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Submission + - Anonymous flashmob to 'rescue' Assange (

An anonymous reader writes: Anonumous is planning to raising a flash mob wearing "V for Vendetta" masks to 'rescue' Assange during his 2pm statement today.

DIY FireHero Project 27

If you have a propane tank, an ultrasonic sensor, a copy of Guitar Hero and a touch of pyromania, this is the project for you. From the article: "For version 1 of FireHero, the player simply watches a video of the guitar hero chart and plays on the guitar accordingly. Version 2 of FireHero will have a much better system, with Autoplay functionality. I will be able to take a custom guitar hero chart, convert it into a MIDI file, and use Processing to analyze it and play FireHero to the track."

Submission + - Visa shows mobile phones for contactless payments

An anonymous reader writes: Visa is trialling so-called 'mobile wallets' — NFC-enabled mobile handsets which, when held next to a compatible retailer's POS terminal, can be used to make a contactless payment, replacing cash or cards.

Near field communications technology is common in mobile handsets in Japan — where mobiles can also often be used as contactless travelcards too — but NFC technology has made slow progress outside Asia. Cue Visa's attempt to put wind in contactless' sails with a six-month trial of NFC handsets in the city of Sitges, in Spain — has visited the city to see the handsets in action. Visa is tipping the London 2012 Olympic Games as a big date for NFC — suggesting contactless-enabled handsets will be coming onto the European market very soon.

Even so, Visa reckons the biggest barrier to a commercial rollout of mobile wallets remains the need to find a business model that's acceptable to all the different players — banks, mobile carriers, retailers and handset makers — who will all want their cut of the reveune. One more thing to note: Apple recently filed an NFC patent — and while having NFC in iPhones would certainly give the technology's profile a big boost, patents are probably the last thing an emerging NFC ecosystem needs to contend with.

Submission + - UK advertising watchdog extends online remit (

Stoobalou writes: The UK's Advertising Standards Agency is to extend its powers relating to online advertising.

At the moment, the UK watchdog can only look at paid-for ads such as banners and pop-ups.

But from 1 March 2011, its remit will be extended to include irresponsible and misleading advertising, and the protection of children, in all online marketing — including 'viral' marketing messages placed on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.

Submission + - SPAM: BJP, missing Atal ji

ZeeNews writes: ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE, former Prime Minister and the only BJP leader India loved and cherished remains an enigma. Perhaps the mystery contributing to the enduring fascination; yet, today the witty poet has no words for the party he created.

The man who could make any debate sparkle with witty asides such as when asked in Parliament “Atalji aap atal rahiye”, smiled and said, “Atal toh hoon lekin bhooliye mat, Bihari bhi hoon.” And who went to a RSS shakha wearing his customary dhoti and chortled at the sea of Khakhi shorts and said, “Pehle kyun nahi bataya, mein bhi pehen leta” (why did you not tell me before, I would also have worn shorts) thereby further underlining the difference between him — a political leader and the RSS. He today watches, eight months after the RSS took complete and formal control of the BJP with Nitin Gadkari, a provincial leader with no national exposure.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Court rules against stem cell policy (

An anonymous reader writes: WASHINGTON — A U.S. district court issued a preliminary injunction Monday stopping federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research in a slap to the Obama administration's new guidelines on the sensitive issue. The court ruled in favor of a suit filed in June by researchers who said human embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of human embryos. Judge Royce Lamberth granted the injunction after finding that the lawsuit would likely succeed because the guidelines violated law banning the use of federal funds to destroy human embryos.

"(Embryonic stem cell) research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed," Lamberth wrote in a 15-page ruling. The Obama administration could appeal his decision or try to rewrite the guidelines to comply with U.S. law.

The unusual suit against the National Institutes of Health, backed by some Christian groups opposed to embryo research, argued that the NIH policy violates U.S. law and takes funds from researchers seeking to work with adult stem cells.

The U.S. Department of Justice and NIH had no immediate comment.


Submission + - Take a deep breath - why the world is running out (

jamie writes: "The U.S. National Helium Reserve stores a billion cubic meters, half the world supply of helium, in an old natural gasfield. The array of pipes and mines runs 200 miles from Texas to Kansas. In the name of deficit reduction, we're selling it all off for cheap. Physics professor and Nobel laureate Robert Richardson says: 'In 1996, the US Congress decided to sell off the strategic reserve and the consequence was that the market was swelled with cheap helium because its price was not determined by the market. The motivation was to sell it all by 2015. The basic problem is that helium is too cheap. The Earth is 4.7 billion years old and it has taken that long to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will dissipate in about 100 years. One generation does not have the right to determine availability for ever.' Another view is The Impact of Selling the Federal Helium Reserve, the government study from 10 years ago that suggested the government's price would end up being over market value by 25% — but cautioned that this was based on the assumption that demand would grow slowly, and urged periodic reviews of the state of the industry."

Submission + - Look-Alike Tubes Are Killing Hospital Patients ( 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that in hospitals around the country nurses connect and disconnect interchangeable clear plastic tubing sticking out of patients' bodies to deliver or extract medicine, nutrition, fluids, gases or blood — sometimes with deadly consequences. Tubes intended to inflate blood-pressure cuffs have been connected to intravenous lines leading to deadly air embolisms., intravenous fluids have been connected to tubes intended to deliver oxygen leading to suffocation, and in 2006 a nurse at in Wisconsin mistakenly put a spinal anesthetic into a vein, killing 16-year-old who was giving birth. "Nurses should not have to work in an environment where it is even possible to make that kind of mistake," says Nancy Pratt, a vocal advocate for changing the system. Critics say the tubing problem, which has gone on for decades, is an example of how the FDA fails to protect the public. "FDA could fix this tubing problem tomorrow, but because the agency is so worried about making industry happy, people continue to die," says Dr. Robert Smith."

Submission + - Voting Researcher Arrested Over Anonymous Source (

An anonymous reader writes: Alex Halderman writes on Freedom-to-Tinker:

About four months ago, Ed Felten blogged about a research paper in which Hari Prasad, Rop Gonggrijp, and I detailed serious security flaws in India's electronic voting machines. Indian election authorities have repeatedly claimed that the machines are "tamperproof," but we demonstrated important vulnerabilities by studying a machine provided by an anonymous source. The story took a disturbing turn a little over 24 hours ago, when my coauthor Hari Prasad was arrested by Indian authorities demanding to know the identity of that source. At 5:30 Saturday morning, about ten police officers arrived at Hari's home in Hyderabad. They questioned him about where he got the machine we studied, and at around 8 a.m. they placed him under arrest and proceeded to drive him to Mumbai, a 14 hour journey. The police did not state a specific charge at the time of the arrest, but it appears to be a politically motivated attempt to uncover our anonymous source. The arresting officers told Hari that they were under "pressure [from] the top," and that he would be left alone if he would reveal the source's identity. Hari was allowed to use his cell phone for a time, and I spoke with him as he was being driven by the police to Mumbai.

The whole story and audio of that phone call with Hari in the police car are at


Submission + - Controversy Arises Over Taliban Option in MoH (

eldavojohn writes: CVG is covering the controversy surrounding the players ability to play as a member of the Taliban in EA's Medal of Honor multiplayer. Fox News hopped on the wagon interviewing a Gold Star mom whose son died in Iraq. She said, "My son didn't get to start over when he was killed. His life was over and I had to deal with that every day. There's 1200 families from Afghanistan that have to live with this every day. And we live it — it's not a game ... EA is very cavalier about it: 'Well, it's just a game.' But it isn't a game to the people who are suffering from the loss of the children and loved ones." EA's response to this criticism of giving players the objective to 'gun down American troops' was this: 'Medal Of Honor is set in today's war, putting players in the boots of today's soldier ... We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of us have been doing this since we were seven. If someone's the cop, someone's got to be the robber, someone's got to be the pirate, somebody's got to be the alien. In Medal Of Honor multiplayer, someone has to be the Taliban.' Of course the story recalls Six Days in Fallujah which was dropped by Konami following similar controversy. It's clear at least a few people take issue with games surrounding modern conflicts.

Submission + - Stanford Scientists Turn Sewage Into Rocket Fuel (

An anonymous reader writes: Stanford researchers have developed a new way to treat sewage by using anaerobic bacteria to break it down, producing nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This nitrous oxide can then be used as rocket fuel, which burns leaving only harmless oxygen and nitrogen as byproducts. Rather than running needless rockets round the globe, the researchers propose that we use rocket-thruster technology to power sewage processing plants, creating a closed loop.

Submission + - Scientists unravel another key evolutionary trait

BrainPower writes: By deciphering the genetics in humans and fish, scientists now believe that the neck – that little body part between your head and shoulders – gave humans so much freedom of movement that it played a surprising and major role in the evolution of the human brain, according to New York University and Cornell University neuroscientists in the online journal Nature Communications

Submission + - Punctuation aware search engine? ( 3

gumpish writes: As we all know, Google's search engine discards punctuation, making it difficult to get a meaningful signal-to-noise ratio in search results. (For example, try searching for information about Python's all() method.) Unfortunately it seems most major search engines behave the same way. This would seem to imply the existence of a niche just waiting to be filled: a punctuation aware search engine. For certain searches where punctuation really matters (as is often the case when looking for code) I would gladly put up with intrusive ads, mandatory registration, slow processing of my query and a small set of results, because something is better than nothing. Is there a search engine every slashdotter should know about that meets this need?

Submission + - Guy builds glass seismograph that actually works (

Lanxon writes: Fashioning precision instruments and manual tools out of glass might seem an epic design fail. But since 1998, Andrew Paiko, an artist from Portland, Oregon, has been doing just that. But in 2002, Paiko wondered if he could make something functional. "I always had an interest in science, and I found a relatively simple design for a seismograph. I took it to pieces in my head and thought, 'I could make this.'" And he has, reports Wired.

Submission + - When telemarketers harass telecoms companies ( 1

farnz writes: "Andrews & Arnold, a small telecoms company in the UK have recently been hit with an outbreak of illegal junk calls. Unlike larger firms, they've come up with an innovative response — assign 4 million numbers to play recordings to the telemarketers, put them on the UK's Do-Not-Call list and see what happens. Thus far, the record is over 3 minutes before a telemarketer works out what's going on.

What ideas have Slashdotters used to keep telemarketers at bay?"

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