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Submission + - WW2 vet sends pirate DVDs to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan (nytimes.com)

nbauman writes: WW2 veteran "Big Hy," 92, pirated 300,00 DVD movies and sent them to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, where they were widely distributed and deeply appreciated. Soldiers would gather around personal computers for movie nights, with mortars blasting in the background. "It's reconnecting to everything you miss," said one. He received American flags, appreciative letters, and snapshots of soldiers holding up their DVDs. He spent about $30,000 of his own money. Hy Strachman retired from his family's window and shade business in Manhattan in the 1990s. After his wife Harriet died in 2003, he spent sleepless nights on the Internet, and saw that soldiers were consistently asking for movie DVDs. He bought bootlegged disks for $5 in Penn Station, and then found a dealer at his local barbershop. He bought a $400 duplicater that made 7 copies at once, and mailed them 84 at a time, to Army Chaplains. The MPAA said they weren't aware of his operation. The studios send reel-to-reel films to the troops.

Submission + - Who Needs CISPA? FBI has a non-profit workaround (forbes.com)

nonprofiteer writes: What has been left out of the CISPA debate thus far is the FBI's long time workaround for information sharing with private industry: "In 1997, long-time FBI agent Dan Larkin helped set up a non-profit based in Pittsburgh that “functions as a conduit between private industry and law enforcement.” Its industry members, which include banks, ISPs, telcos, credit card companies, pharmaceutical companies, and others can hand over cyberthreat information to the non-profit, called the National Cyber Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), which has a legal agreement with the government that allows it to then hand over info to the FBI. Conveniently, the FBI has a unit, the Cyber Initiative and Resource Fusion Unit, stationed in the NCFTA’s office. Companies can share information with the 501(c)6 non-profit that they would be wary of (or prohibited from) sharing directly with the FBI."

Submission + - TSA Makes $440K Annually in Loose Change

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "NBC reports that airport travelers left behind $409,085.56 in loose change at security checkpoints in 2010 providing an additional source of funding for the Transportation Security Administration. “TSA puts (the leftover money) in a jar at security checkpoint, at the end of each shift they take it, count it, put it in an envelope and send it to the finance office," says TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez. "“It is amazing. All that change, it all adds up." Melendez adds that the money goes into the general operating budget for TSA that is typically used for technology, light bulbs or just overall general expenses. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation that would direct the TSA to transfer unclaimed money recovered at airport security checkpoints to the United Service Organizations (USO), a private nonprofit that operates centers for the military at 41 U.S. airports. “The congressman feels giving it to the USO to help with onsite airport service for active members of the military would be a good use for it," says Miller spokesperson Dan McFaul. The recovered change is not to be confused with the theft that occurs when TSA agents augment their salary by helping themselves to the contents of passengers’ luggage as it passes through security checkpoints. For example in 2009, a half dozen TSA agents at Miami International Airport were charged with grand theft after boosting an iPod, bottles of perfume, cameras, a GPS system, a Coach purse, and a Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook from passengers’ luggage as travelers at just this one airport reported as many as 1,500 items stolen, the majority of which were never recovered."

Submission + - Microsoft confirms UEFI fears, locks down ARM devi (softwarefreedom.org)

walterbyrd writes: "At the beginning of December, we [Software Freedom Law Center] warned the Copyright Office that operating system vendors would use UEFI secure boot anticompetitively, by colluding with hardware partners to exclude alternative operating systems. As Glyn Moody points out, Microsoft has wasted no time in revising its Windows Hardware Certification Requirements to effectively ban most alternative operating systems on ARM-based devices that ship with Windows 8."

Submission + - Apple Postpones Sale of iPhone 4S in China

mvar writes: Frustrated customers threw eggs at Apple's flagship Beijing store after its opening for the Chinese launch of the iPhone 4S was cancelled due to concerns over the size of the crowd. Apple reacted to the scuffle by postponing iPhone 4S sales in its mainland China stores to protect the safety of customers and employees.

Submission + - Google accused of fraud in Kenya

wannabgeek writes: A Kenyan startup Mocality is accusing Google of fraudulently signing up small businesses for its web hosting service. Apparently Google Kenya employees were looking up businesses on Mocality (which is an online directory for Kenyan businesses), calling them up and telling them that Mokality is an affiliate of Google and making other false claims. Mokality also alleges that when Google Kenya suspected that someone is on to them, they shifted the operation to an Indian call center and the lookups were happening from IP addresses of Google Mountain View, which hints that there is a deeper involvement than one or a few rogue employees.

Submission + - Homeless student is Intel Talent Search semifinali (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Samantha Garvey, a senior as Brentwood High School has managed to become one of the remaining 300 semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search this year. Her research focused on mussels and her discovery that they change the thickness of their shells if a predator such as crabs are introduced.

Why is Garvey’s achievement so impressive? Because she, and her entire family, are homeless and rely on a local homeless shelter. Such a situation would stop many students from being able to focus on studying, let alone a research project, but Garvey has instead used her situation as motivation. In her own words she wants, “a better lifea home.”

Submission + - Opportunity to influence SOPA and PIPA (wikipedia.org)

ElGreg writes: "I live in Washington, DC and find myself in the position of being friends with someone who has direct influence on PIPA legislation in the senate. Being much more technical than he is, he asked if I'd be willing to explain why I told him "you have to stop PIPA." I've read a fair bit, but I'm no expert. So I thought I'd ask the slashdot community to give me a hand. What are the best most concise arguments against PIPA? What are some resources that I can send my friend that a non-technical person would understand?"

Submission + - Privacy expert adds "Do Not Track" to Chrome (pcpro.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Google might not want to join the Do Not Track privacy party, but a Stanford University graduate student has built a Chrome extension that could protect end users from being followed around the web by behavioural advertisers. The system is by no means fool proof, but is a step in the right direction.

Submission + - NASA is working on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (a (nasa.gov) 1

An anonymous reader writes: After years of research and after filing a patent in 2011, NASA has put a "teaser" video online about their work on LENR (aka cold fusion). Has cold fusion research arrived in the mainstream ?

Submission + - Single hit of morphine could cure chronic pain (nature.com)

ananyo writes: Has a cheap and effective treatment for chronic pain been lying under clinicians' noses for decades? Researchers have found that a very high dose of an opiate drug that uses the same painkilling pathways as morphine can reset the nerve signals associated with continuous pain — at least in rats.

If confirmed in humans, the procedure could reduce or eliminate the months or years that millions of patients spend on pain-managing prescription drugs. The results of the study are described today in Science http://www.sciencemag.org/content/335/6065/235.

Submission + - Portable Fuel Cell Battery Charger (mashable.com) 1

wbr1 writes: Mashable reports on a device being debuted at CES this year that is a portable fuel cell to recharge your devices. According to the article and the company's website, the device has a fuel cartridge and also uses a small amount of water.

Per the website: "PowerTrekk uses eco-friendly fuel cell technology which cleanly and efficiently converts hydrogen into electricity. The ability to simply insert a PowerPukk fuel pack and add water provides users instant and limitless power on the go."

This seems to not match up to my understanding of fuel cells, which use hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen to produce electricity and water. My guess is that the water is used to somehow activate the fuel which is stored as 'flexible stickers' not hydrogen gas.

This would be a nice thing if the fuel is cheap enough over time and it doesn't turn out to be vaporware.


Submission + - Nokia Preps Linux OS for Low-End Smartphones (itworld.com)

itwbennett writes: "Nokia is going after the low-end smartphone market with a Linux-based OS code-named 'Meltemi.' The phones are expected to cost under $100 without subsidies. A Nokia spokesman's no-comment comment went like this: 'Of course, we don't comment on future products or technologies. However, I can say that our Mobile Phones team has a number of exciting projects in the works that will help connect the next billion consumers to the Internet.'"

Submission + - How LPDDR3 memory will speed up tablets, phones (techworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "A new form of mobile DDR3 memory that can speed up tablets, smartphones and laptops could appear in devices starting as early as late next year, with adoption ramping up in 2013. Low-power DDR3 memory — also called LPDDR3 — will bring a bigger data transfer pipe to tablets and smartphones, which could translate into better performance and longer battery life, analysts said. Standards-setting organization JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) is defining the specifications for LPDDR3, which draws heavily from conventional DDR3 DRAM found in PCs today."

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