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Submission + - In pictures: Nasa's next Mars rover (

An anonymous reader writes: In August 2012, the Nasa rover Curiosity is scheduled to touch down on the surface of Mars. The size of a small car, it's four times as heavy as predecessors Spirit and Opportunity, and comes with a large robot arm, a laser that can vaporise rocks at seven metres, a percussive drill and a weather station. Oh, and 4.8kg of plutonium-238. Wired has some high-resolution photographs from lab that is putting the next rover together.
United States

Submission + - America - Like it or Unfriend It

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "As we celebrate America's birthday today, head over the to the NY Times and take a look at a very clever "op-art" creation, "Like it or Unfriend It" by Teddy Wayne, Mike Sacks, and Thomas Ng that represents what "America's Wall" would look like through our history. Beginning with "Christopher Columbus wrote on America's wall: 'This IS India, right?", through "America added Great Britian to Kingdoms I am Fighting With", through "The South has changed its privacy settings to accept carpetbaggers," and finishing with " America stopped playing the game Wild-Goose Chase While Nation-Building," and "America has joined the China Network" the wall includes dozens of invitations, likes, posts and changes to privacy settings that shows a summary of American history as seen from a Facebook perspective. Our favorite from the 1980's: "Ronald Reagan created a page: "Trickle-Down Economics" followed by "Half a million upper-income people like this.""

Submission + - Giant Fluid Batteries Store Energy for 2,000 Homes (

PeteRoss writes: A consortium of scientists is developing a new type of large fluid battery that will be able to store enough renewable energy to power 2,000 homes. One of the roadblocks to large-scale renewable energy adoption is that it is intermittent — if the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing power can’t be generated, so there is a tremendous need for systems that store excess power to be released as needed. These new batteries are based on redox flow technology — which converts chemical energy to electrical currents very quickly — and each one will be the size of a handball court.

Submission + - FCC compromises on Net Neutrality rules (

olsmeister writes: The new rules provide fewer protections for mobile broadband subscribers and may lead to a fractured Internet, critics said. The new rules, a compromise championed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, would bar wireline-based broadband providers — but not mobile broadband providers — from "unreasonable discrimination" against Web traffic, prompting some consumer groups to call the rules "fake" net neutrality.

Genachowski's plan, approved after more than seven years of debate about whether net neutrality rules are needed, also contains several loopholes for broadband providers, critics said, including an exception for managed services separate from the public Internet.

But Genachowski defended the rules as "strong and balanced."

Submission + - bank lost 5.5m due to security hole (

An anonymous reader writes: Dutch police have arrested 13 people in connection with stealing of €5.5m from a Dutch bank by manipulating the bank's computer system. Police refused to say which bank was involved but said the money was taken directly from the bank rather than private accounts. Later on the dutch state owned ABN Amro declared to the press agency ANP they had an "open gate" in their trading system wich was quickly located and closed as a result of the breach. So far about 2 million of the stolen money has been traced back and police is still investigating the case.

Submission + - Microsoft: mules, not phishing victims, lose money (

An anonymous reader writes: Our examination of mules has interesting implications. First, it suggests that it is not the victims of phishing and keylogging that lose money but money mules. Second, mule recruitment is the major bottleneck in the fraud pipeline: without them stolen credentials are worth little. Third, this explains why credentials sell for small fractions of their face value; i.e. there is an insufficient supply of mules to drain the number of compromised accounts. Finally, it shows there is no shortage of compromised accounts. Thus a reduction in the rate of account compromise will not reduce fraud at all, at least until account compromise is at a level small enough that it becomes the bottleneck. The only effective way to reduce online fraud is by making mule recruitment even harder.

Submission + - Supreme Court of Canada rules on electric meters (

perp writes: According to the privacy blagosphere, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) released an important decision today that considered whether an individual home owner had a reasonable expectation of privacy in electric meter data.

The police had asked a local utility company to attach a digital recording ammeter (DRA) to the electric meter on a home in order to monitor electrical usage. The data gleaned from the DRA and from other sources was then used to obtain a warrant to search the home. The search resulted in exposing a marijuana grow op.

The SCC ultimately decided that DRA technology merely indicates electricity use, not what the electricity was used for, so it was a reasonable loss of privacy.

Comment Re:Or we could save 25% off the bat (Score 2, Informative) 545

Also, I take issue with this meme that 25% of all those incarcerated are locked up ONLY for non-violent drug charges. For that to be true, it would require that ON AVERAGE one in for convicts behind bars was guilty of either using or selling drugs, without any associated crimes, like robbery, assault, possession of a gun, etc., and that is simply unbelievable.

There is a lot of evidence for statistics like this, you can start with

Federal prisons were estimated to hold 179,204 sentenced inmates in 2007. Of these, 15,647 were incarcerated for violent offenses, including 2,915 for homicide, 8,966 for robbery, and 3,939 for other violent crimes. In addition, 10,345 inmates were serving time for property crimes, including 504 for burglary, 7,834 for fraud, and 2,006 for other property offenses. A total of 95,446 were incarcerated for drug offenses. Also, 56,237 were incarcerated for public-order offenses, including 19,528 for immigration offenses and 24,435 for weapons offenses.

According to a federal survey of jail inmates, of the total 440,670 jail inmates in the US in 2002, 112,447 (25.5%) were drug offenders: 48,823 (11.1%) for possession and 56,574 (12.8%) for trafficking.


Submission + - CRTC rules on Internet wholesalers (

perp writes: The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is sticking to its guns and ordering big phone network owners such as Bell and Telus to offer smaller wholesale companies higher internet speeds, despite previous disagreement from the government.
The Military

Submission + - Navy drone goes rogue, heads for capital ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: In what can only be classed as a “Skynet moment“, one of the U.S. Navy’s flying drones went rogue earlier this month.

The Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout is a 31-foot-long unmanned helicopter which was being flown on August 2nd out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River on the Chesapeake Bay. But something malfunctioned and operators lost control of it mid-flight. Did the drone just hover waiting for a command? Or even go to a fail-safe and land itself? No, it headed for the nation’s capital instead.

Comment Re:Silly (Score 1) 622

Post-consumer materials, like plastic, is almost never recycled because of the contamination issues. A water bottle can be recycled but if one neck ring from a cap gets into the mix the entire batch is worthless. As of yet, this level of sorting and handling removing neck rings and caps can only be done by hand - at union wages for the most part. This eliminates any reason for recycling water bottles or milk containers - it costs maybe 100x what the recycled materials would be worth to sort them to that level.

According to my research, the plastic top and ring are separated during processing nowadays, which is possible because the two kinds of plastic are of very different density; apparently one type floats in water and the other sinks.


Girl Seeks Help On Facebook During Assault Screenshot-sm 417

A 12-year-old girl who was being assaulted by her mother's ex-boyfriend used some quick thinking by sending a message on her iPod to a friend's Facebook account for help. The friend was able to contact the girl's mother who then contacted the police. 42-year-old Raymond Ernest Cesmat was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. He is being held at the Dakota County Jail on $175,000 bail.

Submission + - Aussie Internet Censorship Minister Censors Self (

An anonymous reader writes: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, the minister attempting to ram the great firewall of Oz down everyone's throat has been removing all traces of the unpopular legislation from his main website with a javascript filter.

From the article: "It was revealed today a script within the minister's homepage deliberately removes references to internet filtering from the list.In the function that creates the list, or "tag cloud", there is a condition that if the words "ISP filtering" appear they should be skipped and not displayed"

Bare in mind this is the same minister that tried to get the ISP of tech forum Whirlpool to pull the site after users there posted a response email from the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority). Time to move to Canda I guess....

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