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Submission + - MIT Grad Students Declare War On The Power Brick (

jfruh writes: In the world of petty tech annoyances, laptop power bricks are among the most annoying: they either take the form of something big and heavy that gets tangled up underfoot, or a huge plug that blocks other outlets. A group of MIT grad students think they've found a better way, a slimmer, lighter alternative that includes a USB port as well that so you can charge your laptop and phone at the same time. They're crowdfunding the project on Kickstarter.

Submission + - The Smoke Detector for Meth Labs (

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Your smoke detector seems like it's on your side, right? And your carbon monoxide detector is looking out for you. But in New Zealand, that extra box on your ceiling is looking out for your landlord. I guess the others were too—since fires and dead bodies are probably bad for property values—but I can't really find the upside for residents who live with a MethMinder in their homes that is waiting to call the authorities on them should they tamper with the box or, you know, break bad and cook some meth.

Ken Hetherington, a software engineer from Pakuranga, Auckland, designed the device after a friend was forced to spend $28,500 (AUS) to repair a vacation home that had been converted into a lab. The MethMinder runs on a long battery life and is fitted with a Vodafone SIM card that sends out a warning to both the police and the landlord if it smells something meth-y in the aira.


Submission + - 17-yo builds fusion reactor, keynotes Berlin's EHSM

lekernel writes: Will Jack is a 17 year old high school student from the US who enjoys nothing more than building nuclear fusion reactors in his basement. He will be the keynote speaker later this month at Berlin's Exceptionally Hard and Soft Meeting, a conference on the frontiers of open source and DIY. Other topics covered by the conference are the CERN open hardware initiative, microchip reverse-engineering, DIY vacuum tubes, and more.

Submission + - World's First 3D Printing Photo Booth Set for Scan (

Zothecula writes: Ever wanted a life-like miniature of yourself or loved ones? Now's your chance, thanks to Omote 3D, which will soon be opening what's described as the world's first 3D printing photo booth in Harajuku, Japan. There, visitors will have their bodies scanned into a computer, a process which takes about 15 minutes. Then the company prints your statuette on their 3D color printer in one of three sizes.
The Internet

Submission + - Man's positive pregnancy test leads to cancer diagnosis with Reddit's help (

helix2301 writes: "Reddit users may have helped another man solve a medical mystery that might have saved his life. A Reddit user submitted a web comic known as a rage comic detailing his male friend's experience of trying his ex-girlfriend's unused pregnancy test as a joke. He was shocked when the result came back positive. While the user intended the story to be amusing, others pointed out that the false positive test could be a sign of testicular cancer. He got tested and it turned out that his friend had a small tumor in one of his testicles. Because it was found so early, the cancer could be treated immediately."

Submission + - Ransomware scammers hit half a million users in 18 days (

mask.of.sanity writes: An organised criminal gang attacked scores of internet users last month by encrypting their computers and demanding ransom for the keysa>.

The scam hit half a million Symantec users alone, all of whom clicked on adult advertisements in porn sites over two week period.

Researchers suspect the financial damages to run into millions and say the criminals are still operating.


Submission + - Optical Camouflage Turns Car's Back Seat Transparent (

Zothecula writes: When you turn around to look behind your car as you’re reversing, what do you see? If your car is like most, you see a bit of the road through the back window, with a whole lot of your back seat underneath. If only you could see through that seat, you could see so much more of the road. Well, a group from Japan’s Keio University has developed a system that lets drivers do that ... sort of.

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