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Hardware Hacking

Combining Two Kinects To Make Better 3D Video 106

suraj.sun sends this quote from Engadget about improving the Kinect 3D video recordings we discussed recently: "[Oliver Kreylos is] blowing minds and demonstrating that two Kinects can be paired and their output meshed — one basically filling in the gaps of the other. He found that the two do create some interference, the dotted IR pattern of one causing some holes and blotches in the other, but when the two are combined they basically help each other out and the results are quite impressive."
Earth

China To Tap Combustible Ice As New Energy Source 185

lilbridge writes "Huge reserves of "combustible ice" — frozen methane and water — have been discovered in the tundra of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Estimates show that there is enough combustible ice to provide 90 years worth of energy for China. Burning the combustible ice may be a far better alternative than letting it just melt, releasing tons of methane into the air."
Windows

The Secret Origin of Windows 402

harrymcc writes "Windows has been so dominant for so long that it's easy to forget Windows 1.0 was vaporware, mocked both outside and inside of Microsoft — and that its immediate successors were considered stopgaps until OS/2 was everywhere. Tandy Trower, the product manager who finally got Windows 1.0 out the door a quarter century ago, has written a memoir of the experience. (He thought being assigned the much-maligned project was Microsoft's fiendish way of trying to get rid of him.) The story involves such still-significant figures as Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Ray Ozzie, and Nathan Myhrvold; Trower left Microsoft only in November of 2009 after 28 years with the company."
Privacy

Wikipedia Opts Out Of Phorm 98

ais523 writes "Wikipedia (and other websites run by Wikimedia) have requested to opt-out from Phorm; according to the email they sent, they 'consider the scanning and profiling of our visitors' behavior by a third party to be an infringement on their privacy.'" Another reader points to this post on techblog.wikimedia.org which includes a confirmation from Phorm that those sites will be excluded.
Cellphones

Kyocera's OLED Phone Concept Charges As You Flex It 101

Mike writes "Kyocera recently unveiled a kinetic energy-powered phone with a flexible OLED display that can be folded up like a wallet. Dubbed the EOS phone, the display unfolds to reveal a wide screen, and shape memory allows the phone's keys to pop up when in use and blend in with the surface during downtime. Best of all, the phone's soft, semi-rigid polymer skin is embedded with an array of tiny piezoelectric generators — the more you use the phone, the more it charges!" So far, it's just a design idea — but a cool one.
Power

Florida To Build Solar-Powered City 195

Mike writes "The sunny state of Florida just announced that they will begin construction this year on the world's first solar-powered city. A collaboration between Florida Power & Light and development firm Kitson & Partners, the 17,000 acre city will generate all of its electrical needs via a 75 megawatt, $300 million solar-powered generator. The city will also use smart grid technology to manage its power and allow all inhabitants of the community to monitor their energy consumption."
Earth

New Data Center Will Heat Homes In London 204

1sockchuck writes "The heat generated by thousands of servers at the new Telehouse West data center in London will soon be used to heat nearby houses and businesses. The Greater London Authority has approved a plan in which waste heat from the colocation facility will be used in a district heat network for the local Docklands community. The project is expected to produce up to nine megawatts of power for the local community."
Privacy

Police Secretly Planting GPS Devices On Cars 609

bfwebster writes "The Washington Post has a long investigative article on how more and more police departments are secretly planting GPS tracking devices on the cars of people they are investigating — usually without a warrant. After-the-fact court challenges on this technique have largely upheld such use of a GPS device, though the Washington State Supreme Court has ruled that a warrant is required."
The Internet

Submission + - SPAM: IOC Caves to China Internet Censorship

narramissic writes: "The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday admitted to making a deal with Chinese officials to accept censorship of the Internet during the Beijing Olympic Games. 'IOC officials negotiated with the Chinese [so] that some sensitive sites would be blocked on the basis they were not considered Games-related,' said Kevin Gosper, chairman of the IOC's press commission. 'I regret that it now appears BOCOG [Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad] has announced that there will be limitations on Web site access during Games time,' he added. BOCOG's top spokesperson said Thursday that Web sites that are 'banned' would remain so: 'If a few Web sites are difficult to browse, it's mainly because they have spread content that is banned by the Chinese laws,' Sun Weide told the state-run Xinhua News Agency. 'The Internet is regulated according to law in China, just like in other countries.' He called Internet access in China and during the Olympics 'sufficient.'"
Link to Original Source
Censorship

Submission + - Critical Blogger Charged By Swedish Snoop Regime

Dynamic Man writes: "Swedish spy authority FRA has filed a complaint with the Chancellor of Justice concerning a secret document published by libertarian blogger Henrik Alexandersson. Needless to say, this has caused a large number of Swedish bloggers (as well as the Pirate Party) to "ctrl-c ctrl-v" the document and the blogosphere is more enraged than ever at the FRA and the snoop law that was passed by the Riksdag under coup-like circumstances. Blogge Bloggelito has written an informative post in english. The Local also has a story."
Microsoft

Submission + - MS offers 44.6 Billion to buy Yahoo!

KnowTheory writes: Microsoft, in it's attempt to not be left in the dust by Google, has decided to make an offer to buy Yahoo! the search firm Google eclipsed then largely buried as it's #2 competitor. Microsoft claims that the two companies could save a billion dollars annually after successfully merged, and that it has a plan for integrating the two companies. There are definitely pieces of technology that the two companies could combine to great effect (e.g. Flickr + Photosynth), but one does wonder how the #2 search firm plus microsoft's extremely lackluster web presence could possibly be configured (perhaps like voltron?) to take on the Search Giant. Maybe they'll just fire or reassign all of MSN?

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