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Power

Submission + - Wind Power Without the Blades (discovery.com) 1

Warmlight writes: "Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi. Atelier DNA’s "Windstalk"project came in second in the Land Art Generator competition a contest sponsored by Madsar to identify the best work of art that generates renewable energy from a pool of international submissions."
Mars

Spirit Stuck In Soft Soil On Mars 160

cheros writes "NASA reports that the Spirit Mars lander is presently stuck in soft soil. The lander's wheels are halfway sunk into the soil and they are planning simulation tests to see if they can get it out again. I hope they can get it out of there because it's picking up enough new energy to operate; however, it only has 5 wheels left to get around on — one of the wheels hasn't been working for years. Fingers crossed."
Censorship

Submission + - Child Online Protection Act appeal refused (goodgearguide.com.au)

An anonymous reader writes: The US Supreme Court has refused to resurrect a law requiring Web sites containing "material harmful to minors" to restrict access based on age, presumably ending a 10-year fight over whether the law violated free speech rights. The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by former President George Bush's administration, which asked that the court overturn a lower court's ruling against enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA). In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit struck down the law, saying it was a vague and overly broad attack on free speech.
Moon

Submission + - Full Lunar Eclipse for the Americas on Wednesday (nasa.gov)

KingArthur10 writes: "It will be the last lunar eclipse until December 2010, and it should be spectacular. Shades of turquoise and red will pour over the moon's surface as the it moves into the Earth's shadow around 8:43pm EST. As NASA reports: 'Transiting the shadow's core takes about an hour. The first hints of red appear around 10 pm EST (7 pm PST), heralding a profusion of coppery hues that roll across the Moon's surface enveloping every crater, mountain and moon rock, only to fade away again after 11 pm EST (8 pm PST). No special filter or telescope is required to see this spectacular event. It is a bright and leisurely display visible from cities and countryside alike. While you're watching, be alert for another color: turquoise. Observers of several recent lunar eclipses have reported a flash of turquoise bracketing the red of totality.....The source of the turquoise is ozone.' So, all of your amateur astronomers need to get out there and take pictures. If you have amazing, share them on sites like SpaceWeather or Flickr so that our Asian, European, African, and Australian brethren can witness the sight as well."
Announcements

Submission + - Steve Fossett Officially Declared Dead (cnn.com)

KingArthur10 writes: "It's been five months since the sudden disappearance of Steve Fossett, and now, after his wife filed a petition for the declaration, a judge has officially declared Steve Fossett officially dead. From CNN: 'A Chicago probate court judge Friday declared millionaire adventurer Steve Fossett dead five months after he disappeared while on a solo flight over the Nevada desert. Judge Jeffrey Malak made the ruling after an emotional presentation from Fossett's wife of 38 years, Peggy, who also asked that her husband's will be entered into probate. Fossett, who was 63, was last seen on the morning of September 3 when he took off from the Flying-M Ranch outside Minden, Nevada. He said he was embarking on a pleasure flight over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in a single-engine plane. Fossett was carrying a single bottle of water and had no parachute. He had planned to fly over the Nevada desert for two to three hours, and was expecting to return for lunch to the ranch, owned by hotel magnate Barron Hilton.'"
The Courts

Submission + - LANCOR v. OLPC Update (groklaw.net)

drewmoney writes: According to an article on Groklaw: It's begun in a Nigerian court. LANCOR has actually done it. Guess what the Nigerian keyboard makers want from the One Laptop Per Child charitable organization trying to make the world a better place?

$20 million dollars in "damages", and an injunction blocking OLPC from distribution in Nigeria.

Feed Engadget: Build a digital microscope from a webcam (engadget.com)

Filed under: Digital Cameras

Sure, it won't get you live 3D representations of living cells, but this little USB microscope mashup over at Instructables should nab you some sweet pics of up-close detail with a minimum of effort. You can pull it off with basically any simple webcam -- the one pictured here cost $5 -- and toy microscope, but you'll have to a little creative wiresplicing to get the white LED light source powered off USB as well. Still, it's a neat project if you've got the time -- now get to work!

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


The Military

Submission + - Downside of Dominance -- Lockheed and the F16 (washingtonpost.com)

mlimber writes: The Washington Post reports that Lockheed Martin is building the F35, the Joint Strike Fighter, for all the branches of the military, but some are asking why it is needed. The F16, which is also manufactured by Lockheed, is significantly cheaper, has upgrades to modernize it from its origins in the 1970s, and has never lost an air-to-air battle (not to mention, "with 200,000 sorties flown, the plane has been shot down just six times"). In short, "Lockheed's most potent competitor in the fighter business is Lockheed."
United States

Submission + - Got fleas? Grab a vacuum (networkworld.com)

coondoggie writes: "Researchers said today that pest of pests, fleas, can be mostly eliminated by a thorough house vacuuming. Ohio State University researchers said vacuuming kills fleas in all stages of their lives, with an average of 96% success in adult fleas and 100% destruction of younger fleas. The results were so surprisingly definitive that the lead scientist, an insect specialist, repeated the experiments several times to be sure the findings were correct, the university said in a release. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/23111"
Data Storage

Submission + - Access Personal Information from Multiple OS's

Reapman writes: "I am trying to find the ideal setup for sharing my personal data over multiple Operating Systems, and keep coming up just short of my goal. My biggest priorities are Email (done currently with Courier IMAP), Appointments, task list, and Contacts. The OS's I use are Linux, Windows, Palm (Treo, willing to consider a different Phone/OS if it would help) and most recently a Macbook running Leopard. Google seems like a likely source for Calendar and Contacts but ideally I'd like to be able to access this data "offline" as well. Palm seems to be able to sync with Google Calendar but not without jumping through some rather annoying hoops.

Also looking to have bookmarks (Firefox?) and MSN Chat Logs (stuck with MSN, was thinking aMSN as the client?) between my desktop and laptop too. Documents right now are accessible via a Samba Domain Controller (so login / logout scripts are available to be worked with)

My goal would be some sort of streamlined process where I log in and it's all just there, no having to manually sync anything. This is just for me so the expensive "enterprise" solutions like Exchange and such aren't really viable options. I have looked at Fedora's Directory Services a bit however did'nt have much luck getting it running. I'm probably asking for quite a bit, but I figured if there was a solution, someone on here would know!"
Portables

Submission + - Penny-sized flash module holds 16GB (linuxdevices.com) 1

nerdyH writes: Intel describes its new 2GB to 16GB SSDs (solid state disks) as "smaller than a penny, and weighing less than a drop of water." The parts are "400 times smaller in volume than a 1.8-inch hard drive," Intel boasts, "and at 0.6 grams, 75 times lighter." Sampling now, with mass production set for Q1, the Z-P140 is described as an "optional" part of Intel's Menlow chipset, built in turn as part of Intel's vision for Linux-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs).
Privacy

Submission + - Judge:Man can't be forced to divulge passphrase (news.com) 2

mytrip writes: "A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination.

Niedermeier tossed out a grand jury's subpoena that directed Sebastien Boucher to provide "any passwords" used with his Alienware laptop. "Compelling Boucher to enter the password forces him to produce evidence that could be used to incriminate him," the judge wrote in an order dated November 29 that went unnoticed until this week. "Producing the password, as if it were a key to a locked container, forces Boucher to produce the contents of his laptop."

Especially if this ruling is appealed, U.S. v. Boucher could become a landmark case. The question of whether a criminal defendant can be legally compelled to cough up his encryption passphrase remains an unsettled one, with law review articles for the last decade arguing the merits of either approach. (A U.S. Justice Department attorney wrote an article in 1996, for instance, titled "Compelled Production of Plaintext and Keys.")"

Space

Submission + - Enceladus "sea" mystery deepens

Smivs writes: "The BBC reports that an ocean may not be the source of the jets emanating from Saturn's moon Enceladus . Research questions the moon's promise as a target in the search for life beyond Earth and has stirred controversy.
A chemical analysis of Enceladus, led by University of Colorado planetary scientist Nick Schneider, failed to detect sodium, an element scientists say should be in a body of water that has had billions of years of contact with rock. Spectral analysis with the Keck Telescope found no sodium in the plumes or in the vapour that's in orbit around the moon.
At stake is whether Saturn's moon could support alien life and is a worthy target for a US space agency (Nasa) exploratory mission to detect it. Such a mission to Enceladus is one of four currently under review for further development."

Feed Engadget: Ohio report recommends scrapping electronic voting (engadget.com)

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets

Like California and Florida before it, habitual swing state Ohio has just issued a report slamming its three providers of electronic voting equipment -- including, of course, renamed Diebold -- and recommending that the 50 counties which use them scrap the machines in favor of a paper-trail-leaving optical scanning method. The report, commissioned by Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, details the ways in which white hat hackers were able to infiltrate the systems, easily picking locks, using portable devices to manipulate vote counts, and even introducing "malignant software" into boards of election servers. Brunner's plan calls for the entire state's voting infrastructure to be overhauled by next year's presidential elections, a move likely to be lauded by touchscreen voting's many critics, but coming "about eight years too late, jerks -- thanks a lot," according to usually-even-tempered former candidate Al Gore.

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


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