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Lab-Grown Leather Could Be a Reality In 5 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's looking-forward-to-leather-sheets department:
fangmcgee writes "Lab-grown leather apparel could hit the runways in as little as five years—all without harming a hair on a single animal's head, according to Andras Forgacs, co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, a Missouri-based startup that's approaching meat-and-leather production from a tissue-bioengineering, rather than farming, point of view. Backed by Breakout Labs, the grant-awarding foundation headed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Modern Meadow seeks to combine regenerative medicine with three-dimensional printing to synthesize leather and ultimately meat."

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Samsung Smartphones Vulnerable To Remote Wipe Hack
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's big-oops-there department:
DavidGilbert99 writes "Security researchers have discovered a single line of code embedded in websites which could wipe all data from your Samsung Galaxy S3 and other smartphones. Samsung smartphones including the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Beam and Galaxy S Advance all appear to be affected by the bug which triggers a factory reset on your phone if your web browser is pointed to a particular website. Smartphones can also be directed to the code through NFC or using a QR code. Once the process has been initiated, users are have no way of stopping it. The hack was unveiled at the Ekoparty 2012 security conference in Argentina by Ravi Borgaonkar, a security researcher at the Security in Communications department at Technical University Berlin. ... Only Samsung smartphones running the company's proprietary TouchWiz user interface appear to be affected. According to telecoms engineer Pau Oliva, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is not affected, as it runs on stock Android and doesn't use the TouchWiz skin on top." Hit the link above for a video demonstration "

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Teardown Finds iPhone 5 Costs Apple About the Same As Did 4S
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-actual-new-elements-were-used department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "A physical teardown of the iPhone 5 by IHS iSuppli reveals that Apple has managed to keep its materials and manufacturing costs roughly in line with that of the iPhone 4S. The firm estimated the Bill of Materials for the iPhone 5's low-end variant at $199.00, rising to $207.00 once manufacturing costs are entered into the equation. It tallied the BOM for the 32GB version at $209.00 (or $217 with manufacturing) and the 64GB one at $230.00 (rising slightly to $238 with those manufacturing costs). Compare that to the BOM for the iPhone 4S, which IHS iSuppli estimated at $188 for the 16GB version (rising to $196 with manufacturing costs added in), $207 for the 32GB version ($215 with manufacturing) and $245 for the 64GB version ($254 with manufacturing)."

Reader redkemper writes with another kind of comparison of the newest iPhone to its predecessor: "Apple didn't spend too much time talking about the iSight camera at the iPhone 5s unveil event because it's mostly the same as the one found in the iPhone 4S. Thankfully, iMore grabbed an iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S and did a fantastic shoot-out between the two device's rear cameras. [The new camera] just barely edges out the iPhone 4S's year-old camera."

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Light Bulb Ban Produces Hoarding In EU, FUD In U.S.
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's top-down-is-the-current-paradigm department:
Lucas123 writes "The very thought of losing that pear-shaped giver of warm, yellow light drove Europeans to hoard Edison's invention [Note: Or possibly Joseph Swan's invention; HT to eldavojohn.] as the EU's Sept. 1 ban on incandescent light bulbs approached. China's ban on incandescent lamps starts Oct. 1. And, in the U.S., the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 effectively began banning the 100W bulb this year and will ban the most popular bulbs — the 75W, 60W and 40W screw-in incandescent bulbs --over the next two years. The end standard requires bulbs to use 65% less energy by 2020. But Republicans in Congress continue to fight the ban by hamstringing the energy efficiency standards through appropriations legislation, cutting off funds for the enforcement of the light bulb ban."

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Data Breach Reveals 100k IEEE.org Members' Plaintext Passwords
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pretty-pictures-ugly-facts department:
First time accepted submitter radudragusin writes "IEEE suffered a data breach which I discovered on September 18. For a few days I was uncertain what to do with the information and the data. Yesterday I let them know, and they fixed (at least partially) the problem. The usernames and passwords kept in plaintext were publicly available on their FTP server for at least one month prior to my discovery. Among the almost 100.000 compromised users are Apple, Google, IBM, Oracle and Samsung employees, as well as researchers from NASA, Stanford and many other places. I did not and will not make the raw data available, but I took the liberty to analyse it briefly."

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Tesla Reveals Charging Station Sites In 3 US States
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-just-make-texas-next department:
locallyunscene writes "Tesla has created the first solar charging stations for its Model S and plans to offer free charging. Is free fuel enough to for the electric car to finally gain traction? 'The technology at the heart of the Supercharger was developed internally and leverages the economies of scale of existing charging technology already used by the Model S, enabling Tesla to create the Supercharger device at minimal cost. The electricity used by the Supercharger comes from a solar carport system provided by SolarCity, which results in almost zero marginal energy cost after installation. Combining these two factors, Tesla is able to provide Model S owners free long distance travel indefinitely." The "free charging" part applies at least to Model S owners; Engadget features a video of the announcement.

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Canadian Minister Mined Data To Target Email To Gay Voters
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's state-is-not-your-friend department:
An anonymous reader writes "Has Immigration Minister Jason Kenney been emailing you? Maybe it's because you're gay. The minister sent out an email on Sept 24 lauding the government's efforts to protect and promote queer rights abroad. It highlights the 'emphasis . . . on gay and lesbian refugee protection, which is without precedent in Canada's immigration history.' The Ottawa Citizen's Glen McGregor broke the story, complete with reaction over the 'creepy' letter. For many who received an email from Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney about gay refugees on Friday, the message raised one important question: How did he know I'm gay? The Conservatives have targeted written messages at minority communities in the past, most notably using direct mail lists to send out greetings to Jewish voters on religious holidays. Some recipients were alarmed by the prospect of the government assembling lists based on ethnicity or religious beliefs. Surely creating such a list will become easier when your are forced to use your real identities on social sites."

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Curiosity Rover Being Upgraded With Autonomous Sensor Program
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's intelligent-agents-strike-back department:
DevotedSkeptic writes "Curiosity will be getting a software upgrade called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) which will allow it to take on the go photos to save precious time while exploring our red neighbor. Another interesting feature AGEIS may be able to provide is the ability for Curiosity to call home when it sees something interesting. It won't be a quick upgrade, AEGIS, which has been used on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity since 2009, will be installed on Curiosity in the next nine to 12 months, Estlin said in an interview with InformationWeek. The AEGIS software, developed by JPL, was named NASA's 'software of the year' in 2011. Opportunity uses the software to take a wide-angle image with a low-resolution camera, then picks out rocks in the image to see if there's something of interest. If so, it takes a high-resolution image using an on-board science camera that's capable of zooming in on the subject. The software has potential beyond picture taking. Its see-and-react code could be adapted to other instruments."

There's a paper on the software as used in the Opportunity rover.

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Schneier: We Don't Need SHA-3
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 01:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's just-what-nobody-wanted department:
Trailrunner7 writes with this excerpt from Threatpost: "For the last five years, NIST, the government body charged with developing new standards for computer security, among other things, has been searching for a new hash function to replace the aging SHA-2 function. Fives years is a long time, but this is the federal government and things move at their own pace in Washington, but NIST soon will be announcing the winner from the five finalists that were chosen last year. Despite the problems that have cropped up with some versions of SHA-2 in the past and the long wait for the new function, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of breathless anticipation for this announcement. So much so, in fact, that Bruce Schneier, a co-author of one of the finalists not only isn't hoping that his entry wins, he's hoping that none of them wins. ... It's not because Schneier doesn't think the finalists are worthy of winning. In fact, he says, they're all good and fast and perfectly capable. The problem is, he doesn't think that the world needs a new hash function standard at all. SHA-512, the stronger version of the SHA-2 function that's been in use for more than a decade, is still holding up fine, Schneier said, which was not what cryptographers anticipated would be the case when the SHA-3 competition was conceived. 'I expect SHA-2 to be still acceptable for the foreseeable future. That's the problem. It's not like AES. Everyone knew that DES as dead — and triple-DES was too slow and clunky — and we needed something new. So when AES appeared, people switched as soon as they could. This will be different,' Schneier said via email."

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Robot Snakes To Fight Cancer Via Natural Orifice Surgery
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's he-said-orifice department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "BBC reports that on a robot snake that, guided by a skilled surgeon and designed to get to places doctors are unable to reach without opening a patient up, could help spot and remove tumors more effectively. Robot snakes could be as minimally invasive using body orifices or local incisions as points of entry. 'Surgery is a cornerstone treatment for cancer so new technologies making it even more precise and effective are crucial,' says Safia Danovi from Cancer Research UK. 'Thanks to research, innovations such as keyhole surgery and robotics are transforming the treatment landscape for cancer patients and this trend needs to continue.' Robot snakes could complement a robotic surgical system that has been used for the past decade — the Da Vinci surgical system — that is controlled by a surgeon sitting in a nearby chair and looking at a screen displaying the area of the body where the surgery is taking place. The surgeon manipulates the robot by pressing pedals and moving levers. Natural orifice surgery (warning: pictures of the inside of a person) has the potential to revolutionize surgery in the same way that laparoscopic surgery replaced open surgery. The objective is to enter the abdomen through an internal organ rather than through the skin — e.g. access via the mouth, esophagus and stomach, and then through the stomach wall. 'We are at the earliest stage of establishing the problems and proposing solutions,' says Rob Buckingham of OC Robotics, developer of the robot snake (video). 'Our prototype signals a direction of travel and is a milestone towards exploring a new surgical paradigm.'"

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Woz Applying For Australian Citizenship Because of the NBN
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 08:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's australia-will-never-let-us-forget department:
An anonymous reader writes "It's a well known fact that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a fan of Australia and now we know why. He supports a national broadband network — a scheme being rolled out by the Australian government to provide fibre 'for everyone' — so much he's applying for citizenship, the Australian Financial Review reports. You can be assured that he's not giving up his American citizenship though, he told Brisbane radio."

And for U.S. citizens: "Despite his status as a technology icon, Mr Wozniak said he was not connected to a broadband service in his home in California, classing the options available to him as a 'monopoly.' 'There’s only one set of wires to be on and I’m not going to pull strings to get them to do something special for me,' he said .... 'I've sat with our FCC commissioner and told him that story in his office, but it’s not going to happen. We just don’t have the political idea to bring broadband to all the people who are 1 kilometer too far away.'"

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Plans For Widespread Monitoring of Communication In Europe Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 06:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's 1984-slowly-becoming-life-manual department:
TrueSatan writes "A leak from the Clean IT project reveals how it has been subverted from its original, much more innocuous, goals into a surveillance horror story with democratic freedoms and personal rights being the victims."

The leaked document in question. Gems include member states repealing anti-filtering laws and a mandate that ISPs be held liable for not reporting terrorist use of their networks. The Clean IT Project counters that there's nothing to see here (amazingly, through a series of tweets with a journalist).

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Goodyear's 'On TheGo' Self Inflating Tire
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 05:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's what-about-bicycles? department:
SternisheFan writes with a bit of maintenance saving tech for drivers. From the article: "When was the last time you checked your tire pressure? If you're scratching your head, you might want to put a set of Goodyear's new self-inflating tires on your ride. The company's Air Maintenance Technology was rolled out of the lab this week for debut at a car show in Germany. Commercial truckers will be the first to put the rubber to test, but a consumer version is in the works. A regulator in the tire senses when tire-inflation pressure drops below a pre-set point and opens to allow air flow into the pumping tube. As the tire rolls, deformation flattens the tube, pushing air through the tire to the inlet valve and then into the tire cavity. All this technology, in Goodyear's words, eliminates the need for 'external inflation pressure intervention.'"

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Ask Slashdot: How To Ask College To Change Intro To Computing?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's use-the-cluebat-luke department:
First time accepted submitter taz346 writes "I got a Bachelor's degree 30 years ago, but I recently started back to college to get an Associate's degree. Most of the core courses are already covered by my B.A. but one that I didn't take way back when was Introduction to Computing. I am taking that now but have been very disappointed to find that it is really just Introduction to Microsoft Office 2010. That's actually the name of the (very expensive) textbook. It is mindless, boring and pretty useless for someone who's used PCs for about 20 years. But beyond that, why does it have to be all about MS Office and nothing else? Couldn't they just teach people to create documents, etc., and let them use any office software, like Libre Office? It seems to me that would be more useful; students would learn how to actually create things on their computers, not just follow step-by-step commands from a dumbed-down book about one piece of increasingly expensive software. I know doing it the way they do now is easy for the college, but it's not really teaching students much about what they can do with computers. So when the class is over, I plan to write a letter to the college asking them to change the course as I suggested above. I'm not real hopeful, but what the heck. Do folks out there have any good suggestions as to what might be the most persuasive arguments I can make?"

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Russian Opposition Figure Thinks Anti-Putin Movement Has Faltered
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 03:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's revolution-is-exhausting department:
New submitter FilatovEV writes "Interview with Russian liberal opposition politician Vladimir Milov taken by Los Angeles Times reveals a different side of the Western narrative about Russia."

From the article: "All they have for a plan is a very simple formula: Let's lead a million people out into the streets, and that will scare the hell out of Putin. He will run away, and we will grab power. But even if they get a sufficient number of people out in the street, they don't know what to do next. All they can do is chant their old anti-Putin incantations instead of offering a program of action. "

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Milky Way Is Surrounded By Halo of Hot Gas
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's fog-from-insufficient-rendering-power department:
New submitter kelk1 writes "If the size and mass of this gas halo is confirmed, it also could be an explanation for what is known as the 'missing baryon' problem for the galaxy [...] a census of the baryons present in stars and gas in our galaxy and nearby galaxies shows at least half the baryons are unaccounted for [...] Although there are uncertainties, the work by Gupta and colleagues provides the best evidence yet that the galaxy's missing baryons have been hiding in a halo of million-kelvin gas that envelopes the galaxy."

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Romney-Ryan Release Space Policy Paper
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's to-the-stars department:
RocketAcademy writes "The Romney-Ryan campaign has released a white paper on space policy, which observers find to be long on criticisms of the Obama Administration but short on specific recommendations. The policy promises 'a robust role for commercial space,' but it's clearly a supporting role: 'NASA will set the goals and lead the way in human space exploration.' When it comes to space, both parties put government ahead of private enterprise. Some see a parallel with the policies which are driving space companies out of California. Newt Gingrich, one of the few politicians who thinks seriously about space, says the policy is a step in the right direction but not enough."

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Intellectual Ventures Settles Lawsuits With Asian Memory Companies
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-them-to-court department:
curtwoodward writes "Intellectual Ventures, the controversial patent middleman company headed by former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold, has settled one of the first lawsuits it ever filed. This legal spat was with two Asian firms: South Korea-based Hynix and Japan-based Elpida. It also involved a complaint to the International Trade Commission, which roped in downstream customers including Dell and H-P because they used components from the two manufacturers. The terms weren't disclosed, but it seems quite likely that Intellectual Ventures was able to get the licensing fees it always wanted: The company's head lawyer is quoted praising the two former adversaries, and explaining once again that the company wants to license its patents instead of heading to court."

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Toyota Unveils Helpful Human Support Robot
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's runaway-part-two department:
cylonlover writes "Toyota has unveiled a new assistant robot designed to help the disabled live more independently. Called the Human Support Robot (HSR), it represents the latest initiative in Toyota's Partner Robot program and is intended to help out around the home by fetching things, opening curtains, and picking up objects that have fallen to the floor. The HSR can be controlled using a simple graphical user interface via tablet PC. It can also wear a tablet atop its head, which would allow caregivers and family members to communicate with the robot's owner over Skype or other services. But unlike recent telepresence robots including the recently announced iRobot RP-VITA, the HSR has an arm and gripper for doing the simple tasks we often take for granted."

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Accelerator Driven Treatment of Nuclear Waste
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's mr.-fusion department:
quax writes "In the wake of the Fukushima disaster the nuclear industry again faces massive opposition. Germany even decided to abandon nuclear energy altogether and the future of the industry is under a cloud of uncertainty in Japan. But one thing seems to be here to stay for a very, very long time: The radioactive waste that has half-lives measured in thousands of years. But there is a technology under development in Belgium that could change all this: A sub-critical reactor design, driven by a particle accelerator that can transmute the nuclear waste into something that goes away within about two hundred years. Could this lead to a revival of the nuclear industry and the reprocessing of spend reactor fuel?"

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