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Submission + - FreedomBox Foundation hits target in 5 days ( 4

lkcl writes: "The FreedomBox Foundation hit its minimum target of $60,000 in just 5 days, thanks to KickStarter Pledges, and seeks further contributions to ensure that the Project is long-term viable. Curiously but crucially, the FreedomBox fund is for Software only, yet neither suitable low-cost $30 ARM or MIPS "plug computers", envisaged by Eben Moglen as the ideal target platform, nor mid-to-high-end ARM or MIPS low-cost developer-suitable laptops actually exist. What do slashdot readers envisage to be the way forward, here, given that the goals of the FreedomBox are so at odds with mass-market Corporate-driven hardware design decisions?"

Submission + - Tolkien Censors Tolkien 1

Anonymous Coward writes: "Back in the late 2009, I got into a Twitter conversation with Madeline Ashby about geek culture, fandom, and a bunch of stuff like that. Madeline wrote, “While you were reading Tolkien, I was watching Evangelion.” I thought this was an excellent encapsulation of the divide in SF/F/Whatever fandom, and thus took to Zazzle to make little buttons with her quote. I bought a bunch, handed them out at a few conventions, then I had a kid and promptly forgot all about it.

Until today, when Zazzle emailed me to say they were pulling the buttons for intellectual property right infringement.

And guess who complained about their rights being infringed?

I’ve tried to come up with something more to say about this, but I’m too angry and confused and tired to say anything more than I did in the title of this post. Have fun milking your dad’s stuff, Christopher Tolkien!"

Submission + - What if our tech is good enough? (

Ant writes: "TechRadar shares how "incremental improvements just don't get us excited. Perhaps Blu-ray is the canary in the coalmine. To its makers, it's a fantastic new format, the pinnacle of home entertainment technology. To the public, it's digital video/versatile disc (DVD) with a slightly better picture and double the price tag — and most people have decided to stick with what they already have. Blu-ray isn't the only recent example of this malaise. While the launch of Windows 95 saw midnight queues, Vista's release saw nothing but tumbleweed. What if this continues and Windows 7 is met with apathy, not excitement? What if iPods stay on the shelves, personal computer/PC firms can't shift their stock and internet service providers/ISPs investing in ever-faster broadband go to the wall? It all sounds extreme, but Blu-ray's problems should send the industry a message. 'Thanks, but no thanks,' we're saying. 'What we've got is good enough.' Slowing improvements: The evolution of technology over the past few decades has been incredible. In a short space of time we've advanced from blurry black-and-white television broadcasts to crisp high definition/HD programming, from unreliable mobile phones to speedy smartphones, and from computers the size of rooms to intuitive mobile devices that can it into the palm of your hand. Yet now we find ourselves in an impossible position. In almost every sphere, the technology we have is so good that any improvements can only be incremental... Seen on Digg."

Submission + - How to build a CCNA lab for under $200 (no Sims) ( 1

Julie188 writes: "Thanks to the crummy economy, prices for used routers and switches are unbelievable. Now is the time to consider how to build a cheap CCNA lab with real gear — no Sims, no Dynamips. For today at least, cheap is king and if the goal is CCNA prep, you can actually build a home lab for under $200 ... and if you play it right, for under $100. Trainer and author Wendell Odom has charted out the options."
The Courts

Submission + - Swedish ISP Deletes Customer ID Info ( 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "A Swedish internet service provider, Bahnhof, has begun deleting customer identification information in order to prevent its being used as evidence against its customers under Sweden's new legislation against copyright infringement via peer to peer file sharing. According to this report on 'The Local', it is entirely legal for it to do so. The company's CEO, Jon Karlung, is identified as 'a vociferous opponent of the measures that came into force on April 1st', and is quoted saying that he is determined to protect the company's clients, and that 'It's about the freedom to choose, and the law makes it possible to retain details. We're not acting in breach of IPRED; we're following the law and choosing to destroy the details.'"

Submission + - encrypted online storage with encrypted search

An anonymous reader writes: Is there a solution for online storage of encrypted data providing encrypted search and similar functions over the encrypted data? Is there and API/software/solution and even some online storage company providing this? I don't like Google understanding all my unencrypted data, but I like that Google can search them when they are unencrypted. So I would like to have both: the online storage provider does not understand my data, but he can still help me with searching in them, and doing other useful stuff. I mean: I send to the remote server encrypted data and later an encrypted query (the server cannot decipher them), and the server sends me back a chunk of my encrypted data stored there — the result of my encrypted query. Or I ask for the directory structure of my encrypted data (somehow stored in my data too — like in tar archive), and the server sends it back, without knowing that this encrypted chunk is the directory structure. I googled for this and found some papers ( ,, however no software and no online service providing this yet.

Submission + - The Professionalisation of Free Software (

Glyn Moody writes: "Free software may begin as somebody scratching an itch, but one of its great strengths — its collaborative development approach — means that many others get involved. That requires some kind of organisation, for example through the use of "lieutenants", as with Linux. But there's a new approach that's gaining in popularity: to bring in professional, non-coding managers to handle day-to-day running. Examples include Mitchell Baker at Mozilla, Peter Brown at the FSF and more recently Stormy Peters at GNOME. Here's the latest: the Free Software Foundation Europe is now looking for a professional Executive Director too. Is this an inevitable development for large-scale, successful free software projects — and does it matter if the hackers are losing control?"

Submission + - Local root exploit for Mac OS X (

xororand writes: Several exploits for Mac OS X are in circulation which have not yet been patched. In a short test carried out by the heise Security editorial team, one of the exploits allowed a Mac OS X 10.5.6 user with normal privileges to obtain root privileges. The problem is triggered when mounting malformed HFS disk images. The exploit consists of a shell script and some source code written in C. The C code generates the disk image which, when mounted, provokes the flaw that allows execution of code at root level.
The exploits are available here: (recent additions)


MIT and the Constant Robotic Gardeners 101

Singularity Hub writes "MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) is pioneering the field of automated farming. During a semester-long experiment, CSAIL's researchers created a laboratory farm: tomato plants in terra cotta pots with artificial turf for grass. The goal of the experiment: to see if these tomatoes could be grown, tended, and harvested by robot caretakers."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Unzipping Nanotubes Makes Superfast Electronics

Al writes: Two research groups have found a way to unzip carbon nanotubes to create nanoribbons of graphene — a material that has shown great promise for use as nanoscale transistors but which have proven difficult to manufacture previously. A team led by James Tour, a professor of chemistry and computer science at Rice University and another led by Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University, both figured out ways to slice carbon nanotubes open to create the nanoribbens. The Stanford team was funded by Intel and the Rice group is in talks with several companies about commercializing their approach.

Intel Responds To X25-M Fragmentation Issue 111

Vigile writes "In mid-February, news broke about a potential issue with Intel's X25-M mainstream solid state drives involving fragmentation and performance slow-downs. At that time, after having the news picked up by everyone from CNet to the Wall Street Journal, Intel stated that it had not seen any of these issues but was working with the source to replicate the problem and find a fix if at all possible. Today Intel has essentially admitted to the problem by releasing a new firmware for the X25-M line that not only fixes the flaws found in the drive initially, but also increases write performance across the board."

MPAA Spying Case To Be Appealed 132

esocid writes "Back in 2005, the MPAA hired Robert Anderson, a former associate of TorrentSpy's owner, to illegally obtain internal emails and trade secrets. He did so by routing the email from the internal server to his own Gmail account. He subsequently sold 34 pages of stolen information for $15,000 to the MPAA. TorrentSpy owner Justin Bunnel sued them for spying, but lost the case due to a ruling that stated it was not illegal since the information was not intercepted under the Wiretap Act. The EFF called this decision a 'dangerous attempt to circumvent privacy laws,' since it implies that the unauthorized interception of anyone's personal email is legal. The appeal could have ramifications for MPAA president Dan Glickman, as the decision is expected around the time of his contract renewal."

Altered Organism Triples Solar Cell Efficiency 158

An anonymous reader writes "By harnessing the shells of living organisms in the sea, microscopic algae called diatoms, engineers have tripled the efficiency of experimental dye-sensitized solar cells. The diatoms were fed a diet of titanium dioxide, the main ingredient for thin film solar cells, instead of their usual meal which is silica (silicon dioxide). As a result, their shells became photovoltaic when coated with dyes. The result is a thin-film dye-sensitized solar cell that is three times more efficient than those without the diatoms."

Submission + - Radio Frequencies Help Burn Salt Water

krgallagher writes: An Erie cancer researcher has found a way to burn salt water, a novel invention that is being touted by one chemist as the "most remarkable" water science discovery in a century. The discovery has scientists excited by the prospect of using salt water, the most abundant resource on earth, as a fuel. Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, has held demonstrations at his State College lab to confirm his own observations. Roy will meet this week with officials from the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to try to obtain research funding.

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