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Submission + - VLC Launches On Apple TV

An anonymous reader writes: VideoLAN today launched VLC, the world’s most used media player, for Apple TV. Because there is no web interface on the device, a direct download link isn’t available: You’ll have to search for “VLC” in the App Store on the TV (that said, if you already have the iOS app, you should see it show up automatically in the “Purchased” tab of the TV’s store).

Submission + - The Hardware that Searches for Dark Matter (hackaday.com)

szczys writes: Deep in a gold mine in South Dakota the Large Underground Xenon experiment waits in the darkness for a tiny flash of light that signals that dark matter actually exists. So far we theorize that it does exist, and have gone to great lengths to build hardware to detect dark matter. Very cold, very pure liquid Xenon sits waiting for a dark matter particle to strike the nucleus of a Xenon molecule, producing a distinct pattern of photons through scintillation. An array of photomultiplier tubes detect the photons, whose pattern is processed by FPGAs on custom boards connected using HDMI. The experiment has generated a list of properties not possessed by dark matter; running for several years no evidence of the particles interacting with the Xenon have been found. But when the data collection concludes this year, a much larger version of the impressive hardware will be built.

Submission + - ATF puts up surveillance cameras around Seattle ... to catch illegal grease dump (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: Last summer, Seattleites noticed that utility polls around town were showing some odd growths: A raft of surveillance cameras that, under Seattle's strict surveillance equipment laws, shouldn't have been there without disclosure and monitoring. But Seattle Police said that they weren't theirs, and one enterprising citizen followed up with a series of public records requests, only to discover that they were actually the ATF's cameras — on the watch for grease dumpers. Now the requester is fighting for the full list of federal surveillance watching over Seattle, and answers to how often federal agencies pursue what appear to be purely local crimes.

Submission + - Explosion-Proof Lithium-Ion Battery Shuts Down At High Temperatures (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have designed a lithium-ion battery that self-regulates according to temperature, to prevent itself from overheating. Reaching extreme temperatures, the battery is able to shut itself down, only restarting once it has cooled. The researchers designed the battery to shut down and restart itself over a repeated heating and cooling cycle, without compromising performance. A polyethylene film is applied to one of the electrodes, which expands and shrinks depending on temperature, to create a conductive/non-conductive material.

Submission + - French conservatives push law to ban strong encryption (dailydot.com)

Patrick O'Neill writes: The French parliament this week will examine a bill that would require tech manufacturers of computers, phones, and tablets to build backdoors into any encryption on the device. The anti-encryption bill is being presented by 18 conservative members of the National Assembly as part of a large "Digital Republic" bill.

Submission + - Reprogramming NES Super Mario Bros. 3...By Playing It 1

seufet writes: The retro-gaming wizards at tasvideos.org have managed to use extremely precise controller input to play a console game into reprogramming itself on a new platform — Super Mario Bros. 3 on the venerable Nintendo Entertainment System — and with a twist. Instead of playing Pong or Snake, the new exploit gives Mario new powers the game developers never imagined and uses them to dominate the game in unexpected ways. TASBot demonstrated the feat live on an unmodified NES & cartridge for the Awesome Games Done Quick 2016 charity marathon, where world champion Mitch kicked the tires on Mario's new powers in realtime.


Submission + - Group Recycling New York City Pay Phones into Free WiFi Hubs (fastcoexist.com)

retroworks writes: Jessica Lieber writes for FastCompany on the LinkNYC project, which is run by a private consortium called CityBridge. The project, which will convert existing public pay phones to free wifi hubs, is billed as "the largest and fastest public Wi-Fi network in the world." The advertising-supported model could eventually be expanded to other cities. 500 structures will be distributed among all five boroughs, and 4,500 within the first four years until there are 7,500 units. http://www.intersection.com/li...

Submission + - Finland's Algorithm-Driven Public Bus (vice.com)

Daniel_Stuckey writes: Where's the Uber-like interactivity, the bus that comes to you after a tap on the iPhone?

In Finland, actually. The Kutsuplus is Helsinki's groundbreaking mass transit hybrid program that lets riders choose their own routes, pay for fares on their phones, and summon their own buses. It's a pretty interesting concept. With a ten minute lead time, you summon a Kutsuplus bus to a stop using the official app, just as you'd call a livery cab on Uber. Each minibus in the fleet seats at least nine people, and there's room for baby carriages and bikes.

You can call your own private Kutsuplus, but if you share the ride, you share the costs—it's about half the price of a cab fare, and a dollar or two more expensive than old school bus transit. You can then pick your own stop, also using the app.


Submission + - Laminar Research are suied for use of Google-provided code in Android app (x-plane.com)

Nemo1024 writes: Holding a patent does not mean that you actually did anything. It only means that you claim that you thought of something that you can sue other people for actually doing. I learned this first-hand in September 2012, when I was informed that I and a handful of other developers of Android apps were facing millions of dollars in litigation for using a copy protection technology present in virtually every Android application ever developed. In our Android app (X-Plane), we used the same copy protection Google provides to everyone that is making a game for Android! (That I know of.)

Austin Meyer has decided to fight back and need every help he can get, including signing a petition at the White House to change the paten laws so that they don't stifle innovation as much as they do now. Follow the post link for more details on the petition.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky