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Submission + - FEC will not allow bitcoins from campaign contributors (go.com)

memnock writes: ABC new reports: 'Political organizations can't accept contributions in the form of bitcoins, at least for now, The Federal Election Commission said Thursday.

The commission passed on a request by the Conservative Action Fund, a political action committee, to use the digital currency. That group had asked the FEC recently whether it could accept bitcoins, how it could spend them and how donors must report those contributions. It was not immediately clear whether the same ruling would apply to individual political candidates.'
Slashdot reported earlier this week that other federal agencies have taken positions that may recognize or regulate the currency.

Submission + - The Patent Problem Is Bigger Than Trolls

Bob9113 writes: Ars Technica reports the following: "Canada-based telecom Nortel went bankrupt in 2009 and sold its biggest asset--a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents covering 4G wireless innovations and a range of technologies--at an auction in 2011. Google bid for the patents, but didn't get them. Instead, they went to a group of competitors--Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson, and Sony--operating under the name "Rockstar Bidco." The companies together bid the shocking sum of $4.5 billion. This afternoon, that stockpile was finally used for what pretty much everyone suspected it would be used for--launching an all-out patent attack on Google and Android. The smartphone patent wars have been underway for a few years now, and the eight lawsuits filed in federal court today by Rockstar Consortium mean that the conflict just hit DEFCON 1."

Submission + - Dyson Patents Hint At 'Silent' Hair Dryer (theguardian.com)

dryriver writes: The Guardian reports: Whisper it, but it looks like Sir James Dyson – creator of the bladeless fan and bagless vacuum cleaner – is building a silent hair dryer. When Dyson, now 66, became frustrated with his wheelbarrow, he invented the 'Ballbarrow' – replacing the wheel with a ball so it would turn more easily. When he had to vacuum the house, his annoyance at conventional bag cleaners led to the invention of the Dyson cyclone cleaner. Possibly Dyson has become annoyed at the time and especially noise involved in drying his full head of hair. Diagrams that have surfaced at the UK's patents office show that his company has filed patents for 'a hand-held blower with an insulating chamber' – in other words, a hairdryer, which is already being dubbed 'the Hairblade', playing on the name of its Airblade hand dryer. Crucially, he seems to be aiming to make it much quieter than current models – rather as the Dyson bladeless fan is almost silent. Standard hairdryers are extremely loud, reaching up to 75 decibels – as loud as a vacuum cleaner, but held beside your head. The patents, which become public earlier this week, are surprisingly detailed, and show what looks like a hairdryer with an air chamber linked by two smaller cylinders to a smaller base unit. The air would flow through the two cylinders and into the base. The patent publication is a rare slip-up by Dyson, which goes to extraordinary lengths to keep its new products secret. It shrouded the launch of its most recent product – a combined tap-and-hand-dryer – in secrecy, demanding journalists sign non-disclosure agreements. Key among the phrases used in the application in the 56-page application show that it would have 'sound absorbing' and 'vibration absorbing' properties 'tuned to the resonant frequencies of the appliance2. Dyson has also focused on the safety aspect of hairdryers, where anything that gets sucked into the air intake can come into contact with the electrically heated wires which warm up the incoming air and cause a short circuit. It moves the warming element away from the air intake: 'if something is inserted into the appliance, it cannot contact the heater directly,' it says.

Submission + - The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Ed Felton writes about an incident, in 2003, in which someone tried to backdoor the Linux kernel. Back in 2003 Linux used a system called BitKeeper to store the master copy of the Linux source code. If a developer wanted to propose a modification to the Linux code, they would submit their proposed change, and it would go through an organized approval process to decide whether the change would be accepted into the master code. But some people didn’t like BitKeeper, so a second copy of the source code was kept so that developers could get the code via another code system called CVS. On November 5, 2003, Larry McAvoy noticed that there was a code change in the CVS copy that did not have a pointer to a record of approval. Investigation showed that the change had never been approved and, stranger yet, that this change did not appear in the primary BitKeeper repository at all. Further investigation determined that someone had apparently broken in electronically to the CVS server and inserted this change.

if ((options == (__WCLONE|__WALL)) && (current->uid = 0))
retval = -EINVAL;

A casual reading by an expert would interpret this as innocuous error-checking code to make wait4 return an error code when wait4 was called in a certain way that was forbidden by the documentation. But a really careful expert reader would notice that, near the end of the first line, it said “= 0” rather than “== 0” so the effect of this code is to give root privileges to any piece of software that called wait4 in a particular way that is supposed to be invalid. In other words it’s a classic backdoor. We don’t know who it was that made the attempt—and we probably never will. But the attempt didn’t work, because the Linux team was careful enough to notice that that this code was in the CVS repository without having gone through the normal approval process. "Could this have been an NSA attack? Maybe. But there were many others who had the skill and motivation to carry out this attack," writes Felton. "Unless somebody confesses, or a smoking-gun document turns up, we’ll never know."

Submission + - A Subject of Real Gravity: The Flyby Anomaly (bbc.com)

Rambo Tribble writes: The BBC reports that Nasa's Juno spacecraft will by doing a slingshot flyby of Earth, today, on its way to Jupiter. In the process it may rewrite the science of gravity. as it will be testing why many such a slingshot pass with spacecraft has obtained an unexpected boost.

Submission + - Auto Makers To Standardize On Open Source (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: There are efforts underway within the auto industry to create a standard, Linux-based platform for In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems so that cars will act more like smartphones instead of having only about 10% of that functionality today. For example, Tesla's Model S IVI system, which is based on Linux, is designed to allow drivers to navigate using Google Maps with live traffic information, listen to streaming music from any online radio station and have access to an Internet browser for news or restaurant reviews. Having an industry-wide open-source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform consisting of core services, middleware and open application layer interfaces that eliminate the redundant efforts to create separate proprietary systems by automakers and their tier 1 suppliers like Microsoft. By developing an open-source platform, carmakers can share upgrades as they arrive.

Submission + - Dice Ruins Slashdot (slashdot.org) 12

An anonymous reader writes: In an attempt to modernize Slashdot, Dice has removed everything that made Slashdot unique and worthwhile and has turned it into a generic blog site. User feedback has been unanimously negative, but this is to no avail, and users will have to head elsewhere for insightful and entertaining commentary on tech news.

Submission + - Judge Orders Patent Troll to Explain its 'Mr. Sham' to Jury (networkworld.com)

netbuzz writes: Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has no problem calling Network Protection Sciences (NPS) a patent troll. What he does have a problem with is NPS telling a Texas court that NPS had an “ongoing business concern” in that state run by a “director of business development” when all it really had was a rented file-cabinet room and the “director” was actually the building landlord who merely signed legal papers when NPS told him to do so. Judge Alsup calls the alleged business a “sham” and the non-employee “Mr. Sham,” yet he declined to dismiss the patent infringement lawsuit filed by NPS against Fortinet from which this information emerged. Instead, he told NPS, “this jury is going to hear all of this stuff about the closet. And you're going to have to explain why ‘Mr. Sham’ was signing these documents.”

Submission + - Somebody Stole 7 Milliseconds From the Federal Reserve 1

An anonymous reader writes: Three to seven milliseconds before the fed moved interest rates, billions of dollars of trades were input that took advantage of the changed rates, reaping huge profits. Last Wednesday, the Fed announced that it would not be tapering its bond buying program. This news was released at precisely 2 pm in Washington "as measured by the national atomic clock." It takes 7 milliseconds for this information to get to Chicago. However, several huge orders that were based on the Fed's decision were placed on Chicago exchanges 2-3 milliseconds after 2 pm. How did this happen?

Comment Re:They can still compete on price (Score 1) 347

But only where there is enough of a market. If you're making and selling tens of thousands of a product, then mass production can work. If you can only sell a hundred of something, or less, the costs in mass producing it and the risk in producing something you may not be able to sell may shift the price advantage to 3D printing.

Submission + - 2013 Ig Nobel Prize Winners Announced (improbable.com)

devjoe writes: The 2013 Ig Nobel Prize Winners include research confirming that people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive, a study that dung beetles navigate using the Milky Way, and two men who swallowed whole boiled dead shrews without chewing to see which bones would dissolve in the human digestive system and which would not.

Submission + - Mexican Village Creates Its Own Mobile Phone Service (indiatimes.com)

Dave_Minsky writes: The small indigenous village of Villa Talea de Castro (pop. 2,500) in the state of Oaxaca is showing the world that it doesn't have to rely on major cellular telecommunications providers for service.

With the help from indigenous groups, civil organizations and universities, village residents put up an antenna on a rooftop, installed radio and computer equipment, and created its own micro provider called Red Celular de Talea (RCT).

Service costs only 15 pesos ($1.2) per month and a few pennies per minute to make calls to the United States. However, there is one catch: calls are limited to a maximum of five minutes to prevent saturation of lines.

Submission + - IPTV Providers to Pay Same Regulatory Fees as Cable Companies (telecompetitor.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The death of IPTV as we know it? http://www.fcc.gov/document/fy-2013-regulatory-fees-report-order
FCC looking to put fees on per subscriber basis on IPTV providers. "We will assess regulatory fees on Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) licensees and we will create a new fee category that will include both cable television and IPTV." as in the report. What they see as IPTV is to be seen. You can say its the end of video over the internet as we know it.

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"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel