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Submission + - Harvest Energy from Internal Organ Movement (phys.org)

TempeNerd writes: A consortium of research institutions have published research on a new implantable piezo-electric device that will harvest energy from internal organ movements (lungs, diaphragm, heart) to power devices like pacemakers.
As reported in Phys.org, this appears to be the first time that such a design is actually powerful enough to do so without any external charging or other inputs required.

Of course, this is still in the animal testing phase, but this tech seems attainable and life changing.

Submission + - Canada (quietly) offering sanctuary to data from the U.S. (thestar.com)

davecb writes: The Toronto Star's lead article today is Canada courting U.S. web giants in wake of NSA spy scandal, an effort to convince them their customer data is safer here. This follows related moves like cisco moving R&D to Toronto. Industry Canada will neither confirm nor deny that European and U.S. companies are negotiating to move confidential data away from the U.S. This critically depends on recent blocking legislation to get around cases like U.S. v. Bank of Nova Scotia, where U.S. courts "extradited" Canadian bank records to the U.S. Contrary to Canadian law, you understand ...

Submission + - Study Suggests Link Between Dread Pirate Roberts and Satoshi Nakamoto (nytimes.com)

wabrandsma writes: Two Israeli computer scientists say they may have uncovered a puzzling financial link between Ross William Ulbricht, the recently arrested operator of the Internet black market known as the Silk Road, and the secretive inventor of bitcoin, the anonymous online currency, used to make Silk Road purchases.

Submission + - Why Do Users Uninstall Apps? (intel.com) 1

jones_supa writes: In mobile app development, one of the more daunting problems facing developers is user engagement; how to get users keep my app installed? Intel has done a little bit of research to find the most common cases. Apps that don’t offer anything helpful or unique tend to be the ones that are uninstalled the most frequently. People cycle through apps incredibly quickly to find the best-fitting. Then a lot of apps have a naturally limited lifecycle; i.e., apps that are centered around a movie release or tracking a pregnancy. Aside that, there seems to be a few common factors that can contribute to uninstallation: lengthy forms, asking for ratings, collecting unnecessary data, user unfriendliness, unnecessary notifications and of course, bugs. Additionally, if people have paid even a small price for the app, they are more committed to keep it installed.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Why does Xorg+Gnome looks better than Windows?

An anonymous reader writes: I dual boot Windows 7 (for games) and Ubuntu with Gnome 3 (for development, and other things). One thing I've noticed is that the fonts and other visual attributes of Gnome look /much/ better than windows on the same hardware. It almost seems like Xorg uses antialiasing for it's fonts, or other settings. Why does Windows 7 looks so terrible on the visual side, and is there a solution?

Submission + - Drug Site Silk Road Says It Will Survive Bitcoin's Volatility (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: Bitcoin's recent spike and then collapse in value has convinced many that it's too unstable to use as a practical currency. But not the founder of Silk Road, the black market drug site that exclusively accepts Bitcoin in exchange for heroin, cocaine and practically every other drug imaginable. Silk Road's creator, who calls himself the Dread Pirate Roberts, broke his usual media silence to issue a short statement that Silk Road will survive Bitcoin's bubble and bust. The market's prices are generally pegged to the dollar, with prices in Bitcoin fluctuating to account for movements in the exchange rate. And Roberts explained that vendors on the site have the option to also hedge the Bitcoins that buyers place in escrow for their products, so that they can't lose money due to Bitcoin's volatility while the drugs are in the mail. As a result, only about 1,000 of the site's more than 11,000 product listings were taken down during the recent crash.
Crime

Submission + - Facebook Lands Drunk Driving Teen in Jail

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Washington Post reports that 18-year-old Jacob Cox-Brown has been arrested after telling his Facebook network that he had hit a car while driving drunk posting the message: “Drivin drunk ... classsic ;) but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P” Two of Cox-Brown’s friends saw the message and sent it along to two separate local police officers and after receiving the tip, police went to Cox-Brown’s house and were able to match a vehicle there to one that had hit two others in the early hours of the morning. Police then charged the teen with two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver. “Astoria Police have an active social media presence,” says a press release from Astoria Police. “It was a private Facebook message to one of our officers that got this case moving, though. When you post ... on Facebook, you have to figure that it is not going to stay private long.” Attorney Bradley Shea says that this is a prime example of social media users being seemingly unaware of the digital footprint they’re leaving with their posts — and the consequences they may face from an update. “You never know who’s watching,” says Shea. “Once you post online, it can be repurposed in ways you never expected.”"
Facebook

Submission + - Facebook launches free-call feature in Canada first (www.cbc.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: from cbc.ca "Facebook has chosen Canadian users to be guinea pigs for a new mobile feature to make free phone calls. Facebook's new Messenger app for Apple mobile devices enables voice-over-Internet protocol phone calls, which use data instead of eating into the minutes in a mobile plan."

Submission + - ASK SLASHDOT: advice for getting career back on track

msamp writes: After the dotcom bubble burst so long ago,when tech jobs were so scarce, I went back to school and finished my PhD in Physics. They lied — there really is no shortage of scientists. Before the downturn I was a product manager for home networking equipment. Since getting the degree I have been program/project manager for small DoD and NASA instrumentation programs. I desperately want back into network equipment product management, but my networking tech skills aren't up to date. I find networking technology absolutely trivial and have been retraining on my own, but hiring managers see the gap and the PhD and run screaming. I'm more than willing to start over in network admin but can't even get considered for that. Suggestions?
Transportation

Submission + - A $20 Cardboard Bicycle Could Revolutionize World's Transportation 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Reuters reports that a bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit that would be sold for about $20 has the potential to change transportation habits from the world's most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa. "In six months we will have completed planning the first production lines for an urban bike which will be assisted by an electric motor, a youth bike which will be a 2/3 size model for children in Africa, a balance bike for youngsters learning to ride, and a wheelchair that a non-profit organization wants to build with our technology for Africa," says Nimrod Elmish. The bicycles are not only very cheap to make, but at 20 pounds they are very light and do not need to be adjusted or repaired, the solid tires that are made of reconstituted rubber from old car tires will never get a puncture. "These bikes need no maintenance and no adjustment, a car timing belt is used instead of a chain, and the tires do not need inflating and can last for 10 years," says Elmish adding that the bicycles will be so cheap, it hardly matters how long they last. "So you buy one, use it for a year and then you can buy another one, and if it breaks, you can take it back to the factory and recycle it." Cardboard, made of wood pulp, was invented in the 19th century as sturdy packaging for carrying other more valuable objects, it has rarely been considered as raw material for things usually made of much stronger materials, such as metal. Inventor Izhar Gafni spent years figuring out how to make cardboard strong enough to support a human. The trick was bending and gluing the cardboard in such a way that it becomes strong like a piece of wood. In a video, Gafni describes the process as a type of origami, and demonstrates how his cardboard is strong enough to support a car. As in crafting origami and tearing telephone books, Gafni explains, “[if] you fold it once, and it’s not just twice the strength, it’s three times the strength.”"
Education

Submission + - Free Networking Class from Stanford (stanford.edu)

philip.levis writes: "Nick McKeown and I are offering a free, online class on computer networking. We're professors of computer science and electrical engineering at Stanford and are also co-teaching Stanford's networking course this quarter.

The free, online class will run about 6 weeks and is intended to be accessible to people who don't program: the prerequisites are an understanding of probability, bits and bytes, and how computers lay out memory. Given how important the Internet is, we think a more accessible course on the principles and practice of computer networks could be a very valuable educational resource. I'm sure many Slashdot readers will already know much of what we'll cover, but for those who don't, here's an opportunity to learn!"

Security

Submission + - WhatsApp is using IMEI numbers as passwords (samgranger.com)

mpol writes: "In the past WhatsApp has been hightly critisized over their insecure use of the XMPP messaging protocol. Recently new versions of their app have incorporated encryption.

It seems the trouble isn't over yet for WhatsApp and its users. Sam Granger writes on his blog that WhatsApp is using IMEI numbers as passwords. This is at least the case with the Android app, but other platforms are probably using similar methods.
Since it is easily readable what someone's IMEI number is, this isn't really secret information that should be used for authentication.
In the wake of the Apple/FBI UDID fiasco, will we see lists with phone numbers and IMEI numbers appear on the net?"

Science

Submission + - Germ-killing copper

ACXNew writes: While disease-causing organisms can lurk on stainless steel surfaces for two weeks, according to a recent University of Arizona research study, 99.9 percent die within two hours on surfaces that contain at least 60 percent copper.
Surfaces at the Ronald McDonald House were swabbed and tested for bacteria for ten weeks before new copper alloy products were installed. Follow-up tests on the items converted to copper showed they carried 94 percent fewer bacteria. They are now trying to recreate the Charleston project at other Ronald McDonald Houses around the world to create a safer living and working environment for the children, families and staff. Before we started using stainless steel weren't we using copper vessels? The ancients knew this one better!
Music

Submission + - Ask Slashdot OpenSource Hackable Portable Music Player for Helicopters 3

mrhelio writes: Hello Slashdot, Long-term reader first time poster here it goes: My Company needs help finding a Hacker friendly portable music player for our Helicopters.

I work for a medium sized Helicopter Company. We mainly fly tourists around on sightseeing flights. We have a problem with our onboard music players; mostly because it is an obsolete terrible design. The manufacturer has made an updated model but it’s basically the same obsolete design with the same terrible software, and user interface. We are worried about spending $1000 per unit on these because the manufacturer will eventually stop making replacement units and then we will be force to buy upgrades for our entire fleet again and get everything recertified (Any piece of equipment hard mounted in a commercial aircraft has to be certified by the FAA and it takes a lot of paper work, time and money for that to happen) So we have a new plan, get portable music players like IPods and plug those into the aux input in the intercom system.

We need something that has 9 hours battery life, can hold at least 3 hours of music, and has remote control options for start, stop, volume, and selecting tracks and playlists, and a display that is visible in bright sunny as well as dark conditions. The remote control option is the toughest part to find. The pilots need to be able to control the music with out taking their hands off the flight controls for safety reasons. There are buttons and toggle switched already designed into the flight controls for these kind of purposes and we have mechanics/ engineers that can wire it all together, but the music player has to support the remote interface in the first place.
Our first choice would be to give each pilot an iPod but apple is notoriously anti-hacking and anti-open source, plus you have to pay them ridiculous licensing fees to get access to their usb interface. So we are looking for a manufacturer that is open source / hacker friendly and makes something that meets our needs.

Does the Slashdot community know of anything that would work for us? Maybe something that runs rockbox http://www.rockbox.org/ should we just break down and design something from scratch like the butterfly Mp3 player? http://cmtk3.webring.org/l/rd?ring=avr;id=117;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.brokentoaster.com%2Fbutterflymp3%2Findex.html

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