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Mars

Submission + - Space Race in Model United Nations

hackerman writes: I've been asked to be the president of a Space Race committee, in which the goal is to reach Mars and establish a base. The contenders would be the United States and an asian alliance centered in Japan. Do you have any suggestions as to how the committee should be managed?
Privacy

Sprint Revealed Customer GPS Data 8 Million Times 315

An anonymous reader sends along Chris Soghoian's blog entry revealing that Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' GPS location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. The data point comes from a closed industry conference that Soghoian attended, at which Paul Taylor, Electronic Surveillance Manager at Sprint Nextel, said: "[M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that's just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don't know how we'll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in." Soghoian's post details the laws around disclosure of wiretap and other interception data — one of which the Department of Justice has been violating since 2004 — and calls for more disclosure of the levels of all forms of surveillance.
Earth

Recycling Excess Heat From the Data Center 121

itwbennett writes "A new data center being built in Helsinki, scheduled to go live at the end of January, will generate energy and deliver hot water for the city. The data center is located in an old bomb shelter and is connected to the Helsinki public energy company's district heating system, which works by pumping boiling water through a system of pipes to households in Helsinki. The recycled heat from the data center could add about 1 percent to the total energy generated by the energy company's system in the summer." The article doesn't say what the overall efficiency of the heat recovery is. Researchers at MIT are working on a new energy-conversion technology based on quantum dots that they say has already demonstrated 40% of the Carnot efficiency limit — 4 times what is achieved by current commercial thermoelectric devices. The researchers believe they can reach 90% of the Carnot limit.
The Internet

Verizon Changes FiOS AUP, -1, Offtopic 560

RasputinAXP writes "Verizon has changed their FiOS AUP effective yesterday, and added an interesting new clause to their specific examples that we're all familiar with: 'it is a violation of the Agreement and this AUP to ... post off-topic information on message boards, chat rooms or social networking sites.' At this point, every FiOS-based Slashdot user is breaking the new AUP."
Bug

Microsoft Investigates Windows 7 "Black Screen of Death" 351

duguk writes "Microsoft has confirmed that it is investigating a problem described as the 'black screen of death,' which affects Windows 7 — and reports suggest it affects Vista and XP, too. The firm said it was looking into reports that suggest its latest security update, released on Tuesday 25 November, caused the problem. The error means that users of Windows 7 and earlier operating systems see a totally black screen after logging on to the system." Update: 12/01 22:35 GMT by KD : Microsoft now says that its November Windows updates are not causing the BlackSOD: "The company has found those reports to be inaccurate and our comprehensive investigation has shown that none of the recently released updates are related to the behavior described in the reports."
The Internet

Submission + - Spain Codifies 'The Right to Broadband' (pcmag.com)

adeelarshad82 writes: Country's industry minister announced that Spanish citizens will have a legal right from 2011 to be able to buy broadband internet of at least one megabyte per second at a regulated price wherever they live. The telecoms operator holding the so-called "universal service" contract would have to guarantee it could offer "reasonably" priced broadband throughout Spain.
Data Storage

Synthetic Stone DVD Claimed To Last 1,000 Years 416

Lucas123 writes "A start-up launched a new DVD archive product this week: a disc that it says will hold its data for 1,000 years. The company, Cranberry, says its DiamonDisc product, which can be used in any standard DVD player, is not subject to deterioration from heat, UV rays or material rot due to humidity or other elements because it has no dyes, adhesives or reflective materials like standard DVD discs, and its discs are made from a vastly more durable synthetic stone. Data is laid down on the platter much in the same way as a standard DVD disc, but with DiamonDisc the burner etches much deeper pits. Cranberry said it is also working on producing a Blu-ray version of its 1,000-year disc."

Submission + - Is the traditional keypad heading for extinction?

andylim writes: Despite touchscreen phones being very popular, there are still plenty of handsets that feature traditional keypads. According to recombu.com though the traditional keypad is heading for extinction and will eventually be completely replaced with full Qwerty or touchscreen alternatives. Why? Because it simply doesn't offer a good enough experience when it comes to using newfangled features. Do you agree? Is the traditional keypad as doomed as VHS?
Security

Submission + - ISPs asked to cut off malware-infected PCs (itnews.com.au) 2

bennyboy64 writes: "Australia's Internet Industry Association has put forward a new code of conduct that suggests ISPs contact, and in some cases disconnect, customers that have malware-infected computers.

"Once an ISP has detected a compromised computer or malicious activity on its network, it should to take action to address the problem. ISPs should therefore attempt to identify the end user whose computer has been compromised, and contact them to educate them about the problem," the new code states.

The code won't be mandatory but it's expected the ISP indutry will take it up if they are to work with the Australian Government in preventing the many botnets operating in Australia."

Windows

Submission + - Malware found on brand new Windows netbook (itbusiness.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: After discovering attack code on a brand new Windows XP netbook, antivirus vendor Kaspersky Labs warned users yesterday that they should scan virgin systems for malware before connecting them to the Internet.

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