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The Courts

Call Yourself a Hacker, Lose Your 4th Amendment Rights 488

An anonymous reader writes "As described on the DigitalBond blog, a security researcher was subjected to a court ordered search in which a lack of pre-notification was premised on his self description as a 'hacker.' From the court order, 'The tipping point for the Court comes from evidence that the defendants – in their own words – are hackers. By labeling themselves this way, they have essentially announced that they have the necessary computer skills and intent to simultaneously release the code publicly and conceal their role in that act.'"
Technology

Cow Burps Tapped For Fuel 85

Dave Knott writes with this intriguing snippet from CBC: "Argentine scientists have found a way to transform the gas created by the bovine digestive system into fuel, an innovation that could curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Using a system of valves and pumps, the experimental technique developed by Argentina's National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) channels the digestive gases from bovine stomach cavities through a tube and into a tank. The gases — which otherwise are commonly known as burps, or "eruptos" in Spanish — are then processed to separate methane from other gases such as carbon dioxide. Each head of cattle emits between 250 and 300 liters of pure methane a day, enough energy to keep a refrigerator running for 24 hours."

Comment Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (Score 1) 116

Mod parent up. Cyanogenmod comes conveniently stripped of Google Apps and can be used as a "generic" operating system. I use CM on my devices without Google Apps and it's very pleasant. Battery life is amazing too as long as you don't have apps running that track you constantly (Facebook and other spyware) in the background.

I have a Gen1 N7 that I use basically just for playing music in the car, and Torque Pro for gauges. Vanilla CM is perfect for it.

Comment My wife and I have zero-tech times (Score 3, Insightful) 111

My wife and I set aside several hours every day as "zero-technology" times. We use this time to read, play with our dogs, have meals together, work on hobbies, and hang out with friends and neighbors.

Everything gets powered down - no phones ringing, no "notification" sounds, no nothing. It's pretty amazing how it feels to be disconnected - like the old days before constant connection invaded and took over society.

The most annoying part are the phone calls about "OMG where have you been!?!?!?" that inevitably come after things get turned back on.

Government

TSA Airport Screenings Now Start Before You Arrive At the Airport 437

Bob the Super Hamste writes "The New York Times is reporting that the TSA is now doing background investigations on passengers before they arrive at the airport. The publicly stated reason for this is that it is to streamline the security procedures at airports allowing more passengers to receive less scrutiny while at the air port but this new authority allows the TSA additional information about each traveler. The prescreening that is being performed for domestic travel now uses a simiar standard to that of foreign individuals who where entering the US. The new measures go beyond what is used in the Secure Flight program and while light on details mentions that the passengers passport number will be used. The article does however point out the data sources that are available to the TSA to conduct these pre-screening with such as tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information. Also mentioned is that individuals who do not have a passport will not be subjected to the rules and from my reading will not be eligible for lesser screening at that airport. The stated goal of this program is to have 25% of all airline passengers in the US receive lighter screening at the airport so that they don't have to take their shoes off, remove jackets, or remove laptops from bags. Additionally passengers who are in higher risk categories can receive additional screenings. Also mentioned is that all passengers are currently prescreened and that airlines are required to share your passport data with the TSA if they have it." One thing I've noticed as a passenger is that the most dangerous-feeling aspect of flying right now seems to be the winding security line itself.

Comment Re:Already have a preventative measure: (Score 1) 202

You're thinking of Type 2 diabetes, which is acquired voluntarily through poor dietary and health choices.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, or at least now maybe it's a viral disease, but in any case, it's not acquired by behavioral choice, and it can happen to just about anyone.

I know lots of skinny people who have it.

Comment Re:Bollocks. :-| (Score 1) 202

Like most viruses, a vaccine will do you no good once you already have the disease. So, the hundreds of millions of people throughout the world who have T1D already will not go away as a market, and there will still be billions of dollars to be made treating them.

You have nothing to worry about.

Space

Ask Slashdot: Legal Advice Or Loopholes Needed For Manned Space Program 201

Kristian vonBengtson writes "A DIY, manned space program like Copenhagen Suborbitals is kept alive by keeping total independence, cutting the red tape and simply just doing it all in a garage. We basically try to stay below the radar at all time and are reluctant in engagements leading to signing papers or do things (too much) by the books. But now there might be trouble ahead. (Saul Goodman! We need you...) During the last 5 years we have encountered many weird legal cases which does not make much sense and no one can explain their origin. If we were to fix up a batch of regular black gunpowder (which we use for igniters) we are entitled for serving time in jail. Even a few grams. But no one give a hoot about building a rocket fueled with 12 tonnes of liquid oxygen and alcohol. Thats is perfectly legal. If Copenhagen Suborbitals fly a rocket into space for the first time there are likely legal action that must be dealt with. At my time at the International Space University we had lectures and exams in space law and I remember the Outer Space Treaty which is the most ratified space treaty with over 100 countries including Denmark and U.S. And here is the matter – in which I seek some kind of advice or what you may call it: Outer Space Treaty, Article 6 states: 'the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty.' Does this mean that Denmark (or any other country for that matter – if it was your project) suddenly have to approve what we are doing and will be kept responsible for our mission, if we launch into space?"

Comment We call them "Cannonball Run" (Score 5, Interesting) 391

We have Cannonball Runs, where our developers and engineers work long days, enjoy company-provided, catered meals, and concierge services to help in their absence at home, and of course preems, which are financial incentives for accelerating the schedule.

It's about as far from what this asshole is doing as you can get, but we get fantastic results, and the work product is very high quality. That's why I spend the money to do it. It does cost money - about $5k/day for a team of 10 people (I refuse to call them "resources").

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