free for three months. This week a group calling itself the "Kansas City Hacker Homes," launched a program that calls on the good folks of Kansas City to open up their homes to entrepreneurs and developers who would live and work there for a period of three months, rent and utility free. They have to buy their own food."

Submission + - Piracy drops 28 per cent (news.com.au)

commlinx writes: According to recent reports piracy worldwide piracy dropped 28 per cent in the first quarter of the year, an international watchdog says. Pirate attacks intensified, however, in Nigeria and Indonesia. Maybe this will bring an end to attempts by the MPAA and RIAA to bring in more draconian laws to combat piracy?

Submission + - EA defends itself against thousands of anti-gay letters (gamesindustry.biz)

donniebaseball23 writes: Video game publisher Electronic Arts has not only had to defend itself against "worst company in America" labels, but GamesIndustry International has revealed that EA's been receiving thousands of letters protesting the inclusion of same-sex relationship content in games like Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The campaign against EA appears to be led by Florida Family Association and the Family Research Council. The letters threaten to boycott purchase of EA games if the company won't remove the LGBT content, and many allege that EA was pressured by LGBT activists to include the content, which they say is forcing LGBT themes on children playing the games. "This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment," said Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications.

Submission + - Plasma Flashlight Zaps Bacteria (sciencemag.org) 2

sciencehabit writes: Researchers may have a means for remote disinfection in a portable "flashlight" that shines a ray of cold plasma to kill bacteria in minutes. The flashlight's battery is far too small to create a plasma on its own, so the researchers use a common electronic device known as a DC booster to step up the voltage to 10 kilovolts. One output of the booster is wired to the device's shell—or "grounded," in technical speak—while the other goes to an array of 12 fine, stainless steel needles that create a rapidly pulsing electrical discharge. The circuit has several "ballast" resistors that limit the discharge's current so that the flashlight is safe to touch. The device's portability makes it ideal for emergency calls, natural disaster responses, or military operations.

Submission + - JAXA Creates Camera That Can See Radiation (mainichi.jp)

Ben_R_R writes: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has created a camera that can "see" radioactive contamination by detecting gamma rays emitted by radioactive cesium and other substances. The camera has been tested in the disaster evacuation zone around Fukushima. The image captures levels of radiation in six different colors and overlays the result over an image captured with a wide angle lens.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Huge triangle-shaped spot over the sun (nasa.gov)

jojo_it writes: NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed a gigantic spot on the sun's corona, that take the shape of a black triangle.
The spot is visible on the AIA 193 channel (http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/img/latest/latest_1024_0193.jpg) since yesterday.
2012 doomsday-theorists should be delighted.

Without life, Biology itself would be impossible.