By Soulskill from Slashdot's they're-expensive-therefore-they-work department
points out a video that lays bare a glaring flaw in the TSA body scanners
used in airports to detect weapons and explosives. In such scans, citizens are depicted in light colors, while metallic objects show as very dark. The problem comes when you consider that the images are taken with a dark background. From the transcript:"Yes that’s right, if you have a metallic object on your side, it will be the same color as the background and therefore completely invisible to both visual and automated inspection. It can’t possibly be that easy to beat the TSA’s billion dollar fleet of nude body scanners, right? The TSA can’t be that stupid, can they? Unfortunately, they can, and they are. To put it to the test, I bought a sewing kit from the dollar store, broke out my 8th grade home ec skills, and sewed a pocket directly on the side of a shirt. Then I took a random metallic object, in this case a heavy metal carrying case that would easily alarm any of the “old” metal detectors, and walked through a backscatter x-ray at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. On video, of course. While I’m not about to win any videography awards for my hidden camera footage, you can watch as I walk through the security line with the metal object in my new side pocket."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's retrofitted-with-lasers department
writes with an excerpt from an article on the X-37B in at Discovery News: "The military won't say what it has been doing with its experimental miniature space shuttle, but the pilotless spaceship, known as the X-37B, has been in orbit for a year now. The 29-foot robotic spacecraft, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV, was launched on March 5, 2011, on a follow-up flight to extend capabilities demonstrated by a sistership during a 244-day debut mission in 2010. 'We are very pleased with the results of ongoing X-37B experiments,' Tom McIntyre, with the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office..."Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's more-drm-is-awesome department
writes "Warner Brothers has just announced a new 'Disc-to-Digital' program to convert your DVDs into digital files that you can play on your internet-connected computers. As the helpful Public Knowledge graphics demonstrate, all you have to do is find a participating store, drive there, pay again for your movie, wait while it's ripped for you, drive home, and hope it works. This will surely have tech-savvy movie fans saying, 'Brilliant! I've been looking for an excuse to uninstall this free, 1-step DVD ripper that I can use in the comfort of my own home. This is much better than DMCA reform.'"
In exchange for paying a bit more you might
get a higher resolution copy (DRM encumbered and stored in "the cloud"). The launch process is absurdly cumbersome, but: "Later on, Internet retailers like Amazon.com will email customers to offer digital copies of DVDs they previously bought. Eventually, consumers will be able to put DVDs into PCs or certain Blu-ray players that will upload a copy, similar to the way people turn music CDs into MP3 files." Will the video distributors ever offer DRM-free files that you own? The music industry doesn't seem to be any worse off than they were when they insisted upon DRM.Read Replies (0)
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's x11-will-never-die department
New submitter mkwan writes "The open-source X Server for Android has hit beta and is now available for download through the Android Market. On Australian networks at least, smartphones are assigned publicly-accessible IP addresses, so it should be possible to display many Linux applications on an Android smartphone simply by setting the <tt>DISPLAY</tt> environment variable to the phone's IP address followed by <tt>:0</tt>"
The source is available under the MIT license
(or Apache; the project page and story disagree) over at Google Code. It doesn't support all of the X protocol and there's no Xlib implementation (i.e. no X11 apps on the device yet except via the NDK if you're lucky), but it is
a reimplementation of the X server in Java for Android. You can run remote applications at least.Read Replies (0)