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Space

Ikaros Spacecraft Successfully Propelled In Space 229

An anonymous reader writes "Japan's IKAROS spacecraft has already successfully deployed the first solar sail in space, but today it made the only first that really matters: it successfully captured the sun's rays with its 3,000-square-foot sail and used the energy to speed its way through space. Each photon of light exerts 0.0002 pounds of pressure on the 3,000-square-foot sail, and the steady stream of solar exposure has succeeded in propelling the nearly 700-pound drone."
Wine

Wine 1.2 Released 427

David Gerard writes "Stuck with that one Windows app you can't get rid of? Rejoice — Wine 1.2 is officially released! Apart from running pretty much any Windows application on Unix better than 1.0 (from 2008), major new features include 64-bit support, bi-directional text, and translation into thirty languages. And, of course, DirectX 9 is well-supported and DirectX 10 is getting better. Packages should hit the distros over the weekend, or you can get the source now."
Power

DARPA To Turn Humans Into Batteries 183

DARPA is working on a project that will convert energy from the human body to power a variety of military gadgets. From the article: "Obviously, our bodies generate heat — thermal energy. They also produce vibrations when we move — kinetic energy. Both forms of energy can be converted into electricity. Anantha Chandrakasan, an MIT electrical engineering professor, who is working on the problem with a former student named Yogesh Ramadass, says the challenge is to harvest adequate amounts of power from the body and then efficiently direct it to the device that needs it." If I remember the movie correctly, this didn't turn out so well for the humans.
Networking

Millions of Home Routers Are Hackable 179

Julie188 writes "Craig Heffner, a researcher with Maryland-based security consultancy Seismic, plans to release a software tool at the Black Hat conference later this month that he says could be used on about half the existing models of home routers, including most Linksys, Dell, and Verizon FiOS or DSL versions. The tool apparently exploits the routers through DNS rebinding. While this technique has been discussed for 15 years or more, Heffner says, 'It just hasn't been put together like this before.'" Notebooks.com has a list of routers tested and some advice on securing vulnerable routers.
The Media

Murdoch's UK Paywall a Miserable Failure 428

David Gerard writes "As part of his war against free, Rupert Murdoch put the Times and Sunday Times of London behind a paywall. Michael Wolff of Newser asks how that's working out for him. You can guess: miserable failure: 'Not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself — who have free access to the site — are not going beyond the registration page. It's an empty world.' Not that this wasn't entirely predictable." Update: 07/17 01:41 GMT by T : Frequent contributor Peter Wayner writes skeptically that the Newsday numbers should be looked at with a grain of salt: "I believe they were charging $30/month for the electronic edition and $25/month for the dead tree edition which also offered free access to the electronic edition. In essence, you had to pay an extra $5 to avoid getting your lawn littered with paper. The dead tree edition gets much better ad rates and so it is worth pushing. It's a mistake to see the raw numbers and assume that the paywall failed."
Networking

Irish Gov't Invests In Color-Coded Fiber Optics 129

c0mpliant writes "The Irish government has invested a further €5 million, after already having invested €5 million one year ago, in a new system of fiber optics which heralds an era of virtualization of fiber networks, using color coding to enable multiple fiber providers to serve businesses and homes, often on a single strand of fiber. The technology, which has already sparked interest from companies such as BT and IBM, is already in its first phase and boasts an impressive 2.5 terabytes capacity, double the capacity of the London phone system. The company behind the technology, Intune Technology, is comprised of a group of ex-UCD photonics researchers and has been around since 1999 and are based in Dublin. The project is set to be completed by 2020."
Displays

3M Says Its Multi-Touch System Means Almost No Lag 120

jonniee writes "3M has rolled out a 22-inch digital display capable of 20-finger multi-touch input with less than 6 millisecond response time. The monitor incorporates 3M's Projected Capacitive Technology based on mutual capacitance operation theory. The result produces a silky smooth response that has almost no lag in execution."
The Internet

The Dark Side of the Web 156

Barence writes "Beneath the web pages indexed by Google lies an online world that few know exists. It's a realm of huge, untapped reserves of valuable information containing sprawling databases, hidden websites and murky forums. It's a world where academics and researchers might find the data required to solve some of mankind's biggest problems, but also where criminal syndicates operate, and terrorist handbooks and child pornography are freely distributed. Interested? You're not alone. The deep web and its 'darknets' are a new battleground for those who want to uphold the right to privacy online, and those who feel that rights need to be sacrificed for the safety of society. The deep web is also the new frontier for those who want to rival Google in the field of search." The melodrama is tempered, though: "The deep web isn’t half as strange or sinister as it sounds. In computer-science speak, it refers to those portions of the web that, for whatever reason, have been invisible to conventional search engines such as Google."
Censorship

Pennsylvania CISO Fired Over Talk At RSA Conference 147

An anonymous reader writes "Pennsylvania's chief information security officer Robert Maley has been fired for publicly talking about a security incident involving the Commonwealth's online driving exam scheduling system. He apparently did not get the required approval for talking about the incident from appropriate authorities."
Music

EMI Cannot Unbundle Pink Floyd Songs 601

smooth wombat writes "Before the advent of iTunes and MP3s, EMI and Pink Floyd entered into a contract which stated that EMI could not unbundle individual songs from their original album settings. This was insisted upon by the members of Pink Floyd, who wanted to retain artistic control of their works, which they considered 'seamless' pieces of music. However, with the advent of digital downloads, EMI has been selling individual songs through its online store. Pink Floyd sued, claiming EMI was violating the contract, whereas EMI said the contract only applied to physical albums, not Internet sales. Judge Andrew Morritt backed the band, saying the contract protected 'the artistic integrity of the albums.' Judge Morritt also ruled EMI is 'not entitled to exploit recordings by online distribution or by any other means other than the complete original album without Pink Floyd's consent.'"
Government

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking 794

lord_rotorooter writes "Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced a bill that would ruin restaurant food and baked goods as we know them. The measure (if passed) would ban the use of all forms of salt in the preparation and cooking of food for all restaurants or bakeries. While the use of too much salt can contribute to health problems, the complete banning of salt would have negative impacts on food chemistry. Not only does salt enhance flavor, it controls bacteria, slows yeast activity and strengthens dough by tightening gluten. Salt also inhibits the growth of microbes that spoil cheese."
The Courts

The LHC, Black Holes, and the Law 467

KentuckyFC writes "Now that the physicists have had their say over the safety of the Large Hadron Collider, a law professor has produced a comprehensive legal study addressing the legal issue that might arise were a court to deal with a request to halt a multi-billion-dollar particle-physics experiment (abstract). The legal issues make for startling reading. The analysis discusses the problem with expert witnesses, which is that any particle physicists would be afraid for their livelihoods and anybody else afraid for their lives. How can such evidence be relied upon? It examines the well established legal argument that death is not a redressable injury under American tort law, which could imply that the value in any cost-benefit analysis of the future of the Earth after it had been destroyed is zero (there would be nobody to compensate). It asks whether state-of-the-art theoretical physics is really able to say that the LHC is safe given that a scientific theory that seems unassailable in one era may seem naive in the next. But most worrying of all, it points out that the safety analyses so far have all been done by CERN itself. The question left open by the author is what verdict a court might reach."

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