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Power

Penny-Sized Nuclear Batteries Developed 444

Posted by kdawson
from the is-that-a-nuke-in-your-pocket dept.
pickens writes "Nuclear batteries that produce energy from the decay of radioisotopes are an attractive proposition for many applications because the isotopes that power them can provide a useful amount of current for hundreds of years at power densities a million times as high as standard batteries. Nuclear batteries have been used for military and aerospace applications for years, their large size has limited their general usage. But now a research team at the University of Missouri has developed a nuclear battery the size of a penny that could be used to power micro- and nano-electromechanical systems. The researchers' innovation is not only in the battery's size, but also that the batteries use a liquid semiconductor rather than a solid semiconductor. 'The critical part of using a radioactive battery is that when you harvest the energy, part of the radiation energy can damage the lattice structure of the solid semiconductor,' says Jae Wan Kwon. 'By using a liquid semiconductor, we believe we can minimize that problem.' The batteries are safe under normal operating conditions. 'People hear the word "nuclear" and think of something very dangerous,' says Kwon. 'However, nuclear power sources have already been safely powering a variety of devices, such as pacemakers, space satellites, and underwater systems.'"
Politics

+ - Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize-> 3

Submitted by
AbbeyRoad
AbbeyRoad writes "OSLO (Reuters) — U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world "hope for a better future" and striving for nuclear disarmament. ... The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.""
Link to Original Source
Movies

Decent DVD-Ripping Solution For Linux? 501

Posted by timothy
from the digital-camera-one-frame-at-a-time dept.
supersloshy writes "I'm a user of Ubuntu Linux and I have been for a little while now. Recently I've been trying to copy DVDs onto a portable media player, but everything I've tried isn't working right. dvd::rip always gets the language mixed up (for example, when ripping 'Howl's Moving Castle,' one of the files it ripped to was in Japanese instead of English), Acidrip just plain isn't working for me (not recognizing a disc with spaces in its name, refusing to encode, etc.), Thoggen is having trouble with chapters (chapter 1 repeated twice for me once), and OGMRip has the audio out of sync. What I'm looking for is a reliable program to copy the movie into a single file with none of the audio or video glitches as mentioned above. Is there even such thing on Linux? If you can't think of a decent Linux-based solution, then a Windows one is fine as long as it works."
The Internet

Multiple Fiber Cuts In San Francisco Area 368

Posted by timothy
from the shame-if-anything-bad-was-to-happen dept.
georgewilliamherbert writes "Multiple news reports, mailing list posts, blogs, and tweets are pointing out two overnight acts of sabotage in the San Francisco Bay area, with long distance fiber network cables being cut in two locations in the early morning hours. The first cut, around 1:30 AM, affecting landline and cell phone service and 911 calls in the communities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy, and parts of Santa Cruz counties, was on an AT&T fiber alongside Monterey Highway near Blossom Hill Road, in San Jose. A second cut, around 3:30 AM, in San Carlos, affected Sprint fiber and has significantly disrupted services at the 200 Paul datacenter in southern San Francisco. Rumor says that this may be related to a AT&T communications workers contract having just expired — but no evidence has been published yet in the media, and this could be an intentional act of sabotage by someone unrelated to the company's workers."
Censorship

French Assembly Rejects Three Strikes Bill 129

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-don't-even-play-baseball-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The French Assembly has rejected the Three Strikes bill (in French!) which would allow ISPs to cut off users found to have been downloading protected content after two warnings. Summary: the Sarkozy administration can go back with a new draft for approval by both chambers or try to get upper house approval of a softer version without the cutoff passed by the lower house."
The Internet

Can Mobile Broadband Solve the UK Digital Divide? 113

Posted by samzenpus
from the come-together dept.
MJackson writes "Lord Carter's interim Digital Britain report recently proposed a new Universal Service Obligation (USO), which would effectively make it mandatory for every household in the UK to have access to a broadband service capable of 2Mbps by 2012. Since then there has been much talk about Mobile Broadband (3G, 4G) services being used to bridge the UK Digital Divide, but is that realistic? The technology has all sorts of problems from slow speeds and high latency to blocking VoIP, MSN Instant Messaging and aggressive image compression ... not to mention connection stability."
Security

Researcher's Death Hampers TCP Flaw Fix 147

Posted by timothy
from the sad-news-and-bad-news dept.
linuxwrangler writes "Security researcher Jack Louis, who had discovered several serious security flaws in TCP software was killed in a fire on the ides of March, dealing a blow to efforts to repair the problem. Although he kept good notes and had communicated with a number of vendors, he died before fixes could be created and prior to completing research on a number of additional vulnerabilities. Much of the work has been taken over by Louis' friend and long-time colleague Robert E. Lee. The flaws have been around for a long time and would allow a low-bandwidth 'sockstress' attack to knock large machines off the net."
Media

Boxee Launches New API 69

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-that-hulu dept.
A recent post on the boxee blog announces the release of a new, fully documented API that will allow developers to create and share new apps and plugins. "The new boxee API enables developers to build sophisticated applications (such as the Pandora and RadioTime apps) using a set of API calls in Python and writing the GUI using XML. ... Users can install new applications via the boxee App Box, the beginnings of our app store. Unlike other app stores, boxee does not want to be a gate keeper (or bottleneck) in deciding which applications are published so anyone can become a publisher." A complete description is available at their developers page. I'm sure this will help in their ongoing battle with Hulu.
Privacy

UK Gov't May Track All Facebook Traffic 204

Posted by timothy
from the posted-before-curfew dept.
Jack Spine writes "The UK government, which is becoming increasingly Orwellian, has said that it is considering snooping on all social networking traffic including Facebook, MySpace, and bebo. This supposedly anti-terrorist measure may be proposed as part of the Intercept Modernisation Programme according to minister Vernon Coaker, and is exactly the sort of deep packet inspection web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee warned about last week. The measure would get around the inconvenience for the government of not being able to snoop on all UK web traffic."
Privacy

Cities View Red Light Cameras As Profit Centers 740

Posted by timothy
from the criminalize-everything-spread-the-guilt dept.
Houston 2600 writes "Chicago could rake in 'at least $200 million' a year — and wipe out the entire projected deficit for 2009 — by using its vast network of redlight and surveillance cameras to hunt down uninsured motorists, aldermen were told today. The system pitched to the City Council's Transportation Committee by Michigan-based InsureNet would work only if insurance companies were somehow compelled to report the names and license plates of insured motorists. That's already happening daily in 13 states, but not here."
The Internet

The Men Who Fix the Internet 162

Posted by kdawson
from the physical-side-of-things dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Remember all those undersea cables breaking? PopSci.com introduces John Rennie, who '... has braved the towering waves of the North Atlantic Ocean to keep your e-mail coming to you. As chief submersible engineer aboard the Wave Sentinel, part of the fleet operated by UK-based undersea installation and maintenance firm Global Marine Systems, Rennie — a congenial, 6'4", 57-year-old Scotsman — patrols the seas, dispatching a remotely operated submarine deep below the surface to repair undersea cables.' The article goes on to outline the physical infrastructure of the Internet, including some of its points of vulnerability."
Censorship

Names of Advisors Cleared To Access ACTA Documents 186

Posted by kdawson
from the who-sees-what-you-can't dept.
1 a bee writes "With the White House claiming national security grounds for failing to release ACTA related information, including negotiating documents and even the list of participants, the spotlight is now on just who does have access. Turns out, according to James Love, hundreds of advisers, many of them corporate lobbyists, are considered 'cleared advisers.' The list looks a who's who of captains of industry."
The Military

US Pentagon Plans For a Spy Blimp 374

Posted by kdawson
from the unblinking-eye dept.
nloop writes "The Pentagon is intending to develop a new spy ship — a dirigible. At 65,000 feet it would provide a 10 year, solar power based, unblinkingly intricate and continuous view of the surface via radar surveillance. Because of its altitude it would be safe from surface-to-air missiles and most aircraft. A 1/3-scale prototype, now being designed, is 'known as ISIS, for Integrated Sensor Is the Structure, because the radar system will be built into the structure of the ship. ... 'If successful, the dirigible... could pave the way for a fleet of spy airships, military officials said.'"
United States

WSJ Says Gov't Money Injection Won't Help Broadband 647

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-they-can-pay-with-free-money dept.
olddotter writes "According to the WSJ, The US government is about to spend $10 Billion to make little difference in US broadband services: 'More fundamentally, nothing in the legislation would address the key reason that the US lags so far behind other countries. This is that there is an effective broadband duopoly in the US, with most communities able to choose only between one cable company and one telecom carrier. It's this lack of competition, blessed by national, state and local politicians, that keeps prices up and services down.' Get ready for USDA certified Grade A broadband."

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