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Submission + - Rookie Dongle Warns Parents When Their Kids Are Driving Too Fast (

An anonymous reader writes: Dongle Apps, a Belgian tech company, has introduced a new system which alerts a car owner if the vehicle’s driver is breaking the speed limit. Initially designed for parents and guardians to keep an eye on their young ones behind the wheel, the 'Rookie Dongle', connects to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostics (OBD II) port, internal GPS and mobile technologies to push real-time data to the cloud and send notifications to car owners via email or text when the driver is speeding, suddenly accelerates, brakes hard or has high RPM levels.

Submission + - Software Defined Smart Battery Arrays Extend Laptop Life (

An anonymous reader writes: A Microsoft research paper, titled ‘Software Defined Batteries’, outlines a radical charging alternative which uses a smart battery system to keep consumer-grade gadgets going for much longer than the current norm, by monitoring user habits. Making use of existing technologies, the engineers place multiple battery control under the duties of the operating system to create a software-defined approach optimised for different scenarios, such as word processing, email or video streaming.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Most Awesome Hardware Hack?

An anonymous reader writes: Another Slashdotter once asked what kind of things someone can power with an external USB battery. I have a followup along those lines: what kind of modifications have you made to your gadgets to do things that they were never meant to do? Consider old routers, cell phones, monitors, etc. that have absolutely no use or value anymore in their intended form. What can you do with them? Have you ever done something stupid and damaged your electronics?

Submission + - CodeWeavers To Release CrossOver For Android To Run Windows Programs (

An anonymous reader writes: The better part of three years after originally talking of running Wine on Android to bring Windows x86 programs to Android phones/tablets, it's going to become a reality. CodeWeavers is planning to release CrossOver For Android before the end of the year. This will allow native Windows binaries to run on Android, but will be limited to Android-x86 due to struggles in emulating x86 Windows code on ARM. The tech preview will be free and once published the open-source patches will be published for Wine.

Submission + - On-Chip Liquid Cooling Permits Smaller Devices With No Heatsinks Or Fans (

An anonymous reader writes: DARPA-funded research into on-chip liquid cooling has resulted in a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) liquid-cooled device that can operate at 24 degrees Celsius, versus 60 degrees Celsius for an equivalent air-cooled device. The cooling fluid resides only nanometers from the heat it must address, and operates so efficiently as to offer potential to stack CPUs and GPUs using copper columns, as well as dispensing with heat-sinks and fan systems. With those components removed, the system can facilitate far more compact designs than are currently feasible.

Submission + - The shut-down of Twitter's JSON API a brave bid for monetization (

An anonymous reader writes: This month Twitter is closing down the JSON endpoint API which thousands of third-party software and plugin developers have depended upon for years. The alternative Rest API offers data which is aggregated or limited in other ways, whilst the full-featured share data offered by Gnip (purchased last year by Twitter) can cost developers thousands per month to access — in one case up to £20,000 a month. The general objective seems to be to either drive users back to the core Twitter interface where they can be monetised via the social network's advertising, or to regain lost advertising by converting open source data — currently utilized a lot in scientific research — into premium information, offering the possibility for well-funded organisations to gain reputations as Twitter barometers without ever needing to expose the expensive, accurate share figures.

Submission + - Can IoT help bridge the Digital Divide? (

dkatana writes: That is the question addressed by Sath Rao of Frost & Sullivan during the IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona.

According to Rao projects such as Google's Loom can help address connectivity in remote locations.

But he also warned about the new Digital Divide in the developed world, where issues such as aging population will make necessary to upgrade existing infrastructure to accommodate the next wave of IoT services.

Submission + - Where can I find "nuts and bolts" info on cookies & tracking mechanisms?

tanstaaf1 writes: Whose computer is it, anyway? I was thinking about the whole tracking and privacy train-wreck and I'm wondering why specific information on how it is done, and how it can be micromanaged or undone by a decent programmer (at least), isn't vastly more accessible? By searching, I can only find information on how to erase cookies using the browser. Browser level (black box) solutions aren’t anywhere near good enough; if it were, the exploits would be few and far between instead everywhere everyday.

In Amazon, I haven't found a likely good book on the topic. There are books on protocols but I'm really only interested in how I can detect and track and block, and erase, and re-write and spoof all the tracking attempts on a case by case basis. Maybe a book on how to write my own tracker — or my own tracking blocker from scratch?

In theory it wouldn't seem to be that hard to uttlerly micromanage your own computer. Here's how I think it could be done:

(1) Have an explicit on/off switch, ideally OS based and trivial to control with a mouse-twitch, which turns internet access on and off as certainly as a mechanical light switch controls lights. Along with this, maybe the whole screen can change color, red-light green-light, to keep the user always aware of incoming or outgoing traffic. I should instant be able to get detailed information on any unexpected write or read request. Think unix “ps” or better. (Actually, a file system which allowed the owner to attached detailed memos and other information would be a nice touch...once litter builds up it quickly gets easy to hide real malware everywhere; that is a common technique used by embezzlers everywhere — create chaos and then hide your exploits within it).
(2) When the browser is started, make it start in a fresh virtual space / sand-box. Then copy into that space any "cookies" or other information I explicitly care to put into that space. I would, for example, put in site specific cookies to allow sites i whitelist to identify me. A good database of all the files in my virtual space, how they got there and what they are used for, would be really nice to see.
(3) As you browse you can block or not block ads and trackers; the add-ons already exist.
(4) When you decide to exit the browsing session, at least, the computer should save important cookies from sites you frequent for later restoration.
(5) The entire virtual space is then shredded and deleted.

This could all be done at a finer grain, I'm sure, but I wanted to lay out an overall strategy — and ask:
(1) What am I missing?
(2) Has this already been done and automated, say, under Linux? (I wouldn't expect Microsoft, Apple, or Google to facilitate this sort of security under their OS systems; foxes guarding the hen house and all that. However, even under Windows and OSX I can install virtualbox...)
(3) Why is it so hard to find the specifics of, step-by-step, how (not why or if) we are being conned and raped and what, specifically, can be done to stop it? Why are we screwing around with all these endless add-ons instead of striking at the root of the problem? Or have I not really identified the root?

I would appreciate any specific feedback on my scheme or, even better, a link or three. This really makes me curious. Once upon a time I utterly ruled my own computer — almost as securely as the inside of my own house. Now it's like every sleeze-bag in the world has unfettered ability to walk in, case the house, or access to my genitals. And all the prevention information is under lock and key in google’s vault or otherwise censored. I don't know how the world came to this sick juncture — and NO, I don’t think “necessary complexity" explains it very well).

“We have become the tool of our tools.” -Thoreau

Submission + - Oculus Founder Explains Why the Rift VR Headset Will Cost "More than $350" (

An anonymous reader writes: When Oculus took to Kickstarter in 2012, the company sought to create the 'DK1', a development kit of the Rift which the company wanted to eventually become an affordable VR headset that they would eventually take to market as a consumer product. At the time, the company was aiming for a target price around $350, but since then the company, and the scope of the Rift headset, has grown considerably. That's one reason why Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey says that the consumer Rift headset, launching in Q1 2016, will cost more than $350. "...the reason for that is that we’ve added a lot of technology to this thing beyond what existed in the DK1 and DK2 days," says Luckey.

Submission + - The enemy of my enemy is my friend (

grrlscientist writes: Tiny hummingbird eggs and babies are a favourite snack for nest-robbing jays, so what’s a mother hummingbird to do to protect her family? According to a study published recently in the journal, Science Advances, the hummingbird cleverly builds her nest near or under a hawk nest. The reason for this seemingly risky behaviour? When hawks are nesting nearby, jays forage higher above the ground to avoid being attacked from above by the hungry hawk parents. This elevation in the jays’ foraging height creates a cone-shaped jay-free safe area under the hawk nests where mother hummingbirds, their babies and nests, enjoy dramatically increased survival rates.

Submission + - Fukushima: 1,600 Dead from Evacuation Stress (

seven of five writes: The NYT reports that radiation-related hysteria and mistakes have cost the lives of nearly 1,600 Japanese since the Fukushima disaster. The panic to evacuate, not the radiation itself, led to poor choices such as moving hospital intensive care patients from hospitals to emergency quarters. The government's perception of radiation exposure risk, rather than the actual risk itself, may have caused far more harm than it prevented.

Submission + - Tank Hack Ensured Farmland Didn't Thwarted the Invasion of Europe (

szczys writes: Ingenuity reigns supreme when trying to overcome obstacles standing in your way. So was the case during the Allied invasion of Europe during WWII. Land features in the Normandy bocage region were especially difficult for tanks to navigate. The obstacles were earthen dikes topped with mature trees originally put in place to contain livestock. The solution was to reuse materials from the Axis' own anti-tank measures to build a tank attachment to cut through the obstacles. The Allies were able to take the Axis by surprise as it was assumed the armored divisions wouldn't be able to break through this area.

Submission + - Nuclear Energy: The Good News and the Bad News in the EPA Clean Energy Plan (

Lasrick writes: Peter Bradford explains what the EPA's new Clean Power Plan has in store for nuclear energy: 'The competitive position of all new low-carbon electricity sources will improve relative to fossil fuels. New reactors (including the five under construction) and expansions of existing plants will count toward state compliance with the plan’s requirements as new sources of low-carbon energy. Existing reactors, however, must sink or swim on their own prospective economic performance—the final plan includes no special carbon-reduction credits to help them.' Excellent explanation of the details of the plan, and how the nuclear industry benefits (or doesn't).

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.