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Submission + - Lowell Observatory pushes to name an asteroid "Travyon" (

Flash Modin writes: The observatory where Pluto was discovered is pushing to name an asteroid after a black teenager killed in a controversial confrontation in Florida last year.

William Lowell Putnam III says his family is identified with the cause of African American rights, and thus an asteroid named after Trayvon Martin is perfectly appropriate. Putnam is the sole trustee of the observatory, which was founded by Percival Lowell during his search for canals on Mars.

Astronomers at the observatory discovered the asteroid in 2000, but it has not been formally named.

Putnam has already asked the Minor Planet Center once to designate the asteroid "Trayvon," but they told him the designation was "premature." Now that there's been a verdict, the observatory is reapplying in hopes the naming body will see things different.

Submission + - FTC Issues Warning About Buggy, Insecure Home Surveillance Gear (

chicksdaddy writes: The Security Ledger reports that U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday made one of its strongest statements to date on the issue of consumer privacy in the fast-emerging market for “smart” electronics: settling a complaint with the maker of SecurView, a line of home surveillance cameras that, it turns out, were just as easily used to spy into the homes of SecurView customers.

In a statement (, the FTC said that it settled a complaint against TRENDnet, which markets and sells SecurView. The FTC had charged the Torrance, California company with misrepresenting the security of its products and selling “faulty software that left (the cameras) open to online viewing” by anyone who knew the device’s IP address.

The complaint stems from a February, 2012 case in which the web site Console Cowboys published details ( on how a firmware flaw allowed authentication for Internet-connected SecurView cameras to be bypassed, giving any Internet user (with the know-how) the ability to view the surveillance camera’s live feed.

But the agency went beyond that, warning in its statement and accompanying blog posts that the problem of shoddy and insecure software extended beyond TrendNet.

"The Internet of Things holds great promise for innovative consumer products and services. But consumer privacy and security must remain a priority as companies develop more devices that connect to the Internet,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement.


Submission + - Give us your personal data or pay full fare

ebh writes: "Noted in an AP story about how fees make it difficult to compare air travel costs, is how the airline industry is moving toward tailoring offer packages (and presumably, fares) for individuals based on their personal information. Worse, "The airline association said consumers who choose not to supply personal information would still be able to see fares and purchase tickets, though consumer advocates said those fares would probably be at the "rack rate" — the travel industry's term for full price, before any discounts." Now, about those Amtrak upgrades..."

Submission + - World's Longest High Speed Rail Line Opens in China (

An anonymous reader writes: Today China continued rolling out the future of high speed rail by officially unveiling the world’s longest high-speed rail line — a 2,298-kilometer (1,428-mile) stretch of railway that connects Beijing in the north to Guangzhou in the south. The first trains on the new route hit 300 kph (186 mph), cutting travel time between the two cities by more than half.

Submission + - Windows 8: Now Cherokee-friendly ( 1

Velcroman1 writes: It’s a holiday present from Microsoft — the gift of language. The Windows giant has added support for the Cherokee language into Windows 8, more than 20 years after Tracy Monteith, a Cherokee from North Carolina who worked for Microsoft, asked his employers to make the settings, pull-down menus and error messages speak his language. "Microsoft will not make millions off this project, but they will help keep our language alive," said Cherokee principal chief Bill John Baker. It marks the first time that a Native American language has been “fully integrated” into the operating system.

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