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Submission + - Canada to adopt pick-and-pay TV service (

An anonymous reader writes: The CRTC will allow subscribers to purchase a basic $25 a month cable TV or satellite package and have pick-and-pay options after that.

The regulator released a decision Thursday afternoon that paves the way for the so-called "skinny basic" option.

Submission + - Leaked Document Reveals Upcoming Biometric Experiments at US Customs (

sarahnaomi writes: The facial recognition pilot program launched last week by US Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch.

The three experiments involve new controversial technologies like iris and face scanner kiosks, which CBP plans to deploy at the Mexican border, and facial recognition software, according to a leaked document obtained by Motherboard.

All three pilots are part of a broader Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program to modernize screenings at American entry and exit ports, including at the highly politicized Mexican border, with the aid of new biometric technologies. The program is known as Apex Air Entry and Exit Re-Engineering (AEER) Project, according to the leaked slides.

These pilot programs have the goal of “identifying and implementing” biometric technologies that can be used at American borders to improve the immigration system as well as US national security, according to the slides.


Submission + - Final Frontier Design Creating Budget Space Suit for Private Space Industry (

Zothecula writes: Although the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was unmanned during its recent first flight to the International Space Station, the success of that mission nonetheless marked a huge step toward future crewed commercial space flights. SpaceX, of course, isn’t the only player in this newly-forming industry – companies such as Virgin Galactic, Boeing, and Blue Origin are also hoping to take paying customers on rocket rides. However, while a lot of attention has been paid to the spacecraft themselves, one has to wonder what those private-sector astronauts will be wearing. Expensive NASA space suits, perhaps? Not if Ted Southern and Nikolay Moiseev have anything to say about it.

Submission + - This Is How Asteroid Mining Will Work (

SolKeshNaranek writes:

Yesterday, a group of billionaires, scientists and engineers announced what could become the most important enterprise in human history since Columbus sailed West: an asteroid mining company called Planetary Resources. They want to jump start a completely new industry between the Earth and the Moon, one that will add trillions of dollars to the world economy and ensure our prosperity for centuries to come.

Is an amazing and lofty goal. One that has the potential to change our world forever. One that is risky and hard, but which they believe can be achieved within a decade. This video offers a glimpse of how space mining will work. The tycoons

Planetary Resources is backed by people with deep pockets, like Google's Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, film maker James Cameron, Microsoft's former Chief Software Architect Charles Simonyi, and Ross Perot, Jr. among others. The target

There are 9,000 asteroids near Earth. Of those, about 1,500 are within easy reach using the same or less power than what was used to go to the moon. The benefits

These asteroids are loaded with two things. Some of have a high content of water ice, which could be converted into solid oxygen and solid hydrogen to provide rocket fuel for exploration; in its un-altered form, it could help support life in space. Harvesting water from asteroids will make space travel really inexpensive, allowing for an industry to blossom in space.

Other asteroids are rich in rare metals, like platinum or gold. An abundance of these metals will enable easier acces to technology that is currently prohibitively expensive.

One small asteroid of, say, 50 meters in diameter could contain billions of dollars worth of these metals, pure and ready for easy extraction. Likewise, an icy asteroid of the same size could contain enough water to power the entire space shuttle program. The process

First, within two years, the company will send prospectors to low-earth orbit. Called the Arkyd 100 series, these machines will be cheap and networked together. They will track near earth asteroids (NEA) and asses the possibility to reach them and mine them.

Within a decade, they will launch a swarm of prospectors with propulsion capabilities. They will be the Arkyd 200 and 300 series. These will approach asteroids and analyze their composition.

After identifying the best candidates in terms of distance, speed, physical stability, and composition, they will launch the actual mining spacecraft.

Some of them may be swarms that will grab asteroids and bring them closer to Earth for mining. Others will be large containers that will engulf the asteroids to move them and process them. The Ultimate Goal

Eventually, Planetary Resources wants to start a new industry in space, one that may become the main engine of humanity's future. The company believes many others will follow its business model. The group of investors believe that the search for resources is the only way for humans to move forward and, in a few decades, space mining will be considered a normal industry. They think that this may save Earth from its own destruction, since we are quickly consuming our resources.

It sounds like science fiction, but the people behind PR are convinced they can turn fiction into fact. And they are putting up the means to start it. I want to believe they will be successful. Even while the road will be hard and they may not succeed, I think others will end their task.

I look at these people and remember Kennedy's words during his famous Rice University speech:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

Submission + - You, Too, Should Decide If Your Boss Is Getting Paid Too Much (

Cara_Latham writes: "Last week, Citigroup shareholders – including potentially thousands of employees — rejected a board-approved compensation package for chief executive Vikram S. Pandit which boosted his pay to $14.9 million from $1 the previous year. Some 55 percent of votes went against the package.

Citigroup instantly became the biggest bank to have suffered a no vote on executive compensation. Its shareholders are also suing the bank’s directors for their 2011 compensation on the basis that it was not justified."


Submission + - Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source ( 1

fishmike writes: "The fragile and rapidly changing Arctic region is home to large reservoirs of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As Earth's climate warms, the methane, frozen in reservoirs stored in Arctic tundra soils or marine sediments, is vulnerable to being released into the atmosphere, where it can add to global warming. Now a multi-institutional study by Eric Kort of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has uncovered a surprising and potentially important new source of Arctic methane: the ocean itself."
Data Storage

Submission + - Guidlines for a Home Datacenter

CranberryKing writes: I have always had the noise & heat from multiple computers and a stack of devices humming around my desk. Just recently I moved from the city to the country where I have for the first time a real house with a real garage. After running cat6 from several rooms to the garage, I have been able to consolidate most of the equipment there (CATVmodem, router, switch, wireless AP, VoIP devices, printer & fileserver) and was thrilled to move everything away from the rooms I spend my time in. I have generally believed that all hardware will be happier in colder environments (the garage is not insulated), however we have been having an unusually cold winter for this area (down to freezing a few times) and I'm second guessing my decision. According to the red book (now purple), "The ideal operating temperature for computer equipment is 64 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, with about 45% humidity". I'm wondering about Slashdot reader's experiences with home 'datacenters' regarding environment and any best practices.

Submission + - SPAM: A crystal as beautiful as a diamond

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Why are diamonds so shiny and beautiful? A Japanese mathematician says it's because of their unique crystal structure and two key properties, called 'maximal symmetry' and 'strong isotropic property.' According to the American Mathematical Society (AMS), he found that out of all the crystals that are possible to construct mathematically, just one shares these two properties with the diamond. So far, his K4 crystal exists only as a mathematical object. And nobody knows if it exists — or if it can be synthesized. So will we say one day "A K4 Crystal Is Forever"? Read more for additional references and a picture of the beautiful K4 crystal."

Submission + - Wikia acquires Grub, releases it under open source (

An anonymous reader writes: This morning, during a keynote address at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON), Jimmy Wales announced that Wikia has acquired Grub, the original visionary distributed search project, from LookSmart and released it under an open source license for the first time in four years. Grub operates under a model of users donating their personal computing resources towards a common goal, and is available today for download and testing at: .

Submission + - German court: No P2P IP lookup for music industry (

RichiH writes: German news site reports (Babelfish) that a court in Offenburg rejected the state attorney's request to get the private data of a file sharer because it was 'obviously unreasonable'. 'Based on logic', the study speaking of 5 billion traded files per year in 2001 and 2002 which the music industry in Germany often cites can not apply as the user in question uploaded only a single song that the music industry knows of. The court also said that many p2p users are not aware that the programs automatically starts hidden and mandatory upload of files it has access to, so that, unless proven otherwise, the person in question did not upload anything on purpose. Furthermore, the court said that the claim of high damages does not hold water as a song typically costs less than a Euro and 'at a price of 0, someone who will not even spend a single cent will still want to get a product', citing a study that shows no negative impact of p2p on revenues. Finally, the court said that the music simply wants the data of the person in question so it can sue them in civil court and that it did not have any right to the data trying 'via several tens of thousands of criminal charges' to 'get at information the law is explicitly keeping from them'. Several state attorneys said, under strict promise of anonymity, that they would now try to get similar rules so that they 'dedicate their time to more severe crimes'. Go ahead, tag this one 'haha' :)

Submission + - SourceForge unveils winners of open-source oscars

StonyandCher writes: Popular open-source software development site hosted the equivalent of the open-source Oscars on Thursday evening.

It was the second time has asked its community to vote for their favorite open-source projects after debuting its Community Choice Awards last year.

File archiver 7-Zip won the top award as all-over best project and also picked up the prize for best technical design. The Firebird relational database was another double winner, being voted both best project for the enterprise and the project providing the best user support.

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