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+ - Investigate oil spills with the Public Lab open source Oil Testing Kit->

Submitted by jywarren
jywarren (2718221) writes "The DIY environmental group Public Lab has introduced a Kickstarter for a kit to identifying the source of oil pollution, using simple open source hardware tools — a Blu-Ray laser and a fold-up cardboard spectrometer. They are calling for beta testers to join the project in order to solve key remaining challenges in the open source technique; beta testers will get early access to prototypes. Worried about crude or motor oil spills near your home? Investigate them yourself!"
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+ - DIY project crowdfunds "open source spectrometry" X-Prize ->

Submitted by jywarren
jywarren (2718221) writes "Public Lab (, which brought us the DIY Balloon Mapping Kit ( and the highly successful DIY Spectrometry Kit ( has launched a prize pool for identifying contaminants in your neighborhood — using only low cost, open source spectrometry. Phase 1 is open for submissions — you can enter or simply contribute to the prize pool."
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Comment: Old technology, already done in the 1970's (Score 1) 338

by wrwetzel (#41000829) Attached to: Bill Gates Wants To Reinvent the Toilet
I worked on a related project in the 1970's.

In the words of the product description:

The iJohn digitizes both liquid and solid waste products and sends them electronically to a central facility for processing and disposal. Because of the high level of redundancy in the waste stream it can be compressed to a small fraction of its original size resulting in transport costs far lower than with traditional methods. And because the waste products are in digital form they can be easily routed to alternate destinations based on available capacity, labor costs, and the regulatory environment.

Comment: Are highways and public storage facilities next? (Score 1) 428

by wrwetzel (#38775925) Attached to: Megaupload Shutdown: Should RapidShare and Dropbox Worry?
Are the MPAA and RIAA next going to target highway administrators (e.g. NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway) to control what is carried on their roads? Are they going to target public storage facilities to control what is stored therein? Safe Harbor must be protected. And while we're at it let's protect all linking.

Comment: Follow Cory Doctorow's Lead (Score 0) 987

by wrwetzel (#27957779) Attached to: What Can I Do About Book Pirates?
The easiest way to avoid any piracy is to GIVE your book away. Cory Doctorow did this with his novel "Little Brother". It was on the NY Times bestseller list for weeks, if not months, and has a sales rank of 1800 at Amazon. All that despite the fact that it was available for free online. To quote Cory: "For me -- for pretty much every writer -- the big problem isn't piracy, it's obscurity (thanks to Tim O'Reilly for this great aphorism)."

Blessed be those who initiate lively discussions with the hopelessly mute, for they shall be known as Dentists.