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Submission + - Judge Saves Girl From Suspension For Refusing To Wear RFID Tag

An anonymous reader writes: A district court judge for Bexar County has granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) to ensure that Andrea Hernandez, a San Antonio high school student from John Jay High School’s Science and Engineering Academy, can continue her studies pending an upcoming trial. The Northside Independent School District (NISD) in Texas recently informed the sophomore student that she would be suspended for refusing to wear a “Smart” Student ID card embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking chip.

Submission + - Microsoft patents smart glasses with augmented reality (

another random user writes: A patent granted to the US tech firm describes how the eyewear could be used to bring up statistics over a wearer's view of a baseball game or details of characters in a play.

The newly-released document was filed in May 2011 and is highly detailed. If a product comes to market it could challenge Google's Project Glass.

Google is planning to deliver its augmented reality glasses to developers early next year and then follow with a release to consumers in 2014. Smaller firms — such as Vuzix, TTP and Explore Engage — are also working on rival systems.

Although some have questioned how many people would want to wear such devices, a recent report by Juniper Research indicated that the market for smart glasses and other next-generation wearable tech could be worth $1.5bn by 2014 and would multiply over following years.


Submission + - WWII code 'may never be cracked' (

AltGrendel writes: "The BBC reports that experts at intelligence agency GCHQ have asked for help in de-coding a message found attached to a pigeon leg, thought to date back to WWII. The dead bird was found in a chimney in Surrey a few weeks ago. But without more information, the code may never be cracked, according to the BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera"

Submission + - Europe sets modest goals for space (

ananyo writes: "Europe’s space chiefs are hailing the two-day meeting at which research ministers hammered out Europe’s priorities in space as a success, despite them getting less money than they had hoped. At the 20–21 November meeting in Naples, Italy, the ministers agreed to give the European Space Agency (ESA) €10.1 billion (US$13 billion) over the next several years, somewhat less than the total €12 billion cost of the project proposals considered at the meeting.
With flat funding of about €500 million per year for 2013–17, the scientific programme takes a cut in real terms, although it is not yet clear which missions will be affected as a result.
But ministers did agree on a way forward for the Ariane program. Germany argued that ESA should continue to develop an upgraded version of the rocket known as Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (5ME), which can carry payloads 20% heavier than its namesake and could put satellites in higher orbits. But France believed it was better to start building a new Ariane 6 rocket that would be cheaper to launch and therefore more competitive. In the end it was agreed that both projects should be developed over the next couple of years — with funding of about €600 million — and then both will be reviewed in 2014, with the goal that Ariane 5ME will launch in 2017 or 2018.
For robotic exploration, meanwhile, there is mixed news. On 19 November, ESA’s ruling council approved the involvement of Russia in the agency’s twin ExoMars missions to measure trace gases in Mars' atmosphere and search for signs of life on the planet's surface, scheduled for launch in 2016 and 2018. The Russian space agency Roscosmos will provide two Proton rockets for the lift-off and so plug some of the funding gap left when NASA pulled out of the mission last year. But just ahead of the Naples meeting, Germany announced that it would abandon plans for a lunar lander because it could not gather enough support from other member states to pay for the €500-million mission."


Submission + - Blind Patient Reads Words Stimulated Directly Onto the Retina

ScienceGeek.Michael writes: "Neuroprosthetic device uses implant to project visual braille

For the very first time researchers have streamed braille patterns directly into a blind patient’s retina, allowing him to read four-letter words accurately and quickly with an ocular neuroprosthetic device. The device, the Argus II, has been implanted in over 50 patients, many of who can now see color, movement and objects. It uses a small camera mounted on a pair of glasses, a portable processor to translate the signal from the camera into electrical stimulation, and a microchip with electrodes implanted directly on the retina. The study was authored by researchers at Second Sight, the company who developed the device, and has been published in Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics on the 21st of November."

Submission + - U.S. Denies Malware Attack Against France (

CowboyRobot writes: "That allegation was leveled at the U.S. government by unnamed French officials, according to a Tuesday report in the weekly French newspaper L'Express. It reported that computers belonging to top advisers to then French president Nicolas Sarkozy had been hacked using the Flame cyberespionage malware, which was designed to be used in highly targeted attacks... Napolitano was also asked if it wasn't ironic that while the United States has been sounding alarms over the growing amount of malware that's targeting U.S. government system, it also commissioning the Stuxnet and Flame cyber-espionage malware used against Iran. Napolitano, however, pled official ignorance. "These programs were never attributed in any way to the U.S. government.""
Your Rights Online

Submission + - Reserve Bank of India rejects Islamic Banking ( 1

vencs writes: Earning interest on deposits is prohibited under Islamic banking. Instead, the money could be utilised for enterprises and the profit earned from their functioning could be shared by investors. There had been offers of Islamic funding schemes from NRIs and groups in the Middle East and other countries. However, the Governor of Reserve Bank of India said that Islamic banking is not permissible under existing rules.

In its intended form, Islamic banking as advocated by the Prophet would be close to venture capital or even a mutual fund – where the investor earns nothing if his money makes a business loss. He gets a share of profit or dividends if the venture or underlying investment makes a profit.


Submission + - Cyber Corps program trains spies for the digital age (

David Hume writes: "The Los Angeles Times has a story entitled Cyber Corps program trains spies for the digital age, about the two-year University of Tulsa Cyber Corps Program. About "85% of the 260 graduates since 2003 have gone to the NSA, which students call "the fraternity," or the CIA, which they call "the sorority."" "Other graduates have taken positions with the FBI, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security." According to the University of Tulsa website, two programs — the National Science Foundation's Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service and the Department of Defense's (DOD's) Information Assurance Scholarship Program — provide scholarships to Cyber Corps students."

Submission + - 1976 Polaroids of an Apple-1 resurface (

harrymcc writes: "In 1976, Paul Terrell, owner of the Byte Shop in Mountain View, California, placed an order for 50 Apple-1 computers, becoming Apple's first dealer. Over at, I've published three Polaroid snapshots of the Apple-1 which Terrell shot at the time. They're fascinating history, and it's possible they're the oldest surviving photos of Apple products."

Submission + - HydroICE project developing a solar-powered combustion engine (

cylonlover writes: OK, first things first – stop picturing a car with solar panels connected to its engine. What Missouri-based inventors Matt Bellue and Ben Cooper are working on is something a little different than that. They want to take an internal combustion engine, and run it on water and solar-heated oil instead of gasoline. That engine could then be hooked up to a generator, to provide clean electricity. While that may sound a little iffy to some, Bellue and Cooper have already built a small-scale prototype.
Open Source

Submission + - Guy builds wifi wardriving motorbike (

mask.of.sanity writes: "This custom Yamaha TRX 850 has been outfitted with wireless sniffing and attack tools, routers, a laptop, Raspberry Pi and even a heads up display integrated within the bike helmet.

It was built from open source kit and cheap hardware by a security penetration tester who wanted to make his love of wardriving more nimble.

The plans are detailed in a diagram and a video."


Submission + - Water From Water Vapor With Hydrophilic Beetle-Emulating Coatings (

mbstone writes: The Namib Desert Beetle generates water from water vapor via its shell, which has alternating hydrophilic and hydrophobic bumps which channel water droplets into its mouth. Scientists at MIT developed a self-filling water bottle using this technology, and have announced a contest for the best design of a countertop water-from-air generator.

Submission + - HTTP Strict Transport Security becomes Internet standard (

angry tapir writes: "A Web security policy mechanism that promises to make HTTPS-enabled websites more resilient to various types of attacks has been approved and released as an Internet standard — but despite support from some high-profile websites, adoption elsewhere is still low. HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) allows websites to declare themselves accessible only over HTTPS (HTTP Secure) and was designed to prevent hackers from forcing user connections over HTTP or abusing mistakes in HTTPS implementations to compromise content integrity."

Submission + - DuckDuckGo - Is Google Playing Fair? (

Penurious Penguin writes: Privacy-oriented search-engine and Google-rival, DuckDuckGo, is contending possible anti-competitiveness on the part of Google. MIT graduate and founder of DuckDuckGo, Gabriel Weinberg, cites several examples; his company's disadvantages in the Android mobile OS; and browsers, which in Firefox requires only a single step to set DuckDuckGo as the default search — while doing so in Chrome requires five. Weinberg also questions the domain, which he offered to purchase before it was acquired by Google. His offer was declined and now directs to Google's homepage.

Weinberg isn't the first to make similar claims; there was, which earlier this year, permanently shut down after repeated compatibility issues with Google's algorithms. Whatever the legitimacy of these claims, there certainly seems a growing market for people interested in privacy and objective searches — avoiding profiled search-results, aka "filter bubbles".

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