Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Cellphones

Submission + - White House Petition To Make Unlocking Phones Legal Passes 100,000 Signatures

An anonymous reader writes: A White House petition to make unlocking cell phones legal again has passed the 100,000 signature mark. Passing the milestone means the US government has to issue an official response. On January 26th, unlocking a cell phone that is under contract became illegal in the U.S. Just before that went into effect, a petition was started at whitehouse.gov to have the Librarian of Congress revisit that decision. "It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked."

Submission + - Password Protected Phone = Privacy in Canada (thestar.com)

codegen writes: "The Ontario Court of Appeal has just ruled that the police can search your cellphone if you are arrested without a warrant if it is not password protected. But the ruling also stated that if it is password protected, then the police need a warrant. Previous to this case there was no decision on if the police could search your phone without a warrant in Canada."
Graphics

Submission + - Blender 2.66 released (blender.org)

hochl writes: The Blender Foundation has announced a new release of the popular, free 3D design program Blender. From the release page: The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.66. This release contains long awaited features like rigid body physics simulation, dynamic topology sculpting and matcap display. Other new features include Cycles hair rendering, support for high pixel density displays, much better handling of premultiplied and straight alpha transparency, a vertex bevel tool, a mesh cache modifier and a new SPH particle fluid dynamics solver.
Power

Submission + - New process that takes the energy from coal without burning it (osu.edu)

rtoz writes: "Ohio State students had come up with a scaled-down version of a power plant combustion system with a unique experimental design--one that chemically converts coal to heat while capturing 99 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in the reaction.

Typical coal-fired power plants burn coal to heat water to make steam, which turns the turbines that produce electricity. In chemical looping, the coal isn't burned with fire, but instead chemically combusted in a sealed chamber so that it doesn't pollute the air.

This new technology, called coal-direct chemical looping, was pioneered by Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Ohio State's Clean Coal Research Laboratory"

NASA

Submission + - NASA's basement nuclear reactor (gizmag.com)

cylonlover writes: If Joseph Zawodny, a senior scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, is correct, the future of energy may lie in a nuclear reactor small enough and safe enough to be installed where the home water heater once sat. Using weak nuclear forces that turn nickel and hydrogen into a new source of atomic energy, the process offers a light, portable means of producing tremendous amounts of energy for the amount of fuel used. It could conceivably power homes, revolutionize transportation and even clean the environment.

Submission + - CT Senator wants to keep children from playing with arcade guns. (joystiq.com)

Nyder writes: In a move that is sure to bring tears to the eyes of kids everywhere, Connecticut State Senator Toni Harp proposed a bill in January that would ban anyone younger than 18 from playing "violent point-and-shoot" video games in arcades or other public establishments.

The bill also called for research into the effects of violent video games on young minds, through a committee called the Violent Video Game Task Force within the Department of Children and Families. The task force would advise the Governor and General assembly on state programs that "may reduce the effects of violent video games on youth behavior," suggesting before the research was done that violent video games have an effect on children's actions.

Hopefully this won't pass, I guess the video game lobby hasn't paid this Senator enough "funds" for his campaign.

Debian

Submission + - Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" Release Candidate 1 (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The first release candidate of Debian 7.0 Wheezy was released this week. Debian 7.0 is set to introduce a number of new features including optional systemd support, a real-time Linux kernel option, UEFI installation support, and the Debian Installer now supports WPA/WPA2 wireless networks. More Debian 7.0 features are listed on the Debian Wiki and the 7.0 RC1 installer can be downloaded at Debian.org.

Submission + - US CEO says French workers have 'three-hour' working day (telegraph.co.uk)

M3.14 writes: In a letter addressed to French Industrial Renewal Minister, US tyre manufacturing company CEO is writing (original FR article with English letter) that it would be stupid to buy any factory in France since workers don't really work full time. He'd rather buy cheap factories in India and China instead and import tyres back to France. This really places a question where is the equilibrium between unions and companies. In this case it definitely went all the way down on union side.

Submission + - Japan Probe Finds Miswiring of Boeing 787 Battery (time.com)

NeverVotedBush writes: TOKYO — A probe into the overheating of a lithium ion battery in an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 that made an emergency landing found it was improperly wired, Japan’s Transport Ministry said Wednesday.

The Transport Safety Board said in a report that the battery for the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit was incorrectly connected to the main battery that overheated, although a protective valve would have prevented power from the auxiliary unit from causing damage.

Flickering of the plane’s tail and wing lights after it landed and the fact the main battery was switched off led the investigators to conclude there was an abnormal current traveling from the auxiliary power unit due to miswiring.

Submission + - White House Petition Lobbies to Make Cell Phone Unlocking Legal (whitehouse.gov)

Tanlis writes: The Librarian of Congress decided in October 2012 that unlocking of cell phones would be removed from the exceptions to the DMCA. As of January 26, consumers are no longer able to unlock their phones for use on a different network without carrier permission, even after their contract has expired. Consumers will be forced to pay exorbitant roaming fees to make calls while traveling abroad. It reduces consumer choice, and decreases the resale value of devices that consumers have paid for in full. The Librarian noted that carriers are offering more unlocked phones at present, but the great majority of phones sold are still locked. We ask that the White House ask the Librarian of Congress to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.
Businesses

Submission + - Tech Leaders Create Most Lucrative Science Prize In History (ibtimes.com)

redletterdave writes: "Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Brin and Yuri Milner have teamed up to create The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, which now offers the most lucrative annual prize in the history of science: A $33 million pot to be split among 11 people, with individual rewards worth $3 million apiece. Comparatively, the monetary value of the Nobel prize is just $1.1 million. 'Our society needs more heroes who are scientists, researchers and engineers,' Zuckerberg said. 'We need to celebrate and reward the people who cure diseases, expand our understanding of humanity and work to improve people's lives.'"
Security

Submission + - Notification of server breach mistaken for phishing email (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: "Educause members and 7,000 university websites are being forced to change account passwords after a security breach involving the organization’s .edu domain server. However, some initially hesitated to comply because the Educause notification email bore tell-tale markings of a phishing attempt. “Given what is known about phishing and user behavior, this was bad form,” says Gene Spafford, a Purdue University computer science professor and security expert. “For an education-oriented organization to do this is particularly troubling.”"
Education

Submission + - The Two Big Problems with Online College Courses 2

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The NY Times reports that while online college classes are already common, on the whole, the record is not encouraging because there are two big problems with online teaching. First, student attrition rates — around 90 percent for some huge online courses — appear to be a problem even in small-scale online courses when compared with traditional face-to-face classes. Second, courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed. Research has shown that community college students who enroll in online courses are significantly more likely to fail or withdraw than those in traditional classes, which means that they spend hard-earned tuition dollars and get nothing in return. Worse still, low-performing students who may be just barely hanging on in traditional classes tend to fall even further behind in online courses. "Colleges need to improve online courses before they deploy them widely," says the Times. "Moreover, schools with high numbers of students needing remedial education should consider requiring at least some students to demonstrate success in traditional classes before allowing them to take online courses." Interestingly, the center found that students in hybrid classes — those that blended online instruction with a face-to-face component — performed as well academically as those in traditional classes. But hybrid courses are rare, and teaching professors how to manage them is costly and time-consuming. "The online revolution offers intriguing opportunities for broadening access to education. But, so far, the evidence shows that poorly designed courses can seriously shortchange the most vulnerable students.""
The Military

Submission + - Top U.S. Stealth Jet Has to Talk to Allied Planes Over Unsecured Radio (wired.com)

Lasrick writes: David Axe at Wired's Danger Room explains: "For the first time, America’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighters and Britain’s own cutting-edge Typhoon jets have come together for intensive, long-term training in high-tech warfare. If only the planes could talk to each other on equal terms."

Submission + - Dealing with an Advanced Wi-Fi Leech? 8

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, I had found out (through my log files) that my wireless router was subject to a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) brute force PIN attack. After looking on the Internet and discovering that there are indeed many vulnerabilities to WPS, I disabled it. After a few days, I noticed that I kept intermittently getting disconnected at around the same time every day (indicative of a WPA deauthentication handshake capture attempt). I also noticed that an evil twin has been setup in an effort to get me to connect to it. Through Wi-Fi monitoring software, I have noticed that certain MAC addresses are connected to multiple WEP and WPA2 access points in my neighborhood. I believe that I (and my neighbors) may be dealing with an advanced Wi-Fi leech. What can I do in this situation? Should I bother purchasing a directional antenna, figuring out exactly where the clients are situated, and knocking on their door? Is this something the local police can help me with?

Slashdot Top Deals