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Space

No Space Porn (For Now) 260

With the entry to sub-orbital flight, and even orbital flight, becoming ever so slightly easier, the obvious thought of space porn kicks in. Who wouldn't want to see two or more people going at it like rabbits in a weightless environment (or at least trying to go at it like rabbits in a weightless environment)? Sadly, Virgin Galactic has turned down a $1 million offer to do just that. The offer was made by an unidentified party who was willing to put the money up front to do a space porn movie. Considering that a flight aboard VG costs $200,000 for a two-hour flight, $1 million doesn't seem too bad. Though how much you could actually do and perform in two hours is debatable. And what if one or more of the actors gets sick?
Transportation

Plug-in Hybrids May Not Go Mainstream, Toyota Says 519

mattnyc99 writes "Honda's challenger to the Prius — the Insight hybrid that we discussed so lividly a month ago — got its official unveiling today at the Paris auto show, with insiders confirming it would be cheaper than the world's most popular 'green' car while still hitting the same fuel-efficiency range. But the hybrid-electric showdown comes in the midst of a sudden rethink by Toyota about plug-in hybrids. Apparently all the recent hype — over the production version of the Chevy Volt, plus Chrysler's new electric trio and even the cool new Pininfarina EV also unveiled today — has execs from the world's number one automaker, and alt-fuel experts, questioning how many people will really buy electric cars, whether people will really charge them at night to keep the grid clear, whether batteries will make them too expensive and more. "
Operating Systems

How Kernel Hackers Boosted the Speed of Desktop Linux 380

chromatic writes "Kernel hackers Arjan van de Ven and Auke Kok showed off Linux booting in five seconds at last month's Linux Plumbers Conference. Arjan and other hackers have already improved the Linux user experience by reducing power consumption and latency. O'Reilly News interviewed him about his work on improving the Linux experience with PowerTOP, LatencyTOP, and Five-Second Boot."
Image

Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine 448

Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.
Security

Skype Messages Monitored In China 223

Pickens writes "Human-rights activists have discovered a huge surveillance system in China that monitors and archives Internet text conversations sent by customers of Tom-Skype, a joint venture between a Chinese wireless operator and eBay. Researchers say the system monitors a list of politically charged words that includes words related to the religious group Falun Gong, Taiwan independence, the Chinese Communist Party and also words like democracy, earthquake and milk powder. The encrypted list of words inside the Tom-Skype software blocks the transmission of these words and records personal information about the customers who send the messages. Researchers say their discovery contradicts a public statement made by Skype executives in 2006 that 'full end-to-end security is preserved and there is no compromise of people's privacy.' The Chinese government is not alone in its Internet surveillance efforts. In 2005, The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency was monitoring large volumes of telephone and Internet communications flowing into and out of the United States as part of an eavesdropping program that President Bush approved after the Sept. 11 attacks. 'This is the worst nightmares of the conspiracy theorists around surveillance coming true,' says Ronald J. Deibert, an associate professor of political science at the University of Toronto. 'It's "X-Files" without the aliens.'"
Security

Hackers Clone Elvis' Passport 164

Barence writes "Hackers have released source code that allows the 'backup' of RFID-protected passports, although the tool can potentially be used to create fake or cloned documents. The Hacker's Choice, a non-commercial group of computer security experts, has released a video showing a cloned passport being approved by a security scanner at a Dutch airport. When the reader scans the passport, it is revealed to belong to one Elvis Aaron Presley, complete with picture. Reports of the hackers serenading security staff with 'Are You Clonesome Tonight' are unconfirmed."
Image

Man Uses Remote Logon To Help Find Laptop Thief 251

After his computer was stolen, Jose Caceres used a remote access program to log on every day and watch it being used. The laptop was stolen on Sept. 4, when he left it on top of his car while carrying other things into his home. "It was kind of frustrating because he was mostly using it to watch porn," Caceres said. "I couldn't get any information about him." Last week the thief messed up and registered on a web site with his name and address. Jose alerted the police, who arrested a suspect a few hours later. The moral of the story: never go to a porn site where you have to register.

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