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Submission + - New Wind Turbine Has No Blades writes: The Guardian reports that Vortex Bladeless has developed a new bladeless wind turbine that promises to be more efficient, less visually intrusive, and safer for birdlife than conventional turbines. Using the principle of natural frequency and vorticity, the turbine oscillates in swirling air caused by the wind bypassing the mast, and then builds exponentially as it reaches the structure’s natural resonance. It’s a powerful effect that famously caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, footage of which inspired David Yáñez to try to build a structure to harness this energy rather than prevent it. The turbine “floats” on magnets, which as well as significantly amplifying the oscillation, also eliminates any friction and the need for expensive lubricating oils or mechanical parts. “Wind turbines now are too noisy for people’s backyard,” says David Suriol. “We want to bring wind power generation to people’s houses like solar power.”

On the minus side the oscillating turbine design will sweep a smaller area and have a lower conversion efficiency. “The best wind turbine will collect around 50% of energy from the wind,” says Suriol. “We are close to 40% with bladeless turbines in our wind tunnel laboratory.” To offset this disadvantage, "you can put four, five or six 4kW turbines in the space of one conventional turbine, which need 5 meter diameter space around them,” he says. In fact, wind tunnel tests have shown they perform even better placed closer together as they benefit from the vortices each of them creates.

Submission + - SourceForge MITM Projects ( 2

lister king of smeg writes: What happened?

SourceForge, once a trustworthy source code hosting site, started to place misleading ads (like fake download buttons) a few years ago. They are also bundling third-party adware/malware directly with their Windows installer.

Some project managers decided to leave SourceForge – partly because of this, partly just because there are better options today. SF staff hijacked some of these abandoned accounts, partly to bundle the crapware with their installers. It has become just another sleazy garbage site with downloads of fake antivirus programs and such.

How can I help?

If you agree that SourceForge is in fact distributing malicious software under the guise of open source projects, report them to google. Ideally this will help remove them from search results, prevent others from suffering their malware and provide them with incentive to change their behavior.

As this story has been submitted several times in the past several days, by various submitter and is going around various other tech forums( , , ,) this submitter wonders has our shared "glorious Dice Corporate overloads" been shooting this story down?

Submission + - Interpol Developing "Guidelines" for Use of Facial Recognition Software (

retroworks writes: INTERPOL announced the first meeting of its "Facial Expert Working Group" in order to "begin the process of developing international facial recognition standards." The two-day meeting (14 and 15 October) gathered 24 technical and biometrics experts and examiners from 16 countries who produced a ‘best practice guide’ for the quality, format and transmission of images to be used in facial recognition. It will be circulated to all 190 INTERPOL member countries to serve as a guideline for improving the quality of images necessary for accurate and effective facial recognition.

Last December (Bloomberg News) described a similar "voluntary guidelines" meeting between Facebook and Walmart for use of visual recognition to keep identification by retail store cameras in targeted online advertising. CBS also covered the story last December.

As more technology start ups like Facedeals recognize the opportunity to sell our browsing habits at stores to online marketing firms, Minority Report seems closer than ever. And unlike programs to erase, block, or deliver false clicks (cookie camouflage) to online advertisers, the solutions (wearing a Guy Fawkes mask or Groucho Marx glasses) seem much more intrusive.

Submission + - Lavabit Founder Explains Why He Was Forced To Shut It Down (

An anonymous reader writes: Ladar Levison, founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit that shut down last year because of friction with U.S. government data requests, has an article at The Guardian where he explains the whole story. He writes, 'My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network. ... I had no choice but to consent to the installation of their device, which would hand the U.S. government access to all of the messages – to and from all of my customers – as they travelled between their email accounts other providers on the Internet. But that wasn't enough. The federal agents then claimed that their court order required me to surrender my company's private encryption keys, and I balked. What they said they needed were customer passwords – which were sent securely – so that they could access the plain-text versions of messages from customers using my company's encrypted storage feature. (The government would later claim they only made this demand because of my "noncompliance".) ... What ensued was a flurry of legal proceedings that would last 38 days, ending not only my startup but also destroying, bit by bit, the very principle upon which I founded it – that we all have a right to personal privacy.'

Submission + - An interview with Clive "Max" Maxfield about Embedded Systems and FPGAs (

aprdm writes: Max’s numerous technical articles have appeared in a wide variety of magazines, including ED, EDN, Chip Design, EE Times, PCB Design, and the electronics and computing hobbyist magazine Everyday Practical Electronics (EPE). Also, he has held contributing editor or executive editor roles at Programmable Logic DesignLine, Chip Design Magazine, SOC Central, and Everyday Practical Electronics. Max has presented papers at technical conferences around the world; e.g., in 2010 he presented at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) Silicon Valley in April, ESC India in July, and the Embedded Live Conference in London, England in October; in 2012 he gave the keynote presentation at the FPGA Forum in Norway and also a guest lecture at Oslo University in Norway.

Max is the author and/or co-author of a number of books, including Designus Maximus Unleashed (Banned in Alabama), Bebop To The Boolean Boogie (An Unconventional Guide to Electronics), Bebop BYTES Back (An Unconventional Guide to Computers), EDA: Where Electronics Begins, 3D Graphics on Windows NT, The Design Warrior’s Guide to FPGAs, FPGAs: Instant Access, and How Computers Do Math.

"When I say microcontrollers I mean microprocessors also — both of these are just about the most inefficient way of performing these calculations known to humankind because they do things sequentially, instruction by instruction, which is very slow and very inefficient. The only reason that everything looks so efficient and impressive these days is because we are talking about running out processors with clock frequencies around 2.4 gigahertz, which is pretty much the same frequency we use in a microwave oven. Scary! The end result is that we’ve got processor chips that consume a humongous amount of power."

Comment Kids that were born in a free software age (Score 1) 356

It's simple, really,

Most of the kids who were born to a free software world, where access to the source is ubiquitous, don't have an idea of what a license does for them.

Never bothered to read the LICENSE files, because they all say (practically) the same thing, that they are free to improve and share. And that's what they do.

When they start their own projects, they 'default' to the same (mixed-oss/fs) license they grew up with, because that's the 'context' of the society they grew up in.

Submission + - Kepler Watches White Dwarf Warp Spacetime ( 1

astroengine writes: The Kepler space telescope’s prime objective is to hunt for small worlds orbiting distant stars, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to detect some extreme relativistic phenomena along the way. While monitoring a red dwarf star — designated KOI-256 — astronomers detected a dip in starlight in the Kepler data. But it wasn't caused by an exoplanet. After some careful detective work, the researchers found that the red dwarf was actually in orbit around a binary partner — a white dwarf. As the white dwarf passed in front of the red dwarf, the starlight was enhanced by microlensing — a phenomenon caused by an intense gravitational field focusing light from behind. This had the counter-intuitive result of causing the starlight to dim when the white dwarf passed behind the red dwarf and then brighten as the white dwarf passed in front. This is one of the first discoveries of a binary partner through microlensing. "Only Kepler could detect this tiny, tiny effect," said Doug Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters, Washington. "But with this detection, we are witnessing Einstein’s theory of general relativity at play in a far-flung star system."

Comment Re:why? (Score 1) 311

At boot up, the BIOS redirects the PC text screen to the serial port (emulating an ANSI console, I think). Then, there's a setting in the bios telling it when to stop redirecting -- after POST, after boot loader, or never. It only works while the display hardware is in text mode, by the way.

In my case I stop redirecting before the boot loader (grub), and tell Linux it's console is ttyS0.

Wait... here it is: /boot/grub/grub.cfg:
serial --unit=0 --speed=115200 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1
terminal_input serial
terminal_output serial

# cat /proc/cmdline
BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-3.2.0-37-generic root=UUID=73441761-9587-45c1-a901-63fbb9cac1ff ro console=ttyS0,115200n8 console=tty0

All done in /etc/default/grub, on Ubuntu (IIRC):
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="console=ttyS0,115200n8 console=tty0"
GRUB_SERIAL_COMMAND="serial --unit=0 --speed=115200 --word=8 --parity=no --stop=1"

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