EPA Makes Most Wood Stoves Illegal 1143

First time accepted submitter Jody Bruchon writes "The Environment Protection Agency has lowered the amount of fine-particle matter per cubic meter that new wood stoves are allowed to release into the atmosphere by 20%. Most wood stoves in use today are of the type that is now illegal to manufacture or sell, and old stoves traded in for credit towards new ones must be scrapped out. This shouldn't be much of a surprise since more and more local governments are banning wood-burning stoves and fireplaces entirely, citing smog and air pollution concerns."

New Zealand's Hackable Transport Card Grants Free Bus Rides 96

mask.of.sanity writes "Kiwis could have their names, addresses, dates of birth and phone numbers exposed by flaws in the Christchurch public transport system that could also allow locals to travel on buses for free. The flaws in the MiFare Classic system allow anyone to add limitless funds to their transport cards and also buy cheap grey market cards and add them to the system. The website fails to check users meaning attackers could look up details of residents and opens the potential for someone to write a script and erase all cards in existence. Several flaws have been known to the operator since 2009." There are two sets of problems: their website is not adequately secured, allowing identity harvesting attacks, and the transit cards themselves are easy to forge.

Motorola Patent Uses Neck Tattoo As Microphone 51

nk497 writes "A Motorola Mobility patent application proposes using an 'electronic skin tattoo' as a smartphone microphone and wireless transceiver. The temporary tattoo would also include a 'power supply configured to receive energizing signals from a personal area network,' according to the filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office. It would be applied to 'a throat region of a body' — otherwise known as the neck. Motorola thinks the technology would be ideal for noisy environments, such as large stadiums and busy streets, or in emergency situations."

Bitcoin (Probably) Isn't Broken 78

Trailrunner7 writes "In the wake of the publication of a new academic paper that says there is a fundamental flaw in the Bitcoin protocol that could allow a small cartel of participants to become powerful enough that it could take over the mining process and gather a disproportionate amount of the value in the system, researchers are debating the potential value of the attack and whether it's actually practical in the real world. The paper, published this week by researchers at Cornell University, claims that Bitcoin is broken, but critics say there's a foundational flaw in the paper's assertions. ... The idea of a majority of Bitcoin miners joining together to dominate the system isn't new, but the Cornell researchers say that a smaller pool of one third of the miners could achieve the same result, and that once they have, there would be a snowball effect with other miners joining this cartel to increase their own piece of the pie. However, other researchers have taken issue with this analysis, saying that it wouldn't hold together in the real world. 'The most serious flaw, perhaps, is that, contrary to their claims, a coalition of ES-miners [selfish miners] would not be stable, because members of the coalition would have an incentive to cheat on their coalition partners, by using a strategy that I'll call fair-weather mining,' Ed Felten, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University and director of the Center for Information Technology Policy, wrote in an analysis of the paper."

Construction Firm Balfour Beatty Considers Drone Workers 129

cagraham writes "International engineering and construction firm Balfour Beatty is considering using drones in order to construct walls and monitor work sites, among other things. Beatty CIO Danny Reeves, speaking at the Fujitsu Forum, said drones could improve efficiency and safety on sites. He also talked of implementing sensors that would monitor worker's stress levels and bodily functions, and notify management when they became less effective, or mistake-prone, on the job."

Google Starts Tracking Retail Store Visits On Android and iOS 157

recoiledsnake writes with news of Google tracking a bit more of your life. From the article: "Google is beta-testing a program that uses smartphone location data to determine when consumers visit stores, according to agency executives briefed on the program by Google employees. Google then connects these store visits to Google searches conducted on smartphones. If someone conducts a Google mobile search for 'screwdrivers,' for instance, a local hardware store could bid to have its store listing served to that user. By pairing that person's location data with its database of store listings, Google can see if the person who saw that ad subsequently visited the store.It is easiest for Google to conduct this passive location tracking on Android users, since Google has embedded location tracking into the software. Once Android users opt in to location services, Google starts collecting their location data as continuously as technologically possible."

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review: GK110, Fully Unlocked 88

An anonymous reader writes "Nvidia lifted the veil on its latest high-end graphics board, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. With a total of 2,880 CUDA cores and 240 texture units, the GK110 GPU inside the GTX 780 Ti is fully unlocked. This means that the new card has an additional SMX block, 192 more shader cores, and 16 additional texture units than the $1,000 GTX Titan launched back in February! Offered at just $700, the GTX 780 Ti promises to improve gaming performance over the Titan, yet the card has been artificially limited in GPGPU performance — no doubt in order to make sure the pricier card remains relevant to those unable or unwilling to spring for a Quadro. The benchmark results simply illustrate the GTX 780 Ti's on-paper specs. The card was able to beat AMD's just-released flagship, the Radeon R9 290x by single-digit percentages, up to double-digits topping 30% — depending on the variability of AMD's press and retail samples."

GOCE Satellite Is Falling To Earth But Nobody Knows Where It Will Land 122

Virtucon writes "The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer or GOCE Satellite is expected to fall to Earth this weekend. It weighs over a ton and unfortunately the Scientists don't exactly know where it will land. You can track it here. It should re-enter sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning. Makr Hopkins, chair of the National Society's Executive Committee said: 'The satellite is one of the few satellites in a Polar Orbit. Consequently, it could land almost anywhere.' The GOCE mission was to create an accurate gravity map of the Earth."

Don't Call It Stack Rank: Yahoo's QPR System For Culling Non-Performers 177

An anonymous reader writes "Employees don't like to be graded on the bell curve (or any other curve except for Lake Wobegon's) — we know that from the Microsoft experience. But Yahoo is struggling with what some say is vastly bloated headcount, and CEO Marissa Mayer has implemented a 'quarterly performance review' system that requires, or strongly recommends, that managers place a certain quota of their charges in the less-than-stellar categories. That sounds a lot like the infamous GE-Microsoft stack rank system. But according to AllThingsD's Kara Swisher, who (as usual) broke the latest story about life inside Mayer's Yahoo, Mayer's curve may more similar to the elaborate evaluation system used by her old employer, Google."
Hardware Hacking

Ink-Jet Printing Custom-Designed Micro Circuits 37

Nerval's Lobster writes "Researchers have demonstrated a technique that produces inexpensive, functional electrical circuits that can be printed using about $300 worth of materials and equipment, including generic inkjet printers. The technique, developed by researchers from Georgia Tech, the University of Tokyo and Microsoft Research, allows circuits to be printed onto irregularly-shaped materials or almost anything able to go through the paper feed on a printer designed for consumers. The chief advantage of the technique is the ability to print circuits using silver nanoparticle ink rather than relying on the thermal-bonding technique called sintering, which is time-consuming and can destroy delicate base materials. Researchers were able to print new circuits in about 60 seconds on almost any material that could go through the printer, though resin-covered paper, PET film and glossy photo paper worked best, while sheets of canvas cloth and anything magnetic were ineffective. Once printed using silver ink on flexible base material, the circuits can be attached to existing hardware by simply laying or taping them in place and making connections using conductive tape or conductive glue. (Soldering would destroy the underlying material.)"

Ninth Anniversary of Firefox 1.0 Release 153

Nine years ago today, Firefox 1.0 was released. Mozilla writes "Mozilla created Firefox to be an amazingly fun, safe, and fast Web browser that embodies the values of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity online. In the nine years since we first launched Firefox, we have moved and shaped the Web into the most valuable public resource of our time." The first release of the little project to write a lighter alternative to Seamonkey is a bit over a year older.

Researcher Allows Sand Flea To Grow Inside Her Foot To Study It 63

sciencehabit writes "Marlene Thielecke came to Madagascar to study the sand flea, an insect that spends part of its life cycle burrowed into the human foot — but she wound up getting more intimate with the critter than she cared for. Months into her project, Thieleckewas bitten by a flea herself. She decided to make the best of it, by taking regular photographs and videos and keeping track of her observations. 'I thought it might be interesting' to watch what happened, she says. As it turns out, her experience may help resolve an question entomologists have debated foor decades: Where, exactly, does the sand flea have sex?"

Germany Finances Major Push Into Home Battery Storage For Solar 282

mdsolar writes with this bit of news from Green Tech Media "The German government has responded to the next big challenge in its energy transition – storing the output from the solar boom it has created — by doing exactly what it has successfully done to date: greasing the wheels of finance to bring down the cost of new technology. ... Now it is looking at bringing down the cost of the next piece in the puzzle of its energy transition — battery storage. ... KfW’s aim, according to Axel Nawrath, a member of the KfW Bankengruppe executive board, is to ensure that the output of wind and solar must be 'more decoupled' from the grid. ... This is seen as critical as the level of renewable penetration rises to around 40 per cent — a level expected in Germany within the next 10 years. ... According to Papenfuss, households participating in the scheme will spend between €20,000 and €28,000 on solar and storage, depending on the size of the system (the average size is expected to be around 7kW for the solar array and around 4kWh for the battery)."

Seattle PD Mum On Tracking By Its New Wi-Fi Mesh Network 107

An anonymous reader writes "The Stranger reports that Seattle's police department has installed a Wi-Fi mesh network paid for by the Department of Homeland Security. FTA: 'The SPD declined to answer more than a dozen questions from The Stranger, including whether the network is operational, who has access to its data, what it might be used for, and whether the SPD has used it (or intends to use it) to geo-locate people's devices via their MAC addresses or other identifiers.'"

Bitcoin Donations To US Campaigns Might Soon Be Allowed 144

SonicSpike writes with this excerpt from Politico: "Political campaigns will be allowed to accept — but not spend — the digital currency Bitcoin, under a proposed federal rule released Thursday. The Federal Election Commission draft would require campaigns to first convert any Bitcoins collected as donation to dollars. According to the proposal, the currency will count as an 'in-kind' contribution to a campaign — like a stock or bond. The FEC will not consider them currency. Campaigns are permitted to accept non-monetary contributions like stocks, private stocks, commodities, and equipment— but must list their value in dollars on campaign finance reports. Attorneys for Conservative Action Fund PAC asked the agency in September to decide if and how political candidates and outside groups are allowed to use the digital currency, in addition to U.S. dollars. "

Wikimedia Launches Beta Program To Test Upcoming Features 25

An anonymous reader writes "Wikimedia today announced the launch of a beta program simply called Beta Features. In short, the organization is offering a way for users to try out new features on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites before they are released for everyone. If you're reading this with bated breath, you'll be happy to know logged-in users can join the early testing right now on, and Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia plans to release Beta Features on all wikis in two weeks, on November 21, although the date may shift depending on the feedback the organization receives."

Oracle Kills Commercial Support For GlassFish: Was It Inevitable? 125

An anonymous reader writes "Oracle acquired GlassFish when it acquired Sun Microsystems, and now — like OpenSolaris and OpenOffice — the company has announced it will no longer support a commercial version of the product. Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. said in an interview the decision wasn't exactly a surprise: "The only company that was putting any real investment in GlassFish was Oracle," Milinkovich said. "Nobody else was really stepping up to the plate to help. If you never contributed anything to it, you can't complain when something like this happens." An update to the open source version is still planned for 2014." GlassFish is an open source application server.

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