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Comment The Netherlands has something similar (Score 4, Informative) 291

Here in the Netherlands our largest cable providers (Ziggo and UPC) also turned every home cable modem into a public hotspot about a year or two ago. All customers are given an account to use the hotspot network anywhere in the country. It can be pretty handy if you are with a laptop in a city and need internet access. Your laptop will get get a connection and away you go. They are on separate IP space, and don't affect your usable bandwidth or throughput as they are lower priority traffic than your own subscription traffic. While this functionality is opt out rather than opt in, you can just login to the console of your cable modem and disable it as desired. When you opt out like that however you also lose the access to use hotspot network entirely. The cost of using the network is to participate. The only thing that I see wrong with it is that it is an opt out system rather than an opt in. But I can also see that something like this wouldn't reach the "critical mass" to make it all work otherwise.

Submission + - Ford "solar-powered" car - realistic or greenwashing? ( 1

SustainableJeroen writes: This week, Ford presented a "solar-powered" concept version of its plugin-in hybrid C-Max Energi, the C-Max Energi Solar. The car features a 300 watt solar panel integrated in the roof, but because that's nowhere near enough to fully charge the car's 7,4 kWh battery, it comes with a huge carport that concentrates the solar radiation onto the car's solar panel. As if all this doesn't sound fantastic enough — the car would actually automatically move around under the carport to keep its solar panel in the carport's focal point.

Is this a realistic proposition? Or a pie in the sky? This article analyses the system and discovers that the concept as it's presented here would not produce a practical driving range, especially in moderate climates.

Submission + - World Solar Challenge to start in less than two weeks (

SustainableJeroen writes: On October 6th, the 2013 World Solar Challenge will start. This year, 43 teams (more than ever before) from 24 countries around the world will compete in this biannual 3000 km road event, which runs from Darwin to Adelaide. In both 2009 and 2011, Tokai University (Japan), Nuon Solar Team (the Netherlands) and University of Michigan Solar Car Team (USA) finished in first, second and third position, respectively. Who will win this year? We'll know for sure on October 13th, the end of the event. Team details (photos, car specifications, links to websites) can be found here.

Submission + - World Solar Challenge about to start (

SustainableJeroen writes: On Sunday morning 08:30 (local time) — that's less than seven hours away — the World Solar Challenge will start. The first solar racing car and its support fleet will depart Darwin to traverse the 3000+ km to Adelaide through the Australian outback. It will be followed at two-minute intervals by 36 other racing teams, from twenty countries from all over the world..

The qualification round, held on Saturday, saw Solar Team Twente secure the first starting position in the race, closely followed by Nuon Solar Team and Michigan University. The top ten times in the qualification round were within eleven seconds of each other, and while driving one lap around a race track is very different from driving 3000 km on a public motorway, it does show that the top cars are quite close in performance.

With the top cars and teams being very, very close to each other it's sure to be a very exciting race. The fastest teams are expected to reach the official finish line just outside Adelaide late Wednesday or early Thursday (local time) after which the teams will continue on for the traditional dive in the fountain on Victoria square in Adelaide.

Comment Re:time to buy (Score 4, Informative) 235

For the curious, it takes approximately 4 layers of aluminum foil to block a scanner from activating the RFID signal when your Al lined wallet is point blank from a standard scanner.

(After receiving an RFID enabled ID card here in the Netherlands last year, I tested it on our office copy/scanner RFID reader, and then simply lined my wallet with double the number of layers it took to block the signal. Works like a charm!)

Comment Call me paranoid (Score 3, Interesting) 184

With recent news about certain Android apps sending private information to whomever created it, I have recently installed DroidWall to filter access (e.g. - Battery meter apps!? Puh-leez!) to my phone's data connection.

If some app expects me to allow a data connection just to prove I am not a thief, sorry, I won't be buying it! And yes, I do purchase apps that I consider worthy.

And what happens if someone is abroad? Would they have to pay $20 in roaming charges to play some bubble bobble game for an hour while waiting in some airport?

Comment Re:So much for the seeds of .... (Score 1) 338

Where do you suggest they go to get "proper training" for a motorized office chair? ;-)

Since they were using it on the streets, they could start by getting a driving license like everyone else that operates a motorized method of transport in public.

Now I am not sure about this, but I think in Germany you can't get a drivers license until you are 18 (and they were 17). Ironically, it probably would be safer for these guys to be driving a car on the streets than that contraption they built.

I am all for inventing things like that and having fun with it - but on private property where they can only hurt themselves and their own property not other people if something happens to go wrong.


Submission + - The iPhone Meets the Fourth Amendment ( 3

background image writes: According to Alan M Gershowitz, the doctrine of "search incident to arrest" may allow devices such as mobile phones, pdas and laptops to be thoroughly searched without either probable cause or warrants, and incriminating evidence found in such searches may be used against you whether or not it is germane to the reason for the original arrest.

Imagine that police arrest an individual for a simple traffic infraction, such as running a stop sign. Under the search incident to arrest doctrine, officers are entitled to search the body of the person they are arresting to ensure that he does not have any weapons or will not destroy any evidence. The search incident to an arrest is automatic and allows officers to open containers on the person, even if there is no probable cause to believe there is anything illegal inside of those containers. What happens, however, when the arrestee is carrying an iPhone in his pocket? May the police search the iPhone's call history, cell phone contacts, emails, pictures, movies, calendar entries and, perhaps most significantly, the browsing history from recent internet use? Under longstanding Supreme Court precedent decided well before handheld technology was even contemplated, the answer appears to be yes.

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