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Comment Re:make stuff (Score 1) 458

You could use shrink film and show them how to make their own bits of plastic. Custom game bits, stuff that goes with current plastic bits. It is a small simple thing, but you can start to show them how to hack their toys.
And while a lot of these suggestions are awesome they are basically toys that require hacking, any toy can be hacked with some tools. Think about a toy mod kit paint pens, shrink film, design your own stickers, iron on able printer paper. You can start giving them the idea that they can impose their aesthetic and desires on their stuff instead of just leaving it an unremarkable pile of plastic.

Submission + - Best way to get a single emergancy contact number?

vrimj writes: I have family, by blood and by choice, that need to be notified if something happens to me. I want them to all find out as soon as possible, and the best way to do that seems to be setting up a call forwarding number to ring them all and letting the first to answer handle informing the others.

It would be easy to set up on google voice, but I use it as my primary number as does one of the people on my must call list. That leaves me with commercial services. The problem is I don't know what the reliability is like with the various choices like skype and onesuite. I really need it to work if I need it. I don't mind paying something for the service, but I don't want to pay more then I need to.
Security

Making Airport Scanners Less Objectionable 681

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that one of the researchers who helped develop the software for the scanners says there is a simple fix that would make scanning less objectionable. The fix would distort the images captured on full-body scanners so they look like reflections in a fun-house mirror, but any potentially dangerous objects would be clearly revealed, says Willard 'Bill' Wattenburg, a former nuclear weapons designer at the Livermore lab. 'Why not just distort the image into something grotesque so that there isn't anything titillating or exciting about it?' asks Wattenburg, adding that the modification is so simple that 'a 6-year-old could do the same thing with Photoshop... It's probably a few weeks' modification of the program.' Wattenburg said he was rebuffed when he offered the concept to Department of Homeland Security officials four years ago. A TSA official said the agency is working on development of scanner technology that would reduce the image to a 'generic icon, a generic stick figure' that would still reveal potentially dangerous items." Reader FleaPlus points out an unintended consequence: some transportation economists believe that the TSA's new invasive techniques may lead to more deaths as more people use road transportation to avoid flying — much more dangerous by the mile than air travel.
Government

Submission + - Geek Disaster Volunteers? (floridadisaster.org)

vrimj writes: "Today we just finished pretending a catastrophic hurricane hit Florida. And what became clear was that while there were a few people with technical skills available there was no real way to contact and mobilize the geeks other then the hobbyist radio community. It sometimes self-organizes, but there is not really a structure emergency response people can reach out to.

So I talked to some people from the Red Cross and Salvation Army, they are interested in trying to help reach out. The people at the Florida Emergency Management Center who train people for initial response (wanna know how to mark houses for search and rescue?) and he is willing to try going to some conventions to do training. We have disaster scenarios that could be turned in to RPG adventures.

So where to start and how? Slashdot, if you would like to be available when the shit hits the fan how can you be reached and how can you help?

The Red Cross and Salvation army are good at what they do, do they just need to reach out to the geeks? Are geeks already pretty organized and some minimal contact system should be set up (say to get in touch with sys admins and GMs and the like and give them a way to make requests to the emergency management community) or does there need to be something more complicated to sustain things like training, supporting people on missions, and keeping volunteer information up to date? If so how the heck do you get started?"

Graphics

Submission + - Splash, splatter, sploosh, and bloop! (cornell.edu)

Acoustic Bubble writes: Researchers at Cornell University have developed the first algorithm for synthesizing familiar bubble-based fluid sounds automatically from 3D fluid simulations, e.g, for future virtual environments. The research (entitled "Harmonic Fluids") will appear at ACM SIGGRAPH 2009 in New Orleans this August 2009. Videos of falling, pouring, splashing and babbling water simulations (computed on a Linux cluster) are available at http://www.cs.cornell.edu/projects/HarmonicFluids

Comment Section 1983 can provide recourse (Score 2, Interesting) 160

There is a way to get the decision reviewed, because the MBTA is a state agency the students can use 1983 to claim that in seeking a protective order under these conditions it deprived them of constitutionally protected rights.

They could counter-claim if the MBTA keeps up its suit or file on their own if it is dismissed.

Sure is it just cash damages (including attorneys fess) but it is recourse

The Internet

Submission + - Amnesty Hosts Conference on Internet Censoring (amnestyusa.org)

NY Media writes: "Hello,
I'm writing to alert you to Amnesty's conference next week about internet repression. The conference will include victims of internet repression, Josh Wolf, Jimmy Wales, Richard Stallman, and many more! The conference will be webcast next Wednesday between 1:30 and 3:30, EST. Below is the media advisory.

MEDIA ADVISORY
For Immediate Release: Contact: Ben Somberg, 212/633-4268 Friday, June 1, 2007
Amnesty International to Host Global Online Conference on Internet Freedom


Amnesty International and The Observer will host a global, interactive event examining the future of Internet freedom on June 6. The event, 'Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing: The Struggle for Freedom of Expression in Cyberspace,' will be webcast globally from Amnesty International's Human Rights Action Centre in London to mark the first anniversary of its irrepressible.info campaign.

The event comes as government crackdowns on freedom of expression on the internet intensify. IT companies are facilitating the blocking, filtering, and monitoring of information, threatening freedom of expression on the internet.

Conference contributors will include:

— Victims of internet repression from around the world;
- Martha Lane Fox, internet entrepreneur;
- Josh Wolf, jailed US blogger;
- Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia;
- Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement;
- Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing;
- Kevin Anderson, head of blogging at The Guardian.

The event will be webcast at www.amnesty.org.uk/webcast from 1:30pm-3:30pm ET.

Chaired by the BBC's Clark Boyd, the event will be comprised of live speakers and debate, webcasted contributions, podcasts and vodcasts from supporters unable to attend, and questions/contributions emailed in from the global audience. Thousands of people from around the world are expected to attend online.

The invitation-only event will examine the future of internet freedom, including governments' attempts to repress freedom of expression and information online — with the help of global IT companies — and how web users are harnessing the power of the internet when they resist them.

'Some People Think the Internet is a Bad Thing' marks the first anniversary of irrepressible.info, an Amnesty International campaign to combat the repression of Internet users around the world, launched in The Observer in May 2006. Amnesty will re-launch the new http://irrepressible.info/ website, featuring a news aggregator that will create an information hub for anyone interested in the future of Internet freedom.

# # #"

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Michigan Man Fined for Using Coffee Shop's Wi-Fi

kaltree writes: "According to this story from FoxNews, using an open wireless network can be considered illegal (in Michigan at least). How many times have we sat down, opened up our laptop and noticed we were automatically connected to an unknown wireless network?"
Announcements

Submission + - Ebay's New User Agreement Terminates User Rights

THESuperShawn writes: (Paraphrased from http://www.firemeg.com/2007/05/july-9th-genocide-b egins-how-ebay-inc.html)"A recent Auctionbytes article (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y07/m05/i21/s 01) about a new update to the eBay User Agreement seems to make eBay look a lot more like Big Brother, if not a full blown communist regime where your thoughts belong to the "community" and where those with bad thoughts may be disappeared. The changes in question went into effect immediately for new members and will be enforced site-wide starting on July 9th, 2007. Most notable of these changes is that eBay seems to have given itself autonomy to strike down anyone they see fit, and use any and all copyrighted material that members post on the site, without permission or royalties.

In the user agreement additions there is a section entitled "Abusing eBay." The section begins like something out of Orwell's 1984, "eBay and the Community work together to keep the Sites working properly and the Community safe. Please report problems, offensive content, and policy violations to us." Seems to be a call to arms for the collective community gestapo to quash anything from listing violations to dissent among users, and of course for the betterment of the community with no financial incentives for users to do the work that many feel should be done by Trust & Safety. The second paragraph goes on to describe the VERO program designed to keep members from using intellectual property that has been copyrighted previously by third parties.

The "Abusing eBay" section then turns an even more diabolical shade of Big Brother in the last paragraph which reads: Without limiting other remedies, we may limit, suspend, or terminate our service and user accounts, prohibit access to our website, delay or remove hosted content, and take technical and legal steps to keep users off the Sites if we think that they are creating problems, possible legal liabilities, or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies. We also reserve the right to cancel unconfirmed accounts or accounts that have been inactive for a long time."

Has eBay finally jumped the shark? Is their a better auction service around the corner ready to embrace scorned eBay users? Or have the scammers won (http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/ebayhacks/?N=A) and eBay will continue to remove negative posts/NARU users that complain (http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/boardsnippets.htm) , and allow scammers to sell "their wife exposed" (http://www.ebaymotorssucks.com/)?
Censorship

Submission + - Censorship fails: governments vs. YouTube (destinyland.org)

destinyland writes: "The internet thwarted an attempt by the government of Venezuela to censor coverage of a mass protest. President Hugo Chavez invoked Emergency Broadcast procedures to take over all television channels while police fired on the crowd, an eye-witness reports. But footage of the protest found its way to YouTube, racking up huge download numbers in a country with less than 15% internet penetration. Censoring political speech just got a lot harder."
Music

Submission + - iTunes tracks embed all your personal account info

Jaknet writes: The BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6711215.stm today reported that the new DRM free music available from iTunes contains embedded within them the full name and account information, including e-mail address, of who bought them.

The BBC goes on to speculate... It suggested that this information could be an anti-piracy measure as it could help work out who was putting downloads on file-sharing sites. But it also added that the user information was found on all the tracks that people buy on iTunes whether free of DRM or not.

The BBC has contacted Apple seeking comment but so far the company has not responded.

Other websites said it was only a matter of time before a utility program was produced that which stripped out the identifying information. At this point it is not yet clear how deeply the user data is buried in the track or how easy it is to remove. Lets hope it's soon
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft demands developer withdraw free software

An anonymous reader writes: ZDNet reports : "Microsoft has demanded that a London-based Windows developer withdraws a version of his free debugging tool from distribution, and is claiming that the tool breaches its licensing conditions."
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - Doing the Nasty In Second Life

An anonymous reader writes: InformationWeek's Mitch Wagner looks at Second Life sex: "As I worked on our report on sex in Second Life, I wondered: Is all this gettin' cyber-sweaty harmful? I decided it depends on the circumstances. But I know many of our readers will say it's just plain wrong. What do you think?" InformationWeek's look into the Second Life sex scene includes interviews with a lesbian dominatrix, a virtual madam, and a bi Asian chick who likes to have cybersex with hermaphrodites, shemales, alien avatars, and futuristic cyborgs.
Music

Submission + - Why Guitar Tabs Don't Fall Under Fair Use

kaliphonia writes: Over the past few years guitar tab sites have been shutting down after receiving cease-and-desist letters asserting they are violating copyright law. MXTabs.net is coming back this summer as the first licensed tab site and has posted a letter from a New York copyright attorney explaining why guitar tabs require licenses to be posted online, and do not fall under "fair use." The full letter is available here. Why Guitar Tabs Don't Fall Under Fair Use"
Movies

Submission + - Finnish court rules CSS "ineffective"

kimmop writes: The Finnish/EU version of DMCA received a great blow today when the Helsinki District Court found two activists 'not quilty' of circumvention of "effective technological measures" of DRM. According to the court, CSS no longer achieves its protection objective. You can still expect two more rounds but its 1-0 now.

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