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Feed French train breakes rail speed record (

Filed under: Transportation

While the majority of world speed records we cover involve things like transistors, data transmission, and even the occasional text messaging attempt, we're not ones to pass up a good old fashion land speed record, which France's Alstom Technologies thankfully provided today. After months of working up to it, the company finally sent its V150 passenger train screaming through the French countryside, ultimately topping out at a breakneck speed of 574.8 kilometers per hour, or about 357 mph, easily besting the previous rail speed record of 320 mph. While it'll no doubt only make you jealous of not being on board (or at least nearby), you can check out a video of the record-setting attempt at the link below.

[Thanks, Antoine G]

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Feed FCC Creates New Anti-Pretexting Rules -- Makes Sure The FBI Knows About Your Lea (

The concept of "pretexting" got a lot of attention when HP's CEO used it to spy on the phone calls of board members and the press in trying to stop information leaks from the board. However, it's been a problem for quite some time. Of course, the real problem was that the mobile operators were leaking this data without any protections to make sure that the person they were giving the info to was authorized to have it. However, every time such a story came out, the mobile operators tried to blame everyone else for their own failure to protect the data. The FCC has taken its time, but has finally ruled that mobile operators cannot release data over the phone without a password and need to let customers know if there are changes to their account. Why the operators hadn't done this already to protect their customers isn't readily explained. Of course, all this really means is that pretexters will need to come up with a new scheme to figure out how to get passwords out of people before accessing their phone records.

There is one other interesting side note in the FCC's ruling. Matthew Lasar notes that the ruling also includes that the operators need to inform the FBI about data leaks quickly, but can take their time informing the customers whose data was actually leaked. Apparently, the FBI lobbied for this particular rule, because they were afraid if customers involved in illegal activities found out their data was leaked, it would cause them to destroy evidence, potentially ruining investigations. This doesn't make much sense... unless it turned out that the FBI was using pretexting itself, rather than going through the process of getting subpoenas and search warrants. You would think that as long as the FBI went through the proper channels to get the info they needed, investigations wouldn't be harmed -- but perhaps we should know better than to expect such things.

Submission + - Building a College Mac Lab... Gimme some Ammo.

Cleetus Freem writes: "Our college Mac lab, which was put on hold some time ago, is back on the front burner. I am wondering if Slashdot's collective expertise can give me the ammo I need to make certain equipment arguments. The lab will feature 15 student stations and an instructor station and will be used for desktop publishing, digital photography, web design and advertising courses.

Some questions:
  1. Mac Pro or iMac? On one side the Mac Pro is quite expensive but the iMac, as an all-in-one, could be more prone to failure.
  2. Do we need an Xserve or not? An Xserve with RAID combo? With Xsan? Can we manage everything with a dedicated regular Mac Pro instead?
  3. Is the internal hard drive space on each box probably enough or is some sort of distributed storage system advisable?

Submission + - RIAA sues sites hosting leaked Year Zero tracks

no reason to be here writes: "The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has become notorious for suing anyone from high school students to retirees for downloading music from the web, has gone after web sites such as Idolator that have posted leaked songs from the upcoming NINE INCH NAILS album, "Year Zero". The problem, however, is that the tracks were leaked intentionally. Several songs from the album were left on computer hard drives at venues on the band's current European tour, with fans finding and posting them on the web for others to download and swap. According to, the RIAA sent cease-and-desist emails to web sites that posted the tracks, leading one industry source to say, "These f***ing idiots are going after a campaign that the label signed off on."

Feed Hard As Nails! Scientists Work Out Best Conditions For Mimicking Fingernails (

Most people know that their nails always go soft and bendy when they immerse them in hot water for any length of time. Conversely when you cut your nails they dry up and become hard and brittle. But why is this? Biologists working with material scientists at the University of Manchester have worked out the best conditions for our nails which may ultimately help the cosmetic industry to mimic the real thing and refine their false nail and varnish products.

Feed New Technology For Manufacturing Flexible Solar Cells (

The University of Delaware's Institute of Energy Conversion has developed new technology for the manufacture of flexible solar cells, which could reduce the costs associated with the use of photovoltaic energy while at the same time expanding possible applications. The system, in which there has been commercial interest, enables the more efficient manufacture of the flexible solar cells in long sheets using roll-to-roll reactors, much like newsprint speeding through a press.

Feed Are All Male's Liars And Cheaters? Yes -- If They're Crayfish! (

Intimidation and threats are common throughout society, whether it's in the school playground, sporting arena or boardroom. Threatening behavior is equally widespread among nonhuman animals. Individuals signal their superior strength to competitors to obtain food, resolve territorial disputes and acquire mates. Current theory insists that signals of strength should be honest. Surprisingly researchers have found that dishonest signals are used routinely during dominance disputes by male Australian crayfish.

Feed Sony introduces Bravia TDM-IP1 iPod dock (

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Home Entertainment

These days, it seems like no home theater is complete without an iPod accessory of some sort, so why should your new Sony Bravia LCD HDTV be any different? Now you can officially get your groove on with the TDM-IP1 Digital Media Port dock, which unlike Sony's other stab at iPod docking, connects your compatible Bravia set with your iPod and charges it while playing back your favorite audio and video media. It retails for $99, which is way overpriced for a video iPod dock, but this is Sony after all.

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

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